Can I ship a Wii through the diplomatic pouch if it gets radiated?
January 19, 2008 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Is it safe to ship electronics through the US diplomatic pouch?

I am able to ship via diplomatic pouch. Is it safe to ship electronics, specifically a Nintendo Wii through it? I am under the impression that some sort of radiation treatment is done to materials in the pouch.
posted by k8t to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd be more worried about the Wii being compatible with TV sets in the country you're shipping it to
posted by matteo at 11:28 AM on January 19, 2008

When you say radiation treatment, I assume that you mean that the pouch is x-rayed... Electronics are not harmed by x-ray machines, that's why you can send your laptop through the x-ray machine at the airport.
posted by lockle at 11:29 AM on January 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

The TVs in Armenia are all from Asia and have component inputs. Would I need to worry beyond that?

The radiation treatment is, apparently, more than x-ray... hoping someone on here has more details.
posted by k8t at 11:39 AM on January 19, 2008

The Wii will be no more sensitive to X-Raying than a DVD player, because on a circuit level that's exactly what a Wii is.

Ditto for any Wii games you'll be shipping, as they are nonstandard (Wii standard) DVD discs.

And to further simplify the above, if you've ever send a CD player through an X-Rayed pouch, or just about any other electronic device successfully, the Wii will be fine.

The one thing I'd be wary about is devices with electromagnetic storage, like floppy discs, tapes, and hard drives. The Wii contains neither of those. All of the Wii's memory is flash, which is just like any other integrated circuit chip.
posted by SlyBevel at 11:42 AM on January 19, 2008

....Saying all this as someone who has disassembled and reassembled many, many Wiis.
posted by SlyBevel at 11:45 AM on January 19, 2008

Not sure which country's pouch your refering to. A cursory glance at the U.S. procedures here didn't turn up any mention of radiation. And it says you can't send magnets so as not to damage magnetic media. So if radiation treatment would damage mahnetic media you'd seem to be clear.
posted by Jahaza at 11:51 AM on January 19, 2008

Duh, you said U.S.
posted by Jahaza at 11:52 AM on January 19, 2008

re: matteo's comment, there is a potential issue of NTSC vs. PAL, not just cabling compatibility. Here is a thread on a guy who did the reverse -- bringing his European Wii to the US, and he ended up needing a NTSC-to-PAL converter.
posted by misterbrandt at 11:54 AM on January 19, 2008

there is a potential issue of NTSC vs. PAL...

For the most part, Wiis don't really care what kind of TV you're outputting to. I play JAP and PAL games on my US Wii, and the only difference I ever see is slightly different picture geometry, like a slightly narrower picture.

In any case, this problem is really one with the TV. Any recent model TV will likely display the Wii's output without any trouble.

The issue I would take caution of is the Wii's three regions...JAP, PAL, and US. A virgin Wii will only play games from the region it matches. The upshot being that if you're sending a US Wii overseas, you'll want to make sure you have some way to get US region games for it.

That's a virgin Wii.

Of course, you could get your Wii chipped and not worry about regions anymore. There are resources here, and you can frequently find a semi-pro modder to do it for you quite cheaply just about anywhere in the world. Just ask around in that forum, and someone's likely to step forward.

There's plenty more to say on this but all of this is pretty off-topic, so I'll wrap it up here.
posted by SlyBevel at 12:14 PM on January 19, 2008

Thanks for the Wii answers as well! I am going to bring US games.
posted by k8t at 12:17 PM on January 19, 2008

I would worry a little bit about it, personally. My friends in Micronesia who got things through the diplomatic pouch joked about the care with which things were transported: i.e. kicked/thrown/etc.

I would make sure that the pouch contents were treated kindly before shipping anything more delicate than a rock.
posted by that girl at 2:00 PM on January 19, 2008

Diplomatic pouch materials are not irradiated. It is probably better to ship by the pouch to armenia than by any other methods. I'll check with my FSO brother for all the facts on the pouch to Armenia for you, he recently finished a our there and can give us the skinny.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:16 PM on January 19, 2008

Ok, here's the word: as long as it fits the size and weight restrictions the "personal pouch" address is probably the best way to get anything to Armenia, with the exception of DHL which would cost the same as a Wii anyway. The personal pouch is not going to get irradiated though it also is not climate controlled (but neither was the Wii's shipping to the US in the fist place).
posted by Pollomacho at 6:48 AM on January 20, 2008

Thanks Pollomacho!
posted by k8t at 6:28 PM on January 24, 2008

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