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Old April 10th, 2006, 09:51 AM   #1
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DV Tape in the airport

I am flying to the Dominican Republic to do a doc on the prisons and some medical missionaries. Should I carry on the plane my tapes. If so will the x-ray machine erase them with its magnet or what? How to I handle this? I have never had to fly to shoot somewhere. PLease help.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 10:01 AM   #2
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Dan, I travel all the time, take your tapes with you on the plane. The X-ray machines will not harm them. I have never had a problem in the last 7 years. Enjoy your trip.

Mark
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Old May 1st, 2006, 08:33 AM   #3
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tapes and xrays

Dan, don't know if you already went to DR. While I have never had a specific incident with xrays ruining tape, I do recall coming back from Haiti and Ecuador with a few tapes fogged. Maybe their machines produce a few more MAs or KVs. I'm sure some of our sponsors carry the lead lined film and tape bags.

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Old May 1st, 2006, 03:10 PM   #4
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Rand...

Was wondering if you had those tapes in your carry-on or if it was in your checked luggage? I don't think the hand-carry x-ray machines create much of an electromagnetic field, but I don't know about what happens to checked luggage.

Also, was that DV tape or Betacam? Ever since the days of Hi8 I noticed that it's harder to bulk erase the newer tapes with higher coercivity than it was to bulk erase VHS or Betacam.

Here's a good reason to shoot tapeless, duplicate the data, and send the hard drives via seperate routes! Maybe someday...
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 08:01 AM   #5
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x-ray

Dean, It was in our checked luggage. I don't know how well they maintain those machines in some 3rd world countries, I haven't had any other problems in 15 years. I'm in agreement with you on tapeless: it sure would consolidate and save money.

Best of luck on your shoot!

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Old May 2nd, 2006, 08:23 AM   #6
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Carry-on or checked in, all luggage in the US goes through X-ray now. It also gets sniffed and can be hand inspected.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 02:28 PM   #7
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Rand...

What kind of problems did the tape exhibit after getting zapped? I know what fogged film looks like but hadn't seen tape corrupted by airport scanners -- and hope I never have to.

Thanks.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 05:41 PM   #8
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checked luggage generally gets a much higher dose

also dont forget that in other countries there are different rules and machines

best bet is to use led lines bags or boxes just in case and have them hand inspected

but failing that i would always have them in carry on not checked
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 01:40 AM   #9
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airport continued

Dean, It had darkened transparent to gray transparent patches in the tape. I know that many shooters have traveled around the world with little if any problems, but it has happened. As we discussed earlier and Micheal reiterated, I think its a good idea to carry your film in a lead lined bag. It's also organized and provides added durability.

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Old May 3rd, 2006, 02:03 PM   #10
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Rand...

The scary part is that if it affects magnetic tape, then it'll affect hard drives, too.

Good to know about this. Thanks for the warnings.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 02:15 PM   #11
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I've looked into this as well, and generally you are much better off carrying the tapes in your carry-on bag. The xray dosage for checked baggage is much higher. I used to carry tapes in a lead-lined film bag with my carry-on bag, but several TSA people at busy airports told me that commercial news crews and others never use lead-lined pouches and instead just take their tape through with the carry-on items. If you go with a lead-lined pouch you will almost always trigger a hand inspection of the pouch, sometimes resulting in a re-xray of the tapes without the pouch.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 05:08 PM   #12
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Lead is useless

Just a heads up guys.
Lead stops xrays, does nothing to magnetic fields i.e. it's quite useless putting tapes inside a lead lined packet!
Film is a different matter of course.
However if you're shooting with any digital format I can assure you it's almost impossible to erase the data apart from recording over it. There are bulk tape erasers that'll erase DV but they use an enormous magnetic field. The ones that'll erase BetaSP or VHS in one pass we've found even after 10 or more passes have zero effect on DV, DAT or DB tapes.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 05:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rand Blair
Dean, It had darkened transparent to gray transparent patches in the tape. I know that many shooters have traveled around the world with little if any problems, but it has happened. As we discussed earlier and Micheal reiterated, I think its a good idea to carry your film in a lead lined bag. It's also organized and provides added durability.

Rand




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That sounds more like mechanical trauma of some sort or perhaps a solvent got spilled on it or gave off vapours that attacked the binders holding the coating to the tape substrate - wan't in a suitcase where some cologne leaked by any chance was it? Magnetic tape simply isn't photosensitive as it would have to be to be affected by x-ray radiation. Very intense gamma or neutron radiation might cause the binders to depolymerize but you're talking whopper radiation levels there, more than enough to make anyone working with it unprotected to glow in the dark <grin>.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 09:21 PM   #14
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The discoloration would be a chemical change. I would not suspect x-rays. I would suspect a chemical agent such as someone's cologne or other liquid leaking through or an aerosol. Or the bin was depressurized and not heated with the contents getting near 0 deg F or lower.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 01:50 PM   #15
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x or whayever

Guys, this is getting fun. No cologne on this one. For the record, in the old days I was an aerospace engineer in radiation and yes, magnetic particle feilds. That said, there should be no abberation conected to Magnetic feilds involving x-rays. Dean has a concern about x-rays from airport radiation sources where he is traveling for a shoot. Truth told, most of us have never had any problems with our tape especially hand carried. I have experience with what x-radiated light does to film. (and yes even silver bromide can be affected by magnetism at a significant dose) but we're talking about tape. No problem here with tape or equipment: tape is subjected to unless super- electormagnetic. Dean, you will likely suffer no misfortune if you carry your tape, or even if you check it as most would seemingly agree. I answered you because I did have that experience which may yet remain a mystery, but coming back from a trip where I traveled through Ecuador and Haiti before arriving in Miami 2001 it looked like radiation fog to me. Have a good shoot, science and the rest of us wish you all the best. I love the interest and the knowledge a query generates.

Rand
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