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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | SGC SG-230 Help


Reviews Summary for SGC SG-230
SGC  SG-230 Reviews: 64 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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KJ4FGI Rating: 5/5 Jun 11, 2017 14:35 Send this review to a friend
Tunes everything  Time owned: more than 12 months
for 80 meter transmission you need an antenna wire at least 23 feet long, 40 - 10 m at least 8 feet long.

This tunes frequencies most other tuners don't. These, as I understand were designed for boats/sailboats I guess that's why it tunes frequencies that my Icom AH-4 doesn't. I do love the Icom AH-4 also, it is smaller but doesn't tune the spread like the SG-230
 
WB0KWJ Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2016 04:23 Send this review to a friend
Fast Tuning, Reliable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my SG-230 about 10 years ago at a hamfest for $40 as an "as-is" item. The previous owner said he could not make it tune. He had another non-working autotuner for sale, so I suspected he was hard on them. The fact that the SGC-230 tuned well at some frequencies suggested the logic circuits were working. According to the seller, other tuner did even less.

A little bit of analysis revealed a couple relays with burned out contacts that prevented the SGC-230 tuning sequence from completing at certain frequency ranges. I replaced the defective relays, made a new moisture seal with liquid gasket material, and the unit has been working perfectly since.

I mounted the SGC-230 inside a metal briefcase with connectors on the side for portable use. It is designed to be set remotely at the base of a vertical or long-wire. Operating power provided via the coax using a bias-t installed inside the SG-230 case. The bias-t has a resonance at 12 meters that sometimes prevents tuning on that band (consequences of using a cheap choke). Otherwise, acquisition of an SWR solution takes no more than a couple seconds for new frequencies. Its memory system tunes previously used frequencies essentially instantly.

The SG-230 is not a QRP device, but I have had good performance tuning at just under 10 watts. The manual recommends tuning at full power. That seems to provide slightly better solutions more quickly, probably at the expense of relay contacts. I purchased a couple spare relays just in case. They are common and inexpensive. In ten years, I have not had occasion to use them.

The SG-230 is not the most inexpensive tuner available. However, it is designed for operation in harsh environments. A user who does not need a device that can be mounted outside could save money with something else. But, if a rugged, reliable 100-200 watt device is needed, the SGC-230 seems very well worth it.

 
WA3GIN Rating: 5/5 Feb 28, 2016 15:58 Send this review to a friend
Awesome Little Coupler  Time owned: more than 12 months
The SGC 230 has been on the shelf for many years. Just never had an antenna that could use it with but recently I put up a 160m OCFD and now thought I'd try the coupler. The unit is not designed for coax output. But I wanted to try it out. The unit loves the OCFD. Now instantly I can switch bands...from 160 to 10m. This was one of the first auto couplers built for ham use, plenty competitors out there now with very competitive prices!

Really like the little box. Warning the relays are made with low temperature plastic. If you try to match and there is no antenna connected the relay can heat up enough so that the contractor with migrate into the plastic form. The next time you try the unit that relay will not make contact. The fix is easy. Open the unit locate the suspect relay, heat the contactor with a low power solder iron and reseat the contactor. Always check that you have an antenna connected. This damage occurred at a Field Day when an over excited operator mistakenly disconnected the antenna, duh!

 
N0VA Rating: 4/5 Dec 14, 2014 17:55 Send this review to a friend
Works well  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Actually it's performing great but can't give 5 stars to something I have only been using a couple of months.

I acquired the SGC-230 in a trade a couple of years ago and had it sitting unused in a closet until October, 2014. I decided to give it a try and wound 100 feet of wire on a wood 2x2 frame and stuck it in an old tripod mount sitting on the ground in my backyard. The bottom of the loop is about 6 ft. off the ground and power is taken from a remote 12VDC supply close by, not the same power supply running the HF rig in use. SGC does not recommend using a remote power supply and in fact indicate on their website they do not offer technical support for such an arrangement (danger of ground loops.) Be that as it may mine works just fine this way and so far has been able to couple the feedline to the loop anywhere on the ham bands 10-80 meters. I did learn that a cheap switching wall-wort power supply (12V, 1 amp) produced a frying noise on received signals and replaced it with an old Radio Shack linear supply.

I have posted a picture of the loop and coupler on my QRZ callsign page. N0VA
 
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.
 
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