Boom Orientation - Enclosure Questions

For the geophones, it makes sense that the geophones have to be oriented E-N-Z, but does it make a difference if the Boom sensor is oriented likewise?

For instance, if you had a grouping of 3 Boom sensors, would that help in detecting where a sound is coming from (much like ears being able to determine audio direction)?

Is there anything that would aid in determining sound origin/direction?

Does the outdoor enclosure for a Boom lessen the sound volume received?


As frequency decreases (wavelength increases) it becomes increasingly difficult for the ears/brain to determine direction - spacing between ears is small compared to wavelength.

We are talking about very low frequencies, and the sample rate is rather low (compared to the speed of sound, and the sampling done by the human brain).
Speed of sound is ~340m/s, so with a 100Hz sample rate, to see any difference in arrival times a pair of Booms would need to be ~3.5m apart. Preferably a few multiples of that, then arrival times between the Booms would give you a good indication of direction. Probably not too difficult to organize, except maybe in the Z direction.

No idea on the outdoor enclosure. But my guess is that it was designed with geosensors in mind…


Thank you for the info and the calculation!!

At 3.5 m separation in the Z direction, hoisting a Boom up a tree might work except that we have a lot of lightning in our area. Selecting a shorter tree in a densely wooded area might work. This also leads to thoughts of what happens when trees sway in a breeze.

With the outdoor enclosure for the Boom, I didn’t see any holes in the outdoor casing. Without any holes in the outdoor casing, this might lead to signal muffling/degradation.

Can the Shakes and Booms be programmed to sync so you see not only the timing effects but also the peaks and lows for direction finding?

I’ve always thought of buying a boom and/or shake and that interest has increased recently. I want to explore what would be better setups and usage of equipment and placement.


There is no programming … it simply reads the sensor(s) 100 times per second and records that reading.
All of them are time-synchronized, using NTP, which ultimately is based upon atomic clocks, so once the time resolution settles down each should be within a millisecond or so of the others.

Recorded values are time-stamped, so you can compare the timing of an event between different units.
This is done very regularly with seismic data to locate events.

Not sure that a tree would be a good place for a Boom. A nearby hill or building might be a better bet - even if it is not located centrally between the others, you can still calculate any altitude difference - the calculation just becomes a bit more complex.

Before jumping into this and spending too much money, you might want to see if you can find a Boom or Boom-Shake somewhere in your location and watch the data from that - It’s all there on the dataView site. I have a S-B and have found a little less than I was expecting on the infrasound side. Mostly, it is wind - it picks up storms very well, helicopters passing overhead and the occasional bit of thunder (we don’t have much here…).

Feel free to take a look at the data from mine (RS DataView BETA).


Looks like you had a good Boom return at 0634(?) UTC and it was reflected in your EHZ but more faintly. Do you have an idea of the source?

There are no nearby hills here unless I want to stretch a cable for about 3/4 mile. At that location is a nearby cell phone tower but I think they would frown on finding me or a Boom on their tower unless the data would be useful to them. the trees are on my property and some are very tall but they do sway in a wind. We have a chimney who’s top is around 26 feet. That might work instead.

Are you located near any major fault lines?


That signal you identified is relatively common here, and if you look at the frequency graph:

Onde you have seen one, it is instantly recognizable by the single frequency displaying a doppler shift - it’s a single rotor helicopter passing over, twin rotor (Chinook) usually show three frequencies, one per rotor, and one other (engine?). It shows in the seismograph channel because those things really do shake the ground.

The thing that would mostly concern me about using a tree is the air turbulence that you would get with even a light breeze blowing through the branches. That could easily mask anything else. You saw the periods of jagged lines on my HDF trace? That was periods of a relatively light wind, enough to move tree branches a bit - my Shake is inside a big barn, sitting on the concrete slab floor.

Major faults … yes. There are a few. There has been a good swarm of earthquakes (largest 5.6) oer the last week on the subduction zone off the coast:

Mt station is the blue ‘SB’ about half-way down on the right. You can also see a few smaller ones (usually ~ M2) which are mostly grumbling volcanos.

There are smaller fault lines all over. The closest quake I have recorded was probably 10 miles from here, but only around M2.5, so no-one felt it.


I see your position on the map. It appears that you are near the Portland-Salem area.

With the Juan de Fuca plate exhibiting movement at its SW corner, it that putting pressure on the Cascadia Fault line or is the Pacific Plate flexing its pressures?

Duke University Hospital is about 4 miles from here and we often hear their Life Flight helicopter passing nearby and sometimes overhead. There is also an international airport about 15 miles away and we hear hourly jet flights. So I suspect a Boom would pick up a lot of that traffic.

I was siting at my desk when the Virginia quake occurred which resulted in damage to the Washington Monument and a lot of other structures. Just from the movement, I tried to figure out the direction of the epicenter. It didn’t make much sense at the time that it would be north of here instead of in the Appalachians.

It occurred to me that I have a chimney and could mount a Boom on top. We have a two story house and the Boom would sit on top clamped to the chimney. It would be about 8 meters up. A shake could be set on the hearth. On the other side of the wall is a garage with a concrete slab. Here I was thinking of adding both to our crawl space. I would not have to place them in enclosures to prevent bugs, dew, rain, etc. interfere with the instrument.

I’ve been fascinated by stories of people seeing auras over pending earthquakes and other stories of worms leaving the ground prior to a quake. There are others where there are radio signals, possibly from a piezoelectrical / rock breaking effect but not much in the way of data. With the Tonga eruption, there was a lot of action in the ionosphere as recorded by satellites.

I find it all interesting and want to spend some time with this hobby. I’m just trying to understand what would be a worthwhile setup and the pros and cons of doing setups in various ways.

I appreciate you listening and offering advise. Thanks!!


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I think this is just natural “pressure release” which happens quite frequently as the plates “slip” at different locations. The real problems begin when there are no periodic releases of pressure for a while.

The other thing, which is somewhat rare, is the actual subduction where the Pacific plate dives down under the (US) continental plate. That generates magma. It keeps all the volcanos alive, and they release thir pressure from time to time. The ones around here tend to have very viscous magma, which makes them prone to blowing up rather than just having big lava flows like Kilauea (Hawaii). About 10k years ago, one blew leaving a crater that filled with water creating the world’s deepest lake (Crater Lake), then 40 years ago, Mt. St. Helens lost the top few thousand feet when it blew off.

Going back to whether it is worth playing with one or more Booms … I am not certain. Things like small (propeller) aircraft, and high flying jets don’t seem to generate that much infrasound. There is a thread on detecting meteor entry that might interest you. Doing infrasound direction finding is sort of interesting, but you really need some identifiable events first … besides helicopters, wind and occasional thunder I do see things, but have no clue what they may be.

I wouldn’t invest in multiple Boom devices until I was certain that there was something interesting enough to want to DF it. I would probably start with a Shake-Boom (as I have). If you decided that there really wasn’t that much infrasound “activity” you still have the seismograph, which is always interesting. If you do become more interested in the infrasound side, adding some more Boom devices to complement the S/B would be pretty easy.

On placement - I have found that I needed to get mine as far away from the house as I could. I originally tried it in the basement (concrete floor) - just too much noise, especially from the AC. Even 30m away in the barn it still clearly picks up the washing machine spin cycle.

A S/B is sort of interesting if you want to use some sort of enclosure and/or underground chambert try to isolate them, you may end up isolating the infrasound too - but I am not really sure how much it is affected by things like that.


Our washing machine is only 15 feet away from the chimney. I guess that’s out. I do have a “quiet” part of the property in a small grove of trees. Your suggestion of obtaining a Shake-Boom first sounds logical and a good test of the surroundings and interest.

How do you transfer your data to the internet from your barn? Did you run an ethernet cable?

I thought there was a way to “play” some of the returns through a computer’s speakers. It would be interesting to hear what the helicopter sounded like after being recorded by a Boom.

I remember visiting Crater Lake about 50 years ago. Beautiful park. The idea of a whole mountain top being blown off and leaving a tremendously deep lake is mind boggling. We visited Ashfall Fossil Bed State Park in NE Nebraska. The area was covered in volcanic ash and it killed the local fauna who’s bones were found around a local watering hole. They even uncovered a “dog” track as there were a number of carnivores feeding on the herbivores They are not sure where the ash came from but it was deep and there are no volcanoes in Nebraska.

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You have two things go think about: the Internet connection, and power. The demands on both are quite light. I believe that several people have successfully used solar/battery power. For another option, see this thread (second half, where we discuss power solutions):

For Internet, the maximum run for cat 6 cable is 100m. For anything even approaching that, I would run fiber instead. But for my installation I used one of these:

Ideally, you would use two for a point to point link, but I set mine up to connect to the house wifi.

There is an online tool to convert the data to sound - here is an example of a local earthquake:

I never thought of trying it on some of the audio data and/or helicopter etc. data …

As for Oregon geology … an interesting topic. The most “frightening” part is going back to the time when the descending Pacific plate melted and began to “swirl” back upwards where it hit the US plate and continued back out towards the Pacific … forming a counter-clockwise swirl. This dragged a portion of the plate out towards the Pacific, forming a several hundred mile long crack in Easter Oregon, through which lava poured, forming a lava field covering ~80,000 square miles and several miles deep.

That’s a bit simplified :slight_smile: but you get the idea. And, of course, nothing to stop it happening again tomorrow.


With your SB in the barn, how do you have it anchored or not? For me, out in the woods, I think I would place a stake in the ground and attach the SB to it and put either a weather cover over it or purchase one in an enclosure. Have not thought about the details through but we do have an outdoor outlet that I could run electricity to the SB and Ubiquiti.

That Ubiquiti looks like a neat solution as opposed to drilling holes in the walls and/or floors for a cable; just send the signals through the walls.

The recording has the bang of the initial break but the rest sounds like hearing the echo of thunder from the original clap. Almost like the sound traveling through the rock and sending out a fading transmission of the original break. That’s really cool!!!

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Somewhere I have some photos that someone asked for …

That is the Shake, just sitting on the concrete floor. I added a UPS, because power outages are not unknown around here. I also have UPS on the network equipment and another on the cable modem, so things keep going for around two hours to cover short outages. The black box is the power supply for the wifi radio:

I thought I would probably have to put it outside, but I get enough signal through the window and (wooden) door.

On the sound “recording” - the two booms that you hear are the P and S waves from the earthquake.
The P (primary) wave travells through the surface of the earth, it’s a compression wave, like sound in air. It travels relatively fast.

The S (secondary) wave is more like waves in the sea, vertical waves moving outwards. It is slower, but carries more energy. Measuring the time between the P and S waves can be used to calculate the distance of the measurement from the event. Take into from several seismometers and you can triangulate to get the physical location - in three dimensions.

There is truth in that old saying that you have probably heard somewhere that when an earthquake shaking stops, beware, because a second, much stronger one is about to hit!

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From what I hear you saying is this:

Shake/Boom <- ethernet cable-> Ubiquiti <- WiFi-> to router
Shake/Boom & Ubiquiti are powered by AC with UPS - remotely in barn

But you could have it as:
Shake/Boom <- ethernet cable-> Ubiquiti <- WiFi-> to another Ubiquiti hard wire to modem

The second Ubiquiti would serve as a repeater and therefore, you might be able to string a whole bunch of S/B’s all over your property as long as you keep the IP addresses unique (and secured)?

How do you reset (keyboard/mouse) your S/B or update the OS, etc. Do you do that remotely? or do you pack up a keyboard/mouse and walk out to the barn?

If someone were to place a 3D and a B (or several B’s) out in a field, I assume they would they need a Ubiquiti for each device? I think this leads to the idea of maybe another device that might act as a collector of data transfer for several devices.

My knowledge of networking is not that great. Just enough to get me into trouble.

I appreciate all that you have shown and told to me.

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The Ubiquity devices are really intended for point to point or point to multi-point connections.
Ideally, you (or I) would do something like this:

R-PI <== Ethernet => Ubiquity(- … radio … -)Ubiquity <== Ethernet ==> Router or switch >>> Internet

The Ubiquity device connected to your router (or a switch, connected to your router) would be configured as an Access Point. The one connected to your R-Pi as a Client. You can have multiple Clients connected to a single Access Point (or you can configure it to just respond to a known client. A pair like that, with a clear path is good for a few miles.

It behaves pretty much as a piece of wire, so you can put a switch behind the client and plug in multiple ethernet devices - I used a setup like that to get Internet up to my house from a location that had a decent connection before Comcast actually managed to get a reasonable service up here. Ran fine for about 10 years.

For my Shake connection I “cheated” a bit. It’s not long distance, and I only needed to connect one device. So I set it up as a client, Then just plugged a single device (my shake) into it.

The the network, it looks slightly odd - like a wifi client with two IP addresses on the same interface. One is the radio, and one is the Shake. Works fine, but confuses some cheaper network scanners (such as Fing) which refuse to believe that such a thing is possible (it is).

This is a partial list of the devices on my network, sorted by MAC address - see the ones in red? Same values for MAC, but two IPs? is the management interface on the Ubiquity and is the Shake.

If you wanted to connect several Shakes there are a couple of options:

One Ubiquity on the house, connected to your home network configured as an Access Point, and another remote configured as a client with bridge mode enabled, that connected to a switch and wire connections from that switch to each of the Shakes.

If the wire solution isn’t feasible, then one Ubiquity per Shake, all configured as clients of the (home) Access Point, all configured in bridge mode. The only thing to remember is that these are directional, so the clients can’t be spread out too much from the AP “beam”.

Of course, if you can get a decent connection from the remote Ubiquity units to your home wifi, you can skip setting up the “home” Access Point and just connect to your home wifi. As I am doing.

As for updates: The Shake has no keyboard or screen interface. When a new version is ready, it is pushed automatically. You don’t have to do anything - actually, it isn’t really a push, the Shake checks to see if there is a new version on a regular basis, downloads it if there is, then re-boots itself.


In your equation (3rd line), when you printed “radio”, are you talking about WiFi or another technology? I thought WiFi was limited to around 100 to 200 feet or is this a newer or different standard with longer range?.

You also said: “A pair like that, with a clear path is good for a few miles”. I guess I’m trying to wrap my head around the possibilities and wonder what sort of set up you had to bring reliable internet to your doorstep. Is it the same technology?

I can understand why the Fing would have trouble. Two MAC addresses that are the same to two different devices. How do you tell a router or Ubiquiti to separate the streams of data and management commands out? Are are they all sent in the same packet but separated out by the software?

On my property, I could set up a:

B1 - - - - -B2
set of Booms with each Boom being about 35 meters apart. That should be enough for a rough triangulation.

I assume, like with my modem/router, there are instructions on how to create an Access point and client modes? If not, do you have a good reference(s) that you like to use?

Again, thank you for all your help. This is some very useful information!!

It’s (in this case) WiFi. Domestic WiFi is crippled by low power, crappy antennas on the WiFi device and the clients (laptops, phones, etc.) Put a decent directional antenna on the base and as long as you are “in the beam” with a clear line of sight the range is much improved. For my original Internet link I used off the shelf WiFi access points - removed the supplied antenna and connected a high gain dish-type in its place. With just that, pointed down towards where I wanted to connect to, I was able to take my laptop down there, open it up, and connect back to my house. With a similar antenna at both ends I got a good solid connection.

The Ubiquity devices are really intended for WISP (Wireless ISP) use - with one access point serving multiple customers. The protocol is tweaked a bit, because when your laptop (or whatever) sends a packet it expects an acknowledgment. If it doest get the ACK within a set time it sends it again. If you go too far out with your devices, the ACK will take too long to get back and you will get lots (and LOTS!) of retransmissions eating up your bandwidth. These devices look at the average time for ACKs and calculate the distance. Based upon that they set the ACK timeout appropriately. You can also set
the distance manually, if you know it. They also have a proprietary mode when used with point to multi-point, Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) - instead of all the clients fighting to get their packets through and getting lots of collisions, the access point assigns each client an ID, and a specific time-slot to send packets. That guarantees no collisions, and with many clients works much more efficiently.

But underneath, it’s WiFi. The one I mentioned is 2.4GHz which has fewer, narrower channels than 5GHz, but the bandwidth requirement of the Shake is pretty low, so that isn’t a problem. The 2.4GHz equipment is cheaper, and tends to work better with not-quite line of sight connections.

With the 5GHz equipment, you can get ranges up to (and probably exceeding) 30 miles.

Having two IP addresses on the same interface is fine. What you usually have us two “pseudo-interfaces” each with their own IP, but sitting on the same piece of physical hardware.

Remember, IP packets are routed by the IP address, until they get to the last hop - the local network. Then the router/switch broadcasts a query “Who has” and the device with that IP responds, sending its MAC address. The packet is delivered on its final hop by MAC address. When it gets to the interface with that MAC address, its up to the device to sort out what to do with it if there is more than one IP - in my cae, if its the packet is for the management interface, if it’s it is recognized as not being local, but it knows that it has a device connected to it with that IP and routs it there.

The documentation is a bit dense … remember, it’s intended for ISPs. But there are only a few (like two or three) things to change from the default config for access point or client.

This is my client config. It arrives with an IP of 192.168. 1.1 You will need to configure an interface on your laptop to connect to this, because you will probably want to change it. Of course, once you change it, to something on your home network, you will lose the connection and will have to reconnect your laptop to your home net, and the UBNT device to the network too. You have a choice of letting it use DHCP to get its address, or assigning a static IP - I prefer static for things like this:

Keep it simple, just set the network mode to Bridge

Next set up the Wireless part:

Set the Mode to Station (client). Assuming you have the AP set up, click on the Select button to see a list of all the WiFi access points, select yours. Add the appropriate password and security mode, and it should connect:

Setting up the Access Point is similar, except on the wireless tab you would select Access Point rather than Station and assign it a password.

If you get stuck the Ubiquity ( forum is generally quite helpful.

All that with what you said about low power WiFi devices and using dish antennas to beam a signal from one point to another makes a lot of sense. That’s really cool!!!

Not to be toooo nosy, how did you find an open WiFi point or is that of the order of DBR (e.g., Destroy Before Reading - LOL)? Locking down access is being urged these days.

From the footer of your AirOS screens, your configuration software appears to be provided by Ubiquiti and I assume it is free and downloadable?

I’m not sure if I understand, client, bridge, station and access point.
I assume:

  1. Station (client) is connected to the Boom (or Shake or S/B)
  2. bridge allows you to hop the WiFi signal from the client toward a router area and vice versa
  3. access point is a Ubiquiti closest to the router but tied in wirelessly??
    I’m not sure if I am following you fully. This is what I think I’m hearing:
    <------------------ bridge mode -------------------------------------------------------->
    R-PI <== Ethernet => Ubiquity(Station/Client) - WifI - Ubiquity (Access point?) <== Ethernet ==> Router (Access point???)

All this scares me but then again, I’ve played “crash the system” a number of times trying to set things up. I’m game to try this but I want to have a better understanding so I don’t foul things as badly trying to get it to work!!

Thank you for all your help!!

The access point (“Home”) is mine. It’s not open, it is encrypted.
Or do you mean to get Internet up to my house? That was an AP I set up, leaching on someone else’s Internet connection (I helped to pay for it).

The Ubiquity software comes pre-loaded on their devices, it’s included in the price. It runs on the device and you connect to it with a browser.

You got the layout right. The access point (AP) is connected to your router via ethernet.
With it, and the clients set up in “Bridge” mode, when you connect something to its ethernet port, it’s effectively the same as connecting the ethernet cable to your router – except that part of the connection is radio (WiFi). You can actually connect a switch to the client device and connect multiple devices if you needed to.

As with the Shake device (SB), if you want to play with this idea, I would suggest just getting a couple of them and playong with them on the bench - setting one up as an AP, the other as a client to that AP, then plugging your laptop into the client (with the laptop wifi turned off) and verifying that you do in fact have an Internet connection.

Worst comes to the worst, there is a RESET switch to reset them back to factory config, so you can’t really screw things up too badly.

I think you did the right and proper thing in paying for the internet connect!! It’s “old school” and the way to go - always!!

I saw the small thumb button in the Ubiquiti pictures and thought it might be an off/on switch but it makes sense that it would be a reset button. There looks like a bottom cover for a possible battery backup or configuration set of switches???

The Pi’s and other electronic devices are moving away from switches as a cost savings measure. The plug, surge protector and/or wall switch are the device switches. Cost me $7 plus shipping to replace an old coffee pot on/off switch. <Takes a sip of hot coffee.>

I found this ad online:

It appears to be the same unit as yours above.

I guess the next big decision is about whether to purchase units with or without the Outdoor case. I saw the three prong sockets for the 3 receptors on each outdoor case. I did a search online for part numbers but only found vague references and a picture of a power adapter with bare wires on one end.

Using what you have shown me, I could rig up a shelter, place a stake in the ground, and tie a unit to the stake under the shelter but I’m in the “Deep South” with lots of bugs, humidity, dew, and rain. I worry about the effects of moisture and open slots for bugs on the Pi’s electronics. The Enclosure Pi units seem the logical way to go. Who makes the ethernet (and power) connectors for these enclosure sockets? I’ve done some searching online without much luck. I’m sure this has been asked before. Is this something for Technical Support/Stormchaser?

Yes, that is the same unit (and a better price).

From memory (without going looking at mine) there are two reset witches: On on the unit, which is just a little hole through which you poke something like a toothpick to press the reset button, and another on the power supply (it supplies power by placing the power supply in-line with the ethernet cable - it sends the power along the ethernet cable (PoE - Power over Ethernet). In WISP use these are often located high up (on a roof/chimney so being able to reset it from the PSU saves an engineer a lot of climbing.

The bottom cover is access to the ethernet connectors. There is no battery backup.

I don’t know much (anything…) about the weatherproof enclosures for the shake. You could email the sales people at Raspberryshake for more info, or ask Stormchaser – Since you ae interested in the infrasound use, one question to ask would be about whether that enclosure is compatible with that.