TSA and travelling with batteries

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On 3 Mar 2005 16:47:29 -0800, eawckyegcy@yahoo.com wrote:

>Big Bill wrote:
>
>>
>http://www.tsa.gov/interweb/assetlibrary/Permitted_Prohibited_8_23_2004.pdf
>
>This document says the list is not "all-inclusive". It goes on to say
>that "the screener may also determine that an item on the permitted
>chart is dangerous and therefore may not be brought through the
>security checkpoint." Ergo, the list is operationally useless.
>
>> If batteries were prohibited, wouldn't *all* of them be taken?
>
>They are allowed to make it up as they go along: the regulations
>basically say so.

I can understand, as you say, that hey can ban anything they want to.
But why would they take only a certain number of them, even going so
far as to obviously pick and choose between matched sets?
That makes no sense if it's being done as a safety measure. It would
be all or none.
>
>> I bel;ieve this was a case of someone simply wanting some batteries,
>> and using the position of being a security agent as a cover for the
>> theft.
>
>There are many people who believe this is the basic function of
>government.
>
>> As I wrote earlier, it's happened before.
>
>Yeah, well, but it's also "happened before" that someone has posted a
>bullshit story on USENET to solicit responses etc. What evidence do we
>have in hand to support or reject either hypothesis in this case?

None.

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On Thu, 03 Mar 2005 15:00:41 -0800, nospam <nospam@nospam.invalid>
wrote:

>In article <6dde21pifqs26lmh14dnfas7u46l1pu43h@4ax.com>, Big Bill
><bill@pipping.com> wrote:
>
>> On 2 Mar 2005 08:44:06 -0800, "AlJ" <al_johnson1@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>> >The lady was trained by TSA to do this. It wasn't an issue with
>> >Belize. She explained herself clearly and was apologetic. She said
>> >TSA audits them every 2 months. I really didn't have an issue with
>> >her. The fact that eyebrows weren't raised in the past appears not to
>> >matter. This is a fairly new issue.
>>
>> Why would the TSA have anything to do with this? Doesn't Belize run
>> their own airports? I don't think we let Belize tell us how to run our
>> airports. Was this lady an employee of the TSA?
>> The TSA is a uniquely US organization.
>
>flights bound for the usa need to adhere to the tsa guidelines. so yes,
>the tsa does tell them how to run the show.

Then why not all the batteries?
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Charlie Self wrote:

>> Limiting batteries in carry on to a couple of dozen
>> spread through a couple of bags is probably a good strategy.
>
> But totally ignores the possibility of batteries improperly stowed in
> the belly of the beast. Might they figure that fire in the baggage hold
> from shorted out batteries is less serious than fire in the passenger
> compartment?


The discussion at hand was about batteries confiscated from carry on so that's what I
was addressing in the last line, and if there was any confusion I was referring to
passenger strategy to avoid confiscation rather than airline strategy to prevent
fires. My own experience is that the way I packed them, several dozen batteries in
checked luggage didn't result in any problems, and I can't really envision a likely
scenario in which they are a problem. It might be worth noting that there are also
restrictions on how many matches or butane lighters passengers are allowed to carry,
and you aren't supposed to be carrying Bacardi 151 from the duty-free shop. Of course
if there's going to be a fire, I'm guessing there's a better chance of early
discovery and putting it out if it's in the passenger compartment. From much of what
I've seen, though, I suspect the odds are that a fire is more likely to result from
commercial cargo than stuff that passengers bring, whether checked or carry on.

BTW, I've occasionally found your posts a tad confusing when you quote more than a
single paragraph, since the lack of carats makes it unclear where the quote ends.
Might I suggest that you add some carats the old fashioned way,

<< so that the quoted part is distinct? >>

--
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belief that it was intended as a statement of fact.

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Big Bill writes:

> Then why not all the batteries?

They may be trying to detect batteries rigged as explosive devices.
That would explain breaking up sets. If they randomly sample the
batteries and they are all okay, the rest are probably okay as well.

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On Mon, 07 Mar 2005 21:13:33 +0100, Mxsmanic <mxsmanic@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>Big Bill writes:
>
>> Then why not all the batteries?
>
>They may be trying to detect batteries rigged as explosive devices.
>That would explain breaking up sets. If they randomly sample the
>batteries and they are all okay, the rest are probably okay as well.

This wasn't a sampling, it was a taking.
Sampling can be done on the spot, and if it's not done on the spot,
it's too late when results are in.
This was, as I said earlier, a simple case of an airport employee
supplementing income through reselling items in short supply.

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Sheldon writes:

> You can probably make a key fob out of C4 and nobody would notice, but a
> battery?

Lithium batteries can be made to explode. No danger for other types of
batteries, though.

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On Mon, 07 Mar 2005 21:14:07 +0100, Mxsmanic <mxsmanic@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>Sheldon writes:
>
>> You can probably make a key fob out of C4 and nobody would notice, but a
>> battery?
>
>Lithium batteries can be made to explode. No danger for other types of
>batteries, though.

If this were the reason, why are lithium batteries not banned?

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AlJ writes:

> Batteries not banned. They felt I had too many. Afraid I might hook
> up with the other person with whatever other components might be needed
> to cause problems. Not sure what constitutes too many.

There are two potential misuses of lithium AA batteries: (1) lithium
batteries can be used as explosives under the right conditions (although
commercial AA lithiums have safety mechanisms that normally prevent
explosions); and (2) lithium batteries provide a key ingredient used in
illegal methamphetamine labs.

Ordinary (non-lithium) AA batteries should not present any problem, as
far as I know. I suppose someone might worry about connecting them all
together to set off an explosive device or something. I don't know why
TSA would care about meth labs, but these days the government seems to
care about everything.

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On Mon, 07 Mar 2005 14:35:12 -0700, Big Bill <bill@pipping.com> wrote:

>On Mon, 07 Mar 2005 21:14:07 +0100, Mxsmanic <mxsmanic@hotmail.com>
>wrote:
>
>>Sheldon writes:
>>
>>> You can probably make a key fob out of C4 and nobody would notice, but a
>>> battery?
>>
>>Lithium batteries can be made to explode. No danger for other types of
>>batteries, though.
>
>If this were the reason, why are lithium batteries not banned?

Anything can be made to explode with enough C4. A lithium battery on
it's own is barely enough to wound a cat, let-alone bring down an
aircraft. That's not the point here, the guy was simply collecting
batteries - daylight robbery legitimized by the US government's TSA
badge, it's that simple.

We know that the Government never used to do background checks on
airport security personnel, and if even if they do now - it's
meaningless. The average age of a TSA employee is around 15, so they
haven't had a chance to get an adult criminal record yet.

<g>

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On Mon, 07 Mar 2005 22:14:35 GMT, Owamanga <nomail@hotmail.com> wrote:

>On Mon, 07 Mar 2005 14:35:12 -0700, Big Bill <bill@pipping.com> wrote:
>
>>On Mon, 07 Mar 2005 21:14:07 +0100, Mxsmanic <mxsmanic@hotmail.com>
>>wrote:
>>
>>>Sheldon writes:
>>>
>>>> You can probably make a key fob out of C4 and nobody would notice, but a
>>>> battery?
>>>
>>>Lithium batteries can be made to explode. No danger for other types of
>>>batteries, though.
>>
>>If this were the reason, why are lithium batteries not banned?
>
>Anything can be made to explode with enough C4. A lithium battery on
>it's own is barely enough to wound a cat, let-alone bring down an
>aircraft. That's not the point here, the guy was simply collecting
>batteries - daylight robbery legitimized by the US government's TSA
>badge, it's that simple.

Yes, that's what I'm saying, too.
>
>We know that the Government never used to do background checks on
>airport security personnel, and if even if they do now - it's
>meaningless. The average age of a TSA employee is around 15, so they
>haven't had a chance to get an adult criminal record yet.
>
><g>

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Big Bill writes:

> If this were the reason, why are lithium batteries not banned?

Most types of lithium batteries _are_ banned. However, consumer AA
lithium batteries have overcurrent protection built in, and their design
makes them inherently less likely to explode as well, so they are
allowed.

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On Mon, 07 Mar 2005 23:54:49 +0100, Mxsmanic <mxsmanic@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>Big Bill writes:
>
>> If this were the reason, why are lithium batteries not banned?
>
>Most types of lithium batteries _are_ banned. However, consumer AA
>lithium batteries have overcurrent protection built in, and their design
>makes them inherently less likely to explode as well, so they are
>allowed.

Then why are you trying to tell us the batteries in the OP's post were
taken because the lithium batteries could explode?

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Owamanga writes:

> A lithium battery on it's own is barely enough to wound
> a cat, let-alone bring down an aircraft.

Lithium batteries can behave just like C4.

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On Mon, 07 Mar 2005 23:55:29 +0100, RE: Re: TSA and travelling with
batteries Mxsmanic <mxsmanic@hotmail.com> wrote:

>Owamanga writes:
>
>> A lithium battery on it's own is barely enough to wound
>> a cat, let-alone bring down an aircraft.
>
>Lithium batteries can behave just like C4.

So can water if you confine it in container and heat it enough.

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Big Bill writes:

> Then why are you trying to tell us the batteries in the OP's post were
> taken because the lithium batteries could explode?

I was speculating on possible reasons why the TSA might be interested in
them. The two risks routinely associated with lithium batteries are
explosion and their use in illegal drug manufacture.

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On Tue, 08 Mar 2005 09:10:04 +0100, Mxsmanic <mxsmanic@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>Big Bill writes:
>
>> Then why are you trying to tell us the batteries in the OP's post were
>> taken because the lithium batteries could explode?
>
>I was speculating on possible reasons why the TSA might be interested in
>them. The two risks routinely associated with lithium batteries are
>explosion and their use in illegal drug manufacture.

But that still doesn't explain why only *some* were taken.
If a prospective flyer brought 2 nail clippers, would only one be
taken?
Your explanation, while plausible, doesn't fit the facts, as given by
the OP.
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On Tue, 08 Mar 2005 09:10:04 +0100, Mxsmanic <mxsmanic@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>Big Bill writes:
>
>> Then why are you trying to tell us the batteries in the OP's post were
>> taken because the lithium batteries could explode?
>
>I was speculating on possible reasons why the TSA might be interested in
>them. The two risks routinely associated with lithium batteries are
>explosion and their use in illegal drug manufacture.

So, now the guy was worried that he might set up a meth lab on the
plane?

Jeez..

<g>

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On Tue, 08 Mar 2005 07:54:33 -0600, Vic Dura wrote:
> On Mon, 07 Mar 2005 23:55:29 +0100, Mxsmanic wrote:
>>Owamanga writes:
>>
>>> A lithium battery on it's own is barely enough to wound
>>> a cat, let-alone bring down an aircraft.
>>
>>Lithium batteries can behave just like C4.
>
> So can water if you confine it in container and heat it enough.

Jee-Zuz!
Don't anyone tell The Department Of HomeLand Hysteria that!
 
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Vic Dura writes:

> So can water if you confine it in container and heat it enough.

You don't have to do that with lithium batteries. All you have to do is
short them out.

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Owamanga writes:

> So, now the guy was worried that he might set up a meth lab on the
> plane?
>
> Jeez..

In today's paranoid police state, that wouldn't surprise me.

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