Recommendations for remote installations#

Some users are using the Raspberry Shake in some VERY remote areas where regular access is impossible. We encourage this! Pushing Raspberry Shake to the limits could have big rewards for researchers and hobbyists alike. And we all enjoy seeing new triangles appear on the stationView maps in remote corners of the world. Along this short journey since the Raspberry Shake Project was launched in 2016, we have learned some things that we think might help you improve the reliability of your remote installation and minimize the need for maintenance visits:

  1. Use an MLC or SLC microSD card. Read more here: microSD card topics.

  2. We recommend pairing your Raspberry Shake with a small UPS backup power supply. UPS’s that have Ethernet protection are the best. Doing this will protect your Raspberry Shake from spikes and other inconsistencies in the power supply but, more importantly, it will help the Raspberry Shake bridge short- to medium-term power outages, dramatically extending the life of the microSD card.

  3. If you are using the Raspberry Shake as a datalogger with no real-time communications to the Raspberry Shake Community server, then we recommend saving the continuous data to a MLC- or SLC-grade USB. Read more here: How to mount a USB to store the waveform archive.


The Raspberry Shake requires a 5.0V to 5.2V DC (2.5 Amp) power supply. Passing 12V will fry the Raspberry Pi computer and, in all likelihood, also the Raspberry Shake board. For any USB charger, be sure it gives 2.5+ Amps and then test it when it comes as we have found that many manufacturers report 2.5 or 3 Amps but the equipment does not meet spec.


If you are planning to use a longer cable than we provide, be sure to calculate the wire gauge needed in order to minimize any loss of voltage. The RPi requires 5.1 V at 2.5 Amps to boot properly.

Some other topics that might be of interest to you:

Real-world remote use-cases#

Rock arch resonance frequency monitoring (C. T. Russell & J. Moore, 2020)

Materials used:

  • Raspberry Shake 3D all-weather

  • GPS module

  • 12 AH lithium-ion battery

  • laptop for startup/shutdown and configuration

  • (optional) comparison sensor

Setup procedure (developed by Clayton Russell):

  1. Place Raspberry Shake and co-locate comparison sensor (if necessary)

  2. Align to True North

  3. Place GPS receiver in location with (at least an) equatorward view of sky

  4. Initiate startup sequences

  5. Ensure sensors are powered on and collecting data, and that the RS is using the GPS as a time source

  6. Cover sensors with box or bucket to protect from wind/rain noise

  7. Note experiment time (UTC and local)

  8. Vacate area

  9. Allow sensors to gather data for desired time frame