Wednesday, July 24, 2013

       Today was my last day using the USB650 spectrometer, as I graduate onto the fancy ASD once Nina shows me the ropes.  I did get a few more good samples though.  One easy one was just an LED flashlight, whose spectral curve was fairly predictable (it was my third LED source, just in yet another form), but the cool test I did today was observing a lighter (a simple butane one) under a flame hood in the basement.  With John and Ian's help it went fairly smoothly and I got a solid capture.
       One problem I have realized is that for most sources I can do, if they're outside, I need to do it at night.  Maybe tonight I'll test a source or two, but outside of looking at the sky the light pollution might be just as detrimental to my tests.  Also, it would be a bit of a pain to work at night, especially seeing as that for some sources I would have to travel for, and I can't drive past nine.  Oh well.  I do have a fairly decent compilation of sources already.
       So tomorrow I'll get to use the new spectrometer, and I'll see what happens from there.  Hopefully I start doing a wider variety of measurements, like on materials and the such (today I did do a simple transmission measure on a transparent green folder I have - it actually worked quite well).  I'll see what happens.


  1. For measuring sources outside... Is it possible to take a background measurement of the ambient light, then do the measurement including the source, and then subtract the background?

  2. I suppose if I used my spectralon it could possibly work. The problem was that the sun was simply very bright compared to many of my sources. Most of them got whited out fairly easily :(