So this is something I've wanted for a long time, and thanks to an incredibly perceptive gift giver this past holiday season, I finally have. I've been doing a lot of traveling for work, and it's a real pain to pack up all of my tools into a bag where they can get all tangled. Even for small local jobs, I always find myself packing in a hurry and forgetting something critical. I'd really like something that I can grab as I'm running out the door and know that everything I need is inside. Furthermore, I've always wanted to be the guy who slams a briefcase on the table, opens it, and says "I've got this".
So what's the best briefcase for the job? None other than the Zero Haliburton Premium Attache. You might recognize this briefcase from basically every action movie ever. For example:
Mission Impossible 4:
Some episodes of CSI:
A dream I had the other night:
Basically, if you want it to look important, it goes in a Zero Haliburton.
So it's currently 1:33AM on a Wednesday night. I'm leaving for China tomorrow morning, and like I always do, I'm staying up as late as I can to get a head start on jet lag. I didn't have a whole lot of time to prepare my briefcase, but I found some foam to cut out, and set to work making everything fit. I'm not sure what kind of foam it was, but it cut very easily with a razor blade. Unfortunately, it was only about half an inch thick, so I had to do layers which don't always line up quite right.
Here's what I came up with:
Even with zero adhesives, the tool set seems to stay put. I'll have to see what kind of state everything is in once I get it off the luggage carousel in Hong on Kong on Friday. Fortunately, if I need to reshape one of the slots, I've got the tools I need to do that right there!
I'm pretty sure this collection will last me through this coming trip; It might even be overkill. I plan to see what I end up using this time around so I can "trim the fat" and leave some unnecessary/redundant tools out for the next version. Whatever space I clear will probably be filled with some of the following that didn't make it into the first draft:
- Low current adjustable power supply
- Soldering iron (perhaps butane to keep it simple)
- Small SMT parts containers
- Assorted wire
- Waveform generator. Nothing fancy. One of those cheap analog ones.
Once I get it all figured out, I know of a few companies online who will cut custom foam inserts for cases like this, though if I find the right foam, I could probably do it myself with knife like I did this time.
I just really hope customs doesn't think I'm trying to smuggle a million dollars in cash or a pound of cocaine or a nuclear football into the country. That's profiling against badasses.
Update 2/22/13: Contents may have shifted during flight
So unsurprisingly, when I got my case back after my 13 hour flight today, my tools had all bounced out of their spots. I snapped a quick photo in the airport:
Like I said before, the foam is still a first draft, so I anticipated this being a problem. Perhaps more surprising was the outside of the case. Now, I was fully expecting the beautiful brushed aluminum exterior to get scuffed up a bit in transit, but I'm pretty sure these dudes accidentally backed the airplane over it...
I think the last image is the most interesting. What the hell was it that left yellow paint?
While I would have liked the case to stay pristine longer, I'm not too upset about it getting dinged up. If anything, it looks like any respectable Zero Haliburton case should look at the end of a Jerry Bruckheimer film. The damage is just cosmetic, and I suspect it will continue to stand up to abuse in future trips.