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The Dust Buster

I had this small handheld vacuum cleaner thing which I think is colloquially called a dust buster. I bought it at a thrift store in 2008 for reasons that escape me now (one would assume I bought it to help me vacuum up dust, but that seems very unlike me). Like all things battery powered, the batteries eventually lost the ability to hold a charge. For about a year, it just sat on my shelf ironically gathering dust.

While my housemate at the time was telling me a rambling story, I decided I was going to convert it to a corded dust buster. I took it apart, removed the useless battery pack, and soldered in the cord for the charger directly to where the battery pack used to connect. Which led to the following conversation:

Him: Are you soldering on the coffee table?
Me: Why yes, yes I am.
Him: Isn’t there a better place for you to be soldering?
Me: Possibly, but I’m here, and so are all the things I want to solder.

Unfortunately, the little wall wart transformer was incapable of delivering enough juice to power the motor sufficiently. If I had given it much thought, I would have realized that the amount of power required to charge the battery was probably much less than the amount of power required to actually run the thing.

In any case, when I turned it on instead of a whirring noise of victory I got a feeble hum of mediocrity. It didn’t generate enough suction to actually do anything useful. It was kind of funny, actually, because it was the most pathetic noise imaginable. This led to the follow-up conversation:

Him: Well, at least it works a little bit.
Me: It’s not even powerful enough to pick up dust, which makes the name dust buster pointless and sad.
Him: It was a moral victory.

I have to agree, if only because I didn’t have to listen to the rest of his story.


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