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Customs - need a cover story.

A place to ask general spud cannon related questions.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:36 pm

hubb017 wrote:
The gibberish I was reffering to was

"Allah hu akhbar!!!"


Please note that I am in no way being racist so, mods, please don't hurt me.


No wonder the muslims are pissed off if you insist that their statement that "god is the greatest" is gibberish. Though quite frankly, it is. I studied the origin of Islam at uni briefly, from what I gather it's a religion based on the voices that the prophet Mohammed heard in a cave. This isn't some sort of hidden historical fact, this is what they actually teach. Were he to have been born today, he would have been diagnosed as a borderline schizophrenic.

Admittedly, this doesn't make it any more ridiculous or farcical than any other world religion, but there you go.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:39 pm

Back on topic now guys, this is serious. I don't want to loose $300USD worth of spudgun supplies.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:42 pm

If you really want to get serious and go all-out, write up a project outline for whatever your cover story is, perhaps the braking system thing. Download some graphics of braking system layouts. Couple mathematical calculations for braking power, i.e., how much pressure does the driver need to apply to the brake pedal in order to exert 25 psi of pressure on each pad. Put the stuff in a portfolio and pack it in with the supplies.
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Unread postAuthor: Fnord » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:45 pm

If you really want to get serious and go all-out, write up a project outline for whatever your cover story is, perhaps the braking system thing. Download some graphics of braking system layouts. Couple mathematical calculations for braking power, i.e., how much pressure does the driver need to apply to the brake pedal in order to exert 25 psi of pressure on each pad. Put the stuff in a portfolio and pack it in with the supplies.


Make sure it doesn't look like a bomb diagram :wink:
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Unread postAuthor: Gepard » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:46 pm

Say you need PVC tube/sheet and imperial pipe is the right thickness....

Otherwise won't they just ask you why your not using metric?
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:47 pm

_Fnord wrote:
If you really want to get serious and go all-out, write up a project outline for whatever your cover story is, perhaps the braking system thing. Download some graphics of braking system layouts. Couple mathematical calculations for braking power, i.e., how much pressure does the driver need to apply to the brake pedal in order to exert 25 psi of pressure on each pad. Put the stuff in a portfolio and pack it in with the supplies.


Make sure it doesn't look like a bomb diagram :wink:


I fail to see how one could mistake a braking system for a bomb...
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Unread postAuthor: Pete Zaria » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:55 pm

Honestly, I think the thing here isn't so much selecting a story as making it seem complete. If you have a diagram or two with a bunch of (half fake) research, some complicated-looking math, etc... and you have a well-rehearsed verbal story to give the security personnel (along with your paperwork you prepared), things will go over smoothly.

The other thing I'd consider telling him is something more closely resembling the truth (if you get caught lying to a federal agent... no fun :) ) and tell him that you're building an air cannon for a huge NZ contest, assure him that the parts you have can't do anything whatsoever without being assembled, and that there are no electronics in the suitcase, and I'm pretty sure you'd be fine.

Either way I don't think you have a lot to be worried about, but the #1 thing is stay perfectly calm when explaining it. If you look nervous, red flags will go up.

Peace,
Pete Zaria.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:57 pm

Pete is right, lying outright may be a bad idea. Rather embelish the truth. You're making an organic matter accellerator to... aid in the planting of potato fields...

Hehe.
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Unread postAuthor: Fnord » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:57 pm

I fail to see how one could mistake a braking system for a bomb...


Just when you think they couldn't possibly be that dumb, the idiot scientists will invent some new revolutionary kind of stupid.

But yeah, Pete has it right.
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Unread postAuthor: Gepard » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:57 pm

But if BB guns are banned, I can't see them allowing a 16yo to make an air cannon.......
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Unread postAuthor: Pete Zaria » Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:00 pm

Gepard wrote:But if BB guns are banned, I can't see them allowing a 16yo to make an air cannon.......


Yes but the US customs agent doesn't know that. Won't work on the NZ side, though.

As I said, #1 thing is staying calm - don't appear nervous or worried about his answer, don't seem hyper, just explain yourself in a calm conversational tone (being mindful of your body language, no fiddling with your hands or hands in your pockets, try not to blink a lot, dont shift your weight a lot, etc..., security personnel are trained to look for these things). If you seem calm and you have a complete story, you're going to be fine.

Peace,
Pete Zaria.
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Unread postAuthor: Hubb » Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:04 pm

Pete Zaria wrote:
Gepard wrote:But if BB guns are banned, I can't see them allowing a 16yo to make an air cannon.......


Yes but the US customs agent doesn't know that. Won't work on the NZ side, though.

As I said, #1 thing is staying calm - don't appear nervous or worried about his answer, don't seem hyper, just explain yourself in a calm conversational tone (being mindful of your body language, no fiddling with your hands or hands in your pockets, try not to blink a lot, dont shift your weight a lot, etc..., security personnel are trained to look for these things). If you seem calm and you have a complete story, you're going to be fine.

Peace,
Pete Zaria.


Then, when you make it onto the plane, yell out "Allah hu akhbar!!!" then start running. :D

JK. Go with what Pete's telling you and, again, don't be nervous.

BTW: When you get back home, you know we are all expecting to see a very beautiful design (when you do construct one, would it be American made or NZ made?) and good luck on your trip back.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:25 pm

hubb017 wrote:
Pete Zaria wrote:
Gepard wrote:But if BB guns are banned, I can't see them allowing a 16yo to make an air cannon.......


Yes but the US customs agent doesn't know that. Won't work on the NZ side, though.

As I said, #1 thing is staying calm - don't appear nervous or worried about his answer, don't seem hyper, just explain yourself in a calm conversational tone (being mindful of your body language, no fiddling with your hands or hands in your pockets, try not to blink a lot, dont shift your weight a lot, etc..., security personnel are trained to look for these things). If you seem calm and you have a complete story, you're going to be fine.

Peace,
Pete Zaria.


Then, when you make it onto the plane, yell out "Allah hu akhbar!!!" then start running. :D

JK. Go with what Pete's telling you and, again, don't be nervous.

BTW: When you get back home, you know we are all expecting to see a very beautiful design (when you do construct one, would it be American made or NZ made?) and good luck on your trip back.


Pete, have you done this kind of thing before, lol? As for American or NZ made. I'd say it's like half the things you buy in America: made in China, assembled in America.

Made in America, engineered & assembled in NZ.
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Unread postAuthor: dauphinoise potato » Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:01 pm

I would say you are conducting a pneumatic experiment for science class and pressure rated plumming supplies are a lot cheaper in america.
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It's all a bunch of tree huggin' hippie crap!
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Unread postAuthor: Dornep » Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:19 pm

I would go with Pete's suggestion.. Then tell the NZ customs that your working on a science project and use the story you have already made up. Tell them that the supplies you needed were much cheaper in the US and you couldn't pass up a good deal. :D Pete sounds like he has some experience in this area.. But then if he told us, he would have to kill us.... :P

On a side note... What a crappy fear ridden world we live in when a guy has to fabricate a cover story just so he can pursue his hobby.

Anyway MrCrowley I hope you have enjoyed your stay, and don't run into any problems on your way home. Good Luck
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