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WD9Y The ham radio mentor who inspired the term “Elmer” — Elmer P. “Bud” Frohardt Jr, SK

Discussion in 'Silent Keys / Friends Remembered' started by KD3WB, Mar 25, 2016.

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  1. KD3WB

    KD3WB Ham Member QRZ Page

  2. K2HAT

    K2HAT Premium Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    My Condolences.

    03/24/2016

    The ham radio mentor who inspired the term “Elmer” — Elmer P. “Bud” Frohardt Jr, W9DY (ex-W9GFF), of Madison, Wisconsin — died on March 22. He was 93. A friend and co-worker of the late Rod Newkirk, W9BRD (later VA3ZBB), who edited QST’s “How’s DX?” column, Frohardt was the “Elmer” that Newkirk had in mind when he used the name in his March 1971 column, referring to someone who helped to mentor new Amateur Radio licensees and calling them “the unsung fathers of Amateur Radio.”

    “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 had written. “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.”

    On AC6V’s “Origin of Ham Speak” web page, John Becker, K9MM, is quoted as saying, “Bud was very well known locally for his involvement with the RAMS (Radio Amateur Megacycle Society) radio club, and he was always helping newcomers to the hobby.”

    An ARRL Life Member, Frohardt, who preferred to be called “Bud,” had worked as a communications technician for the Illinois State Police, retiring in 1986. Licensed in the 1930s, he was a veteran DXer, eventually working all 381 countries at that time from his former home in Chicago. When he moved into an antenna-restricted neighborhood in the 1990s, he enthusiastically began chasing DX from his car, racking up 326 entities while operating from the back seat. He also was active in the annual Illinois QSO Party, which he managed at one point.

    “Am most proud of all the wonderful young people I have been able to interest over the years in science, radio, DX, CW, and electronics,” Frohardt wrote on his QRZ.com page. “Many of them have become excellent operators, engineers, scientists, doctors or business people.” — Thanks to The Daily DX

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Copied from his QRZ Biography. https://www.qrz.com/db/W9DY

    Hi, My real name is Elmer but I only use that for the business, the doctor, etc. You may call me BUD, as all my other friends do.

    I am presently interested in mobile DXing. Have been active in DX work since 1939 with original call W9GFF which became W9DY in 1968. Worked them all from former home in Chicago with 381 (all there were at the time) countries currently confirmed for all-time. I retired in 1986 as communications technician with the Illinois State Police Communications in Chicago, starting out as a CW operator/technician in 1962. We moved to a retirement community in Elgin, IL in 1995. Outside antennas are not possible and didn't want to go through fooling with filters on neighbors' telephones so went 100 percent mobile for my almost daily DX Fix.

    Have now worked 326 countries from the back seat of the car (2009) . There are still a few that may be possible to catch with a little luck from the sun. Have enjoyed the experiences of propagation in eight solar cycles so far and hope to see a couple of more cycles, God willing. (In August 2010 I'll be 88 years young with 381 all time countries.)

    Still active in the ILLINOIS QSO PARTY held each October. The party began in the early 1960's under direction of the Certificate Hunter group led by the late K6BX. When that organization's support waned after a couple of years I picked up the ILQP responsibility to avoid it's disappearance and have been active in the contest ever since. K9LY (ex-WB9GOJ) has managed it more recently and has made it one of the most popular state parties in the USA. We have just (in 2006) turned over the administration of ILQP to the WIARC, a fine group of active hams with more manpower than than we have at RAMS. They are carrying to QP to even greater heights.

    Am most proud of all the wonderful young people I have been able to interest over the years in science, radio, DX, CW and electronics . Many of them have become excellent operators, engineers, scientists, doctors or business people.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016
  3. KD3WB

    KD3WB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I probably should have put more details into the title. I didn't even realize this person really existed and was still alive. Rest in peace, Mr. Frohardt, your name will live forever, I'm sure.

    Ben
     
  4. WJ4U

    WJ4U Ham Member QRZ Page

    So no more Elmers. We have Buds, though some are SK.
     
  5. K2HAT

    K2HAT Premium Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    Fixed it for you.
     
  6. W2SG

    W2SG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not fixed quite right. Call was "W9DY" NOT "WD9Y"!
     
  7. KD3WB

    KD3WB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks.
     
  8. W7CJD

    W7CJD Ham Member QRZ Page

    ..and I thought my dad was named Elmer because he was a mentor.

    Names have meaning: I really thought Elmer had become a generic term for a mentor.

    It is great to have the actual story.

    My "elmer" was Bill Roper W7DPK.
     
  9. K1RSU

    K1RSU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a vague memory, that much earlier than when the word "Elmer" first appeared in QST -1971-, the word was already established as pseudonym for mentor.. I am wondering if anyone else remembers hearing or using this word before 1971? I got my ticket in 1960...
     
  10. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    And the term was coined AFTER I'd become a ham! I thought it went back to the dark ages, but it was in around 1972
     
  11. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow I remember reading the article in QST.
     

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