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AA7BQ
10-03-2008, 07:10 PM
Welcome to the forum where ELMERS can offer to help, answer questions, and volunteer to assist newcomers to the hobby.

This forum is open to all registered users, both ham and non-ham so that those seeking to join the worldwide community can find volunteers who are willing to assist in bringing new members into the fold.

We encourage those who are willing to help to use thread titles such as:

Elmer Available - New York City Area

Similarly, those seeking help in a particular area should post with:

Elmer Needed - Atlanta Area

And so on.

To the regular users of QRZ, please note that this isn't a discussion area where hams debate various topics, as we already have plenty of those. The intended purpose of this forum is to make it as easy as possible for those seeking to join our hobby to find someone who can give them the advice they need, either locally or on the internet, so that they can move forward with getting their license.

Throughout the history of Ham Radio, Elmers have been an integral part of the hobby. There are countless accounts of new hams for which an Elmer has made a huge difference in a newcomer's entry into ham radio.

As an Elmer, whether you help someone pass the test, help a newcomer find a local repeater frequency, show someone their first hamfest, take someone out to their first Field Day, or just be their friend, it often leaves an impression that can last a lifetime. This holds true for both the Elmer and the student, as most of us can attest.

Let's work to make this a key place for newcomers to get the help they need.

K8ERV
10-03-2008, 07:42 PM
Sounds like a great idea. Hope it works.

TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo

N2RJ
10-03-2008, 09:18 PM
Good idea, Fred. I wish you the best of luck with this section.

Maybe in a few months I'll offer to be an elmer in Sussex County, NJ. Right now with elections and my regular life I have little time for anything else though.

KL7AJ
10-03-2008, 09:21 PM
From the Opus of Amateur Radio Knowledge and Lore:






CHAPTER THREE

Zero-Budget Ham Radio



Getting an amateur radio license and actually getting on the air can be two very different things. An Amateur Radio license is a piece of paper; an Amateur Radio station is usually a bit more. But, fortunately, it doesn’t have to be a whole lot more.
If you are a new ham and are looking about to create a station of your own, the VERY LAST PLACE ON EARTH you ever want to look for equipment is in the ham catalogs. We are dead serious about this. (I am free to use the “Royal We” because I’m editor of this chapter). Let’s look at this situation a bit further.
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, just about every college, high school, and a lot of elementary schools, had a working amateur radio station. The average novice (with a small “n” to distinguish it from the now defunct Novice class license) had no lack of opportunity to get his feet wet in amateur radio without spending a dime. Most club stations had a pretty eclectic collection of radios to try out, ranging from excellent to abysmal. Usually, Norman Novice had a pretty good idea of what he wanted...or wanted to avoid...well before he went out to spend his hard-earned dog-walking money.
Working amateur radio stations are rarities in institutions of “education” these days. Funding of such extravagance seems to have fallen somewhere behind metal detectors and drug-sniffing dogs. Personally, I think a kid with a soldering gun in his hand is much less likely to be holding a shoot ‘em up type gun in the same hand...but that’s just my silly logic getting away from me, I suppose.
So, except for a few rare cases, the new ham has to find the second-best alternative, which may actually be the best alternative, after all. We’re talking about finding a local, experienced ham with a real operating station, a mentor.
Such people are called “Elmers” in ham lingo, though nobody is exactly sure why. We are told that it has nothing whatsoever to do with Elmer Fudd.
In any case, your Number One Assignment as a newly licensed ham is to find an Elmer. As we mentioned in the introduction to this tome, every neighborhood has one...you sometimes just have to look. The guy who administered your license exam probably knows where you can find an Elmer in your bailiwick.
Now, be forewarned. It is well within the realm of possibility that your Elmer may indeed bear a striking resemblance to Elmer Fudd. Don’t let this disturb you too much. There’s probably a lot more activity going on under that tattered hunting cap than you might suspect. You are likely to find that Mr. Fudd is more than willing and able to impart some of that wisdom to you. But even more than that, Mr. Fudd has something you really want: a ham radio station you can operate for FREE! Take advantage of this as much as possible. Be willing to do a few chores around the shack in exchange for your free room and board. I highly recommend you acquaint yourself with Phil Gildersleeve’s famous Jeeves character. Phil Gildersleeve was an illustrator and cartoonist for QST Magazine for decades. His cartoons were the epitome of “Elmering.” Jeeves was a butler willing to do anything for his unseen master...and learned a whole lot in the process.
Now, sooner or later, you will have outstayed your welcome at Mr. Fudd’s castle. You will want to have a station of your very own. Ideally, you will have learned something of the fine art of home brewing from your Mr. Fudd. At the very least, Mr. Fudd will be able to guide your stumbling steps through the gobbledygook in the stacks of ham catalogs on his desk...a treacherous path you should never attempt on your own.
However, this may not be necessary either. Your Mr. Fudd, in all likelihood, has a few extra radios lying about, and will probably be more than willing to part with one or two on a “permanent loan” basis. This is how I got my start in ham radio.
I should mention here that I was licensed for thirty-five years before I ever owned a single piece of new ham radio gear! I’d already been a “semi-famous” ham for a few decades, having written lots of articles in QST and most other existing (and defunct) ham magazines before I splurged for a newfangled software-defined radio. By all rights, I’ve “deserved” new ham radios as much as anyone. But I never felt deprived in the least. I’ve always had top-notch radios...LOTS AND LOTS of them...even a few that seasoned in-the-know hams would DIE for. But I’ve never paid more than a fraction of the full price for any of them. My secret? Simple. I’ve just always waited till they were no longer new! It’s called delayed gratification. It’s actually a very good skill to acquire, whether buying a house, buying a car, or getting an education...or even a wife.
It’s also politically incorrect, but so is most of this book, as you might have guessed by now.

KD8EPC
10-04-2008, 12:45 AM
thanks for starting this forum area im a young ham my club takes care of me i have several elmers but i have this feeling eventually i may need a new one most of mine are getting to be of an older age. anyway thanks. and 73 de kd8epc

KL7AJ
10-04-2008, 01:39 AM
thanks for starting this forum area im a young ham my club takes care of me i have several elmers but i have this feeling eventually i may need a new one most of mine are getting to be of an older age. anyway thanks. and 73 de kd8epc

Are you trying to say it's hard to learn from a dead Elmer?

KD8EPC
10-04-2008, 02:52 AM
yea guess it will be time to break out the wigi board? don't know if i spelled it right but mabie if i use the wigi board my elmer can still teach me beyond the grave. but yes its kind of hard to learn from a dead elmer but the things ive learned from them have made me the ham i am today and i have to admit i wouldn't be able to do the things i do with radio if ti wasn't for them!

KJ4GKS
10-04-2008, 10:44 PM
I am new to Amateur Radio and I am looking for an Elmer in the North Raleigh, Wake Forest area of NC.

If someone has the time and interest with a few issues, I would appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.

KJ4GKS

K3WRV
10-05-2008, 05:55 PM
Fred-

I think this is a great idea, but wouldn't it be a better idea to implement it as a database? (Enter state, County or Zipcode to find guys within some distance??). Maybe it could be added to the existing Database: "Are you willing to be an elmer? If yes, on what subjects [computers/antennad/tube stuff ... etc?]. You could make the callsign data base searchible on those terms..

In my case, I'm at a corner of three counties, and if I put in AA County (wheree there are few pwople) I'd get excluded from Calvert and Pg, where there are lots of people. I'm not sure how you't implement this to make it work...

PSE some thoughts?

KL7AJ
10-05-2008, 06:02 PM
Fred-

I think this is a great idea, but wouldn't it be a better idea to implement it as a database? (Enter state, County or Zipcode to find guys within some distance??). Maybe it could be added to the existing Database: "Are you willing to be an elmer? If yes, on what subjects [computers/antennad/tube stuff ... etc?]. You could make the callsign data base searchible on those terms..

In my case, I'm at a corner of three counties, and if I put in AA County (wheree there are few pwople) I'd get excluded from Calvert and Pg, where there are lots of people. I'm not sure how you't implement this to make it work...

PSE some thoughts?

Perhaps in the QRZ profile, one could add a field for "Official Elmer". Fred would have to twiddle the database software a teeny tiny bit, but it's probably doable. :)

Eric

N9MOQ
10-06-2008, 03:39 PM
. .

KL7AJ
10-06-2008, 03:46 PM
Since most that would need an Elmer, would have no idea what the heck we are all talking about when we use the term "Elmer"...

Origin of the term "Elmer" (http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/club/mentor/)

The term "Elmer"--meaning someone who provides personal guidance and assistance to would-be hams--first appeared in QST in a March 1971 "How's DX" column by Rod Newkirk, W9BRD.

While he probably was not trying to coin a term at the time, here's how Newkirk introduced "Elmer" in his column and, as it turned out, to the rest of the Amateur Radio world:

"Too frequently one hears a sad story in this little nutshell: 'Oh, I almost got a ticket, too, but Elmer, W9XYZ, moved away and I kind of lost interest.'"

Newkirk went on to say, "We need those Elmers. All the Elmers, including the ham who took the most time and trouble to give you a push toward your license, are the birds who keep this great game young and fresh."

That's a great story...and shows how all the best traditions were unintentional. :)

eric

K3WRV
10-06-2008, 04:33 PM
Well Eric-

I stuck something in my Bio page. But there must be someone out there with a less kudged up Idea than mine. The probnlem, as I see it is that Elmers Want to be Elmers. Noobies want Elmers, but we have a hard time connecting. I found mine through the Boy Scout's merit Badge program, and I've given my info to the local Rat Shack. We need to make this work for the new guys.

I found one guy who helped me by having my Grandfather drive me around the County while I looked for big antennae. It worked, but ...

Think about the YL with the Coax problem a few months back. WhaT ever the solution, it has to be good for the noobies. If a new person doesn't know enough to look ME up and see my profile. And I can't be found in the club directories - the club I belong to does boatanchors and is 50 miles away. Not exactly noobie stuff.

AB8RO
10-07-2008, 03:09 AM
Fred,

I have a suggestion. I think that the subforum for antennas is working extremely well in the homebrew forum. I think a subforum here for beginners articles would also be nice. That is, articles written by QRZ members and posted as threads. The moderation would primarly involve filtering what is and what isn't an article and discussion of the articles to the extent of their correctness and additional resources should be allowed but not necessarily longwinded debate.

A good example to illustrate this, for example, might be an artile entitled "How to learn CW." Discussion might involve different morse training resources and what worked for people whereas the merits of CW, either pro or con, would not be allowed. I can think of many examples of articles that are sources of common questions such as "How to make a dipole", "What should you consider in a new radio" etc.

Perhaps, in fact, the moderator might agree to be editor of the primary articles. That is, an article is posted but the poster agrees that the moderator will edit the article (cautiously) incorporating ideas from the commentary that follows. Sort of a moderated wiki format where the cumulative knowledge of QRZers is gathered and combined into a useful resource. The poster could, in fact, co-edit with the moderator so that ideas are incorporated without the orginal author's voice getting "lost."

WA7KKP
10-07-2008, 03:21 PM
yea guess it will be time to break out the wigi board? don't know if i spelled it right but mabie if i use the wigi board my elmer can still teach me beyond the grave. but yes its kind of hard to learn from a dead elmer but the things ive learned from them have made me the ham i am today and i have to admit i wouldn't be able to do the things i do with radio if ti wasn't for them!

I prefer the I Ching over tarot cards any day.

Gary WA7KKP

KB3LAZ
10-09-2008, 04:07 AM
Good idea, Fred.

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