What I want to do
We had some trouble at the recent oil testing kit meetup in New Orleans in getting strong enough light into the spectrometer. @mathew and I have been discussing possible solutions but we'd talked about having a very wide slit, to sacrifice resolution for brightness, as a worst-case solution. I gave it a try today.
My attempt and results
It seems we can get enough light to break the 25% intensity line, even without modifying exposure or anything in the webcam. I did not use a reflector or anything, just a UV laser. But the sharpness of the UV peak was very poor.
For reference, I set it up in a temporary setup like this with a webcam, DVD, and laser added:
Questions and next steps
We have some other options to explore:
- reflectors behind the sample jar
- more laser!
- longer exposure, maybe through UVC USB controls
- a more sensitive camera
- a bigger lens
Why I'm interested
We need to both simplify and increase sensitivity in the Oil Testing Kit to get clear enough results to try matching. I hope we don't have to give up resolution, but this did seem to work all right, and maybe we'd be able to distinguish spectra even with reduced resolution.