Model 1253 9 band regenerative shortwave receiver kit. The classic “first radio kit” is back better than ever! We’ve combined the very same audio output circuit of TEN-TEC transceivers with a modern FET design for classic regenerative SWL receiving plus one-button electronic band switching.
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Posted by Bob Emerson on 8th Dec 2013
This was a tougher kit to build. I had to reread parts of the instructions a few time to get what they meant. I also made some physical modifications to get the band select board to fit properly. Worked fine the first time I tried it though.
Posted by Unknown on 7th Dec 2013
HIGH QUALITY PARTS. GOOD MANUAL IF YOU FOLLOW DIRECTIONS, BUT COULD USE SOME PHOTOS FOR FURTHER EXPLANATION. TECH SUPPORT IS EXCELLENT IF YOU NEED IT. BUILDING THIS KIT WAS A REWARDING EXPERIENCE.
Posted by Frank on 20th Apr 2013
I have built several "homebrew" regenerative receivers and know a bit about their expected performance as well as their shortcomings. This receiver is by far the best regen I have used. It is stable and does not suffer the normal ills of this type of set. Slapping on the cabinet does not produce instability and no amount of volume produces harmonic feedback. Sensitivity is amazing and under control. Regeneration is smoothe and predictable. Excellent kit assembly instructions as well. Only one who's built their own can appreciate just how well this thing works! Excellent job Ten Tec Engineers!
Posted by Unknown on 7th Apr 2013
This is a great kit, but Ten-Tec needs to do something about the instructions. Please stop making photocopies of photocopies, and clarify which side of the board is which.
Posted by SW Listener on 21st Feb 2013
I have built 2 of these. 1st one I forgot the 100uf capacitor, but still seemed to work alright. 2nd one I missed nothing on the assembly instructions and it worked perfectly. The only issue I had was the R6 adjustment so that I could hear regeneration on each band. I could get the 49 and 40meters band spread all accross the regen button, but the 120, 25 could only get regen when the regen know was turned all the way to the right or left. It did bring in distant stations and I learned a lot by building the kit. It is the sturdiest, most heavy-duty, non-military radio I have ever had. I'm waiting to receive the tentec 1254 model to come in the mail.
Posted by Paul Pedraza on 24th Dec 2012
Before one puts the kit together , on should orient the circuit board with the push button switch towards front and mount on aluminum chassis , then mount chassis on case temporarily.. then gently push the nine leds towards the front. Now solder one wire of each led. then disassemble chassis.
To clarify what is front and back... Where the switch is facing , that's the front.. and the silk screen is the back... Kind of organize on the table where or group components as to which side they'll go. Also tack solder that 100uf electrolytic Capacitor to the diode in parallel, - to ground side of it. This will help bandswitch from jumping.
Take your time and have patience. It will pay off.
as for the extra two components in the kit the Choke and capacitor.. I've installed a switch as an alternative.. It's up to to as for these two parts.
Have fun, and don't rush.
Posted by Tom on 4th Aug 2012
The instructions were faulty, and the drawings which I had to rely on in the absence of concise text were very poor.
Single-sided PC boards have a front and a back side; sometimes called "top" and "bottom." The components go on the front/top side, and you solder on back/bottom side where all the copper foil is.
With this kit, the the components are mounted on both sides of the single-foiled Bandswitch PC board. The assembly instructions don't say this, and never properly refer to the board sides with "top/front" or "back/bottom" names. The text only refer to the illustrations, which you must be able to decipher in order to build the kit.
When the text does use "front" and "back," it's referring to the front or back of the finished receiver; not the PC board. And since you don't know which way the board will go until you build it, the instructions can cause you to build the Bandswitch Board in reverse. I did.
Enough people have built this kit to know that people ARE getting it to work. I didn't, despite decades of homebrewing and kit-building experience. If you do decide to sink a bill into this kit, remember that it is NO Heathkit (if you ever had that pleasure).
Too bad there wasn't just one simple, descriptive paragraph of text to go with the blurry illustrations.
Posted by PAUL PEDRAZA on 20th Jan 2012
I'VE BUILT SEVERAL OF THESE WITH IN THE 12 YEARS AND REALLY LIKED THEM. ONE THING IS THAT ONE NEEDS TO TAKE CARE ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF OF LED MODULE OR (BAND SWITCH) READ THE DIRECTIONS CORRECTLY. SENSITIVITY WAS GREAT. I WISH THAT 25-30 YEARS AGO, I WOULD'VE HAD THESE IN MY ROUGH LUMBER CABIN.
I INTEND ON BUYING MORE TEN TEC KITS LATER ON
Posted by WA0KNW on 19th Dec 2011
I worked with a group of 4th graders (9 year olds) in building the kit and everything went together easily. We spent several weeks working with small groups of 3 or 4 students at a time during their recess time. It worked perfectly the first time we turned it on. The kids (and I) were amazed at the the performance of this receiver. Anyone considering this type of project should take a long look at this receiver.
Posted by NG9D on 9th Dec 2011
What surprised me most was how much time I have spent listening to it over the years after I built it! With every little project one builds and uses I suppose they learn a bit more about electronics and radio communications. In particular, this kit taught me something about the benefits of resonant antennas. If interested, take a listen:
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