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Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | SGC SG-500 Smart Power Cube Help

Show all reviews of the SGC SG-500 Smart Power Cube

You can write your own review of the SGC SG-500 Smart Power Cube.

KE5C  Rating: 3/5 May 4, 2003 01:59  Send this review to a friend!
Well built but ...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The amplifier rates a 4, the service a 1, hence, 3 for the average, and that’s rounding up. I purchased a unit made in 1998 from the second owner who had ordered it from the factory but received it from A.E.S. He had only used it on 40 meters, and had never measured the output power on any other band - see 21 Mhz comments later. Using a 105 amp 13.8 volt power supply and #8 wire, I measured 13.0 volts under load at the amp - 14.0 would improve the output, of course. My power meter is a Bird 43 with 500 W and 1000W slugs, and my dummy load is a 600 W air-cooled Bird, non-inductive through the FAA frequencies (120 plus Mhz). My exciter is a Ten-Tec Omni 6 Plus with the power out turned down just enough to avoid tripping the attenuator in the SG-500:

1.8 MHz = 600 W
3.5 MHz = 580 W
7 MHz = 560 W
14 MHz = 500 W
18 MHz = 440 W
21 MHz = 380 W
24 MHz = 440 W
28 MHz = 400 W

Responders to my post on the Amps Reflector thought, except for 21 MHz, these readings were fairly typical. This amplifier is well thought out, and well constructed. I set three 12 volt cooling fans which are necessary for CW operation on one side of the amp blowing across the heat sink on the bottom, and hooked them to the fan connecter. They cycle on and off as the amplifier warms and cools. On the plus side, I think this will be a very nice mobile amplifier, especially for the low bands. So far the auto band select and auto PTT have worked well. The attenuation has switched in when I overdrive it, and the one time I forgot to change all the settings on my tuner, the vswr protection worked just as advertised.

Clearly I had been spoiled by Ten-Tec service. They route telephone calls to knowledgeable technicians – or engineers – who offer helpful suggestions. Instead, SGC gave me two options – leave a voice mail or, preferably, send an e-mail. I did the latter, and received one response per day (maximum), and not from a technician or engineer. They did provide the information about activating 28 MHz. Their idea about the low output on 21 MHz was, send it to the factory and for $300 plus return shipping, they would fix it. Oh, and it cannot be a manufacturing “issue”, yet they did not respond when I asked for a copy of their final quality control checkout listing the output power on each band at the time of manufacture. So if you purchase one of these, new or used, immediately check the power on each band.
Product is in production.
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