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This DIY kit helps analyze materials and contaminants. We need your help to build a library of open-source spectral data.
This DIY kit helps analyze materials and contaminants. We need your help to build a library of open-source spectral data.
This DIY kit helps analyze materials and contaminants. We need your help to build a library of open-source spectral data.
1,633 backers pledged $110,538 to help bring this project to life.

We are shipping!! Plus iOS/Android updates & preorders

900 webcams just arrived, and we are in the midst of final assembly for the 974 Desktop Spectrometry Kits ($35 reward; the remaining webcams should be here soon). What's more, the night before last, all of our foldable mini-spectrometers shipped out from Portland, OR. We expect to ship the first 900 desktop kits tomorrow.

Thanks for your patience -- we're doing our best to assure that these arrive before Christmas, and we think for US buyers that should work out. For international orders, it's harder to tell.

Final instructions for the Desktop Spectrometry Kit

We've also posted a PDF of the final assembly instructions for the "DSK", which is shipping in each kit. It can also be used to build your own (all open source, all the time!), assuming you can find a webcam that will fit in a given spectrometer box, and that you cut your own imaging slit (not hard!). 

Spectral Workbench updates + iOS and Android

If you've used Spectral Workbench recently, you may have noticed the frenetic pace of changes over the past week. Wholly revised interfaces such as the above front-page screenshot, as well as a vastly improved (but still in-progress) mobile interface for the site have accompanied bugfixes and other revisions. Give it a browse!

One big improvement is that on mobile devices which lack the live video API our mobile site uses, we are automatically directing users to upload an image of a spectrum, and prompting them to do so with their native camera app. Until more mobile browsers support the MediaStream webcam API (as Opera Mobile does), this will allow anyone on Android or iOS 6+ to use the mobile webapp. We are also taking the first steps in developing a native iOS app to enable live capture, but we've found the native camera app technique to work fairly well.

Read more about this here:

Now accepting preorders

Finally, we are accepting preorders for a February shipment of post-Kickstarter Desktop Spectrometry Kits. We are setting the final retail price at $40 each. Reserve one now! - $40 - $10

Design sketches for the mobile spectrometer attachment

One more thing! We're starting to move on the $65 mobile spectrometers -- the rigid plastic version of the paper one we just shipped. Check out the sketches and as always, get involved at!


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    1. A.J. Tarnas on

      Got mine, thanks! This is awesome.

    2. Jeffrey Yoo Warren 2-time creator on

      As of tonight, 804 have been shipped!

    3. Jeffrey Yoo Warren 2-time creator on

      John - we included a matte black card to line your boxes with. But you could spray paint the interiors for even more light absorption! I think that's what the Mars CRISM spectrometer team did, more or less.

      Paul - thanks for the measurement updates. We'll try to get a metric conversion out on A4 sometime soon. If you have a chance to do it yourself, please post and we'll put it up too!

      As you receive your spectrometers and have questions or need support, remember to sign up at and join the spectrometry mailing list -- that's the best place to find help, discussions, and to share your work.

    4. Jeffrey Yoo Warren 2-time creator on

      UPDATE: the first 370 (US, $35 backer) spectrometers were dropped off at the post office Saturday morning. International $35 backers spectrometers should ship Monday or Tuesday, along with the $100, $200, and $400 backers' spectrometers. We are sending these Priority Mail! I think the first batch may arrive Tuesday.

      Follow @publiclab for updates, and tweet #diyspec when you get yours! We love seeing unboxing photos.

    5. paul on

      . I see the measurements for adjusting and construction are in inches, for the metric users use 75mm for the 3 inch and 12mm for the 1/2 inch.

    6. John Meacham on

      Would it help to spray paint the inside of the conduit matte black before assembly? I remember building pinhole cameras and that (along with alumnium foil tape on the edges) significantly helped with the final image.

    7. fmotta on

      Excellent! Amazing! Wonderful! Love the communication and attention to the product, plan, and the humans!


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      sethish on

      This is awesome, those are so many boxes!