Elmer's Database

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by Guest, Jul 28, 2003.

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  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Well, after reading some of the recent posts, I realize it's time to try to do something to actually improve the Amateur Radio service. We've all seen posts from people who are new to the hobby, needing a little guidance to fill in the gaps that testing leaves. (Please, no discussion about testing requirements, as there will ALWAYS be gaps in ANY testing. It's simply impossible to test on everything). This is where we get into the concept of Elmers. In the old days, a new ham would be given his Novice test by a pair of licensed hams, General class or above. By this measure, it could already be assumed that the new ham had someone to help continue his education in the hobby beyond the original licensing. Today, we have the VE program, which is similar, but not quite the same personal interaction, as today, after passing the test, the new ham gets their callsign, and is essentially thrown to the dogs to learn the rest of what they need to know.

    I myself was lucky, in that when I was first licensed, I had a pretty good group of experienced hams to draw information from. They helped me to learn CW, helped me find my first HF radio, and welcomed me with open arms to Field day and other contacts. But, once I moved across country, I missed that personal interaction. I would attempt to get active on the local 2m repeaters, but in so many cases, I found that if you call isn't "known", you won't really get to talk to anyone.

    What I'd like to see is an online database of people who are willing to help educate the new people in the hobby. People like PU, STX, and the others who answer questions in this forum, and who are willing to help others. This database would record callsigns, E-mail addresses, and general location, so a ham who was in, say, Washington State, could go to this database, click on "Washington," and get a list of people in the area who
    are willing to help them learn. That new ham could then drop off an E-mail to that person, and start getting to know them, and eventually meet up face to face, if mutually agreeable.

    Does anyone else think this would be a good idea? I'd be willing to design the site (I have some experience with web/database coding, and server space to host it on), but wouldn't want to put in the effort if it wouldn't be of benefit to people.
  2. AE4FA

    AE4FA Ham Member QRZ Page

    All in all, not a bad idea. The Flying Pigs QRP Club already has one of these, but it's not very populated.

    A couple of observations:

    This would best be on a broad-based, established Amateur Radio site - like ARRL.org.

    One fear some folks might have is that they would be swamped, just overrun! Think about it, one ham in a medium to large metro area signs up. Nobody else, just him. He's probably already working with a couple of guys, already teaching Technician or upgrade courses with a local club, and working a job. Time to spend with the family is already in short supply, not to mention time to engage in his favorite aspects of ham radio.

    Not trying to douse your idea, just sharing some thoughts.
  3. K3STX

    K3STX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sounds like a good idea to me, what could it hurt? If someone is overburdoned, he/she could tell the guy "I am overburdoned, but here is a place/person to contact" I think there are lots of clubs around, but I gueess there are lots of places where there is no club. In addition to teaching me code and theory (and failing me on my first try&#33[​IMG], I remember my Elmer GAVE my my Heathkit DX-100, a cheap SWR meter, and wire for the dipole. I'll never forget it.


    p.s. Also it would be like a ham "big brother" who does not yell at you for asking dumb questions.
  4. W1NCH

    W1NCH Ham Member QRZ Page

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Does anyone else think this would be a good idea?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Great idea!

    I agree with ae4fa, this would be best on a well-used ham radio site, or at the least, I would try to get links from QRZ.com, eHam.net &amp; arrl.org.

    Sign me up...
  5. AE4FA

    AE4FA Ham Member QRZ Page

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">it would be like a ham &quot;big brother&quot; who does not yell at you[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Dern! You went &amp; took all the fun out of it!
  6. K7DLX

    K7DLX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sounds good to me, also.

    Remember, an Elmer is not necessarily the person who teaches everything. You can be a very effective Elmer by simply being there to answer any questions that might come up and gently steering the new hams in the right direction.

    Sign me up, I've got a huge area to cover, apparently!


    Ric W7WWB
    San Fernando Valley
    Los Angeles, CA
  7. W8CVE

    W8CVE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Interesting to note the relatively low number of hits on this thread (so far anyway).  Thousands of supposedly concerned amateurs out there ranting about the way amateur radio ought to be.  Here we have an opportunity to contribute something genuine and positive, our own time and a personal interest in someone else's progress.  

    The only downside I can think of is all the time this elmering thing might take away from our regular online routines of complaining, preaching, arguing and pontificating.  It's a tough choice, but maybe some of us can take the leap.

    jerutley, your proposal is the best thing I've seen on any discussion board anywhere.
  8. N0PU

    N0PU Guest

    Those who have &quot;Elmer lists&quot; can always include me...
    and all the data ya need to do it is easily available... If ya need specifics send me an e-mail...

    And remember, Elmers don't have to KNOW everything, they just have to know WHERE the data is... and be willing to point others to the info so they can teach themselves...

    Also please remember that part of Elmering these days seems to be teaching people how to learn as much as imparting specific information on a specific topic...
  9. KG4RUL

    KG4RUL Ham Member QRZ Page

    It would be a good idea to also provide the potential Elmers a list of specialties (i.e. Contesting, Repeater Building, Antenna Design, Everything, etc.) and allow them check off those in which they are best versed.  The person needing Elmering could search based on city, state and speciality.

    Dennis  [​IMG]
  10. W5ALT

    W5ALT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm always available to help as I can. I don't know everything, but I've surely made enough mistakes to have learned the hard way!

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