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Response to SG-2020 Review - Keynote # 9/10, 1999

More feedback this month. Mostly about the SG-2020 review. First this:

Dear Mr. Shannon, (Ya know I just thought, gosh he must get a ton of 'dear John' letters! :-) I thought I would drop you a note and thank you for such a nice review of our rig. I would like to ask, if you should come across any wayward 2020 owners who would like to join our group [its free] they can contact me at the above email address OR they can get the addy from our web page at: http://members.tripod.com/~Kathi_0365/SGC_Club.html. The club addy IS case sensitive. Best Regards, Kathi Hilton - N0FKA Fists - 5276

From Mac W0AP FISTS 1908: Nice write-up OM and as a recent purchaser I agree with your assessments. Find that mine cost $100 more than your quoted price. Guess things cost more "west of the rockies" HI. At 81 years of age and ham since the breadboard days I find the memorization of combinations of button pushes and sequence thereof quite confusing. I did not find a "cue card" with mine (except a summary on the inside of the packing box. Would enjoy a plastic "reminder card" for settings and strokes such as Kenwood gives out with little handheld (which also confuses me and my memory) My chief gripe is the tendency of the machine to revert to full "19" watts output when changing frequency settings. I would like to keep a given output setting when making other changes in bands/frequencies/modes. But you can't have everything and I still think I have purchased a gem! Nicest part of the bargain is that this is a "made in USA" product." All my gear Ten Tec.

And after forwarding that info to Don KB3DRW, who loaned me the rig, he sent this reply to answer Mac's comments: I bought my SG-2020 from a dealer on the internet who had $100 off the regular price. (It pays to shop around - JS) The cue card started a few months ago and did not ship with the first line of the radios. (Don offered to send Mac a copy of the card - JS) If you program the memory setting it will maintain the watts setting that was on the radio when you saved that setting. For instance, I just set my radio this morning for one of the settings to be 7.110mhz. I stepped the memory setting until I get to the one I wanted to use. I tune the radio manually to 7.110. Then I set it to CW 2.2. Next I set the power down to 4 on the display (that is 5 watts out for my radio on 40 meters). Finally I saved that into memory. When ever I go to that memory setting my watts go back to 4 watts. You can set the memories to be your band selector with the power you want on each band.

From AB4KX FISTS #3542 (excerpts): I read your article in KEYNOTE recounting your experience with the SGC2020 and I want to thank you for taking the time to write the article. The only SGC 2020 I've heard on CW was sending modulated cw or FSK with a very noticeable key up spur. The operator was KG8WK and I QSOed him twice and the FSK at one time was 300 Hz and the other closer to 600 or 700 Hz. I wrote SGC asking them about it and they said the rig was definitely malfunctioning and that its performance on CW was good. The key down note sounded excellent here and with the 250 HZ filter in my Corsair II I would not have noticed anything. Apparently an O. O. heard the spur as well and sent the op a note. The rig was returned to the vendor. I am wondering if you have any knowledge of such rig behavior or any insight or if you experienced anything like that at all?

Again I went to my SG expert, Don KB3DRW. He said that the FSK was a problem with very early releases of the SG-2020 and that the problem has subsequently been fixed. He also said that anyone having such a problem with one of the earlier rigs should notify SGC and they will provide a fix. The problem is in the EPROM and is easily repairable via a software upgrade.

And finally these comments from Don, KB3DRW about his rig: I really love my little SG-2020 It works perfect for my only rig. As a novice it covers everything I need and will serve me well I think as a General. I don't plan on running a lot of power. If I can get Hawaii on 5 watts who needs all the additonal money and headache of the high power stuff.

Well said, Don. Thanks to everyone for their comments on the SG-2020 review. It seemed to be a popular article. Perhaps some day I'll be fortunate enough to be loaned another rig, and will be able to do another review.

We should be well into the fall season by the time you read this. I hope that conditions on the bands are picking up after the summer doldrums. I've been very disappointed in 12 and 10M lately, and 15 has been very up and down. You should be planning to take advantage of these bands during the fall and winter months. If they repeat their performance of last fall and winter, it should be very easy to work lots of DX with your QRP rigs, whether they be the SG-2020 or one of the many single band QRP kit rigs out there. If you're a 10M CW fan, be sure to plan to be in the ARRL 10M DX contest in December. I had a ball there last year. While there may not be that much activity on 10M CW normally, that contest is guaranteed to bring out huge numbers of stations operating CW. A good chance to get those last few QRP countries for your DXCC. Of course ARRL doesn't endorse DXCC for QRP, but you'll have the pleasure of having done it, anyway. You can also pick up those last few states for 10M WAS. I'll be looking for MD, DE, ND, and SD to complete my QRP 10M WAS. Don't forget the CQWW DX contest the end of November as well. Another good place to pick up some good QRP DX.

If you haven't checked my web site for a while, be sure to do so. I've added some features lately. If you're working for the FISTS Century, QRP Century, etc. and want to see if you've ever worked me, my logs are now on line. Also if you're looking for a QSL Route, I have one of the most complete searches on the internet. Want to check to see if you're in that rare DX station's log for sure. Check my Log Search feature with over 400 different log searches. Visit home.windstream.net/johnshan/ Email me or regular mail at John Shannon, 478 E. High St., Kittanning, PA 16201-1304. 73 -30-