[hackerspaces] Projects for a mass spectrometer?

Sam Ley sam.ley at gmail.com
Wed Jun 22 21:53:38 CEST 2011

Problem with testing for most substances is that you need to have controls -
the machine doesn't just identify something, it allows you to compare
different samples. To reliably test for MDMA, for instance, you need to own
lab control samples of MDMA, which requires a DEA license for running a
toxicology lab. You could certainly test a "dubious substance", but without
controls you wouldn't know for sure what it is (though you may still be able
to make some educated guesses).


On Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 1:09 PM, Jamie Schwettmann <
jamie.schwettmann at gmail.com> wrote:

> I for one, would love to know what fake food (and tap water!) are *really*
> made of before I welcome our pharmochemical overlords.  Publishing spectral
> analysis of the alphabetical array of mysterious multisyllabic additives
> currently adorning the shelves of every major grocery chain in the country
> would be awesome indeed.
> Is it illegal *anywhere* to test dubious substances?  Aren't most
> substances dubious until a reasonable accounting of their origin can be
> determined?
> - Jamie
> On Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 11:50 AM, john arclight <arclight at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Maybe you can offer to test moonshine that people bring in. Manitoba
>> has hillbillies like the US does, right?
>> Is it illegal where you are to test pills and other dubious substances
>> people bring samples of?
>> Arclight
>> On Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 8:20 PM, Andrew Orr <andrew at andreworr.ca> wrote:
>> > Hey everyone,
>> >
>> > Our hackerspace[1] got offered a mass spectrometer, but we have to
>> figure
>> > out what kinds of thing we'll use it for before we can get it. The guy
>> who
>> > is donating it doesn't want it to sit idle or be put in storage or
>> whatever.
>> >
>> > So my question to you lot is: What kinds of projects / use cases does a
>> mass
>> > spectrometer have in a hackerspace?
>> >
>> > Cheers,
>> > -Andrew
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