Hi folks,

I’m looking to make a purchase and have narrowed it down to either the RSBOOM or the RS4D. I think.

I’m located in New Zealand in the North Island, fwiw.

I’m fairly new to all of this. The world of seismography, that is; I’m very comfortable with Linux, networking, etc. I wanted to be able to participate in such a way as to give back to the community, share data, etc.

Would anyone be able to steer me towards one of these two offerings over the other?

Absent other info, it feels like it’s just going to be a coin flip.



Hello jimc, and a warm welcome to our community!

It’s always great to meet other enthusiasts from around the world, and this is also why we continue to move forward with our work!

For your location, which is an earthquake-active area, I would generally recommend taking the RS4D. It will allow you to record any event, from weak motion (via the single vertical geophone) to strong motion (via the three accelerometers).

With this Shake model, everything will remain on scale, and you’ll be sure to record every bit of data from any earthquake that your instrument will be able to detect.

The only sensor that the RS4D is missing (and, as you have surely seen) the RSBOOM has, is the infrasound one. I would recommend this model only if you are interested in acquiring data from both atmosphere and ground with a single instrument.

To summarize:

  • RS4D if you are interested in acquiring the entire motion range from any event and you are not interested in atmospheric data
  • RSBOOM if instead you are focusing on both seismic and atmospheric data

If you have any other question(s), just let me know.

Cheers, thanks for that.

I would recommend this model only if you are interested in acquiring data from both atmosphere and ground with a single instrument.

This is where I’m uncertain, and where I spent too much time yesterday spinning my wheels. Should I be interested in acquiring atmospheric data?

I kept hitting info that said to go for RSBOOM if you want to track atmospheric data such as (from memory) volcanoes.

And – this is probably where my logic train hit the weeds – doesn’t volcanic activity produce a huge amount of seismic turbulence?

So I’m thinking “well yeah, tracking volcanoes would be cool, but… tracking earthquakes would be cool, but… so volcanic activity is invisible to seismographs? That… doesn’t make sense to me… I thought seismographs could pick up all sorts of vibrations passing through the ground, such as cars and trucks on a highway (and much smaller than that as well)…”

I’m hoping that I’ve simply missed a FAQ somewhere that explains where the overlap is, if any.

(Bracing for a TIL moment here…)

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You’re very welcome jimc.

Yes, volcanoes are the first thing that comes to mind regarding atmospheric data collection but, as you can imagine, there is much more that could be detected (Raspberry Boom (RBOOM/ RS&BOOM) Infrasound Monitors):

Volcanic activity -per se- is not invisible to seismographs, but its detection (as it is for earthquakes) depends on the intensity and distance between you and the volcano. If the activity is weak/too distant, its signal may be lost in the overall background noise that every location on Earth has.

So, yes, volcanoes are sources of both infrasounds/vibrations, and if the activity is close/strong enough, you may record both, or one of them. To give you a practical example, when the Hunga-Tonga erupted, I was obviously too far away to detect any vibration (on the other side of the world), but my BOOM detected the released pressure wave twice (both short and long trips).

There are many possible factors that contribute to seismic signal detection, such as installation position, location, type of material upon which the Shake is positioned, soil type and density, depth to bedrock, structural footing and attachment to bedrock, bedrock type, and more.

When you’ll get yours, you will start to see what you can detect and learn about your location in more detail. It was the same for me after I bought my RS3D.

Ultimately, both infrasound and seismic data are very interesting, and if you are oriented in learning about both, then the RS&BOOM is the Shake for you.
On the other side, if instead you want to focus more on earthquake activity, the RS4D is the perfect choice for your location.

I don’t know if I was able to help you decide, and if not, I remain available for any other questions/chat you want to have on the subject.

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Yeah I think that does help, thanks!

I had thought that anything less than the RS4D would be disappointing, ie, lacking the sensitivity in all 3 axes. But now it’s starting to sound like even the RS1D would provide decent data, and that the RS4D is perhaps excessively but narrowly detailed regarding pulling usable data.

The BOOM does sound like it covers a broader spectrum. Err, no pun intended.

Thanks again


The BOOM does indeed cover a wider “area” of signals, that’s for sure, and it is one of the reasons why we have developed this instrument combination.

You’re very welcome! For anything else, we remain available.

Hi Stormchaser,

I finally started down the path of purchasing. During checkout, I was prompted with “Products you might like”. Among those was a pre-programmed card.

Switching back to the RSBOOM info page itself (the ready-to-use option) it looks like it already includes said SD card. It doesn’t seem like I need to order the extra card, but I might as well ask here first.


Hello jimc,

That is correct; when you buy either a DIY kit or a complete Turnkey, the microSD card will always be included in the shipped package, so you are ready to go.

The extra microSD card is not required unless:

  1. you want to have one ready to use in case of any issue, and don’t want to do the manual re-burn of our OS yourself; or
  2. you plan to do some tests (as it has happened with other customers) with one, and want to have the other as a backup with the original software.

If you are not in those conditions above, then you can proceed without worrying about acquiring a second one.