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$10 Studio Mike Boom

from Bob Raker W0BR on January 23, 2001
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Here's an inexpensive way to mount your microphone where you need it and leave room on your operating position.

Buy a "swingarm" desk lamp (top photo) - I found mine at Office Depot for $8.99. Drill out the two rivets holding the bulb holder. Reverse the position of the mount. The holes in the mount just happen to line up with the mounting holes of a chassis-mount SO-239 coax connector, and the threads of the coax connector just happen to mate with a standard microphone clip. Remove the center pin and insulator, then grind off the back of the connector. Mount the former SO-239 with a couple of 6-32 screws. Install the microphone clip - the entire process took me about 15 minutes.

The bottom photo shows my completed "studio" boom complete with a $15 Radio Shack "close-out special" microphone (33-3017).

Member Comments:
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$10 Studio Mike Boom  
Anonymous post on January 23, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
The people at Pixar would be horrified. ;>

$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by W4FOA on January 23, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
What imagination! Congratulations. And....I bet it works just as good as my Heil setup. Thanks for sharing.
$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by NE4S on January 23, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
You can put a small video camera on it too...
Mike, NE4S
$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by KD5MAW on January 23, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Clever idea Bob. Since you don't have a patent, I think I'll use it. :~)
$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by N6DW on January 23, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I like NE4S's idea about the video camera... but why would we want pictures of Bob's tonsils?
$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by N3PJ on January 23, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Great job, but i,m more interested in the mic and wiring of, more comments please.
$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by WA4IXN on January 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Really works great, but lightweight mic a must. I've built several of these over the last 30+ years, but never thought about using coax connectors. A super inovation. You can get old cantilever swing-arm lamps at yard sales for a buck or two. Saw one once being used in a broadcast station studio.
$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by WA4BWO on January 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
here's a suggestion. If the mic is too heavy, increase the spring tension! Figure that one out!
$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by WA2AEH on January 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
How do you key the transmitter? I hate VOX.

$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by WA2AEH on January 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Where's the PTT line?
$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by K5IQ on January 24, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
As a guy who works with audio equipment for a living, I've often wondered why you couldn't modify one of these lamps to serve as a mike boom--after all, the audio catalogs show such rigs run about $60 to $130! Granted, the pro jobs can handle heavier mics, but Bob has not only shown it can be done, but it can be done simply, effectively,and inexpensively as well. Nice job!

Now, for those asking about the about a FOOTSWITCH? If you've never operated with your hands free to log, take notes, play on the computer, you've missed out! I don't care for VOX, but love my footswitch--particularly for contests and DXing. Try it!
$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by KD5KNV on January 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Unlike the Luxo "springless" booms, the springs will
create noise of their own and transduce into the mic when the boom is moved. To minimize, slip a small, thick rubber band over each pair of springs. (The bands that hold fresh broccoli in bunches work best).
Or, use tie-wraps, which work ok, but then you don't get all those vitamins and fiber.
$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by WA4CNG on January 27, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I built mine last night. The light assemblies come in black or white at Office Depot. It sure does make for more room on the operating desk. Adjustment of the tension nuts at the middle and top joints will make for a smooth operating boom.
$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by SWLTHIERRY on January 28, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Yes that is a nice idea. I do use one for my MD-100 on the shack and here for my webcam. There're good quality price boom enjoy its.

Brittany area, N W France.

$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by W4DWT on January 29, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
This was a gread idea , you can find the swing arm lamps at thrift shops and yard sales for less than 10.00 I purchased two of these jewls at a Goodwill store for 8.00. Thanks and why did I not think of that!!!

RE: $10 Studio Mike Boom  
by KB3CDF on January 29, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
'got the parts this weekend. I had a spring/lamp from college days with a broken switch. Already had a mic HEIL (HC-5). It's a done deal.

Now, we're using a $150 boom mic set up for $5 in parts. The check is in the mail with the $$$ change ...HI HI.

THANKS & 73's
John M. de KB3CDF
$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by W6LAR on January 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Light my fire! Saw this one and wondered why I had not done this myself before now.
Had extra lamps and tore into one as soon as I could. Now I have EXTRA work space on the
operating position. No mic stand to get in the way. Built my own comfy foot peddle switch with
two springs from the hardware store, two flat wood pieces and a push switch plus a
simple brass hinge that adjust to my foot pressure. Glad I saw it here!

Larry W6LAR
Cheap Footswitch to go with cheap boom  
by K5IQ on January 31, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I've had some inquiries as to where one can acquire a footswitch. For cheap and simple, try Radio Shack's stock #44-610. Designed for use with cassette recorders, you can either cut off the 1/8" mini plug, or better yet, use an in-line jack to hook up a line to the PTT.
$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by WB4DX on February 2, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
While this is an excellent project both asthetically and functionally, The idea is not new, I have one that uses a Shure 444 mic head on a swivel and is at least 10-15 yrs old. Adding another variation to Bobs project.
Of course, Bobs looks much better than mine!
Good work Bob.

$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by KE6SCR on February 3, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
The simple answers always stand out.

Great job Mike.
$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by AL7KC on February 4, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
For an inexpensive, real footswitch, check second-hand stores for old dictation machine or sewing machine pedals. These are heavy duty and up to the task of years of use for "stomp-to-talk!"
Cheap Footswitch to go with cheap boom  
by WO7T on February 4, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
A cheap footswitch found at Electronic Goldmine 1-800-445-0697. Touted as high quality, all metal construction with 20A switch in it. 2-1/2 x 2-3/4 x 1-1/8 inches. Momentary switch. $7.95.

ALso OfficeMax had Westinghouse boom arm lamps on sale for $7.50 when I stopped Friday evening.

$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by AA5FJ on February 7, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Awww, man! And I spent all that time converting a radio studio mic boom into a reading lamp!
Seriously, this is a nice project. But don't put the cart in front of the horse - Radio Shack and
some music shops sell an inexpensive "goose neck" microphone holder that's bendable into the shape you want, is already threaded for a microhone clip, and can hold a medium-weight microphone
where you aim it.. Aah, the drawback - you must screw three screws into the desk somewhere to mount the base. Now that we're reducing clutter by the rig, would anybody share a morse code key
project like the old military "Knee Key?"
RE: $10 Studio Mike Boom  
by N6REJ on April 13, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
excellent idea, a picture and more detail of this mounting method would be much appreciated.
And I bet I could use my old sewing machine pedal switch for the footswitch :)
$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by KB6LWN on May 10, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Excellent! Idea... And I'll probably end up doing something like this for my lighter mics, but I'm a little hesitant to put a heavy vintage EV on it.
I'd really like to have a swing arm boom like I used at WYFR studios a few years ago. Anyone know of a good outlet for the heavier commercial articulated booms ?
(Preferably Used - good condition, maybe minor repair)

TIA -n- 73,
$10 Studio Mike Boom  
by JERI2U2 on July 23, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Bob, You are brilliant! I bet you can help me find a mike. I am an invalid & and live on the 2nd floor. I need to rig a mike so that if I really need help I can broadcast "Someone call 911 for me" and I can be heard by people on the street. Where would I find such an item. Your help could save my life, which isnt worth much, but I like it.

RE: $10 Studio Mike Boom  
by WA4NUN on July 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I did a slightly modified version of this as the lamps do not have the stout parts that they used to. I had to add a few cable ties to the springs to make them a little stronger force to support the ICM mic, and after I was finished, I found a very old architect lamp with much better parts and springs. Well, there is always next time.!!!

I would do it again in a heartbeat! It is cheap and works great. Spending $100 or more is just plain stupid after doing this no-brainer.
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