Category Archives: information

posts tagged with the “information” title, involve any info related to the workings of the TC1, including setting it up, and troubleshooting problems.

Workshop in Auckland, January 27th-29th, 2016

John Milne's Lamp post seismometer

January 27th:

Registration starts at 8.30am, outside room 412, located on the 4th floor of the Science Centre, building 303, 38 Princes St.,  Auckland. Easiest car parking is under the Owen Glenn building.

Room 412, building 303:

  • 9-9.30: Welcome and introductions
  • 9.30-10.30: Intro to Lablet, plus Lablet demo circuit: Doppler, Lift, big G, Aliasing. How to get Lablet at the google play store.
  • 10.30-11.00: Morning tea (basement foyer, 303)
  • 11.00-12.00: Stage 1 lab activity on the trajectory of a thrown ball
  • 12.00-12.30: Lablet discussion
  • 12.30-13.30: Lunch  served in the basement foyer of the Science Centre
  • 13:30-14.30: The anatomy of the TC1 seismometer with Ted Channel, Kasper van Wijk and James Clarke
  • 14.30:15.00: TC1 discussion about all the previous
  • 15.00-15.30: Afternoon tea  (basement foyer, 303)
  • 15.30-16.15: The arduino environment (as part of the TC1 and beyond) with live demos (“arduemos?”) by Martin Smith and Jonathan Simpson
  • 16.15-16.45: An introduction of Jamaseis by John Taber, IRIS
  • 16.45- 17.15: Wrap-up discussion

January 28th (to be held on Waiheke):

Meet at 8.30am at the Auckland Ferry terminal.
9.00 am Auckland – Waiheke
9.45 am Matiatia – The Goldie Room
10.00 am Arrive The Goldie Room

  • 10.00-10.30: Welcome, and discussion on indigenous knowledge in seismology, geosciences, and science in general, led by Dan Hikuroa
  • 10.30-11.00: Geonet: New Zealand’s seismic network by the professionals in seismology, Caroline Little
  • 11.00-11.15: Morning tea
  • 11.15-11.30: Katrina Jacobs on SARndbox
  • 11.30-12.00: An example of earthquake location by Kasper van Wijk and James Clarke; from primary school to secondary school level
  • 12.00-12.45: Discussion on the current use of Ru in the classroom, the links to plate tectonics, NZ geosciences and NCEA, led by Glenn Vallender
  • 12.45-14.00: Lunch provided
  • 14.00-14.30: School seismology lessons learned from overseas, led by Michelle Salmon, Australian National University
  • 14.30-15.00: Break out session to discuss in small groups all that was presented up to this point.
  • 15.00-15.30:  Everything looks good on a log scale, by Martin Smith on the Gutenberg-Richter and Omori’s Law for primary and secondary students
  • 15.30-17.00: Closing discussion with typical Goldie’s refreshments

5.20 pm The Goldie Room – Matiatia
5.50 pm Waiheke – Auckland
6.25 pm Arrive back in Auckland

January 29th (on Campus)

Room B05, Science Centre:

  • 9.00-9.45: IT challenges, led by Yvette Wharton and Mat Carr
  • 9.45-10.15: Pyjamaseis and pcduinos by Jonathan Simpson (powerpoint presentation)
  • 10.15- 10.30: Morning tea in the foyer of the basement in the Science Centre
  • 10.30-11.30: Breakout sessions by level about the road ahead. Primary schools with Ludmila Adam, Secondary schools with Kasper van Wijk, and Tertiary institutions with Dan Hikuroa
  • noon-5.15pm:  Field trip to Rangitoto, leave on the 12.15 ferry, lunch provided on the island, leaving Rangitoto at 4.30pm. Field guide

Assembling the case for your TC1

Below you find detailed instructions on the assembly of an aluminium and plexi-glass case for the TC1 seismometer. It was successfully tested by an 11-year old volunteer from Oratia District School (thank you, Hayden!)

Click on the images for more detail and a short description.Once assembled, it is recommended to fasten the completed case to a wall.


Thank you Mark,  Trevor, Steve and all others from the Science and Engineering Workshop!

Setting up your new seismic station

If all is well, you received a TC1 seismometer, a computer with everything installed, and a flat-packed protective case.

    • Unpack the computer and TC1. Plug the power, the usb keyboard/mouse and ethernet cable into the computer.
    • Connect the TC1 to the computer with the USB cable in the USB port marked “TC1.”
    • Hook the magnets to the slinky attached to the inside of the top cap of the TC1.
Our TC-1 came as a kit
Our TC-1 came as a kit
  • Lower the magnets into the tube so that the bottom magnet is inside the copper damping ring and the top magnet is inside the coil.
  • Level the magnets with the three knobs on the legs. The goal is to make sure the magnets do not touch the rings.
  • Also, make sure the top of the magnets are flush with the top of the copper ring and coil, respectively. Small adjustments to the vertical position of the magnets can be made with the knob on the top lid.


Now turn on the computer. All the necessary software to display your seismic data will turn on automatically. The most recent versions of the station software include a standard slide-show that explains the TC1, has acknowledgements, a map of NZ latest earthquakes (data courtesy of geonet), and the seismic data from your station.

You can turn the slide show on and off in the bottom
control panel. Just go the bottom of the screen with your mouse, and the button will appear.

Next, we assemble the case, and place it over the TC1. We recommend fastening the case to a wall, or to the floor.

Congratulations! You are up and running! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us using the mailing list on the left.

Soon, you will see your first signals!



How to get involved with Ru

If your institution wants to get involved in the Ru network, there are a couple of things to consider. In terms of hardware, you will need a public place (library, or foyer) with easy access to:

  1. power,  and
  2. a wired internet connection

The hardware you need consists of:

  1. the TC1 seismometer,
  2. a dedicated computer,
  3. a case to protect the device from bumps.

Maybe most importantly, you need a Station Manager.  A teacher would be the most logical choice, but it could be  a parent. The station manager does not need to be a seismologist, but  someone who can field basic questions from students,  solve small problems with the station, and relay bigger ones to us for troubleshooting.


To give you an idea on how your class project may go, you can watch this video.

Through the generosity of the Foundation of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, we have some scholarships available for the most suited institutions. If you want your institution to be considered for a scholarship, write us.


Rangi1: The setup at Rangi Ruru
AUCK: the station at the University of Auckland


SeiSNZ is now Ru!

We are very proud to announce that our team now includes Dan Hikuroa from Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, New Zealand’s Indigenous Centre of Research Excellence. There are several projects around the globe that do seismology in schools, but to celebrate New Zealand’s unique cultural heritage and its natural expressions such as earthquakes and volcanoes, we decided to name our network “Ru”, short for Ruaumoko, The Maori God of Earthquakes and Volcanoes.


Image created by Hka Taewa
Image used by permission of Hika Taewa ©

Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) – produced over a time span of 1000 years, offers the longest record of New Zealand earthquakes available.

The name Rū is the Māori word for earthquakes, itself derived from Rūaumoko the deity of earthquakes (also known as Whakaruaimoko, Rūamoko, Rūaimoko, Whakarūamoko, Rūaimokoroa).

In Māori tradition, earthquakes are caused by Rūaumoko, the son of Ranginui (the Sky-father) and his wife Papatūānuku (the Earth-mother). Rangi had been separated from Papa by one of their sons Tānenuiarangi, and because they pined for one another so much, producing clouds, rain, mist, frost and snow, their sons resolved to turn their mother face downwards, away from Rangi towards Rarohenga, the underworld. When Papatūānuku was turned over Rūaumoko was still at her breast and was carried to the world below where he was given fire – te ahi komau to provide warmth and comfort for his mother. To avenge the ill-treatment of his parents, Rūaumoko constantly battles humankind, physically manifested by earthquakes and volcanoes. Although a geological interpretation of the ultimate explanations of why we experience earthquakes and volcanoes differs fundamentally from that given above, some interesting commonalities exist, most notably that earthquakes and volcanoes are caused by the same processes – heat causing earthquakes and volcanoes.