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Black Hole: Name that national lab surplus (photos)

The Black Hole store in Los Alamos, New Mexico, is filled to the gills with old surplus from Los Alamos National Laboratory. What the heck is that weird stuff? Let's play "Name that surplus!"

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Amanda Kooser
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1 of 12 Amanda Kooser/CNET

The Black Hole is stuffed with surplus

Tucked away on five acres in the hills of Los Alamos, N.M., the Black Hole stocks Los Alamos National Lab surplus from bygone days. It's a popular stop for filmmakers picking up props and curious visitors looking for a glimpse at obsolete technology.
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2 of 12 Amanda Kooser/CNET

Stacks of surplus

The Black Hole in Los Alamos sprawls across a large property. The halls are full of dusty electronics and mechanical components piled into cardboard boxes. It's like a garage sale gone crazy.
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3 of 12 Amanda Kooser/CNET

Anti-nuclear sculpture

Ed Grothus, the now-deceased founder of the Black Hole, conducted weekly anti-bomb gatherings at an A-frame church next door to the surplus store. This sculpture sits just inside the entrance to the store with a sign reading, "One bomb is too many."
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4 of 12 Amanda Kooser/CNET

Wormy Apple sticker

Remember when Apple used to have a rainbow logo? This joke wormy Apple sticker is attached to an old surplus keyboard from Los Alamos National Lab. The keyboard is part of a Commodore 128 that was once in use at the lab.
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5 of 12 Amanda Kooser/CNET

Circular thing (Name that surplus!)

This large and heavy piece of surplus sits in the middle of an aisle at the Black Hole in Los Alamos. Can you name that surplus? This piece of equipment is left over from a device that was in use at Los Alamos National Lab.
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6 of 12 Amanda Kooser/CNET

Name that old IBM surplus

Old surplus computers go to rot at the Black Hole in Los Alamos. This particular machine still has a sticker on the monitor reading "Restricted Data." Can you name that surplus? Here's a hint. It's a 1970s-era IBM information processor.
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7 of 12 Amanda Kooser/CNET

So many oscilloscopes

All these cool buttons and knobs on old science equipment at the Black Hole are magnets for filmmakers looking for prop supplies. Oscilloscopes from Los Alamos National Lab are stacked in bunches. If you ever need an old, broken oscilloscope, go to Los Alamos.
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8 of 12 Amanda Kooser/CNET

RadioShack computer

Microcomputers aren't so micro by today's standards. This old RadioShack machine put in its time at Los Alamos National Lab and now sits in the Black Hole, a surplus store full of used equipment. You won't find one of these on the shelf at RadioShack today.
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9 of 12 Amanda Kooser/CNET

Cryogenic tank: Mystery surplus?

This shiny container has two tags on it: one from Sulfrian Cryogenics and one from Isotopes Inc. What was it used for at Los Alamos National Lab? You'll have to name that surplus because the operating manual is missing.
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10 of 12 Amanda Kooser/CNET

Finding peace at the Black Hole

Peace art can be found all over the Black Hole store in Los Alamos, mixed in with ancient surplus equipment. The store's founder, Ed Grothus, was a peace activist and former Los Alamos National Lab employee.
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11 of 12 Amanda Kooser/CNET

Teletype machine

This hulking piece of equipment from Los Alamos National Lab sits outside in the New Mexico sun at the Black Hole surplus store. Some lab communications used to take place with the help of Teletype machines like this one.
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12 of 12 Amanda Kooser/CNET

Bowling balls and a peace flower

There are plenty of unexpected sights at the Black Hole surplus store in Los Alamos. A stack of bowling balls sits near a flower sculpture that appears to be made of missile casings. Surplus from the national lab is strewn all about the large lot.

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