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Author Topic: Copthorne MacDonald, VE1BFL  (Read 29500 times)
DA2KI
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« on: January 07, 2009, 08:57:41 AM »

Whatever became of Copthorne MacDonald, VE1BFL?  He wrote an amateur radio related column entitled, "New Directions Radio" in the "Mother Earth News" magazine back in the 1970's and 1980's.  In his column's by-line he claimed to be the inventor of Slow Scan Television (SSTV).  While his old articles are archived and available on the Mother Earth News website, I cannot find any recent mention of where he is today and what he is doing.  Thanks!
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VA3PKH
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2009, 03:34:49 AM »

The Canadian Callsign Database shows:

VY2CM
Copthorne Macdonald
PO BOX 2941
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE C1A 8C5
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DA2KI
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2009, 12:41:42 PM »

Thank you for the updated call sign information!

I used a Canadian call sign web site, http://www.rac.ca/callbook/, but it apparently is only for current call signs.  Everytime I entered "VE1BFL" or "Copthorne MacDonald" the only response I received was "nothing found".  I was looking for a web site like "Vanity HQ" that will automatically cross reference an old call sign to the current replacement call sign.  What database did you use?
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VA3PKH
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2009, 05:21:40 PM »

Hi
I used the RAC Database, but you can only enter a surname "Mac Donald", you then have to read them all to find Copthorne
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K5FNI
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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2010, 10:46:47 PM »

I recall "New Directions Radio" roundtable discussions on HF, where folks in "progressive" social situations in communes, as well as midwives in rural areas, were able to swap information about what solutions worked best in their situations. I'm pretty certain the discussions came from the columns as a starter. As an excuse if I'm wrong, I'll posit: I've slept since then.  Wink

73,
Rick K5FNI
Mathis TX
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K5FNI
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2010, 08:24:02 AM »

Here's a link to mention of his accomplishment:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow-scan_television
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W0BTU
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2010, 10:40:27 PM »

This brings back old memories. I haven't heard of him in many years.
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AK4AV
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« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2010, 08:19:59 AM »

Cop MacDonald remains very active as an author and philosopher:

http://www.copmacdonald.com

"If any dictum has been central to Cop's life, it has been Goethe's advice to 'go and dare before you die.'"
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WO4V
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2010, 02:07:45 PM »

Cop was at the Dayton Hamvention in 2009. I was privileged to meet him at an IVCA forum and hear him speak...and yes, he did "invent" slow scan TV. He did it for a college laboratory project, interestingly enough. He mentioned that he really did not think his idea would work, and was amazed when it did. A fascinating person, and one of the keen intellectuals of the 20th century. It was exciting to get to meet him, as I have been involved with sstv for most of my ham career.

Dave, WO4V
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VY2CM
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2010, 11:01:41 AM »

Hello all.  This is from Cop Macdonald, now VY2CM, his very self.

Many thanks to Benn Kobb AK4AV for alerting me to this page, and thanks for the supportive comments above from a number of you. 

A brief summary.  I'm not currently on the air, but as Benn noted I was at the 2009 Dayton Hamvention where I gave the talk he mentioned and received that year's Technical Excellence Award for the SSTV development work I did some 50+ years ago as an engineering student at the University of Kentucky.  While doing some Googling for Hamvention info I discovered that in 2007 I had been inducted into CQ Magazine's Ham Radio Hall of Fame.  Perhaps CQ, too, had trouble tracking me down, as this was news to me.  If anyone is interested in the details of that initial SSTV system, the Kentucky Engineer article on the subject is online at http://www.copmacdonald.com/KYEngineeerSSTVArticle.pdf.  The QST articles on that first gear appeared in the August and September 1958 issues, and are available online from the ARRL digital archives.

The Mother Earth News column ended in 1983 when the magazine changed hands for the second time. I continued to do much writing after that.  A lot of it dealt with energy conservation and energy alternatives --- some examples at http://www.wisdompage.com/SEUhtmDOCS/conservation.htm.  In the late 1980s I developed an interest in wisdom, and have written three books on aspects of that subject.  Connected with this, in 1995 I started a website called The Wisdom Page to make wisdom-related resources available to people worldwide. It has become quite popular.  Last month the site had 14417 visits by people from 149 countries who viewed or downloaded documents, podcasts, and videos some 36159 times.  And if you Google the word wisdom, http://www.wisdompage.com consistently comes up on the first page of the search returns — out of some 75 million+ pages containing the term.  Anything else you might want to learn about my doings over the years is probably at http://www.wisdompage.com/aboutcop.html.

Best wishes to you all.   Cop
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