Welcome to Elmers Corner

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by AA7BQ, Oct 3, 2008.

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  1. AA7BQ

    AA7BQ QRZ Founder Administrator QRZ Page

    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.
     
  2. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sounds like a great idea. Hope it works.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
     
  3. N2RJ

    N2RJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    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.
     
  4. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    My first contribution to the cause. :)

    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.
     
  5. KD8EPC

    KD8EPC Ham Member QRZ Page

    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
     
  6. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Are you trying to say it's hard to learn from a dead Elmer?
     
  7. KD8EPC

    KD8EPC Ham Member QRZ Page

    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!
     
  8. KJ4GKS

    KJ4GKS Ham Member QRZ Page

    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
     
  9. K3WRV

    K3WRV Guest

    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?
     
  10. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    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
     
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