Tag Archives: Radios in Movies

“The Spy” dramatizes careless use of covert QRP HF CW transmissions

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ed, who writes:

The new 6-part Netflix series ‘The Spy’ about the Mossad agent Eli Cohen (played by Sacha Baron Cohen) who infiltrated Syrian military intelligence from 1962-1965 dramatizes his careless use of QRP HF CW transmissions in Damascus, which were DF’d to track him down.

SWLing Post readers might find the series interesting, especially segments depicting Mossad’s use of covert QRP HF CW transmissions.

Radio-savvy viewers will find unintended humor in the use of a transistor AM radio circuit board, tiny batteries, and no antenna(!) to send CW messages from Damascus to Israel–and in the comical depiction of a Soviet/Syrian radio HF DF van. You’d think a TV series with star power could’ve found a willing ham or film crew member to lend some basic technical expertise.

Links:

Thanks for sharing, Ed! I’m sure this is a great series. And, yes, I suppose this wouldn’t be the first time the movie industry made an attempt at authenticity but fell just a little short! Since that’s such a key part of the film (no pun intended!), you would think they could have consulted an expert to make the setup authentic while preserving the integrity of the scene.

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Trans-Oceanic spotted in Humphrey Bogart movie

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark Hirst, who writes:

I’m something of a Film Noir fan, so I was pleased to have tracked down “Dead Reckoning” on Amazon recently.

Starring Humphrey Bogart and Lizabeth Scott, Bogart’s character is seen early on in this 1947 film listening to police chatter on his bed side radio.

The police conversation sounds a bit contrived, serving the purpose of advancing the story of course, though I’m wondering if this type of radio could be used this way – I’m sure there are experts who would know.

Please comment if you can answer Mark’s question!

Thanks for sharing, Mark. Like you, I love Film Noir and pretty much anything starring Bogie (or especially Lauren Bacall)!

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Adid spots a Racal receiver in an episode of “White Gold”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Adid, who writes:

I just watched first episode of Netflix’s “White Gold” when out of the blue I saw that rack.

The rack has no significance in that scene (that dates to the 1980’s) may be because it was cut much shorter than in the original script.

The Radio set in the rack looks off, I think it’s a Racal RA17.

Yes, indeed, I believe that’s a Racal RA17 in the rack! Thanks for sharing, Adi!

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Radio in the third season of “Stranger Things”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who writes:

I started to watch season 3 of “Stranger Things”.

In the first chapter, “Dustin” uses a “ham radio” rig to contact his new girlfriend and builts a strange Antenna in the top of a hill. She didn´t answer, but he listens a coded transmission in Russian.

Thank you for sharing, David! Stranger Things certainly has a number of interesting radio references!

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Maarconi Mathaai: A radio-centric teaser trailer

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Nithin George, who shares this teaser trailer of an upcoming Malaysian film called “Maarconi Mathaai“:

Click here to view on YouTube.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t understand the dialog in this trailer, but it certainly appears that Nithin is correct in saying that it’s a “film dedicated to all radio lovers.”

Thanks for sharing this, Nithin!

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Steve spots a Capehart International Radio and mag loop antenna in “Young Sheldon”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Steve Yothment, who writes:

Check out the attached picture. It is from a preview of tonight’s episode of “Young Sheldon.” In it, Sheldon and Dr. Stergis are listening to an antique shortwave radio. I think it is a Capehart International Radio Model 88P66NL.

Also in the preview is an active loop receiving antenna. The show is supposed to be about Sheldon when he was young, back in about 1985. I don’t think active loop antennas were very popular at that time! Maybe they got the timeframe wrong on the use of the antenna. What do you think?

What a catch! I love the flip-up cover on the Capehart although I’m sure in daily use it might have been a bit unhandy. 🙂

Regarding active magnetic loop antennas, like you, I don’t remember them being around much in the mid 80s, although I know the technology was available. I imagine they were used in speciality commercial and military applications. Like you, I’m guessing we didn’t have as many noisy switching power supplies which make them such a necessity these days. I remember happily DXing with my Zenith Transoceanic in the middle of my house in the mid 80s.  Those were certainly the days!

Post Readers: Do you know of any active magnetic loop antennas that were used in homes in the mid 1980s and before?  If so, please comment!

I’ll add this post to our ever growing archive of radios in film!

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Can you identify this radio from the 1992 film, ‘Sneakers’–?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Emilio Ruiz, who writes:

Hi Thomas,

I’m sending you and The SWLing Post readers these screenshots from the cult
movie Sneakers; a great movie about incipient world of hacker security
(phreaking, hacking, cryptography, etc).

In a scene with Robert Redford and Dan Aykroyd, it looks like a radio communications receiver in the background, but i don’t know what brand is.

Could you help for identification?

Great job spotting that radio in the background! Readers: please comment if you can help Emilio identify this rig!

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