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C12666MA Micro-Spectrometer

A C12666MA Micro-Spectrometer and breakout board with Arduino compatible pinout.

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What is it?
This is a Breakout board for the C12666MA Micro-Spectrometer. This Board provides the socket, power supply, level shifting and the C12666MA sensor. Additionally will include an unfocused laser diodes at 404nm to allow for experimentation with fluorescence spectroscopy, and a white led for color measurements. This Board is designed to plug directly into any Arduino compatible header. Compatible with both 3.3V and 5.0 systems. Sample code for the Arduino is currently posted to Github.

Why does this project Matter?
This project is aiming to allow the average DIY person to use what is typically locked up in a lab and costs many thousands of $ to buy. Light is all around us, and the way it responds to nature can be measured with this spectrometer. This will enable countless applications that will help fix the world. Applications will range from checking the quality of food, to measuring oil spill content in the ocean, and even checking your health.

A C12666MA Micro-Spectrometer and breakout board with Arduino compatible pinout. Bonus 404nm laser diodes and drivers.

<-Skulls if you like this project!

What is it?

This is a Breakout board for the C12666MA Micro-Spectrometer. This Board provides the socket, power supply, level shifting and the C12666MA sensor. Additionally will include an unfocused laser diodes at 404nm to allow for experimentation with fluorescence spectroscopy, and a white led for color measurements. This Board is designed to plug directly into any Arduino compatible header. Compatible with both 3.3V and 5.0 systems. Sample code for the Arduino is currently posted to Github.

"The Hamamatsu C12666MA is an ultra-compact(Finger-tip size) spectrometer head developed based on MEMS and image sensor technologies. The adoption of a newly designed optical system has achieved a remarkably small size. In addition, the employment of hermetic packaging has improved humidity resistance. This product is suitable for integration into a variety of devices, such as integration into printers and hand-held color monitoring devices that require color management. It is also suitable for applications that collaborate with portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets."

  • Spectral response range: 340 to 780 nm
  • Spectral resolution: 15 nm max.
Why did you make it?

There is currently no other simple breakout board for the Hamamatsu C12666MA spectrometer. Additionally the sensor itself is difficult to buy. We will provide both.

What makes it special?

A Spectrometer has large number of useful uses. With the addition of laser sources and potential spectroscopy the uses are nearly endless (Warning: please use eye protection).

Sample Applications

  • Fruit ripening detector
  • Sunscreen pre-warning detection (Solar UV radiation levels)
  • Astronomical spectroscopy
  • Plant/Leaf Health levels
  • Color Calibration and matching
  • CFL and LED performance measurements
  • Raman spectroscopy (molecule fingerprinting)
  • Mineral and Chemical Detection and classification
  • Diamond/Gemstones verification
  • Fluorescence spectroscopy (organic compound analysis) biochemical research.
  • Oil spill verification
  • Many more
  • 2015HackadayPrize
Supply?

Breakout boards with a sensor are currently sold here: https://groupgets.com/manufacturers/hamamatsu-photonics

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Discussions

Cory Vickruck wrote 01/21/2017 at 19:32 point
Has anyone had any success in making a Raman spec using this device?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Pure Engineering wrote 01/22/2017 at 05:01 point

I did some experimenting with this. you  get a response, but the signal is extremely weak, and the resolution is not good enough to do traditional raman matching to the published databases of chemicals.   

  Are you sure? yes | no

Cory Vickruck wrote 01/23/2017 at 03:01 point

Just wondering if you were using the 405nm laser diode for your tests? I am hoping to use a 532nm laser, I am thinking that it may cut down on fluorescence. Also do you think it would be worth while to cool the board to cut down on any dark noise?

  Are you sure? yes | no

michael proino wrote 10/07/2016 at 13:06 point

Hi,

It is possible to sharing or sending gerber files of breakout board?
Thanks

  Are you sure? yes | no

Friedrich Menges wrote 04/23/2016 at 22:09 point

What about using a fully blown spectroscopy software to run your spectrometer setup? I'ves just started working on this: https://hackaday.io/project/11264-universal-software-for-diy-spectrometers

  Are you sure? yes | no

lalonso22 wrote 02/01/2016 at 16:04 point

There is a new Hamamatsu micro spectrometer out: c12880MA. Is this project compatible with it? Or doea it need to be updated?

Thanks

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Pure Engineering wrote 01/22/2017 at 05:02 point

  Are you sure? yes | no

SophiOne wrote 06/03/2015 at 16:02 point

Did the boards come?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Pure Engineering wrote 06/03/2015 at 16:12 point

boards did arrive, you can buy them now here: http://www.pureengineering.com/store

I did have some sensors as well, but they sold out nearly instantly.  I have more sensors arriving this month sometime. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

SophiOne wrote 06/03/2015 at 16:02 point

Did the boards come?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Ivan Maleev wrote 05/06/2015 at 04:14 point

HPK is a niche manufacturer. Don't expect from them mainstream prices. Do expect great niche products. Most higher end spectrometers run HPK linear sensors. 

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Untitled wrote 04/28/2015 at 01:55 point

I need the IR version for my project, so I'm forced to pay ~$500 to buy a single unit (C11708MA). Can I purchase your PCB separately without the spectrometer mounted?

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Dylan Bleier wrote 04/22/2015 at 17:44 point

does your hardware or software correct for the uneven spectral response?  

http://www.hamamatsu.com/resources/pdf/ssd/c12666ma_kacc1216e.pdf

  Are you sure? yes | no

Pure Engineering wrote 04/23/2015 at 12:52 point

The Hardware just buffer's the I/O and provides additional hardware. The correction would have to happen in software. Right now there is no correction in the example code I have now. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Dylan Bleier wrote 04/23/2015 at 16:15 point

once that's in the code you could calibrate it against a dedicated spectrometer in a lab

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helge wrote 03/26/2015 at 08:16 point

May I suggest looking into megapixel smartphone camera modules in conjunction with a small piece of 3d printed mechanics? diffraction grating foil [1] can be used to obtain "sparse" tomographic data from which hyperspectral images can be recovered. [2]

Usually a simple slit would do but there is also the possibility to swap the slit for a coded aperture [3], improving sensitivity while preserving a well-defined dataset for spectrum reconstruction.

How about sub-nm for sub-$10?

-----------------------------

[1] e.g. "Diffraction Grating sheet 1,000 lines/mm" (ebay, amazon etc.)

[2] http://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2012/Habel_2012_PSP/Habel_2012_PSP-Draft.pdf

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coded_aperture


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Pure Engineering wrote 03/27/2015 at 03:03 point

I tired this already, with ok results.

 http://www.pureengineering.com/blog/foldablemini-spectrometer

I used a smartphone camera.  and a diffraction grating from a DVD. 

I think its great for understanding how it works and teaching people about it, but it doesn't do the same as the hamamatsu part.  

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Untitled wrote 04/22/2015 at 15:48 point

I want to buy a different variation of this spectrometer. Can you point me to a source for buying these? In specific I'm after the IR version, Hamamatsu C11708MA

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Charles Moeller wrote 03/16/2015 at 04:14 point

It appears that you can assemble your experiments, more or less, with COTS equipment. We had to design and build everything from scratch. The physicists did the theoretical part and developed requirements and we engineers & technicians designed and constructed the equipment. Of course, my experience was 20 years ago, so availability of equipment has improved. 

I am not a physicist, but they are in very different frequency regimes. The NQR is about quadrupole resonance with the extra-nuclear charges (electrical polarization of the molecules), and NMR excites the bipolar magnetic characteristics of the nuclei. Either one provides adequate signals only for certain molecules and or nuclei. These phenomena occur for certain compounds of nitrogen (among other elements) which, by fortunate coincidence are present in both high explosives and hard drugs. The NMR requires a strong magnetic field, so in my mechanical engineering capacity, I was engaged in building large, strong, magnets (none was superconducting). This was low field NMR. Both require RF excitation, and an RF engineer developed the excitation and reception means. 

I do not know how these phenomena mesh with Raman spectroscopy. It would be a very interesting exercise to take your equipment to a NMR/NQR lab to see if there is any sensible correlation.  You would be looking to correlate some characteristic of surface absorption via light vs. intrinsic magnetic and electronic properties. All are electro-magnetic properties, but lie in vastly different regimes. 

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Charles Moeller wrote 03/16/2015 at 00:22 point

Pure Engineering, 

I contributed to the design of a NMR/NQR spectrometer about 20 years ago. An A/D ISA board and a Pulse Programming ISA board (two of three required) and the packaging for a FedEx-sized scanner for a portable Contraband Detector (of hard drugs and high explosives). Two US patents. We won an R&D 100 Award in 1995 for it. Glad to help if needed. 

Charles Moeller

cmoel888@aol.com

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Pure Engineering wrote 03/16/2015 at 03:11 point

That is fairly sweet, It's amazing how small things are getting. I'm not sure if this sensor will help with nuclear magnetic/quadruple resonance, but let me know if there is a way. I wonder what wavelengths of light are best for drug and explosive detection. 

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Jerry Biehler wrote 01/29/2015 at 08:47 point

Where can you get these little modules? Do I even want to know how much Hamamatsu wants for one?

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Mike Szczys wrote 01/29/2015 at 15:52 point

For that price there must be magic inside that little metal case ;-)

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Jerry Biehler wrote 01/29/2015 at 18:24 point

I think the price is pretty decent considering what you get. It does not have enough resolution for what I want to do but it is still pretty neat.

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peter jansen wrote 01/29/2015 at 19:34 point

The spectral resolution is about 10-15nm in practice, but it's slit limited, and if you back out the point spread function of the slit it might be possible to get it closer to the ~2nm/256 channels that the sensor has. The output with 5V on VIN tends to only be around 0-3v, and with a 10-bit Arduino ADC (-2 bits from noise), that leaves only around 7-bits (128 values) of dynamic range, so likely not really enough to do this well. It really needs to be coupled with an external ADC for useful work, and with the AD7940 14-bit ADC used on the Arducorder (or any similar part), you get a much greater dynamic range, and can oversample to 15 or 16-bits without too much trouble. Absolutely needs an external opamp off the output line, both for SNR (as per the datasheet), and to prevent damage in an Arduino environment.

I'm excited to see what folks get up to with these! They're beautiful little instruments.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jerry Biehler wrote 01/29/2015 at 19:44 point

I need sub-nm resolution for what I want to do (make optical band-pass filters)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Pure Engineering wrote 01/31/2015 at 20:07 point

The magic is basically a slit, grating and a line sensor.

http://www.hamamatsu.com/jp/en/C12666MA.html

My guess why the costs are high is because the volume is so low. Once a company like canon sticks it in all their printers and cameras this would drive the price down to under $10. but until something like that happens we are stuck with the high prices.

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Blecky wrote 03/25/2015 at 07:40 point

They are still arguably difficult to manufacture, even on a slightly larger scale. Look at fiber optic amplifiers and multiplexers, essentially the same thing, but range into the several thousands.

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