Live Free or Die Hard Radios and the 66.6 Frequency Errors

144.300 mhz ICOMWe went to see Bruce Willis’ new movie this weekend, Live Free or Die Hard and the amount of general radio coverage was very interesting in the movie, especially if you are a ham radio operator or SWL (short wave listener). Apparently there is a large amount of radio type coverage in all the movies, being a new ham I just hadn’t looked that closely before. I did make a few observations from the latest and greatest from Die Hard.

There were several “radio” shots throughout the movie, because of the nature of the movie I guess (end of the modern telecommunications world etc.), but most were factually incorrect and some were just facts. ICOM did have a presence in the movie, real or not, they were ICOM-ish looking radio’s and a huge number of HT’s were used by everyone, but they were often referred to as CB’s regardless of the radio used. Not to surprising as I guess everyone that isn’t familiar with ham radio thinks every radio is a CB radio.

At one point Bruce Willis’ character is talking to Warlock, a cyber hack, and he points to (what is called a CB radio) a radio with a taped sticker on it that says Frequency 66.6, and is later used when Willis is in a 18-wheeler type truck. The radio he used to make a call on 66.6 frequency was not a CB, and the radio station he was calling was not either. It did look much like a modern HF or all band ICOM. Of course the frequency 66.6000 is not a CB frequency. According to the FCC, it is a public TV broadcast frequency (54.000-72.000 – Broadcast TV (channels 2-4) (6 MHz steps – FMw), and the Citizens Band frequency range is 26.965-27.405 (the 11 meter band).

Another observation was the radio in the NYPD unmarked cruiser was set at 144.330 mhz. This frequency is obviously a 2 meter ham band frequency, which falls in the sub-plan of 144.300-144.500, assigned to new OSCAR subband (the satellite repeater links). Apparently there are many people out there that watch movies just to report on the errors made thorughout making the movies.  I personally haven’t paid to much attention to that until now when I noticed such a glaring error in the frequency I had to post something about it. I might just have to go watch the others again now.

Homemade 40 Meter CW Pixie Tin Radio

40 Meter CW Ham Radio TinI found this unique build from KC7FYS and I had to post a quick link to it here. 40m Pixie Tin

This 40 Meter CW rig was built out of a Pixie Tin through the help of an old ARRL Handbook. He has some great step by step instructions on how to build the rig, including pictures, and with a little help and just a few supplies it looks like anyone can build their own 40 meter CW pixie tin. Even if you don’t want to build it, it’s worth a look and it is a good read! 73, KI4WLR

I Started a Ham Radio Bookstore Today

Some of you may know that my wife and I sell books. I have always hunted around for many of those great books on ham radio and never found a good spot to find all of them in one place, so I put together a list of books available from amazon on amateur radio. You can search for a specific ISBN or just click on one of the category links on the left side. If you are looking for a hard to find title just let me know, we can probably find it for you. You can find the store located at http://www.ham-radio-books.com.

I have read (or are reading) both of the ARRL manuals on the FCC Amateur Radio License (Technician Class) and the same manual for the General Class and they are both excellent. Another recommended book would be the ARRL Operating Manual for Radio Amateurs. This book is updated each year and has a lot of real good information for amateur radio as a whole.

There are several books on my “list” to buy at some point, including the book shown to the left. The ARRL Antenna Book is a comprehensive ham radio book on building and learning all about antennas and it has gone through years and years of revisions to be a current, and useful book, and you can usually get it used for around $35 USD.

If any of you have read any good books on ham radio please leave a comment below, I would love to hear the other books hams love to read. 73, KI4WLR

Lee County Alabama Repeater List

An updated 2 meter repeater list has been posted now on http://www.islandzephyr.com/ki4wlr/repeaters/ for southern Lee County Alabama.  This is not a complete or comprehensive list, but an ongoing work in progress as I find and program local repeaters in my area.  Some of the tones may need to be updated.  I am also still working on the call signs and exact locations of the towers, if you see anything that needs changing just let me know.  73, KI4WLR

Blazer, Our Beloved Old Basset Hound in Action

We no longer have any human children in the house. However, we do have two dogs that have been with us for almost 14 years. Our Cocker Spaniel, Aubie and our Basset Hound, Blazer. The dogs are very much family to us and are getting up in years now. This, of course, means the beginning of illnesses, injuries and all the issues that come with aging pets. In some ways I think they know how much we care about their well being and sometimes it seems that they like to exploit this for everything it is worth, especially the basset, usually resulting in an extra biscuit, extra special dinner time, etc.

Here is Blazer after his recent surgery to remove a lump of skin cancer from his shoulder. Doesn’t he look like a pathetic thing?

Blazer the Basset

Blazer

Blazer after surgery