Public Lab Wiki documentation



Spectrometry

28,430 views | Last edited by warren 10 months ago | #16


The Public Lab spectrometry project is an open source community effort to develop low-cost spectrometers for a range of purposes. All open spectrometry hardware and software efforts are welcome here!

Join in by:


Starter Kits

Public Lab’s Kits initiative offers several starter kits, including many of the basic components, and instructions for constructing a basic visible light spectrometer. The point of the kits is to provide a shared reference design for building experimental setups onto.

Lego Spectrometer Kit

Our most recent kit, incorporating community improvements while balancing low cost and ease of construction. Choose between webcam and Raspberry Pi camera versions and build attachments width standard Lego connectors.

Build one Buy one

Papercraft Spectrometry Intro Kit

A $9 paper spectrometer which you can attach to a smartphone or webcam. It’s made of paper to reduce cost and complexity, and is mainly intended as an “introductory” or educational kit. The flat design can be printed on a laser printer or photocopied to make more.

Build one Buy one


Activities

This is a list of community-generated guides for specific applications using your spectrometry setup (either a starter kit or a modded design). These activities can be categorized, and some may be more reproduced -- or reproducible -- than others. Try them out to build your skills, and help improve them by leaving comments. Together, we can repeat and refine the activities into experiments.

Note: If you are working on an urgent issue such as a threat to your or someone else’s health, please know that these techniques may not be ready for your use; it's possible that they never will be. Read more here

Activity grid

Purpose Category Status Author Time Difficulty Replications
Detection of Added Sugar in Red Wine Using Visual Light Spectroscopy - - @ygzstc - - 0 replications: Try it »
Detecting Pesticides in Organic and Conventional Raspberries using Open Source Instrumentation - - @silverhammer - hard 0 replications: Try it »
Flame testing metal salts observe - @kgradow1 3h medium 0 replications: Try it »
Multi parameter analysis using a DIY Spectrometer - - @Frikkie - - 0 replications: Try it »
Calibrate your spectrometer in Spectral Workbench verify review-me @warren 15m easy 5 replications: Try it »
Detection of Olive Oil Adulteration (with Peanut Oil) Using Visual Light Spectroscopy - - @ygzstc 10h medium 0 replications: Try it »
Build a papercraft spectrometer for your phone -- version 2.0 - - @warren - - 2 replications: Try it »
Tracking Plant Health Using Visible and Infrared Light -- Initial Experiences at an Arts High School - - @Travis - - 0 replications: Try it »
Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit 3.0 Assembly Instructions build complete @abdul 45min introductory 1 replications: Try it »
PLab 3 Gain Correction - - @stoft - - 0 replications: Try it »
Preparing a DVD-R to act as a diffraction grating - - @MrBumper - - 0 replications: Try it »
Assemble a DIY Papercraft Spectrometer build complete @abdul 10min introductory 3 replications: Try it »
Water Quality Measurements with Optical Spectroscopy - under-development @philippg - - 0 replications: Try it »
Fat percent in milk - - @wagnerc4 - - 0 replications: Try it »
Classroom Flame Spectroscopy - - @straylight - - 0 replications: Try it »
Using the Spectroscope for Analysis of Concentration (Beer's Law) test-limits - @straylight 3h medium 0 replications: Try it »
Light Amber - - @cfastie - - 0 replications: Try it »
Lycopene - - @cfastie - - 0 replications: Try it »
Make a narrow slit for a DIY spectrometer out of paper - - @warren - - 0 replications: Try it »
Spectrometer 3.0 Cuvette Add-on - - @programmer1200 - - 0 replications: Try it »
DIY-spectrometer episode 2 (using LEGO) - - @TakeshiMatsumoto - - 0 replications: Try it »
Revised 3D printable mini spectrometer - - @B-winters - - 0 replications: Try it »
Testing the Oil Testing Kit: identifying a "somewhat unknown" sample - - @warren - - 0 replications: Try it »
Fraunhofer - - @cfastie 30m easy 1 replications: Try it »
Scan and compare different gases (in discharge tubes, like neon) using a DIY spectrometer - - @warren - - 27 replications: Try it »
Draft: How to intergrate spectral data geometrically - - @madafe - - 0 replications: Try it »
WIP Raspberry Pi Spectrometry automation - - @jaksch - - 0 replications: Try it »
Importing spectra from NIST and WebMineral.com to Spectral Workbench - - @warren - - 0 replications: Try it »
Draft: Collect a sample for laboratory analysis - - @warren - - 0 replications: Try it »
Setup for UV Testing with Specrtrometer - - @JoshMc - - 0 replications: Try it »
Filtered tap H2O vs unfiltered tap H2O spectral graph comparison - - @Suiris - - 0 replications: Try it »
Attempt at Quantitative Analysis for Desktop Spectrometer - - @ben.alley43 - - 0 replications: Try it »
Noise by colour - - @viechdokter - - 0 replications: Try it »
See the Fraunhofer absorption lines in sunlight verify draft @warren 1h easy 4 replications: Try it »
Stress-testing the Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit test-limits in-progress @warren 1h medium 0 replications: Try it »
Show more

Add an activity  or request an activity guide you don't see listed

Activities should include a materials list, costs and a step-by-step guide to construction with photos. Learn what makes a good activity here.


Upgrades

Have you added to your starter kit, improved it, or redesigned it? Show others how to take it to the next level by posting a build guide here:

Purpose Category Status Author Time Difficulty Builds
Ebert - - @cfastie - - 0 builds: Try it »
Stability upgrade mockup for PLab Spectrometer 3.0 build review-me @stoft 1h easy 1 builds: Try it »
OTK Proto3 - - @stoft - - 0 builds: Try it »
PLab 3 Spectrometer Upgrade Prototype - - @stoft - - 0 builds: Try it »
Constructing a Desktop Spectrometer with no Wood, and no Velcro build in-progress @abdul 1h easy 0 builds: Try it »
Some Suggestions for Spectrometer v3.0 and Oil Testing Kit (OTK) Attachment - - @ygzstc - - 0 builds: Try it »
Prototype of easy-to-build rigid spectrometer housing - under-development @warren 3h easy 0 builds: Try it »
Reduce light inside foldable PL spectrometer - - @xose - - 0 builds: Try it »
3D printed mini spectrometer - - @rthalman - - 1 builds: Try it »
Reduce interior reflections in your spectrometer with black ink build review-me @warren 10m easy 2 builds: Try it »
Camera Focus IR Filter Removal - - @stef - - 0 builds: Try it »
Introducing a new spectrometer design - "The Spectrotube" - - @El_Mar - - 0 builds: Try it »
How to do upgrade Desktop Spectrometer Kit 2.0 to the version 3.0 - in-progress @pablo - - 0 builds: Try it »
Ongoing design of compact cuvette frame - under-development @warren 5h medium 0 builds: Try it »
Spectrometer Light Tight Cover Build build - @stef 30m easy 0 builds: Try it »
Laser-cut the Desktop Spectrometry Kit v3 box - - @warren - - 0 builds: Try it »
All Paper-n-Tape Mock-Up Upgrade of PLab 3 Spectrometer build - @stoft - - 0 builds: Try it »
PLab-3 Proto Slit Upgrade - - @stoft - - 0 builds: Try it »
Build Instructions For The DH 4.0 v4 Spectrometer - - @dhaffnersr - - 0 builds: Try it »
A more compact spectrometer - - @cristoforetti - - 0 builds: Try it »
Spectrometer 3.0 Upgrades - - @programmer1200 - - 0 builds: Try it »
An evolution of the Spectrometer for 3D printing - - @ajy00 - - 0 builds: Try it »
Show more

Add your upgrade guide here Request or propose an upgrade

Mods should include a parts list and a step-by-step construction guide with photo documentation. See an example.


Challenges

We're working to refine and improve DIY spectrometry on a number of fronts; here, take a look at the leading challenges we're hoping to solve, and post your own. For now, we're using the Q&A feature, so just click "Ask a question" to post your own challenge.

Be sure to add:

  • constraints: expense, complexity
  • goals: performance, use cases

Title Author Updated Likes
Can the spectrometer or turbocharger be used for lal testing? @Ag8n about 1 year ago
How can we detect contaminants in water samples with a DIY spectrometer using reagents? @warren over 1 year ago
Can a DIY spectrometer be used to measure water turbidity? @warren over 1 year ago
What's an easy way to compare two liquid samples with a spectrometer? @warren over 1 year ago
How do I collect a sample for laboratory analysis? @warren over 1 year ago
Desktop Spectrometry Kit to arduino? @jjoll almost 2 years ago
Can a Spectrometer be used to detect material type? @jjoll almost 2 years ago
What are good containers to use for spectrometry samples? @warren over 2 years ago
Can I upgrade a DIY spectrometer with a Raspberry Pi camera? @warren over 2 years ago
Question: Can DIY-spectrometer be used for analysis of soil @interestedperson_ha almost 3 years ago
Getting the spectrometer to work with a Raspberry Pi? @anjohn12 about 3 years ago
Show more

Ask a question  or help answer future questions on this topic


Builds

There’s a lot going on in open source spectrometry -- if you’ve developed another open source design you’d like to show others how to construct, post it here!

What's spectrometry?

Colored light is often a blend of different colors. A spectrometer is a device which splits those colors apart, like a prism, and measures the strength of each color. A typical output of a spectrometer looks like this spectrum of the daytime sky, with the actual light spectrum at the top and the graph of wavelength (horizontal axis, in nanometers of wavelength) and intensity (vertical axis) below:

sky.png

Needed: overview of spectra, calibration, units, comparison, and fluorescence/absorption. Please edit this page or link to a resource, potentially the Wikipedia page, although that's quite full of technical jargon.

Software

Spectral data can be analyzed with https://spectralworkbench.org to create spectra plots, find centers of emissions plots, and find similar spectra. Data also can be exported in various formats (JSON, CSV, XML) for further analysis and visualization.

How does this compare to a lab instrument?

The Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit is only one part in an experimental setup, and the following shows where it fits in an overall diagram of a lab spectrometric setup:

tmp_31873-IMG_20161027_101601_2-79757779.jpg

tmp_31873-IMG_20161027_095939_2-108076392.jpg

There are many, many different types of spectrometry and spectrometers -- many don’t even measure light. Even among those that do, some detect light in the ultraviolet range, and others in the infrared range of light.

The range of Public Lab spectrometers depends on the range of the commercially available cameras we attach them to (~400-700 nanometer wavelengths). A commercially available product with a slightly wider range (from 335 to 1000 nanometers) is available from Cole Parmer.


Frequently Asked Questions

Title Author Updated Likes
Can you give me measure for spectrum? Thank you. @Skorex 15 days ago
What causes spectrum distortion? @nathanathan 4 months ago
How can I connect my gopro to SpectralWorkbench software? Is there other open software that would? @CD3000 6 months ago
UV measurements @exekutive 7 months ago
[SOLVED] Why is my image of the spectrum extremely "slim"? DVD+RW is not good as a diffraction grating! @jaksch 10 months ago
How can I get the absorption spectra once I have calibrated my spectrometer data? @amenzel8 10 months ago
Most accurate spectrographs? @jneish 10 months ago
Best light source for spectrometer? @jneish 10 months ago
How to measure nutrient concetration in hydroponic system? @Aleksi12358 11 months ago
Dark images, can't get spectrometer to work @Tomas0413 11 months ago
Can I use a DVD or does it have to be a DVD-R ? @tmanmerlin 12 months ago
could anyone tell me if it is possible to use the homemade spectrometer to analyze a sample of metal? @gabrielxp46 about 1 year ago
How do I...place the new webcam @stinge_nz about 1 year ago
Which Public Lab kit is best for testing the impact of different camera settings? @MaggPi about 1 year ago
Do a DVD is provided with the LEGO kit ? ty ! @adamsanta about 1 year ago
can a spectrometer be used to measure color of water ? @thangvu about 1 year ago
Quantitative analysis of wood moisture @MarcioPamplona about 1 year ago
How do I make sure the "YELLOW LINE" threshold is the same for each measurement with the spectormeter (trying to maintain consistent conditions for experiments across multiple days) @Dr_Z about 1 year ago
Lego Spectrometer suitable for studying sunlight? @jsbonillam about 1 year ago
Possible sources of more spectrometer information @Ag8n over 1 year ago
Can I get a file of numbers instead of a graph from the foldable spectrometer software? @mountevans over 1 year ago
How to interpret the results? @amir129 over 1 year ago
Preferred slit size? @asnow over 1 year ago
Do I need to use a DVD-R? Will a CD-R work too? @jordankc over 1 year ago
Camera that would detect at 1064nm? @jpschaaf over 1 year ago
Whats the detection limit of the Desktop Spectrometry kit? @partyparrot4eva over 1 year ago
Quantifying Phytonutrients using a Spectrometer, Possible? @zayas over 1 year ago
I want to know a method to quantify milk proteins using the foldable mini spectrometer, Is this possible? @julsmill over 1 year ago
How can we detect contaminants in water samples with a DIY spectrometer using reagents? @warren over 1 year ago
Can a DIY spectrometer be used to measure water turbidity? @warren over 1 year ago
Noise when Trying to Analyze Spectrum @matthart610 over 1 year ago
Does anyone know what image processing spectral workbench does to find intensity at wavelength/ where to find the coding for that? @Reallygeek over 1 year ago
Does the Beer Lambert law apply to the opacity of reagents? @warren over 1 year ago
Would the desktop spectrometry kit work for measuring fluorescent responses? @ICSK over 1 year ago
Can I use a Diffraction Grating Slide Holographic 1000 lines/mm instead of the CD? @oglezsa over 1 year ago
How to connect a creative cam notebook with a smartphone? @KushalKC over 1 year ago
What's an easy way to compare two liquid samples with a spectrometer? @warren over 1 year ago
Calibaration or switching scale? @jayjay70 over 1 year ago
Spectrometry: degrees between gratings or camera and baseline @obisidian almost 2 years ago
How To Make Time Lapse Spectrometer @LightWaveResearch8000 almost 2 years ago
Assembly completed but the camera doesn't work. @1987123 almost 2 years ago
Desktop Spectrometry Kit to arduino? @jjoll almost 2 years ago
Any way to improve on the DVD grating? @dsvilko almost 2 years ago
Can a Spectrometer be used to detect material type? @jjoll almost 2 years ago
Can this camera be suitable to make a spectrometer v3.0? @osetroff almost 2 years ago
Alternative spectrometry sample cells for Hach DR900 @fieldlab about 2 years ago
Desktop Spectrometer Kit Availablility @bicwood about 2 years ago
How do I... @Mekis about 2 years ago
Testing Water For Specific Polluting Compounds @rajanzaveri about 2 years ago
Paper size for stiff matte black card insert @Vman about 2 years ago
making a slit in spectrometer @vafa about 2 years ago
JDEPC-OV05 camera intelligent exposure @tim_spec about 2 years ago
what causes spectral colors to be reversed? @vgoebel over 2 years ago
Fraunhofer Lines at higher resolutions? @stef over 2 years ago
How to get spectral data in excel or other formats @suha over 2 years ago
Ambient/Light Bulb Testing @idev247 over 2 years ago
Photoreactive purple dye: can it block wavelengths longer than green? @axman over 2 years ago
Identify Plastic Material Using Infrared Imaging @shaikhgous over 2 years ago
Is the webcam from spectrometer v2.0 suitable for the upgrade to 3.0? @pablo over 2 years ago
Is there an iPhone app for foldable spectrometer? @CanfieldC over 2 years ago
Error on calibrating uploaded spectrum @sarahcm over 2 years ago
How do you use infrared light with the DIY Public Lab Spectrometer 3.0? @haribhimaraju over 2 years ago
how to delete my spectra on Spectral Workbench @redleon over 2 years ago
What are good containers to use for spectrometry samples? @warren over 2 years ago
Can I upgrade a DIY spectrometer with a Raspberry Pi camera? @warren over 2 years ago
What sensor would I need to detect spectra of small organisms (virtus, bacteria etc) @fouadalnoor over 2 years ago
How can I reduce ambient light inside the Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit? @warren over 2 years ago
What mechanical specs can and should PLab spectrometers meet? @stoft over 2 years ago
Arc Emissions- What electrodes to use? @m3sca1 over 2 years ago
Is there a simple and reliable way to test the rigidity of the spectrometer? @bsugar over 2 years ago
How can a spectrometer's wavelength resolution be measured? @warren over 2 years ago
Can i upload csv files on spectralworkbench for calibration and other purposes? @shubham almost 3 years ago
How to neutralize/remove the source's spectra to obtain absorption spectra? @shubham almost 3 years ago
Spectrometer from a drone @sylvainbonhommeau almost 3 years ago
Question: Can DIY-spectrometer be used for analysis of soil @interestedperson_ha almost 3 years ago
Question: Using a webcam with a image resolution of 1920x1020 @seko almost 3 years ago
Mini spectrophotometer - how does this deviate from the Beer-Lambert law? @FoxClass almost 3 years ago
How to rename a set on Spectral Workbench? @AndrewJamesLaplante almost 3 years ago
Question: How do I get the calibration user interface? @PeterDH about 3 years ago
Question: Why average? And what happens to the second Green? @viechdokter about 3 years ago
Question: Calibration... @Georgi about 3 years ago
Question: Focus on mobile phone @clownfish about 3 years ago
Question: I want to do citizen bee science @FortunaWolf about 3 years ago
Question: ccd camera on metascop @leanr about 3 years ago
Getting the spectrometer to work with a Raspberry Pi? @anjohn12 about 3 years ago
Question: How to I convert the spectrum from the webcam to a spectral power density graph. @cjtiaan about 3 years ago
Question: RE: Desktop Spectrometry Kit @Airship7 about 3 years ago
Question: Desktop Spectrometry Kit @clmchenr almost 4 years ago
Question: Can signal be exported from Spectral Workbench? @clmchenr almost 4 years ago
Question: Range @Gasam almost 4 years ago
Question: IR filter in the camera @Ripingill about 4 years ago
Question: the camera look only white and dont have focus...it´s teh camera bad? @masolaric over 4 years ago
Question: Will the desk top spectrometer sense wear metals in motor oil? @upson over 4 years ago
Sample container search @warren almost 5 years ago
Question: More of a comment, really @bowlerhatman almost 5 years ago
Accuracy of assembled Desktop Spectrometry kit? @WhiteRabbit almost 5 years ago
Question: Can the Public Labs Desktop Spectrometer analyze light from a patch of grass? @WhiteRabbit almost 5 years ago
Question: any low light settings for web cam used in desktop spectrometry kit? @Henry0815 almost 5 years ago
Show more

Ask a question  or help answer future questions on this topic

Note our previous Frequently Asked Questions page, which can be found here » -- please help port these into the new system, here!


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