Aaron Sliski's Blog

MIT Dumpster Diving

Posted on Octorber 27, 2016

Every once and a while I get a random picture from my friend Austin. He sent me this fuzzy picture of this fan thing, then he sent me a video. I knew what it was but he wasn’t sure, turned out to be these huge Turbo vacuum pumps. So I raced down to MIT in the basement of some building and there were these three mass spectrometers. We didn’t know what they were at the time because they had already been taken apart somewhat. These machines were just unbelievable boxes of engineering. Every single inch of the inside of these machines were packed with super crazy electronics and perfectly cable tied and labeled wires. There were things from Kilovolt power supplies to X-Y stages. Austin and I spent the next 5 hours or so taking things out of these machines and putting them on this cart we found. I felt bad gutting these machines but they were just wayyyy too big to take whole.

There was also this super nice acrylic box. We were very puzzled why it was made out of inch thick plastic. Turns out it was for some type of centrifuge that was rated at 10kw. I think if I had something spinning up and it drew 10kw id want a nice bullet proof box to protect me as well. Anyways after many hours we filled up just about everything we could with junk, and we headed off.

We don't always have the brightest moments. So here we are about a quarter mile from MITERS lab where we stashed the stuff, and it started to rain. We have like several thousand dollars’ worth of vacuum stuff, and the wheels on the cart are solid and have no give to them. Only a couple of things fell off the cart while we were going to the lab. It was just a super fun day; I haven’t seen anyone else drag a cart across Mass Ave. Full of dumpster goodies.