About Elmers

The Elmer Bureau is a service of the Voice of Idaho Amateur Radio Club. The Elmer Bureau exists to assist all hams in southwest Idaho(which includes McCall, Cascade, New Meadows and the surrounding areas). The Elmer Bureau is managed by a team led by the Vice President of VOI. The coordinating team has a minimum of one member from newly licensed hams, one member from hams transitioning to General class, one member from hams transitioning to Extra class, and one experienced ham.

Communication with the Elmer Bureau is via the email address: elmer@voiceofidaho.org. Emails sent to that address go directly to the VOI Membership Director. Messages to that email generate a response. A reply is made. If the particular need, or needs can be met, a ham registered with the bureau is dispatched. Upon completion, the dispatched ham makes a simple report back to the Elmer Bureau. If there are no immediately registered hams in the bureau files, the bureau will seek someone to meet the need. This might take some time. In extreme cases, the coordinating team will evaluate the issue. Hams are encouraged to register with the bureau and identify areas where they can assist. It is likely that an experienced ham moving into a new area of the hobby would be both an Elmer and a client. A good example is the experienced ham who is moving into DXing or Digital mode communications.

The coordinating team meets from time to time to guide the development of the bureau. Coordinating team members are encouraged to keep in touch with operations by volunteering for Elmer assignments.

Article for Facebook by Tom Oswald, KD7VZW 11/24/2019

Can you learn and have fun at the same time?

You can if you attend a VOI pre-session.

Example; the coax crimp pre-session. At the club meeting the month before there was a vignette on how to crimp PL 259 connectors onto coax cable. The pre-session was the do-it-yourself follow-up. We started with calculating a half wave length of cable at 14 Mhz. using he speed of light and the velocity factor supped by the cable manufacturer. Teams cut the cable. Crimping a connector for the first time went smoothly. We had plenty of Elmer’s and tools to help. See the first photo. All the people that wanted a cable took home a high quality one they build. Other people watched and learned.

Building the cable was just the start of the fun. Now we get to measure the many properties of the half wave cable. See the second photo. Using an antenna analyzer, the participants could see the properties of the magic cable. Antennas; the magic cable can reproduced the properties of the antenna. We measured a simulated antenna that was resonant and was 50 ohms. Not 50 ohms? Reactance in the antenna? We had simulated antennas for measuring those situations too. But don’t stop there. This cable can be a stub filter for 20 meters. A 40 meters and 15 meters. And finally, the following month’s pre-session wound the coax into a coax choke.
A lot to learn, and have fun too!