Placement of Shake

I have been looking through the forums and I see lots of different questions about placement. Some people have theirs inside their house. Some are in basements on slabs. Some are in garages and some are even placed in vaults outside.
I was just seeing if we could do a survey post detailing where you have yours. I am in the process of finding funds to order my first shake and will be trying a bunch of different places but wanted to see where everyone else has theirs placed.

Background… I was first planning on placing mine in a vault outside near my weather station and PM meter. I do not have a great place inside my house. In searching I am a little afraid of doing that from some of the horror stories of vaults getting wet. Also I did see a post about a lot of interference from a wireless weather station. So i guess i will try a bunch of different places once I can order a shake.
Thank you

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I’ve got 2 Shakes which I’ve had since 2017.
One is located at home in a cupboard on the ground floor. The house has a railway line 50 m to the west and a major thoroughfare 50 m to the east. Thus, the signal is contaminated by traffic and the occasional train. However, when an EQ occurs nearby, the instrument picks it up, no problem.
My other Shake is at our beach cottage on the concrete floor under my desk (near power and Internet). It’s an isolated place with essentially no traffic and when we’re not there this instrument can pick up EQs from thousands of km away. However, when we’re in residence, it is contaminated by domestic noise. Nevertheless, if an EQ occurs nearby, it will pick it up. Like the attached plot which shows the displacement that occurred as a result of a 4.9 EQ centred about 1 km away. No wonder I was jolted awake!!

I calculated this by simply integrating the raw velocity measured by the Shake.

So, my take on location after 6 years of experience is that it doesn’t really matter. You’ll get some interesting stuff wherever you put it. Of more importance in my view is having easy access to power and Internet.

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Hello artteacher, and welcome to our community!

Our recommendation about Shake positioning is the following:

The best location for your Shake is the “quietest” place possible. In some cases, this could be on a concrete slab of the lowest floor of your building, near a foundation wall, and away from washing machines, air conditioners, and similar “noisy” things. Also, a shed out in your yard or a corner in your garage would be good places. The best ones are naturally quiet locations far away from people and traffic and with an internet connection.

That said, we understand and know that this is not always possible, particularly in cases where our Shakers live in high-rise buildings in the middle of metropolises, or do not have a combination of a quiet place and a good internet connection.

If you live in an active earthquake area, it is likely (as TideMan said) that your Shake will be able to capture local events of sufficient magnitude (depending on the distance between you and the epicenters) without too many issues, and also be able to capture larger teleseismic (far away) earthquakes.

Testing various locations with your new Shake is something we advise too, and it’s the same process I went through before finding the “quietest” place in my house (which was a corner of my study in the end) after trying, I don’t know, five or six different other locations.

A vault can be used if you want to maximize the Shake’s potential to the maximum, reducing local noise and thus be able to capture fainter local and farther earthquakes, but as you have stated, this requires a good ensemble of things that may take time to get together (building the vault itself, acquiring sensors, put down power and internet lines, etc.). So, you may want to start by experiencing what your new Shake can capture from inside your house, and then decide if you really need a vault or not.

If you have any other questions, I remain available.

Hello artteacher,

My 4D is in an outdoor vault. I started in the garage and I currently have a backup 4D in the garage.

I also agree with trying different places. You might have to try a site for a few days to see how much noise varies from day and night (even day to day… weekends vs weekdays).

I moved to the vault to get away from foot traffic in the garage. Also to get farther away from vehicle traffic on the nearby street. Yes, it does help. However, it will not result in a flat line. The noise is much better, but it does not eliminate it.

Here are a couple of random samples. The garage is on the left. Vault on the right. The 2nd set has a 4.2 from about 60mi / 97km away that was almost felt at my location. As mentioned in previous replies, a modest quake will break thru most noise.

I think in most cases, the ground floor indoors will work great. If you want to try and catch more distant and fainter quakes, you may want to consider the vault. You will just have to determine if the effort to build and maintain the vault will be worth the potential noise reduction.

Oh yeah, I am one of those horror stories :slight_smile: . I ended up submerging my 4D a few years ago. I learned from my design errors and the new fault has been dry. Story here:

Steve Caron
Chino Hills, Ca