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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | SGC SG-230 Help


Reviews Summary for SGC SG-230
SGC  SG-230 Reviews: 60 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $595.00
Description: SG-230 Smartuner automatic microprocessor antenna coupler.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.sgcworld.com/products/230/sg230.html
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W8EDW Rating: 5/5 Apr 3, 2014 22:57 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I use the SGC-230 at the base of my 43' vertical with only 6 ground radials. I drive the antenna system with an Icom 235 and a 500w Icom 2KL amp on SSB. The amp runs at about 300 watts PEP out. I've been running it about a year now with great results. S9 to 30 over reports in Europe are common. I would be lost without this excellent antenna coupler. I'm saving up for the SGC-235 (500 watt version). Highly recomend this one.
 
AA4PB Rating: 5/5 Mar 30, 2014 11:17 Send this review to a friend
20 years - still going  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had an SG-230 outside feeding an inverted-L for about 20 years now. I had one failure after two years (probably caused by lightning). When I called SGC for a replacement IC they said to send the whole SG-230 to them and they'd fix it and test it for free. The tuner tunes quickly from 160M thru 10M.
 
W9WQA Rating: 2/5 Mar 30, 2014 07:42 Send this review to a friend
update, mobile use  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
in my hummer 3 , a solid installation,well grounded,mounted just behind the spare on a ball mount that is mounted on a 1/2 in. slab of phenolic,
held by three 1/2 in threaded rods about 5 inches back of the spare.
using the sg 303 whip, obviously i have a lot of money in this! radio is icom 7000.
in the swr bar graph display the radio cycles thru leys say 50 kc chunks of 40 meters.

it takes a loooong time to tune to each freq and sometime will not tune a particular freq. i go thru 2-3 times and often get good,all "green "results. then i make a stop and come back in 30 minutes. i try it out and i need to retune!!, its like it forgets. sometime i get all red and really need to mess with it to get tuned.
if i change bands and come back its time to restart.

so my opinion of the sg230/303 is not getting better. a ton of cash and a lot of messing around.
 
VA2KK Rating: 5/5 Jul 14, 2013 08:18 Send this review to a friend
SG-230, the masterpiece of a performing HF setup  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my first SG-230 many years ago in a hamfest and never regretted-it since. The SG-230 is the masterpiece of my very performing HF mobile/portable setup.

What I like most is the ability of the SG-230 to tune any antenna up to 200 watts within a few seconds, just talking normally in the rig’s microphone, anywhere from 1.8 to 30 MHz, with only a few short frequency gaps in a certain band where I have to tune with a short CW burst instead of simply talking. An exception.

Users who give the SG-230 a bad score, should question their own procedures. As far that I am concerned, I have not always been a good owner, often putting the unit under a lot of strain: off-road vibrations, dust, snow, bad weather; lugging it around from the pick-up to the chalet, the camp ground or the house; neglecting corrosion issues, loading it max power without any antenna connection or proper grounding, ignoring its distress calls. So, after so many years of loyal services, it happened what has to happen: my first SG-230 has filed dramatically for retirement.

I just bought a new one from SGC, with a convenient “SmartLock”. Like in a second marriage situation, I promise myself to be a much better spouse for the coming years.

Please visit : http://www.qrz.com/db/VA2KK to get an idea of the SG-230 coupler working environment.

73 de JP
 
AC0XU Rating: 0/5 Apr 29, 2013 12:56 Send this review to a friend
Failed right after warranty ran out.  Time owned: more than 12 months
My unit was seldomly used, and only at half the rated power. Nevertheless, shortly after the warranty expired, the unit started emitting high broadband RFI - whenever DC power is applied, with no input RF! I had the FCC at my place tracking it down. SGC wants $245 plus shipping to fix the unit.
 
K7NA Rating: 5/5 Mar 10, 2013 16:27 Send this review to a friend
Works Well  Time owned: more than 12 months
My unit was bought used about 15 years ago from another ham who had it for several years while he employed it to tune his rain gutter. It sat in storage all those years until recently when I decided to use it to tune a 82 foot vertical 5/8-wave ground plane on 40 meters. It worked right off the bat, matching my antenna nicely and quickly on 40 as well as on 80, 160 and even 30 meters. At the moment, I am using only two quarter wave elevated ground plane radials on 40 and one on 80 but it appears to function well and the antenna works. The venerable SGC-230 works well for its age.
 
KI5SO Rating: 5/5 Jan 26, 2013 20:13 Send this review to a friend
Very durable and effective  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought a used one and simply rely on my radio swr meter to show me whether or not I'm tune. This tuner is fast. It is as good as the Icom AH-4 tuner only bigger and will handle 200 watts and can be connected to any radio via the coax. Requires 12vdc which wires are part of and built under the outer plasic of the coax jumper going from radio to tuner. The good news and surprise is it works just fine with balance and unbalance antennas. I am using it to tune a 300 ft. loop antenna which is feed with twin lead then I join the twin lead to two pieces of coax I use as balance line to bring it into the shack to the tuner. No ground; just one coax center to one main connector of tuner and the other coax center to the ground connector (sheild is unused and probably helps prevent RFI). Works great. I like being able to simply moving the coax from one radio to another one and keying down and start talking while the tuner quickly begins adjusting your swr while you are talk and fast too! It is big. About the side of a mid sized hf rig but not as thick--maybe the size of a stepping stone but not exactly square--twice the size of the Icom AH-4. If you find a used one at a good price, grab it up. I take it to the limit with my Yaesu FT-2000D and it handles the 200 watts with no problem and stays tuned with no drifting out of tune during the QSO.
 
W6LBV Rating: 4/5 Jun 14, 2012 08:14 Send this review to a friend
Tune in....turn on!  Time owned: more than 12 months
A factory-new SG-230 auto-tuner came on-board my station in the mid 1990s, and it has been in use most of the time since, with generally good, but not excellent, results.

The good features first, then the problems. For almost all of its service it has been mounted outdoors, under the eaves of my house, feeding an inverted-L random length wire antenna. Dismounting the tuner and opening the case last year, I found no signs of corrosion or water damage during the past fifteen years. The weatherization installed by SGC has done the job.

The station inverted-L antenna worked against a modest earth radial system. I did find, several times, that when the radial system was insufficient for the purpose, the 230 tried to load the radials as an antenna working against the inverted-L as ground! But that’s described in the manual and is not a difficult situation to remedy.

The significant test of a tuner working with a short random-length wire antenna is whether it will load the system on 160 meters. The 230 was especially good at this, seldom failing me. Other tuners I have owned often could not load the same antenna. However, even when short wires can be loaded on 160, they don’t produce magnificent signals and the 230 could not fix that.

But there have also been problems with the 230. During much of its useful lifetime the 230 produced receivable (digital artifact) carriers that impeded operations on the various bands. The problem was especially bad on 10 meters, where S-5 level carriers were spaced every 90 kHz across the band.

I called the factory (in the days when long-distance conversations were still toll calls) and inquired about the problem. They flatly denied that the 230 would do that. But “repairs” at SGC even then were prohibitively expensive, so the problem remained. And I am still dubious of their assertion: microprocessor-controlled products are notorious for producing spurious RF.

Finally, last year the 230 stopped achieving tune-lock, and I did a little trouble shooting. The problem is most likely a bad detector diode or capacitor. I’ve temporarily replaced the 230 with a newer auto-tuner and will repair the SGC later.

For the product:

Pro: The 230 is a quality product which will tune non-resonant wire antennas that other auto-tuners may not. The case and its weatherization are very good.

Con: Only single-ended antennas can be used; there is no inherent provision for feed lines. A good ground/counterpoise system is required. The product may produce spurious RF emissions on receive. The electrical design is now old compared with recent offerings. Indication of the state of tuner operation to the user is almost non-existent. Component reliability may be a problem. Purchase price and non-warranty repair costs are high.

This one is a toss-up. Evaluate your needs carefully, consider the cost, the design limitations, and the competition, and if the 230 will work for you then it’s a quality product worth purchasing.
 
VA6DWH Rating: 5/5 Jun 12, 2012 19:31 Send this review to a friend
Legendary  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I see what all the positive remarks are all about....Very durable antenna tuner...excellent build quality...made to perform ...When you hook it up to a SGC Power Talk SSB radio its unstoppable ! Not a toy like so many "fiddly" amateur products...They are a few $$...But you get what your paying for in this case...A little noisy....but its all in where you install it....Its a keeper...
 
PU2KOC Rating: 5/5 Feb 2, 2012 17:38 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is the best and most reliable tuner ever made. I have been using mine for the last 16 years and never got a fault or “no-tune”. Just have a good grounding system or some ¼ wave length wires well attached to the ground terminal and it will tune your random wire to less than 1:1.5 always. Use the length according to the tuner specs. (they really match!)
Just now, after 15 years I decided to open it and do some relay cleaning with a clean business card and some “blue showers” or equivalent contact cleaner. A very small dirt came out from some of the relays, may be the ones that are most used during the switching.
Since my SG230 is always exposed to rain, I added a sealing tape all around the corners were the two housings join and some silicon glue in the bottom part of the output connector. After opening it, NO corrosion or moisture found on the PC board.
My suggestion is to keep the internal jumper to “always tune” so if you change frequency, or, if it rains or moisture changes, we don’t use the memory pre-set conditions that could leave the SWR at a higher value.
Congratulations to the SGC design team and the quality of the components used.
 
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