Tag Archives: Emily (NI1Q)

NI1Q’s Long-Awaited Elecraft KH1: Worth the Wait?

After 126 Days, A Long-Awaited Unboxing: The KH1 Arrives!

by Emily (NI1Q)

If there was one thing being in a physical rehab facility for 4 months taught me it was friends and families were a comfort.  They brought encouragement, broke the boredom and were helpful in bringing hope when I wasn’t sure if I would be walking again. I was able to have my DMR handheld and checked into nets and talked with friends, but I really missed being on HF.

Although I own an IC-705 and a QRP Labs QMX, managing them in a room would have been difficult.  I really love the 705, and can manage the QMX, but the 705 is not the kind of rig you can put in a bedside table drawer;  the QMX with an EFHW + batteries becomes about as large and difficult to deploy.  Especially in bed.

It was with this mindset that I watched in interest Tom’s initial videos of the Elecraft KH1.  I initially saw it as something akin to the QMX, and I had some reservations about the key.  As I watched several of Tom’s exploits, my mindset began to change.  On January 29, 2024, I placed an order for KH1 Edgewood package.  I would soon (I hoped) become an Elecraft owner, part of what sometimes seems to be a cult, and other times seem to be the most loyal fanbase in ham radio.

I initially calculated I would get delivery sometime in April, just in time for my birthday.  As that time passed I talked to Elecraft and they opined that I would have it in time for Dayton.  A week before, it wasn’t going to happen, and I packed heavy to take the IC-705 with me.

And, then, May 30th, my wait was over. An email arrived: The KH1 was on the way!

Boxes Arrives:  I can’t contain myself…

On June 1st, I was out playing fetch with Zoe and saw the postal truck coming down the street, and I rushed over to the curb to meet him.  As he clicked his phone to certify delivery I asked “It’s from Watsonville CA, right?”  He smiled; “You must have been waiting for this one.”  “126 days for sure.”  I rushed into the house with my package quicker than Ralphie Parker running out into the snow with a Red Ryder BB-gun on Christmas day.

I had previously ordered the right angle antenna adapter, so together I had two boxes to unwrap.  The KH1 was packed well enough the box puffed up with what I assumed was bubble-wrap.

Carefully cutting the packing tape confirmed my assumption, and I was greeted by a very nice and unexpected colour manual that confirmed I had now become an Elecraft owner for the first time.

I thumbed through the manual and made a mental note of the sections I’d need for a quick “getting started” activity.  Time set – check.  Antenna selection – check.  Charging – check.  On-off switch – check.

I was ready (and eager) to go.

Pieces, Lots of Pieces.

Even though it looks like a tidy group of four things, there were multiple layers.  First out was the Edgewood case.  It’s a nice case but with only one extra pocket.  I would later learn it wasn’t really enough. The case was well padded, so for now it would be where the radio lived. Continue reading NI1Q’s Long-Awaited Elecraft KH1: Worth the Wait?

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.