Transit through China with a radio

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by G7NQL, Sep 2, 2017.

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  1. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That a beautiful photo of S/V Discovery in your Bio BJ. Have you done any WA7WJR/MM yet?

    It would be interesting to see some photos from your trip to VietNam, I was there 1965-67 (around Danang & Phu-Bai)

    Steve / W5BIB
  2. WA7WJR

    WA7WJR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks again Steve. She's a great boat, and try to spend lots of time prep'ing her for another transpac in 2 years time. I made a handful of MM contacts this summer, and also worked QRP from British Columbia as /VE7/P a few times. Still trying to work out all the RFI issues on the boat; and will hopefully upgrade to a 756 pro II this winter and get rid of the M-710.

    I spend about 4-5 months a year in Vietnam. This was the first trip to get on the air.
    I am sure Da Nang has changed quite a bit since your days there and will be happy to post some pics and send you the link.

  3. G7NQL

    G7NQL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the update, just goes to show that it'll depend on the person on that day how they interpret the rules.
    Most importantly the good outweighed the not so good. Loosing a gel cell isn't so bad. I assume they let you leave that behind and take the rest onboard ?
  4. WA7WJR

    WA7WJR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, it very much depends on the person at the time and how they individually interpret the rules. I have since checked with Delta, Korean Air indicated it is not a problem. I am also checking with other airlines that fly this route and airports I might transit for confirmation.

    Yes, I only lost the battery. They had no issue with the radio (although they really didn't have a clue as to what it was).
  5. G7NQL

    G7NQL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, I've arrived in HKG via Beijing.

    Asked me to take out all my radio gear when going through transit in Beijing. Confiscated an unmarked li-ion usb charger, the marked ones were ok (marked with capacity), though it was obvious it wasn't particularly high capacity. Examined my 40/20/10 EFHW, KX3 didn't attract much attention.

    No problems at HKG. Laptops, ipads, phones no issues as expected. Looking forward to some radio work. Predicted band conditions look poor, but I'll have a go. Got PSK31 via HRD, may have a go at FT8 too if WSJTX plays ball.
  6. GM3ZMA

    GM3ZMA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Was this one of those things with an internal battery, the people use to charge smart phones etc?

    Glad that you got there with no big problems, have a nice time.

    Jim GM3ZMA
  7. G7NQL

    G7NQL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, has a single 18650 cell, current limiters, usb connectors and a case. Nothing really that standsout, except the capacity wasn't marked. I had 2 others, with the capacity marked, they were fine. They must've been issued an edict on li-ion capacity and anything unmarked is considered suspect.
  8. WA7WJR

    WA7WJR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I will issue an update on my recent experiences.

    I removed the SLA battery from my K2 and had no problem transiting US airports with the battery in my carry on kit; although they did the swipe test.

    Korea seems to be hit or miss. Once they simply had me remove it from the kit, looked at it and said, "OK." A second time it was examined more closely...lots of discussion, some questions, and a final OK.

    First time through Vietnam I was questioned about the battery when it was installed and told it had to be less than 100 watts power. However, this time they were adamant that no SLA batteries were allowed. What was funny was it was the same official; and he even remembered me. (The good part of this story is he offered to keep them (I had one in checked baggage also which they removed) until my return, but I'm sure it will come with a price...maybe a good bottle of scotch....which isn't really a bad deal for building connections in Vietnam.)

    LONG STORY SHORT - at least in Asia...travelling with batteries can be a hit or miss experience. At the very least make sure agents can see the battery, and also make sure the battery and accessories are clearly marked.
  9. G7NQL

    G7NQL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Had a good time in Hong Kong, had issues with RF feedback affecting the external soundcard I was using, so I resorted to using a mic headset picking up the FT8 audio ! It worked, got 16 FT8 QSOs. Greyline reception brought in USA, S.America, Mid East, Europe etc, but with 5W and a compromise antenna, the senders couldn't hear me.

    No ssb contacts, though I could receive ssb from Australia, China, Phillipines, Japan etc.

    Met up with very nice fellow hams, VR2XYL and VR2XMT with their very impressive shack and antenna system.

    Got back in the UK with all my kit, less the li-ion powerbanks. My radio and baluns etc did attract attention, but where fine after a second pass through the xray machine.

    Next time ? I'll make sure I check all my equipment first and take more ferrites and clamps with me. Also a more effective antenna would be top of my list. The KX3 worked well under the circumstances, perhaps a little more power would not go amiss, but then it'll be much heavier and have more power requirements.
  10. K4AGO

    K4AGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    If the airport is in china, you are in China. The only way to be on US soil in China or any other foreign country is to be in the American Embassy. Otherwise you are in China. There is no "technically" about it. Staying in the secure area does not mean you are not in China. Radios are used in airports all the time. But, that does not mean that in a country like China you wont be arrested for using a radio in the airport. Being arrested will cause you to miss your connecting flight even if you are eventually released. I personally don't think it is worth the risk. But, you decide what you want to risk. I was Regional Manager of Properties and Facilities with two major US Airlines. Retired now after thousands of flights to and from approximately 150 airports, so this is the voice of experience. Avionics and ham radios are a bad mix in very close proximity.

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