NUE-PSK – Kit building, digital modes, low power….. what’s not to love!

Filed Under (Digital Communications, Homebrew, Kits, QRP, YouTube Digital Goodness!, YouTube Humor Goodness) by Jonathan on 29-03-2009

For me, digital nirvana!

For me, digital nirvana!

This is one of those projects that come along now and then and just make my jaw drop.  I fell in love with this project in 2007 at the TAPR/ARRL Digital Communications Conference in Hartford.

Disclaimer:  I haven’t yet had the chance to build this kit.  I have been hit early on with this economy thing and haven’t been able to afford a kit.  But, I do come from Hartford, CT where we have the Mark Twain home.  Like Tom Sawyer….. I “convinced” a few friends to check it out and had a chance to play with their kits.

Just what is this thing?  It is a PSK modem.  But, it is also a bit more than that.  Unlike PC modems, this one has an LCD screen with all the input/output information right on the modem itself.  You get the kit (or buy it pre-built) and connect it to your radio and a PC keyboard.  Tune up your radio to the PSK action and go from there.  I’ve seen this set up running with the DC to daylight rigs from Yaesu and Kenwood.  I’d like to get one of these and play around with one of the PSK Warbler kits from Small Wonder Labs (  QRP and this modem are a PERFECT match.

It is lightweight and runs off a couple of 9 volt batteries.  Unless you’re KE4WLE, who has a video I’ll embed below, who runs his off of solar power!  Like many homebrew projects, since you build it, you are free to find many ways to tinker around and play with the kit.

I recently received permission from George Heron, N2APB to upload a couple of videos to YouTube and link in this post.  The videos below are of the prototype version (the one I got to check out at TAPR) and the battery installation of the new kit.

NUE-PSK prototype video (the final kit looks like the image at the top of this post)

New NUE-PSK kit battery install

What’s the price of admission?  Really rather inexpensive, consdidering.  You can get a full kit for $185.00 and fully assembled modem for $250.00.  If you’re an experienced kit builder, then you have a few other options (purchasing printed circuit boards, partial kits, etc).  Cables are most radios are also available.

Below is the Solar Powered NUE-PSK station of KE4WLE.

Final thoughts:

This is one of my favorite projects available for the radio amateur.  You can purchase the kit or get all the information to roll your own on the NUE-PSK website.  Something I think is really promising.  I have been involved in the creative commons and open source community for almost 20 years now and appreciate when ALL the information is freely available.

This kit is a full functioning modem/display with no personal computer required.  Great for a home station, even more fun for those of us that play radio in the great outdoors.  I’ve gotten my hands on a few of these and it’s always great to help others build them.  I hope to get one of these myself in the future so I can take them on some of my IOTA activations.

More information and ordering options are available on the new NUE-PSK site at

Nerd Humor – Sunday Special Music Edition

Filed Under (Humor, YouTube Humor Goodness) by Jonathan on 16-11-2008

OK, I am a geek (not that the crowd that would read this blog would be inclined to disagree…..).

Here are a couple of bonus geek humor videos.  I’ll add these often over time.

Round one:  MC Frontalot – It is pitch dark

I’ve been a fan of this guy for years and the whole “nerdcore” hip hop scene.  Which is nice for us New England geeks, as most of them ride the corridor from NY to Boston – great bunch of people!

If you’ve ever played the old Infocom games in the 80’s like Zork and Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy (there were a lot) then you can appreciate this one.

Round two: Weird Al Yankovic – White and Nerdy

This track is still rather hilarious!  The parts with Donny Osmond dancing are a riot.  If you bounce around YouTube and look for the green screen version of the video, Donny is non-stop hilarity.

For some reason, as much as Weird Al “gets” us geeks, his label won’t allow me to embed the video, so you’ll have to click on the link below to watch the video.

Funny stuff indeed.

Round three:  Optimus Rhyme – Obey the moderator

Continuing with the Nerdcore genre, we round out the videos this weekend with Optimus Rhyme.  This track actually got me in trouble (thread deleted by unappreciative moderator) with the folks on a certain ham radio form when I felt there was an over zealous moderator.

I used to work on a very popular music site with several thousand regulars on a daily basis, I can feel their pain and to that end…. a little humor.

Bonus round:  Brian Malow – Science Comedian

This guys material isn’t musical, but hey, it’s a bonus.  If you’ve caught his stand up material, it’s rather hilarious.  I know it’s good because the girls I date don’t “get it”.  He does these special geek comedy bits in the usual nerd circuits.  Really funny.


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