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Spectrometer under 300$ Options
 
nimbus8
#1 Posted : 4/17/2013 9:53:00 PM
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Hey everyone quick question.

Under 300 dollars what method of analyzation method is accurate enough to identify compounds in a mixture and has a good database of compound values.

I havent been able to find anything other than tlc and uv vis.

And the problem with uv vis is that i cant seem to find and data on entheogens.
 

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Parshvik Chintan
#2 Posted : 4/17/2013 11:03:16 PM

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i do not know if such a thing exists... it would be ideal for testing the tryptamine content of various mimosoideae.
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#3 Posted : 4/17/2013 11:31:05 PM

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From what I understand your looking at about six figures.

I want to look into doinh some TLC though someday soon.
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LivingInAwe
#4 Posted : 4/18/2013 1:55:24 AM
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Unfortunately, I don't believe you will find an instrument under $300 that will be of much use in the detection and quantification of alkaloids. The best instrument would be a GC-MS ($100 grand), followed by LC-MS ($100 grand), but for the money, and especially if you were mainly interested in indoles (DMT, 5-MeO-DMT, Psilocybin, LSD, mescaline), Fluorescence spectroscopy is a reasonably useful instrumentation that can quickly identify and quantify at very low levels and with fairly good selectivity for a mere $10 grand. I found one on Ebay for about $900 shipped (used), but there was no guarantee that it worked and my wife thinks the money can be better spent on a new bathroom (Go figure). Fluorescence spectroscopy "excites" at one wavelength and "reads the emission" at another: Both the "excite" and the "emission" wavelength maximas are fairly unique for any particular indole.
 
nimbus8
#5 Posted : 4/18/2013 2:35:02 AM
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Yeah thats what I was thinking. It also seems to have a decent amount of literature to refer to so im likely going that route.

 
Hieronymous
#6 Posted : 4/18/2013 11:20:28 AM

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LivingInAwe wrote:
Unfortunately, I don't believe you will find an instrument under $300 that will be of much use in the detection and quantification of alkaloids. The best instrument would be a GC-MS ($100 grand), followed by LC-MS ($100 grand), but for the money, and especially if you were mainly interested in indoles (DMT, 5-MeO-DMT, Psilocybin, LSD, mescaline), Fluorescence spectroscopy is a reasonably useful instrumentation that can quickly identify and quantify at very low levels and with fairly good selectivity for a mere $10 grand. I found one on Ebay for about $900 shipped (used), but there was no guarantee that it worked and my wife thinks the money can be better spent on a new bathroom (Go figure). Fluorescence spectroscopy "excites" at one wavelength and "reads the emission" at another: Both the "excite" and the "emission" wavelength maximas are fairly unique for any particular indole.


Yeah that's what my research brought me to as well - way too expensive for a backyard hobbyist. Most spectrometers work on absorbency and the degree of absorbency is almost non existent for all practical purposes so you really need precision equipment or you will be just reading errors for the most part.

The fluorescence method seemed (to me) to be the only way it could be done with any level of accuracy on a DIY level. A CCD with the IR/UV filters removed can see well into the ultra violet range and LED's that emit over a very narrow band are becoming very affordable these days. For some samples even a wide spectrum output would suffice.

I imagine there would be some errors that could complicate the readings but given enough data the errors would start to become apparent and could be eliminated.

 
nimbus8
#7 Posted : 4/18/2013 3:26:40 PM
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ive been looking around and found this http://www.ebay.com/itm/...amp;hash=item231b93b3a8

curious if its any good
 
steppa
#8 Posted : 4/18/2013 4:13:25 PM

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For 300$ I don't know anything. But for 500$ or so one could have an old used gas chromatograph from ebay. http://www.ebay.com/sch/...;_sacat=0&_from=R40

Just an idea but maybe one could make a "founding campaign" and buy one for the nexus.
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nimbus8
#9 Posted : 4/18/2013 4:30:44 PM
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Thats a damn good idea. I wouldnt want to be shipping samples through mail for testing though.

Regardless if we got it for a trusted member they could get some shiz done though.
 
InMotion
#10 Posted : 4/18/2013 7:17:20 PM
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Steppa, 500$ for a potentially working or, maybe not working(for long) gas chromatograph is only half of the puzzle. One would still need a means of detection, FTIR, MS, UV-VIS, etc. Might not even include a column, and will likely need hydrogen gas cylinder, data acquisition(probably a dedicated computer at the very least, expensive soft-ware), etc.

A used UV-VIS can be found for under 200$ on auction sites.

TLC is decent, I mean it can give a good idea of what is present with the right developing agents. Probably the most reasonable tool for basic plant analysis. Then if something looks promising taking it to the next stage of analysis.

UV-VIS isn't too great for organic compounds. It can be used if the resolution in the UV range is adequate. For complex mixtures with many unknowns though, UV-VIS isn't going to tell you too much. For example a crude plant extraction.

Fluorimetry is interesting. With the proper excitation source, and a known emission spectrum many heterocyclic molecules can be 'determined' along with their concentrations. Again though, this isn't a put in junk and identify everything inside with magic situation. Fluorimeters with tunable emission sources(monochromators) tend to be pretty expensive. Monochromators aren't cheap(good fluorimeters use two) nor are photodetectors...

FT-IR would be much more suitable for organic compounds. Again not for complex mixtures or extraction soups. If the operator has an understanding of TLC or column chromatography however it can provide enough evidence for characterization of a compound. HPLC with an FT-IR would probably do the trick.

Raman spectroscopy isn't bad either.

For a couple thousand dollars and some machining experience a miniature mass spectrometer with decent resolution could be built(without data acquisition, etc).


To stay on topic, TLC and melting point's could be set up for around 100$(if a person has a hot-plate other-wise tack on another $50-$150). Should also invest in a column for chromatography and a kg of silica or alumina as well as solvents, a UV lamp, etc. Or at the very least a shortpath distillation set up, vacuum pump etc(vac distillation can give rough separations)

Used 'working' UV-VIS can be found for about $100-$200 on a good day, throw on another $30-$60 for a quartz cuvette.


If only optics materials were affordable then a DIY solution could be possible. It might be possible to build a simple dedicated fluorimeter using a specific LED or series of useable LED's(aimed at say a mirror) to fluoresce a sample. The major hold up here is the detection, photomultipliers are generally used here. That requires a high-voltage power source and they are expensive... Photodiodes and photodiode arrays work and are cheap but I don't think they would be very good for this application. Most have pretty poor cut off limits at short wavelengths. Actually come to think about it UV LED's can be pretty expensive, maybe a laser diode would be more reasonable/affordable.
 
benzyme
#11 Posted : 4/19/2013 5:32:13 AM

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you won't find machines under $300 that can ID compounds, maybe with the exception of an old FTIR. UV-Vis spectrophotometers (which use xenon or deuterium lamps in the UV range, and tungsten in the visible range) are more useful determining concentrations of known analytes present, not compound identification.

all spectrophotometers are spectrometers, but not all spectrometers are spectrophotometers.
the spectrophometer relies on photoelectric effect at its detector. spectrometers which detect mass use a similar principle, with electron multipliers. ion trap and time-of-flight
are the most common forms of detection in Mass Spec. the GC typically has flame-ionization or electron conductivity detection. HPLC may have UV-Vis, diode array, fluorescence, or electron conductivity detection. all of those can tell relative abundance, but not identification. that's what MS is for.

NMR is a spectrometer which applies a strong magnetic field to align protons in compounds.

the mass spectrometer can ID compounds, so can FTIR, and NMR. you may be able to find FTIRs for 500 or less, but usually not mass specs or NMRs. those are typically well into the 1000's and 10000's for 15 year old machines. you also have to consider programs used to run them, those may be several hundred to a couple grand.


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steppa
#12 Posted : 4/19/2013 8:22:58 AM

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InMotion wrote:
Steppa, 500$ for a potentially working or, maybe not working(for long) gas chromatograph is only half of the puzzle. One would still need a means of detection, FTIR, MS, UV-VIS, etc. Might not even include a column, and will likely need hydrogen gas cylinder, data acquisition(probably a dedicated computer at the very least, expensive soft-ware), etc.


Ok, I see. Didn't know what is needed to get such a thing running. But it seems possible to get it running for not so many bucks. At least the guys over from Skunk Pharm Research (great ressource on cannabis extracts) did it.
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Mandukeya
#13 Posted : 4/19/2013 11:34:20 AM

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Now I don't know what you want to analyze and how often. I were lucky having a friend with similar interests and access to a lab through his Ph.D program. Maybe you can make friends with local psychedelic researchers? Might work out unless you just want to know what is in that ziplock you were too lazy to mark Very happy
 
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#14 Posted : 4/19/2013 12:33:48 PM

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Let's say I want to analyze a batch of caapi brew in order to determine the concentration of present alkaloids per ml and scan for unwanted heavy metals or pesticides. After that I'd like to know if the latest legal RC I got from my vendor has the stated purity. I also want to scan the RC for unwanted byproducts and known carcinogenics. What system would I use, how much does a used one cost and what are the actual costs for the software + database?
Since all budgets are limited, I strive for the most affordable solution. Very happy
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InMotion
#15 Posted : 4/20/2013 12:34:08 AM
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Steppa, good luck finding someone who will let you use a GC-MS for a dollar like the skunkpharm guy claims...


UFOStrahlen, heavy metals sounds like atomic absorption spectroscopy(good luck money-wise). Analyze an RC for purity, sounds like GC-MS or LC-MS(good luck money-wise). Sorry brother but it's a pipe-dream unless you're willing to spend thousands and have the know how on how to go about doing it.
 
joshisom
#16 Posted : 4/20/2013 5:53:22 AM
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check out the book The Organic Chem Lab Survival Manual ", by James W. Zubrick it has sum techniques to analyze ur products and do small scaled GC. u can find the book online and reed it for free
 
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#17 Posted : 4/20/2013 12:26:28 PM

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@InMotion: Thanks for the advice. Well, pipedream or not, there's a demand for analyzing substances. I bought some "black caapi" from a vendor and was kinda frustrated, why there was no effect at all. Months later I read a thread in the forum, that "black caapi" wasn't caapi at all. Bummer! I also wonder if my 2C-E is really 99,6% pure, it's a little off-white reddish, but Shulgin says that his is pure white. So I wonder what causes the red contamination.

I was hoping for a "put substance into apparatus and let the computer tell me what the composition is" method, but I now learn that it's not that easy. I'm very aware of the fact, that GC/MS costs me easily >$2,000 but I really want to know what's a practical solution for all above mentioned. I mean, sure, currently I can't afford a GC/MS system at all, but what about in 5 years? I somehow need a clear goal to strive for.

So if anyone can tell me something like: well, buy a used GC/MS system at "x" vendor for $"y" and use this "z" software, then you will know what alkaloids are present in a solution and you'll know what causes the red contamination in your RC - it'd be much appreciated. But before getting a tutorial for the use of GC/MS system, I want to narrow down what to do and learn and how much it'll cost me.

@joshisom: Thanks for the hint. This book looks really practical and is probably easy to understand. You got a promotion Thumbs up
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nimbus8
#18 Posted : 4/20/2013 3:04:11 PM
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benzyme what are your thoughts on Fluorimeter specrometry.

Swim isnt looking to analyze crude plant matter. The goal was to create the purest dmt possible with column chromatography and sublimation and extraction. Then to analyze the crystals in some type of device. Assuming the substance is that pure can uv vis still not identify it?
 
benzyme
#19 Posted : 4/20/2013 3:34:33 PM

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spectrophotometers (excluding FTIR) will not be able to identify compounds.

a UV-Vis detector inline with HPLC ($$$$) can give you information about purity.
a simple UV-Vis spectrophotometer ($$) cannot.
same with fluorimeters.

chromatograms can tell you relative abundance (% purity, so to speak) by integration of
areas under the curve. the chromatograms are generated by taking voltage measurements over time, as mobile phase (solvent) passes through the detector, after passing through a stationary phase (column).
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nimbus8
#20 Posted : 4/20/2013 6:02:52 PM
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The uv vis is effective with hplc because hplc seperates based on rf values then uv can be used to identify each separate fraction correct? Couldn't flash column chromatography followed by uv vis be used to achieve the same effect? Im not sure why uv vis couldn't be used to identify in this situation because doesnt every chemical have a different absorbance factor.

Im sorry if im a little slow with this thank you for having patience.
 
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