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 Post subject: pocket raman spectrometer - the ultimate gadget?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:02 am 
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Gene had me seriously thinking about bidding on that Hartridge spectroscope a few days ago until the price escalated above a thousand dollars. That got me wondering what a modern spectrometer would cost, and I ran across this article:

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ss/stories/s1581469.htm

NASA scientists have developed a cell-phone sized Raman device to send up on the next Mars mission. They're also productizing it for use on Earth with anticipated cost in the few thousand dollar range. The article says that Michael Scott who has a pretty nice gem and mineral collection is financing creation of an identification database to use with it.

Potentially a pretty cool gadget.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:36 am 
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http://www.ahuracorp.com/

The above link is to a handheld Raman unit. I think our own jleb may be involved with this company. ???

If you google Raman handheld you will get several links back. Of course ocean optics has a system. But it is about $40,000 or more depending on which laser you use.

I wouldnt look for these things to be affordable anytime soon. Of course it depends what your definition of soon is. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:35 pm 
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Quote:
I wouldnt look for these things to be affordable anytime soon. Of course it depends what your definition of soon is.


And your definition of affordable. hehe

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 5:43 pm 
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Jason, you beat me to it. :x


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 5:45 pm 
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Well being a totally unrepentant equipment junkie, I would guess that my definition might be higher than most.

It will be a long time before these get below $20,000 if ever. Suitable lasers to drive them will get cheaper. (Can you say BluRay) and Ocean Optics keeps dropping the price per performance of their spectrometers. But unless they make them with the idea that every single police department in the country will have one in every patrol car, (which is of course what the developers are hoping for. You know all those video redlight cameras?? Paid for by homeland security grants. They dont make me feel more secure they just piss me off) they will probably stay pretty expensive.

Marty Haske has been selling Raman/Photoluminescence modifications of his system for several years. They are based on ocean optics spectrometers.

But they remain quite expensive.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:07 pm 
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I spoke with ahura on their handheld unit on a potential project for checking purity of nutricuticals w/out invasive testing. Their little toy costs $75,000!

So I don't think that that will be a "consumer" gadget anytime soon..

frankly, it's price gouging..

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:03 pm 
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"Prosumer" :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:56 pm 
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That's funny, the first unit for NASA costs in the millions, for homeland security they can get $75K, but for rockhounds it's $2K-$5K :). I guess for drug interdiction it's somewhere in between :). Seriously, in the article he was saying that they're reusing components presumably including the laser from off the shelf telecom parts. In case there's anyone else here who used to watch Star Trek, in other articles he's referring to it as a "tricorder" which would be amazingly appropriate.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:07 am 
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In the article, they say the prototype cost 1/4 million. Not millions.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:54 pm 
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Hi Brian

Both figures are unobtainable from where I'm at

Might as well used the same figures

Frank


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:21 am 
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hi Frank

From my point of view, I'd have a very small but non-zero shot at getting $250K IF I can think of something superb to do with it. But I have zero chance at millions.

So, it makes a difference to me.

Not that I'd want to spend that money on a Raman spec. I almost built one for myself out of commercial parts, since I already had the laser and optics in position to do the job. I had it all in my head how it was cool that Raman spec could be used to determine whether microscopic things such as bacteria were alive or dead. But I decided to do vis-spec instead (which meant that I had to come up with an expensive vis laser!), because I thought of a more "pure physics" idea rather than determining live vs dead bacteria or comparing size and composition of microscopic pollution particles.


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