Emily’s simple way to attach a magnetic key to your field clipboard

Many thanks to Emily (NI1Q) who writes:

For those of us not fortunate enough to own an Elecraft KX series or KH1, I have a project that is a quick and dirty way to anchor your magnetic key to a clipboard. All that is needed is a fender washer from the hardware store and a hot glue gun. The best (ie, most magnetic) washer was the one marked ‘ALB’, but just take your key with you and try out what they have. If you find one you have to slide off, that’s getting there.

1) Affix the washer to the clipboard with hot glue. I recommend heating the washer with a heat gun first so you have time to reposition it if desired.

2) Put the washer on your key, and the glue on the washer. Position and press, and avoid moving it around while the glue cools (about a minute). If you do need to reposition it, remove the key, heat with the heat gun, replace the key and reposition.

I’m right handed so the key is on the right so I don’t hit it when I’m logging.


In case you are wondering about the chip in the carrier, I am working on a cordless interface between the key and a CW decoder for the IC-705. The plan is it will use the IC-705’s bluetooth connection to send audio to a Pi Pico for decoding, and then it will send back dits and dahs to the keyer. It should be able to be powered by a lightweight 3.7v rechargeable battery. This is in the early stage, but is showing promise.


5 thoughts on “Emily’s simple way to attach a magnetic key to your field clipboard”

  1. Emily-Tnx. This arrangement gives more space I what I do. I use a Pilot’s knee board from Amazon. It comes with a leg strap. Unfortunately, the board is aluminum and non-magnetic so I attach the key to the magnetic clip at the top. Then, bungee the KX2 to the board & use a 5×8 legal note pad. We use the same key with a strong bottom magnet from Amazon. While some are critical of this key, my old stiff hands really like the strong magnetic resistance and return of the paddles. I find this key better for me than ones more expensive. Best Bob K4RLC

  2. Great idea Emily! Thanks.
    Your suggestion might be quick, but certainly isn’t dirty.

    Maybe we should call it “simple and easy” and leave “quick and dirty” to Mike Rowe, sanitation workers, off-road mud racers, and programmers who never go back and clean up their code.

  3. Great idea, Emily!
    Amazing what can be done with simple hardware + ingenuity!

    I always liked the Britishism I heard years ago: “cheap and cheerful!”.

    Good luck with the other project, too!

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