Vibration Monitoring Guide - Part 2

Part 2: Vibration Monitoring Equipment

Three components are needed for monitoring construction vibrations: a geophone, a vibration monitor (also called a seismograph), and software for reports and analysis. Optional weatherproof enclosures, power solutions, and automated communications and processing can increase efficiency and reduce costs.


Triaxial Geophone

  • Contains three geophone sensors to monitor transverse, vertical, and longitudinal vectors.
  • Configured for horizontal installation or vertical (wall) installation on request.
  • Standard ISEE geophone is suitable for construction monitoring.
  • Specialty sensors are available for unique conditions.
MicroMate Seismograph

Vibration Monitor / Seismograph

  • Accepts geophones and microphones.
  • Records data for histograms and waveforms.
  • Displays PPV, frequencies, max acceleration, and max displacement.
  • Provides “auto call home” feature, assuming that you have a cellular modem, power for the modem, and a way to receive the data.
Vibration Analysis Software

Report and Analysis Software

  • Transfers data from vibration monitor to PC
  • Processes data.
  • Generates event reports and histograms.
  • Supports FFT and other analysis tools.
Manual Vibration Monitor Kit

Manual Vibration Monitor

Manual vibration monitors get the job done. Keep in mind that manual vibration monitors are minimally protected from the environment and are not easily secured. In most cases, you’ll need a technician hovering nearby, and you’ll always need someone to offload and process data.

PVM with Geophone

PVM Protected and Automated

The PVM encloses the vibration monitor in a strong waterproof case that can be locked and easily secured. Portable and easy to deploy, the PVM can be left unattended on site for several days. Data transfers, processing, and reports are fully automated.


SVM Solar Powered AVM

The SVM features a solar panel and a larger battery. It can be deployed quickly and operates autonomously for days and weeks. Data transfers, processing, and reports are fully automated.


RVM on Sidewalk

RVM Rugged Vibration Monitor

Easily secured due to its weight and heavy-duty construction, the solar-powered RVM can be deployed in public areas. The geophone can be installed beneath the box. Data transfers, processing, and reports are fully automated.

Questions & Answers

How many geophones can I connect to one vibration monitor?
Short answer: The Instantel Micromate and Minimate Plus accept only one geophone. They both offer “4 channels,” but the triaxial geophone takes three channels, and the microphone takes one channel.

Long answer: There is an “8-channel” version of the Minimate that accepts 2 geophones and 2 microphones. It is intended for specialized monitoring where, for example, one geophone is installed on a structure and the other on the ground in front of the structure.

Can I connect an extension cable to a geophone?
Answer: Yes, 10, 25 and 50 foot extension cables are available. However, we recommend keeping cables as short as possible. Short cables are less susceptible to electronic noise and less likely to be damaged by construction activities.

Can geophone cables withstand traffic loading (i.e. across parking garage driveway)?
Answer: Geophone cables are not designed for traffic. If you must route a cable across a driveway, we recommend protecting it with a traffic-rated mat or through a trench, if possible.

What is the best way to install a geophone?
Answer: The ISEE has standards for geophone installation. In general, the geophone must be level and the arrow should point toward the source of the vibration. We recommend burying the geophone when possible. If the only surface is concrete, we recommend installing an all-thread anchor into the structure, then slipping the geophone onto the anchor (there is a hole in the geophone for this purpose) and then hand-tightening a nut to hold in in place. If you must use sandbags, consider using two bags to prevent side to side movement and one bag to prevent up and down movement.

What are the dimensions and weights of the PVM, AVM, and RVM?

PVM: 20 x 15 x 7 in, 33 lb with one battery, 42 lb with two batteries.
AVM: 18 x 16 x 6 in, 32 lb, without optional solar panel.
SVM: 30 x 18 x 11 in (open), 80 lb.
RVM: 31 x 21 x 18 in, 250 lb.

Do you have any more specs?
Yes. Visit our Vibration Monitor Rentals page for full specifications

How long can the PVM operate on a fully charged battery?
The PVM is shipped with a 15Ah battery. It provides power to the cell modem and also keeps the Micromate’s internal battery charged. The fully charged battery provides about three days of monitoring and communications. A second battery can be added to the PVM if a longer operating time is required. Actual battery life depends on the frequency of data transmission, cell signal strength, ambient temperatures, etc. Finally, note that the Micromate can continue to operate on its internal battery but will not be able to transmit data offsite until the 15 Ah battery is swapped or recharged.

Let’s Talk

We want to make rentals easy, but we also want to make them right. A short discussion is all it takes. Call us at 800-477-2506 or fill out the form below so we can call you.

Name* (required)




How can we help?


Enter a phone number if you'd like us to call