Someone donated a monster pile of electronic components to Minneapolis' awesome maker space Studio Bricolage. They needed geeks to play around with it and take stuff home. About eight of us answered the call.
There was a lot of junk, to be sure, but there were treasures to be found. One lucky father-and-son team snagged a working oscilloscope. There were six big infrared lasers. I opened up one with my handy dandy 100-piece screwdriver set and we all gathered around and geeked out over the guts, finding the solenoid shutter and the focusing chassis. The actual laser was an unassuming tic-tac-box-sized block of metal with a large copper heat sink on top. Another gem was an awesome control board for a CC camera system, though I regretfully passed on it. I did snag 3 of the cameras, however.
Of course there were countless smaller prizes like switches and old resistors. I grabbed a bunch of stuff I wouldn't normally have, figuring I could spice up my contribution to the TGIMBOEJ I'm sending out next week.
One of the best part of the experience was listening to 96-year-old telecom engineer Rob Pratt telling stories of pre-WWII phreaking, and discussing technologies that were obsolete even before the end of the war.