An Elmer is an amateur radio operator (a "ham") that helps a non-ham through personal guidance and assistance. Loosely, it also refers to an amateur radio operator that helps another amateur radio operator learn more about the hobby, again through personal guidance and assistance. The term Elmer first appeared in the American Radio Relay League's QST Magazine in a March 1971 column named How's DX.
Elmering is an important part of amateur radio. By helping each other to learn and grow, we both help foster new amateur radio operators on their journey into the hobby, and help current operators expand their skills.
How to find an Elmer
If you are looking to get into amateur radio, connecting with a local amateur radio group is a great way to start. Amateur radio groups are excited to help new hams earn their amateur radio licenses and get on the air.
If you already have your license, your local amateur radio group remains a great resource. You might also meet someone on the air that, after speaking with them over time, may be interested in helping answer your questions. Also, some amateur radio nets, especially training nets, may offer a part of the net dedicated to Elmering, which is your opportunity to jump in and ask a question that others on the net may be able to help you with.
You might also find an Elmer in in an online community where you can ask questions, such as those mentioned in the #External links section. Even if a specific person doesn't become your Elmer, those visiting the forums may be willing to chime in and help you.
- ARRL Elmer Award - http://www.arrl.org/elmer-award