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Author Topic: Is ATAS120 only one to be controlled by FT-857D?  (Read 886 times)
VE3PLO
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« on: June 01, 2009, 09:29:21 AM »

Looking at some reviews of Atas-120 im not really sure i want to go with one;) Heard of little tarheel, scorpion and others that by reviews are much superior (build wise and functionality wise) than atas.
The question:
will any of these antennas be able to be controled/tuned by my FT-857D?
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KT4NR
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2009, 02:05:59 PM »

There are extensive after-market antenna controllers. The most basic of which is a simple DPDT switch with a turns counter or SWR meter in line.

The FT 857 will handle any motorized antenna that you want it to when you use the proper controller. Yaesu happens to make that one antenna so obviously they market it as the perfect match for the radio (it's actually really only good as a tree branch basher.)
Drop by K0BG.com for more information on such matters. (He must be hibernating or enjoying the nice weather if he has not commented on this one yet. : ) Or perhaps he is working something on 17 mobile while the rest of us work.)
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K0BG
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2009, 04:59:38 AM »

Actually, I was in Elbowturkey (Albuquerque).

The Lil Tarheel and High Sierra Sidekick are marginally better than the ATAS. All three of these are typically mounted on some sort of clamp mount like a K400 or similar, which just ends up adding insult to injury as far as losses are concerned. Most folks who use them think they're great, mainly because the have nothing to compare them to.

Here is an excerpt from an e-mail I recently received. The HiQ antenna was mounted on the left quarter panel, the Sidekick on the top of the vehicle. He was using an A:B switch.

<< Well I put the sidekick back on and it's like night and day between the two antennas. With the sidekick I can tell I have a station, no signal strength and switch over to the HiQ (480RT) and it will be a S-7 or better. The TX is about the same, was talking with a CA station and with the sidekick my sig was around S-2 and with the HiQ a 9. My noise is higher on RX with the HiQ over the sidekick. I guess it's the price you pay to RX and TX better! About 7 s units better with...!!! >>
 
Mark

Actually, the increase in "noise" is a result of a stronger incoming signal. After all, you can't hear much on a dummy load!

It is interesting to note, the dollar separation between the two aforementioned antennas is just $100! So, you have to decide just how much performance you want from your mobile, price notwithstanding.

To directly answer your question. No. The FT857 only reports two levels of SWR; basically over 2:1 and under 2:1. They get by with this because the antenna is so lossy; sort of a tunable dummy load as it were. Using this limited amount of data to control a decent remotely-tuned antenna, would be self-defeating. As a comparison, the Icom IC-7000 reports 255 levels of SWR from virtually 1:1, to about 20:1.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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