Retired Coast Guard Cmdr. Edmund B. Redington, 80, a former director of the Coast Guard's Radio and Engineering Maintenance School in New London, Conn., and a well-known amateur radio operator, died of cancer Nov. 1 at Bethesda Naval Hospital.

Cmdr. Redington, a Washington resident since 1955, had been treasurer of the Washington Chapter of the Society of Wireless Pioneers, secretary of the Springfield-Annandale Radio Club, and a member of both the Northern Virginia Amateur Radio Council and the Antique Wireless Association. He was a 64-year member and former chairman of the Washington Chapter of the Quarter Century Wireless Association.

Cmdr. Redington was assistant director of the Roanoke Division of the American Radio Relay League and was voted its service award in 1975. He also had been president of the Foundation for Amateur Radio.

He was instrumental in establishing a working amateur radio station in the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of History and Technology in the mid-1970s, and volunteered his time as an on-the-air operator of the station until several months ago. He also lectured on amateur radio history and operations to groups throughout the East.

Cmdr. Redington was born in Troy, Pa., and atedned high school in Waverly, N.Y. He starter operating an amateur station before there was any government regulation of the new fad. In 1915, when the U.S. government began to license the airwaves, he was granted an amateur license. His call sign was W4ZM.

He continued his interest in radio during World War I service in the Navy. He later served in the merchant marine, earned a degree from Union College in Schenectedy, N.Y., and taught school in New York and Pennsylvania. In 1934, he moved to Washington and became an instructor at the Capitol Radio Engineering Institute.

In 1940, he was commissioned in the Coast Guard and assigned to the Radio and Engineering Maintenance School in New London. He remained there until 1949. In 1955, he was assigned to Coast Guard headquarters in Washington and retired two years later.

cmdr. Redington later worked for the Electronic Industries Association in Washington. He retired a second time in 1966.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Helen L., of the home in Springfield; three sons, George F., of Hackensack, N.J., Robert R., of Jackson, N.J., and Edmund Jr., of Ashland, Va.; a daughter, Mary E. Galbraith, of Encino, Calif., a sister, Mary R. Van Voast, of Schenectedy, and 12 grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to either the American Cancer Society or the Foundation for Amateur Radio.