Intro to digital modes

Filed Under (Digital Communications, YouTube Digital Goodness!, YouTube Goodness!) by Jonathan on 08-11-2009

Here’s another good introduction to digital modes found on YouTube.

So far, this user “Oztales” has four neat videos posted below.  This is a pretty good introduction for those that have never done any digital mode work.

Video four is a short presentation for those of you asking about PSK videos.  I’ll be adding a few more links I’ve found in the coming weeks.  I have a few friends interested in QRP PSK and found a few neat videos.

As always, if you have a few good links, comment below.

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

The SP-1, a simple crystal TTX

Filed Under (Kits, QRP, YouTube Digital Goodness!) by Jonathan on 06-11-2008

I love the simplicity of this transmitter.

I participated in the 2007 QRPARCI Four Days In May (FDIM) buildathon.  That project was the simple, unassuming SP-1.

GM3OXX designed SP-1

GM3OXX designed SP-1

This project appeared, like many, in an article in SPRAT (G-QRP club in the UK).  I was lucky enough to purchase a lot of back issues last year at Dayton, but they are available on CD-ROM as well.  All the information needed to build this simple project is available on the PDARS website with links at the bottom of this post.

I also picked up a bunch of kits from Doug Hendricks (KI6DS) and he had given me a keyer kit (he also donated this keyer to those of us at the buildathon).

Last month, I sat on the bench and decided to actually mount the SP-1 with the keyer I was given by Doug.  Below is the result.  In case you are wondering, the plastic that the PC board is mounted on, is an ordinary cheap bent plastic picture frame.

Top view with keyer underneath

Top view with keyer underneath (yes, I'm aware that I won't get far without the rock installed!)

Close up, front view

Close up, front view

Side view of the Hendricks single chip keyer that is mounted underneath

Side view of the Hendricks single chip keyer that is mounted underneath

The above link has 4 PDF files with:

  • Original SPRAT article by GM3OXX
  • Parts list (G-QRP Club kit)
  • Circuit diagram (G-QRP Club kit)
  • Instruction sheets by W4DU

K7AGE – Great YouTube PSK31 Videos

Filed Under (YouTube Digital Goodness!, YouTube Goodness!) by Jonathan on 06-11-2008

Randy, K7AGE is the epitome of a great ham.  The guy spends a lot of time making some of the coolest videos on YouTube!

In this series he takes you on a tour of PSK31 and what makes a good PSK31 operator.  A lot can be learned from this series of videos.

The first (Introduction to PSK31 – Receiving) is embedded below and the rest of the series, in order on his play list follow: – Soundcard Interfacing – PSK31 transmitter level adjustment – PSK31 operating – PSK31 sample on 20 meters

Way to go Randy, thanx!!!


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