Airport mag detectors and Xray & QRP


From: rohre (
Date: Mon Aug 14 1995 - 12:43:27 EDT

I have posted a more detailed instruction on hand inspection procedure for carry
on baggage to the individual, so one does not pass it thru either the X-Ray or
Magnetic portal detector. Hand inspection of carry on items is a right you can

Basically, the magnetic detector is a balanced magnetic field that you unbalance
or detune by the presence of metal upon you, over and above the amount a
"normal" person wears. BUT, although a well adjusted one may not put out much
field, (and I was involved in some of the first models), I see far too many
adjusted incorrectly, such that I never pass scientific multi track tapes thru
them. I carry a letter on official letterhead, stating such data tapes have to
be hand inspected, and I take them out and show them to the inspectors. Having
some official looking letter from Index might help do the same. Recent losses
of front ends have made me nervous about risking a rig to the airport hardware.
 The X-ray would not ordinarily hurt a rig; BUT to get xrays, you need high
voltage, unless you have a radioactive source. The arcing of relays in an xray
high voltage power supply within the machine, could induce a transient although
the risk is low. In short, I do not trust the adjustments on such high duty
cycle equipment to be free of transients.

My suggestion, is if you want the item air freighted, send it with a good
express company like Federal Express, or Roberts Express, with insurance if
value exceeds their normal liability. I don't think you want to have to pull
out the rig from the box at the airport to show it for hand inspection, although
that is your right with delcate equipment.

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