Armchair ham radio at it’s best!

The armchair setup
There have been evenings when Im relaxing and icing on the cake to the evening would be the added flavour of ham radio. Having said that I do have a "shack" in the condo but there are times when you are in the Lazy boy chair and sitting in the cold hard wooden chair at the radio desk just does not turn my crank! While relaxing in the chair and thinking of radio I came up with a nice solution to bringing ham radio to the Lazy boy chair. On a side table I am able to comfortably place my Elecraft KX3 and the MFJ 1788 control head. I ran a shorter piece of RG8X coax from the MFJ 1788 loop to it's control box. From the control box to the KX3 the RG8X is rather bulky so I used a piece of RG58U coax that came with BNC connectors on each end. The MFJ control box require a voltage source from 9 to 16 volts to work. To make things more simple I used a 13 volt DC power pack that I can recharge. The KX3 is powered by my Astron power supply back at the radio desk, in the condo that is not to far
A closer look 
away. The key Im using is my Palm radio mini Paddle since the KX3 is on a side table to my left using the KX3 paddle would be awkward. The Palm paddle can nicely sit in front of me and I have a 3 ring binder with a metal plate on it the palm paddles magnets hold it secure. I brought along my iPad mini as I can look calls up on QRZ.COM and am looking into a logging program for it, one that I can upload to LOTW and club log.  During my short operation on Saturday evening I was able to contact VE1BA in Nova Scotia my RST was 589 with some QSB and our QSO was a KX3 x KX3 and QRP x QRP contact. It was a nice QSO as we chatted about the weather, antennas and rigs. On Sunday I was almost able to complete a contact with W9MIC as the conditions on 20m were not all that great. I really can't log W9MIC as the contact really was not completed as we both faded into the noise floor. Another benefit of this setup is I have the opportunity to use my KX3 and become more familiar with it. There have been times when I have been using my KX3 out in the park and forgot how to do certain functions……maybe those moments will be far and few between.
The op desk with Palm paddle
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

4 Responses to “Armchair ham radio at it’s best!”

  • John N8ZYA:

    Hello Mike,

    Congratulations on being resourceful and figuring out how to make the best of every situation. For those of us who really don’t have a “ham shack” It’s rewarding to see another way to be comfortable and enjoy the best of the hobby. 72’s

  • Ernest AA1IK:

    What make is that little lap top? I looked for one like that online recently and could not find a small ‘net book’ anywhere. Apparently, they are no longer made.

    de AA1IK

    Ernest Gregoire

    73

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening John, it sure is nice to be able to ham it up and be comfee at the same time. I was toying with the idea for some time now and on the weekend it was time to put it to the test. There is some fine tweaking that has to be done but over all it’s a keeper.
    Mike

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Top of the evening to you Ernest, the laptop is actually an iPad mini along with a Logitec keyboard that through in fared is linked to the iPad. So the laptop is actually a nice combo of a Mac iPad mini along with the Logitec keyboard.
    Mike

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