Red LED flashlight airport warning

DavidH

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Sep 13, 2001
Messages
128
Location
Southern California
Hello, my name is David and I'm a flashaholic.
It's been 1 month since my last flashlight purchase and a little over a week since my last preorder. I already had another on preorder. I generally carry 3 or more flashlights at a time.

Anyway, my first "exotic" flashlight was the small bullet shaped titanium Private Eye red LED flashlight by Tekna and sold at REI about 12 years ago.

I still carry it around, it is useful for preserving my night vision when wnadering around a dark hotel room at night. I recently was detained at the airport when I unsuccessfuly tried to convince the security guard that it was not a LASER pointer. I could not get it through their heads that red light doesn't always mean it's a LASER beam. They wanted me to check it at the ticket counter and pick it up at then end of the flight. I said OK and then went around the corner for a while. I took it off my keychain and p;ut it into my camera bag. I then wnet through with no problems since it probably looked like battery in the X-ray machine.
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The_LED_Museum

*Retired*
Joined
Aug 12, 2000
Messages
19,414
Location
Federal Way WA. USA
I'd probably have *major* problems getting through airport security devices with all of the funny lights I carry about both regularly and occasionally.

My 11.6mW green laser pointer would probably be destroyed on sight as a 'weapon' at the x-ray tray because it is so bright, and heaven forbid I try to slip onboard with a red or blue Photon II hanging from my keys.

The last time I flew was in early 1997, and I had no problems with my LED flashlight and a couple of pen-style red laser pointers in my carry-on, and one clipped fairly obviously to my collar!
I don't believe I was asked not to use it in-flight, either. All they did at the checkpoint was ask me to turn my cell phone off before boarding. But things just aren't the same anymore.

I'd imagine if I were forced to fly today, I'd have to fly with all of my flashlights, laser pointers, spare batteries, digital camera, meter, etc., in my checked suitcase; and board the plane with only a wallet and keys on my person.

Wonder what the inspection & baggage check procedure will be like for my tricked-out wheelchair before they tow it out to the cargo hold... or if the airlines will even allow motorized wheelchair users to travel with their chairs anymore?
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I think I'll just take the train, thank you.
Flashlights and all.
 

KenBar

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 24, 2001
Messages
766
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Stingmon:
I'd probably have *major* problems getting through airport security devices with all of the funny lights I carry about both regularly and occasionally.........<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

LOL

I am having similar thoughts. As some of you know, I am returning to Bulgaria to get another daughter we just adopted earlier this summer. It looks like it will be in November now. I was planning on taking over to the orphanage many home made "project LED boxes" all of which look "covert" in the light of recent events!

They were a tremendous hit the first trip over. I only got a little flack in Paris the last trip. I had my daughter in the other arm so I guess this gave me a different profile and they let it pass. They may have let it slide because my other 5 year old daughter let loose with the only French phrase that I have taught her to the security agent......."Who cut the cheese"!

I turned red, and grinned. My wife gave me a lecture.

I thought of putting it in my luggage but it is often pilfered plus my "home made wiring" looks different in xray and I sure don't want anything holding up my clothes in the checked baggage.

SO....I have thought of taking an Eternalight, and one homemade LS combo Satcure with the box open and the screws taped to the side in my one allowed carry on. If they have a problem, I can just drop it in the trash.
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The people at PAL donated a whole sack full of lights. I will take them of course. I was just proud of my home made ones....and the AA that I used is a little easier to come by as well as cheaper in that part of the world.

Still.. a small price to pay to fly safely.
 

sunspot

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 22, 2001
Messages
2,707
Location
Graham, NC
Stingmon.???? Where in the heck do you get a 11.6mw laser??? I was under the impression that 5mw was the legal limit in America. And the price? The green module on a weapon laser is about 50x the red. Can you put the module in MY weapon laser?(pant,pant)
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.......dana.......
 

The_LED_Museum

*Retired*
Joined
Aug 12, 2000
Messages
19,414
Location
Federal Way WA. USA
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by phred:
Stingmon.???? Where in the heck do you get a 11.6mw laser??? I was under the impression that 5mw was the legal limit in America<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

glp-1.jpg

It *started* as an ordinary green laser pointer, labelled for 5mW max, and measured at 4.68mW max. It was also priced accordingly - about $240 at the time of purchase.
But about six months after I got it, something happened to one of the crystals inside, and it began to lase with greater and greater efficiency, until it reached the 11+mW it is now.

glp-8.jpg

In this picture, it was "only" putting out about 6.5 or 7mW... it has since increased even higher. The one on the right measured 2.2mW (average) at the time this picture was taken.

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Compared to a 5mW 650nm red like you might find on a weapons sight.
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On occasion, it is so efficient that even lower order modes begin to lase.

Apparently, the vanadate got whacked, and reoriented itself into critical alignment - totally by accident. And from what I've heard, this has happened to at least two other green laser pointers from the same vendor.

Back to the topic at hand...
A couple of years ago, the Vice President stopped here in downtown Seattle to give a speech. When I stopped by Westlake Park to listen, the Secret Service took right to me like flies to a pile of sh!t. They inspected my chair, asked about the "unusual energy signature" from my blue & blue-green LED light sources, checked all of the batteries, checked the undercarriage, checked the transaxle & motor, checked the stereo & speakers, and had me turn each system off and back on several times, and had me put a tape in the stereo and play it briefly. Once they realised I posed no threat, they opened the gate and let me in. :-O

This is probably similar to what I will now have to go through the next time I find myself at an airport.
And you know what?
It won't bother me a bit.
If they find something they don't like, I know what the garbage can is for.
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Harrkev

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Joined
Aug 30, 2001
Messages
443
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Stingmon:
If they find something they don't like, I know what the garbage can is for.
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I wish that I could afford to throw lights away like that. My wife complained abour our budget when I said that I wanted the Arc-AAA limited edition!
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BTW: Budgets are evil. They don't let you get anything fun! (I think that Congress figured this out a long time ago)
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Quickbeam

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 19, 2001
Messages
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FlashlightReviews.com
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>BTW: Budgets are evil. They don't let you get anything fun!
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That's what "deficit spending" is for!
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The_LED_Museum

*Retired*
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Harrkev:
I wish that I could afford to throw lights away like that<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Nobody ever said I could afford it, but if my choice was either leave it behind or don't get on the plane, chances are I would leave it. Except the green laser pointer... now that I would very likely make an exception for, because it would be very difficult for me to find another one with the same "problem". :-O

In light of recent events though, I would probably put any and all lights, save for maybe an Arc and an Infinity (each with a spare battery taped to it), in my checked-in suitcases, leave them at home, or just mail them to my destination a couple of days beforehand.
 
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