Aluminum Macbook on plane

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by domcole, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. domcole macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm flying from the UK to Egypt this year and I will have my Unibody Macbook by then.

    Would it be safe to use it on the plane? Is there a 'Airplane Mode' like on the iPhone 3g?


    Thanks.
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #2
    The rumor that cell phones mess with planes is just that.

    And your laptop doesn't have cell service.

    You're fine.
     
  3. youssefm macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    #3
    hehe i go to egypt every summer =]

    anyway, as long as you have your wifi and bluetooth off there should be no problem, and i dont even think bluetooth affects anything.. also a tip, watch out in egypt cuz the humidity and dust (in the air sort of) can mess up your laptop
     
  4. bobfitz14 macrumors 65816

    bobfitz14

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #4
    wait the whole "airplane mode" and "standalone mode" on cell phones is to be able to use them while on a plane? this is a serious question..
     
  5. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #5
    Yeah. It shuts off the telephony hardware so as not to "interfere" with the plane's workings.
     
  6. pellets007 macrumors 6502a

    pellets007

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    It did for me. The attendant button up top kept lighting up on its own, sending a flight attendant each time. I finally figured that my BlackBerry was on, as soon as I turned it off the button and attendants stopped appearing.:D
     
  7. viperguy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    #7
    Yeah you`re fine.
    I just came from a plane trip and it`s ok to use it while it in air :D
     
  8. bobfitz14 macrumors 65816

    bobfitz14

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #8
    interesting, i knew what the mode did but i never really knew why we (cell phone users) had the option to put it in that mode. learn something new everyday!
     
  9. -Ryan- macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #9
    It is extremely interesting. It seems that it was originally done as a precautionary measure 'in case' it interfered with the plane, but these days it seems that most forward thinking airlines are abandoning the whole 'it might interfere' idea, and just letting customers use their phones on flights.
     
  10. coronel mustard macrumors member

    coronel mustard

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    Location:
    Standish, England
    #10
    A bit off topic but...

    Since you are going to be on a long-haul flight, perhaps you should consider investing in a MagSafe Airline Adapter? That way you can use your macbook for the duration of the flight.

    Just a thought:cool:
     
  11. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #11
    I used to think it was a myth too, then someone pointed out that when cellphones can't find a signal, they hunt at max power. Which is all fine - a single cellphone doesn't put out much.

    But when you have a plane with 600+ cell phones all hunting at max power, (850 on an Airbus A80) it adds up and just might possibly affect some instrumentation.

    Hmm.

    :eek: at the blackberry activating the attendant light. I really think that shouldn't be happening. Summat wrong there.

    (btw some planes now have on-board microcells, allowing the on-board mobile phones to lock on at a lower power output. And you'll pay a lot for any calls routed via the microcell. )
     
  12. Saladinos macrumors 68000

    Saladinos

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #12
    The plane probably had a detector. One above each aisle. Threshold set so only very close sources trigger an alarm.

    Phones don't just happen, you know - the EM spectrum is engineered so things like cellphones bringing down planes is as unlikely as being sucked in to a wormhole.
     
  13. HeadForTheHills macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    #13
    All cellphones will hunt in receive mode until they find a signal : then they attempt to register - it's at this point it starts transmitting (at high power if the base station signal is very weak).
    Pico-cell(s) on the plane can provide a good signal at low power and make use of power control on the cell phone transmitters thus ensuring very low power transmit.

    There would be a lesser danger of a Wi-Fi registration : so to play fair you should turn Wi-Fi off. I don't think power control is part of the Wi-Fi standards yet.
    Of course it would also be illegal to 'Create a Network' using the Wi-Fi on the macbook.
     
  14. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #14
    I doubt it. He said it was his own attendant light. Your theory means a detector for every row. Plus it would be wired to each attendant light. That costs quite a lot. Also the attendants who came seemed clueless as to why it was happening. That wouldnt be the case if they knew there was a detector there. (and the training on health and saftely is quite intensive, with regular refreshers).

    Note I said affect instrumentation, not bring the plane down. If you want to go and annoy the pilot on a plane, be my guest.
     
  15. mbleopard macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    #15
    yea there is something like less than a 1% chance a cell-phone will affect any major instrumentation on a plane
     
  16. fedup flyer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    #16
    No they are not and its an FCC rule not an FAA rule.
    The whole thing cam about because of crash in Switzerland and a cell phone is attributed to interfering with said aircraft's avionics.


    No such device exists on modern airliners.
     
  17. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    #17
    1. They do indeed affect some selected systems quite often. Certainly not enough to be on every flight, but enough to leave the rule in place.

    2. Even if they didn't, would you want to be on a plane where the 100 people around you are all having loud conversations on their phones for the duration of flight?
     
  18. fedup flyer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    #18

    I can tell you that my Iphone caused the autopilot to disconnected on me a few weeks back. Luckily we were at cruise at the time.







    81% of statistics are made up on the spot.
     
  19. herman238 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    #19
    5-6 Hours isn't really long haul, the macbook should last most of the way
     
  20. kp98072 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #20
    Mac Aluminum too big for plane??

    Does anyone know if the 13 or 15" macbook is too big to use in flight? thanks


     
  21. JadedRaverLA macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    #21
    So with 100 cell phones on any given plane, there's nearly a 100% chance that one of them would interfere?

    Really, though, modern phones don't cause any major problems, but some older phones caused issues with select avionics systems, and really, when you're on a plane 36,000 ft in the air, don't you really just want to avoid any "potential" problems?

    More importantly, airlines can charge a fortune for the air-to-ground phones they have on board (for the few passengers who NEED to talk to someone) and keep the rest of us from having to be annoyed by dozens of additional conversations going on while being crammed in coach like cattle on the way to the slaughter.

    As for notebooks, they generally ask that you disable all wireless connectivity (Wifi, bluetooth, wireless mouse dongles, etc) while on board, but that's about it. Tons of people use notebooks in the air... in fact many airlines provide power ports so you don't have to drain your battery.

    And a number of airlines are experimenting with in-air Wifi access, as the 2.4Ghz band doesn't interfere with avionics in any way -- and of course, they can charge you for the privilege. But they disable Skype and other VoIP access as it really is annoying to other passengers
     
  22. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816

    GfulDedFan

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
    #22
    The size of the MacBook and 15" MacBook Pro will fit on most airline trays and it's not until you get into the 17" notebooks that size becomes a problem. That said, I've been on some crowded flights nestled in between a couple of fairly large passengers that made it next to impossible to use a notebook of any size. -GDF
     
  23. coronel mustard macrumors member

    coronel mustard

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    Location:
    Standish, England
    #23
    Well, i suppose it depends what you want to do in that 5-6 hours on your macbook. As we all know- watching a couple of movies is going to drain your battery much quicker than just word processing. Anyway i was just putting it out there in case the op was interested.
     
  24. GrannieSmith macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    City of Medicine
    #24
    I lived in Saudi for three years. Just be sure you blow dust out of your keyboard on a regular basis.

    Unless you're going to be dragging your laptop around on a camel, dust (although the desert grit IS everywhere - and I mean everywhere; you can't escape it) isn't too much of a problem.
     
  25. The Grue macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #25

    Guys,

    While there is certainly a minute chance that the phones could interfere (and it was more of a chance with old-school actual 'cell' phones than with any modern CDMA or GSM cell phone), the actual reason for this ban comes from the FCC, not the FAA. I was talking to the CTO at Qualcomm (original provider of CDMA) about this a few years ago... here's my memory of what he said...

    the issue is that each cell phone, when it connects to a tower, needs to have it's own share of the available spectrum for that type of cell phone temporarily assigned for the duration of the call. I don't remember the exact number, but there are only a few thousand available frequencies that can be used this way. There are obviously more than a few thousand cell phones in most areas, and so the providers put up multiple towers, and reuse frequencies in non adjacent towers. Since a cell phone on the ground has a limited range, it can only connect to nearby towers, and the system doesn't get overloaded, and the ability to reuse valuable bandwidth means the providers can meet everyone's usage needs.

    However, if you are flying over the same area on a plane, your cell phone can hit every tower in the area at once, potentially screwing up communications since your assigned frequency doesn't just hit the tower near you, but may hit one 10 miles away. This also puts an increased load on the system. If every user on each of the 5000+ flights per day in the US left their phones on (assuming they weren't too high for it to matter), this would cause all kinds of bandwidth and interference issues with the cell networks.

    Anyway, not sure if anyone cares, but I thought it was interesting. :cool:
     

Share This Page