Airport X-ray machines/metal detectors and CFast Cards (5 replies)
Anyone know if CFast cards are affected by Airport security x-ray scanners or metal detectors? Is the recorded data safe? Thanks.
I have been sending CFast cards around the world by air since they first came out in the mid 1990’s and have never had any issues with photo images and audio data. The components of these cards are made up mainly of memory chips which are PVC based and are impervious to X-rays etc. The data stored on these chips are energised by a small current built into the cards that protects the images during transit but if the cards are fractured due to bad packing or misuse then the voltage will drain causing the cards to lose the data. The circuitry is unbeleavably tiny so any severe vibration could permanently damage your card and the data lost. X-rays are the least of your troubles.
When you slide your card into your camera you are actually inserting the card into a metal tray which in turn guides the gold contacts onto their respective sockets, some cards have over 50 pins so bending just one pin means that your camera will malfunction. I always despatch my cards in special tin boxes which are sealed. So if there is an accident then they have a good chance of surviving.
Btw. Many years ago I had 10 spools of 400 feet exposed film ‘fogged’ from LA to London so I am double careful about protecting data. Funny enough, only the outer footage on the spools were ‘fogged’ so all was not lost.
Damage and breakage is what you should be worrying about.
Hey Mike - thanks very much for the detailed answer. I'll be taking the precautions you've mentioned. cheers.
This is off topic a bit but does anyone know if polaroid film would be damaged by checked bag X-rays? I have been told because of the foil packaging they are protected? sorry I know its not cards but old fashioned cards if you will....:)
Polaroid film is classed as the same as standard film emulsion and although it may have foil around it, I would not trust it. My 400 ft film was packed in tin cans and X-rays still managed to penetrate to the exposed film inside. The freight agent I used refunded me after much litigation as they confirmed that film would be protected. I suggest you read the small print in their Airway-bill before dispatching. Otherwise, buy some heavyweight cooking foil and wrap it with that. Or put it in your hand baggage. But today, everything has changed and even Polaroid film is probably banned due the chemicals inside the satchet.
Be honest with the Airline or freight agent as they can be extremely helpful when they want to.