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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners/Matching Networks | SGC SG-239 Smartuner Help

Reviews Summary for SGC SG-239 Smartuner
SGC SG-239 Smartuner Reviews: 41 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $199.95
Description: Very small SG-239 Smartuner automatic microprocessor antenna coupler with 68HC711 microprocessor. Coupler can be used within its' power rating with any SSB in range of 1.8-30 MHz. Designed for base station, marine, mobile and ladder feed antenna applications. For antenna types 100ft or longer base or marine whip for full frequency range operation. Housed in an aluminum case.
Number of channels: unlimited
Frequency range: Minimum length of 9 feet (7-30 MHz @ 100W), 40 feet (3-30 MHz @ 200W) or 100 feet (1.8-30 MHz @ 100W).
Power rating: 200 watts* PEP maximum: 12VDC. operation
SWR: Less than 2:1
Minimum tune power: 1.5 watts typical
Supplied with manual.
Over all dimensions 7.5 x 6 x 1.85 inches
Under 2 pounds
* For antennas 100 feet or longer.
Product is in production.
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KF5PWJ Rating: 4/5 Mar 17, 2014 07:02 Send this review to a friend
Works great most of the time  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This unit tunes my horizontal V (65' legs) on all bands from 6m to 160m. Unit mounted under the eave of my 2 story home (inside enclosure) with LMR400 and power leads back to an alpha delta lightening arrestor then into my shack. At times it will not find a tuning solution, so I cycle 12VDC supply power then all is good. Returned unit to SGC but they found nothing wrong (1 month at SGC). Installed feeding an inverted "V" (65' legs) at 50' apex height through twin lead and had the same issue with not finding a solution. Eventually worked after power cycled.

Overall finds a tuning solution majority of the time, but when it does not I only have to cycle power and it's good to go. I have not tried the remote control device they offer.
KX4TT Rating: 4/5 Jan 27, 2014 07:58 Send this review to a friend
Solid Performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm on my second SG-239 (I blew up the first one through carelessness; not the tuner's fault). I've used it with whips, random wires, and wire loops. It does a nice job with a 50-ft indoor loop around my ceiling; handles 10-40m without a problem. With a random wire (~55 ft) and several radials, I got good results on 10-80m, with only a little extra time to tune 80m. A 40-ft random wire is a bit of a stretch for 80m but will get you there with a GOOD radial system. With the 16 ft MFJ whip (portable), 10-40 is no problem, but make sure you have several radials. The tuner does a good job finding a match under often adverse operating conditions. I do suggest the Smart Lock for operation under rapidly changing conditions (windy, for instance), but it is not needed for normal use.

So why only a 4? First, the tuner will only handle 80W on CW, while most rigs will generate 100W (I usually run 20-40W anyway); the 80W limit may be conservative, as I've run 100W CW through the tuner without problems (I did it accidently; DO NOT do that with a marginal match; that is why I'm on #2). Also, the input is only two lugs, and not a SO-239 connector, so its a bit of a pain to hook up (the other tuners have SO-239s).

One other note: I have had great service by the techs at SGC. E-mail is the best way to go; they'll get back to you within 24 hours in most cases.
2E0FTG Rating: 5/5 Nov 18, 2013 17:13 Send this review to a friend
Forgt the rest, buy the best  Time owned: months
I've had the SGC SG-239 for about 3 weeks now and I've got to say that's its the (((BEST))) ATU that I have ever used since day one of being a ham radio operator.
I've got the SG-239 connected directly to the ladder line on my half size G5RV so no coax between the ladder line and SG-239, its in an IP56 water/weather proof box and it tunes every band with ease from 80m-10m, its even tuned up my half size G5RV on 6m even though its only made for 160m-10m. I've not had to mess about with the antenna or SG-239 since its all been installed so truly is an install and forget ATU.
I will be buying another one very soon for my HF setup in the car. From now on I will only be using/buying SGC products in the future without hesitation.
If your looking for a 100% performer (NO) fuss ATU then forget the rest and buy the best.
N0OQA Rating: 5/5 Nov 3, 2013 18:37 Send this review to a friend
Great multi-band tuner  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have a Kenwood 590 connected to the SG-239. The SG-239 is connected to a 160 meter horizontal loop antenna (> 500 feet) via ladder line. I am very happy with the combination so far (tunes all bands). Testing this configuration will be my Winter 2013 project. The antenna is very quiet in terms of noise and does well on weak stations. This is the best tuner for may application.
W8EDW Rating: 5/5 Sep 5, 2013 14:56 Send this review to a friend
Excellent !!!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have a S9V43 43' Vertical. It is parked right next my wooden built shed and pine trees. I use the end peak of the shed roof to help stabilize the ant at about 15'. I bought the SGC SG239 ant coupler, mounted it inside the shed next to the ant wall. Drilled a hole in the wall and ran the ant vertical wire through to the coupler. I didn't expect much since I only buried about 6 radials ranging from 15' to 100'. My brother (not a ham) helped me put up the vertical and we walked into the house to see if it worked. My first contact on 40 meters ssb was a Texas station. (I live in Columbus, OH) The next one was EA3JE in Spain! Not bad for an Icom 735 running 100 watts. So long story short...I HIGHLY RECOMEND THIS COUPLER!!
NQ3X Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2013 09:55 Send this review to a friend
Does what it says on the tin! :)  Time owned: more than 12 months
A followup to my review of 2008. Still the same unit. No issues, no failures, just excellent, painless, instant service when required.

When we moved to St Croix, USVI (KP2) in September of 2012, one of the first things I installed was my amateur radio station. The SGC-239 is still tuning a balanced-line-fed doublet, this time a 145' aerial fed with 450-ohm ladder line. Operation was without flaw for the first 2 months or so, when I began to observe intermittent operation. The unit would find a tune, then a second later unlock and swing all over the L/C map. Resetting the electronics would solve the problem for a couple of minutes.

I was stumped. I considered sending the unit back to SGC for maintenance/repair or building the lock circuit, but then it hit me - I had never replaced or even inspected the Radio Shack hardware I had used to put the 239 into its Rubbermaid bin. Sure enough, there were loose connections. To top it all off, there was a considerable amount of corrosion on the galvanized bolts and stuff I used back in 2007/8 - back in southeastern PA, we never had to worry about a saltwater environment!

I replaced all the galvanized hardware with stainless steel, and have not experienced a single problem in the intervening weeks. It's important to note that through all this, the SG-239 suffered no faults, protected itself from damage, and is working fine without any human intervention. The faults noted were ENTIRELY MY FAULT, because I let the cheap-o hardware in my home-brew weatherproofing go wonky.

I've also experimented with feeding other types of antennas. I've used my SG-239 to feed loops, doublets, and verticals. I now live right on the Caribbean Sea, which gives me plenty of opportunity to experiment with verticals. The SG-239, as noted by other reviewers, can find a match on darn near anything. But I've been using it on a 33' wire with elevated radials for a few weeks, and the results have been gratifying. I plan to use it to fine-tune a trap vertical - more for the elevated radials - and to trim the antenna into line on bands for which the vertical is not designed. I'll let you know.

In the time since my previous review, I've also had opportunity to use other autotuners, both shack-side and antenna-side (weatherproofed). To keep the comparo apples:apples, I'll focus on the antenna-side tuners.

They all work fine. They do what they need to do. I wasn't impressed with the tuning range or efficiency (power consumed, signal loss, etc) of the MFJ units, and they seemed a bit, well, MFJ as compared to the SG-235 and Icom AH-4. The problem is, factory weatherproofing is expensive. The SG-237 is ~$350, the AH-4 is ~$300 (and won't do 160m), the MFJ is ~$280.

The SG-239 is less than $200.

I wouldn't waste the money buying a factory-weatherproofed tuner like an MFJ, Icom or even SGC's own offerings. If you run barefoot, like me, you don't need the higher power ratings of the really expensive models, and you can weatherproof your own SG-239 with about ten bucks - twenty if you don't have a decent junk box - and an hour's work. That's a saving of at least fifty bucks! That's enough to get some wire and coax!

Caveat: If my installation was a boat or something, I think I'd choose one of the factory-weatherproofed units. But it's not; right now it's sitting on my patio, just plain *working*. It sat on my deck in PA with a plastic office wastepaper can inverted over it to keep the snow and ice off, and it just plain *worked*.

TL,DR - If you're looking for an excellent, high-quality autotuner, BUY THIS UNIT. With an SG-239 along with a waterproof container from the grocery store and a few bits of hardware, you can have an excellent piece of gear at a bargain price.
KI6KQJ Rating: 5/5 Apr 30, 2012 22:49 Send this review to a friend
best moble tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
no wonder why the military uses these lil jules. on my moble m-117 whip i'm able to tune "with 2" 32 wrap coil" + 8 sticks up to 160M & 75M with no coil in nvis over cab or laid back or vertical position.great performer & stomps ANY screwdriver.we've done shot outs with all manufactured screwdrivers.also shot with high Q that the military doesn't use & the hustler the sgc239 + m-117 realy shines.don't forget to mount @ the antenna.@ the radio not so good
G0MRR Rating: 5/5 Aug 18, 2011 11:47 Send this review to a friend
Smartuner by name Smart Tuner by use!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This incredible tuner used with (Stealth, inside roof area) through an EZ End fed 16.2 metre. Insulated long wire from a 1 to 9 unun gives me excellent SWR readings though all HF Bands.
It was installed using a GOOD QUALITY 13.8VDC DC transformer in the roof space to supply the SG239. (I tried a cheap transformer and got a lot of interference where the quality transformer works well and silent.) From the transformer cable connected to a fused switched spur down stairs to a handy cupboard, you can hear the improvement when the tuner is switched on, it makes a huge difference to RX on my transceiver.
The great thing is its huge memory, I can switch on and transmit! It memorises all previous modes & frequencies. Fast efficient and a bonus to my antenna system.

No need for a clumsy ATU next to your rig! Your transceiver shows you how efficient the SG239 can perform.
One or two exceptions:
The power input range is up to 200W PEP. If you wanted to use outside then you would need to be creative with a plastic box (Ice Cream Tub) as it would need protecting from all weathers.
Im sorry if I sound like a sales advert but I speak as I find this is truly a brilliant piece of kit!
G4HUK Rating: 5/5 Aug 31, 2009 13:25 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Technical Support  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased a faulty SG-239 on EBay for 36 (T1 had been burnt out) and emailed SGC for the cost of a replacement part and winding info. They responded quickly with a very reasonably priced part and provided details of the wire size, type and number of turns which enabled me to rewind T1. The tuner now works exactly as expected. First tune is quite fast unless it is an akward load at that particular frequency, but it always finds a match eventualy. Once a match has been found and memorized it recalls it instantly the next time I use that frequency. This is my first auto-tuner so I can't compare it with others - but it seems to do everything claimed. SGC deserve a well earned 10/10 for their technical help.
KD6HUC Rating: 4/5 Jul 27, 2008 16:07 Send this review to a friend
Ditch your built in tuner  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
For starters I live in an apartment and all my antennas must be stealthy. This unit is installed just six feet from my operating position and works well connected to seventy feet of antenna with around 100 feet of counterpoise(rain gutters) Sometimes I do need to reset the unit due to changing antenna conditions. I live on the ocean in the Pacific northwest and we get lot's of rain, so I think it's no fault of the unit, just changed electrical characteristics of antenna. My summary states,"ditch your built in tuner" and I stand by this 100% When purchased I expected performance on par with the built ins on past rigs I've owned. Boy was I wrong! This thing may even tune a wet string if it's the right length and it's fast! Don't get me wrong. It can't match my trusty Drake MN-2000, but that's a manual tuner that was built to practically Mil-Spec standards! Just the same it works damn good and to top it off it's made here in the U.S.A!!! As far as tech support goes; well I really feel for those people who had problems, but at least they have tech support here on this continent!!!
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