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[Discuss] [History]Bacharach Sniffer 300

Used in Ghostbusters to detect Ghost Vapor trails, the "Sniffer" was made by Bacharach/United Technologies. Peter Venkman uses it in Dana's apartment, and refers to it as "one of their little toys."

Bacharach Sniffer Reference Photos courtesy of jettajeffro.

Bacharach / United Technologies:
"Sniffer 300 Series gas indicators are lightweight, portable instruments designed for intermittent measurements of combustible gas and oxygen deficiency.

Rugged and rain resistant, these instruments represent a departure from traditional design. Each has a slender, high-impact thermoplastic case with a built-in handle and trigger switch. They each use easily-replaceable, field-proven sensors and internal sampling pumps for reliable service. The internal pump allows sampling up to 100 feet away.

Designed for intrinsic safety, the Sniffer 300 Series instruments meet various approval agency requirements for use in Class I, Divisions 1 and 2, Groups A, B, C and D hazardous areas."

There are a few different Sniffer 300 series models. The model used in the movie was indeed a Sniffer 300. This unit is extremely difficult to find. What sets it apart from the other sniffers is that the sampling method required use of a hand aspirator:

As you can see in the picture above, there are two attachments on the front of the 300 sniffer. The top attachment is for a sniffing probe assembly (see picture below). The bottom attachment is for the hand aspirator (also pictured below).

The picture above is the sniffing probe assembly identical to the one in the movie. There are a few different probes out there for the 300 series sniffers, and this one seems to be the most difficult one to find. Overall, the length of the probe is 30 inches. It has a 2 inch metal base and a 28 inch copper-colored tip.

The picture above is of the hand aspirator bulb. It is NOT a blood pressure cuff bulb. This is an actual aspirator bulb used by Bacharach for their older sniffers. Unfortunately, Bacharach has not produced this specific aspirator bulb in at least 10 years. Newer aspirator bulbs are blue and can still be found online. Aspirator valves are little plastic parts that plug into each end of the bulb and allow for the "sniffing". Aspirator valves come in a number of colors. The valves in the movie were red. Newer aspirator valves are clear and can also be found online. A rubber hose connects one of the aspirator valves to the bottom attachment on the 300 sniffer as mentioned earlier. The rubber tube seems to have been produced by Fisher Laboratories.

Here are some thumbnails of additional photos:

Subsequent models such as the 301, 302 and 303 frequently pop up on Ebay or other sources, but they lack an attachment for the hand aspirator:

I would like to thank Tom, a contact I was lucky to make at Bacharach. He was incredible enough to send me a 300 sniffer that one of his co-workers had brought in after finding out about my ghostbusting endeavors.

Adam (SabaSka109)

This page was last edited by SabaSka109 on January 29, 2011, 3:55 pm
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