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Author Topic: SGC SG-2020 - Still the one to beat for QRP HF SSB  (Read 12547 times)
K5TED
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Posts: 677




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« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2012, 04:16:28 PM »

I've worked several ops over the years using the 2020, and on SSB not one of them sounded good; not even reasonably good.  Actually, they all sounded quite bad.

I doubt every one of those ops was flying blind, I think the rig had a defect.

Reality and concensus contradicts your assertion.
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AD5X
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Posts: 1426




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« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2012, 05:54:21 PM »

I had the SG-2020ADSP2, FT-817 and IC-703 all at the same time for about a year or so.  I wound up selling the SG-2020ADSP2 and FT-817, but held on to the IC-703 for several years.  The IC-703 was the best of the three in my opinion.  On side-by-side comparisons, the IC-703 got the best speech reports, though most of my QRP/portable operation was CW.  I thought that 10-watts was a pretty good compromise power, and the internal autotuner was excellant.  And, as a CW op, the optional 250 Hz filter was a nice addition.  Of course, only the FT-817 is still in production.

Phil - AD5X
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W4KYR
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Posts: 445




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« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2012, 08:21:10 AM »

If the SGC 2020 had good features and a good following why did they discontinue it? Its not like they replaced it with something else. Their SGC 2000 is a different radio, meant more for marine HF applications.

Have you ever actually owned one? What is the serial number?

The information on E-ham says the SGC 2000 is a much different radio than the SGC 2020. The 2000 is meant more for marine applications, it puts out 150 watts (as compared to the SGC 2020 rated 20 watts), it lists for $1895, and is much larger than the SGC 2020.

 If you want more info on the SGC 2000 here are the reviews  http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/482

The SGC 2000 is marine type accepted radio and appears more geared for a ship that goes in international waters, although comments state that it can be adapted to ham radio use. According to SGC's web site, both the SGC 2020 and the SGC 2000 are now discontinued. I don't believe that SGC replaced either radio with a newer model. Maybe they didn't sell well?


http://www.sgcworld.com/2020ProductPage.html
SG-2020 ADSPĀ² Transceiver (Retired 09/05)


http://www.sgcworld.com/2000ProductPage.html
Note: This product is no longer manufactured. (Jan. 2008)


 Attempting to get on track on this QRP related column, why did Icom retire the IC 703, especially after they supposedly got the bugs out of the Blown finals problem? Yaesu fixed their blown finals problems on the FT 817 eventually, and the FT 817ND is the only one left still manufacturing a multiband SSB/CW QRP radio. Maybe the Elecraft KX3 will be the next new standard in QRP (10 watts but can be dialed down to 5 watts). 

 

« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 08:38:34 AM by W4KYR » Logged

Still using Windows XP Pro.
K5TED
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Posts: 677




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« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2012, 02:24:33 PM »

This past weekend I ran the SG-2020 with a NUE-PSK for extended QSO's and bandhopping up and down the range. Setting the radio at 5 watts with the NUE-PSK "Tune" function, I proceeded to toss out CQ's and make contact after contact on all bands attempted on a 40' random wire and SG-230 coupler. The radio was barely warm to the touch after hours ot of QSO's. My FT-817ND would probably have smoked itself in half that time running at "HI" power.

One really nice function of the SG-2020 is the continuously variable digital SCAF bandwidth from 2.7kHz down to 100Hz.

IMO< one reason behind the demise of the SG-2020 might have been the death of Pierre Goral in 2004. The company focus must have changed considerably when KI7UA went SK. He was the driving force behind the catalog of whole HF systems as opposed to strictly HF system accessories. Not to take away from SGC, as they appear to be doing just fine. Still friendly on the phone and American Made.

As for the SG-2000 keeping it on my wishlist for an all around bulletproof full power rig designed for HF mobile ops.
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ZENKI
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Posts: 906




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« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2012, 01:58:16 PM »

The design problems of the SGC2020 were all well known and were  being addresse, the fixes were good enough for the job.

However  the   bad the reputation of the SGC2020 spread like a urban  myth by those who  never owned the radio. This is much like reputation of MFJ, sure they have quality control issues however they produce good products that work. Bashing companies  like MFJ is mostly done by people who have other agendas and who never own any MFJ products.  That is not to say that there is no issues with their equipment. The SGC202o suffers from this syndrome, " I heard the radio has design problems"" 

I have owned the SGC2020 from  day 1 and was very happy with it for  its intended role, it was not meant to be a contest radio, and some people dont get this. We dont hear these same critical comments about the crap receiver in the FT817 that overloads, nor the keyclicks on the CW, nor the poor TX imd  that is horrible. It gets worst when people feed it into a CB and other ham kit amplifiers. All radios have their warts. I just find it sad that the Japanese brands are so worshiped by their followers  that they   relentlessly bash American companies  when the Japanese rigs have the same or worst problems! I am not even American saying, this however the one eyed equipment brand bias  is obvious when you clearly know that all these JAP qrp radios have problems. Who ever mentioned the failed finals in the IC703 and finals thats could not be fixed? Oh conveniently forgot about that!.

The SGC2020 was a great concept radio and the 20 watts  delivered. Smashing your head against a brick wall with 5 watts on SSB is  water torture on ham radio.
Whoever produces another 20 watt all in  one portable radio I will buy because 20 watts for me has proven to be an very effective power. I am not a 5 watt and less QRP operator.  If i chose  5 watts or less I use CW not SSB.


This past weekend I ran the SG-2020 with a NUE-PSK for extended QSO's and bandhopping up and down the range. Setting the radio at 5 watts with the NUE-PSK "Tune" function, I proceeded to toss out CQ's and make contact after contact on all bands attempted on a 40' random wire and SG-230 coupler. The radio was barely warm to the touch after hours ot of QSO's. My FT-817ND would probably have smoked itself in half that time running at "HI" power.

One really nice function of the SG-2020 is the continuously variable digital SCAF bandwidth from 2.7kHz down to 100Hz.

IMO< one reason behind the demise of the SG-2020 might have been the death of Pierre Goral in 2004. The company focus must have changed considerably when KI7UA went SK. He was the driving force behind the catalog of whole HF systems as opposed to strictly HF system accessories. Not to take away from SGC, as they appear to be doing just fine. Still friendly on the phone and American Made.

As for the SG-2000 keeping it on my wishlist for an all around bulletproof full power rig designed for HF mobile ops.
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W7ASA
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Posts: 204




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« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2012, 10:52:32 PM »

I owned the original SG-2020 then had it factory upgraded to the ADSP model.  I'm a field radio man from waaaaay back. The SG2020 was superb for what it was designed to do.  The filtering was for the real world of simple yet reliable communications and their VOGAD speech enhancer was effective in the extreme.  Part of the 'bad audio' myth comes from misunderstanding that this rig - like military and marine radios- was designed to enhance intelligibility for getting the message through, not hi-fidelity.  For those of us who are accustomed to using military and marine radios in the work place, the SG-2020 audio does that very well.  For local NVIS comms where we parked on a given frequency when out in the hinter-boonies, the ADSP would knock out the back ground noise so effectively, that it was a virtual HF squelch.  A low hissing in the back ground was all that was heard until VOICE would pop out, loud and understandable. (Why don't ham radios have the great SSB voice detecting squelch (not carrier squelch)  like marine HF radios???)  I even operated this rig pedestrian mobile in both SSB and CW and received good, but sometines 'confused' replies like: "UR SNOW SHOEING WHILE SEND CODE?" GRIN - weird - yes, but ham radio takes all kinds, for which I am usually thankful.     Shocked   As pointed-out, the RX current drain is well below most of the the delightful, but 'hungry' radios the SG-2020 competed against.

Because of SGC's focus on SSB, I was expecting this rig to be a pig on CW. SURPRISE!  it was actually VERY practical on CW and the ADSP & SCAF filter made it quite effective. I'm a CW man, so this was great.

My only beef, was the drift on warm-up.  This made no difference on CW or SSB, because the drift on my rig was so small, but for precision modes like  MFSK, it could cause a bit of 'type and tune'.  However, this was only on those few modes which require stability to a few Hz.

I'd love to see an SG-2020 type rig with DDS to cure the drift.  I specifically do NOT require nor want 'all the bells and whistles'. If I want that, I'll use the TS-590s. The ham radio market lacks options for a robust, dependable FIELD TOUGH radio because generally, we hams also do not match those specifications - face it - most of the market share is for radios operated on a shelf, at eye level, indoors aside other radios on the shelf - like golf clubs on an electric cart.  "Think I'll use the PinTing XX-567z for this contact." .  Unfortunately, HF Radios inside of a rucksack, leaned against a boulder with a random wire antenna...  not so much, except for a few silly fellah's like those who smile at these comments. 


73 de Ray ..._ ._
W7ASA
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AD6KA
Member

Posts: 2232




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« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2012, 08:04:57 PM »

I have no experience whatsoever with the SGC 2020
in any configuration. But my Endocrinologist is an
avid and very serious lifetime mountain climber
and ham radio operater. He has climbed Everest, K2,
and several other peaks in Tibet and China. When I
asked him what radio gear he used for mountain climbing,
for ham radio he told me the SGC 2020, and with great results.
(Though I do not know which model).

73, Ken  AD6KA
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W7KB
Member

Posts: 54




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« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2012, 04:13:18 PM »

With 10w output,inboard tuner,speech processor,low current drain,and DSP filtering along with a superb receiver,I will stick with my Icom 703+.The Elecraft KX3 and Juma multiband QRP rigs would also be sound choices if one wants to go a step higher in quality.Yes,5 watts is QRP in CW mode and 10 watts PEP in SSB mode.Either way is certainly not QRO.If you are using a qrp rig,it is nice to be able to hear that station calling you.A good antenna is crucial in making qrp contacts.Anything in line that follows afterward makes it that much better in your logbook....73....W7KB.
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