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Reviews For: nue-psk Digital Modem Kit from AmQRP

Category: Ham Radio Kits

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Review Summary For : nue-psk Digital Modem Kit from AmQRP
Reviews: 1MSRP: $185 for kit
The NUE-PSK is a standalone, battery-operated digital modem using Microchip dsPIC technology. Weighing about 12 ounces and requiring only 60ma at 12V DC, the modem is easily taken to the field. For easy visibility in high or low ambient light, the NUE-PSK modem's backlit graphic LCD displays transmit and receive text data, as well as band spectrum and tuning indicator. When coupled with a standard PS2 or USB keyboard and an SSB-capable transceiver, you can have and effective portable PSK31 station.
Product is in production
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AI4CQ Rating: 2008-06-14
Kit for diehard kitbuilders Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is a surface mount kit, it is not a Elecraft or Heathkit style check off the steps with pictorals kit. The instructions are more like, here are the parts, put it together. There are a few cautions and tips provided. The surface mount parts are attached to cards and in sealed bags to provide identification. Perhaps the instructions will evolve with time but for now it is minimal.
I would not advise this kit to anyone without surface mount experience. All the surface mount kits I have done in the past were small, this is a 8 chip board including a 64 lead processor. This kit is expensive $185, for me, and if you simply want the working device I would stongly advise buying the wired version. If however you get your jollys from a difficult kit and enjoy troubleshooting then this is for you.
There were no missing or extra parts. The case is sturdy. The board is first rate quality.
There is one error on the board. The substitution of a bigger eeprom U4 means you must bend the leads under the chip to make it mate with the traces, this is not noted in the manual. The placement of the batteries is a bit of a kludge but it works, I suspect an measurment error here.
My modem worked when finished, however I had to troubleshoot the connection to the radio, a PSK-20. I discovered the plug was not pushed all the way into the modem. The display is readable in sunlight the major problem with using a laptop. The TX Audio control must be all the way up and the P1 jumper in place to drive the PSK-20. IMD with this combination reads -34db.
In addition to the modem you need a small keyboard and a programming ttl to RS232 or USB interface. This can cost over $40 if you buy the assembled cable and the usb inteface, not inexpensive in my book. I bought the P4 interface kit for $7 but I have not received it yet. 72 AI4CQ James