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Desktop Spectrometry Kit 3.0

The **Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit** (now at version 3.0) is our most recent “reference design” incorporating some community improvements while balancing low cost and relative ease of construction. The DSSK was originally created as part of the Public Lab Spectrometry Project’s goal of identifying suspected oil residue after the BP oil spill. We have not yet met all our intended goals for this design, which is still being refined by contributors like you. Explore its capabilities in the [Activity grid](/wiki/spectrometry#Activities), and post your own for others to try. Improve on this design by (for example) adding a sample holder or attaching a light, and contributing to the [Additions & Modifications section](/wiki/spectrometry#Hardware+Mods) section of the main spectrometry page. * [Capabilities](#Capabilities) * [Limitations and goals](#Limitations+and+goals) * [Challenges](#Challenges) * [Activities](#Activities) * [Upgrades](#Upgrades) * [Frequently Asked Questions](#Frequently+Asked+Questions) * [Assembly](#Assembly) - including link to parts list and plans * [Get involved in the next revision](#Get+involved+in+the+next+revision) ## Capabilities Many [basic improvements or additions](#Upgrades) can improve the capabilities of the DS3. But with the starter kit alone, you should be able to: * Measure spectra with ~3 nanometer resolution ([help refine this](/questions/warren/08-22-2016/how-can-a-spectrometer-s-wavelength-resolution-be-measured)) * Measure light from 400-700 nanometers (roughly the range of human vision) or [more if you upgrade your kit](/wiki/spectrometry#Hardware+Mods) Can you [propose an experiment](/post) to provide a better answer? ## Limitations & Goals Because most webcams’ exposure compensation cannot be disabled, we don’t know if or how much colors have been “boosted” between different photos. Because of this, you can compare spectra taken with the same device, but you can't necessarily compare between different devices -- but this is a challenge we’re working towards (see gain calibration in the grid below). > **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](/notes/gretchengehrke/09-29-2016/common-low-cost-technique-limitations) Add limitations here in the form of questions like "How can we correct for gain compensation in webcams?" so that others can propose solutions. Propose a solution, upgrade, or new feature yourself by first posing the question it addresses: [notes:question:dssk] Ask a new question to explore further possible upgrades Here are some which we'd like to adapt into question/answer format: * Gain calibration: [correct for the gain compensation](/wiki/spectrometry#Upgrades) of most webcams using a calibrated light source * Improve the rigidity of the device: see [rigidity upgrades](/wiki/spectrometry#Upgrades) * Attach a [light source and a sample holder](/wiki/spectrometry#Upgrades) to scan samples **** ## 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 [questions:spectrometry-challenge] **** ## Activities These are some activities specific to the Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit -- for a full list of activities you can do with a DIY spectrometer, [see the main Spectrometry page](/wiki/spectrometry#Activities) [activities:dssk] Add your own activity Request an activity guide _Guides should include a materials list and a step-by-step construction guide with photo documentation. 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: [upgrades:dssk] 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._ **** ## Get involved in the next revision As these upgrades mature, the Kits initiative will incorporate some into the Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit itself (depending on cost & complexity) as part of our commitment to [an open hardware design process](/notes/warren/11-16-2015/an-open-open-hardware-development-cycle) **** ## Frequently Asked Questions This section is for questions about the **Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit**, specifically. For questions about spectrometry in general, [see this FAQ](/wiki/spectrometry#Frequently+Asked+Questions). Ask a question about the DSSK [notes:question:dssk] **** ###Using your spectrometer Once you've assembled your spectrometer and are ready to use it, plug it in and visit []( to begin recording data with it. The web-based software works in the **Chrome, Firefox and Opera browsers** on most computers and smartphones. ###(Peer) Support 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, sign up in the form to the left. 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! You can also post a question on this site; it helps to share some photos or screenshots of what you're trying to do: [question:spectrometry] **** # Assembly Assembly instructions are now provided as a step-by-step activity; leave feedback and ask questions in the comments below the post: [Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit 3.0 Assembly Instructions]( - by @mathew, @warren, and @abdul -- formerly hosted on this page. ### Design files The card-paper box design files can be found here: ## Print assembly instructions instruction_booklet_1.0-print-halfpage.pdf - Print a cleaned-up version of this page from a PDF spectrometer3.0-instructions1.0-booklet.pdf - Print a booklet-formatted version from a PDF **** ### Design notes Here are the series of notes printed on the spectrometer. Notes below by: @amysoyka, @straylight, @wagnerc4, @ygzstc, @cfastie, @stoft, & @Alex-McCarthy. * lens focus: [/n/7226](/n/7226) * grating angle: [/n/5964](/n/5964) [/n/5892](/n/5892) * spectrometer development history: [/n/10691](/n/10691) * removable slit cards: [/n/11246](/n/11246) **Spectrometer development:** * calibration: [/n/191]( /n/191) * linearity: [/n/10476](/n/10476) [/n/6225](/n/6225) ### Evolution Consult the following notes on development for the evolution of this design: * @mathew [paper spectrometer 1](/notes/mathew/11-07-2014/a-paper-spectrometer-design) * [paper spectrometer 2](/notes/mathew/12-06-2014/a-paper-spectrometer-design-pt-2)...

Author Comment Last activity Moderation
stoft "Jeff...Actually, looking at the 'Unreinforced' 'Green' peak wavelength shift, the span is 537-549nm (the same peak in the 'reinforced' version is 5..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "Just wanted to ping in here we did some stress tests last week based on the proposed tests @stoft made, and they're quite dramatic -- a 4-5nm shift..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "Looking at ways to get more people to replicate this in an upcoming PL event in Somerville, possibly using this template to photo document on paper..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "Hi, Dave - can you link the words "The PLab 3.0 spectrometer" to, to lead people back to th..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "Posted the build! Still need to take a spectrum and upload, but looking pretty good so far. " | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "I like this idea -- you're right, even 1/2 oz would be plenty. Abdul, what do you think about that as an assembly step? Would one of those "push to..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
stoft "@abdul, I'd not consider superglue because of it's negative properties for human skin -- a safety hazard. Remember, the kits are sold for education..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "Thanks, Dave -- I did a degree in architecture and so spent many a sleepless night gluing wood things together -- and I agree that not all glue is ..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
abdul "Would superglue be acceptable? The justification of superglue is outlined below: -It dries quickly -It comes already in small containers -It is..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
stoft "The size of the 'square' parts is close to 0.5-in but the "ideal" value is set by the "height" of the camera lens after the camera is mounted. The ..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "Also, Dave -- a question: if people work to reproduce this, what are (in your opinion) the tolerances here? Could people make this with a different..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
stoft "Except ..... there is a real advantage of using the "yellow" "woodworkers glue", rather than white glue. "White glue" seems to be sold in different..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "I love this. I think white glue (EVA, like Elmers) is probably plenty good for this purpose, and most people will have some. But @abdul, I wonder i..." | Read more » over 6 years ago