Aaron N9SKN’s Sproutie Regen Receiver

I was quite excited when Aaron N9SKN told me he was building a Sproutie. Sometime earlier, I had discovered his website, billed as the “Home Of The 500mA Sidetone Oscillator/Shack Heater” I was searching for information on building HF receivers, and came across Aaron’s build of W7ZOI and K5IRK’s Progressive Receiver, as described in the Nov 1981 issue of QST, and the ARRL handbook for several years. Look at the pictures of the boards that Aaron made for the project in this article. Good stuff!

Aaron’s Sproutie build must have been a breeze for him in comparison. What a beaut. I’m wondering what material he made the front panel from. Is that garolite or something similar, or is it foam-core board? He did a great job of cutting the oval hole for the speaker. I like the “oxblood” color of the phenolic tube bases too – the same color as the Doc Marten’s I wore as a young man 🙂


“The Sproutie” as built by Aaron N9SKN. Photo courtesy of N9SKN

Aaron already had a Cardwell 2 x 35pF tuning capacitor in his “junk” box. It was still unused, which is why I put quote marks around the word “junk”. I am often amazed at the number of these lovely old vintage parts that have yet to be used in a project – it’s a great thing for us home-brewers. You can see it in this rear view of the receiver. Note the aluminum plate he installed behind the front panel to minimize hand capacitance effects. I’m looking at those leads from the tube base and the variable capacitors to the circuit board, and wondering if he gets any microphony effects –

Rear view of N9SKN’s “Sproutie”. Photo courtesy of N9SKN

A view of the underside, showing that oval speaker –

The underside of N9SKN’s “Sproutie”. Photo courtesy of N9SKN

Aaron is a hardier soul than me, as he made his own Manhattan pads. Here’s a view of his RF board –

The RF board in N9SKN’s “Sproutie”. Photo courtesy of N9SKN

Nice job Aaron. He posted 5 videos of his Sproutie in action too. Here’s one of them, showing his Sproutie in action on the 25M band. You can find the other videos of his Sproutie on his YouTube channel –

One of the enjoyable things about sharing pictures and descriptions of my activities in this blog, is hearing from builders like N9SKN. It’s great to know there are other people out there building things. I am occasionally tempted to spend my money on a commercially-made HF receiver instead, but I wouldn’t have anywhere near as much fun. Thanks very much for sharing details of your Sproutie build Aaron!

PS – Allow me to rave about Aaron one more time. He scratch-built a K8IQY 2N2/20 Manhattan-style. Major respect!


4 thoughts on “Aaron N9SKN’s Sproutie Regen Receiver

  1. Hey Dave nice write up. Too flattering lol. The front and base panels on that Sproutie are just 3/16″ “Blackboard” masonite from Home Depot. I colored the sides and cut outs black with a marker. 73’s

    1. Aaah, that’s good to know. Thanks for the info Aaron. It’s a nice write-up because you did a nice job of building it!



  2. Hello, I have been reading your posts and really interested in building the little sproutie BUT I can’t find a contact or reference how to get the info or to obtain the kit if any !! Are you able to advise please ??

    1. Ron –

      The Sproutie and Sproutie MK II are just names that I gave to regen receivers which I put together from other people’s designs. The front end of both Sprouties was in a receiver that was originally featured in the pages of SPRAT magazine. Have you read my post on the original Sproutie? It’s at


      and my post on the Sproutie MK II is at


      Neither of the above posts were intended to be full construction articles, but there is enough information there for an experienced homebrewer to construct his/her own version. There is no kit available, but if you really want to build from a kit, there is one available that uses the same front end, with a simpler AF section, for lower component count and cost (important factors when you’re putting a kit together). You can get it in the US from here –


      I hope this helps!

      73 for now,


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