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Old 07-17-2016, 06:33 PM #1
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Default Will this spectrometer work for measuring lasers?

Hello folks!
I apologize in advance if I've posted this in the wrong section. If so, please move it.

I've been looking around for a spectrometer recently, and finally found one I believe I can afford (a B&W Tek BRC100.) Here's the link:
B w Tek BRC100 Spectrometer 399 785nm w Power Supply Fiber Optic BRC100 OEM | eBay

However, I could not find a spec sheet for it, nor could I find information about the connector it uses.

Does anyone have any information about this spectrometer, or own one? Is is appropriate for use with lasers?


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Old 07-17-2016, 07:48 PM #2
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Default Re: Will this spectrometer work for measuring lasers?

I don't know much about this particular spectrometer, but there is much more involved in setting up a spectrometer than plug in and go. It has an RS-232 connector which will not be compatible with your laptop or desktop computer. There will need to be software compatible with the spectrometer's output to be used and it has a high wavelength cutoff at 700+nm. It probably will need calibration which will entail you getting at least one discharge lamp and the ability to preform a third order polynomial regression. It isn't beyond doing, but takes some knowledge of spectrometers and the software.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:38 PM #3
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Default Re: Will this spectrometer work for measuring lasers?

Thanks Paul.
Should a USB to RS232 connector like this one work?
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:04 PM #4
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Default Re: Will this spectrometer work for measuring lasers?

I've looked into getting one of these since I see them at lab surplus occasionally. The software is very closed, so you'll have to contact the OEM and buy it or get it from a licensed resaler. Not going to be cheap at all. Then, with a used unit, you're most likely going to have to align it and use several special lights to calibrate which is no small task to be performing on expensive equipment.

This would be a better bet if you want one like this.
Spectrometers - Science-Surplus

Depending upon the software, a USB to serial cable may or may not work. It's a shot in the dark unless somebody's got one similar.

Personally, I'd just recommend getting a cheap plastic spectroscope and attaching it to a cheap webcam for eye safety and photos. Spectral accuracy won't be any worse with this than a non-professionally recalibrated and aligned unit. Plus, you're spending way less money for something that's pretty simple and easy.

Edit: Just to be clear, the science surplus one is the refurbished version of the BW Tek spectrometer, but it uses a different software that should work with an adapter. The OEM software is a shot in the dark if you can even get it for the one in your eBay link.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:04 PM #5
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Default Re: Will this spectrometer work for measuring lasers?

Yeah it could. It depends on the software you will be using with the spectrometer. Without that, it's just a small boat anchor.

Edit: if it needs alignment, you are looking at a whole new set of problems. I can do the calibration as i have the math skills, but the alignment can be a torturous process.

Edit: I've seen these science surplus spectrometers and the aligned ones are $500.00 IIRC. You don't even want to get involved in their DIY alignment offers. Even then they aren't as good as an Ocean Optics spectrometer.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:42 PM #6
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Default Re: Will this spectrometer work for measuring lasers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul1598419 View Post
Edit: I've seen these science surplus spectrometers and the aligned ones are $500.00 IIRC. You don't even want to get involved in their DIY alignment offers. Even then they aren't as good as an Ocean Optics spectrometer.
I agree. The Ocean Optics spectro is the way to go if you're going to spend money. I just gave the example of the science surplus since it was the same hardware and comes with software for a similar price unaligned.

Personally, I'd wait and go for a used but aligned and calibrated Ocean Optics spectro if you're already thinking about gambling $200 on something that may or may not work and probably won't be accurate.

The PASCO spectroscope is nice for the price if you can impersonate an educational institution.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:46 PM #7
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Default Re: Will this spectrometer work for measuring lasers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivem View Post
I agree. The Ocean Optics spectro is the way to go if you're going to spend money. I just gave the example of the science surplus since it was the same hardware and comes with software for a similar price unaligned.

Personally, I'd wait and go for a used but aligned and calibrated Ocean Optics spectro if you're already thinking about gambling $200 on something that may or may not work and probably won't be accurate.

The PASCO spectroscope is nice for the price if you can impersonate an educational institution.
Thank you.
Could you please post a link to this PASCO spectroscope?
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:53 PM #8
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Default Re: Will this spectrometer work for measuring lasers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sta View Post
Thank you.
Could you please post a link to this PASCO spectroscope?
It's a wireless spectrometer. Used it in my early college lab classes before they let us play with the real expensive stuff. Not bad at all for the price, but they only sell to educational institutions: https://www.pasco.com/prodCompare/wi...-spectrometer/

As for the webcam spectroscope setup, PM me if you're interested. I can explain more when I get back to my PC later.

Edit: Just realized I said spectroscope when the PASCO setup is a full digital spectrometer. My bad.
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:44 PM #9
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Default Re: Will this spectrometer work for measuring lasers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivem View Post
I've looked into getting one of these since I see them at lab surplus occasionally. The software is very closed, so you'll have to contact the OEM and buy it or get it from a licensed resaler. Not going to be cheap at all. Then, with a used unit, you're most likely going to have to align it and use several special lights to calibrate which is no small task to be performing on expensive equipment.

This would be a better bet if you want one like this.
Spectrometers - Science-Surplus

Depending upon the software, a USB to serial cable may or may not work. It's a shot in the dark unless somebody's got one similar.

Personally, I'd just recommend getting a cheap plastic spectroscope and attaching it to a cheap webcam for eye safety and photos. Spectral accuracy won't be any worse with this than a non-professionally recalibrated and aligned unit. Plus, you're spending way less money for something that's pretty simple and easy.

Edit: Just to be clear, the science surplus one is the refurbished version of the BW Tek spectrometer, but it uses a different software that should work with an adapter. The OEM software is a shot in the dark if you can even get it for the one in your eBay link.
This is the same one I posted on your USB - Spectro thread, only difference is calibration $200 vs $500 calibrated.

Mariomaster has one and he was considering selling it, you might get a good deal on it. He did the calibration himself, so you might also ask him about that.
He is almost always at SELEM, which is only a couple weeks away
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:48 PM #10
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Default Re: Will this spectrometer work for measuring lasers?

Actually, the difference is $200.00 not aligned and $500.00 aligned, but might not be calibrated.
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632.8nm P210 New Laser Tube 0.57mW Melles Griot 05-LMP-827-037 PSU New
632.8nm Spectra- Physics He- Ne #102-2 4mW heads X2 and #236 power supply
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