Friday, July 22, 2011

Two Summer Films Feature Amateur Radio

Amateur radio is prominently (if not accurately) portrayed in two of this summer's major movies, "Mr. Popper's Penguins" and "Super 8." The ARRL Letter reports that two of the main characters in "Mr. Popper's Penguins" communicate using what appears to be ham radio, but use handles instead of callsigns and the 15-meter frequency to which the radio is tuned (21.246 MHz) was not available as a voice frequency to US hams in the years in which the film is supposed to occur. In "Super 8," a ham tells of strange noises on his receiver and sheriff's deputies follow up by decoding the signals and learning vital information. Unfortunately, their "receiver" is a Heathkit Seneca VHF-1, which was actually a transmitter.