Update: This node is now a little creepy when you think of what happened Sept. 11, 2001, seeing that this was originally made Jun 13 2001. If I could get a 6-inch serrated blade through, in my CARRY-ON luggage, then what's stopping a box-cutter from getting through?

A few summers ago I visted a friend who lives in Pennsylvania for two weeks. It was a round trip flight from ATL to BWI and back. Having recently completed Revision B of the WaffleBox, I decided to bring it, along with my electronics scrap box (the significance of this will come later) and a few choice gadgets to keep me from succombing to boredom in the wonderful town of York,PA.

From my experience, airport security is fairly poor. For example, my carry-on luggage contained:

  • One (1) 2500 degree butane lighter with 4oz. fuel capacity (full).
  • One (1) Portable handheld color TV with headphones (those 'air phones' eartubes things just dont cut it.)
  • One (1) Sharpened, 4-point, heavy, stainless steel shiruken *gleam*. (great conversation piece with my seat mate, "They let you come on with THAT?")
  • One (1) Large, analog multimeter.
  • Several (2-5) Screwdrivers of various styles. (this is all still carry-on, folks)
  • One (1) Large Swiss Army knife.
  • One (1) WaffleBox, which has several metal toggle switches, a flashing orange light, several high voltage capacitors, 4 batteries, and it basically looks like a Hollywood bomb...not to mention that at 350v@several amps it could also function as a detonator.
  • My electronics scrap box, which contrains spools of wire, 20 high voltage capacitors (all stacked together) various circuit boards, wires, mercury switches, regular switches, flash bulbs, a soldering iron, speakers, bits of odd shaped metal, and tons of other random electrical objects, all compacted into a relatively small cardboard box.
  • Some clothes. *yawn*

I carried this stuff through both Atlanta and Baltimore's airports, with nary a hitch. It went through X-Ray each time and God only knows what they saw in there. I'm not sure how strict BWI's policies on knives are, but you'd think either Atlanta or Baltimore (or both) would have checked my luggage which was seething with potential destruction. I was let on with a smile, with everything I needed to assemble whatever I wanted on the plane. Just something to think about...especially in the light of the recent rise in terrorism. Those security measures are only as good as the humans behind the screens, you know.