Question: Do you have any tips for splicing DVD-Rs for spectrometer builds?

mimiss is asking a question about spectrometry
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by mimiss | June 24, 2020 18:34 | #24037

I'm having some trouble prepping my DVD for use in the spectrometer as shown here. The main issues that I have are:

  • when I separate the two sides of the DVD, the silver film is stuck to the side I need
  • I am having trouble with the DVD cracking/getting fracture lines when I go to pry the two sides apart.

Do you have any tips or tricks for how to get a clean separation of the DVD halves?

For reference, here's the DVD prep images from @warren 's post on how to build the Papercraft Spectrometer.

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And here is what my DVD troubles look like:

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To get the film off, try running a sharp exacto knife very lightly under one edge. If it starts to split it's very hard to remove it without scratching, but a lot of times if you can get a clean start the whole thing will come up in one piece.

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Ah! When we did a million of these at makerfaire a few years ago I found a strategy worked for me was to flex the dvd back and forth for a while first -- you should hear/feel some splintering, and you can kind of feel the DVD start to delaminate-- at a certain point you feel the splintering less and at that point it was pretty easy to pop apart, but I'd imagine that brands vary somewhat in terms of how well they're stuck together-- I seem to recall we got a batch of DVDs at some point that were just really tricky to pull apart.

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Separate the layers of the disc. Insert a butter knife in between the two layers of the CD, and gently wiggle it to pry the layers apart.

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A tip is to put the DVD on a pan with water and boil it for 5 to 10 minutes. It would be easier to separate the layers with a knife.

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