[amsat-bb] Off-topic, But Related To Amateur Radio

B J va6bmj at gmail.com
Sat Sep 3 02:06:11 UTC 2016

Amateur radio was part of this week's episode of AMC's "Halt and Catch Fire".

In the opening part, the character Gordon had set up his ham shack in
a closet in his house and he was fiddling with his transceiver.  He
says it was home-brew, but it was really an FT-101B, which I found
rather amusing.  I thought I recognized the radio and, when I looked
closely during the replay of that episode, the model number could be
clearly seen.

I'm sure his on-air manner would have branded him as a lid, unless
such behaviour was permitted 30 years ago when the episode is supposed
to be set.

One thing I found odd was that it sounded like he was operating AM as
I think he was on HF.  I remember when AM was common on those bands
where I grew up but that was during the mid-1960s.  I thought that by
the 1980s, SSB was the main voice mode.

He was having problems making contacts, and his wife suggested that
maybe a lot of hams were possibly on-line.  In the mid-'80s?  I'm not
so sure about that, even though there were dial-in services and
bulletin boards available back then (I was active on a CompuServe
space board at the time).  Even the use of the term "on-line" seems a
bit suspicious, as I don't recall it ever being used in those days.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting that amateur radio was part of
this week's story, despite some questionable details.  Unfortunately,
nothing about satellites.


Bernhard VA6BMJ @ DO33FL

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