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Author Topic: ATAS 120A Questions  (Read 624 times)
KC5VUW
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Posts: 29




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« on: February 28, 2008, 10:46:33 AM »

Hello all.  First let me say that there is a wealth of knowledge within this group of people.  I recently upgraded to General Class and have deicided to go HF Mobile.  I bought a gently used ATAS 120A from somone else on the forum and I have a control box coming today.  The radio is the ICOM 706mkIIG and fits my needs very well.  My question is this:  On 2 meter or 70cm, how can I tell when my antenna is in the "sweet spot".  The 706 does not allow for the SWR meter to work on VHF/UHF like the Yaesu rigs.  Can I set it on AM and listen for the peak like you would do for HF work?  Your thouhts and wisdom are greatly appreciated.

73's,

Tim KC5VUW
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ARCH
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Posts: 17




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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2008, 12:27:45 PM »

The ATAS is really not resonant on VHF or UHF despite the advertising.  It uses the bottom tube as an antenna on both bands.  The coil is not engaged.  You'd be better off with a separate antenna for those bands.  Honestly, you'd be better off with just about anything on HF too.    
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K0BG
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2008, 02:35:31 PM »

About the only good thing an ATAS will do for you, is whet your appetite for something better. There are only a couple of commercially available HF mobile antennas which are less efficient. You will make contacts, and you might just have a little fun in the process. But as I said, you'll want more soon!

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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WW5AA
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Posts: 2088




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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2008, 02:36:31 PM »

I agree....

I understand having to try and get by on the cheap, thats my middle name. As said the ATAS is a poor antenna, HF or VHF. I would also go for a good dual band mobile antenna and a screwdriver antenna for HF down the line. Have fun mobile!

73 de Lindy
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KC5VUW
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Posts: 29




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« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2008, 11:55:39 AM »

Well.  Here are my first thoughts on the ATAS 120A.  It does exctly what it is advertised to do.  All I can say is the people who have had issues with it not being able to tune is GROUND GROUND GROUND.  Once I got a decent ground it tuned good.  Once I got a good ground it tuned even better.  My first contact was into the island of Curacao.  Not an around the world QSO.  But it proved the antenna works.  Radio is my hobby.  Not my life.  Yes, I may end up wanting more later in life, but for now this is good.  Thanks to all of those who replied.

73s,

Tim KC5VUW
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K0BG
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« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2008, 02:07:50 PM »

Here we go again. Tim, the number of DX stations you can hear or work means absolutely nothing! Not efficiency, not how good your installation is (or isn't), nada! Using the metaphor identifies you in a plane you probably don't want to be in.

Ground, ground, ground is another. Unless the grounds are long enough to be radials, they do nothing. True, you do need a return for the coax, but that's all. If you mount the antenna like you should, you wouldn't need, grounds ad nauseam.

The other metaphor you hear all too often is, I can work every station I hear. If you think about that for a moment, you'd understand why it too is an oxymoronic statement.  

While it may sound harsh to be criticized for your choice of antennas, you're not alone. In fact, it is the second biggest seller, with High Sierra the top dog. It also happens to be the most resold (used) mobile antenna as well.

As I said before, the one thing it is best known for, if whetting appetites. Let's hope that is exactly what it does for you.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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W3LK
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Posts: 5644




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« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2008, 07:08:57 PM »

The ATAS 120 is a good antenna - until you compare it to a real, full-size,  motorized antenna. They have probably the highest mechanical failure rate of anything on the market.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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