New Directions Radio: On-Air Activities and East and West Coast Radio Roundtables

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Many of us have realized how helpful the cross-fertilization of ideas that would result from such a net might be, but the task of actually establishing the hookup has somehow been kept on a back burner.
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New Directions radio on-air nets and skeds chart.

Copthorne Macdonald is an amateur radio enthusiast, inventor of slow scan television, and founder of New Directions Radio. New Directions Radio article MOTHER EARTH NEWS NO. 77, September/October 1982.

The New Directions Radio column shares the latest on radio activities, including on-air radio activities and east and west coast radio roundtables.

Not long ago, a number of us East Coast NDR folks held our second annual springtime get-together. As was the case last year, we rendezvoused at the Deerfield, New Hampshire fairgrounds . . . scheduling the event for the second Saturday in May so it would coincide with the annual ham radio flea market held at that same site.

Among the NDR gang present were Harry (KA2DRE) and Marty Spelta from Hoosick Falls, New York . . . who brought along a couple of wind generators to display at the flea market. Bill Hanrahan (KA1KF) was there, too, sharing the drive from Plymouth, Massachusetts with a friend . . . and the Maine crew was represented by Lee (KL7IJG) and Linda Branum and Bob (K1PPR) and Avis Robinson.

The flea market proved to be entertaining, but — as a result, I suppose, of the present state of the economy — it seemed that a lot less merchandise changed hands this spring than had in years past. (For example, Marty and Harry gave out a great deal of literature on the 12-volt Winchargers that they market, but didn’t actually sell a single unit.) After spending the better part of the day poking through the tables of electronic gear, our group packed up and caravaned 100 miles North to a shared campsite in the White Mountains. There we enjoyed an evening of good food, wine, and talk . . . and had a chance to make a few decisions concerning future New Directions Radio events.


As a result of those discussions — and of the data gathered through Harry’s NDR questionnaire, described in MOTHER NO. 76 — we’ve made a few changes in our schedule of fall radio activities.

First of all, we plan to launch a more structured — and, we hope, more valuable — East Coast New Directions Roundtable. The net will still meet on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. (eastern time) as was planned . . . but every second week we’ll try to line up a special speaker. During September and October, for example, we hope to hold the following sessions:

SEPTEMBER 13. A former Peace Corps volunteer, long-time specialist in Third World development, and current member of the Volunteers in Technical Assistance staff, Gary Garriott (WA9FMQ) will describe the progress made by VITA since it was founded — by a trio of General Electric engineers — over 20 years ago.

SEPTEMBER 27. Sue McManus will share her experiences in visiting a wide variety of alternative communities.

OCTOBER 11. During this session we’ll be talking with two refugees from El Salvador (Vilna Cardona and Sergio Chavez) and with Art Reddin, the gentleman who helped them find a new home here in Canada. The program should provide a rare opportunity to engage in a headset-to-headset discussion about conditions in that Central American country and about the refugee experience.

OCTOBER 25. Julie Dodd has long been deeply involved with the establishment and operation of a transition house for battered women here on Prince Edward Island. During this roundtable she’ll share her insights into the all-too-widespread phenomenon of domestic violence, which includes both wife battering and child abuse.

Of course, each roundtable will offer plenty of opportunities for discussion and assure that all participants have the chance to question the evening’s resource person. We’ve set up the every-other-week timetable in order to allow the “guest” sessions to be rescheduled, should conflicting commitments or unfavorable radio conditions make that necessary. (I’m sure we’ll find plenty to discuss during the less-structured “speakerless” roundtables, too!)


A second major change in NDR activities will also preview this fall. At present, as many of you know, there’s a weekly sked linking New Directions Radio folks in North America and Europe . . . but as yet there’s none aimed at connecting our continent’s own East and West Coasts! Many of us have realized how helpful the cross-fertilization of ideas that would result from such a net might be, but the task of actually establishing the hookup has somehow been kept on a back burner.

Well, we plan to remedy that situation, starting September 20! The new net will meet on Mondays at 10:00 p.m. eastern time (7:00 p.m. Pacific) on or about 14245 kHz. Because of distance, interference, and “skip” problems, it’s likely that leisurely multi-station roundtable discussions won’t be all that common . . . but this net should allow us at least to touch base with our friends on the far side of NDRth America and share information about what each coast is up to. We also hope that stations in the Midwest and deep South (where there aren’t any NDR nets yet) will check in and contribute their news.


The chart accompanying this column (see the chart in the image gallery) provides a fairly complete schedule of the currently planned New Directions Radio on-air activities. The times given are prevailing clock time in the zone indicated (for example, figure on EDT in the summer and EST in the winter wherever “eastern” is shown).

Cop Macdonald (VE1BFL)
Prince Edward Island

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 that 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. A current schedule of on-the-air activities is included in each issue of the bimonthly New Directions Roundtable Newsletter, published by Art Mourad (WB2POB) as a service to the rest of us. To subscribe, send 25 cents for each issue desired to Art Mourad, Dept. TMEN, Bergenfield, New Jersey.

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