- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Ten-Tec 1300 series QRP kits Help

Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec 1300 series QRP kits
Ten-Tec 1300 series QRP kits Reviews: 56 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $119
Description: Fine CW QRP transceiver; covers 60-70 KHz of band; with case
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Ten-Tec 1300 series QRP kits.

<— Page 4 of 6 —>

NG9D Rating: 5/5 Jun 13, 2006 11:04 Send this review to a friend
simple to make and fun to use  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I completed the 20, 30 and 40m versions faithfully following every step in the Ten Tec instructions manual.

But due to self imposed time restraints (weekend included two graduation parties, mandatory shopping and Saturday night out with the XYL…I gotta get my priorities straight!), I decided to just skip the intermediate stage tests/ adjustments and just assemble parts on the T1380. This allowed the rig to be essentially completed over the weekend. Add two hours Monday evening for simple RX alignment/cementing the VFO coil, peaking TX coils, adjusting sidetone and constructing an 80m “Marconi” antenna and another rig has been added to the station!

Using the handy formula for a quarter wavelength wire, 234/f(MHz), I modified my coax fed/ground mounted Hy-Gain 14AVQ trap vertical (40-10m) by adding both 80m and 30m wire elements.

I connected 20 gauge insulated wire (66’-5” and 23’-1”) with crimped terminal connectors by screwing to base of antenna mast and suspended the wire elements from a close tree. A similar length of ground level counterpoise wire was added to achieve a match with the transmission line. On 30m I had to trim counterpoise a bit. On 80m I lucked out and got SWR 1.1:1 without pruning.

The wire is the kind used for “invisible” electric dog fence. The wire is light, strong and UV resistant HDPE insulation. Pretty tough for single strand wire plus 500 ft roll is cheap and simple knot at end tied to light nylon cord holds it adequately without insulator. The antenna mod now allows each of the four TKits to use the same and RG8/U coax transmission line and antenna.

Results: Monday evening first contact RST reports from 559 to 579 during extended round table QSO with WI, MN and IL. Frequency is stable, the warmed up unit required no adjustment of VFO over the hour plus contact. Break-in keying, QSK, is excellent.

Of the four units, only the 20m version required Ten Tec technical support. They provided replacement capacitors for the VFO section that improved stability. Ordering on-line $99 + $9 UPS ground is a bargain, in my opinion. Each of the four units was delivered within two or three days of ordering. The T1380 is simple to make and fun to use.
KB5JO Rating: 4/5 May 16, 2006 21:05 Send this review to a friend
Good deal  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The T-1340 was my fourth QRP kit. It was more complex to construct and align than the others, containing more than twice as many parts. I cannot recommend it as a first build. With appropriate care the result was eventually a working transceiver. The instructions incorporate testing of each phase to insure the build is on the right path.

The receiver certainly has lots of gain, and easily drives the small speaker loud enough to produce xyl complaints. The transmitter power output is about 4 watts using a 12 VDC gel cell, nearly twice that of my other QRP rigs. The tuning range is also the widest, about 75 kHz. VFO stability seems good, with minimal drift after being powered for a few minutes. Keying is pleasant, without clicks or chirps, and of course is full QSK. None of the issues noted by others regarding oscillation of the PA, so have not modified the inductor placement. I discarded the RCA jacks in favor of more conventional key and power jacks.

The receiver noise level is somewhat higher than my others, and the CW filtering is wider (about 1kHz) than I prefer. RIT is included. I plan to incorporate a Freqmite to provide frequency readout.

I like the T-1340 better the longer I use it. For the low price, it produces good results.
NG9D Rating: 5/5 Apr 30, 2006 08:06 Send this review to a friend
Highly Recommended  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I can now report on the 30m version of this TEN TEC QRP transceiver, model T1330.

Ordered it on-line, still $99 and $9 for shipping UPS ground, and was delivered in less than 48 hours. Like the 20m and 40m models before, assembly took me about a weekend, plus a half-day or so of testing and adjustment.

Bottom line probably summed up by the first two contacts:

1) N0EK/North Dakota (also QRP, 5W; vertical antenna) who reported RST 569 during 40 minute chat.

2) EA1VB/Spain reported RST 339.

Since I don’t have a dedicated 30m antenna yet, the above contacts were made with a temporary end fed wire antenna (my current SWL antenna) and an MFJ 941C tuner. The wire length was about 150 feet, maximum height above ground 12-14 feet and fed against a water pipe ground. Good enough results for a 3 watt transceiver.

I need the 80m version to round-out my collection of T1300s. (Note that the 15m version is no longer offered for sale by TEN TEC.)

I would also like to mention that when assembling the 20m version, I had several technical questions that were promptly answered in a friendly manner by the TEN TEC service department. I was able to learn a little more about RF circuits and assembly techniques. I found the learning process to be worth as much as the finished product.

Technical review of T1340 found on-line This ARRL review of the 40m version concluded that “test-as-you-build assembly procedure puts this project within the capabilities of almost anyone with a moderate amount of kit building experience”. Based on my experience making three of the kits, I agree with them.

Therefore, I rate the 30m version 5 of 5, and recommend the purchase of this kit to anyone that enjoys building radios and operating CW. The receiver and full break-in keying are superb.

NZ0T Rating: 5/5 Feb 7, 2006 17:51 Send this review to a friend
Fun kit!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the 1340 based on the good reviews here and I have not been disappointed. The kit arrived last Thursday and (after a few self-inflicted mistakes) I had it up and running by Sunday Evening. My only kit building experience was a few simple keyers and a rebuild of an old Heathkit HW-22A but I found the 1340 easy to build. I took my time, rechecked my work and performed all the intermediate tests. I did the C1 mod to take care of sidetone clicks and it was successful. Power out is about 3 watts though it's hard to measure on my 100 watt SWR meter.
I've already made several contacts with good reports and plan to use this rig to achieve QRP WAS.
I highly reccommend the 1340.
NG9D Rating: 5/5 Jan 3, 2006 09:59 Send this review to a friend
The Best QRP Kit for the money?  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I really do like the T-Kit transceivers. After being so pleasantly surprised by the model 1340 I ordered the 1320 and put it together over the holidays. It took four days to assemble and align, working at a leisurely pace under my new illuminated magnifier (thanks Owen!).

The 1320, assembled per Ten Tec instructions, works as specified. Power output is just under 3W (my 1340 runs a bit over 3W). Several first day QSOs included compliments on the transmitter tone. I like the Ten-Tec QSK a lot. The single conversion superhet receiver with 4-pole crystal ladder filter sensitive and selective. IF passband is adjusted during receiver alignment. The rig is essentially drift-free on 20m after a brief warm-up. I found that the 40m version was a little less touchy during receiver alignment as could be expected – but neither were too difficult.

I can’t say these are the best QRP kits only because I need more reference points! I’ve made only four QRP transmitters and they all have their special attributes! And they are all fun! I do agree that these T-Kit CW transceivers are very inexpensive and high quality.
KI6AZS Rating: 5/5 Nov 5, 2005 14:06 Send this review to a friend
What a deal!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
If you are new to ham radio and want some *cred* with the solder sniffers, go ahead and build this functioning ham radio that gets out and has a nice receiver to boot! It's not really difficult to complete, but it does demand your full attention. I took my time -- 9 or 10 hours a week, and completed it in about two and a half weeks.

If you plan on ever building the Elecraft K1 or K2 this kit is excellent practice. It has about 4 or 5 toroids to wind, and the PCB is quite large for a kit of this type.

The results are quite impressive. The rig really works well! You'd be surprised who'll hear you with just 4 watts and a dipole. Note that you should not skimp on the alignment process. Take your time and do it right.

This rig does have a tendency to go into oscillation. I have read how others solved this problem and now i offer you my own experience with oscillation. I cut back on the Transmitter Output filter coils, so the output was not at an absolute peak and tuned these shielded coils for minimum SWR rather than maximum output. I lost a few milliwatts, but the system stabilized. Also, don't neglect to use shielded cable to attach your keyer.

All in all, one satisfying kit!
PA5BAS Rating: 5/5 Feb 3, 2004 21:05 Send this review to a friend
1320: Great small rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've just finished the 1320, and it works fine. There are several modifications available on the web to make it even better. Building this radio is great fun and very educational! The manual is good, but things are presented in a very strange order, so read first! Very nice printboard. Some low cost choices (dc jacks on the rear panel) are easily replaced by better types. Working with this radio is a pleasure! Easy DX: within one week after completion, I've worked VK land down under from the Netherlands, 14.000 kms, and several US hams - easy!

This radio is a real fun bargain! If you want to see what mine looks like with lots of modifications, and added NorCal keyer, please visit:

See you on the qrp frequencies!

Best 73,

WY7W Rating: 5/5 Aug 3, 2003 14:29 Send this review to a friend
1320  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This was my first transceiver kit, so I took my time, about 4 to 5 nights to complete. A few trips to N5ESE's website fixed all my problems, which were: Clicks in side tone-remedied by using a mylar capacitor in place of an electrolitic. Scratchy output-remedied by repositioning output toroids. No vfo drift, no chirp, 4.5 watt output, 70 khz coverage, silky smooth qsk. Can't beat this rig for 95.00!

Tom WY7W
N8NM Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2003 10:18 Send this review to a friend
Great rig for the $$  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
When I saw that T-T was discounting the 13XX series for the month of July, I figured I had to take a chance on one, I mean, a functional CW transceiver for $83? No way!

The kit arrived in about 3 days and was assembled in about 8 hours. Following the supplied instructions, which are well done (though the quality of the printing wasn't the best), the rig fired up and worked as advertised on the first try. In the weeks since, I've made literally hundreds of QSOs with the rig and have had no failure of any kind.

A first time kit builder would probably find this kit a little challenging, but only because of the number of parts involved. There's nothing particularly difficult about the assembly, nor any "gotchas" to look out for. Anyone with reasonable soldering skills and the ability to follow directions should have no problem building and aligning the kit. The only test equipment required is a multimeter and a general coverage receiver with decent dial calibration. A frequency counter would be nice, but is not necessary.

Additionally, the straight forward design lends itself well to experimentation and modification. With a little effort it's possible to really improve upon the performance of these rigs.

While it's no match for my IC-765, I'm having more fun working people with the 1320! I think that it's because with the '765 I expect to be able to work most anyone I hear, but with the 1320 and it's 3.5 watts, I tend to look at every QSO as an accomplishment!
WJ5MH Rating: 4/5 Apr 6, 2002 23:52 Send this review to a friend
A Small Struggle  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Guess I have a love/hate relationship with my Ten-Tec 1320... I love the radio, but hated the problems I had to resolve. (But, troubleshooting is part of the fun of building your own gear, isn't it?)

The radio actually worked the first time I turned it on, but I had QSK clicks and thumps I wasn't happy with. In addition, L7 in the receiver Mixer didn't peak properly, and L6 and L18 in the receiver front-end didn't appear to peak, either. Yet, the receiver was hot, hearing signals my FT-847 was copying.

I also noticed that the AGC wasn't to my liking. Signals had to be relatively strong to kick the AGC into action, but I attributed that to a possible front-end/mixer problem. Poor AGC action was causing me to play with the volume more than I normally would.

The alignment instructions could be a little clearer also. It is very easy to set the BFO to the lower-sideband when most rigs copy CW on the upper-sideband. No big thing. I just wanted the CW pitch to change in the same direction, with clockwise knob rotation, as on my BIG rigs.

After making a few on-air contacts, considerable drift was noticed after transmitting for a couple of minutes. Suspecting heat from the final causing VFO drift, I checked it, but I couldn't detect any significant amount of heat. It was definitely the VFO, because I tracked the 7.918 MHz VFO signal on a second receiver.

After a rather lengthy inspection of the circuit board, component values and solder connections, I found nothing suspicious, so I searched the WEB for help. I ran across several suggestions on curing QSK clicks/thumps, plus a couple suggestions on placement of the low-pass filter toroids. A cure for LM386 hiss was also found, so I suggest visiting prior to building your T-Kit. You'll find some very useful information.

A call to Ten-Tec also helped. I was informed that I could have some incorrectly marked shielded coils. After speaking with two very helpful Ten-Tec staffers, 3 new-shielded coils, and a 910-pf mixer stage capacitor were in the mail. I was also given another cure for QSK clicks, but nothing to fix the VFO drift, outside of checking my workmanship, so I was on my own.

Since I suspected the VFO toroid was a little too sensitive, I followed a suggestion in the ARRL Handbook. I rewound the toroid (a little tighter than I had), and boiled it for 6 minutes, letting it air-dry. (I further suggest that you let it air-dry for 24 hours before installing it. My 1320 toroid wire, with the proper number of turns, covers 1/2 of the toroid.)

After installing the newly made and cooked toroid, I inspected the component side of the circuit board, and did find some lead shavings (with my magnifying glass) around the hot side of C28 (VFO ploy cap). This could have been part of my drift problem as the shavings may have been changing the resistance on the emitter of Q2. This point wasn't shorted to ground, but any foreign objects in and around this area of the board WILL cause problems.

Well, the radio now seems to be working as advertised. I did change a resistor value in the AGC amplifier to increase its gain, and I added a Jackson Harbor PK-3 keyer inside the case, as well as a few other modifications. Would I buy the unit again? The answer is, yes. The design is good, and the support from Ten-Tec is great

To keep this short...if you need additional information, feel free to contact me directly.

<— Page 4 of 6 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.