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Author Topic: Yaseu ATAS 100/120 Antennas  (Read 849 times)
N2OBY
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« on: August 22, 2003, 03:10:40 PM »

Do any of you out there have any experience with either of the ATAS antennas?  I'm considering purchasing one for mobile use with my FT-847.  The ATAS-100 has been discontinued, with limited stocks available for a lower price than the ATAS-120 which is replacing it.  Any ideas regarding why it was replaced?

Thanks!

Ken N2OBY
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2003, 09:08:53 AM »

Neither one is a very good antenna in terms of efficiency. For just a wee bit more money, there are several good screwdriver types which will out perform the ATAS by 10 db or more.

Alan, KØBG
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K0BG
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2003, 09:11:56 AM »

I forgot to mention th replacement issue. I'm sure the redesign was to improved reliability. If you deside on the ATAS, then by all means get the 120.

Alan, KØBG
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K5LXP
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2003, 11:39:45 AM »

I have an ATAS100 and despite what has to be pretty poor efficiency, I have had a lot of fun with it.  The coil in it is very small, and wound of what can't be more than 22ga wire.  I have had many mobile and portable QSO's with it, and even a bit of DX on the higher bands.  The automatic nature of the FT100/ATAS combination is a compelling feature.  If "raw performance" isn't your primary goal, I think the ATAS is still a useful antenna.  It may not win any HF mobile shootouts but it *did* pass the XYL visual acceptance test.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
k5lxp@arrl.net
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W6WAT
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2003, 03:32:23 AM »

I purchased an ATAS 100 when the news of their replacement was first released.  I bought it at a steeply discounted price and thought it might be worth it for the sake of convenience.  I didn't expect much from it, although I considered it might be a worthwhile investment to use for 2m,70cm and 6m all mode.  Boy, was I wrong!  This thing has surpassed my expectations by a wide margin.  I work a lot of mobile HF and DX, and in fact, most of my activity is done mobile.  I have an antenna switch in my vehicle, and am able to switch between the Yaesu and a full sized screwdriver mounted on the rear bumper.  I have the little Yaesu attached to a triple magnet mount, and this is heavily discouraged by Yaesu, but it flat out works.  I have made contacts from the South Pole to Europe and Asia, as well as W.A.S.  It performs as well as the full sized screwdriver on every band except 40m.  It works on 40m, but marginally.  It also doesn't want to achieve a decent match for 6m.  It may need to be disassembled and cleaned (hasn't ever been done in more than a year of constant use).  

I highly recommend it for fun and convenience.  If you don't mind the somewhat marginal performance on 40m, it's a must have for mobile operation.  It is far less distracting and dangerous to push the tune button on the radio, rather than tapping a rocker switch back and forth and watching an SWR meter to tune a regular screwdriver.

Incidentally, the creator of the screwdriver antenna is W6AAQ, no matter what you might read or hear.  In fact, he owns the patent on the design, and the ONLY company that recognizes his patent and ingenious design is Yaesu.  They are the only manufacturer of screwdriver type antennas that pay a royalty to Don Johnson.

73
Wayne
W6WAT
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N2OBY
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2003, 07:49:06 PM »

A couple of my friends are using the High Sierra screwdrivers, and are quite pleased with them, but they are considerably more expensive than the Yaseu.  While I generally try to get the best for my dollar, due to certain recent expenses that have come up it might be quite a while before I can afford the HS, and therefore am looking for other operators experience with the ATAS.  Plus, the integrated operation with my FT-847 is another attractive point.
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N2OBY
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2003, 07:55:08 PM »

Wayne,

Thanks very much for the detailed reply.  Obviously mobile antennas, even monoband, are a compromise, and one can go crazy trying to attain the perfect setup.  For that reason I'm very glad to hear that you're enjoying the ATAS and have been able to work some real DX with it.

I'm still undecided, but you've definitely given me some food for thought...

Thanks again, and 73!

-Ken N2OBY
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N2OBY
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2003, 07:59:54 PM »

Mark,

I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying using the ATAS.  You are not the first person I've heard state that it's a great all-around antenna.  I'm sure that some of the more expensive antennas have better "raw performance", but as you state for an easy to use, general purpose antenna that integrates well with the Yaseu rigs the ATAS is hard to beat.  If I need better performance I'll operate from the home shack.

Thanks for your comments!

-Ken N2OBY
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KQ6IN
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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2003, 01:38:36 AM »

I have the ATAS-120 mounted on my Honda Civic and it has performed well above my expectations.  Have made contacts --while mobile in Hampton Roads, VA-- with stations in Russia, Australia, Iceland, and most of Europe (mostly on 20 meters)  Antenna has worked well for me (as stated above) on 20, 17, 15, 10 and 6.  Haven't done much on 40 meters, performance on 2 and 440 I would say is comparable to a glass mount antenna.  When I mounted the antenna I took extra time to clear all paint for the hex screws at the base to make contact with the bare metal, I drilled a hole on the mount (between the hex screws) and used that as an additional ground (ran braided cable  to a screw on a hole I drilled on the trunk lid).  I grounded the trunk lid to the body of the car with additional braided cable (1/2 inch) and the body to the frame.  Also grounded the Hood to the body and the body to the frame and installed an additional 1 inch braided cable to the engine from the body.  I'm happy with my antenna, and as mentioned on one of the other responses, I think its much safer to just hit the tune button and wait a few seconds than to mess around with switches and SWR meters.  I not 100% sure, I was looking at a web page some where can't remember if it was a Japanese web site, but I could swear there was a new Yaesu screw driver antenna listed (model was 24_ some thing if I remenber correctly), again I'm not really sure, its been about a month and I really didn't pay that much attention to it, because I had already purchased the ATAS-120.

Mike
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KB6SX
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« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2003, 09:53:46 AM »

To clear the air a little, there is no patent on the motorized HF antenna.  There was in the early 1950's and another patent in the early 1970's by a Canadian Company.  Anyone who claims to hold a patent on the screwdriver antenna is simply not telling the truth.  

Yaesu in their patent application does High Sierra and TJ Antennas. They point out the differences between their antenna and the HS-1000 & BB3.  

Actually, if you do a little research, you can find articles in QST in the 1950's about antennas that are very similar to today's motorized antennas. You'll see ads from manufacturer's of those designs included Autenna, Swan (Swantenna), Master Mobile and others.  

There always seems to be someone who makes a claim to have invented the motorized antenna, the dipole, the beam, the vertical, the whatever.  
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KB6HRT
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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2003, 11:34:26 PM »

I have had an ATAS 100 antenna and a Sidekick and a  Outbacker Perth+, Huslers and Ham Sticks. On the screwdriver antennas it is very emportant to have the coils of the antennas in the clear so the coil see's
360 degrees and in the case of the ATAS 100 and other screwdriver antennas  have it as high as posible and in the center of the car to get the best results. On the higher band all of these antenna work rather well. Of the lower bands I had the best luck with the Outbacker P+. Having a good Ground at the base is escental.
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KC1QF
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« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2003, 04:48:20 AM »

I bought an ATAS-100 about 3 years ago, when it came out. As I am a mobile operator, I have tried Hustlers, hamsticks, Screwdrivers, bug catchers et al.
No matter what anyone says, they are all inefficient antennas. On the 40 meter band you are using an antenna which is just to short; there is just no way to be made efficient.

Notwithstanding its inefficiency, its band changing convenience is second to none. It works great and I work stations across the atlantic (W1BFA at 6am eastern on 14279 every day) or others in the 40meter band. The absence of the 80 meter band is a problem  but then the efficiency of that band at 2% just makes the radio transmit into a dummy load!

The ATAS-120 provides a better ground contact and is lighter. The only problem with the ATAS-100 is that it requires very good ground contact to make sure the working voltages 12V or 7V go through (RF jumps over).

I use mine with the Icom 706 and the Am-Com ATAS-100 controller (a two position momentary switch plus two SO-259 connectors, two resistors and two capacitors).

Enjoy it!

Peter
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N7KJ
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« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2003, 05:05:02 PM »

Ken,
I've send you an e-mail directly. I hope it helps. The file is rather large, though.

Regards,
Scott  N7KJ
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WN7RKT
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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2007, 08:51:52 PM »

I'm wondering if anyone can tell me how large of diameter whip the ATAS-120A will accept.
Thanks,
Rod.
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WX9DX
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« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2007, 02:19:54 PM »

I have one comment on the ATAS 120 antenna from having it and other antennas. It's Pee Willie! $300 worth of dummy load! You want a real antenna buy a Predator and a good VHF/UHF antenna like a Diamond or Jetstream.

I bought this ATAS for the Wife's SUV with a FT100D radio. The antenna is like using just the load coil of a Hustler by itself on HF and on V/Uhf it's really bad compaired to even a 1/4 wave antenna.

Been in TWO Way radio fixing radios all my life and am now retired. This ATAS120 is not the answer for an antenna for any band. Yeah some have this antenna, but they need to go out and try this against real antennas at antenna shootouts. These events let you and others find out what really works!

Check out KJ9T's web site.

Jimmy:)
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