The KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit

KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit1

Tony Westbrook recently contacted me about a regenerative receiver kit he has designed and produced in the UK.  It’s called the KRC-2.  Here’s the product description:

1 – 30 MHz with band spread tuning.

Regeneration with a difference. The regeneration setting on the KRC-2 is unaffected by the receiver tuning or the antenna coupling. How do we achieve this? The regenerative stage is fixed at 10.7MHz and used as an IF amplifier. The main receiver board is extremely simple to construct using only one FET and an audio IC. Like all the KRC kits it comes with a comprehensive construction manual which brings this project well within the grasp of the keen constructor. It was referred to as “a very sensitive little receiver” by Rob Mannion of Practical Wireless. Its unconventional design and simplicity should amaze even the experienced constructor. Case size 7 x 4 x 3 inches. 6 x AA batteries supplied.

According to Tony, the kit comes with everything; UK orders are even supplied with batteries. Tony stated, “the only thing the customer needs is a soldering iron, solder cutters, etc.”

By request, Tony sent a few construction photos and three videos of the radio in operation:

Photos

KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit4KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit11 KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit10 KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit8 KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit7 KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit3 KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit2 KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit9 KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit6 KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit5

Videos

Video 1

5.505mHz Shannon Volmet

Video 2

17.650mHz CRI

Video 3

21.505mHz Radio Saudi

Click here to view the KRC-2 and Tony’s other kits. 

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9 thoughts on “The KRC-2 shortwave regenerative receiver kit

  1. Andrew

    Had a chance to test it for a bit, thanks to a friend which bought and built one.

    Not bad for the cost and given the simplicity; with a decent antenna (in my case it was a longwire) and a bit of patience to learn to properly handle the regen and tuning, the receiver is able to pick some interesting signals; sure, it’s an “old school” receiver, but operating it brought me back to my youth 🙂

    Some things I’d change:

    First of all, i’d move the speaker on the top of the box instead of placing it on the front panel, then, I’d add an earphones jack on the front panel (which will then have enough room), add a couple diodes in “back to back” (parallel) config to the antenna input to protect the input stage from overvoltages, and finally, it would be nice having a 12V plug on the back to be able to power the receiver using a regular (decent) power supply (but that’s something one may hack around easily)

    Other than that… the receiver works honestly, and has plenty of room inside in case one decides to hack it a bit, for example, adding an audio filter; on the cons side, there’s no clear reading of the frequency, so you have to “guess” it, and there’s no s-meter, but for a cheap kit like that, I think one may live without such features

    Reply
  2. J. Gray

    Do you know if they’re still active ? I’m writing this since the KRC page lists the KRC-2 as “out of stock” and invites to contact KRC for informations, I tried sending them an email at the address found on the page, but the mail bounced back.

    Anyhow, it seems a nice receiver, I’m seeking for something like the out-of-production Ten-Tec 1253 and the KRC seems the better candidate till now … given it’s still available (oh and if you’ve some alternative for a full HF band 10-160mt receiver kit, I’d love to hear them)

    Reply
  3. Zeke Berman

    What is price in $US? How can I order one? Looks like a good rcvr for an aspiring ham friend/SWL listener.

    Reply
  4. Mario

    Case appears to be made of Masonite and framework of wood, like that very much. “Warms up” the look versus metal. Bravo Tony!

    Reply
  5. Edward

    I like seeing new kits coming along but this one is too simple for my own tastes, I will wait for the SDR kit, with user programmable software and down load pod.

    Reply
  6. karl keller

    I’d love to see the schematic for this receiver. It’s obvious that there’s been a lot innovation and thought here, not the least of which is winding the coil on a length of threaded nylon rod…absolutely brilliant! Not clear as to whether or not the entire MW band is covered. Head and shoulders above that half-a*sed “Heathkit” TRF offering. Well done and three cheers, Tony!

    Reply
  7. Michael Black

    So it’s a “supergainer”, which got lots of play in the thirties, the advantages of the superhet, but closer to the simplicity of the regen. People weren’t quite ready for a multiple stage IF strip, which is one reason the regen stayed around after the superhet came along.

    It did get some attention later,, including when transistors came along.

    In recent years, people have done the same thing, except the first stage is crystal controlled, and the IF is tuneable. You get some differences in operation, but I’m not sure why they feel a need to give it a new name. On a fixed frequency, both work the same way.

    And yes, this is better deal than the new Heathkit. If nothing else, it’s an excuse to explain the operation of both the regen and superhet receivers.

    Michael

    Reply
  8. Guy Atkins

    BRAVO to Tony for introducing such a fine and reasonably priced kit! This radio is a far better introduction to kit building than the new Heathkit Explorer Jr. TRF AM radio, in my opinion. You actually get to learn & practice soldering with the KRC-2… a novel idea :^)

    Reply

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