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Thread started 01 Aug 2010 (Sunday) 09:33
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In praise of Search-Alert locks on Pelicans

 
tvphotog
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Aug 01, 2010 09:33 |  #1

I bought two Search Alert locks at TamperSeal (external link) for my Pelican 1514 several months ago, even though I carry the Pelican onto the plane...just in case, belts and suspenders.

You never know. I just came back from Europe last night, and in our city of departure in Italy, I was asked by Security to check the bag as it contained my Gitzo 1541, which I was told could be used as a blunt weapon like a cricket bat, for example. I had already checked my luggage, and could not just switch the tripod into a larger bag for checking.

I checked the Pelican. A security agent went through the bag and saw about $8,000 of cameras, lenses, a Hyperdrive and the tripod. He surely realized the value of the equipment, and I suspect could have alerted someone along the baggage line.

I flew through Paris where a made a plane change, and where the bag could also have been tampered with. When I got to New York, I found the Pelican in good condition, but the locks had been jimmied. The dot indicator for TSA entry or intrusion had turned from green to red. Despite deep scratches on the inside of the hasps where a file or other instrument was used, both locks held. Below is a photo of the most damaged of the two locks. The photos were for insurance and investigation purposes to document damage for the airline.

I had to use a bolt cutter to open the bag. No equipment damage.

I don't suspect TamperSeal will replace the locks, but I am certainly going to buy two more. I must remember to pack the tripod in checked luggage from now on. No more risk of losing the checked Pelican or having the case tampered with.

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Jay
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XeNoN81
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Aug 01, 2010 13:04 |  #2

These look a lot more rugged than the Pelican TSA cable locks. I have one on my case cruzer modified 1514. It looks like their cable could be easily cut or forced open. I think I'll order 4 of these to go along with my case cruzer and the 1614 that I have in transit.
Thanks for the info.


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mjww
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Aug 01, 2010 13:12 as a reply to  @ XeNoN81's post |  #3

I'm surprised that the plastic that forms the base of the lock hole did nor break. Glad to hear that you managed to keep everything safe.


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MSIGuy
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Aug 01, 2010 13:13 |  #4

There are so many cooked people working at the airport...


Some cameras, some lenses, plenty of gaffer's tape and beer.

  
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ZCphoto
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Aug 01, 2010 13:14 |  #5
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Last week in NY (Laguardia)I was asked to check my TT Takeoff at the gate (also happened in Houston). This is why I told them to F**K OFF and the bag would fit fine under the seat. Like you I was carrying lots of gear and a Gitzo traveller. I only had the little TT TSA locks on it so if I were in your situation I would have likely lost all of my gear (5D, T2i, 70-200II, 16-35,....ouch).

Do you have any difficulty taking the 1514 onboard? My TT has to be squeezed to fit under the seat in smaller planes (like an Embraer).


Robert
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tvphotog
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Aug 01, 2010 14:33 |  #6

ZCphoto wrote in post #10642084 (external link)
Do you have any difficulty taking the 1514 onboard? My TT has to be squeezed to fit under the seat in smaller planes (like an Embraer).

The 1514 fits overhead. On the smaller planes, if it doesn't fit overhead, they will take it at the gate or the tarmac and I pick it up there on disembarking. Just like a stroller.

mjww wrote in post #10642076 (external link)
I'm surprised that the plastic that forms the base of the lock hole did nor break. Glad to hear that you managed to keep everything safe.

There's nothing made of plastic in the lock, it's all metal.


Jay
Ireland in Word and Image (external link) Jay Ben Images (external link)5D IV | 5DS/R | Powershot S100 | 24-105L | 100-400 IIL | 16-35 f/2.8 IIL | 24 T/S f /3.5L II | 17 T/S f/4L | 50mm f/1.2L | 35mm f/1.4L | 70-200 f/2.8L II | 580 EX II | 600 EX-RT | Feisol 3441T/Markins Q3T lever QR | Gitzo 3542L Markins Qi20 BV-22 | Gitzo 5561T RRS MH-02

  
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keitaro
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Aug 01, 2010 15:02 |  #7

The best type of reviews are the ones that prove that the item works. I am glad that it has kept your gear safe.


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keitaro
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Aug 01, 2010 15:02 |  #8

ZCphoto wrote in post #10642084 (external link)
Last week in NY (Laguardia)I was asked to check my TT Takeoff at the gate (also happened in Houston). This is why I told them to F**K OFF and the bag would fit fine under the seat. Like you I was carrying lots of gear and a Gitzo traveller. I only had the little TT TSA locks on it so if I were in your situation I would have likely lost all of my gear (5D, T2i, 70-200II, 16-35,....ouch).

what did they say once you told them no?

These guys obviously knew that there was something valuable since it was being transported in a pelican case.


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ZCphoto
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Aug 01, 2010 15:03 |  #9
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keitaro wrote in post #10642609 (external link)
what did they say once you told them no?

I was pretty angry so they let me slide.


Robert
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gjman
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Aug 01, 2010 17:08 |  #10

ZCphoto wrote in post #10642084 (external link)
Last week in NY (Laguardia)I was asked to check my TT Takeoff at the gate (also happened in Houston). This is why I told them to F**K OFF and the bag would fit fine under the seat..........

The "at the gate" check is pretty safe since there is no middle man involved. It is taken directly from you and put into the a/c (like the strollers, car seats etc) and RETURNED to you as soon as you get out of the a/c.

It cannot be stolen or tampered with when checked in at the gate. There is no time for it.

OP had to check is baggage in way before the gate and there a LOT of time for the bag to be tampered with.


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DisrupTer911
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Aug 01, 2010 18:06 |  #11

I wouldn't say never, a camera case out of sight for even 1 second can go "missing"


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ZCphoto
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Aug 01, 2010 19:01 |  #12
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DisrupTer911 wrote in post #10643405 (external link)
I wouldn't say never, a camera case out of sight for even 1 second can go "missing"

I agree.


Robert
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Scoobs
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Aug 01, 2010 19:19 |  #13

You should send those photos and a big letter of praise to TamperSeal saying how happy you were that their product worked so well. You might get lucky and get a couple more sent back to you.

Worth a try


:D Stu :D

  
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ZCphoto
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Aug 01, 2010 19:56 |  #14
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gjman wrote in post #10643148 (external link)
The "at the gate" check is pretty safe since there is no middle man involved. It is taken directly from you and put into the a/c (like the strollers, car seats etc) and RETURNED to you as soon as you get out of the a/c.

It cannot be stolen or tampered with when checked in at the gate. There is no time for it.

OP had to check is baggage in way before the gate and there a LOT of time for the bag to be tampered with.

I would think things would be MUCH safer locked in a Pelican when checked at the gate. However, in a soft roller bag with a small lock I'd be a bit more concerned about handling and the possibility of theft. Letting that much money in gear out of your sight is always a risk.


Robert
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tvphotog
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Aug 02, 2010 13:00 |  #15

Scoobs wrote in post #10643703 (external link)
You should send those photos and a big letter of praise to TamperSeal saying how happy you were that their product worked so well. You might get lucky and get a couple more sent back to you.

Worth a try

I already sent the letter to them. Will see if they respond. Even if they don't replace them for me, I'll buy two more.


Jay
Ireland in Word and Image (external link) Jay Ben Images (external link)5D IV | 5DS/R | Powershot S100 | 24-105L | 100-400 IIL | 16-35 f/2.8 IIL | 24 T/S f /3.5L II | 17 T/S f/4L | 50mm f/1.2L | 35mm f/1.4L | 70-200 f/2.8L II | 580 EX II | 600 EX-RT | Feisol 3441T/Markins Q3T lever QR | Gitzo 3542L Markins Qi20 BV-22 | Gitzo 5561T RRS MH-02

  
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In praise of Search-Alert locks on Pelicans
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