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Reviews Categories | Ham radio kits | Ten Tec model 1056 rcvr. Help

Reviews Summary for Ten Tec model 1056 rcvr.
Ten Tec model 1056 rcvr. Reviews: 18 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $$29.00
Description: Direct conversion receiver for any HF ham band
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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AB1DQ Rating: 5/5 Jun 12, 2014 07:38 Send this review to a friend
Incredible performer, fun to build & modify!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the Ten-Tec Model 1056 Direct Conversion Receiver Kit this past weekend to use with my Glow Bug 40 M QRP Transmitter. I was impressed by the remarks found in online reviews about the quality of the receiver.

Assembling the kit was easy. I've been building kits my entire life and have been plagued with the fact as time goes on my vision gets worse and components have gotten so tiny compared to when I was a scrub back in the 70s. That said, this kit was not difficult. There aren't too many parts to keep track of, and doing an inventory of all parts before beginning makes good sense as you not only are able to verify the kit was complete, but you also can identify and group the similar value parts which make installation easier.

The circuit board is well laid out and the contact holes are plated through and best of all, there are no surface mount components. The silk screening accompanied with the diagram and schematic in the manual make inserting a piece in the wrong place near impossible. A tip to newer kit builders - keep your Ohm meter handy to verify resistor values before soldering them in, particularly if your vision is poor like mine.

The kit comes with a set of coils for all the popular ham bands, and you get to choose which set to install and keep the rest should you ever wish to modify the receiver for a different band.

The one minor point of anxiety I encountered in building the kit was that the markings on the coils did not match the description in the assembly manual. However, the kit had an addendum that indicated the coils now included in the kit have different markings - so be sure to READ ALL THE PAPERWORK that comes with the kit.

I did not use a Ten Tec enclosure but instead went with a Radio Shack project enclosure - you know the type - black plastic with an aluminum cover.

I mounted the controls on the aluminum panel, making it the front of the radio and placed a 3" 8 ohm speaker ABOVE the controls on the front panel. I think front firing speakers are best - the Ten Tec enclosures have a provision for top speaker mounting.

Others have swapped the location of the tuning and band spread pot so they could use a larger dial for tuning. I kept the band spread pot where it was, but I used jumpers to move the tuning pot above the other controls and to the right of my speaker. I also added a reduction drive knob I had in my parts box.

The last mod I made was to relocate the earphone jack from the back of the circuit board to the front panel - I placed it where the tuning pot was, so it's logically right below the speaker.

How does it perform? INCREDIBLY WELL!!!!

Last night I put it on the air, connecting it to my G5RV antenna and tuned across the 40 M band. The direct conversion circuit is ridiculously sensitive - I was able to pick up CW and SSB signals across the entire 40M band. I compared the signal strength and audio with my main rig - my Icom 7200 and was very pleased that what I could hear on the Icom, I could pick up on the Ten-Tec....NO KIDDING! The audio for both phone and code was crisp and clear and I did not experience any drifting either.

Selectivity is a bit of a different matter. This being the 40M band, the international broadcast signals last night did overpower the receiver.

BUT... I was blown away by the fact all I had to do was dial back about a fifth of the way on the RF gain to ELIMINATE the broadcast QRM completely!

So, I'm very much sold on the Ten-Tec 1056 and can't recommend it enough. It was an easy and fun build and so far it's been a GREAT PERFORMER. I am very eager to use it once I complete assembly of my QRP station.

I plan to modify the radio by adding the Four State QRP Group's Morse-code frequency counter.

Bottom line - I paid $30 for the 1056 Kit and ended up with a receiver that rivals receivers costing several times that in terms of performance. Best of all, I had the fun of building it myself and the satisfaction of a job well done.

73 de AB1DQ
Bedford, Mass
NZ5L Rating: 4/5 Mar 10, 2013 08:17 Send this review to a friend
Good value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Considering the price, the 1056 is a good performer, with stability approaching that of vintage tube receivers. I can't give it a "5" because it lacks so many features we have come to take for granted in receivers, such as dial readout or AGC, but this is designed to be a bare bones receiver, and it performs adequately. Because of the proliferation of small parts and hard-to-discern labelling, a good jeweller's loupe is as necessary as a pencil soldering iron. I would not recommend this for a youngster or first time builder.
Sensitivity is surprisingly good, and voice quality on SSB is acceptable.
This is probably as simple as a rig can be and still be useful for anything. Worth a look.
KU4UV Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2012 06:28 Send this review to a friend
Excellent receiver kit!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I really like this receiver kit. I built my receiver for the 40 meter band, and it performs really well. I would recommend this kit to anyone who has intermediate kit building skills. It took a total of maybe 2-3 hours of casual building to complete the kit. The instructions are really clear and precise. I plan on using my 1056 with a QRP transmitter. All I need to do is get my kit mounted into a case. This is really one of the best values going right now with amateur radio receiver kits in this price range. I only wish Ten-Tec would come out with more great kits like this. I like the kit so well that I will probably build another one this winter and construct it for the 80 or 160 meter band. Please see my video review of the 1056 by visiting the following link.

KG7RS Rating: 5/5 Sep 8, 2012 01:00 Send this review to a friend
Surprisingly Good Performer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hi Folks,

I bought one of these 1056 receiver kits recently with the hope that it would be stable enough to use as a companion receiver to a homebrew 6AG7/6L6 CW transmitter I built a couple of years ago. Having successfully used the transmitter with various vintage "boatanchor" receivers in the past, it ultimately ended up as a nostalgic shack decoration in more recent months. I assumed the 1056 receiver would be at least as good a performer as the worst vintage receiver I've used in the past. Even if it wasn't, the kit was cheap and would certainly be fun to tinker around with. Once completed, this kit proved to be a far better performer than I ever imagined. After using it on the air for a week paired with the aforementioned transmitter, I'd say it performs better than most vintage tube-type receivers I've used in the past.

I built mine for the 40 meter band. Ten Tec warns that performance begins to fall off quickly when the 1056 is configured for 14Mhz and up. All parts to configure it for any HF band from 160 through 10 meters are included with the kit. The kit is supplied with a nicely finished, labeled & pre-drilled front panel. The use of a metal enclosure is strongly recommended to greatly promote stability. Configured for 40 meters I found stability is excellent after at least a 15-minute warm up. After a half-hour warm up, the 1056 is even stable enough to listen to broadcast stations on the 40 meter band by carefully adjusting the bandspread pot for zero-beat. I found stability to be similar to many of the better boatanchors after a reasonably warm-up period. As may be expected, tuning is a bit touchy, requiring a gentle touch, but is easily mastered. I experienced none of the issues common to simple direct-conversion receivers such as images, AC hum pickup & signal overload. It tunes SSB signals very well - just like a superhet with a product detector - far better and easier than a typical 1950's receiver. I did not have to back off the RF gain unless the received station was extremely strong & this was seldom encountered. Just leave the RF gain at maximum and tune away. Sensitivity is as good as any HF transceiver in the shack - no kidding! Selectivity is rather wide for CW use without an external audio filter when the band is very active. I use my 1056 with the excellent Logikit SCAF-1 from Idiom Press. The 1056 even has a variable bandpass function which is best used to peak the target CW signal rather than to eliminate nearby QRM. One of most notable attributes of the 1056 is the low noise floor. Audio response is quite good and I found signals stand out well and are easily copied.

One very significant attribute of the 1056 receiver is inadequately conveyed by the Ten Tec website - they offer an optional aluminum cabinet which fits the front panel supplied with the kit perfectly. This is the Ten Tec model TPB-45. A one-page instruction addendum is supplied with the kit which instructs the builder to temporarily tape the front panel to the cabinet front which acts as a template for drilling cabinet holes for the control pots. When complete, the front panel simply mounts to the cabinet with the pot mounting hardware. The builder can then drill the rear panel of the cabinet according to his own design - adding jacks for antenna, DC power, headphone, etc. The result is a very attractive kit which provides good shielding and a factory-built look.

The 1056 includes PWB pads to provide for an external muting function - perfect for use with a separate transmitter. These pads are normally jumpered if external muting is not desired. I installed an RCA-type phono jack, insulated from cabinet ground, which I connect to my manual transmit/receive switch to automatically mute the 1056 when the T/R switch is in the TX position. Full muting is obtained and the receiver recovers instantly when "un-muted" without instability or loud pops. A nice feature.

Construction of the 1056 is as easy as it gets. The single sided board is rugged and withstands reworking well should the builder decide to change band configurations later. Alignment is even easier. There are two miniature shielded transformers to adjust with an insulated tool. One sets the low end of the tuning range. Simply use a low level RF source with a known output frequency such as an HF transceiver, signal generator, etc and adjust the transformer slug until the signal is heard in the 1056. Then peak the other transformer for maximum signal strength. I set the lowest frequency on my 1056 to 6.9Mhz with the main tuning pot fully CCW and the bandspread pot centered. The receiver will tune the entire 40 meter band with room to spare on both ends of the band.

The 1056 will power nicely from any well filtered and regulated source of 12VDC. Mine operates from one of the excellent regulated linear-mode "wall-warts" from Jameco. Current drain is very low if battery operation is desired. I noted absolutely no AC hum pickup in my 1056 - even sitting immediately next to the power supply which powers my homebrew tube-type transmitter.

At $39 for the complete kit, which includes a nicely finished front panel and parts to build the receiver for any HF band - and an additional $12 bucks of so for an equally nicely finished cabinet - the 1056 is a tremendous bargain in my opinion. I hope Ten Tec can continue to make it available for years to come. This is an excellent choice for a "first kit", and - one which will most certainly see plenty of use once completed.

73, John, KG7RS
AE4GM Rating: 5/5 Jan 29, 2011 12:14 Send this review to a friend
Keeping on frequency  Time owned: more than 12 months
I added an N3ZI digital dial to the 1056 to avoid drift and it works great. You have to add a 1 megohm resistor to the frequency output and the rf amp kit from to amplify that signal for the N3ZI digital dial to read. One problem with the amp was I confused the input with the output for quite a while before I realized what I was doing. It's an easy mistake to make, so be aware. The amp transistor gets very hot and uses battery life fast so I used the 12 volt supply for the rig to also power the amp. I don't remember if I needed a voltage divider or not to get the right voltage.
N1KSN Rating: 5/5 Jan 6, 2010 07:32 Send this review to a friend
Nice kit and receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I read the new eHam reviews nearly every day. When I read NG9D's review of this kit I took a look at the YouTube videos mentioned there. I purchased the 1056 kit and the accompanying 1000-C enclosure and hardware kit (no longer available although the TP-19 enclosure is) some years ago but had never gotten around to building it. Now that I'm retired I've been working through my "back inventory" of projects and kits. The YouTube videos inspired me to finally do this project.

When I started planning the project I saw that the 1056 circuit has an output for a frequency counter. And it just so happened that two years ago I had set aside a partially completed homebrew frequency counter project using an Atmel AVR ATtiny2313 programmed in assembly language. This was the perfect excuse to complete that project. Based on the videos I also decided to add a Ten-Tec RF preamplifier kit to allow the optional use of a smaller antenna.

I built the kit for 80 meters. The supplied components allow coverage of the entire band, CW and SSB. The frequency counter has a 5-digit 7-segment LED readout that is updated every half-second (a compromise between resolution and response to tuning changes).

The receiver kit itself went together quickly and the Ten-Tec TP-19 was a perfect match to it. I added a muting circuit and jack and a sidetone input jack so the receiver could be used as part of a ham station. Everything worked on first power-up, although I did play around with the frequency counter software some afterwards. My frequency display adds some 50 Hz hum to the audio, but it is only heard if there are no or very weak signals.

There is a bit of drift during warm-up, but it decreases as you continue to operate. Given the simplicity of the circuit this is quite acceptable. The variable bandpass control is a nice feature for such an inexpensive rig, and there is more then enough audio to drive a speaker.

I highly recommend this kit to beginning and experienced builders alike. The basic kit is easy to build for beginners, and there are plenty of customization opportunities for the more experienced.
NG9D Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2010 19:48 Send this review to a friend
Enjoyable Kit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have enjoyed building these kits for 160, 40 and 20m, and plan to do one more - I have a bag of parts waiting to be assembled into an 80m version.

Probably the best way to understand how well these little direct conversion receivers work is to listen to them. You can see how the receiver board is simply packaged into a product enclosure and how well it plays as a 40m receiver, in terms of sensitivity and stability, at

73 de NG9D . .
AE4GM Rating: 4/5 Nov 26, 2009 11:43 Send this review to a friend
Very good performer.DSP filter onCW-GET program makes it great!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Just to add my comments to others who gave praise. I am using the CW-Get program DSP feature to get rid of nearby signals. This makes the 1056 a great performer. I've coupled it with the NS-40 transmitter in the same enclosure and I'm using the Grundig G6 general coverage receiver with SSB to make sure the tx and rx are on the same frequency. You can hear the Tx and the VFO on the 1056 easily on the Grundig G6 w/SSB setting. Any general coverage receiver with SSB would work. The Grundig G6 is very small and can be placed anywhere you get the best results. This 1056 and my NS-40 transmitter combo is the highlight of my ham activity right now.
NG9D Rating: 5/5 Nov 4, 2009 17:13 Send this review to a friend
Fun!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Fun to build and use. Listen to stability of T1056 receiving a 160m CW QSO here:

I made another one for 20m. I need to package it, but even sitting in the open on the bench sounds pretty good (enclosure should add stability). You can hear that one here, both SSB and CW:

KE5LZL Rating: 5/5 Oct 17, 2009 16:50 Send this review to a friend
perfect kit  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've built over 8 - 1056 kits, and love them. They can be set up in any type of case. what I like about them are the bandspread and bandpass.
I've spent quite an amount of time listening on these recievers.
I've stored my kit building projects on windows live to share photos at
I give Ten-Tec and those who designed them a lot of credit. Good Job
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