Homing Beacon

In Season 1 Episode 4 “Act of Contrition” Helo and Sharon track a homing beacon signal, they previously picked up in the woods, to a restaurant in the heart of Caprica City. They follow the signal in the restaurant to a hidden underground bomb shelter surprisingly stocked with everything they need to survive, including food, water, and the much needed anti-radiation medication.

Everything is too prefect, could this be a trap?

This photo shows Sharon finding the Homing Beacon they have been following hooked up to a bank of car batteries. Note that the homing beacon and the walkie-talkie both have green lights illuminated.

Sharon finding homing beacon, Galactiguise.com

This episode and the following Episode 5 “You can’t go home again” are the only episodes which used the Homing Beacon shortwave radio prop.

Helo holding homing beacon before making breakfast, Galactiguise.com

This prop was almost destined for the dumpster if it weren’t for me finding it in a box of unlabeled discarded radios from the show while taking inventory of the props at the Studio lock up for the BSG Auctions.

The Homing Beacon was made by White Monkey Design for the Prop Department. The following photo was taken of the prop shortly after it was made but before the green led was added.

Homing Beacon made by White Monkey Design, Galactiguise.com

The Homing Beacon is made from a very rare Sony TFM-116L Three Band Transistor Radio from the mid 1960’s. The following photo shows a pristine version of the Sony TFM-116A Radio. The two versions of the radio are essentially the same except the case color. The 116L, the model the prop was made from, was cast in light gray plastic while the 116A model is ivory plastic as seen here.

Homing beacon made from Sony TFM-116, Galactiguise.com

The Sony radio is cleverly Galactiguised with GAK to make it look futuristic yet familiar. The front speaker grill and tuning dial have custom CNC machined aluminium pieces added. The mesh grill from the Sony radio is actually replaced by the CNC piece completely as seen below. A CB mic and vintage cord were added to the radio.

Homing beacon with GAK added, Galactiguise.com

The CB mic is from a Realistic Hand Held Dynamic Microphone model no. 21-1172. The cord of the mic was replaced with a beige four pin style of coiled mic cord and attached to the mic with a modified acorn nut. The male four pin slot was added to the right side of the radio along with the mic clip. Both were attached with allen head screws.

Realistic CB mic used for homing beacon, Galactiguise.com

Most all of the Sony brand and AM-FM markings on the radio were obscured by small overlay plaques.

Homing beacon showing small plaques, Galactiguise.com

The unique double antenna’s on the Sony radio were replaced with GAK.

Homing beacon antenna, Galactiguise.com

The large antenna on the right is from the adjustment thimble and ratchet knob of a micrometer caliper. White Monkey used measuring tools as GAK on many of the props they build. The caliper used was from a discontinued micrometer caliper set made by Cen-tech. The left side antenna is still unidentified.

Caliper used as GAK for beacon, Galactiguise.com