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A tale about homemade electronics, specifically an iPod charger and TSA, Damon writes -

I tell him it is a battery charger for my iPod. He asks if I made it myself, to which I reply that I purchased a kit over the internet. He says that he can’t let me on the plane with it. I explain to him that I have flown with it 4-6 times a month for a year now and nobody has questioned it. He says, “Not on my watch and not with my people.”

He swabs the device and runs it through the calorimeter. Again, no residue.

I ask why it can’t be taken on the plane and he said, “Because it looks like an IED.” Now, I agree it looks suspicious, but the machine found no traces of explosives, and the device wasn’t big enough to do any damage.

…He tells me to sit down and he checks my feet. I was about to make a joke about him giving me more attention than my wife when Donna comes over and sits down next to me. She asks what the thing is, I tell her it’s a battery charger. She asks why I have it, and I begin to explain that the iPod only has about 2 hours of video time, but with the MintyBoost! I can get about 20 hours of video time. I explain that the airport commute and the airplane flight take a few hours…

She interrupts me and says she doesn’t like the look of it. She starts in with the typical, “In these times…” excuse for the concern.

My Encounter with the TSA – Link.

I fly with a lot of electronics and so far nothing like this has happened, but I think it’s worth reading the entire story (he eventually did get on the plane with his gear).

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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