Agent Carter and her Astatic microphone

Agent Carter with Astatic D-104 microphoneWhat do ham-radio operators do when watching TV and movies? Why, we look for ham radios used as props, of course!

In this week’s episode of “Marvel’s Agent Carter” titled “Life of the Party,” Peggy Carter and SSR Chief Sousa monitor an undercover operation from inside a van filled with retro-looking radio equipment – including two Astatic D-104 microphones.

Using those microphones as props actually makes sense: First manufactured in the 1930s, the Astatic “lollipop” microphones were used by the military during World War II and for decades afterwards by hams. They could have been used by Agent Carter, too.

Agent Carter with Heathkit visual-aural signal tracerBut then Peggy reaches to flip a switch on some radio doohickey that’s actually an old piece of Heathkit test equipment – and you’re reminded that this is a TV show based on comic-book characters.

It’s a pretty good show, actually. My XYL and I watch it religiously. For now, it airs Tuesday nights on ABC. You can catch up with it on Hulu or Netflix.

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Builder with Bronx attitude

KN2A cartoon QSL by N2ESTThe operating position of Joe, KN2A, is half radio, half workbench. I’m not sure I did justice to the workbench part, but I made sure his latest radio acquisition — a Heathkit HW-8 — was front-and-center at his operating position. Joe liked it; as he said they say in the Bronx when he saw the finished art, “You the MAN!” Thanks, Joe.

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