Category Archives: Kits

The NUE-PSK Digital Modem

QRPers have long been fans of PSK. And why wouldn’t they? The mode is efficient and uses DSP technology to help discover low bandwidth digital signals.  What that means for the QRPer is: 1 watt + PSK = DX   Very effective use of the juice!

Thing is, PSK has traditionally required the QRPer to bring along some sort of computer and a handful of wires and cables to take PSK to the field.

The American QRP Club has made this easier with the introduction of their portable digital modem–the NUE-PSK. This modem, like other AmQRP products is a kit and requires some experience with surface mount kits.

Here’s the AmQRP description of their modem:

The NUE-PSK is a small 7″ x 4″ x 1″ standalone, battery-operated digital modem using a graphic display for transmit and receive text data, as well as for showing band spectrum and tuning. Just plug in a standard PS2 keyboard and connect to an SSB-capable transceiver like the FT-817 or the PSK-xx transceivers from Small Wonder Labs, and you’ll have an effective digital mode station that goes absolutely anywhere.

The NUE-PSK is a small 7″ x 4″ x 1″ standalone, battery-operated digital modem using a graphic display for transmit and receive text data, as well as for showing band spectrum and tuning. Just plug in a standard PS2 keyboard and connect to an SSB-capable transceiver like the FT-817 or the PSK-xx transceivers from Small Wonder Labs, and you’ll have an effective digital mode station that goes absolutely anywhere.

Why wait? Go check out the specs on their website and also check eHam as reviews come in.

Impressions of the Hendricks PFR3

Photo courtesy of Hendricks QRP Kits

Dr. Bob Armstrong, N7XJ, did a nice mini review of the Hendricks PFR3–a truly portable field QRP radio. This is an impressive radio for at least 3 reasons:

  1. The kit costs a whopping total of $240 US. I don’t know where else you could find such a complete radio package (with built-in tuner and paddles) for that price.
  2. This radio (much like the Elecraft KX1) was designed specifically for QRP and specifically for field use–hence the major controls are mounted on top of the radio. No need to worry about a place to set your radio, just hold it in your hand (if using the built-in paddles).
  3. Looks like fun!

I got to play with a PFR3 and speak with a couple of people who had built them at the Dayton Hamvention this year. I was impressed with the radio’s ergonomics and tank-like feel as I held it. Though not a beginner’s kit, by and large people were very please with the ease of build. The instructions are pretty complete now that many people have built the PFR3 and given feedback to the Hendricks team. Check their site for updates and notices before you start construction.

I’ve heard of two people who have actually built this kit in one dedicated day of sniffing solder smoke. Not a task for the faint of heart, though–and I wouldn’t recommend trying this at home.  

I am in love with my Elecraft KX1 and this radio looks like it could be its (bright yellow) cousin. Way to go, Hendricks!
Some PFR3 Links:
If you have used the PFR3 and would like to share your thoughts, register on QRPer (see top tab) and leave a comment!