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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | SGC MAC-200 Master Antenna Controller Help


Reviews Summary for SGC MAC-200 Master Antenna Controller
SGC MAC-200 Master Antenna Controller Reviews: 40 Average rating: 2.9/5 MSRP: $319.95
Description: The new MAC-200, the Master Antenna Controller from SGC, is the answer to multiple antenna matching. The MAC-200 allows you to control 5 antennas, 3 fed by coax, 1 with balanced line, and 1 random length line. The built-in antenna tuner provides a match automatically on all antennas.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.sgcworld.com/products/MAC200/MAC200Info.html
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PD2JHP Rating: 0/5 Sep 7, 2013 10:09 Send this review to a friend
Caution: dangerous  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Beware: mine started fire!
After a little use mine smoked like hell; after opened I saw one of the relays was black. (pictures are available by mail)

I connected SGC but no one home HI! (US made does not say a thing?)

My advice: do not buy, but spend your money on a decent one.
I do have a MFJ 993B, a small LDG Z100 and a CG 3000 autotuner: all are acting very well.

73

Jan
 
PA3BTN Rating: 5/5 Feb 15, 2012 11:54 Send this review to a friend
Really great stuff!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I could purchase a new MAC-200 for a very good price. After some hassle to get it started, it now does exactly what it's supposed to do: sitch to the right antenna and tune, within milliseconds after I ttouch my paddle. So that's great - I think it is very well built and does a great job. I use it with my SG-2020 and that's really a cool, different station. Great fun every day!
 
MM0XDG Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2012 08:38 Send this review to a friend
Great! Can't fault it. Can't understand all the negatives here.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
One of these came up for sale locally for peanuts; I read the reviews on here and, despite the overwhelming negatives I was reading, I decided to take a punt. I quite like things which are quirky, and which need a bit of care and attention in setting them up. Whilst I was waiting for it to arrive, I downloaded the manual and read it carefully.

Mine works a dream. After spending a couple of hours playing about with it and making sure it was properly programmed how I wanted it to work, it's now working seamlessly with my antennas. It switches between them and recalls the tuning settings lightening-fast when you apply a short burst of QRP RF. I'm then good to go on that antenna, band, frequency and setting in less than a second.

It is a bit quirky, but mine's ultra-reliable; it never misses a beat and just gets it absolutely right, every single time.
 
WB4TJH Rating: 4/5 May 17, 2011 08:02 Send this review to a friend
Working OK this time  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this tuner at the Palmetto, Fl,, hamfest about 5 years ago. It is a bit quirky, and I got tired of fooling with it and put it up. But recently, I got it out again and am using it with a Cobra Ultralite Senior antenna, which is a 140 foot, 450 ohm line fed dipole. Each leg is made up of three conductor flatline which is connected together to form a folded, 210 foot length on each side so the antenna will work on 160 meters. I feed the antenna with a DX Engineering 1:1 balun, and three feet of coax to to the tuner from the balun. The Mac-200 is working just fine on this antenna,from 160 thru 6 maeters, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. But so far, it has worked very well, although the meters are not very accurate.But so far, so good.
 
GI0ZGB Rating: 3/5 Oct 6, 2010 11:52 Send this review to a friend
Hot Stuff  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm no stranger to SGC equipment having owned a QMS-37 for many years, it giving sterling service without any issues, even surviving all the mods inflicted upon it.
I got an MAC-200 a short time ago, and quickly learned that it doesn't like 200w flowing through it very much. Once it gets too hot in the kitchen, the dang thing goes on strike. Now I know why the manual recommends it as the perfect complement for the SG-2020! Running 100w pep for time limited periods causes it no trouble at all, but continual use will see the temperature cycle to the point where it eventually shuts down.
Other than that, I've had no tuning problems with a variety of antennas, maybe because everything is very well grounded, or maybe I'm just lucky, thus far. I'll certainly be looking at internal cooling as this is one area that needs attention, even at 100w. Clearly the SGC lab tests were not thorough enough, that and using components that are self evidently underrated for the bragged specification.
 
KK8ZZ Rating: 3/5 Nov 9, 2009 18:25 Send this review to a friend
so-so  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I agree with KG4HE.. it's OK, but it's sure NOT an LDG... there's nothing to compare with a direct-cabled tuner, and don't even look at MFJ.. there's a reason they call it Mighty Fine Junk most of the time... LDG, LDG, LDG... I've had (and have) 3 of these -- 7000, at-100pro and z-11pro and they always work right out of the box.

LDG makes the best mobile tuners, and they are REALLY weatherproof, unlike others, but this little tuner is a doggie...

Sold it.. .and I always keep the good stuff...
 
MU0ZVV Rating: 0/5 Oct 5, 2009 15:29 Send this review to a friend
Worst buy up to now  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
When I first got my licence I was a real newby and depended on others for guidance and bought all my kit from W&S, when looking for an auto tuner this was suggested. The first was a disaster and did nothing correctly, I subsequently had two more sent by the agent neither of which worked correctly every time I switched on the tuner it did something else wrongly. The agents were vey good and tried everything to get them going to no avail. They eventually swopped it for an MFJ 993 which has been terrific since day one. I also have a couple of LDG tuners that have been magic.
I would never buy anything from SGC again.
So beware
Regards & 73s
Jerry
 
DL8MBS Rating: 2/5 Mar 24, 2009 14:56 Send this review to a friend
Working too randomly  Time owned: more than 12 months
It worked fine at the beginning giving me the necessary flexibility for quick band changes in contests. But soon began what others described, too: Random behaviour. Returning after a band change to the previous band the box suddenly could not find the match again. I got around most of the time with the described ways of resetting, or letting it tune another antenna as a change or changing the frequency for about 50 kHz in the band. Sometimes the cure was to connect the openwire feedline not to the balanced input with its 4:1-balun but to use an external 1:1-balun directly at one of the coax-connectors. But all the fiddling was not too satisfying.
Nevertheless I bought a second one to use it for SO2R.
Experience from this weekend: No.1 tuned initially fine. Three qsos ok, then starting to retune when RF (5 rpt 5 Watts) for the 4th qso was applied. Grounding changes, reset, new match found, three qsos ok - you guess what happened with qso no.4 :-(
The other one tuned an 80m-halfwave-dipole with 8m openwire-feeder ok the weekend before and this day, too - only to freeze completely one hour later. I resetted and tried all the other things (see above...), re-connected it several times again during the contest but with no effect. The next day it tuned the antenna fine - which didnt match exactly with my feelings...

I doubt the arguments, that all of us experiencing this behaviour were only unable to read the manual correctly. No short antennas were used, no crummy wires, only 1/4 against radials or halfwaves with openwire feeder. Either there is a match or not, but once there is a match any random behaviour makes one loose confidence - been there deep hidden reasons or not - in a contest I have no sensibility for them.
73, Chris

 
W0RON Rating: 3/5 Oct 20, 2008 18:59 Send this review to a friend
Works ok, not great.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Ive owned my MAC-200 for 3 or 4 years now, so I guess that Ive had it long enough that my opinion is not premature.

It is ok. Not good or great, but only ok. Sometimes it will tune without a problem, but at other times, it will search and search, looking for a low swr. The aggravating thing is that sometimes it will tune my dipole (fed with twin-lead) without a problem, and at other times be unable to find a match below 3:1. And at the same frequency.

This problem is random; the tuner may act fine for several weeks and then have difficulties for an extended period. When it has trouble finding a match, I change antennas to my vertical, go through a tune cycle, and then retune on the dipole. Invariably, this is all it takes to find a match on the dipole. But it is exasperating to have to go through this exercise to work around the problem. As a result, Ill not buy another SGC product.

By comparison, I bought an Elecraft T-1 low power (20W max) tuner to use with my FT-817ND. It performs flawlessly all the time, every time. I like it a lot.
 
W4HLN Rating: 2/5 Jul 9, 2008 17:29 Send this review to a friend
Was Great....Till......  Time owned: more than 12 months
Till I tried to use Open Wire feedline (450 ohms)
It wouldnt tune anything using a 270 foot flat dipole fed with a quarter wave of open wire (135 feet)

After Field Day I opened the tuner and found it to have what appeared to be a 50 ohm to 50 ohm coax wound balun inside? What the??????!!!!!

Seems this tuner was made to be used ONLY with a G5RV without the coax??

Wonder what ROCKET Scientist at SGC designed this one?

I yanked the coax wound core in it and wound a quick 4:1 Balun on the original core and now its tuning fine again!

Would I buy again?....No Way! Not since I bought an LDG !

KEEP AWAY from this one unless your planning on working on it to make it work right!
 
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