Welcome! This page includes full instructions to assembling the Public Lab Foldable Mini-Spectrometeter.
This page is being actively improved, so be sure to check back soon to see if more content has been added.
Using your spectrometer
Once you've assembled your spectrometer and are ready to use it, plug it in and visit SpectralWorkbench.org to begin recording data with it. The web-based software works in the Chrome and Opera browsers with more coming soon.
Public Lab is not a corporation, we're an open community of DIY environmental science researchers which you have just joined! The best place to get help is the spectrometry mailing list; to join, register on this site and be sure to check the "plots-spectrometry" box.
The spectrometry mailing list is made up of people like you, who are building and improving open source spectrometry techniques. Ask questions, look for help, and consider helping others too!
- more Assembly instructions
- Using the software
- Background about the project
- peer-contributed research on open source spectrometry
The foldable mini-spectrometer can be quite precise -- but it's delicate and it's not weatherproof. You can put it inside a more rigid box to protect it, or consider using some of the upgrades mentioned in the Desktop Spectrometry Kit upgrades section:
Build your own
Whether or not you buy one on our store, you can follow these instructions to assemble your own Foldable Mini-Spectrometer: 8.5x11mini-spec3.8.pdf (550 kB)
To make a diffraction grating from a DVD-R, peel back the reflective layer, and cut a small square out of the transparent layer. See also: Preparing a DVD-R to act as a diffraction grating for more information on the optional removal of the residual aluminium and dye layers.
Illustrated Assembly Guide
Cut out along the outer edge if not already cut out.