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Airline travel box containg everything for hf and vhf. Anyone have something like this?

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KC3HUM, Jul 21, 2017.

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  1. KC3HUM

    KC3HUM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey folks. Im going to be leaving for a flight to texas in a couple weeks here and im trying to think about what/how i should bring my hf radio plus a dual band ht.
    im thinking a pelican case thats small enough to pack as a carry on that way i dont have to worry about all my stuff too much as checked baggage.
    I got a
    40m dipole
    Small antenna tuner
    Swr meter
    Various other things needed for operation.

    Main thing im caught up on is powering the radio. I cant bring my astron power supply. Id say a battery with a 12v charger sounds like it could be a good option but idk about tsa and batteries like id need. Ill have power where im going. Small power supply? The battery would be nice to have just in case too, especially if were mobile in a vehicle.

    Basically just want some ideas on traveling with hf and vhf on airlines and or portable operation. Post some pics if u guys have something like this. Maybe i should just build a emergency comms box the size allowed as a carry on luggage and go from there.
  2. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I heard a blip on the news that some flights ban any electronics larger than a cell phone.

    You may want to check. You should carry a copy of your license with you.

    Have Fun.
  3. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Subscriber QRZ Page

  4. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I did this for a couple of years while I was traveling to do emergency bail-out for an employer's projects. My pack was a Storm case sized to pass for "carry on" luggage on the airlines we used. It included:
    • FT-817
    • THP-45
    • 18A Astron switching supply.
    • K1EL Keyer
    • Signalink
    • LDG ATU
    • 4:1 balun (I would have chosen a different part if I were to do it again).
    • Two spools of wire for a dipole.
    • Cables to tie it all together.
    I carried a notebook computer in a backpack, separately from the above pack. Nowadays, I might be tempted to squeeze in a RasPi-based device to the pack, in lieu of a notebook, just to cut down on the weight.

    The Storm case was bright yellow. This makes it look like "work gear," and it also makes sure I won't lose sight of it if it gets piled up in gate-check bags.

    It took some creative re-arrangement to get it all to fit, but it did finally fit. I worked some nice DX from fourth-floor hotel rooms on the weekends. I put a copy of my ham license on top of everything before I closed the lid. That way, when the security theater actors in blue shirts opened up the case after X-raying that pile of stuff, the first thing they saw was an official US federal agency document, seals and all. It made an impression every time, and I sailed through all but one checkpoint. That checkpoint had a retired grandma working the line, and she wanted to make sure to swipe down everything in the box, which took a few minutes. But that was at an airport that doubled as a USAF base, and so they probably saw all kinds of gizmos and trusted nobody.

    I believe the electronics ban is only international flights entering the US. But JLM is right, best to ask ahead of time.
  5. 2E0WMG

    2E0WMG Subscriber QRZ Page

    I use soft 'boxes' made for fishing tackle, like these..

    They come in all different sizes made by different manufactures, I have several and use then to carry my FT-857, another one for the rig face, one for my LDG ATU plus one for the bits and pieces, microphone' power lead etc

    I recently flew to Canada from the UK and had no issues taking it all as carry on through security, they did ask me to show them what I had as it raised an eyebrow on the X-ray machine. As has been suggested carrying a copy of your licence is a good idea. I had a copy of both my UK licence and Canadian licence to hand, but would also suggest a copy of the User Manuals is a good idea. For this I did not carry the paper manual but my iPad was also in the same carry on and I have all my manuals on PDF files if I needed to show them.

    Enjoy your trip, have fun, hope you get some nice contacts..
  6. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    I used to travel with a 857, a 25A radio shack switcher (just a little bigger that the 857), an LDG Z-100 tuner (very small for a 100W tuner), and a 4:1 balun, wire and few miscellaneous things... it all fit in my carry on with room for some clothes to keep everything padded.
  7. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    For airline travel I use an FT-817 inside a DVD carry case. Has a built in protective frame.

    Batteries are built in and I carry a wall wart charger.


    Antenna adapters etc..


    AGM batteries, user manual, log book.


    Setup for use with fold out external speakers

  8. KA7RRA

    KA7RRA Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have heard that TSA is going to make you take out all of your electronics, and send them through the scanner one at a time
  9. KO4LZ

    KO4LZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    My understanding is it only applies to items largely than a smartphone (e.g. you will now have to take out tablets) and that TSA Precheck folks can still leave everything in the bag (same as before).

    That said, I have TSA Precheck and fly regularly. Even before this latest security increase, my FT-817ND would get the TSA's attention every single time it went through the X-ray machine, and would get swabbed down every single time. Even placing it by itself, not in a case, in one of the doggy bowls was still not enough for it to pass through without being checked, even in the Precheck line.

    My theory is that the FT-817 case is just too radio-opaque for them to see inside using their X-ray machines. Have not had the same issue traveling with an Elecraft KX-2.

    Paul, KO4LZ

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