Getting Your Amateur Radio License

Ham radio expert Cop Macdonald shares information about ham radio events, tips for how to learn morse code and resources to help beginners pass the FCC licensing exam.

| January/February 1974

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    Some of the tools you may find helpful for passing that FCC exam and getting your ham radio license.
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    Cop MacDonald is pioneering new uses for ham radio and its role in creating bridges of communication.
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    Cop's daughter Beth tries out the practice oscillator she built from a kit.
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    Slow scan TV images help ham radio operators convey complex concepts more effectively than speech alone.

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Alternatives-oriented radio amateurs have been finding one another as a result of the recent announcements and articles in MOTHER EARTH NEWS, LIFESTYLE! and elsewhere. We already have some activities going, and we're working to get several others underway.

Another pleasant outcome of New Directions Radio is the number of folks who've written to tell me of their plans to study for ham licenses. For such individuals (maybe you're one of them!) I'll complete, in this column, a review of available instruction material for the code and theory portions of the tests, in the hope that this information will help you get that amateur radio license a little faster.

First, though, let's look at some of the on-the-air ham radio events currently going, and those planned for the future as I write this. (Remember, if you find a friendly ham near you it's possible to get involved with these doings even if you don't have your own license.)

The New Directions Roundtable

The Roundtable, a scheduled on-the-air rap session, has been meeting Sunday afternoons since mid-September 1973.

The focus of our discussions has been on personal growth, and on the problems faced by our country and the world. One meeting was a review of the MIT computer study, The Limits to Growth. We've had several sessions on the energy crisis and alternative sources of energy, and we've talked about what's wrong with the work/job/employment scene today. Wilderness living, astrology and the psychological theories of Abraham Maslow are still other examples of Roundtable topics.

One Sunday we reviewed I'm OK: You're OK and phone-patched a psychologist into the group to answer our questions about transactional analysis. Another Sunday, Jack Miller, editor and publisher of the North Country Anvil (an exciting change-oriented magazine), had a two-hour rap with a conservative newspaperman in Massachusetts, to the enjoyment and enlightenment of a coast-to-coast audience.

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