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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | SGC SG-2020 ADSP Help

Reviews Summary for SGC SG-2020 ADSP
SGC SG-2020 ADSP Reviews: 18 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $795.00
Description: SG-2020 ADSP Synthesized HF-SSB Transceiver (20WATTS - 1.8-29.7 MHZ)
Catalog #05-02
Model SG-2020 ADSP Synthesized single sideband radiotelephone
-With SGC digital signal processing
-Power Output: 20watts PEP
-20 Channels
-Voltage: 12VDC
-Internal 5 watt speaker
-Including: single 50 ohms output antenna connector
-Dynamic fist microphone included
-Pending DOC certification as applicable; CE Certified
Product is in production.
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N6AIR Rating: 4/5 Feb 7, 2016 20:05 Send this review to a friend
Sounds like crap but 20 watts a big plus  Time owned: more than 12 months
Like many things in life, this radio has plusses and minuses.

On the plus side:

* This little radio can put out 20 watts. When working portable, 20 watt seems to be the magic number for reliable communication. If I can make it with 100 watts, I can almost always make it with 20 watts.

* I never have complaints about my audio.

* With one easy mod that everybody does, you can transmit and receive the entire spectrum from 1.8 to 30 Megahertz.

* The auto reset fuse works well and comes in handy.

* You can run it off a battery that goes as high as 18 volts which allows you to use several good lipos when going portable.

* It's easy to set variable bandwidth.

* If you want to, you can crank down the power to 500 milliwatts.

The negative:

* The receive audio sounds horrible. It's called "communication quality." You'll be able to make out what people say but if you monitor for longer than 15 minutes, you'll get a headache. The FT-817, which isn't known as having good receive quality, is light years ahead of the SG-2020 in the audio quality department.

* Though it's small in size, the thick case makes it quite heavy. This makes it less desirable for portable use.

* The rear power connector and the S0-239 are easily damaged.(The SO239 is soldered onto the circuit board, not bolted to the case.) If you're going to operate portable, you're going to have to modify these connectors so they don't break off.

* If you do the slightest thing wrong, it locks up and you'll need to do a reset. That happens so often that I no longer bother to enter frequencies in the memory.

* If your battery drops down to 11.5 volts, you might have problems with distortion. Even 11.7 volts is pushing it. Consequently, you're going got want a lipo rather than lifepo4 or SLA when operating portable.

All in all, I'm happy with this radio because there are times when even a great sounding radio with bells and whistles is of little use if you can only put out 5 or 10 watts.


K4KFF Rating: 5/5 Nov 12, 2015 05:28 Send this review to a friend
Quirky but Great  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I was looking for a transceiver that put out more than 5 watts but was portable. The 20-25 watts of the SG-2020 met the requirements. First it is small and perfect for field use. Heavy and solid construction. I bought mine used. When I received it the radio had an issue with the power out (high only) and non functioning power/signal strength meter. The gentleman I bought it from worked with me and we came to an agreement. Very nice guy and followed through. I ended up sending it back to SGC for repairs. Don't remember the exact cost but it was a little over $100 and came back to me as a "new" radio. I love the ADSP. It is amazing at cutting through the noise. Yes audio out is not as natural as my TS-480 but it cuts noise and brings even the lightest signal out of the noise. It takes a few minutes to warm up and the frequency to stabilize but nothing major there. Learning the menus and quirks of operation is key in getting everything out of this radio. Turn on the ADSP adjust the RF, use PBT if you need to and adjust the volume and the background hiss is gone and you have solid voice reception. I have had no complaints about my audio signal. In fact most say I sound as good as my Kenwood just reduced strength of course. As other reviews say this is not a base station radio. It wasn't intended to replace your home station and doesn't have the perks of a base station but throw it in my bag and go portable it cant be beat. You wont like this as your only radio unless you a just a casual operator. You can operate QRP if you want and go up to max power (not recommended for long periods) up to 40 watts if you need it. The manual recommends not exceeding 25 watts. I find 20 watts does the job when I need it.
REMOVED_NQ0N_2015-01-12 Rating: 5/5 Jan 7, 2010 11:28 Send this review to a friend
Nice radio, one issue lock up.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months

The SG-2020 is really a great little radio but as written about on page 24 of the owners manual the unit trips out that is to say locks up and stays at 66 MHz. One must push and hold, first the (CMD then the MEM) Then release first the CMD then the MEM and wait a few minutes. I raised my Astron RS 35M power supply volts from 13.8 to 14.5 two weeks ago, its easy to do, and it has stopped hanging up. Maybe itís too early to share this, but so far so good.

Does anyone have experience with intermittent issues with CW sidetone on the SGC-2000PowerTalk ? I am having to use the sidetone on the external keyer then again sometime the rig sidetone works? Mostly itís the keyer.
DL9NEF Rating: 4/5 Jun 1, 2009 13:35 Send this review to a friend
Blocking problem almost cured!  Time owned: more than 12 months
In my 2005 review of this radio, I complained about the inacceptale blocking-behavior. Meanwhile I incidentally found out a solution that works very fine - at least for me:
Detuning the PBT to values of appr. -0,5 kHz to -0,8 kHz solves the blocking-problem almost completely. Unfortunately one has to detune the PBT each time the radio is switched on. But this is only a minor disadvantage compared to the remarkable improvement of the receiver performance.
Give it a try - maybe this hint works with your 2020 also!
W4OP Rating: 5/5 Aug 6, 2008 18:18 Send this review to a friend
Gorgeous Little Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have owned just about all the commercial QRP rigs over the years- including Elecraft, Index Labs and a lot of homebrew but the 2020 is for my purposes, the best. My use is primarily portable, and for this it fits the bill. The rubber front guard protects the rig like none other, break in is clean and SSB TX punch is reported as excellent. The ADSP1 performs better than my PRO III- SGC has gotten this spot on.
The ease of implementing the continuously variable selectivity is also a real plus.
I also rate it 5/5 in the looks department. I can hardly believe it took me so long to buy one.

Dale W4OP
LNXAUTHOR Rating: 5/5 Oct 16, 2006 14:08 Send this review to a friend
Lovable, Ugly Frog of a Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
- seems like hams either love or hate this radio... there are some valid complaints concerning the ability to filter out strong adjacent signals, but i have not found this to be a real problem... the audio quality is not the greatest, but considering the other merits of this rig, i find my 2020 w/the original ADSP to be a real bargain (purchased used for $350 several years ago from HRO Delaware)...

- besides, what other rig on the market can double as a wheel chock if you get a flat tire? the unit is sturdily encased in a strong aluminum enclosure, yet the single main board easily slides out for maintenance...

- if you're a CW op, you'll want to implement ADFX's sidetone level improvement mod (hint: Google is your friend)... if you're squeamish about the mod, simply follow SGC's directions on adjustment of R46 to lower the level... the injection of side-tone before the AF control is one downside to a rig that should have been destined for improvement...

- my rig seems happiest w/14V down to 11V (18V max, 9V min), and the unit has a self-recovering internal 5A fuse... since the max the rig draws is 5A on transmit, i built a eight D-cell pack from a six-cell and two-cell holder bolted and wired together for an inexpensive and portable emergency power source...

- i rarely use more than 10W, but it's comforting to know the 2020 has 40W finals... one definite benefit of using the 2020 when QRP portable is that it has a higher SWR foldback than other solid-state rigs...

- a single pullup widebands the rig, and another improves AM reception...

- the Kenwood MC43S 8-pin microphone works great with the 2020, and if you have newer firmware in your rig the up/down buttons on the mic will work to change frequency...

- as an added bonus, SGC sent me a nice rubber faceplace protector for the rig just for the asking (i think they're still available on-line at the time of this review)...

- this is an American-made, easy to use, and easy to mod transceiver... it's an ugly little frog, but lovable, warts and all... truly a shame that it has been discontinued... i feel lucky to have my ADSP unit (and a spare ADSP2 new-in-the-box in the closet!)...

NM4M Rating: 5/5 Jul 10, 2006 20:24 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Low Power HF Rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have owned my SGC 2020 for 10 months now. What a great little rig, base or mobile. I have a G5RV at 37' and have worked South Africa and Europe, as well as the Marshall Islands! Working DX while mobile with 20 Watts is not a problem. The rig is very compact, and has all the right features. No large, heavy power supply needed, draws only 5A on transmit. Audio is clear and the filtering on CW works great. The noise blanker stops ignition noise. The built in iambic keyer works great. SGC kept it simple. 20 memories are enough. Awesome little rig! I believe SGC made a mistake by discontinuing this rig! Gene NM4M
WR5D Rating: 4/5 Dec 14, 2005 10:49 Send this review to a friend
Nice rugged radio!  Time owned: more than 12 months
My first 2020 was jinxed: the xmtr went south one week after I received it! But when it returned to me from SGC after a week or so, it worked fine, and they upgraded it with ADSP free of charge. Nice! I've used it primarily in the field, with battery power and it seems to work very nicely. The rcvr is first class, good sensitivity and a decent noise floor. Controls are easy to use (lots easier than my FT-817) and the extra power out is a benefit too. What I really can't understand is why SGC has stopped production. It just doesn't make any sense to me.
MM3ENM Rating: 5/5 May 25, 2004 15:21 Send this review to a friend
Love it  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I'm amazed at how this rig performs. I find with tweaking the RF level, bandwidth, and ADSP I can pick out signals that would be unreadable on my 817, Time after time I get 5/9 from stations that are running 400 watts, when I'm using 10.The customer support from SGC is the best I have ever come across.
KE8YY Rating: 5/5 May 31, 2003 21:15 Send this review to a friend
Excellent rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought the 202 as a mobile and field rig to take on backwoods trips after looking at the Yeasu FT-817, the Icom 703 and a few other rigs.

Testing at home pretty much confirmed what everyone else has said about the radio. It's a solid rig with no plastic parts that are going to break off. The recessed front panel provides good protection for the LCD display. Reception is excellent. The ADSP really brings the signals out of the noise. Transmitted audio is very good.

Cons: No mounting holes for mobile mounting. I'll have to come up with my own mounting system. I'd like to see easier switching between tuning speeds. And the accessories are pretty expensive. That's about it.

Overall I'm pleased- particularly as I only paid $560 for a used unit with the latest mods in mint condition.
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