[CQ-Contest] Love my operating chair

Jim Smith jimsmith at shaw.ca
Sat Mar 16 02:21:24 EDT 2013

Oops - that was May/June 2010


On 3/15/2013 12:51 AM, Jim Smith wrote:
> You may find some things of interest in my article on Station Ergonomics
> in the, I think, May/June 2009 issue of NCJ.
> 73, Jim    VE7FO
> On 3/13/2013 1:20 PM, Michael Clarson wrote:
>> Steve: I have no issues in SSB and CW contests, but in RTTY contests, I
>> spend a lot more time looking at the monitor. After a while, neck
>> pain/sore
>> neck. Turns out monitor required me to look up slightly (not much) and
>> that
>> does it. Lowering the monitor about 4 inches fixed the problem. --Mike,
>> On Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 4:07 PM, Steve London <n2icarrl at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Interesting thread.
>>> I have a strange contesting pain issue for which I have not yet found a
>>> solution.
>>> I believe that I do not move my neck enough. I tend to focus
>>> straight-ahead on the monitor, and not much else. After a 48 hour
>>> contest,
>>> the back of the neck is incredibly sore when I move it, and the pain can
>>> continue for up to a week after the contest. The pain feels like it
>>> is in
>>> the skin, rather than deep in the vertebrae. My table is lower than the
>>> standard height, and my monitor is as low as I can place it, so that
>>> I do
>>> not have lift my head upward. I tend to sit upright, not using the
>>> back of
>>> the chair. (My XYL says I look like a turtle, and my cat frequently
>>> provides lumbar support !). Other than this, I have no
>>> contest-related pain.
>>> Suggestions ?
>>> 73,
>>> Steve, N2IC
>>> On 03/13/2013 08:39 AM, Charles Harpole wrote:
>>>> 20 yrs ago, after I totalled up all I had invested in gear, I
>>>> decided to
>>>> invest in myself.  I purchased a Steelcase brand full posture desk
>>>> chair.
>>>> Shoulder hi back, adjustable tilt fore and aft, adjustable up and down,
>>>> adjustable hardness of the front seat edge, short arms (away from
>>>> front of
>>>> desk), and a lumbar cushioning rear back.  Five swivel wheels.
>>>> I could have bought a good antenna tuner or a Ham-M but this was the
>>>> best
>>>> ham item I own.  It allows my thighs to be horiz, my feet flat on the
>>>> floor, or raised on a small stool, and back adjust. too.
>>>> Also, I cut the legs for my operating table to TYPING HEIGHT, not desk
>>>> height (research on Internet), and put extra feet under the front
>>>> legs of
>>>> my radios to angle them upward.  My logging monitor is at eye line
>>>> height
>>>> and above the radios.  My keyboard is the shorty kind with no number or
>>>> arrow keys on the right side, leaves another 6 inches of desk space.  I
>>>> would have liked to put the keyboard in a pull out drawer just under
>>>> the
>>>> table, but needed a twoXfour across there to hold the weight of the
>>>> gear.
>>>> My transceiver is at typing table height, with the main knob in line
>>>> with
>>>> my right shoulder.  Being right handed to run the kbrd and Morse paddle
>>>> (paddle is to right of rig), my rotor controls are to the left of the
>>>> monitor.  I like the HyGain single button  6 pre-sets rotor control
>>>> model
>>>> DCU-1 (note the DCU-2 is not as good but newer).*
>>>>     Left and right speakers are separated by 5 ft. and at ear height.
>>>>   Manual
>>>> tunable amps are on the upper right (right handed) and auto-tune
>>>> thing is
>>>> on upper left.
>>>> VOX on ssb with Heil 4 element and headset.  (if you dont like VOX, you
>>>> dont have a FT-9000 line of radio... smooth).  Lemon juice drinks, no
>>>> coffee, finger food delivered to desk.  Empty gallon jug on floor under
>>>> table.
>>>> Ant selector is remote sw box slaved to rig.  Computer gets exact
>>>> rig freq
>>>> to N1MM log.   And, that is my only automation.
>>>> The posture chair, however, is the most important contest accessory I
>>>> have.
>>>> 73, Charly K4VUD
>>>> *Sadly and strangely, there is no other true and full PRE-SET rotor
>>>> control
>>>> available.  The best the non-DCU-1 controllers can do is to turn the
>>>> rotable knob to the desired bearing and push go.  The latter style
>>>> means
>>>> you must look carefully at the bearing knob for much longer time than
>>>> pushing a pre-set button.  Yaesu, listen up  !!!
>>>> On Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 2:44 AM, Pete Smith N4ZR<n4zr at contesting.com>**
>>>> wrote:
>>>>   Many of us will recognize Contester's Crouch - sitting in front of a
>>>>> radio
>>>>> or a computer screen, head forward, shoulders hunched, ready to
>>>>> pounce.
>>>>>    It's instinctive, maybe, but not very healthy.
>>>>> For the last dozen years or so, I've had a buildup of calcium on my
>>>>> neck
>>>>> vertebrae, pressing on nerves going down to my right arm.  When I sit
>>>>> for a
>>>>> long time - as in contests -  it can be really painful. After
>>>>> making lots
>>>>> of compensatory changes in the ergonomics of my station over the
>>>>> years,
>>>>> this fall was disappointingly familiar, but with a new addition -
>>>>> strong
>>>>> referred pain in the muscles just inside my shoulder-blade on that
>>>>> side.
>>>>> So it was back to the physical therapist again, for more traction and
>>>>> electro-stimulation, but this time he suggested I try something
>>>>> else - a
>>>>> large lumbar cushion placed vertically in the lower back of my desk
>>>>> chair.
>>>>>    Because my weight would carried on the cushion rather than where my
>>>>> upper
>>>>> back rests against the chair, the effect would be to push my lower
>>>>> back
>>>>> forward, and shift my shoulders back.  I had been using a small one
>>>>> for
>>>>> driving, to help relieve some sciatica, so I figured, why not try it?
>>>>> In my case, benefit was immediate and dramatic.  Where an hour or
>>>>> two in
>>>>> the chair would produce strong pain, now I can sit for hours with
>>>>> no pain
>>>>> at all.  I'm not about to go 44 out of 48 hours like K0DQ and
>>>>> others who
>>>>> totally defy aging, but this way I can have all the fun I want out of
>>>>> contesting, pain-free.
>>>>> The particular cushion I use is by Tempur-Pedic, and is close to 3
>>>>> inches
>>>>> thick.  No particular brand preference here, except that the
>>>>> temperature
>>>>> sensitive foam adjusts nicely to spread the pressure across my back.
>>>>> And of course, I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV.  YMMV, etc.
>>>>> --
>>>>> 73, Pete N4ZR
>>>>> Check out the Reverse Beacon Network at
>>>>> http://reversebeacon.net,
>>>>> blog at reversebeacon.blogspot.com.
>>>>> For spots, please go to your favorite
>>>>> ARC V6 or VE7CC DX cluster node.
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