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Short Takes #1: Ham Accessories to Improve Your Shack!

By Dave Jensen, W7DGJ

IKEA LÅNESPELARE Cup HolderHave you ever dumped a fresh cup of coffee or a beer while enjoying a ragchew? After years of mistakes near my radios or computer keyboards, I have finally found the perfect solution. Of course, it’s not just for ham radio operators, but I am enjoying it more than any $15 or $20 ham accessory. The IKEA coffee cup holder mounts to most desktops or radio stands and is quite beautiful. It’s made from solid wood with nice grain and a metal mount that should appeal to any operator. In typical IKEA fashion, look for their LÅNESPELARE Cup Holder.

While buying my coffee cup holder, I also picked up these additional IKEA accessories which complement my shack. . . there’s a neat Headphone/Cellular Phone stand (photo below) for only $6 (MÖJLIGHET) and I can’t find a better work surface for my key or the mouse than the IKEA oversized Gaming Mouse Pad. We all know what a mouse pad is, but this is about three times larger than most. It’s made from nylon covered foam, and it won’t move no matter what kind of slippery surface you’ve placed it on. I’ve got a glass desktop and when operating CW my keyer slides across the surface, no matter how hefty its base. Problem solved for about $10 (LÅNESPELARE Mouse Pad).

IKEA MÖJLIGHET Headphone/Cell Phone Holder  IKEA LÅNESPELARE Oversized Gaming Mouse Pad

I wish I had a “before” shot for my shack, because I used to keep all my gear simply lined up on the desk. Unfortunately, when the radios and accessories started outnumbering the square inches of space available, I began stacking them on top of each other. I kept wanting to organize it and make it better looking and more functional, but it wasn’t until I uncovered these cool risers from Amazon that I was able to easily get a new look for my shack.They’re quite reasonable, about $25 for a pair, and they come with adjustable legs to easily make room for gear placed above or below their surface. The construction is acceptable for all but the largest linear amplifiers, and I like the fact that they have an open design with holes to keep the air circulating around the equipment. For this one, search for Amazon product ID #B07F3FTVQF.

Please post any comments or questions about these items in the forum associated with Short Takes, here:  Link to Forum


Dave Jensen, W7DGJ

Dave Jensen, W7DGJ, was first licensed in 1966. Originally WN7VDY (and later WA7VDY), Dave operated on 40 and 80 meter CW with a shack that consisted primarily of Heathkit equipment. Dave loved radio so much he went off to college to study broadcasting and came out with a BS in Communications from Ohio University (Athens, OH). He worked his way through a number of audio electronics companies after graduation, including the professional microphone business for Audio-Technica.  He was later licensed as W7DGJ out of Scottsdale, Arizona, where he ran an executive recruitment practice (CareerTrax Inc.) for several decades. Jensen has published articles in magazines dealing with science and engineering. His column “Tooling Up” ran for 20 years in the website of the leading science journal, SCIENCE, and his column called “Managing Your Career” continues to be a popular read each month for the Pharmaceutical and Household Products industries in two journals published by Rodman Publishing.


Articles Written by Dave Jensen, W7DGJ

This page was last updated March 21, 2023 23:56