harm from airport scanners?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Bill Johnson, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. Bill Johnson

    Bill Johnson Guest

    Does anyone know what the effect of airport security scanning machines is on
    smartmedia cards, micro hard drives, and other digital camera equipment?

    If there is harm done, is there a way to avoid such scanning?

    Bill
    Bill Johnson, Nov 3, 2003
    #1
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  2. Bill Johnson

    PTRAVEL Guest

    "Bill Johnson" <> wrote in message
    news:1067898972.160732@prawn...
    > Does anyone know what the effect of airport security scanning machines is

    on
    > smartmedia cards, micro hard drives, and other digital camera equipment?
    >
    > If there is harm done, is there a way to avoid such scanning?
    >
    > Bill


    Nope, no harm.

    >
    >
    PTRAVEL, Nov 3, 2003
    #2
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  3. No harm from the equipment. Just don't put it in the checked luggage,
    you have much more to worry about it being stolen or lost than damaged.
    Also checked luggage may go though equipment that is much more powerful and
    does come close to the level that can cause damage.

    --
    Joseph E. Meehan

    26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math


    "Bill Johnson" <> wrote in message
    news:1067898972.160732@prawn...
    > Does anyone know what the effect of airport security scanning machines is

    on
    > smartmedia cards, micro hard drives, and other digital camera equipment?
    >
    > If there is harm done, is there a way to avoid such scanning?
    >
    > Bill
    >
    >
    Joseph Meehan, Nov 3, 2003
    #3
  4. Bill Johnson

    Ron Andrews Guest

    "Joseph Meehan" <> wrote in message
    news:daBpb.4223$...
    > No harm from the equipment. Just don't put it in the checked luggage,
    > you have much more to worry about it being stolen or lost than damaged.
    > Also checked luggage may go though equipment that is much more powerful

    and
    > does come close to the level that can cause damage.
    >
    > --
    > Joseph E. Meehan
    >
    > 26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
    >

    What level of X-ray exposure will damage a digital camera? I know that
    the X-rays for checked luggage are much more powerful and are therefore
    closer to the level that will cause damage, but how close are they? Are they
    50% of the exposure that will cause damage? 10%? 1%? Does anyone know?
    Ron Andrews, Nov 4, 2003
    #4
  5. First I don't know. Second it is not a simple question. The exact
    amount needed for individual devices is likely to be greatly different from
    sample to another and something as simple as the angle of attack would
    likely make a great difference.

    --
    Joseph E. Meehan

    26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math


    "Ron Andrews" <> wrote in message
    news:HjDpb.14$...
    > "Joseph Meehan" <> wrote in message
    > news:daBpb.4223$...
    > > No harm from the equipment. Just don't put it in the checked

    luggage,
    > > you have much more to worry about it being stolen or lost than damaged.
    > > Also checked luggage may go though equipment that is much more powerful

    > and
    > > does come close to the level that can cause damage.
    > >
    > > --
    > > Joseph E. Meehan
    > >
    > > 26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
    > >

    > What level of X-ray exposure will damage a digital camera? I know

    that
    > the X-rays for checked luggage are much more powerful and are therefore
    > closer to the level that will cause damage, but how close are they? Are

    they
    > 50% of the exposure that will cause damage? 10%? 1%? Does anyone know?
    >
    >
    Joseph Meehan, Nov 4, 2003
    #5
  6. Bill Johnson

    JoeT Guest

    It was rumoured that you could erase OTP (one time programmable) memory
    devices wih X-Ray but we never got it to work. My guess is that it would
    take an X-ray dose just short of an Atomic bomb to physically alter the
    chemistry of Flash memory and alter the magnetic patterns of hard drives.
    Won't be a problem at airports since they thrive on humans surviving the
    adventure to come back for another flight. For film the trouble countries
    are in eastern Europe and some of the poorer countries which do not have
    newer equipment.


    "Ron Andrews" <> wrote in message
    news:HjDpb.14$...
    > "Joseph Meehan" <> wrote in message
    > news:daBpb.4223$...
    > > No harm from the equipment. Just don't put it in the checked

    luggage,
    > > you have much more to worry about it being stolen or lost than damaged.
    > > Also checked luggage may go though equipment that is much more powerful

    > and
    > > does come close to the level that can cause damage.
    > >
    > > --
    > > Joseph E. Meehan
    > >
    > > 26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
    > >

    > What level of X-ray exposure will damage a digital camera? I know

    that
    > the X-rays for checked luggage are much more powerful and are therefore
    > closer to the level that will cause damage, but how close are they? Are

    they
    > 50% of the exposure that will cause damage? 10%? 1%? Does anyone know?
    >
    >
    JoeT, Nov 4, 2003
    #6
  7. Bill Johnson

    buck Guest

    In article <7eEpb.32295$>, says...
    > First I don't know. Second it is not a simple question. The exact
    > amount needed for individual devices is likely to be greatly different from
    > sample to another and something as simple as the angle of attack would
    > likely make a great difference.
    >
    >


    I can tell ONE factual story, and others can draw conclusions.

    A friend of mine has an Olympus Digital camera. I dont know what model, I've never seen it.

    Since the infamous "9/11" he has gone to Europe twice, bringing his camera and a small wallet
    full of Smart Media cards.

    While he travels around he and his wife fill up the smart cards with pictures.

    Upon return to the US the smartcards are no longer readable by the camera (he gets "file
    error") message, and they can not be read reliably by card readers hooked up to his computer.

    He didnt erase the cards, he just "sat on" the problem and bought more smart cards. He
    brought this problem to me after the camera repair people told him there was nothing wrong
    with the camera. (he didn't send them the smart cards as they charge BIG BUCKS to retrieve
    the pictures if the camera isnt broken)

    I sat here with a full dozen smart media cards that my system told me were corupt and
    couldn't be read.

    I ran the "Digital Image Recovery" program and got all 900 of his pictures taken all over
    Europe in the last two years. This program is no longer available for free, but is sold
    (under another name that I dont recall) for a reasonable price (around $40 (US)

    Did the Airport Security System diddle his Smartcards??? He seems to think so, and so do I.

    The same smartcards that couldn't bring home images from Europe, brought home images from all
    over the continental US after a long "motor tour" of the country his daughter made this year.
    The smartmedia, Im told, were just plopped into the bottom of her purse after being filled
    with pictures, where some of them lay for 3 months before being brought home.

    The motor tour pictures were readable without the help of the special software.

    You be the judge.


    PS:
    I have the info on the retrieval software somewhere on my desk as I intend to buy it (the
    newer version is a little less "glitchy" than the free version was/is).

    Its easily found by a Google search for ("digital+image+recovery")
    --
    Larry Lynch
    Mystic, Ct.
    buck, Nov 4, 2003
    #7
  8. Bill Johnson

    Enough Guest

    In article <1067898972.160732@prawn>,
    "Bill Johnson" <> wrote:

    > is there a way to avoid such scanning?


    Smuggle your equipment through. It is, apparently, still VERY easy!
    Especially if you have box cutters!

    --
    Enough <>
    Enough, Nov 4, 2003
    #8
  9. buck wrote:
    >
    > I can tell ONE factual story, and others can draw conclusions.
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    > Upon return to the US the smartcards are no longer readable by the camera (he gets "file
    > error") message, and they can not be read reliably by card readers hooked up to his computer.
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    > I ran the "Digital Image Recovery" program and got all 900 of his pictures taken all over
    > Europe in the last two years. This program is no longer available for free, but is sold
    > (under another name that I dont recall) for a reasonable price (around $40 (US)
    >
    > Did the Airport Security System diddle his Smartcards??? He seems to think so, and so do I.


    The fact that "Digital Image Recovery" was able to retrieve the images
    proves that the cards were not physically damaged. Data (image files)
    can become unreadable when the FAT is corrupted, typically by either a
    glitch in the camera firmware or user interference (removing the cards
    before the write is finished).

    -Dave
    Dave Herzstein, Nov 4, 2003
    #9
  10. Bill Johnson

    Guest

    On Tue, 4 Nov 2003 06:27:13 -0500, buck <> wrote:

    >Did the Airport Security System diddle his Smartcards??? He seems to think so, and so do I.
    >
    >The same smartcards that couldn't bring home images from Europe, brought home images from all
    >over the continental US after a long "motor tour" of the country his daughter made this year.
    >The smartmedia, Im told, were just plopped into the bottom of her purse after being filled
    >with pictures, where some of them lay for 3 months before being brought home.
    >


    The fact that Smartmedia have exposed contacts and were just "just
    plopped into the bottom of her purse" might have something to do with
    it. All devices like this are sensitive to static electricity and if,
    as you implied, they were left lying around unprotected for 3 months,
    then I'd be inclined to think that this was the problem and not
    X-rays. It is because of smartmedia's exposed contacts (and
    flimsiness) that I have refused to consider any camera that uses them.
    I don't believe x-rays do any damage to any magnetic or flash card
    media, nor have I experienced it in 6 years of regular travelling
    through airports with such devices.

    Mj
    , Nov 4, 2003
    #10
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