IKEA and ham radio


Just a few days ago the IKEA store opened here in the local Denver area.  We’ve been hearing about IKEA coming to Colorado for the past 4-5 years.  Just a little over a year ago, IKEA broke ground on their new site just south of my QTH in Centennial, Colorado.  The grand opening certainly wasn’t without fanfare and my wife was looking forward to visiting the new store. 

The local news sources (TV, radio and newspaper) had all been talking about the number of people lining up and even camping out for several days before the official opening.  I avoid most crowded situations like the plague and this was certainly no exception. 

Since the grand opening was Wednesday, I really figured the weekend crowd (Saturday and Sunday) would also be busy, so we decided to go on Friday and make an evening of it.  Our IKEA has a restaurant specializing in Swedish meatballs.  Yum Yum

Anyway, I gladly accepted my role of driver and bag carrier.  We arrived just after 6 PM and the city/county officials had done a great job with traffic management.  Once on the IKEA property we were directed to the underground parking garage and found a parking spot with ease.  A few minutes later we were riding up the escalators to the upper level of the store.

While my wife had a few items on her shopping list, I really went with no expectations I would find anything I wanted, much less needed.  But I enthusiastically walked around looking interested in all the stuff IKEA sells.  Now before you get the wrong impression, I do enjoy shopping and it’s made even better when my best friend, my wife is with me.  Yes, I’ll be the first to admit I know where all the “man chairs” are located in the mall shops, but I do enjoy shopping.

We covered the two levels of IKEA and I had not really found anything that interested me personally.  I looked at the office chairs but my wonderful wife had purchased me a great chair last year and it still looks as good as new.  We passed by some of those white, cardboard magazine boxes.  I did grab a pack of 5 for about 3 bucks I think.  I need something to better organize QST, CQ and RADCOM magazines. 

A few minutes later I found something that caught my eye.  It was a LED table lamp on an adjustable arm.  It puts out practically no heat and I can bend the light around and focus it just where I need it.  The wife saw me looking at them and she said “for the soldering projects”?  I said yes and then some. 

The light has a heavy base (around 2lbs) and comes with a 6 foot cord.  This lamp will work great with my “soldering projects”, but also with other things where I just need to get more light onto the subject.  The light cost me $12.99 and can be found here on the IKEA website.


It didn’t take me long to put it to good use.  Here you can see it being used on an old radio project I’ve been working off and on (mostly off).  I’m currently re-stringing the dial cord on an old Belmont AM radio my wife gave me for Christmas a few years ago.  The radio needed a new dial cover, dial string and dial light.  I have all the parts and just getting it all assembled again. 

But yes, the IKEA light will also come in handy for soldering projects and other things around the shack.  I often dim the lights when operating (especially at night) and this will be great just to the side of my shack desk.



So I guess even a radio ham can find things of interest in IKEA.  It’ll probably be a few weeks before we venture into IKEA again.  I will probably pickup another of these lights and I already need some more magazine boxes.  Who knows, maybe I’ll find a few other things I can’t live without next time. 

Until next time…

73 de KD0BIK

Jerry Taylor, KD0BIK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Colorado, USA. He is the host of the Practical Amateur Radio Podcast. Contact him at [email protected].

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