Single Sideband Radio By Gordon West, WB6NOA Reprinted with express permission.
The miniaturized SGC 2020 single sideband marine radio is only slightly larger than a standard VHF set, and can operate from a D-cell battery pack. Coupled to Alpha Delta's multiband, rail-mounted whip antenna, this setup will serve any trailerboat cruiser or fisherman who ventures beyond VHF range.
High frequency single sideband (SSB) signals bounce off the ionosphere, and we were able to achieve clear communications up to 2000 miles away with this set. The SGC 2020 we tested was operated on maritime mobile amateur radio frequencies pending part 80 marine type acceptance due this fall.
What makes this installation work for trailer-sized boats is that the pre-tuned marine SSB whip antenna from Alpha Delta eliminates the need for costly automatic antenna tuners and an extensive ground system. Instead, the antenna is grounded by mounting it onto any horizontal stainless steel rail. The coax cable leading from the whip connects directly to the radio, and you change bands by plugging or unplugging the tap point lead on the side of the antenna.
The street price for the SGC 2020 is $900; expect to pay about $400 for the antenna. With 20 memory channels and 20 watts of output, this downsized package illustrates how long-range communications equipment can be built small, yet is still be capable of reaching out to distant marine telephone operators or the U.S. Coast Guard.
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