History and Significance, Homebrewing, Radio Kits, Radios, Reviews and Views, Shortwave

TEN-TEC 1253 Regenerative Radio Build


This build review of the TEN-TEC 1253 comes from an article I wrote some years ago for Monitoring Times. This was quite an interesting project to build, as it was my first real radio kit. I tried to take my time (unlike the model airplanes I built as a kid which always ended up with missing parts and “extra” glue – or was that extra parts and missing glue?!) in an effort to really understand the building stages. My reward was a radio which worked great from the start, and which will always hold a near and dear place in my heart, as it allowed me to fulfill a kid’s dream to build a shortwave radio.

I hope TEN-TEC continues to offer such kits as the 1253 or the 1254 (a digital display version) once their current reorganization efforts are completed. And of course there are other radio kits out there, including regenerative radios. I hope you give one a try sometime. While the technology went out in the 1930s, there is a bit of a resurgence of interest in them because of homebrewing.

The file is a 4-Mb .PDF scan of the print magazine article: Ten-Tec1253

Enjoy! 73, Robert



  • Reply Phil from Darwin 02/17/2016 at 7:23 am

    thanks for posting Robert. Looks fun.

    • Reply Robert 02/17/2016 at 8:05 am

      Thanks, Phil. It was indeed fun, and a bit of a thrill to work a style of radio with its history. I am glad we moved on because tuning is quite sensitive, but the idea that someone came up with this technology back then is very cool. And, that we can still build it today as a viable radio is also cool! Cheers!

  • Reply Dave 03/25/2019 at 8:17 pm

    I bought a nonworking Tentec 1253 at a hamfest several years ago, and enjoyed disassembling and rebuilding it from scratch. I replaced the difficult to adjust trimpot with a multi-turn, and all went well. It’s a very nice radio, just fun to operate. It performs nicely with a long wire antenna.

    • Reply Robert 03/27/2019 at 8:11 pm

      You’re right, Dave, it is a fun radio to use, and it is reasonable sensitive as well. Too bad it is not being made anymore – easy to build, and a substantial radio when finished. Cheers!

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