May 8, 2017

A Reader Asks: SG-2020

Just found one on ebay for reasonable cost and grabbed it
Any tips for a long and successful operating life? Mods or tricks? Carrying case?
I got the usual stuff off and the manual already

My Reply:

Here is the link for SG Club International -

They are pretty bullet-proof and simple radios, and there is not much that needs to be done with them. Go find yourself a decent hardside case with foam lining to keep it in. When being transported, I keep mine in a milsurp case for an AN/AVS-6(V)1 Aviator's Night Vision System. It is just big enough to store the radio along with it's accessories. I found it at a local army/navy store for $40. You'll probably be able to find something similar locally.

For rucking it around, get one of the Harris RF Communications Accessories Bags - - It fits the '2020 perfectly, and is deep enough to also carry a battery pack and accessories in the bottom of the main compartment and side pouch.

If you don't have the manual, you can get it at - While you're at it, visit and download the HF Users Guide. Lots of good info in there.

The SGC auto-tuners are also a good item to have, and will tune pretty much anything. Another good tuner is the LDG. There was an SGC tuner made specifically for the '2020, I think it was the SG-211. I use a SG-237 and have been happy with it.

A CW "leg key" is also nice to have when operating in the field. I got mine on Ebay.

The best battery I have found at present is a simple 12V AGM "gel cell". They're about $30 at the local Ag store for a 7AH model. AGM stands for "absorbent glass mat". Much better than the older sealed lead acid (SLA) gel cells. You can charge one in a few hours with a "battery maintainer" is the one I use. Gel Cells are not too particular about being charged, and are tolerant of minor charging mistakes. They are inexpensive compared to other battery units like the LiPo and Li-Ion boxes, and don't have any electronics in them that generate interference on HF, which I discovered was the case with my GoalZero Sherpa.

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