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Old December 31st, 2007, 07:11 PM   #46
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Brian, the regulations don't limit the number of spare batteries to just two. The regulations limit the number of spare batteries that are over the 8gm limit to a total of two that have an aggregate weight of no more than twenty five gms.


A carefull reading of the regs does NOT specificy that you are limited to only two spare batteries per device, if the batteries are 8 grams or less in LiOn content.

Thats why I said it was poorly written.

Now, will every TSA employee read it this way??? That's the question.

Yes it is confusing, especially when you compare the tables with the text. Basically, it'll come down to what happens in practise, which could be even more confusing.
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Old December 31st, 2007, 09:30 PM   #47
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Yeah, I agree, it's a cluck-up waiting to happen. I hope we get some quick clarifications soon. Well, with all the political caucausing and primaries, and newscrews criss-crossing the country, perhaps we'll get a quick 'confrontation' and 'ruling' on it!
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Old January 1st, 2008, 12:58 AM   #48
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Richard
That's the problem. Many don't read it carefully and just jump at the number '2'. Even AP's report and its regurgitated versions is guilty of that, setting off more panic. The internet is a great tool, but it's also possible to get bad info easily.
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Old January 1st, 2008, 05:03 AM   #49
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Yeah, I agree, it's a cluck-up waiting to happen. I hope we get some quick clarifications soon. Well, with all the political caucausing and primaries, and newscrews criss-crossing the country, perhaps we'll get a quick 'confrontation' and 'ruling' on it!
In practise, since traditionally many news crews hand carry their camera and you can't check in spare lithium batteries. A set of batteries in their case for the larger cameras would be pretty close to the cabin baggage limits (and many would be too large). So, with current security controls it might come down to a simple choice of deciding if you put the camera in the hold (in a proper case of course). It depends if they regard your Betacam/XDCAM/DVPRO.... kit as a camera or your carry on baggage allowance.

Ah, the joys of travelling with a broadcast camera kit.

The smaller cameras would seem to be able to work around this.
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Old January 1st, 2008, 10:09 AM   #50
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Well, I've got to fly in February for a shoot across country. At this point... I'll check my camera (XL2) in it's pelican case in the hold. I'll take my VL10 On camera light with ONE bp 945 attached, and two spare BP945's. I'm going to give the back up camera(Gl2) to my producer to carryon with one Bp945 and two spares... so I should be good to go. IN THEORY I could carry all eight of my BP945's in my carryon, and LOAD one in my camera in it's case... but again, we're all waiting to see how the TSA actually implements the rules.
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Old January 1st, 2008, 10:56 AM   #51
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Well, I've got to fly in February for a shoot across country. At this point... I'll check my camera (XL2) in it's pelican case in the hold. I'll take my VL10 On camera light with ONE bp 945 attached, and two spare BP945's. I'm going to give the back up camera(Gl2) to my producer to carryon with one Bp945 and two spares... so I should be good to go. IN THEORY I could carry all eight of my BP945's in my carryon, and LOAD one in my camera in it's case... but again, we're all waiting to see how the TSA actually implements the rules.
They seem to be explaining it clearer now.

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...batteries.shtm

Only the larger lithium batteries (which could affect RED if they're lithium) seem to run into problems. Basically they want the spare lithium batteries in the cabin, where any fire can be extinguished, rather than burning in the hold, and the terminals covered to prevent shorting. I expect they'll also want all the other safety paperwork/labels that the manufacturers have been providing.

Knowing how tight they are these days, people will have to be aware of their carry on weight limits.

Again, this seems to be the theory.
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Old January 1st, 2008, 12:20 PM   #52
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All this should create a new market or opportunity (or added fees) for battery rentals, etc.

I also think that a fire proof device may emerge as a consumer option, and if approved by the TSA then we'll all be adding such to our kit and it will be business as usual.

Time will tell when the rules and restrictions of flying become so stringent that we'll be crawling into boxes and fedexing ourselves.. :)
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Old January 1st, 2008, 06:28 PM   #53
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Methinks one of the keys here may be the "covered terminal" requirement. AFAIK, even a regular old 9V battery heats up like the dickens.

So I'm guessing that the explosive results are a result of poor design where batteries short internally, or batteries which become shorted when poorly packed... the former being a manufacturer issue which the TSA cannot really do a single thing about (although it's why I refuse to buy aftermarket batteries)... the latter being a matter of proper care in packing, which the average TSA agent won't know squat about...


All this is probably a result of the old game of "telephone", which oddly resembles the internet in techincal accuracy... someone saw a battery overloaded and exploding and said "that could be bad on an airplane", and through the joys of bureaucracy, passed it up the chain, who then acted on "too many batteries could blow up a plane"... along with fingernail clippers and miscellaneous liquids... and thus a new restriction on the 99.99% of us who are sensible is hatched! To be enforced by guys who probably wouldn't know LiON from a lion (large cat).

Just remember this makes us all safer from ourselves <wink>! Just don't stick your spare batteries in a pile with some extra wire and your spare alarm clock, OK?!


PS - maybe there's an opportunity for "FAA approved battery covers" here? I know the little Canon batteries for the HV20 had covers right with them!
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Old January 1st, 2008, 06:46 PM   #54
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Dave, unfortunately there is truth to this, not just rumors. If you scroll up to my message #18, you will see some scary looking evidence.
You are right, that internal defects are the biggest evil, as they are impossible to detect before it is too late. Recent recalls of the Sony batteries were linked to internal short circuits inside their cells. Every Li-Ion battery sold has protection electronics built in, in order to protect against the overloads and short circuits. It is the internal problem inside a cell that is not protected by electronics.
Placing the batteries in plastic bags or covering plus and minus electrodes with electrical tape is good common sense practice, but it does not address the real problem...
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Old January 1st, 2008, 06:54 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Peter Ferling View Post
All this should create a new market or opportunity (or added fees) for battery rentals, etc.

I also think that a fire proof device may emerge as a consumer option, and if approved by the TSA then we'll all be adding such to our kit and it will be business as usual.
Unfortunately this is not practical. In my recent dealings with UL and other battery experts I asked the same question. The guys were just smiling and shaking their heads - the amount of energy released by a burning Li-Ion battery is so great, there is no way to contain it ...
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Old January 1st, 2008, 07:01 PM   #56
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How does this affect the selling of Lithium Ion Batteries on eBay? Especially the Anton Bauer batteries? Are people going to be breaking the law everytime they box up an Anton Bauer battery and ship it to the auction winner?
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Old January 1st, 2008, 07:09 PM   #57
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It is a good question. Shipping Fedex or UPS, they travel on their own cargo planes. DOT (dept of transportation) in general allows for unregulated shipping of under 100wh batteries. It is the big ones - over 100WH - fall into the special category #9, meaning they must be shipped only in special packaging and be declared.
But what about USPS that uses passenger airplanes for their needs?
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Old January 1st, 2008, 09:29 PM   #58
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How does this affect the selling of Lithium Ion Batteries on eBay? Especially the Anton Bauer batteries? Are people going to be breaking the law everytime they box up an Anton Bauer battery and ship it to the auction winner?
Not if they ship it UPS Ground (which can often be as quick in my experience).
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 06:47 AM   #59
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I have followed this fairly closely and wondered what took the FAA so long to notice. Non-rechargeable Li batteries are even worse in a short in some cases. The fire extinguishers onboard are usually CO2 or ABC, but a Li fire really falls into a class D type extinguisher (with CO2 being the better because of the chilling.) But an unprotected connection shorted on a fully charged battery is bad medicine with Li, and not even a good idea on other batteries. Alkalines get really hot, but usually don't burst into flames. And the flaming laptops are a special case. The battery was contaminated with metal fragments. Those fragments are what eventually caused the material to overheat and catch fire. There were some periods where brands of laptops were banned from air travel because of the risk.

The FAA has banned less risky items in the past. It comes down to a simple rule, when it hits the fan on an airplane, you cannot roll to a stop on the side of the road and get out. And one incident effects hundreds of people in a very spectacular fashion.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 09:29 AM   #60
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Bryan,
The TSA's interpretation of the DOT HazMat Rules is incorrect. I have confirmed this with the DOT Hazardous Materials Information Center (800-467-4922). Checking any SPARE batteries is prohibited. Of course, TSA is charged with enforcing these rules, so a traveler may get away with it, but it would be a violation.

The correct interpretation of the rules is on the DOT's Safe Travel website, which in itself is confusing. Basically, you can check or carry-on a DEVICE with an installed Li-ion battery of up to 25 grams Li content.

Of course, you can carry-on any number of Li-ion batteries of up to 8 grams Li, plus up to two extended life (between 8 and 25 grams Li) batteries provided the two extended life batteries do not exceed an aggregate Li content of 25 grams. All spare batteries must have the contacts protected either in their original packaging, by being taped over, or each in a separate plastic bag.
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