PSN-L Email List Message

Subject: Design or build? (was Comparison of available seismometers)
From: Brett Nordgren Brett3mr@.............
Date: Sat, 02 Feb 2008 10:06:09 -0500


Your suggestion is greatly appreciated.  It is perhaps a whole lot more 
appropriate than you might first have thought, and I hope that I may be 
forgiven if I use List bandwidth for some random babbling.

I have struggled for years deciding whether I wanted to spend my available 
time working on designing and analyzing (I had done my first primitive 
feedback seismo. design back in the 60's) or whether I wanted to really 
build something and become a 'wiggle watcher'.  Before my neighbor, Bob 
Barns, died last spring, I satisfied the latter need by working with his 
setup.  Now I'm facing the question of whether to start diverting time from 
analysis and design (always more to be done) to construction.  With the 
enormous amount of data available online, watching wiggles does sometimes 
seem like reinventing the wheel, however, creating and running a station 
would be an excellent experience for our grandkids who live nearby, and 
that's now tipping my thinking in favor of taking your suggestion to start 
building something.

As a retired instrument designer, I tend to fall into the old pattern.  You 
spent as much time as was available designing and analyzing on paper.  Then 
you turned your design over to someone to build a prototype.  When the 
protype was done, you tested it, and if your design and analysis had been 
done well it would work pretty much as expected and could promptly be sent 
on to Production.  Though it's many years since I was doing that, I still 
find that the creating of good designs is very satisfying to me.  And then, 
I enjoy trying to put the results of my work into a form that can be 
shared, hopefully to help out folks who are wanting to build and understand 
their own feedback instruments.

Guess I'd better get to work before the grandkids grow up and are out of here.

Best regards,

At 09:11 AM 2/1/2008 -0500, you wrote:
>Brett--It is always encouraging to see someone gaining an interest in
>amateur seismology.  My suggestion is TO BUILD something for your first
>system--(there is a half dozen designs out there) and later on you can move
>to a "black box" that does the work for you.  Any seismic system is an
>electro/mechanical device that you can tune into--understand its workings &
>improve performance as you go along. There is a satisfaction in a working
>system where you are part of the nuts & bolts.
>    Best wishes,  Jim


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