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Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit

Main Project Information
Presented By Public Lab
Goal Develop & apply open-source tools to environmental exploration
Task Try our list of activities and post a replication
Where Global, anywhere on the planet

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!

> Link:

(pictured is an experiment which built on the kit to attempt to identify different oils based on their fluorescence)

Join in by:

Reading about goals and asking great questions:

> Link:

Building a basic spectrometer using one of our starter kits

> Link:

Trying (and suggesting improvements on) our community-made how-to guides:

> Link:

Building on others’ work; hack and remix the kits to refine and expand them:

> Link:

The Desktop Spectrometry Starter Kit 3.0, is our most recent “reference design” incorporating some community improvements while balancing low cost and relative ease of construction. We have not yet met all our intended goals for this design, which is still at an exploratory phase: build on this design by adding a sample holder, attaching a light, or incorporating it into an experiment -- so we need your help!

How to Join

Public Lab is an open community. Try out different activities, and share your own notes on using and improving this DIY spectrometer on this page:

Upgrade and improve your spectrometer here:

Ask questions and help out other contributors here:

Social Media
Expenses $45
Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families, Seniors
Ideal Frequency Per month
Average Time An hour or so
Spend the Time indoors
Type of Activity At school, At a science center, zoo or aquarium, At home
Class Materials none
Media Mentions
and Publications
Project Updated 05/23/2018