The Elmers’ Circle – Introduction

The Elmers’ Circle is a unique and ambitious project to bring together a critical mass of amateur radio experts who are both knowledgeable and willing to give of their time and energy to help others in our hobby.

Becoming a member of The Elmers’ Circle is not tedious, but it does require a reasonable and credible demonstration of a clear added value to the hobby. The goal of the admission process is to determine prospects’ fields of interest and levels of expertise. We are looking for operators who are either highly qualified or experienced in a single aspect, or reasonably knowledgeable in a broad range of topics. The goal is to be confident in one’s ability to give authoritative counsel. Yes, this is a hobby, but it carries a considerable degree of responsibility and risk. If we do something wrong, it can hurt us or, worse, someone else. Yes, towers topple over. Yes, people get burned from antennas. Yes, people get hurt on DXpeditions or even SOTA and POTA outings. We need to take our hobby seriously and doing so implies having access to credible counsel.

Being a member of The Elmers’ Circle does require a minimal commitment of time and presence. You are becoming a member of the Circle because you want to help other operators; you want to help them solve problems, improve their practices, and otherwise become better amateur radio operators. Elmers are expected to visit the site at least once a week and to regularly answer questions they feel they can respond to with confidence.

Grand Elmers

Elmers who contribute above and beyond, ultimately answering a high number of questions, solving problems, being upvoted, and having a high number of answers selected as best answers, will be asked by The Grand Elmers to become one of them. As Grand Elmers they will be recognized as operators that are impressively dedicated to the hobby.

Recognition and Benefits


Elmers and Grand Elmers receive symbols of their elevation. Ham Community is currently working on those elements and will make them available and known throughout 2024. As of now, Elmers are encouraged to use the official logo of their rank on their websites, profiles, social media or as email signatures. You deserve to be recognized for your knowledge.


The Elmers’ Circle, as has been said, is part of a self-funded, non-profit project and therefore does not, cannot, and would not provide a financial remittance for contributions made. However, within our means, we have tried, and will continue to add, benefits that we feel are both accessible to us and beneficial to our Elmers.

  • In addition to the forwarding email address { which all members receive, Elmers are provided with an email address with their This address can be set up either as a forwarding address or as an actual email account with IMAP or Webmail access.
  • Throughout Ham Community, Elmers receive far greater access to functionalities and permissions. As an example, Elmers (as can site administrators) can post on the homepage activity stream; members cannot. Elmers have additional uploading and posting privileges, and more.
  • Elmers gain access to The Elmers’ Circle hidden group providing them with the ability to speak freely and discreetly peer-to-peer.
  • As mentioned previously, Elmers can use their Elmer badge both online and, if they choose, in approved printed, embroidered or silk screened apparel.
  • Elmers are invited to help prepare for the annual “Shaping the Future of Ham Radio” virtual conference designed to produce a white paper for manufacturers, policymakers, civil society associations, clubs, and individual operators to use as a benchmark for the hobby and gain insight into its direction, both evaluated and hoped for.
  • Elmers are automatically given Editor status in the peer-reviewed Ham Journal.

The Admissions Process

There is more than one way to become an Elmer.

  1. Direct invitation — Some operators are known Elmers either because they have published extensively, have created well-known software, lead amateur radio engineering operations, or are otherwise recognized as leaders in the hobby. These rare individuals can, at the discretion of The Grand Elmers, be invited to join the Elmer ranks on invitation only. Note that they can only be elevated to Grand Elmer status after one full year of membership in The Elmers’ Circle and after having completed the same ‘steps’ as all other Elmers.
  2. High Ham Community activity + nominations — Upon completion of the requisite interactions on Ham Community, notably by providing a specific number of answers and having been selected a specific number of times as ‘best answer’, and then having been nominated by a set number of Ham Community members, members will be considered for membership in The Elmers’ Circle.
  3. Presentation of superior output — Members wishing to become Elmers can spontaneously provide proof of their excellence. Examples might be published articles, something that was built, sustained and superior contesting results, recognized leadership in amateur-radio-related civil society or policymaking.

For options 2 and 3 above, the process must include a succinct, well-written paragraph written or pasted into the field below. This text, no less than 250 and no longer than 1000 words, should clearly make the case for both qualifying for + wanting to become a member of The Elmers’ Circle. Our goal is to attract Elmers who both qualify and ‘want to’ become active Elmers. To proceed, please click on the button below.


Becoming a Ham Community Elmer is an achievement in and of itself. Operators are admitted into The Elmers' Circle when they demonstrate a thorough understanding of one – or possibly several – aspects of Amateur Radio. Elmer admission and good standing is discussed and decided within The Elmers' Circle. In addition to the prerequisites which include being nominated by five members, accomplishing a minima of posting, questions and answers, prospects must also fill out a Submission of Intent.

5 Steps

People who have earned this:

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