Let's retire the term 'elmer'

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by WF4W, Nov 13, 2017.

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  1. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'll agree with most of your points except for money. Young people have cars - ok, they're a necessity in many places so I get that. But they also have gaming-grade computers, and expensive smart phones, and expensive tablets and sometimes expensive clothes and on and on. If it cost thousands to set up a decent ham station I'd agree, but it doesn't. Shopping used you can be on HF with great capability for less than $500, about what you'd pay for just a premium gaming grade video card for a PC. Go QRP for digital modes and a little QRP SDR and it can be even less, since the computer is undoubtedly already owned. Antennas - granted you make a good point there - but where they can be erected can be made out of simple wire and a chunk of plastic for a center insulator. Add some window line and a cheap balun and tuner or tuner with a balun and you're on all bands, or at least all above a certain frequency depending on length. Or hang multiple wire dipoles off a coax feed and have however many bands you can hand off it.

    It takes spare time that may well go to other things. Heck, *I* have this issue a lot, but more from having so many other interests. Young people are apt to be distracted away from it for some years or decades. But I don't think they are priced out of it.
  2. K1NZ

    K1NZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Cars... I bought my car with a salvage title and paid for it with money I got from the accident I got into that required me to buy a new car.

    Gaming grade computers... My laptop is owned by the college I work for and my server... exists from components I was able to salvage and slap together.

    Expensive smartphones... I paid $250 for my LG (Nexus) 5x two years ago. I have been riding this POS out as long as I possibly can.

    Expensive clothes... I have not spent money on clothes since I was in High School... 10 years ago. Many of my polos are falling apart and I get heckled by my boss and coworkers because they are falling apart. I am slapping duct tape on the bottom of my shoes because I have worn through the rubber and water is soaking through.

    Antennas... You got me here as my dad is an electrician and I didn't pay for the 14 gauge wire and RG-6 I put up.

    But, please, tell me again how I am privileged and how I have been given everything I have.
  3. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I didn't tell you that you were privileged. Stop putting words in my mouth or, in this case, my keyboard.

    Nor did I mean for my generalizations to be taken as personal. I have - or rather had - no idea whether you were poor as church mouse or richer than Midas. It's a general observation not meant as any comment on your particular situation.

    And oddly enough, many teens (again, NOT saying this was you) have more disposable income than they will later in their 20s, once they start supporting themselves. I know it's tight for a lot of people, but then I also know people my age (54) who would be completely over their head if they missed a single paycheck.

    No generalization will apply to every member of a group. But as a group I don't think teens and 20somethigns are particularly priced out of ham radio.
  4. K1NZ

    K1NZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I guess my point was that not every ham youth will be born to middle class parents who can afford their hobby. Isn't it our responsibility to welcome them into the hobby and make sure they stick with it? Even though I can barely cobble together a station, I'll do everything in my power to get a fellow ham on the air. I'd rather fail miserably trying than to not have put forth any effort.
    VK4HAT likes this.
  5. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Great post, I agree 100% with everything you said.

    Its called Priorities. We all prioritize our spending on those things we value. Someone in their 20's just does not value ham radio as much as they value their cars, phones and accessories. Just like when Jesus was a boy playing fullback for Jerusalem back in the 50's and 60's not every kid did ham radio then either. There were the odd freaks who suffered from Dilberts Knack, but most were doing other things like pot and girls. I think there is a lot of confirmation bias from a lot of the I have been a ham for 50 years crowd who think they were the norm all the way back then, because the only people they talk to are the other 0.5% who also did ham radio rather young. Im pretty sure there were more hippies at woodstock than ham operators. LOL
  6. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I certainly wasn't the norm. I was a "Dilbert's Knack Kid." But...hasn't amateur radio always drawn mainly from that group?
    VK4HAT likes this.
  7. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    LOL I think one needs a certain amount of Dilbert to become a ham.
    WD4IGX likes this.
  8. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    KA2CZU likes this.
  9. PH5E

    PH5E Ham Member QRZ Page

    As my name actually is Elmer, I'm all for this!
    K3XR and WF4W like this.
  10. KI4AX

    KI4AX Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you want to impress the younger crowd now days you need to use something like E-Dog, Cool-E, or maybe E-Snoops...

    Yep, I learned the Ham from my Cool Moe E.... Word.... And, speak'n with peeps round the world be cray cray.
    WF4W likes this.

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