View Full Version : Spectrometer

12-20-2014, 06:21 PM
I've been looking for a way to analyze the spectra of my aquarium lighting. I found the solution--at least part--in a $4.40 spectrometer. I ordered two Eisco spectroscopes from Amazon. They actually work very we'll! I can see wavelengths with 5nm accuracy. You can't gauge intensity, but it does allow me to accurately identify wavelengths present.

12-20-2014, 07:33 PM
But this has real promise. Build a spectrometer out of cheap parts, connect it to your PC's USB port, connect to the website and upload your spectrum. It even calibrates for you. Definitely going onto my DIY list ASAP.

12-20-2014, 07:59 PM
I've been using a Project Star Spectrometer for the past 4 years. I modified a holder and mount for a camera. Now I take a snapshot with a digital camer. I can put them on the PC and overlay each other for differences and spectrum. It shows the wavelength and identifies peaks with brightness.

12-20-2014, 09:26 PM
I've been looking at that one too. I think they're probably identical inside. I like the Specreal Workbench site because it actually graphs the intensity of each wavelength. Finally, an affordable option for the little guy--it's free!

12-20-2014, 09:35 PM
Maybe so. I had to take mine apart and align everything up when I got it. Not a high dollar unit. But as you stated a good option for the little guy.

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12-20-2014, 10:09 PM
I'm sure that for $4 mine may also be a bit off cal.

This is what I see in mine. I expect you see just about the same thing?

Now this is cool! This is what you see with the Spectral Workbench online. It actually allows you to calibrate with a CFL, since it uses mercury, and the emission wavelengths of mercury are known. I can only imagine that the graphics will get better with time. Gotta love open source!




12-30-2014, 05:01 PM
I built one of the public lab foldable mini spectrometers a while back, I think I used it with my cell phone camera. Here are the spectrums I recorded: http://spectralworkbench.org/profile/imsolidstate

I was also working on a combined spectrometer/PAR meter but ran out of motivation to finish it: http://www.imsolidstate.com/archives/1344

I also have one of the cheap diffraction grating spectrometers, they are surprisingly accurate for wavelength but like you said they can't measure intensity.

01-21-2015, 06:38 PM
So I got the conduit box from Lowes and a MS webcam from Wally World to make the V2.0 spectrometer (http://publiclab.org/wiki/dsk). I took a look on publiclab.org and, lo and behold, V3.0 is out. Fortunately, I like the look of the 2.0 version. Maybe I'll get it put together this weekend.

01-21-2015, 06:39 PM
I also have one of the cheap diffraction grating spectrometers, they are surprisingly accurate for wavelength but like you said they can't measure intensity.

That's what I'm hoping. I didn't spend a lot on materials, so it wouldn't be a huge loss if it doesn't perform well.