One of the key responsibilities of any Ham Radio Club is to grow the hobby; to instill into the next generation of hams the same enthusiasm and interest that got you into Ham Radio. One way to do this is Elmering.
Elmering is the long and honorable tradition of experienced Hams helping new Hams explore and enjoy Ham Radio. By helping newer Hams overcome technical and operational hurtles, introducing them to new aspects of Ham Radio that they may not know about, and generally making them feel welcome in this hobby, Elmers build the foundation for the next generation of Ham Radio. Clubs grow in both membership and skill sets when they actively Elmer their newer hams.
Today's Maker movement is an incredible opportunity to harness that desire to build and construct and show what can be done in Ham Radio. Remember, the some of the original Makers were early hams building radios from wire and cardboard. In every VE session there are new hams eager to try out new equipment and grow their skills.
This contest is designed to introduce contesting that can be done with just an HT. It’s an opportunity for Ham Clubs to Elmer their newer members with opportunities for antenna building, teaching basic Ham Radio contesting, introducing the Maidenhead Grid Square location system, and to develop HF style operating practices.
This contest can also serve to reignite interest in inactive hams; Technicians who got their license, checked into nets for awhile, maybe did some public service events, but then lost interest. Their HT sits in a corner, uncharged, and covered with dust. These hams often have the misconception that they must spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for an HF radio and big antenna, and get a license upgrade before they could do any contesting. This contest can show them how easy and inexpensive it is to build antennas, a challenging yet satisfying part of the hobby that many Hams enjoy and to provide an opportunity to participate in a contest with recognition awards and valuable prizes.
We urge all clubs in Ohio to announce and publicize this contest and encourage their members to participate. We encourage clubs to have an antenna building session to help their members build one or more of the antennas described in the antenna construction section, and we hope local clubs will help their members set up for mobile and portable operations and most of all, show the diversity of activities and the FUN of ham radio.
When a contestant submits their contacts they can also specify an affiliated club. The Club with the most members participating will earn an Affiliated Member Participation Award,. Public recognition will also be made of Clubs whose members earn awards or win prizes.
While The Cuyahoga Falls Amateur Radio Club (CFARC) is sponsoring the contest for its first years, we do not feel it is a CFARC contest. We are calling it an Ohio contest because we are actively seeking hams from all Ohio clubs to participate. As the interest and awareness of this contest grows, we hope that in future years the coordination and management of this contest can and will be shared with different clubs throughout Ohio. We would love to see this become a major annual Ohio contest and we encourage Clubs and Organizations in other states to borrow from it and implement their own versions. Imagine a contest weekend with active tropospheric ducting or sporadic E propagation in a multi-state contest.
Lastly, to help get the word out about this contest, and to encourage state wide participation, CFARC will be happy to send one or two representatives to your upcoming club meeting (within about a one hour drive of Akron) to make a presentation describing this contest your members, demonstrate some of the antennas shown in the construction section, and answer any questions your members may have in person.
For more information about the contest or to schedule a presentation, please send e-mail to: