The multiple reports of Bencher paddles being examined by customs and
security people is no surprise to me. I had one attract the interest of
inspectors at the Toronto airport back in about 1980.
However, if you are still lugging a Bencher around the world, I'd recommend
you look into a K9LU Bulldog paddle. I began using one for mobile contesting
a few years ago, to avoid the potential problems of a Bencher flying around
in case of an accident. It is much smaller, lighter, and for use as an
auxiliary way of sending CW where a computer does most of the work, it does
fine. It weighs a couple of ounces, and packs quite nicely into a generic
prescription drug container. In that packaging it won't fool an X-ray machine
but would probably not attract attention of human screeners.
I use the version with a magnetic base. There is also one with a suction
base. That may be somewhat larger, but is still far smaller and lighter than a
I highly recommend the Bulldog paddle for traveling.
73 - Jim K8MR
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