[CQ-Contest] Contesters detained?- DXpeditioner curse

Robert Naumann n5nj at att.net
Fri Apr 2 11:26:53 EST 1999


You make a good point.

This should serve as a warning to those travelling with their radios to make
yourselves look as much like a tourist and have your luggage look as
"normal" as possible.

I recently came through customs in Miami with my TS850 "hidden" inside my
wheeled carry on bag and had no problem whatsoever.  In contrast,
previously, when transporting a radio (a 940) in it's original cardboard
box, I was stopped and had to open everything I had and let the customs
folks talk it over and I almost missed my connecting flight back to Dallas.

The issue seemed to be that they wanted to know where my money was.  I only
had about $50 cash on me and these particular customs people didn't know
what ham radio was and with all my sophisticated(?) equipment, they thought
I must have been doing work abroad and should be declaring income.

I could imagine this is where these guys screwed up.  They may have assumed
that customs would know what ham radio is and let them sail through.  Based
on my stressful experience, the opposite is true.

In order to avoid this (and lighten my burden) I traded the 940 for an 850.
An 850 fits inside suitcases that have the extendable handles and can be
wheeled down the aisles in an airplane easily.  There are other radios that
are in this category like the IC751 with the built-in switching supply.
It's too bad that radios that are in the competitive ranks (1000MP, IC775
etc) are bigger than this.  For anyone interested, there was an extensive
discussion of this problem about a year ago or so here on the reflector.

If you travel abroad, watch what happens to people travelling with things in
boxes.  They get opened, inspected, delayed, hassled etc.  It's unfortunate
but I suppose necessary to "protect" us.


Bob N5NJ / V26O

----- Original Message -----
From: <K7bv at aol.com>
To: <cq-contest at contesting.com>
Sent: Friday, April 02, 1999 02:37
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Contesters detained?- DXpeditioner curse

> In a message dated 4/1/99 4:53:55 PM Mountain Standard Time,
> srobbins at usit.net writes:
> <<  The two men were transporting a large quantity of "ham" radio and
> computer equipment at the time of their arrest.  U.S. Customs spokesman
> Robert Faber said circuitry inside one piece of radio equipment had been
> removed and replaced with
>  $374,000 in U.S. currency, computer disks, and computer printouts
> gambling activities >>
> Now this little event ought to make things interesting at the Custom
> around the world for Contest DXpeditioners.  I can't wait to disassembly
> FT1000MP with a Leatherman and pocket knife in front of a grumby Customs
> agent who's own mamma won't love him...
> 73 Dennis K7BV

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