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ramanPi - Raman Spectrometer

An open source 3D Printable Raman Spectrometer using a RaspberryPi and easy to find off the shelf components..

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An open source 3D Printable Raman Spectrometer that uses a raspberryPi, a couple of arduino compatible ARM boards, a really bright laser and some parts you can grab from eBay, adafruit, sparkFun, Mouser, or wherever...!

1. Make it Open.. Everything.. All of it..
2. Make it 3D Printable.
3. Make it modular and easy to upgrade.
4. Make it as easy to build as possible.
5. Make it easy to customize and open to improvement.
6. Use only commonly available off the shelf components whenever possible.
7. Have a remote interface that will allow it to be controlled and viewed from anywhere.
8. Compare the spectra to the online internet spectral databases.
9. Provide the capability to log data to remote databases, share with friends and colleagues..
10. Not be just another open source spectrometer..
11. Make it easy to use and intuitive.
12. Make it attractive with an elegant design..
13. Make it useful and just cool to have!

Welcome to the project page for the ramanPi! The ramanPi is a raman spectrometer that I decided to build back in April of 2014 because I needed one for another project and could not afford the tens of thousands of dollars a commercial product costs...and there are no DIY or open source systems in existence until now. I knew nothing about spectroscopy, let alone raman spectroscopy back then and everything here documents my learning process towards my goal.....A fully functional, and fairly high resolution raman spectrometer. When I started this project, I had wildly different ideas about how I was going to achieve my goal. The project logs begin very early in my design process and document how I changed my approach and what led to the form it is taking now. In the process of designing this system, and participating in TheHackadayPrize, I have learned a great deal.. Not just about spectroscopy and how raman systems work, but about how important it is to share your work with contribute to the community and help others learn as well. Before I started this project, I had no idea I would later join the contest. I had started to post my project once...then deleted it because I didn't think anyone would be interested. I decided to post it after speaking to a friend who convinced me to go through with it. It wasn't long until Mike S. here at hackaday contacted me to do a Hacker Bio...apparently the first of it's kind on hackaday..! Of course I was interested and very grateful...Mike encouraged me to go further and really convinced me that this is important and sharing benefits everyone.. Boy did I learn how true that is.. In the journey so far, I have learned a tremendous amount, people have been wonderfully supportive and have offered some terrific advice! I want to thank everyone for everything! This is my first project that I've shared publicly, and I have not looked back..It's been one of the greatest experiences I've had the honor of to date.. I am determined to finish this project and make it the best it can be, because everyone has been so supportive and the interest it has generated has made me want to make it better..! Thank you to everyone who has been so great.!!

Be sure to check out the bio that did on me!!

ST Micro gave me a shoutout on their Facebook page!

The great people over at did a wonderful article on ramanPi!

Some kind words from the folks at too!

Thanks to Elecia and Chris White at for the great podcast interview!

Follow me on twitter too! I'll be tweeting on gitHub updates as well as from here!

Index of Instructions and Informational project logs:

THP Semifinals Video

You can also view the project log with this video that includes a full transcript HERE ...

THP Finals Video

A bench top, raman spectrometer constructed from very easy to source components and 3D parts printable on even entry level printers. My system is a completely unique innovative design in the world of raman spectroscopy and has many advantages beyond the fact it can be constructed for a tiny fraction of the cost of a used commercial system, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars! My system connects to multiple internet databases to retrieve spectral data to identify chemical compounds under test. It is completely scalable to fit almost any budget... Many of the components can be used for other purposes outside...

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  • 1 × Raspberry Pi Model B+ 512MB RAM $39.95ea Adafruit Product ID: 1914
  • 1 × ARM Nucleo Board STM32F4 STM32F401RE 512K $10.33ea Mouser Part Numer:511-NUCLEO-F401RE
  • 1 × Tosbia TCD1304DG Linear CCD Array Detector $14.99ea eBay
  • 3 × Black Plastic 3D Printer Filament Cartridge (I used an XYZ daVinci v1.0 - 1.75mm 600grams per cartridge) $28.00ea Amazon
  • 1 × Set of ramanPi PCB Kit (3x prototype boards, some solder and a long weekend) $TBD - Probably around $20ea
  • 1 × 532nm 150mw Green Laser Module with Thermoelectric Cooling and TTL Modulated $89.99ea eBay
  • 1 × Edmund Optics 1200 Grooves/mm, 25mm Square, VIS Holographic Grating Stock No. #43-216 $135.00ea Edmund Optics
  • 1 × Edmund Optics 20mm Dia x 80mm Focal Length, Spherical Mirror Stock No. #46-239 $37.50ea Edmund Optics
  • 1 × Edmund Optics 50mm Dia. x 100mm FL Protected Aluminum, Concave Mirror Stock No. #43-471 $42.50ea Edmund Optics
  • 1 × Edmund Optics 10μm x 3mm, Mounted, Precision Air Slit Stock No. #58-540 (OR EQUIVALENT) $115.00ea Edmund Optics

View all 77 components

  • Update.

    fl@C@05/08/2016 at 17:42 6 comments

    So.. I figured I'd consolidate the last few logs into this one to make it easier to follow what's going on...

    Hackers.. I moved over to a new host...and it's helped with reliability... But it hasn't stopped the 1,004 malicious login attempts and constant bot traffic trying to overwhelm the site.. I don't have the resources, time or whatever to spend on mitigating the constant attacks...

    Soo..... Basically, as a result.. I can't seem to recover anyone's email addresses, etc. If you were interested in developing, or were participating... Contact me here, I know a lot of people have..and I'm trying to keep up.. I'll get to you soon! But I'm thinking of just forming the 'team' here at to make life easier. It's not as organized, and a little restrictive...but it's here.

    So, hopefully some of you see this..and so on... Here's to picking up where we left off... :D I'll try to update here with what I can..

  • ramanPi and 3D Printing for the Citizen Scientist @localMotors

    fl@C@05/08/2015 at 15:26 0 comments

    Hey, short notice... But if you're going to be in the Phoenix area the week of the 14th, I will be in town at Local Motors to talk about ramanPi and 3D Printing for the Citizen Scientist..!

    Hopefully I can put up a video of the talk after if you missed out and are still interested!

    PM me if you're interested in more details!

  • Developer Developments

    fl@C@04/28/2015 at 23:04 0 comments

    So, it's been a great past couple weeks! I have had some really talented and incredibly smart people contact me and offer their help to contribute to ramanPi..!! I'm very excited about where this is going and I think by the end of it, we will have a very good system.

    We have a couple Python gurus, one of which has both PyQt4 and signal processing experience as well as being an electrical engineer with FPGA skills. Another being skilled with the various libraries we'll be using in addition to a multitude of programming languages and has a Masters in Physics. There's a couple people who have some in depth knowledge and experience with optics and lasers as well as raman systems, both in usage and design.. Another who is very skilled with FPGA design and will make the difference for the imagingBoard.. All of these people are being very gracious in offering their time, experience, knowledge and skills to work together to bring ramanPi to the next level and make it a system that can be used for serious science in the school, in the lab or at home!

    I'd really like to take a moment and thank everyone for all of this.. It's going to be very exciting!

    If you're interested in contributing as well, you can contact me at!

  • Updates

    fl@C@04/07/2015 at 02:54 0 comments

    So... I've been a little short on updating...there's a lot going on.. But I wan't to say that I'm still looking for some python developers, FPGA, even openSCAD... Below is a preliminary (incomplete) list of where the development is going...

    If you'd like to be a developer, email us at dev at ramanpi dot org....and we'll set you up with a developer forum ID, etc.. or you can sign up yourself at and we'll get you started..

    You can find this list, which will be update as often as possible here.. If you think you can contribute to any of these areas let us know!!

    3D Printable:

    • Spectrometer (just the spectrometer, separate from the raman system)
      • Geometry and "self assembly"
    • Beam Splitter Assembly
      • Newer Optics to conform with kit specs ( meaning no eBay )
    • Mirror Mount Assembly
      • Newer Optics to conform with kit specs ( meaning no eBay )
    • Objective Lens Assembly
      • Newer Optics to conform with kit specs ( meaning no eBay )
    • Laser Shutter Assembly
      • Completion of shutter assembly
        • servo needs more solid mount
        • rotator needs to be longer and will divert beam to indicator
    • Filter Selector Assembly
      • Newer Optics to conform with kit specs ( meaning no eBay )
    • Beam Dump
      • Possibly add sensor to measure laser color and power
    • Cuvette Tray Assembly
      • Rework gearing and slide mechanism
      • Include the cuvette peltier


    • Spectrometer (just the spectrometer, separate from the raman system)
      • Total circuit redesign using an FPGA
      • Ocean Optics USB4000 compatibility
        • protocol compatibility
        • pin configuration compatibility
      • Possibly integrate FPGA circuit on same board as CCD (or 90deg mount)
      • Client software will accept input from spectrometer outside the system via usb
    • controlBoard, interfaceBoard and raspberryPi integrated onto single board using the raspberryPi compute module.
      • This will eliminate the stm32 development boards.. and reduce the PCB manufacturing costs significantly
    • Outer case
      • Elimination of the PC computer case and create a specialized box for the ramanPi specifically.


    • Client Software
      • Develop new client software based on a use case study
    • raspberryPi backend software
      • Complete server end software that controls the system and retrieves and processes the data transmitted to the clients.


    • Spectrometer (imagingBoard)
      • Develop firmware to establish full Ocean Optics USB4000 compatibility.
    • controlBoard (will now be controlSection)
      • Shouldn't need to be much change in direction, just completion of portions for PID control of cuvette and imaging peltier, etc..
    • interfaceBoard (will now be interfaceSection)
      • Also should not need to be much change in direction, just compltion of menuing system and touch panel interfaces, etc..


    fl@C@03/12/2015 at 11:43 0 comments

    Hey, so it's that time!! I'm pushing forward as fast as possible... But there's still so much to do! I am putting out a call for developers to help me get ramanPi out to the masses! If you have Python(PyQt4, matplotlib, numpy,, etc), or FPGA skills...or if you think you can just make a great part of the team let me know if you'd like to contribute!!!

    Thanks to everyone who has expressed an interest, and especially to all of you who want kits!!

    If you're interested in contributing, email me at ( dev at ramanpi dot org ) and help take ramanPi to the next level!!

    I'll be bringing up soon with a forum dedicated to development efforts, and will be coming around with a store for kits, etc..!! I'll have more information as time goes on...but I wanted to get this out there asap!

    Also, if you're at SXSW check out the hackaday booth! And while you're there, you can see some 3D printed parts from ramanPi...!!

    Here's to a hopeful future for DIY raman spectroscopy! =D

  • PCB madness

    fl@C@01/24/2015 at 13:35 4 comments

    So, a quick update... Some of you may have noticed that I posted a couple other projects related to PCB production.. I've been on overtime trying to get a reliable and repeatable, yet simple and easy method down for making a number of boards.. I'm doing this for a few reasons.. I want to be able to make better boards, faster and cheaper for whatever project I'm working on...and I want to make them well enough that they match the quality I'm getting from paying a lot more money and waiting a lot more time for.. Ambitious...I know, but I like it that way..

    So, I'm nearing a point where I want to start making regular updates both here and on the PCB projects I have.. Keep an eye out..! And as always, I'd love to hear feedback!

    Also, for those who would like ramanPi kits.... would metal parts be of any interest? That is, the parts for the optical paths..out of cast aluminum, black anodized...and machined to fit perfectly..? I'd be interested to hear..!

  • podcast interview!

    fl@C@01/08/2015 at 01:13 0 comments

    Hi, so Elecia White and Chris White over at did an interview with me on their podcast site.. Link here.. You all might remember Elecia was a judge in the hackadayPrize contest as well..! I want to thank her, Chris, and everyone with hackaday and the other judges for such a great experience!! I'm looking forward to getting the ramanPi finished up and possibly selling kits too!

    Happy New Year to everyone, and keep on hacking..!

  • A quick update!

    fl@C@01/07/2015 at 07:28 0 comments

    Ok, I've been saying it for a bit now... But I really am working on this thing still.. Just to give an update on where my efforts are being directed right now... I'm trying to fill in some gaps on my side.. Mostly in the ability to make the PCBs.. I've always hand soldered and breadboarded 99% of my stuff since I never had a need to show it to anyone, or worry about reproduceability... So, I've been spending some time and money to give myself that ability.. and it's actually coming along nicely so far...I think..

    I got myself a shapeoko, which is currently on its way... and those of you who might have glanced at my profile on here in the past day might have noticed that I am posting a couple new projects... One for making metal stencils, one for a UV exposure 'oven', and a couple more when I get the time.. I'll document every step of the process I am using, from designing the boards to having a finished board with solder mask and silkscreening...all done at home with easy to find parts of course.. Some things will be unique and designed by me, some will be pretty common probably but maybe with a twist to make it easier from my perspective.. :)

    At any rate, a number of you have contacted me and are starting to build your own ramanPis, so I'd like to continue making it as easy as possible... and yes...I hope to be offering kits and parts as soon as possible too!

    Here's to a great new year and thanks everyone!!

  • And so it begins......again..!

    fl@C@12/04/2014 at 04:20 0 comments

    Ok folks.. I have been taking a bit of a break from development....probably pretty obvious.. There has been a tremendous amount of interest...and I want to thank everybody for their support and interest in this... It has been great...!

    So, in a week or two.......I will be starting up again and going full forward once more to get this thing shaped up better and finished up nicely..! I welcome anyone who has suggestions or questions to contact me and let me know of any ideas or whatever.. I plan on starting with re-writing the firmware for the imagingBoard... I want to get longer integration times, some data compression for the serial transfer, and a bunch of other stuff in there..

    If anyone would like to contribute to the firmware efforts I welcome the help!!!

    Here's to moving forward!!!! And thanks again to everyone!

  • Some interior design

    fl@C@10/27/2014 at 19:08 0 comments

    Here's a shot of the boards in the cage removed from the inside of ramanPi..

    And one here with all of the boards nestled into place...

    A broader top down view..

    Angled view showing side panel removed..

    Some shots of the optical portion...

View all 81 project logs

  • 1

    Below is a list of build instruction logs that will instruct you on how to go all the way from sourcing your components to printing the parts, and constructing your very own raman spectrometer!

    To begin, you will need some tools..  Pretty much every section requires similar tools.  If a section requires a special tool not listed here, it will state that and show you which tool is appropriate.

    Tools Required:

    • 1. Needle Nosed Pliers
    • 2. 1.5mm Hex Driver
    • 3. 5/16 Hex Driver
    • 4. Philips Screw Driver
    • 5. Precision Tweezers
    • 6. Nitrile Gloves
    • 7. Cotton Gloves
    • 8. KimTech KimWipes

    3D Printed Part Guidelines:

    Printing the 3D Printable parts will take you probably about a week. The spectrometer portion alone took about 15 hours on my XYZ daVinci 1.0 printer.. The 5.25" Drive tray takes about 10, and most of the other parts are about 6 or 8 hours.. Print in high enough quality to make sure the parts end up solid enough that they won't crumble in your hands..use 30-50% density... Supports are a good idea and the spectrometer really should be printed with the inside facing the floor. I managed well with .2mm height, you might want to try .1 or whichever is best for your printer. All the parts have been designed for use with ABS plastic and I would recommend using black ABS filament.  For parts with beam paths, I am investigating different ways to coat the interior for reduction in reflections, etc. For now, if you like you can coat them with a flat black paint..this will help keep the noise floor down.

    All of the 3D Printable objects are located in the gitHub repository.  They have been created with openSCAD and can be modified, etc.  You can view the .STL files and you can download and edit / modify the .SCAD files as well.  

    Sections You Will Be Building and Configuring:

    Following Instructions:

    Each section of the raman spectrometer system is divided into separate build logs to make it easier to find a section and keep the flow.  You'll see each section has a "LET'S BUILD IT" graphic..

    You can click on that and it will take you to the appropriate instructional build log associated with that section!  At the end of the instructional build log, there will be a link to return here...or you can just close the tab and this tab should be here waiting!

  • 2

    Section: 1

    A Completed objectiveLens Mount

    Components Required:

    Click on the graphic above to open a new tab with instructions on how to build your objectiveLens Mount!

  • 3

    Section: 2

    A completed beamSplitter Assembly

    Components Required:

    Click on the graphic above to open a new tab with instructions on how to build your beamSplitter Assembly!

View all 13 instructions

Enjoy this project?



tyler wrote 05/12/2016 at 12:31 point

hi f@lC@ I really want to make this, but im only 18 years old, so I'm going to save money to get all the equipment I should have about $1800 by the end of summer, do you know how much the total cost would be to make it I really want to, $1800 is about my budget, so could you give me an estimate. Thanks

  Are you sure? yes | no

Agnes Mindila wrote 04/20/2016 at 09:41 point

Can I buy It for my research project? if Yes how much?

  Are you sure? yes | no

esben rossel wrote 03/30/2016 at 16:03 point

Here's an application of Raman spectroscopy I've not seen before:

  Are you sure? yes | no

ifriad wrote 03/23/2016 at 06:43 point

Dear fl@C@

My name is Ihab Riad, I am an assistant prof. at the Physics department, University of Khartoum, Sudan. Recently I have initiated efforts in my department to start a workshop for the purpose of designing and building lab equipment to be made available to our undergraduate laboratories at reasonable prices.

We are motivated for this as Sudan is economically stressed and very little money is made available to research and education. 

I now came across your product an think it will be a good addition to my undergraduate laboratory and very much hope that I can soon raise money to build one here.

I am wondering if you have upgraded your system as to use FPGA. 

I would also like to point you to these products I think they can reduce the number of boards that you are using for the display and system control.  and

Do you think that you can produce some spectral data that you can compare to the data in the following database.,Cl/display=default/R060422

Cheers Ihab

  Are you sure? yes | no

Shpoople wrote 01/20/2016 at 17:56 point

It would be pretty cool if you took the actual spectrometer portion of this setup and turned it into a regular optical spectrometer that fit into a cubesat.

Also, on another note, I hope you are aware that STMicro specifically prohibits people form using their nucleo boards on a finished project. I don't actually know if that was your plan because I couldn't make it through those massive logs but just thought I'd warn you before you get into any trouble.

  Are you sure? yes | no

fl@C@ wrote 01/20/2016 at 21:22 point

Actually, that's a big part of the plan....making the spectrometer portion work as a standalone unit...and make it compatible with the Ocean Optics USB4000..  Not sure if making it fit into a cubesat is an easy task, but who knows!  

The plan also includes integrating the electronics down to a single board (imaging board excluded since that'll be on the spectrometer.)...  And STMicro has been very supportive to me, and very helpful!!  They even gave me a shout out on their facebook page a while back! ( )  But yes, I'd like to stray away from using the nucleo boads in the future.. 


  Are you sure? yes | no

satir wrote 08/12/2015 at 10:17 point


Great project!

I would like to purchase kit when it will be available for sales.



  Are you sure? yes | no

Neo wrote 04/09/2015 at 05:15 point

Hi fl@C@,

congratulations for almost completing your implementation. Happy to see the status of the project and great discussions. I being a part of local GNU/Linux user group, often i have presented your project to our members. Some of them understood like us. As i have already forked your source code, i hope we will contribute to achieve the design goals. 

I am  Proud about the project.

  Are you sure? yes | no

fl@C@ wrote 04/09/2015 at 05:31 point

Hey Neo..  Thanks!  And thanks for passing the word on about it!  I'd be very interested to see whatever progress you make... I'd be very happy to see comments, etc if you want to join in the forums at so other devs can be up to date too!  The fun part is just starting! :D

  Are you sure? yes | no

jamoore6 wrote 03/24/2015 at 16:09 point


I'm creating a Startup company here in North Carolina that will sell imaging and spectroscopic equipment to industry. We're working on a prototype to demonstrate our concept and found all of the awesome work you've done in this area.

Since we're low on cash, we can't afford to build one of these devices, but was wondering if there was anyone around who may be able to loan us their equipment for an upcoming pitch. 

Great work!


  Are you sure? yes | no

zakqwy wrote 03/24/2015 at 17:20 point

I'll jump in on this one; @jamoore6, it's definitely worth scrounging enough cash to at least build-out your own proof-of-concept for a pitch if it's part of your core business offering. Beyond that, I'd imagine @fl@C@ is a bit hesitant to loan out his system for free, as he's (a) actively developing the platform and (b) likely doesn't want to risk shipping damage to a delicate instrument. 

Can you give us any more details on the system you're developing? Sounds interesting!

  Are you sure? yes | no

jamoore6 wrote 03/24/2015 at 19:10 point

Thanks @zakqwy
We're planning on making a full prototype after the incorporation of our company, but are scrapping for any parts that can help us along the way :) I've asked around campus to see if anyone had any old machines lying around that I could repurpose, but I haven't gotten any nibbles lol

Unfortunately I can't give too much info on our current work, other than that we believe our technology will be a game changer in the field of spectroscopy. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

zakqwy wrote 03/24/2015 at 19:20 point

Fair enough! In my experience, wandering around behind various science buildings at a university in mid-May is often a great way to find scrapped lab equipment. Most other sources (beyond auctions and truly local sales) are pretty well picked-over; you could probably find a few bits on eBay, but most stuff on there goes for market rate. Based on my understanding of spectroscopy, it's not worth skimping on things like the diffraction grating!

Either way, drop me a line when you're able to publish your project on this site. In my experience, you'll get a lot more out of sharing stuff early and getting feedback than you will from keeping everything locked down and working in isolation. This community is pretty amazing.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Alexander M Aitken wrote 03/24/2015 at 20:42 point

You have no prototype proof of concept or money for your idea which will change the field of spectroscopy for ever but you can't tell anyone what that is in case they steal it?  
I think you have bigger problems than borrowing props for your pitch, because even I've heard this a lot.
You want to borrow resources from an unfinished open source project to help launch your closed source incorperated buisness venture?
The good news is you've got balls that you'll need for your project to succeed but I predict a moderatly hostile atmosphere.

  Are you sure? yes | no

jamoore6 wrote 03/25/2015 at 01:08 point

Hi Marvin!

I'm sure you've heard a lot of grand ideas in the open source community - you all are some of the best engineering minds around and that talent pool doesn't go unnoticed by industry. I just have a lot of respect for all of you, which is why I reached out in the first place!


  Are you sure? yes | no

fl@C@ wrote 03/26/2015 at 19:16 point

Hi Jordan...

Thank you for the interest in my project..!  =)  I would have to say, Zach is right.. I am actively developing ramanPi and unfortunately only have the one prototype I am working with..  Shipping it would impact development as well as put it at risk, I know of a few people who are building their own..but they probably feel the same way I do.. I would encourage you to build one if you can though!  

Marvin and Zach also make a good point, it would be great to see your work shared with the community!  There are a lot of great minds as you mentioned, as I've learned with this project... sharing really does benefit everyone involved.. It has made ramanPi so much better, and continues to improve all the time..!  

If you'd like to contribute, the help is more than welcome! is ready to go for developers to pitch in!  =D

  Are you sure? yes | no

Rashi Nigam wrote 03/19/2015 at 14:40 point

Hi, loved your project and I'm thinking of building one. Please solve one query of mine, can we conduct experiments on  solid sample? For example, I want to conduct Raman spectroscopy on fingernail clippings.

  Are you sure? yes | no

fl@C@ wrote 03/19/2015 at 23:39 point

Hi..! Thank you.. I always love to hear when someone is planning to build one!

Interesting you should mention this... a similar question was asked recently about soil samples.. I had originally answered by saying that the sample might need to be dissolved or integrating in a buffer solution, or something... since the laser from the objective will be focused on a single point in the sample, which would make it difficult to obtain more generalized readings from the sample.. 

However...I was speaking with someone recently who brought up the point that a nice feature would be to have a positioner allowing the system to move the sample so measurements could be made in multiple locations... 

I am in the process of redesigning the cuvette tray assembly anyway, to include the peltier which maintains the temperature of the I might add micropositioners in there too which will allow movement in this way.. I haven't had time to work it out yet...actually it was only brought up to me last night...but it will be a priority.....

Sooo... the short answer to your question is probably yes.. :)

And I'd love to hear about your build! Thanks!

  Are you sure? yes | no

braniti wrote 03/16/2015 at 04:58 point

  Wonderfull  project . 

   Last year I run across old   sci.article:

showing how Raman  can measure   molecule  in Urine (for my wife health needs) ...  crazy tech ...  then searching for DIY  Raman I run on your project at forum where people are thinkering how to build one cheap  :

They mentioned your great project but someone stated that  you didn't provide  measurments  of some  compund  spectra.

so few questions :
1)  Can you please give feedback on their comment ?
2) I assume you compared it to some    commercial  device ... If yes , can you give some information?
3) Do you consider adding option for  Surface-enhanced_Raman_spectroscopy, might be needed  for my needs ? 

  If i can measure some molecules  in urine   I will  make  time  for the replication this summer assuming that the parts price is  roughly  600-1000$  ( as you said in the  ...  lucikly 

3Dprinter  and hackerspace is in the neighbourhood )

 Btw today  I was at ki-cad workshop  ( at local hackerspace)  and there i heard about cheeper alternatives to OSHPark,  presentor was very happy with quality  of :  SeedStudio , Hackvana PCB ,  Smart protoyping, Dirt Cheap Dirty Boards   (free shipping, 15$ for  10 pcbs  )

All the best ,

p.s.   "24hours is never enough"  totaly with you on this one .

  Are you sure? yes | no

fl@C@ wrote 03/19/2015 at 23:32 point

Hi..  I haven't seen the discussion on sciencemadness... I should start by saying, ramanPi is still under development.  I started the project in late last year...  It's quite an undertaking for one person :)  So, a lot of progress has been made...but there is work to still be done.

I am in the process of trying to get as many developers together as possibly to help bring everything together.. I'm working on getting a FAQ and list of work to be done on so people can see what needs to be done still and where they can contribute...  

So, to answer the questions...

1- Assuming the comment is regarding that I didn't provide measurements of any compounds, etc..  Long story short as to what has been the limiting factor.... CCD integration times due to processor limitations. The stm32f401re I chose originally for the imagingBoard doesn't have quite enough power to pull off what I needed..  I tried many approaches and nothing quite did it.. That is changing very, very soon..  Without writing a book here, I decided to go with FPGA for the imagingBoard..  This will accomplish two things..It will make the spectrometer portion more capable of the longer integration times, and will allow for extra signal processing, etc... And the major other benefit will be that it will allow the spectrometer to fulfill my original goal of making it work as a completely independent spectrometer outside the raman system if someone wanted just a spectrometer.. It will be fully compatible with the Ocean Optics USB4000..  What this means is that the end goal of obtaining actual raman spectra is almost here.  There's a lot of posts in the link you gave, but I hope this helps.. If not, let me know and I can clarify... :)

2- I have no access to any commercial systems (which is why I built ramanPi) =) But I am working with a couple people who do have access, and hopefully will be able to provide something there soon as well.. What I can say is that the resolution will be relatively comparable. (depending on the options one chooses to build)

3- I currently have no plans for adding options on surface enhanced raman spectroscopy..  Possibly in the future, but for now... I will focus on completing the base system.. :)  Having said that, there are a number of options I have planned for the future, so this may become one as well.. but if I recall about surface enhanced, it might be a little tough to implement on a DIY level...

It is my goal to bring the kits and parts to where someone can build a system for the $600-$1000 range...depending on options, etc...

Hope this helps!

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Alexander M Aitken wrote 03/24/2015 at 20:59 point

"CCD integration times due to processor limitations. The stm32f401re I chose originally for the imagingBoard doesn't have quite enough power to pull off what I needed.."

I don't understand this.

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fl@C@ wrote 03/24/2015 at 22:08 point

HI Marvin..  I was driving the CCD clocks straight from the MCU.. I started with PWM, which I couldn't get to go more than about 500kHz.. tried using busout which was worse.  If I'm missing something, I'd love to hear it.. :)  I didn't add external hardware to drive the clocks mainly due to time constraints..  The FPGA redesign is already underway, thanks to some kind help.. 

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Alexander M Aitken wrote 03/24/2015 at 23:25 point

You can toggle a GPIO pin every 2 clock cycles with the ST20F4 series so a (say) 1MHz read out even with math on the fly ought to be trivial on an 80MHz part.  Clocks up to 5MHz should be fine but much faster will start to smear the CCD and I'm not sure any application would benifit from the few ms savings in readout.  For integration, you should be reading out as few times as possible from the CCD until a bit below saturation.  For a Raman signal into the Toshiba CCD this could be 30secs while the MCU has no driving to do.  A slower chip could read into RAM and then compute the integration sums afterward but in this case you are probably ADC limited, 400ish ns if using the internal unit.  I've not looked at your design in some time, am I missing a part of your thought process?

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Alexander M Aitken wrote 03/25/2015 at 00:57 point

I mean STM32F4 series of course, doh!

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fl@C@ wrote 03/25/2015 at 07:51 point

Marvin, sorry.. I think my memory failed..I think the PWM would actually allow around 1MHz..which I agree is still nowhere near what you'd think you could get. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe it to be a limitation of the mBed libraries.. There is a 'FastPWM' library but if I recall it didn't support the F401 at that time.  I tried several variations including using the 'busout' function but the timing was worse..   I have had success reading from the CCD, but the trouble was reading the ADC while trying to maintain the master clock.. The documentation for the 1304 isn't great, but my understanding was that you need to drive the master clock during integration? while in the 'electric shutter' mode you read one pixel per four cycles..and in the normal mode SH stays low during integration but the master clock keeps going....?  When I mentioned the trouble with integration times due to processor limitations, I was able to readout using both the busout and PWM methods running at around 500kHz using the firmware that is in the gitHub...which uses the 'electric shutter' in a FSM .. It was when I tried moving to the normal mode and lengthening the SH period I ran into the problems..

I have read the ADC in the F401 is quite fast..and I do store the values.. I tried using the CMSIS RTOS library to see if that would help to read the ADC while driving the clock..but it was actually worse.  I haven't worked with any of the STMicro tools, which is probably the best way to go when trying this kind of stuff.. but in the way things have come out, the FPGA seemed like a much better way to go.....the desire to make the spectrometer a device that can be used on it's own, outside the raman system if people want to build just that...and be compatible with the ocean optics usb4000...doing a continuous acquisition while streaming the data compressed through the usb serial interface and the other various seemed that trying to make the F401 do all of that was too much to ask without spending a lot of extra time trying to be clever with coding..  With the efforts ramping up in development, and people starting to contribute...the FPGA looks like it's solving all of these problems..and hopefully won't add any addition cost..

I am more than open to any ideas you might have..or any info regarding the CCD.. :)

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schiaucu wrote 02/02/2015 at 16:55 point

Hey, this is a fantastic job! When you will be decided to sell some kits, let me know, I want to buy one.

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fl@C@ wrote 02/06/2015 at 05:17 point

Hi..!! Will do..! They're in the works.. Hopefully in the following few months I will have some significant updates in that direction...!


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leelsuc wrote 01/29/2015 at 19:07 point

I got a lot notes on how to calculate the spectrograph. I got many free articles from, very good website.

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leelsuc wrote 01/24/2015 at 20:51 point

Hey Fl@c@. THANK YOU SO MUCH for doing this great work.

one question, could you post the books or notes to calculate the czerny turner spectrometer? I 've been looking for a long time... thanks, or any online source or formula you can share with us?

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FrankenPC wrote 01/11/2015 at 00:05 point

Hey Fl@c@. THANK YOU SO MUCH for doing this complete build log. This is genius.

So, I WANT to build one really bad. I'm in need of this kind of technology right now and I have the money for the parts. I don't currently have a 3D printer though.

SO a couple of questions for you! There are 3D printer on demand sites on the web I'm sure. Do you recommend any? Never hunted for a service before. And you mention the PCB kits. You have any plans to sell them in the near future or should I just outsource some vendor who does Eagle? Can you recommend any prototype manufacturers?

Finally, your Eagle files are up to date? No dead bug mistakes or anything?

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fl@C@ wrote 01/11/2015 at 10:06 point

Hey FrankenPC.... So, thank you..! I am in the process of gearing up to offer kits.. I am planning on offering full kits, or parts.. I am also looking into offering either plastic parts (will probably be molded, or possible HDPE machined, etc..) and also aluminum parts.. The PCBs are current, but I will be updating them in the near future with more options... and I will be offering those as well. If you need something very soon, I've used OSHPark but they seem pricey to me..but the boards come out very nice. I don't know of any 3D Printer on demand sites...but I have seen a couple in shopping malls lately.. If you're not in a terrible rush, I am working very hard to get the site up and things in line to offer them... =)

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jgm.requel wrote 01/20/2015 at 19:43 point

Well you can count me as a purchaser when you do!

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eichlerdr wrote 12/27/2014 at 01:53 point

I am a chemistry student at UIC and I have been working on some independent studies with spectroscopy, and I must say this is absolutely amazing. I was thinking of doing a basic visible light spectroscopy device with the raspberry pie, but now that I have seen this I may have found a new project to play around with. Please keep up the innovation!

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fl@C@ wrote 01/07/2015 at 07:36 point

Hi eichlerdr, thank you..! Maybe start out with just the spectrometer portion! Keep my updated on your build!

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bootdsc wrote 12/09/2014 at 20:58 point
This is the single most complicated and impressive build to ever cross HaD, how it ended up in 5th place is some kind of conspiracy. Beat out by a handheld spectrum analyzer, really? Come on i can go on amazon and buy one so who cares. I hope you bring this to kickstarter and have lots of success.

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fl@C@ wrote 01/07/2015 at 07:34 point

Hi bootdsc..! Hey, thank you.. I am just glad to have been a part of the whole thing, there were a lot of great projects.. I hope I can get to that point soon!

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admin wrote 11/30/2014 at 05:05 point
I would just like to congratulate you with regards to your project, i have no previous knowledge of Raman or much else, but you have sparked my interest and i have been studying like no tomorrow, i have started to order parts and i am going to build it.
i will have of course lots of questions and hope you don't mind me asking (don't want to be a pain)
again congrats

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fl@C@ wrote 12/04/2014 at 04:11 point
I'm always open for discussion! Thanks for the interest and I wish you the best of luck..! Keep an eye out, I will be doing some possible design updates in the next few weeks.. I will do my best to keep the component list the same though :)

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gabriel.goetten wrote 11/27/2014 at 13:28 point
Hey man! Your project is freaking amazing! However, the signal seems too weak right? Maybe it is because the intensity of the laser... Anyway, are you planning to sell this as a full ramanpi where we can buy it fully? Because it seems very good =D

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fl@C@ wrote 12/04/2014 at 04:09 point
Thanks.. If the signal you're referring to is indicated in the posting titled 'Raman' ... I should probably have spent more time on that post.. It's probably misleading in that I think it indicates my attempt of obtaining a raman signal over testing the RTOS implementation of the imagingBoard firmware.. Where I say that the raman signal is incredibly weak is reference to the fact that raman signals are incredibly weak in contrast to the rayleigh light in return... I was sleep deprived and generally worn down by the contest deadlines...... A week or two more and I will be back on track and clearing up my intentions with this device....which will in fact probably include a kit and possibly pre-built version for sale.. I have had a lot of inquiries regarding that, so here is hoping!
Thanks again.. I'd like to hear your opinion or anyone else's if you/they have any requests for functions or features...!

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Neil Jansen wrote 11/13/2014 at 22:09 point
This just once again proves the judges weren't doing their jobs. Very sorry you didn't win first place, and I'm sorry that they thought a sensor breakout board and some pcv pipe antennas were cooler than your project. You deserved to win, your work and dedication towards this project has been amazing.

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Christian Lerche wrote 11/15/2014 at 08:18 point
I disagree with you on that point Neil, the judges did what they were asked to do. You and I as well, have different opinions on who should win the prize, but you can't say the judges didn't do their jobs.

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fl@C@ wrote 12/04/2014 at 04:14 point
Thanks for the kind words Neil..! I'm just happy that I was a part of the whole thing.. I never even expected to make the final 5.. I totally thought you'd beat me there..! I'm very sorry btw...I love your project and will definitely be building/buying one..!

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airbuckles wrote 11/12/2014 at 17:56 point

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