[CQ-Contest] : Physics of 2 Keyboard SO2R

donovanf at erols.com donovanf at erols.com
Wed Jul 28 14:34:00 EDT 2021

Hi Mike, 

I reduced my operating table heights to 29 inches long ago and 
never looked back. 

What about your computer monitor(s)? Mine were much too high 
but now they're exactly at the recommended height with the 
top of the visible screen at seated eye level. 

and what about your chair? 


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

From: ve9aa at nbnet.nb.ca 
To: cq-contest at contesting.com 
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2021 1:52:55 PM 
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] : Physics of 2 Keyboard SO2R 

Just a follow up. I bought a bunch of 2x4's last week and made a cradle out of 
them and attached them to my desk (underneath) and lifted 
the entire thing (loaded) an inch or so off the floor with my big motorcycle 
jack and sawed off the bottom of the 5-legs on the beast. 
It was a little "tippy-canoe" for a bit, but once I had 4 jack stands underneath 
it, all went well with attaching the new feet.(not wheels!) 

The old metal/plastic/rubber casters were flat on the bottom (that's what you 
get for putting 500+ lbs on something for 17 years) and 
so it's no wonder I could never roll the thing anywhere after about the first 

The new desk height is roughly 29.6" give/take. It is a little bit adjustable 
and I may go up another 1/2" in the future, but it's a whole procedure to do 
that, so I am going to try it at its new height for a few contests and see if I 
can adapt. 

Just messing around in the CWT's and on VHF and whatnot, I am liking the new 
height and hopefully my neck/shoulders will thank me. 

The take-away from all this was that I already had a GOOD height picked out when 
I built the thing 17 yrs ago and I never should've installed casters at the very 
last minute. A lot of times, last minute changes don't work out so well. 


Mike VE9AA 

Thanks for your thoughts Dmitri, Frank, Steve, Mark and others. 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 (stupidly) put 2.625” tall wheels 
on it. There’s not even any room to move it anywhere in the shack, so there it 
sits. Landlocked with wheels. So now it’s 32” high. I read on an old thread 
here from 2012 that 29-31” surface height is ideal. 

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 doing the 
Chubby<Mike>Checker twisting motion doing 2BSIQ that I only ever notice it. 
(exacerbated by the desk height of 32” which is too tall for a short guy like 
me I think) 

I can no longer really access the bottom of the legs/posts because the desk 
with all equipment probably weighs 300-500lbs, and the bottom of the feet are 
only 2.5” off the ground due to the wheels, 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 (wheels still attached) and then install furniture 
leveler (feet) so that I can make it height adjustable from about 28.725” - 30” 
in the future .(maybe even 28.5”- 29.75”) 

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

I do have a 2-tiered wooden footstool I made, under the desk I use when 

My mouse is very small (1/2 the size of normal mice) and I endeavour to never 
(ok, vy seldom) use it during a contest, but at times I do get bored as the CQ 
machine does its thing and will go off and browse email or see where the sun is 
near Japan or whatever, or a window will overlap another window in N1MM+, so do 
use it a little). I did try putting it on top of the right radio, but I didn’t 
notice any difference of having the KB’s 2 or 3” closer and it was always a 
pain to reach up for the mouse…. I do have paddles up on top of the right radio 
but only use them very seldom. 

Mark, in a previous life I was a taxi dispatcher and got used to using the # 
pad for entering #’s all day long, so would hate to lose this…especially in 
serial # contests like CQWPX…..although you do make a good point. 

Another thing someone suggested privately is learn to type on the left KB with 
my left hand and the right with my right. Hmmm, I hadn’t given that much 
thought, but it’s a “maybe” if lowering the desk makes no real difference. 


Mike, Coreen & Corey 

Keswick Ridge, NB 

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