DIY Build OpenSource Spectrometer for Cheap

Spectrometer is really scientist’s swiss knife when it comes to identifying unknown materials.

A new kickstarter project assures to make Spectrometry cheap and accessible like Wikipedia to just anyone. They have come up with a kit, which you can make it at home for cheap.

What is Spectrometer?

Spectrometer basically identifies materials. Ina  wider term, it is an instrument used to measure properties of light over a specific portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, typically used in spectroscopic analysis to identify materials.

What is this Open Spectrometer? What can it do?

This DIY Spectrometry kit helps analyze materials and contaminants. Its totally open source, you can easily get the hardware from daily stores and get up and running in matter of hours. The project is easy to build, and achievable without hitting the bank.

Spectrometers are used to identify unknown materials like oil spill residue or coal tar in urban waterways. But they cost thousands of dollars and are hard to use — and are frequently used in modern science and now even day to day life. A spectrometer is essentially a tool to measure the colors absorbed by a material.

DIY Spectrometer: Cost, Hardware components, capabilites

The Open DIY hardware costs as low as $35, but still provides a range of more than 400-900 nanometers, and a resolution of as high as 3 nm. You can construct this one yourself from a piece of a DVD-R, black paper, a VHS box, and an HD USB webcam.

How to Build DIY Spectrometer

Checkout: Step by steps guide

Along with the hardware, you can use an Open source software from to collect, analyze, compare, and share calibrated spectral data. In case, you’re an android user, there’s a spectrometer app for Android data acquisition/analysis too.

Users can use the above mentioned tools to learn from the community and contribute back with data to build Wikipedia-like library for Open source Spectra. This would be a boon to the industry and truly make this Spectrometer project “Shazam for every Material”.

You can join the open Public Lab community which would help you identify and reconcile any issues with hardware. If you like, you can contribute by funding the project. They have a credible background, they documented the BP oil spill using aerial photos from kites and balloons and their balloon mapping kits.

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