What's an ELMER?

An Elmer is a mentor, teacher and friend that helps someone obtain their amateur radio license. Most hams do not go it alone but instead earn their tickets with the help of a good Elmer. The term "Elmer" came from the stereotype of the bespectacled, erudite ham-next-door that many all-American youngsters got their first exposure to amateur radio from. Many were named Elmer, Jasper, Clyde, or something equally nerdy.

I'm sure WA1NTA would be thoroughly embarrassed to learn that this term applied to him. Yet, after catching me looking at a CB radio in the 1970's, he more or less prodded, urged and good-naturedly berated me into taking my ham test. And I'm glad he did. So, like it or not, George is an "Elmer"!


WA1NTA in days of yore. Man, lookit them BOATANCHORS! He's still got the Apache.