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Author Topic: Yaesu ATAS-120A as a Base Antenna  (Read 3332 times)
KD0HLD
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« on: May 25, 2009, 01:07:54 PM »

Purchased a Yaesu ATAS-120A and Radials to use as my home Base antenna, but do not know how to connect it to the coax and base radio. Do I need to purchase a mount/base or rig a connection? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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KZ1X
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2009, 01:15:27 PM »

You'll need a mount of some sort, yes; the specifics are dependent on the requirements for your installation.  Many suggestions will pop up if you provide more information. Please provide as detailed a description of your planned installation as you can, and don't spare any detail.  Remember, we have no pictures to go by, only your text.

I might help point out that the performance you will get from this setup will be, in a word, compromised.  Is there a particular reason you have selected this antenna setup?
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AI4NS
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2009, 04:39:24 PM »

The ATAS is a very poor antenna. Why did you choose a mobile antenna for home? There are far better antennas to use. Describe your situation, yard, covenants, etc and we can help you maximize your antenna.
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KD8CGH
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2009, 06:47:38 PM »

You will need to rig a base and a set of radials. I used an ATAS 120A mounted to a mast on my chimney with my FT 857. The multi band auto tuning was nice for about a year until the ATAS 120a died. They are not robust if left out in the elements.
  I replaced the ATAS with a G5RV that is a much better radiator for HF.
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W3LK
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2009, 07:41:10 PM »

If this was an active chimney ( fireplace or furnace venting through it) it was the heat and flue gasses, rather that the weather,  that killed it. Then again, it doesn't take much to kill one.

This is probably one of the poorest antennas on the market and Yaesu should apologize to the ham community for foisting it on the unsuspecting.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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KD0HLD
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2009, 01:20:37 PM »

I live on a third of an acre with a two story home (sharp pitch roof. Will be using a tripod base to mount the antenna onto, but not sure how to attach it at this time. I know that Base Antennas usually have a mounting bracket of some kind designed into them, but this is made to attach to a Magmount, or mobile mount. I chose the ATAS because it was recommended by Yaesu and covered the Bands which my NEW Yaesu FT-897 can use. Also, thought that it could be used on one of my other vehicles once I found a replacement. Did not know that it was of poor design.  Any recommendations on another antenna I could use?
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W3LK
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2009, 01:35:32 PM »

You will be much better served with one of the trap verticals from Hustler that are designed for home station use. One can be installed on your roof tripod with at least two resonant radials for each band on the antenna.

This will outperform the 120A by a very large amount.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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WX7G
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2009, 02:46:15 PM »

The tripod base will add to the radiator length and it might not be able to tune on the 10 meter and possibly 15 meter bands. That is not much of a problem right now with those bands being marginal.

The additional tripod height will add that much to the radiator length. This will help on the 80-20 meter bands.

Eight or more 12' radials on the ground will provide a decent ground system.

It should work pretty well on 40 and 20 meters and you will make contacts on 80 meters.
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K0BG
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2009, 03:03:52 PM »

<<The tripod base will add to the radiator length and it might not be able to tune on the 10 meter and possibly 15 meter bands. That is not much of a problem right now with those bands being marginal.
>>

That's an incorrect assumption. All the tripod base will do, is further increase the overall losses. It might increase the bandwidth as a result, but it won't allow it to work any additional spectrum than it already (and poorly) does.

As Lon mentioned, the ATAS is one of the lossiest mobile antennas money can buy, and you'll need a lot of it. For about the same money, you can buy a decent base station vertical that will run circles around it. No, I'm not talking about a magical 43 or 31 foot vertical, but a decent trapped one. Hustler, HyGain, and Cushcraft (et. al.) all make them. So, do yourself a favor and forget the adjustable dummy load better known as an ATAS.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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KZ1X
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2009, 03:52:59 PM »

These guys might be able to help you out

http://k5ozk.ham-radio-op.net/

Note that your local hamfest is THIS SATURDAY!  You're in luck ...
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K5LXP
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2009, 06:49:48 AM »

Besides being among the top finishers in the winners' circle of crappy antennas, the ATAS is also mechanically pretty fragile, especially considering it was intended to be a mobile antenna.  It doesn't take a lot of reading through the ATAS Antenna Yahoo group archive to hear all the tales of woe associated with this antenna.  

That being said, you can use an ATAS as a base antenna.  I've done it with mine, using a series of wire radials.  The only benefit you'll get is the ability to remote tune it via the rig.  Performance will be lackluster to poor on any band you'll find open at this point in the solar cycle.  Consider that a piece of wire as long as the coax you'd use to connect the ATAS would make a better antenna than the ATAS itself.  I would recommend a basic dipole or two to start out with.  You don't need a handicap when you're first starting out in the hobby.

If it's unused maybe you can work a deal with your dealer and arrange a credit for a different antenna or piece of equipment.  Or go ahead and play with the setup if you want.  But if you reach a point where you're frustrated when you can't make many contacts don't blame the rig, bad conditions or ham radio in general.  Know that just about anything else you'd put up will work a lot better.  That's why so many responders here are recommending you start with something else, to save you the frustration.

 
Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


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W7COM
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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2009, 07:40:27 PM »

Here's a setup Dean AE7Q came up with.  I've use it and it works, not well, but it works, and the antenna will tune.  I've hit some JA stations during contests on 20 and 40m with it. But a wire in trees would be better.  This does make for a very quick portable setup though.  If you have an ATAS-120 I would make up a kit like this.  It's cheap enough.  Instead of a tripod I used a milk box up-side-down.  Lots of ways to do it.
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