Giving an old FTIR spectroscope a new brain, and the design and build of an open source benchtop FTIR spectroscopy system.

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I recently acquired a 30 year old FTIR spectrometer which I intended to use for gas analysis. With no manuals or documentation available, rehabilitating it proved to be of dubious value. That's when I got the idea to develop an open source hardware/software package to drive the existing optical bench in the FTIR spectrometer to make it useful again. Once that is done, I will design and build a suitable optic bench for it, making a completely open source FTIR system for any and all to use.

This project will spawn many sub projects to make the things I need, all of which will be posted here.

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giraldinrsviscol wrote 05/21/2018 at 16:04 point

Hi, I also have a Perkin Elmer paragon 500 that I intend to reactivate but the beamsplitter in KBr is to be replaced. I kindly ask if it is possible to have the service manual pdf for paragon 1000 because the optical bench should be the same.

Thanks in advance                                                           Roberto

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John Stockton wrote 08/30/2016 at 18:29 point

BTW - I have a pdf of the Installation/Maintenance manual for a Paragon 1000 unit (the doorstop that we currently have).  Happy to send it over or post it.

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l0c@ wrote 08/30/2016 at 19:38 point

Thank you! That would be great. I don't want to post my email publicly tho.

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John Stockton wrote 08/28/2016 at 12:30 point

Good luck with this one.  The instrument in the picture looks like a Perkin Elmer unit.  The lenses are made from a salt material that absorbs water, so make sure they look reasonably clear.  Normally you purge the optical path chamber with nitrogen and periodically replace the dessicant.  We have an old one that has a laser problem and has been a door stop for  a long time.  I'll be following your project!

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l0c@ wrote 08/30/2016 at 15:18 point

Thank you! It's a big project for sure, and why yes, it is a Perkin Elmer Model 1605. It has no lenses, but the windows are indeed made of single crystal KBr. They were in poor shape when I got them, but took a polish nicely to less than two red wavelengths flatness and now do not appreciably scatter laser light at 532 nm and 633 nm. I have them stored in a desiccator for safe keeping.

The laser in this one works flawlessly and is a healthy low hours tube of early 1990s vintage. I've been using it as an interferometer source to check my work on refurbishing the optics and realigning the bench. So far I've had to replace the primary flat laser mirror ($5 at Surplus Shed for a 3x3 mm first surface mirror in aluminized silicon, yay!). 

The beamsplitter was removed from the unit. That is my main obstacle now. I have a source for a replacement but they are FAR from cheap as you likely know. The factory desiccant cartridge is gone as well. I need images and dimensions from an original to fabricate a new one-maybe you can take a peek at your doorstop and share what yours looks like?

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FrankenPC wrote 08/27/2016 at 21:14 point

What does FTIR mean?

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l0c@ wrote 08/30/2016 at 15:20 point

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. You can read more about it here:

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