Simple Digital Camera Spectroscope

[JC Doré] sent in this [english] interesting optics hack. The rubber grips are made from an old mouse pad, the springs for the clip were salvaged from zip drive floppy discs. A pair of old photo slide frames sandwich a diffraction grating slide. (Like this one) This simple mod allows the slide to be mounted to most cell phones, turning them into digital spectrometers.

11 thoughts on “Simple Digital Camera Spectroscope

  1. Wow, I Always find myself in situations where I’m like “If only I had a portable spectroscope now!”. Thank you, Jc Dore!

    I cant imagine to many practical applications for this, but its still a cool/fun idea.

  2. the idea behind this project, which emanates from jean-pierre petit, is that by mass-distributing cheap diffraction grates or by convincing a phone manufacturer to include them, the chances of people taking a spectrographic photograph when they see a ufo will increase. the obtained spectrum can then be used to obtain information about the ufo. for instance, it should be theoretically possible to recognize the emission spectra of the navigation lights of a regular airplane.

  3. Nice idea.
    I just googled for refraction grades and they really are much cheaper than I thought. I could build a spectrometer for afew bucks.

    Yes. You can check white LEDs whether they are RGB or phosphor coated. Maybe analyze LED wavelength distribution to design a growth light, look how voltage changes influence the luminance distribution of your bike light, etc….

  4. Now I’m imagining a rotatable wheel with a bunch of different filters- spectroscope, ND-grad, exposed negative style ir pass etc. that clips onto the camera phone . I’d like to see someone make one of those, actually.

    re: #3, #4, #5, #6- skyler, if your computer is blocking stuff you can see at school then maybe it’s being unnecessarily restrictive. You should sit down with it and have a talk.

  5. This gadget more carefully resembles what astronomers call a “grism” – it superimposes the spectra on the image. So if you’re looking at a largish light source, the spectrum will be all smeary. You’d need to run the light through a slit or other monochromator to take actual measurements.

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