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PicoQuake: USB Vibration Sensor


PicoQuake is a MEMS accelerometer vibration sensor designed to profile a wide range of vibrations. It can capture everything from very low-frequency movements (tall buildings, bridges), to high-frequency vibrations in the kilohertz range (motors, industrial machinery).

Key features:

  • Wide frequency range: Suitable for both low and high-frequency vibration monitoring.
  • Accessible: A cost-effective alternative to traditional industrial vibration sensors, which often require proprietary hardware and software.
  • Standalone device: Connects directly to your computer (Linux, Mac, Windows) via USB.
  • Open-source integration: Interfaced through an open-source Python driver, providing a command line interface (CLI) and an API for easy integration and customization.



  • Accelerometer ranges: +-2 g, +-4 g, +-8 g, +-16 g
  • Gyro range: up to +-2000 dps
  • Sample rate: 12.5 Hz to 4000 Hz
  • Configurable low pass (second order) filter: 42 Hz to 3979 Hz
  • IMU sensor: ICM-42688-P
  • Connectivity: USB 2.0 Full Speed 12 Mbps CDC via USB Type-C
  • Power requirement: 5 V, 50 mA
  • Cable length: 1.8 m
  • Dimensions: ⌀30 mm x 13 mm

Noise performance

PicoQuake can be used to profile vibrations of very low magnitude, due to the low-noise accelerometer used. We evaluated the noise performance of a stationary PicoQuake at room temperature for two configurations:

  • Low noise configuration: 500 Hz sample rate, 42 Hz filter, +-2 g range
    • X axis noise: 0.43 mg RMS
    • Y axis noise: 0.46 mg RMS
    • Z axis noise: 1.17 mg RMS
  • Full performance configuration: 4 kHz sample rate, 2 kHz filter, +-16 g range
    • X axis noise: 1.88 mg RMS
    • Y axis noise: 2.21 mg RMS
    • Z axis noise: 2.57 mg RMS

Where to get

You can buy PicoQuake on Tindie.

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