Tag Archives: Radios in Movies

Mike spots the RCA AR-88 in series “Prime Suspect: Tennison”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike Hansgen (K8RAT), who adds the following to our growing archive of radios in film. Mike writes:

Near the end of the current episode of “Prime Suspect: Tennison” [the radio operator mentions] he was listening on “the RCA 88”.

“Tennison” is set around the early ’70’s.

Great catch, Mike (and thanks to Eric WD8RIF for the screen cap).

According to the Crypto Museum:

The AR-88 was a valve-based shortwave general coverage communications receiver, developed and built by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in the early 1940s. Although the receiver was initially intended as the successor to the AR-77 amateur receiver, the outbreak of WWII made it evolve into a professional high-end military-grade receiver for which cost was no object.

The AR-88 is a 14-valve (tube) receiver, which covers a frequency range of 535 kHz to 32 MHz. Unlike the National HRO receiver, which had pluggable coil packs for each frequency band, the AR-88 uses a six-position band selector. A special version of the receiver, the AR-88LF, was suitable for LF and MF, covering 70 to 550 kHz (continuously) and 1.5 to 30 MHz (continuously).

Continue reading at the Crypto Museum online… 

The Crypto Museum photo of the AR-88 jogged my memory…

Last year, I visited the Musée de la Défense Aérienne at the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Bagotville (a museum I wholeheartedly recommend, by the way).

I snapped this shot of this display:

I’m sure I actually have a close up of this receiver somewhere. It also appears to be an RCA AR-88 based on dial and control configuration, though I certainly could be wrong.

Do any SWLing Post readers have an AR-88? Please comment!

Radios in Games: This War of Mine

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Aaron Kuhn, who writes:

Another “Radio in Popular Culture” tidbit for you since they seem so popular:

2014 war survival game “This War of Mine“, released on multiple platforms, features a simulated shortwave radio you can build and use as part of the game.

After building the radio from components/parts you find, it allows you to use the radio on a daily basis to gather intelligence about what’s going on out in the streets around you.

This video capture I took shows what in-game tuning of this “Rad” brand radio looks like:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Thank you Aaron. How very cool! I wonder if this is where The Man in the High Castle got the idea for the virtual resistance radio.

Radios spotted in the Netflix movie “Spectral”

Last week, I watched the Netflix movie, Spectral, and couldn’t help but notice a couple of radios on set.

I spotted the first rig at the beginning of the film while the camera was panning a military communications center. It’s a dark screen shot, but I believe this may be a Kenwood TS-940S:

Click to enlarge.

The second radio appeared to be a 1950s-60s era Grundig tabletop. Perhaps someone can identify the model?

Click to enlarge

I’ve noticed that many of the radios we’ve spotted in film and TV lately have been in Netflix original productions. I assume the art/set designers appreciate the radio aesthetic. I certainly do!

The Yaesu FRG-7700 in TV series iZombie

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark Hirst, who adds the following to our growing archive of radios in film.

Mark writes:

Another radio spotted in a TV show, this time in the Netflix show iZombie.

Having been gifted a Yaesu FRG-7700 recently, it was an easy spot.

Click to enlarge

This FRG-7700 appears to be a ‘special’ model however, with a microphone plugged into the headphone socket and able to act as a transceiver!!

You have sharp eyes, Mark! Yes, indeed, it looks like they’ve turned that ‘7700 into a transceiver by plugging a mic into the headphone jack.  Now why didn’t we think of that?!? 🙂

Thanks again for sharing!

More radios in the movies: James Bond “Dr. No” (1962)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bruce Fisher, who adds the following to our growing archive of radios in film. Bruce writes:

Here are three shots from the first few minutes of the 1962 James Bond
film “Dr. No”:

The second shot is a close up of the radio in the first shot. (These appear at about 4:30)

I suppose the last shot is from the BBC Monitoring Station? (about 5:30).

Thanks for sharing these screen shots, Bruce!

That looks like a K.W. Vanguard amateur transmitter in the first two photos, of course, but I can’t determine what the receiver is on the right. Can someone identify?