Sort of QRP Radio for K9ZW – SGC SG-2020 Transceiver


SGC-2020 (ARRL Photo)

SG-2020 (ARRL Photo)



I’ve added an SGC SG-2020 Transceiver to my shack – well really more for use when not in my shack.

From the SGC Website:

All Reasons. All Seasons.

This is the transceiver for base, backpack or business trips – the ultimate portable trasceiver. There are no confusing menus and just two-step operation: select your frequency and transmit. The SG-2020 is compact and weighs only 4.5 pounds. Operate SSB or CW from wherever you are. 

Exactly What You Need

The SG-2020 covers all HF frequencies from 1.8 to 30 Mhz. It is factory-set for 20 watts PEP with front panel power adjustments down to 1W using USB or LSB. There are 20 factory pre-programmed memories preset to frequencies within each of the nine amateur bands for fast band accessibility. Each memory position can be selected for a specific transmitter output power, specific amount of bandwidth filtering, mode and split VFO. The memory channels can be re-programmed to accommodate alternate frequencies of your choice within the frequency range and a simple unlock procedure allows you to choose any HF frequency worldwide.

I’ve wanted a decent simple portable transceiver.  

I arguably have a better field rig, but I’ve just never really found I used all of that rig’s features in the shack, much less in the field.  

The SG-2020 appealed from the basic simplicity, the ability to throttle-down to QRP levels, that it is a Standard Avionics Stack Sized, and is very robustly built.  

Being close to a “no need to read the manual” rig is also appealing.

Here are some SGC SG-2020 Links:

ARRL QST First Looks: SGC SG-2020 Transceiver
Reviewed by Rick Lindquist, N1RL, Senior Assistant Technical Editor – September 1, 1998

RigPix SG-2020 Page

SGC SG-2020 Page

SGC SG-2020 Yahoo Groups Website

SGC Club International

SGC SG-2020 Sales Page at Universal Radio

eHam SG SGC-2020 User Reviews

Expect a field report once I get used to this new radio.




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7 thoughts on “Sort of QRP Radio for K9ZW – SGC SG-2020 Transceiver

  1. Scot says:

    The SGC-2020 is an interesting concept. Straightforward, easy-of-operation, small footprint, with SSB or CW modes. Thanks Steve for the posting.

    Scot, KA3DRR

  2. Bevin K4ALE says:

    Thanks for the great post, Steve, including the photo with a fountain pen in it! I have used an SG-2020 for a couple of years now, and fountain pens for about 40 years. I got my license only in 2006, just after these were discontinued by SGC, but the rig really appealed to my concept of a “mobile” ham and a robust radio with minimal frills [that I did not then understand and now still don’t much like.] That has turned out to be true.

    I acquired mine from a ham who had upgraded it with ASDP2. I bought an old Samsonite hardside suitcase from the local Goodwill Store, put in some foam, and now shlep it with me on vacation and to the country on weekends. I often use it with a Par End-Fedz multi-band antenna, which is just right for this rig. With a simple antenna tuner, it works great.

    The SSB is remarkably clear on the other end, according to reports, and one fine fall day, I had an hour long QSO with a gent in Finland [albeit with help from the salt marsh behind the beach house….]

    As a QRP rig, it is wonderfully versatile, if somewhat heavy. The receiver is very effective, and its efficient power consumption allows it to be used with a modest battery. I love other small QRP stations, like my KX1 and a Small Wonders SW 40+, but it is just right for those settings where weight is not critical, but complete utility is required.

    I’ve tried it on PSK31 and with a desk mic, all with the same happy success. While it is not my primary rig, it is the one that goes into the car on trips and “field day” exercises. With an NVIS antenna, it has good legs for local-state communications, and I am sure it will be the one deployed if ever an emergency calls me out.

    Thanks, again, Steve, for adding this fine rig to the list of musings.


    Lynchburg, Virginia

  3. ken KE2EP says:

    looking to buy an sg-2020



  4. Steve KB2YUV says:

    The 2020 is still my favorite radio. I use it with an LDG Z-11 tuner I modified to have a balanced output with a 4:1 balun on the inside. It’s selected with a locking toggle switch on the front and I added a groung post on the back of as well. It has a slightly smaller footprint than the radio does and is only about an inch and a quarter high.
    A great companion to the 2020 is the Sony 7600GR. It’s the same size as the tuner and 7/8 inch thick. It can be used to tune around and listen to save the 2020’s battery power until you are ready to transmit.

  5. bill KG4ZQZ says:

    love my 2020s! i keep a brand new ADSP2 in the box for a spare, but my used ADSP has been a blast for years now… it is my QRP rig that i keep in a box… down here in Hurricane Alley i’d depend on my 2020 before my IC-703 – that’s fer sure!

  6. Alan Wojtkowiak says:

    Alan AA9SH – 15-September-2010
    I have been wanting to buy a 2020 since I first learned of them. I am in our county’s Emergency Management Agency primarily as a ham radio communications provider. Just can’t seem to find a seller. I’d even go for one without ADSP. My Kenwood TS-180S is a faithful performer, but isn’t very handy for EMCOMM. It does’t need to be pretty. I appreciate any help to find one. TNX es 73 Urbana, IN

  7. Mikey99 says:

    I found your blog about the SGC SG-2020 and just wanted to report that I just bought one from an estate sale. I haven’t powered it up yet, so I hope it works According to the SGC box (which has enough detail to qualify as a manual) this unit has ADSP. I’m hoping it’s not dead, because there was no dielectric breakdown odor. 73 de AA9ZY

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