Measuring Vibrations on Civil Engineering Structures


Dear RS Team,

First of all, congratulations for the very interesting RS project. I am assessing the viability of several using RS 3D stations to measure vibrations on civil structures. The idea is to place several stations at different locations along the structure to be tested and record the vibration measurement simultaneously for, say, 30mins to 1h. But, in order to do so, I need to make sure that each station starts and finishes the vibration recordings exactly at the same time, and store the recorded vibrations in a text file for subsequent data analysis. In other words, all the stations used in the vibration test need to be perfectly synchronized. I received the 3D board last week, and I have the following questions:

  1. Is it possible to develop my own data producer using python (or any other programming language) to interface with RS 3D board?

  2. If so, is the any manual and technical documentation about this interface.

I am looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you very much advance.



hi sandro,

no, it is not possible to make your own data producer. rather, you should have a look at the UDP functionality where the Shake data producer will forward the data to a UDP port on any other local machine of your choosing, including the Shake itself. more information on this can be found here. since the data packets are time-stamped exactly, the data received over the UDP port are, in fact, more interesting than the data coming off the Shake board itself where there is no absolute clock.

i’m a bit confused by your need to coordinate, these units are constant-running, not triggered, nor start-stop. being able to identify when the vibrations start and stop will be rather obvious in all the traces. and since all units are guaranteed to be within 10 msec accuracy to absolute time, the timestamp differences between the units will be non-consequential, (imho, though i don’t know the extents of your experiment, so this may or may not be true).

in any case, please experiment to first convince yourself the solution as is doesn’t suffice. when this is the case, please contact us again to let us know the details why, i’d be curious to understand this use case at a deeper level.