"Elmering" -- The Only Way To Go

"Elmering" is the highly technical phrase used in ham radio to describe a teacher. An "Elmer" is a more knowledgeable, more experienced operator who spends some time helping those who are new to the hobby or less technically savvy. It's a bit like OJT, on the job training. It is the way to enrich the air waves with new, capable ops, and it is the way to assure the use of our spectrum allocations so they are not delegated to others demanding frequency space. Here is my soapbox -- reasons why you should find someone to nurture into ham radio.

I know! I've been, and still am, being "elmered" by two of my best friends, Larry (AA3PX), and Dana (W3TS). When a circuit I'm building won't work or I have a question about setting up my station, guess whose phone rings?

"Elmering" is a great way, perhaps the only way, to train responsible, respectable ham radio operators. We've all heard poor OPS on the bands, and we've all had the pleasure of the QSO with a great OP. If we want to keep ham radio in a class far above CB, then we need "elmers" to teach good operating practice.

If we want ham radio to extend beyond "appliance operation," we'll need "elmers" to teach us theory as well as procedures. I'm not an electronics engineer or technician by trade, but with every radio, antenna, or accessory I build, under the guiding hand of my "elmers," I enjoy the hobby more. What we enjoy, we do. What we find frustrating, boring, or confusing, we tend to drop.

Ham radio is not only about QSOs, experimenting, emergency communications preparation, building, and DXing, but it is also about comradery, friendship, and spreading good will. "Elmering" is a great way to let someone else know you care about them.

Ham radio is a wholesome hobby. In a culture that presents so many destructive options to our kids, we ham radio operators have a great opportunity to be a positive influence. Teach a class to the local Boy Bcouts. Sponsor a radio club at the local High School. Teach your own kids how to copy code and build a regen. with them. You'll be glad you did.