Ham Nation – "Last Man Standing" – Episode 217, "The Fight" – Behind The Scenes!

Ham Nation - "
    The hit ABC sitcom, "Last Man Standing", starring Tim Allen, has always had a real amateur radio station as part of the set.  In Episode 217, the radios are no longer relegated to set dressing, but are actually used by several cast members, and form a major part of the storyline.  The show's Producer, John Amodeo, NN6JA, has long been trying to get everyone in agreement, from the writers, up to the network, and finally it happened, amateur radio hits the big time.  This video won't tell you what happens, because the show has not aired yet, but it will show you some of what went on behind the scenes to make it all happen.
    For those concerned about such things... all the radios were used on the lowest power settings possible, and transmitted into dummy loads.  The studio is designed to stop RF from getting in, or out. A mobile radio was used to check that no RF got out of the studio.  The dummy loads were placed physically close to each other, allowing each radio station to hear the minute amount of RF that "leaked" from the dummy loads.  The audio heard in the final, on-air version of the show, was a mixture of audio taken from the clean audio recorded on set, audio from the receiving radio, and actual ham radio transmissions.
    I spent 4 days at the studio as a consultant, and then recorded extra audio for the show. I later shot video which was added by CGI into the ham radio scenes.
    Update: 03/16/13  Spoiler Alert!!!
    Now that episode 217, "The Fight" has aired on ABC, I can say more than I could in the video!  Episode 217 sees Ed (Hector Elizondo) using his Yaesu FT-817 inside a hut in the Amazon rainforest, where he has been bonding with a tribe of hunters.  During an earlier ritual, he was stabbed with a fork laced with snake venom.  Ed tries to contact Mike Baxter using ham radio, but instead, Kyle (Christoph Sanders) hears his call, and the two talk about Ed's trip to the Amazon.  Mandy (Molly Ephraim), is in Mike Baxter's basement, looking for her cell phone and laptop, which her parents have hidden from her.  She overhears Kyle's transmission on her dad's IC-7700, and struggles to find out how to talk back to Kyle, turning various equipment on and off, spinning dials, and pushing buttons.  By some miracle, Mandy finds the PTT on the IC-7700, and talks to Kyle and Ed.  Later, Mandy ends up talking to several other ham radio operators, who ultimately help her write a very detailed school paper on World War II, including some personal accounts of what happened at Omaha Beach (which Mandy learns is not in Nebraska).
    Radio Equipment Used:
    Mike Baxter's Basement Set:  IC-7700  Used by Mandy  (TX into a dummy load)
    Mike Baxter's Office Set:  IC-7600 Used by Kyle  (TX into a dummy load)
    Amazon Rainforest Set:  FT-817 Used by Ed  (TX into a dummy load)
    Sound Booth:  IC-7200  Used by 4 voice-over artists  (TX into a dummy load)
    Perms (lighting area):  FT-817  Used to capture audio from other on set radios (random wire, placed close to the dummy loads of the other radios)
    The ALS-5000 was a lighted shell, there was no amplifier equipment inside.
    The Heathkit gear and antenna rotator all belonged to John Amodeo.
    The IC-7700 was on-loan from Icom for the episode, and was returned after shooting.
    One Yaesu FT-817 was owned by John Amodeo, the other was loaned to us by HRO Burbank, and was returned after shooting.
    The FT-7200 belonged to me (actually, a loaner from Icom, it returned home with me!)

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    1. That PO'S me, I loved Tim Allen and the last man standing program. I'm a Detroit boy , and I support Tim Allen and all that he does. Bill N8WAJ .

    2. Oh my gosh I was so totally hyped up and I was so totally excited For the new season of Last Man Standing. Until 8 people told me that they cancelled the show at first I couldn't believe it. I was like no freaking way they would never cancel a great TV series like Last Man Standing yeah right. I thought they were joking but apparently they're not. here we are in October and it's no longer on. I am so used to watching this at 8 on a Friday night. Yes yes yes I know they still play the runs but that's not good enough. I truly do miss the show already. I wish that they would have kept this TV series going. it is and it will always be fantastic. Plus it gotta say I love the theme song right here as well. So since they had cancelled the Last Man Standing TV series right. Now I wonder if Tim Allen is going to be doing a new Santa Claus 4 movie laughing out loud. All seriously though I truly do love the Santa Clause movies that he's done. I'm just saying it would be nice to see a part 4 then do a Santa Claus part 5 movie. Once again I'm just saying I'm just giving some ideas who knows what they would do. Ho ho ho ho

    3. I got to see a live taping(with Nic Jonas as special guest). Was awesome to see how a TV show was made. Sat behind Tims wife and Rick Dees and his son during filming.
      I highly recommend going if in LA.
      Thanks for awesome video