Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 1/4/2012 2:02:24 PM EDT
Excerpted from my other post: http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/1240488_ABC__Last_Man_Standing_updated_20120103__Tim_Allen___AR__M1A__CETME__Sako_TRG______and_Ham_Radio.html








Ham Radio in Hollywood: Comedian Tim Allen Stars as Radio Amateur on New TV Show

Tim Allen –– star of Home Improvement, Toy Story, The Santa Clause, Galaxy Quest, just to name a few –– stars in Last Man Standing, an ABC comedy airing at 8 PM (EST) on Tuesday nights. Allen plays Mike Baxter, KA0XTT, a married father of three and the director of marketing at an outdoor sporting goods store in Colorado whose life is dominated by women. While Amateur Radio has not been prominently featured in the first episodes, according to John Amodeo, NN6JA –– the producer of Last Man Standing –– it is a part of the show and an important part of Mike’s character. The episode that will establish Mike as a radio amateur is currently scheduled to air in mid-January.

"Tim’s character Mike is involved in creating the sales strategy for the store, including their catalog and Internet identity,” Amodeo told the ARRL. "The store is like Bass Pro Shops or Cabelas. There is a strong self-sufficiency overtone to Mike’s approach to life. Ham radio fits in the story as a means of emergency communication. It’s not directly featured in the foreground story, but at the moment, it’s a background element on the home set. Once I allow something to be put on the set, there’s a chance the writers will feature it. Now that we have actually established Mike Baxter as KA0XTT, we can do more things featuring Amateur Radio.”

To make Mike a ham, Amodeo needed Mike to have a call sign. So he contacted ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, to help him out. "In film and TV, we create fictitious telephone numbers, addresses and brands,” Amodeo explained. "We do this mostly to avoid being sued by real brands and to avoid complications with advertisers. As a producer and a ham, I was torn between wanting the show to be accurate and needing to keep my studios out of trouble. An accurate and positive portrayal of ham radio on TV would be a good thing.” Many TV shows and movies use telephone numbers with a 555 exchange (such as 555-1212), as that exchange is not valid.

Together with Pitts, and with input from Tim Allen, Amodeo created a call sign for Mike Baxter: KA0XTT. Since the show is set in Colorado, they wanted Mike to have a call sign with a 0 in it. "We wanted a call sign that sounded real, but was not valid,” Amodeo said. "The call sign is a 2×3 format with an X suffix. A call sign in this format is an experimental call sign and is not assignable to a radio amateur except in special circumstances. We especially liked the suffix, as it is a play on Tim’s character from his former show, Home Improvement: ‘ex-Tim Taylor.’”

Amodeo told the ARRL that both his studio (Fox) and ABC were "delighted to have a useable call sign. In the past, TV shows just made up some crazy call or used someone else’s without permission. And because we’ve had so much talk about Amateur Radio here on the show, a few of my production assistants took their Technician exam.” Amodeo applied to be an ARRL Volunteer Examiner so he could help administer the exams. On October 6, Amodeo and two other ARRL VEs administered the Technician exam to seven prospective hams. All seven passed, with two making perfect scores.

Since Mike Baxter is a ham, he needed a shack. So Amodeo and the set designers installed an Amateur Radio station in the corner of Mike’s set office. Allen, as Baxter, uses an ICOM IC-9100 HF/6 meter/2 meter transceiver and an IC-92AD handheld transceiver, both provided to the show courtesy of ICOM America. Amodeo told the ARRL that he has plans to add vintage equipment to the shack in the future. "The radio equipment was originally intended to be used as props and set dressing items,” Amodeo told the ARRL. "But since eight of the show’s staff members are radio amateurs, it didn’t take long before we made the radio equipment ‘practical,’ which is to say, actually capable of making radio calls live from the stage when we’re not shooting.” He said that radios will always be on and lit whenever they are shooting scenes in the office.

Pitts and ARRL News Editor S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, have been working with Amodeo to make sure that Amateur Radio is correctly portrayed in the show. Keane also provided ARRL and Amateur Radio-related materials that are used on the set, such as issues of...




Link Posted: 1/4/2012 2:16:54 PM EDT
I'm pleasantly surprised they made this as realistic as they did.
Link Posted: 1/4/2012 2:30:51 PM EDT
Okay, this is very cool
Link Posted: 1/4/2012 3:38:55 PM EDT
will have to watch for sure!
Link Posted: 1/4/2012 3:42:50 PM EDT
I will watch for sure.
Link Posted: 1/4/2012 8:59:13 PM EDT
Neat.
Link Posted: 1/4/2012 9:54:00 PM EDT


A pleasant surprise.




Link Posted: 1/4/2012 9:57:53 PM EDT
lol they turned the shack into a real shack.... talk about work perks


I kinda want to send a card with listening report after the first episode, 59, 186.000 MHz maybe they will put it in his shack
Link Posted: 1/4/2012 11:53:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tesla120:
lol they turned the shack into a real shack.... talk about work perks


I kinda want to send a card with listening report after the first episode, 59, 186.000 MHz maybe they will put it in his shack

Maybe they could weasel that callsign out of the FCC for a special event station someday.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 12:08:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2012 12:08:52 AM EDT by tesla120]
Tim should have just gotten licensed and used his real call
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 6:25:30 AM EDT
Originally Posted By BigDaddy0004:
I'm pleasantly surprised they made this as realistic as they did.


first thing I thought of






Originally Posted By tesla120:
Tim should have just gotten licensed and used his real call

Would have been cool. Probably did it this way to control copyright.

Link Posted: 1/5/2012 6:51:29 AM EDT
I heard Bob Heil mention this on the Ham Nation a few weeks ago. I think he said he was going to get the Producer on the show.

I noticed the rig in the background in the last episode (top pic).

Cool stuff.
Top Top