Question about tuning in to local noise

Hi there, not a user yet, just wondering before I buy one.
I hope I’m not too off topic or posting in the wrong place - if so please let me know and I can move it.

I’m sort of thinking of doing the opposite to what most people want from a rpishake - trying to discover if we HAVE a ‘wiggle’ Im experiencing shaking in bed at night - it coincides with long covid and it was put down to a symptom. but I am interested to see if I can find a physical ‘wiggle’ because it’s so consistent in terms of timing I’m a little desperate to know as it could soon cost me my job because because of sleep deprivation. Doctors gave various medications but no solutions. So - if I think it is a washing machine, can I likely view that?
Once I determine that there actually is a physical shake at the times I feel it, I will then at least know it’s not all in my head and I can set up the pi as a citizen earthquake station. Yes, I unplugged the entire house, yes I asked the neighbours if they put a washing machine on at 3am, no we don’t have any factories, roads, subway etc…
I’m in a FB group with 450 other people who have had various shaking sensations after covid, it might just be that something has made us hyper sensitive to vibrations - but it would be good to finally find out if it coincides with an actual ‘thing’ or not.


A RaspBerry Shake would tell you, with a “written” record, if there are any (low frequency) vibrations. Some of them are pretty distinctive in waveform and/or frequency plot. Washing machines, especially on spin cycle, show up well, as does the ground vibration from helicopters flying overhead, I see that from our garbage collection truck etc.

Another thing you might like to try - have you thought of spending a night in a hotel/motel, or staying overnight with friend/family? That would be a quick and easy test.


Yes, i know - I had a few days here and there, but even at home it’s on and off - nothing for three nights and then it comes back.
I guess I need to spend a couple of weeks away - i just haven’t had the opportunity

As Philip said a Shake will pick up low frequency vibrations that you don’t, so as long as the vibration is less than 50 Hz, the shake will record it. Here’s a spectrogram of our washing machine FYI. Easy to log. ;o)


1 Like

Hello Wilson, welcome to our community.

Firstly, I wish you a swift recovery from your long COVID symptoms.

Regarding the Shake, yes, as the other users have shown, if there is something vibrating with sufficient intensity in (or nearby) your house, a Shake will be able to record it.

One of our most recent users discovered just something like that as soon as a new Shake was installed. You can read the thread here: Is this signal a hardware issue or is my ground always moving?

If you have any other questions, I am available.

Ok,so i recieved my diy kit some days ago. Unfortunately i didnt see the information about the fact that all the pi zeros are not really compatable as this was what i was going to base it on. So im searching for a pi locally and someone to print the case… darn it - i should have just brought the whole thing in one piece. Will get back when im done… and maybe i buy a 3d printer and print the case myself

hi there, the station is up and running now, its a bit of a homemade enclosure untill my 3d printer comes but its working and im looking at the data. trying to figure out if its picking something up. if anyone is interestead in helping me look through the data feel free to discuss the shaking is usually occuring between CET 0130 and 0600 which is 0030 to 0500 UTC. i guess i will just leave it on in the basement, though it is tempting to put it in the room higher up the house as i know the effect should be accentuated - were have a three floor terrace house.

looking at your spectrogram…A 7min washing cycle is pretty impressive :slightly_smiling_face:
20hz is what i have been reading as the general area for most machines

the frequency of some of the ‘shaking’ i estimate to be about 2 times per second, its hard to tell as its very subtle… but enough for my brain / body to not be able to filter it out, sometimes its 3 'jolts in a row then occasionally a constant rumbling - i liken that to the spin cycle. my latest theory is that if aspects of the shaking (the majority of the time, not the ‘spin cycle’) could be in and out of sync with my resting heart rate, possibly that this is why i can ‘feel’ it and it wakes me up / keeps me awake but not my partner who doesnt feel it. my station is R6F2D - EHZ

hi there, if i move my raspberry shake to locate it near where i think the vibrations eminate - should i go offline? i dont want to mess up the data you that the shaker gives to the network - or is it ok? it would be great to keep it online so that i can easily share data. im searching for a telltale signal like @sheeny produced.

That’s probably just part of the cycle - maybe the spin cycle. There’s usually a couple of sequences like that in a full cycle.

Looks like you’ve got 3 frequencies that are pretty constant, Wilson. About 12, 13 and 17 Hz.

Why do you want to move the Shake? I think the Shake will pick up any vibrations that may be of concern anywhere in the same house/apartment, so I would not expect it to be be necessary to move it.


1 Like

The recommendation is to shut down the Shake from rs.local/ and then move it. By doing this, there will be no issues in the data you will be sending to the community, and you can move the Shake more safely.

Hopefully, you will find what you are looking for!


i think i will leave it where it is. im going to turn off the heating, ventilation and the fridges / freezer tonight and see what im left with.

Looks like you picked up a nice little earthquake at 07:41UTC!


aha, looks like im going to be interestead in more than just the neighbours washing machine!
i have also been thinking maybe i will try and find a better place to cut out some of the general
house noise

1 Like