Forum Rule: Always post complete source code & details to reproduce any issue!
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Bringing Projects Through Airline Security

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    10

    Bringing Projects Through Airline Security

    Any experiences on bringing a project through airline security? I will be traveling international and want to bringing a project. Lots of wires and stuff. Has anyone had a negative experience? Thanks in advance.


    Project is currently being documented: https://www.instructables.com/id/Nar...ing-Teensy-36/

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    1,454
    Quote Originally Posted by teano View Post
    Any experiences on bringing a project through airline security? I will be traveling international and want to bringing a project. Lots of wires and stuff. Has anyone had a negative experience? Thanks in advance.
    I always put all my electronics in two plastic bags (boards separated from cables) in carry on luggage, far away from fruits and other 'non-liquid' soft objects (that could be mistaken as dangerous). This allows, in case of inspection, to identify objects easier.
    I make devices as obvious as possible and don't try to camouflage. In other words, I try to make the job of security as easy as possible so they have no doubt what they see on the screen.
    I often take enclosed electronics out, as I would do with cameras, phones etc. and put it in a separate container (and ask if possible, if it is necessary).
    I noted that reaction of security to hand luggage full of cables, electronics, or computer accessories, is variable, depending on country, airport, training and actual stress level (they are all human after all).

  3. #3
    I traveled with Beta K66 units and others across the US - generally doing what WMXZ suggests - though much was in checked bags.

    I was taking a Hard Disk in a <edit> Carry On bag some dozen years back (screening machines are much better now) - the scanner pushed an 'alert' button and two bike cops and who knows what else coalesced on me for ID check, etc. The instant a second screener showed up he looked and said 'It is a hard drive' - but once they pushed the button my bag was dissected in place at the machine as I recall. Much has changed - except the luck of the draw on the screener understanding. In that case it was a lone opaque metal object - no wired or batteries or anything else.
    Last edited by defragster; 07-28-2017 at 06:59 AM.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    10
    thank you for the advice!

  5. #5
    FWIW, many years ago I had a 27 inch diameter metal and plastic sphere packed with electronics, radios, batteries, speaker and a timer (it was a complex homebrew radiosonde + art project) in checked baggage. Was expecting them to think it was a warhead. Went through without comment.

  6. #6
    Just read an article from the last day that might have tips - keeping them separate so they are 'smaller than a cell phone' and away from gobs of wires might be enough:

    TSA announces new security measures for devices ‘larger than a cell phone’
    A statement today on TSA’s website announced new security protocol coming to all U.S. airports for how electronic devices will be screened. To ensure the security of airline passengers and the nation’s …

  7. #7
    Moderator Theremingenieur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Colmar, France
    Posts
    929
    My experience is to have some documentation about what you carry with you. I often travel with a very rare electronic music instrument - a Theremin - and most customs officers don't know it and are afraid of that box full with RF electronics and the two antennae which could be misused as weapons... That's why I carry always a Wikipedia printout with me to show/explain them if necessary.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Theremingenieur View Post
    My experience is to have some documentation about what you carry with you. I often travel with a very rare electronic music instrument - a Theremin - and most customs officers don't know it and are afraid of that box full with RF electronics and the two antennae which could be misused as weapons... That's why I carry always a Wikipedia printout with me to show/explain them if necessary.
    That makes good sense when carrying something assembled and larger and just a bit different. Or if a partially disassembled project with electronics in an attached array - a picture of it in it's complete state?

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    10
    Thanks everyone for the feedback. Leaving for Italy on Friday. I think it will be ok. The project is only a teensy, scrapbook, wires, batteries.

    https://youtu.be/QPHToehwvPE
    Last edited by teano; 07-30-2017 at 01:14 AM.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    3
    Back in the 1980's I traveled through Europe visiting various nuclear and science research labs. At one lab in France they were manufacturing a chemical filter material in powder form and they asked me if I wanted some for free. Given it was very expensive to purchase I jumped at the chance and only sitting on the plane back to Australia did I realise I had ~1kg of fine white powder double plastic bag and no documentation. I declared it right up front and customs didn't even look at it and waved me through. These days I always clearly label everything and carry documentation and a list of phone numbers people can call.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    1,503
    One thing to watch for flying with projects is that in Australia at least they want you to keep any loose lithium batteries in your carry on, and in fact would prefer you didn't fly with them at all (un fitted batteries that is). Means designing for AA batteries that you buy at the destination can be less exciting on some projects.

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    10
    TSA was perfectly professional and friendly. They identified the project and gave it a look. It took five minutes.

    I did use AA batteries. I think GremlinWrangler's suggestion was very good.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    401
    I've always wondered what kind of fun would happen if you tried bringing a case like this through the airport:
    http://www.bit-tech.net/reviews/modd...me_case_mod/1/

    It's so stereotypical, like in a Bond movie. They would probably lock down the airport and evacuate the city.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    232
    If you use LiPo batteries, know that there are special rules for how many and how big you may carry.
    You cannot check LiPo batteries unless they are in a sealed object factory built to contain them (laptop, tablet, etc.)
    You can carry a "reasonable" number of spares, although for batteries with certain capacities (100 Wh or more, I think?) you can only have two of them, and there is some upper limit to Wh allowed.
    The batteries should obviously be carried in a protected case, with the terminals well insulated to avoid shorts no matter how much jostling/vibration there is.
    I use a small Pelican case with foam padding for mine.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •