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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | 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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KY6R Rating: 5/5 Jul 15, 2008 14:01 Send this review to a friend
Good Gear / Good Price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I saved $300 by purchasing this unit and putting it in a weatherproof box that I had laying around the house (which is a Pelican waterproof camera case. I had a nice set of ceramic standoffs for the ladder line connectors, an SO-239, and I used a 4 pin mic connector for the power and other two control lines.

I am using it with a 46 foot ladder line fed doublet that has loading coils for 40M.

This tuner tunes this antenna very nicely from 80 - 10M.
DH5AK Rating: 4/5 May 5, 2008 12:56 Send this review to a friend
Good companion!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I use it for portable operation, bought it used in 2006 for 200.oo€. It works as it should and tuned most or even all antennas I ever tried. I give a four as I do not like the soulution with the metal case. SGC could have saved the money for the metal case and add a slim line plastic case with a silicone seal. Leaving away the metal case would cause higher efficiency anyway.
NQ3X Rating: 5/5 Mar 30, 2008 04:51 Send this review to a friend
Does what it says and then some  Time owned: more than 12 months
Having used SGC products before, I was already somewhat familiar with their equipment before I took the plunge and purchased a 239. I am not disappointed!

Putting the L/C network at the antenna end of a coaxial feedline eliminates loss in that feedline. SGC makes it simple and quick to make that happen: run coax, power, and possibly control cables to your antenna's feedpoint and forget about it.

My main HF antenna is an Extended Double Zepp cut for 14MHz, fed with 300-ohm twinlead. With the SG-239 at the bottom end of the balanced feeders, the antenna is usable on all HF bands within seconds. Moreover, I once mistakenly tuned this antenna on 6m - outside the specs of the tuner - and it worked so well I didn't notice the error until after I finished the QSO.

It should be noted that the SG-239 won't make a 5-foot long piece of wire into a 3-element Yagi on 3.5MHz - nor will it tune everything with no problems. If the user exceeds the specifications of the unit, it won't work properly. It does NOT have the wide parameters of a manual unit (like a Johnson Matchbox or even an MFJ "twiddle the knobs" tuner). But unlike other amateur radio products I've tried (and sold on), this unit does exactly what it says on the box.

This unit would be a fantastic addition to any emergency communications kit. No training is required in its operation; you key the microphone, talk, and the firmware does the rest.

There is one caveat - as sold, it is not weatherproof. I fixed that with a Rubbermaid bin, a fistful of connectors from my Junque Boxe, and some time. But since the weatherproof remote tuners are exponentially more expensive than the SG-239, I'll deal with that utterly minor inconvenience.

If you're looking for an inexpensive install-it-and-forget-it antenna matching unit for either your home or portable/emergency operation, consider the SGC SG-239.
WC0L Rating: 4/5 Feb 17, 2008 20:53 Send this review to a friend
Needs a balun  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is actually a very good tuner. I own two of them. I keep one as a spare, because every 2 or 3 years, I have to send one back to SGC for repair due to my W5GI "Mystery" antenna taking a local static charge which pops some of the diodes in the tuner (Kansas thunderstorms, you know). I recently installed a knife switch to disconnect the antenna when not in use. We'll see if that stops the static charge problem. I recently installed an Elecraft BL2 balun on the output of this tuner. What a difference! Now, the tuner tunes much more quickly, does not have to retune as often with frequency change, and the antenna is much more quiet. I am now working DX with this antenna which I have never done before. If you use one of these tuners on a center fed antenna with open wire or ladder feed, do yourself a favor and put a balun on it. You won't believe the difference.
Mike, WC0L
WB8IJN Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2007 20:11 Send this review to a friend
Worth the Effort  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my SG-239 at the end of 70-odd feet of ethernet hose & a multi-wire control cable, out in a shed behind the house for at least three years. It's hooked up through latching relays to a 40m, a dipole cut for something below 4 MHz and the mast that holds the dipole. The control box in the house that runs the antenna system also has a "Smart Lock" circuit running to the '239. I've run an IC-706Mk2G, an IC-718 and a FT-817 into the tuner and it's never failed to work.

It's been back for repair once, after a thunderstorm passed through (during which it was disconnected from antennas and powered off). That's the only service it's ever needed.

It tunes all my dirt-cheap antennas 160m through 6m within a few seconds. I was surprised when it tuned an antenna with the FT-817.

If I could get one shrunk to the size of the '817, I'd buy it. I plan on keeping it 'til the estate auction. I depend on it to work and it has never disappointed me.

WB1AEX Rating: 5/5 Oct 6, 2006 13:54 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Performance and Reliability  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have my 239 remotely installed in the basement where my ladder line enters through a sill installation. From the second floor operating position, I use 3 wire rotor cable to send +12vdc down to it as well as a line that allows me to remotely reset the tuner if desired. My 239 tunes a ladder line fed 160 meter inverted vee on any frequency from 160 - 10 meters. To speed things up, I have walked it in 10 kc steps through the areas of bands that I operate, so it will store those frequencies in memory. Training it like this really enhances operation. The tuner has been in operation for 1.5 years without a glitch. I did install a switchable (1:1 or 4:1) Elecraft balun at the output of the 239. I found that this really smoothed out the matching performance and it made a HUGE difference in noise rejection on receive. I would recommend the SGC-239 tuner without hesitation to anyone who wants a simple to use fully automatic tuner.
N0UA Rating: 5/5 Jul 13, 2006 08:21 Send this review to a friend
Excellent & Good Support  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had the 239 for two years in my attic tuning a loop with a length of 60 feet. Works well. Several months ago the tuner stopped working. Upon opening the unit I found a badly burned matching capacitor. Called SGC and told them about the cap AND my amp. They sent me a full set of caps at NO CHARGE. Replaced cap - tuner works as original.. I do have an amp (Alpha 78) in the shack and there is a very good chance that I inadvertently placed the amp in-line with the 239! The shack has been rewired so the amp can no longer be in-line with the tuner....
K7NNG Rating: 5/5 Jun 25, 2006 16:03 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT TUNER  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
K9YEQ Rating: 5/5 Apr 5, 2006 16:00 Send this review to a friend
Works on random L with elevated ground plane fed with ladder  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I remotely mounted in a plastic elecrical box and ran the power to the unit from the shack. I can tune my antenna on 160-6 meters. When watching the swr while oporating the swr does move... makes sense as the antenna is wire strung in trees. I have on a couple of ocassions removed power to "reset" if rain, snow or wind have occurred. I am very pleased. For this installation and price I rate this a 5. It was buried in snow in the winter and worked just as well. Ice on the antenna, perhaps a reset and back in business. I have had other SGC tuners and so far, I like this the best. It has found a permanent home.
N5ZC Rating: 5/5 Jan 22, 2006 18:38 Send this review to a friend
Works  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I installed the SGC-239 in a fiberglass box I picked up on Ebay. The tuner is installed on my south west corner post of my fence. Also attached to the fence is a 29' vertical. I made the vertical out of aluminum I picked up from Texas Towers and a couple mounts from DX Engineering.

The tuner tunes up the vertical very easily on 15 through 40 meters including warc. It takes some time on 10 meters as well as 80/75 meters. I would guess that the length has something to do with the tuning problem on those bands. The vertical used to be a quarter wave on 30 meters and the tuner could not get an swr below 2.0 : 1. Again, it had to do with the length. When I changed the length from 23' to 29' it tuned up great on 30 meters.

Since I'm working on my DXCC totals on 30m and 40m I left the vertical at 29'.

The tuner handles the 200 watts from my Mark V with no problems. Its neat to be able to hit my key and have the tuner tune the vertical very quickly. Within a second or two the antenna is all tuned up.

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