[CQ-Contest] Physics of 2 Keyboard SO2R

donovanf at erols.com donovanf at erols.com
Mon Jul 12 19:17:17 EDT 2021

Hi Mike, 

Most ham shacks are incorrectly built for proper ergonomics. 

This graphic illustrates proper design 



----- Original Message -----

From: "Mike Smith VE9AA" <ve9aa at nbnet.nb.ca> 
To: "dimitri" <cosson-dimitri at bbox.fr> 
Cc: "CQ-Contest Reflector" <cq-contest at contesting.com> 
Sent: Monday, July 12, 2021 8:26:34 PM 
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Physics of 2 Keyboard SO2R 

Thanks for your thoughts Dmitri. I remember ~17 yrs ago when I built this huge multi-layered desk (you can see part of it on my qrz.com page) that I made it so the surface was @ 29.375” and then at the very last minute, when it was still being built, I put 2.625” tall wheels on it. So now it’s 32” high. I read on an old thread here that 29-31” surface height is ideal. 

Re: [CQ-Contest] shack table height - optimal for CW contesting? <http://lists.contesting.com/archives/html/CQ-Contest/2012-09/msg00201.html> 

I think that is only part of the problem however as I usually don’t get too sore in contests looking at my one screen at an optimal height.. It’s the twisting motion doing 2BSIQ that I only ever notice it. (exacerbated by the desk height of 32” I think) 

I can no longer really access the bottom of the legs/posts because the desk with all equipment probably weighs 300-500lbs, so what I think I’ll do as a first step is modify the desk to be jacked up with my Harley motorcycle jack, saw the bottoms of the legs off and then install furniture leveler (feet) so that I can make it height adjustable from about 28.725” - 29.5” in the future . 

I know this won’t 100% solve the problem, but it’s a good first step. 

I do have a 2-tiered wooden footstool under the desk I use when contesting. 

Mike, Coreen & Corey 

Keswick Ridge, NB 

From: dimitri [mailto:cosson-dimitri at bbox.fr] 
Sent: July 12, 2021 3:36 PM 
To: Mike Smith VE9AA 
Cc: AB1J via CQ-Contest 
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Physics of 2 Keyboard SO2R 

Hi Mike, 

As SO2R, I use a single keyboard so I'm not in the best position to help you.... 

I'm also not ergonomist but I would say that your neck pain comes from a bad position of the screens (height/left/right) ! 

You have to limit the movements (visually on the screens by moving the eyes and not the head). 

The height of your chair is probably not appropriate with the desk. You should adjust the height of the chair/armchair so that the elbows are about the same height as the desk surface. If your feet are off the floor, opt for a footrest, but never lower the chair so that your feet are on the floor. 

If you have enough place, try also a vertical mouse (with high DPI to limit movements). 

And I would recommend to use always the same setup (SO2R - 2 keyboards), regardless of the practice done (2BSIQ, run + S&P, S&P + S&P), it will the only solution for your brain, your hands, your whole body to acquire the automatisms and to find your best posture / equipment location. 

73 de Dimitri F4DSK / TM3Z 

Le 12 juil. 2021, à 18:58, Mike Smith VE9AA <ve9aa at nbnet.nb.ca> a écrit: 

This is just about KB size & placement, body movement, neck/shoulder pain, 
not specifically "how do you do it" (if that makes sense) 

I have 2 x 17.5" wide full size keyboards with a mini sized-mouse in between 
(almost no room for it to move) 

They are slightly slanted left/right in a flying vee formation to fit my 
small desk. (instead of 100% in-line) 

My tabletop is a little high at 32". 

The seat of my chair is 22" to the uncompressed seatpad. 

I am about 5'7" tall (and 57 yrs old) with the typical middle age spread 

I don't practice 2KB SO2R so only use it a few times a year, as I don't do 
2BSIQ SO2R (run/run) in every contest. 

Some contests I might run on one keyboard and S&P on the second in a very 
minor way. The physical problem seems to come when I do 2BSIQ run/run. In 
IARU this weekend, Cabstats told me I made 363 bandchanges, so I don't know 
if that means I twisted 726 times or what (or even more due to unanswered 
CQ's). At times I had to stop the 2nd radio as I was in too much pain.(hi) 

Sooooo, how do you get around neck shoulder pain from the constant twisting? 

I tend to swivel my chair a little help reduce it(and my 
legs/hips/stomach/core are fine), but even after a few hours I find I have a 
stabbing pain in my shoulder blades & neck. 

Is my tabletop too high? (probably..I put wheels on my huge shack desk after 
I had everything planned & built some 17 yrs ago and now think that was a 

My chair is as high as it'll go. 

I don't really want to go to mini keyboards as I am a hunt n' peck typist 
and I see everything fairly well as it is. 

How do you guys do 2KB SO2R and avoid pain? 


Mike VE9AA "5NN N" this past weekend 

(tnx for all the Q's !) 

Mike, Coreen & Corey 

Keswick Ridge, NB 


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