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Old 09-18-2016, 01:10 AM #1
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Default Would it be possible to use this spectrometer out of the box?

Hello folks.
I recently discovered an ocean optics spectrometer on eBay, and I was wondering what kind of modifications it would take to use it with a Mac/Windows computer.
Here's the link:
Ocean Optics PC2000/7DM/ISA Fiber Optic Spectrometer SMA 905 (106-10000-001)


Thanks in advance!


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Old 09-18-2016, 02:42 AM #2
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Default Re: Would it be possible to use this spectrometer out of the box?

I don't know much about the technology behind the spectros that some people have but looking at the listing I notice a few things off the bat, for one it's listed as used and for two it's a fiber optic spectrometer. This means to measure the laser's wavelength you'd have to hook it up to a fiber optic transmitter and then send that through the spectro. There's a serial port on it as well and if you've got something that can read serial data you might be able to investigate. I can imagine something with that many raw terminal connections on the main board will have proprietary software, so you're out of luck if you have no source for that. Maybe you'll be able to get in contact with the seller and ask, or even call the manufacturer. Good luck
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Old 09-18-2016, 07:37 AM #3
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Default Re: Would it be possible to use this spectrometer out of the box?



No.

That's an ISA interface, which is even older than PCI (not even PCIe) so you'd need a fully functional computer from about 1981 to plug it into. Oh, and it also comes with no drivers and no software. This is the opposite of "use out of the box"
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Last edited by Cyparagon; 09-18-2016 at 06:03 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:53 AM #4
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Default Re: Would it be possible to use this spectrometer out of the box?

I guess the answer is --yes, as a door stop perhaps
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Old 09-19-2016, 02:10 AM #5
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Default Re: Would it be possible to use this spectrometer out of the box?

The main problem would be the lack of software and drivers.

It looks like a 16 bit ISA interface to me, so a 90s era computer could work with that. They may not fit current day mainboards, but getting one that fits it would not be overly difficult even today if you are willing to go for a bit of dunpster dive.

This is quite old though, and the software and drivers for it probably came on a floppy disk that you really do require to make it work even if you have an old machine that fits the card physically.
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Old 11-13-2016, 02:51 AM #6
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Exclamation Re: Would it be possible to use this spectrometer out of the box?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benm View Post
The main problem would be the lack of software and drivers.

It looks like a 16 bit ISA interface to me, so a 90s era computer could work with that. They may not fit current day mainboards, but getting one that fits it would not be overly difficult even today if you are willing to go for a bit of dunpster dive.

This is quite old though, and the software and drivers for it probably came on a floppy disk that you really do require to make it work even if you have an old machine that fits the card physically.
Actually I just saw this post as I was asked about building a Spectrometer for doing gas discharge spectroscopy.
I am surprised that no one here mentioned that ISA can be adapted via a adapter USB card or by ISA to PCIe x2 adapter. This card (link posted below) converts the 15 pins from the ISA card into a USB signal that pretty much any computer can use.
There are a few cheap Chinese ones on ebay floating around but the one below has a universal software layer added and even has a plugin for extra power.

This one unfortunately the card in question is about $140 (which is mere beans when comparing this to a new modern spectrometer)

usb2isa-r - USB 2.0 to ISA card ROHS

You'll need driver software for the ISA card and or virtualize it with Wine... The card should show up as a serial device under windows or in Linux
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Last edited by Seoul_lasers; 11-13-2016 at 05:02 PM.
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