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Do Elmers Have an Elmer?

While at the club meeting the question came up about terms used in communications like where did 73 and 88 originate.  Another topic was where did the term "Elmer" come from and why wasn't it "Harry" or "Fred" or "Louise"? No one present could answer the question. Where did the term "Elmer" originate?

First, the definition of an Elmer is, someone who provides personal guidance and assistance to would-be hams. This definition first appeared in our A.R.R.L. publication QST in March 1971 article "How's DX". The author of this piece was Rod Newkirk, W9BRD (also using VA3ZBB). In Newkirk's article were a couple phrases describing the woes of a despondent person that had just failed the entry level amateur radio license test. "Too frequently one hears a sad story in this little nutshell: 'Oh, I almost got a ticket, too, but Elmer, W9XYZ, moved away I kind of lost interest.'"

Apparently other hams began using 'Elmer' around the world and the new tag stuck. The term "Elmer" is not very old but the concept is older. What name was used to describe those hams that helped other become hams were probably just common describers like friend, helper, tutor, coach, etc.

Raise your hand if you were aware that there is an award for "Elmer's". I can't raise my hand. I learned only from this research of the award. It is known as the Elmer Award, 'catchy isn't it?' and you can send or present someone with an Elmer Award certificate from the Amateur Radio Relay League. I AM NOT SOLICITING ANYONE FOR A CERTIFICATE! If you go to the ARRL Elmer Award page on the Internet you can read just above where you enter your Elmer's information and your information all about the certificate.

So, in closing, "Do Elmer's have and Elmer?" Yes, emphatically.  Because we all participate and help each other. Therefore in some cases we are Elmers helping Elmers.

(Pcars - 2018).

ARRL Suspends Registration for Emergency Communications Course, as Online Platform Announces Shutdown

Registration for “Introduction to Emergency Communications” (EC-001) was suspended on April 30, after ARRL learned that the online platform provider for the course — Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC) — is being dissolved, effective July 1, according to CTDLC’s parent, Charter Oak State College.

See full story at:




Hamvention® 2018 - Be There!

Hamvention® is important stuff that you have to plan ahead for.  Yes, it takes more than a few hours to get there, yes I know you're busy.... BUT .... Just think of it, hams from around the world can only dream about going to Dayton, and for us, it's practically in our back yard (almost). 

Even if you only go for one day - GO!!!! Even if you don't spend any money - GO!!!! Visit all the dealers, see what's new and what's coming out soon. GO!!!! check out the great ARRL display area and meet some of the ARRL HQ personnel. There are plenty of free forums. GO!!!! just to be there and walk around seeing all the ham gear and hams from around the world is worth the trip.

Who knows, you just may bump into a foreign ham that you made a DX contact with. The outdoor flea market is really something to see - jammed packed with just about everything you can imagine. This is one heck of a flea market. Chances are you will never see a larger one! Many bargains to be had, and don't hesitate to haggle the price a bit lower.

Take a camera and take pictures of everything and everybody!

So, check it out - Friday the 18th, Saturday the 19th and Sunday the 20th in May - the ONLY place to be is at the Hamvention®. 

(PCARS- 2018)


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Founded in 1984.  MARC is an ARRL Affiliated Club.


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21 July 2018