Remote Living, the Human Unity Conference, and Ham Radio

In this installment of his regular column, the author discusses the value of ham radio for people in remote living situations and the role ham radio was to play in a July 1981 human unity conference.

| July/August 1981

070 copthorne macdonald - 1980

Copthorne Macdonald, the inventor of slow scan television, understood that ham radio was an indispensable communication medium for people in remote living situations.


New Directions Radio is an international network of radio amateurs concerned with those ways of using ham radio (and related modes of communicating) that promote our own growth as individuals, and which we perceive as helping to create a more aware, more caring, and more responsible human society. We encourage all who share these interests to work with us.   

Remote Living and Ham Radio

I recently received a letter that I'd like to quote in this column. It ought to help erase any lingering doubts folks might have about the compatibility of ham radio and a back-to-the-land lifestyle. It also introduces a subject that I've been wanting to bring up: the 2-meter FM mode of ham communication.

The letter was sent by Jerry Rosman, KA7FTN. He wrote:

"I wonder if most MOTHER EARTH NEWS-type people fully realize how much an FCC amateur radio license can help a family cope with the problems inherent in remote living. Our radio not only makes our `bush' life safer and easier, but also gives us access to a worldwide arena for the exchange of ideas and information as well as a fantastic source of solutions to problems.

"Up here in Washington's North Cascades—in a deserted 1890's gold-mining town—my wife and I and our three youngsters live 26 miles from the nearest phone or powerline, and 14 miles from our 'next-door neighbor'! We're isolated by deep snows, landslides, avalanches, and washouts for five to six months of the year, and we often have to snowmobile 12 miles—one way—just to find the start of the plowed road.

"As you can imagine, then, amateur radio is much more than our hobby. It's our lifeline!

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