Monday, November 17, 2008

Need a mass spec? - check out eBay

UA Geosciences Dept. chair Karl Flessa passed along the story of how they picked up a brand new, still-in-its-wrapper $200K mass spectrometer for $16K on eBay.

Department engineer Dave Steinke was doing his regular scrounging online for electronics and found the new Finnegan Delta-V mass spectrometer [right, a similar machine at the Univ. of Hawaii], which had been lost in shipping to its original buyer. The insurers paid off the loss but it was found later and sold as lost property on eBay.

Dave Dettman used his lab funds to make the winning bid, "after checking and double-checking that the title was clear and there would be no consequences from the manufacturer."

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