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Author Topic: Vintage Ham Radio in famous 'KON-TIKI' documentary  (Read 1328 times)
W8KQE
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Posts: 245




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« on: February 02, 2001, 01:34:50 PM »

Have any of you seen the classic black and white documentary 'Kon-Tiki', now available on DVD (came out in 1951, when it won an Oscar)?  I just saw it for the first time, since I missed it years ago, and it has a few great scenes with ham radio!  There are about 3 scenes where the radio operator on the raft contacts a far off ham with only 7 watts (they mention the power out) from what appears to be an old classic Hallicrafters? set.  It shows how he uses a helium balloon to send a wire up to a decent height, and if you look closely, you can see a 3 element yagi on top of the raft's mast in latter scenes!  There is also another scene where they finally reach a deserted island in Polynesia (after 101 days afloat on this raft), where they use the radio to contact civilization to let them know they made it.  A few days later, when they get transported to yet another island, they use the ham radio to talk to a doctor in L.A. who instructs them on how to operate on a local boy who has a severely infected boil on his head.  In short, ham radio helps save the boy's life.  I found this documentary fascinating in and of itself, but with the added ham radio scenes, it was just awesome to say the least.  This is highly recommended for any ham or adventurist!  All hams should watch this!!!
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K9STH
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2001, 09:51:30 PM »

The receiver that I have seen on the Kon-Tiki clips on TV (i.e. Discovery Channel) is a Hammarlund NC-183D.  Don't know about the transmitter.
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AD8K
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2001, 08:18:51 PM »

Bravo!  I have never seen the flick.  But is did read Thor Heyerdales book and was fascinated by the photos in it.  I will get the video and show it to my ten years old as part of his education.

Two Bravos! and one Jolley Good.

Vic  AD8K
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N1TWY
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2001, 08:25:18 AM »

Read this a long time ago - a pleasant memory indeed.

With 7 watts output power and considering the gent doing the radio work was well-trained ex-military, I wonder if the xmtr wasn't likely a homebrew of some sort? Let's face it, 7W in the HF frequencies wouldn't have been more than a 1 or 2 tube unit - likely rockbound.

More the point, i wonder how they were powering the NC receiver? The manual i just looked at (thank you Web!) said it was an internally-supplied unit capable of being operated @ either 120 or 220 V AC. Wonder if they used the auxiliary socket on the back and fed it off a battery supply w/a vibrator power supply or the like?

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