I already told you in a previous post about how much I like my Elecraft K1. I use it mostly in the field, when we backpack up a mountain or trail for an event like Field Day or one of the QRP field events held each year. The one drawback of the K1 is that having the controls on the front panel instead of the top makes it harder to use when you (and it) are sitting on the ground in the woods. Usually, I’d just find a rock or something to stick under it to prop up the front (and I can show you the scratches on the bottom of my K1 to prove it). Now, let it be known that Elecraft offers the KTS1 Wide Range Tilt Stand as a possible solution to this problem. And I’m sure that it’s a fine product. I was a little put off by the $35 price tag, though, so I finally decided to fashion a stand of my own.
The KTS1 uses 10-32 thumbscrews to attach to the K1 (the stock K1 has the holes for the screws already in place). I decided to use a strap of aluminum and a couple of thumbscrews to make my own stand.
I found suitable thumbscrews (actually, knobs) and a 1″ wide strap of 1/16″ aluminum at Lowe’s for a total of about $10. I cut and bent the aluminum to make a U-shaped handle that can swivel around the back of the K1 (acting as a handle), and then I added an extra piece of aluminum on the bottom that swivels out to stabilize the stand:
I fastened the swivel piece to the rest of the stand using a pop rivet, but any number of methods could have been used. I also used a thin nylon washer between the two aluminum pieces, and between the stand and the K1, to minimize scratching the metal. The only other things that I did were to use a metal snips and a file to round the ends of the aluminum, and to give it a couple of coats of Krylon satin black spray paint. No one who knows me would confuse me with a master craftsman, so if I can build it, so can you.
If I were to build another one, I’d consider using heavier aluminum. The one I built will wobble slightly due to the thinness of the aluminum, but it’s a very minor issue. Overall, it seems plenty stable, and it’s extremely lightweight.