If it Needs Connecting, it Needs an I/O Panel

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I/O panel allows for cable connection in transit casesSomething first-time transit case buyers often overlook is adding an I/O panel for easy cable connection. Without it, the case is little more than a storage box, albeit one providing protection from temperature extremes, dust, humidity and shock impact. Using the equipment inside means either taking it out of the case or running with the case open and cables fed in. Either option negates the purpose of the case. Continue reading

Removable Racks Simplify Equipment Exchange

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Removable racks make for easier cable connections.
The ECS Case Loadmaster® with removable 10U rack

Installing electrical equipment in rack mount cases can challenge the most dexterous technician. The usual procedure is to make the connections at the rear before mounting the unit in the rack. Inevitably though, the cables bunch up behind the equipment, stopping it from sliding into place. A second pair of hands is then needed to gently draw out the cables while at the same time, the hardware is pushed home. Only then, can the securing screws be inserted and tightened.  Then the cables are rearranged, if there’s room to get a hand between case and equipment. Continue reading

Case Color and Internal Temperature

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Color choice affects transit case temperature.
White or light gray cases reflect the most sunlight (Impact Cases)

Leave a transit case in the sun and the interior can get hot enough to kill electronic components.  Inlets and outlets for convection mitigate the problem if the ambient air is cool enough.  But, they may draw in dust and moisture.  Active cooling – thermoelectric or air conditioner – is an alternative but incurs installation, weight and extra costs. Continue reading

Cases That Protect Against EMI: Part 2

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Designed cases to shield electronics from EMI.
Aluminum case attenuates EMI, 8 to 12 GHz.

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) can affect electronics, disrupting timing circuits and corrupting signals. If sufficiently powerful – perhaps a pulse from a nearby radar installation – it can induce damaging voltage surges in wiring. There’s even evidence of EMI damaging the read/write heads of hard drive storage units. Continue reading

Electrical Shielding and Transit Cases: Part 1

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Electronics and EMI shielded cases
EMI Lid Gasket

Modern electronics are very vulnerable to Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), sometimes called Radio Frequency Interference (RFI).  It’s not just lightning strikes, whose destructive potential is well known.  Radar pulses, radio and microwave emissions, cellphones, wireless routers, and the humble microwave oven can affect microprocessor-based systems.  It disturbs timing and corrupts data. Continue reading

Choosing the Right Cooling for Your Application

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Cooling for your application.
Transit case with climate control by CP Cases

Any time you’re buying a case to hold powered-up electrical equipment, cooling should be a top concern. Without it, signals degrade and electronic components are likely to fail. Convective airflow (letting cool air in at the bottom and warm air leave from the top) might be appropriate for low ambient temperature, dust-free conditions. But most applications need a more sophisticated solution. Continue reading

ATA Specification 300 and Service Life Testing

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ATA Specification 300 for shipping case design.
ATA rated flight case.

“ATA Specification 300: Specification for Packaging of Aircraft Supplies” helps airlines manage the cost of shipping delicate and high-value items. It spells out how containers and flight cases should be constructed to protect contents against damage while minimizing weight and volume. It addresses how containers are to be marked and how they should be designed to facilitate loading and unloading. ATA Specification 300 even covers security features to reveal unauthorized access. The goal is, reducing the cost of air transport. Continue reading

Understanding ATA Specifications When Sending Goods by Air

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Protect shipped goods by air while reducing weight.
Containers for a Boeing 747 Dreamliner

Late in 2012 it was reported that American Airlines was replacing its paper flight manuals with iPads. No doubt, iPads are sleeker and take up less space. But, the switch was justified by weight reduction.

Weight is very important to airlines. More fuel is required to move each additional pound through the air. It is one reason they pay close attention to what goes in the hold. Continue reading

Why Use TSA Approved Locks?

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Flying with proper locks for cases protects equipment.
Carrying case with built-in TSA latches

Roughly two thirds of fliers drop off a bag at the check-in desk. A few hours later, some of them will find a note inside from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) explaining why it was necessary to examine the contents. This will happen even if the bag was locked. The TSA is very serious about keeping travelers safe, and they won’t let a lock stop them from doing their job: If it’s in the way, it will be cut off or pried open. Continue reading