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Metal detectors. Tell me about them. Where are they used? What do they look like?


max503
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Most metal detectors can be calibrated as to how sensitive they are, 

 

Some will alert on belt buckles and some will allow a significant amount of metal through. 

 

My post office has them and I've never heard them go off even when there were people carrying packages with a lot of metal in them  Those are there for appearance sake only. 

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On 8/29/2022 at 8:19 AM, max503 said:

Just wondering.  Are they used in places other than airports?  

I was once pulled off to the side and surrounded by security at the airport because I have a plate in my shoulder.  

I don't know anything else about them.

Thanks.

 

Magnetometers are commonly used at airports, courts and high security events such as a Presidential visit or Trump Rally. You basically remove all metal and walk through when the "Mag" operator is ready for you. They will often have a wand device to double check you if you the machine alerts when you pass through.

 

Full body scanners are also used more and more frequently at airports. With these you stand still inside the scanner.

 

A clip from an article touching on magnetometers and sensitivity follows. Back in the old days, before TSA, you could cover keys on your belt or a pocket knife with your hand and pass... if the sensitivity was set low. More than once my fanny pack has passed through image scanning with my pocket knife or Leatherman inside.

 

You also might enjoy this paper...

History of Airport Body Scanners.
 

Quote

 

One study conducted by Basu and colleagues compared patients with various types of implants. They also looked at the metal detector response to individuals with implants and volunteers with metal prosthetics strapped to their bodies. This study found that Richards cannulated screws (a type of hardware used in implant surgery) were the only metallic objects to consistently set off the detectors. Some artificial joints did sound the alarm, most notably Austin Moore prostheses, but others—specifically single joint replacements—did not. The results were similar for the implants and metal prosthetics strapped outside the body.

Travelers’ mixed experiences with metal detectors at airports are due to a number of factors. The sensitivity of metal detectors is based on a scale of 1 to 15 (1 being the least sensitive, 15 being the most sensitive), and the average airport detector is set at five. Some detectors, particularly in high-risk security areas of the world, are set at seven. Detectors set at 10 will be activated by objects with very low metal content, such as coins and jewelry, and thus would create many false alarms and even longer lines at security checkpoints.

Implants with high iron content, such as Austin Moore prostheses, are the most likely to set off the alarms. Newer implants are often made with metals such as titanium and are less likely to set off detectors. These characteristics may also be influenced by outside factors, such as nearby sources of electromagnetic radiation.

 

 

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On 8/29/2022 at 12:23 PM, Bubbacs said:

But your OP says you were pulled and surrounded because of the plate?  Which is it?  Or did they not tell you why and just surrounded you to chat?

Good question.  I assumed it was because of my plate.  This woman said, "sir, please step aside".  Then there were a couple gorillas on each side of me.  She wanded me and I told them about my plate.  Then they let me go.

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Could of been your socks.

 

Sounds stupid, but when I went through the detector at the airport, t-shirt, shorts, socks rolled down, and got pulled to the side after the scan. They wanted to know what was in my socks. I said my foot. They didn't like that answer, but it was the truth. I had to take my sock off so they could see nothing was in it. Then I got to go on. 

 

I never try to figure out this world class security that we have at airports. 🙄

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On 8/30/2022 at 6:41 AM, bmyers said:

Could of been your socks.

 

Sounds stupid, but when I went through the detector at the airport, t-shirt, shorts, socks rolled down, and got pulled to the side after the scan. They wanted to know what was in my socks. I said my foot. They didn't like that answer, but it was the truth. I had to take my sock off so they could see nothing was in it. Then I got to go on. 

 

I never try to figure out this world class security that we have at airports. 🙄

Have you not smelled some of the socks at the airports?  Some could be classified as lethal weapons.  Assault Socks!

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On 8/30/2022 at 7:41 AM, bmyers said:

...

Sounds stupid, but when I went through the detector at the airport, t-shirt, shorts, socks rolled down, and got pulled to the side after the scan. They wanted to know what was in my socks. I said my foot. They didn't like that answer, but it was the truth. I had to take my sock off so they could see nothing was in it. Then I got to go on. 

...

 

This is a classic example of why you shouldn't answer questions without a lawyer, although TSA agents aren't cops, even to tell them the truth, which you think won't incriminate you. They think they already know what the truth is. They ask you questions "to see if you'll lie." When you tell the truth, which is different from their preconceptions, they think you're lying. Only criminals lie, therefore you must be a criminal.

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On 8/30/2022 at 11:45 AM, Talonap said:
On 8/30/2022 at 11:12 AM, Bubbacs said:

Have you not smelled some of the socks at the airports?  Some could be classified as lethal weapons.  Assault Socks!

 

Can't be ... They only have 10 toes.

 

Nobody needs more than one. The government just lets you keep 10 as a compromise.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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 Are they used in places other than airports?  

Increasingly, yes.

 

Most courthouses, sporting events, and even schools.

 

I live in Chicago and have seen them in a couple of more concerning places, including Millenium Park (temporarily, after a couple of high profile shooting incidents there) and last year at the entrance to the Christkindle Market at Wrigley Field.

 

Sadly I think they will become more prevalent in public.

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