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Author Topic: Radio on TV  (Read 4160 times)
K3NRX
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« on: November 05, 2007, 12:54:18 PM »


Since a thread was started about Radio in the movies, how about radio on TV shows?  The only show I can think of, other than maybe a few cop shows, would have to be "M*A*S*H," where the old Zenith Transoceanic was used frequently in several scenes.  What say you?

Vince P
KA3NRX

P.S. oops, how could I forget "Alf" trying to contact his home planet from that garage ham station too.  

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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2007, 05:38:02 PM »

"ALF" used a Clegg 99'er on the TV show.  I've been on the set and remember asking, "Wouldn't this work better if it was plugged in?"

Recent ham radio mention although not showing any equipment: "The Drew Carey Show" episode where Drew was really, really down and said, "Great.  Now all I need to do is dust off my ham radio and I'll be the biggest loser in the world!"

I thought that was cool.  Not sure who wrote that show, but a ham was probably a contributing writer.

WB2WIK/6
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ONAIR
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2007, 11:45:19 PM »

   Carey seems more like a CBer than a ham.
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N0RZT
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2007, 05:31:24 AM »

There was an episode of MASH in which Radar had several people hold hands to form an antenna (the concluding line was "my aerial just walked away!").  Other than the obvious analogy to doing the same with TV antennas, I didn't think much of it at the time.  In hindsight... unless the station had separate TX & RX antennas, OUCH!

There was another episode of MASH that explicitly mentioned a ham radio operator making a phone patch in the US for them.

73,
Chris
N0RZT/8
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K3NRX
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2007, 05:35:20 AM »

Hey, just thought of another one, if you want to go that CB route.  The Dukes of Hazzard always seemed to be jabbering on their CBs. Sometimes without antennas on the cars!

VP
KA3NRX
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VE3LXL
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2007, 01:45:24 PM »

> Recent ham radio mention although not showing any equipment: "The Drew Carey Show" episode where Drew was really, really down and said, "Great. Now all I need to do is dust off my ham radio and I'll be the biggest loser in the world!"

This isn't cool. It's just another joke using the stereotype that radio amateurs are all a bunch of pimply-faced, sad dorks.
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K5PHW
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2007, 08:04:05 AM »

 Some of us are.
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K4JC
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2007, 12:07:34 PM »

Don't forget that Herman Munster was a ham. As I recall the episode started off with a couple of FCC officials discussing what a wonderful thing it was that another ham radio operator would soon be taking to the airwaves! I believe Herman's call was W6XRL4. Now we just have to figure out how those kids' Channel 14 walkie-talkies ended up on an Amateur band (must have been 10 meters!)  <:-)
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KE3WD
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2007, 08:44:34 PM »

And that Eico CW novice transmitter sitting on the desk in the Sheriff's office on the Andy Griffith Show...

There was a My Three Sons episode where one of 'em was a ham.

Sky King and Penny were always ratchet-jawing on radios, as if the airband was CB or something.

The Outer Limits -- episode "Feasability Study." A bunch of people, and the gated neighborhood they live in, are teleported to a distant planet. Aliens are studying them to see if humans will make a good slave species. Some of the residents take a neighbor's portable generator by force, intending to break into the home of a ham operator (who was fortunately not at home at the time of the mass kidnapping) and try out some of his equipment.

The Twilight Zone --
"Three Leather Jackets." Three guys with motorcycles (who are part of an alien race's advance force about to invade Earth) rent a house in a suburb and set up all sorts of antennas. The neighbor (played by Denver Pyle) speculates that they're hams and makes rude comments about TVI.

"The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street." Suburbanites panic when a strange power outage hits their street, causing them to fight each other out of fear. And the aliens watch from their flying saucer parked on a nearby hill, controlling it all. One of the more rational of the people, played by Claude Akins, turns out to be a ham operator so naturally he's suspected of being in cahoots with the invaders. My thinking was, that kid Tommy did the most to panic everybody.

The Waltons
There was an episode where some folks were in the "radio hobby." They didn't call it ham or amateur radio. They had no explanation for WWII era radio blackout either.

McHale's Navy
"A Da-Da for Christy," episode 72. One of McHale's men wants to talk to his baby at home in the states who is just learning to talk. The guy's wife is at the home of a ham operator. The baby eventually says "da da!" a number of times, leading to the usual exasperation on the part of Captain Binghamton and perplexment on the part of the Japanese listening in. Again no mention of the fact that a ham operating stateside in WWII would have been summarily arrested.

Gilligan's Island
"Quick Before It Sinks", episode 42, first broadcast October 28, 1965. This is the episode where they thought the island was slowly sinking into the ocean. In an effort to make the other castaways think they'll soon be rescued (don't ask why, no plot device had to make sense on this show), the Skipper has Gilligan hide under a table while the Professor contacts him using a phony radio. He refers to Gilligan as a "French Radio Operator" and the Skipper infers that the guy is in a ham shack.

Numerous episodes where the Professor turned that Am-FM radio into a worldwide allband phone transceiver, too. He could do things like that but building a boat somehow was beyond his abilities.

The French Atlantic Affair
This was a 1979 TV miniseries from Aaron Spelling (executive producer). It must have been a pretty forgettable production (like a lot of Spelling's productions, including his daughter Tori) because I can hardly find anything on the Internet concerning it. Telly Savalas was in it, and that's just about all there is. Based on the novel by Ernest Lehman.
The ham radio aspect of it came to my attention when I found an article in QST, August 1977, "The French Atlantic Affair", by Lenore Jensen W6NAZ. The plot called for a ham operator aboard a cruise ship making contact with other hams. In the development of the screenplay they were being careful to use proper amateur radio procedures. One sticking point was the use of authentic callsigns. They decided to use some real ones with the consent of those licensees.

Facts of Life
In an episode from 1980, Molly Ringwald, daughter of Bob Ringwald K6YBV, played one of the girls at a school, providing emergency communications during a storm. She even used her dad's callsign!

Frasier
"Ham Radio." This episode had nothing to do with amateur radio per se, but was a wordplay based on the bunch of buffoons (Frasier Crane, Roz, Bulldog, and other people from the radio station) trying to perform a live old-time dramatic radio program in honor of the station's anniversary. I thought I'd mention it because of the title.
Of course everything went wrong! Hilarious episode.

Thanks to David Bartholomew, AD7DB for all but the first three of the above:

http://www.qsl.net/ad7db/hamsontv.html
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PHO1NL
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2012, 12:44:58 PM »

"the earth dies screaming" with a prominent role of a zenith transoceanic ',one of the last models,Great movie too!
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N7SMI
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2012, 04:38:14 PM »

There was a new episode of "Austin and Allie" on the Disney Channel (don't mock me, I have small children!) just a couple days ago. There was a silly sequence where Allie is singing into a wireless microphone and the frequency for the mic gets changed accidentally. It clearly shows her frantically turning the dial of an Icom 756 Pro with a Samlex power supply on top.

Photo: http://i.imgur.com/sw3bA.jpg
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2012, 05:15:56 PM »

hi,

I liked the "Three Leather Jackets" episode,
it was written by Earl Hamner Jr. and Rod Serling.

Drake & Josh Alien Invasion Season 3, Episode 16, Aired Mar 18, 2006
the guys play a prank on their little sister Megan, played by
Amanda Cosgrove, while she is operating her station.

Last Man Standing, Tim Allen, on ABC.

73 james
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2012, 06:45:47 PM »

Yes, "Last Man Standing" has an executive who is a ham and pushed for all that.  They even reply to QSL cards received via mail.  My own QSL card is above his "operating desk" on the show, thanks only to the fact that the show's costumer is a friend of mine.

I think ham radio was reflected in a great light in many films, though.  In "Independence Day" it was hams who saved the planet, sending Morse Code to befuddle the aliens, who were too advanced to understand it. 

Thankfully lots of hams still work in Hollywood in the industry and they get a shot in now and then.
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AC4RD
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2012, 04:05:17 AM »

This isn't cool. It's just another joke using the stereotype that radio amateurs are all a bunch of pimply-faced, sad dorks.

Darned right!  That IS a stupid and outdated stereotype! 

My skin is starting to clear up at last!          Wink
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K1CJS
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2012, 05:05:04 AM »

Don't forget that Herman Munster was a ham...

Quite a few actresses and actors are.  Oh!  You meant ham operator...  Sorry!   Grin
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