OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

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MT2000 man
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OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by MT2000 man »

Good day everyone, I know this was discussed before a LONG time ago here. I did a search, but could only find the "is it OK to bring radios on a cruise" thread. This one is on if anyone here has been bringing (either in your carry on luggage, or checked luggage) your portable radios with you to the airport as of recently ? With the current state the US Gov. is in (9/11, added security especially at the airports, more screening, etc.) I've been very leery about taking ANY portable with me when I fly anymore. Pre- 9/11 I used to pack an SP50, and an MT2000 in my carry-on all the time, and security never blinked an eye. Just curious how many of you still fly with your radio/s.
I'm going to AZ in (either Feb. or April) and want to bring my MT and MTS along as well, but if people are getting hassled by airport security, then I'll leave them home. Any thoughts ???
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by ai4ui »

Neither an XTS5000 or a big BK DPH I have flown with have never drawn more attention than my Blackberry or a laptop. Yes, they may want to look at it, but I can't even imagine how or why it would be a problem. If it's for ham radio, have your ham license available, if it's an agency radio, have your agency ID available, if it's your business radio, have a card available, if it's a "just because" radio, then I don't know. Probably not a good idea to dust it with potassium nitrate before putting it in your bag.

If you are a jerk about it, then the TSA folks will probably be jerks too. If you are that concerned, put it in your checked baggage.
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by KX5MOT »

I flew about 3 years ago and had an XTS in my carry-on luggage, the X-ray operator guy just asked if i had a two-way radio in there and moved on.
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by tvsjr »

Ain't no way I'd check an XTS... great way to have it disappear.

I've carried a backpack with two laptops, projector, three XTS5000 M3s, spare slim LiIon batteries, and an impres charger before... no problems. TSA guy saw the batteries and thought they were cool - wanted some for his radio which had the standard brick on it.
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by N4KVE »

I flew to Canada last summer to visit my parents with 2 AS3's & 2 Icom dualbanders & lots of batteries. The screeners didn't say anything on the trip up north. Coming back they politely told me I was randomly chosen for further inspection & while they saw all the radios, they couldn't have cared less. And these were international flights. I keep the radios with me in a computer carry case. GARY N4KVE
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by 601 »

I just flew from Philadelphia to New Mexico last week. Had a scanner, 2 UHF spirit radios, 1 VHF Kenwood radio, GPS unit, and acell phone in my carry on bag.... Nobody questioned me. I did get questioned, however, about the pack of 4 extra lithium ion AA rechargeable batteries I had for my digital camera and the batteries on the radios themselves.

One TSA screener told me that he rarely sees an EMT carrying equipment with them, I stll have yet to figure out how he knew, I showed no ID and didn't wear anything that said it.... And sent me on my way after checking the batteries in my bag.
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by kc7gr »

I concur with the group so far. Nothing really to worry about. I've gone through security at SEA (SeaTac) several times with an MTS2000 which, except for the antenna, looks identical to those used by the local TSA and airport staff. The only question I ever got out of them was "Can it pick up our frequencies?" (Answer: Nope, entirely different band).

Then again, keep in mind -- I'm not only hamateur-licensed, I also work for the state cops (civil service, non-commissioned), and I am an authorized user on the state radio network. I suspect this made a difference.

@601: Unrelated question. Where did you see that RAPTORS AHEAD - CAUTION sign? My gut reaction, when I saw the photo, was that there was a falconry meet nearby and the bird folk wanted everyone to know it. Either that, or perhaps a local falconer was doing nuisance-bird control?

Third possibility -- Somebody just having some fun with a programmable signboard? Lord knows I've done it a few times. :lol:

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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by 601 »

kc7gr - I found this picture online, it was a huge thing at some point for kids to reprogram the signs that were unlocked and had the keyboards still in them. do a google search on "hacked construction signs" for a good laugh. Trust me, I'd have a little fun too if I could, but I don't want to risk getting in trouble.... Don't want to explain to the other inmates why i'm in there with them, "Yeah, I hacked a construction sign" lol :lol:
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by escomm »

I will echo everyone else's statements that it's not a problem. It's a good idea to separate the batteries from the radios of course. And having a copy of your ham ticket doesn't hurt either
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by KE7JFF »

I've had a few conversations with TSA screeners as they see me pull out both my ASTRO Saber and my MTS2000 into the tray.
- One TSA screener said "Hey, its an ASTRO Saber. I remember these before I retired from FPS! Great radio, how is treating you?"
- Another Screener asked if I was a ham and said "Go figure. The hams go after the ex-fed radios"

Now, Canada's CATSA I have had a interesting story. After I cleared customs at YVR, I went to the queue for security to enter the domestic terminal of the airport to continue on to YYZ. I separate out my ASTRO Saber and my MTS2000 again like I did with TSA in the tub. The CATSA screener manning the CTX machine looks at tub and sees the two radios. He grabs only my MTS2000, pulls out the battery and says out loud out to me "Ok, it has a DOC number on it". I'm still puzzled at why he was concerned over the DOC number and yet how he knew to look for it. My Canadian ham friends also were quite puzzled too and were not aware any CATSA bulletins in circulation either.
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by motorola_otaku »

I flew Southwest from HOU to PHX last month. I sent an XTS5000 and 3000 through the X-ray along with my iPod and laptop bag, and no one batted an eye. After exiting, a TSA goon asked me "oh, carrying a scanner, huh?" about the 5k (which he and his co-workers were carrying) so I think it's safe to assume that you'll be okay. :lol:
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It's a world-view issue

Post by Wowbagger »

All the stories of various TSA types not being able to see the similarities between their XTS5000's and an XTS5000 being carried by a traveler can be explained by a world-view issue.

We don't see the world, not directly. We take our sensory input, feed it into this model of the world we have in our brains, and observe the state of the model. That lets us take the "noisy" data our senses give us and remove the noise (you see this design pattern used in a great deal of signal processing and control systems theory too - tech imitates nature). That's why stage magic works: the magicians have worked out how to feed data into the model that will cause its state to diverge from reality.

So, in the model the TSA guys have, things that "look like that" (look like a radio) are radios IF they are held by a TSA guy. Travelers don't have radios, they have scanners - that has been confirmed by many hundreds of incidents (most of the time when a traveler has a thing that "looks like that" it is a scanner), so their model takes the sensory input of "thing that looks like that" and yields "scanner".

Likewise, if you showed up in a TSA uniform with a scanner on your belt, they would likely swear blind that it was an XTS, because when they feed "thing that looks like that" + "TSA guy" into their model, the output is "XTS".

Remember: we radio guys take the time to detail our model for radios - for TSA guys the radio is a tool, with limited significance, so their model isn't as detailed.
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by wb0qqk »

I packed a GP68 and charger in my checked luggage last month when going to Disneyworld.
The battery and antenna were detached and placed next to each other. Never heard a word
from TSA or American Airlines.
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by tvsjr »

LOL @ Wowbagger explaining the perceptual model. He's right, of course...

Basically, be prepared for anything. My last trip, two laptops with spare batteries (9-cell LiIon jobbies), numerous cables/wires/etc., which looked on the x-ray like something I absolutely would have wanted to hand inspect had I been a TSA screener (perish the thought)... no one batted an eye. The pack could easily have had a device in it (of course, I would never do any such thing, Echelon). Now, my CPAP... they had to pull that open, inspect and swab it... I'm surprised they didn't ask me to fire it up and breathe through it for them. Oh, and I had to have my back patted down since I was carrying a backpack.

You should be fine. Just keep in mind who you're dealing with and the nature of the security theatre. Don't carry anything that looks like a water bottle, even if it's not. Funny bomb threats? No, they're not. Don't question the policies or complain... you're dealing with people that, in large part, are clueless. Questioning their procedures makes them curious. You don't want this. If they notice your XTS and ask you about it - no, of course you can't listen to them (yes you can if it's a VHF, but that's another matter).

Don't let them take advantage of you or abuse you, but don't draw attention to yourself if not necessary. This is a good idea whether or not you're carrying an XTS with you...
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by wb0qqk »

When we left Orlando enroute home, it required a plane change at Dallas-Fort Worth.
While removing his boots and putting them through the scanner, an obvious Texas-type
heading for DFW was heard to drawl, "If we woulda just nuked them towel heads after
September 11th, y'all wouldn't be hav'n ta take yer shoes off." Funny!
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KitN1MCC
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by KitN1MCC »

i have always packed mine never an issue
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by Pj »

I've only once been asked to step aside..and it was from an older TSA woman who wanted to wipe down everything. Didn't help that I had some agency clothing on. Another board member here gets the same treatment when wearing agency clothing...Guess they want to make sure they are in 100% compliance of the rules.

Usually I give the x-ray guys a heads up and my credientials in the wallet goes thru the machine first.

Other than that one time, never had a problem... Laptop, Tablet, three XTS's, computer gizmos, etc...all go thru without a problem.

Now, the jar of pumpernickle spread from grandma at LAX was a whole nuther matter.
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MT2000 man
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by MT2000 man »

Wow, lots of good info here. Looks like I won't be afraid to take a MTS2000 or 2 in my carry on. I'll have proper ID on hand just in case though.
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by wb0qqk »

Battery-powered electronics may be placed under greater scrutiny in the future:

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/busin ... .html?_r=2

A Fire Risk That Clears Security
By CHRISTINE NEGRONI
Published: October 26, 2009
Battery fires in personal electronic devices can be scary. But if a battery ignites on a plane, the risks are much greater.

With more people traveling with an assortment of portable electronics — sometimes a plane has more devices than passengers — fires are occurring on airliners with increasing frequency. More than half of the 22 battery fires in the cabin of passenger planes since 1999 have been in the last three years. One air safety expert suggested that these devices might be “the last unrestricted fire hazard” people can bring on airplanes.
This month, the Federal Aviation Administration along with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued special advisories to airlines about yet another gadget: the credit card readers that many have begun to issue to flight attendants to ring up sales of food, drinks and other amenities.

While airlines have used portable credit card readers for several years, the F.A.A. said earlier this month that they needed approval from the agency’s hazardous materials division. Like the majority of hand-held consumer electronic devices, the readers are powered by rechargeable lithium batteries, which the government considers hazardous.

“The carriers came and asked if we would allow them to have the credit card readers on aircraft and they wanted spare lithium batteries to allow them to switch out the batteries,” said Christopher Bonanti, director of the F.A.A. office of hazardous materials. “I was concerned about having spare lithium batteries, and I asked them not to do that.”

Some airlines have agreed to special training for handling batteries and were allowed to carry spares, Mr. Bonanti said. But other airlines, like Delta and JetBlue, figured it was safer to avoid carrying extra batteries altogether.

“They’re not charged onboard the aircraft and batteries aren’t removed from these devices while onboard,” Bryan Baldwin, a JetBlue spokesman, wrote in an e-mail message.

While no fires from credit card readers have been reported, the list of spontaneous combustion events with other devices reads like a thriller. Last month, a portable DVD player was dropped on an American Airlines flight, causing a fire. In March 2008, a United Airlines employee placed a flashlight in the storage compartment of a Boeing 757 at the Denver airport. A report said the flashlight exploded “like gunshots,” turning the on-off switch into a projectile. On a flight to Miami that same month, eight people were injured when a small battery fell against a metal seat frame. In the ensuing explosion, debris singed a passenger’s ear and hair and the smoke sickened seven crew members.

In 2004, an ABC News camera exploded on a plane being used by the presidential candidate John Edwards. A seat caught fire, causing an emergency return to the airport. Even more events go unreported, the authorities said.

“If you have an issue in the air there’s not a whole lot you can do to recover from it,” said Gerald McNerney, a vice president at Motorola, which provides hand-held devices to airlines. “You put your brand at risk if one of your devices has an issue with the battery. What we’ve done is look at creating backups, duplicity in development so that you’re not going to have an explosion.”

Figures from the Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site show that at least 400,000 portable device batteries have been recalled so far this year, an indication that manufacturing problems are sometimes to blame. Batteries are also becoming more powerful, so that even the smallest have the potential to unleash a lot of heat.

“The battery industry is trying to squeeze more juice into these batteries for longer life,” said Joe Delcambre, a spokesman for the hazardous materials agency. “Smaller battery, more life, with a terminal that can overheat the product — it’s a risk.”

Considering that problems with batteries are occurring on passenger planes at a rate of one every four months, Merritt Birky, formerly a fire and explosions expert with the National Transportation Safety Board who is now a private consultant, suggests they should be kept where passengers can keep an eye on them and out of overhead storage bins.

“Any time you have a fire on board it’s alarming, especially in the overhead bin,” Mr. Birky said. “That area is chock full of luggage and coats so you have lots of fuel for a fire and it’s going to go undetected for quite some time.”

The Transportation Department has created a Web site that includes the rules on traveling with lithium batteries, and it works with the manufacturers of portable electronic devices to spread the word about the hazards. But the transportation safety board estimated that only one person in every 170 to 190 travelers had actually visited the Web site.

“Most air passengers and flight crews are likely unaware of the fire risks posed by rechargeable lithium batteries,” the board wrote in 2008 in recommending a more aggressive approach to educating the public. The F.A.A. plans to follow that suggestion when it begins broadcasting public service announcements in airports next year, Mr. Bonanti said.

“There’s a whole slew of things that can go wrong with a lithium battery,” he said, adding that no matter how comfortable people are with their devices, caution is the best course of action.
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by thebigphish »

I just recently did an overnighter down south to pick up a vehicle, and didn't want to check a bag, so i backpacked everything in. I had a CDM1550, a mag mount, 30 feet of antenna cable, CDM mic and 15 feet of powercord w/ ring terminals on it, and it flew right thru the screeners. The Xray girl ran it twice, flagged the bag, and as the inspector was walking over to the tables...he opened it up, said "Oh, so that's what that is, looks a lot different on the screen" and gave me my bag w/o even inspecting the whole thing.
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HLA
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by HLA »

http://www.afn.org/~afn09444/scanlaws/scanner5.html Nobody has brought up the fact that some states it's illegal to have a scanner or 2 way without a amateur license. a few months ago when I tried taking my HT1550 thru the new Indy airport they started to give me a hard time over it until I showed my license. So if you are flying to one of the states in the red with it you might want to have your license with you.
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Re: OK to bring two ways in your carry-on luggage at the airport

Post by alex »

I have never had a problem at any airport in the US carrying any two-way radio equipment.... I've flown probably 150k miles in the past 3 years alone and never had an issue.

Mostly:

"Does yours work any better than ours"
"I'll trade batteries with you"
"Oh, let me stay with these while they go through the scanner for you"

Suggestion:

Just take it all out of your bag. If you have spare batteries take those out of your bag.

The only thing I have not done is international travel with portables. I can tell you they usually question why I'm carrying 3-6TB worth of hard drives, if they don't ask me what they are first.

US - no one cares. It's not for the TSA to tell you it's illegal or not in the state. The only time it will be an issue is if there is a local officer who sees it, knows the law, and points it out. They don't really have the enforcement power to deal with the local / state laws (I don't think). Now if they go through and find your crack stash, that's another story.

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