New to spectrometry? You might like to try the Papercraft Spectrometry Starter Kit, a $10 foldable 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.
- Plans and materials
- Limitations and goals
- Get involved in the next revision
Welcome! This page includes full instructions to assembling the Public Lab Foldable Mini-Spectrometeter.
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.