When the producers of the popular TV show, “Last Man Standing,” needed an authentic ham radio set-up to use in the show, they turned to Heil Sound’s Amateur Radio Division, helmed by Bob Heil. Now, thanks to the generosity of the show’s star, Tim Allen, props from the show – including some autographed by Mr. Allen – are being offered for sale with all proceeds going to the Red Cross.
The show, about a tradition-minded husband and father of three daughters, starred comedian Tim Allen as Mike Baxter. Episodes from the six-season sitcom dealt with family life as well as his job as marketing director for a large chain of sporting goods stores in the Denver, CO area.
One of Mike’s hobbies in the show was amateur radio and he even had a call sign, KAOXTT. A working ham set up was seen in his home office, and the topic of ham radio came up in shows from time to time, most notably the Thanksgiving 2013 episode.
Producer and ham radio enthusiast John Amodeo explains, “In our first meeting with Tim we discussed that his character, Mike Baxter, would be a ‘man’s man.’ He would be interested in camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, all manner of outdoor sports. Along with those activities “Mike” would also be well versed in the technologies that go along with those activities. In that initial meeting, we learned that Tim was interested in amateur radio and had already visited his local Ham Radio Outlet. We made the decision to include ham radio as a background element.”
An interesting side note to the ham radio angle revolves around the fact that, as it turned out, there were a number of licensed amateurs on the crew, which further pushed the idea of authenticity when it came gear selected for the set.
“It was determined that to make having radio equipment on the show fun for the crew and the ham radio fans, we would make the station on the set functional including installing antennas on the roof of our stage. Our goal was to use real gear instead of the fake props and set dressing you might see on some shows, so we approached a number the manufactures of amateur radio equipment. Among the first companies to support the show was Heil Sound and we have enjoyed a close relationship with Bob & Sarah and the company from the start.”