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Public Lab Research note

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desktop spectrometer built

by ajtarnas |

I built my kit last night, aimed it at the CFLs in my bedroom, pretty cool! Here are some notes. On my webcam, the lens was held in place by a little daub of red glue. Scraped that off with a sharp pick and then the lens could be freely refocused with two fingers (no blow dryer necessary!). Inside the webcam housing, there's a little blue LED (wouldn't it interfere with spectral readings?) and a super tiny microphone. I pulled both of those elements out, saved for another project (like [[|this]] tiny bug mic!). I felt like you shouldn't instruct us to discard the IR filter -- what kind of tinkerer throws anything like that away? Paper instructions called for 3" focus, saw that you've updated that spec to 9". I don't ever use webcams so I wasn't sure at first how I would get the video input to display, but in WinXP I used "open capture device" in VLC player and that worked fine. The webcam seems to get pretty warm when in use -- is this just a non-optimized design for a cheap cam? I don't envision higher-end cams getting so hot, but no big deal. Package came with just the right amount of foam tape and DVD fragment. (But did the DVD shard really need its own plastic baggy?) A good experience so far, thanks so much for this open-source scope!



what kind of tinkerer throws anything like that away?

:-) i have a ziploc full of them, haha.

Great that things worked out! Links to any data you've collected or photos of your data?

No, unfortunately I don't have the discipline for video-capturing anything in life, including this build process. Haven't used the workbench software yet. Envious of Chris Fastie's succinct, well-captured and -edited videos -- have any Public Lab people made any tutorials on how to make decent videos in a streamlined fashion??? Need a baseline level of quality and editing to become second nature. I like Matthias Wandel's and OSE's videos but their capturing processes haven't worked for me. :r]

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