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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Mobile & Accessories | Yaesu ATAS-120 Help


Reviews Summary for Yaesu ATAS-120
Yaesu ATAS-120 Reviews: 98 Average rating: 3.6/5 MSRP: $325
Description: Motorized Mobile Screwdriver Antenna 40m-70cm. Updated version of ATAS-100. Band change control with Yaesu radios FT-100, FT-897, & FT-847.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.yaesu.com/
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<— Page 5 of 10 —>

PD2RPT Rating: 4/5 Dec 7, 2006 13:34 Send this review to a friend
Time owned: more than 12 months
I use the Yaesu ATAS 120A with ATBK -100 and Ecoflex 10 coaxcable as a base rooftop- antenna, and it works better on HF as I ever expected. On VHF and UHF is the performance less better.
 
NW2M Rating: 4/5 Oct 8, 2006 09:24 Send this review to a friend
Integrated solution  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have this antenna mounted on the roof of my mini van. Yes, it is quite tall. The base of the antenna is mounted to a very small TV rotor that it folds down when not in use. Antenna/rotor hides between the roof rack assy. Two sets of braids make the ground connection to the body at the roof rack. I use this antenna in conjunction with the FT-857D radio. My ATAS antenna is the second or third generation of this antenna- the one without the rubber "boot".

Operation is so simple there is nothing for you to do! The 857D uses the coax cable to interface and control and antenna. You enable the "ATAS" feature in a menu location and the rig does the rest. You hit the Tune button and it will tune for the best match. The antenna covers down thru 40 meters. The ATAS-120 has a clutch feature so that you cannot jam or harm the motor or antenna itself if you drive the antenna to the extremes. So far the rig and antenna are a nice match. My signal reports have been very good, some surprised that I was mobile.

I do take the antenna apart yearly for cleaning, inspection, and lubrication. I have not experienced the problems that others have seen. It has worked so well that I am experimenting with an extra coil and a capacity hat for 75M phone.
 
KD7GKE Rating: 4/5 Sep 24, 2006 17:51 Send this review to a friend
So far, so good....  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Read all the reviews, learned from them. Made sure mount was sturdy, and grounded VERY well, (Grounding strap from mount to body, another from body to frame.....Mounted my ATAS 120, with WX mod, on my 98 Chevy truck, Stake pocket mount, just behind the cab, mated to the Yaesu 857D. (UHF/VHF antenna on front cowl) Even in the rain, it still tunes...(Once, had to manually tune it, but it still tunes)...After the rain, ops normal. Last week, while teaching a class outdoors, I had my E-Z up set up about 50 feet from the truck. A strong gust of wind came along and took my E-Z up for a ride....hitting the truck and smacking the antenna. After close inspection, and straightening, I did an ops check...again, Normal. So far.....So good....
 
W4KEB Rating: 1/5 Aug 23, 2006 20:03 Send this review to a friend
Not suitable for outdoor use.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I absolutely loved the combination of my FT-100 and ATAS-120. Tuning was a breeze, signal reports were great, and it looked really cool on the car!

Unfortunately, I didn't realize, and the manual didn't state, that this antenna was not designed for outdoor use. After leaving it on the car for just a few weeks, the antenna simply quit tuning. It wouldn't move up or down.

I took it apart and found that the entire motor assembly had turned into a blob of rust!

Good idea. Bad engineering.
 
K6SDW Rating: 4/5 Aug 9, 2006 12:50 Send this review to a friend
Review revisited!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well, I'm writing here to publicly apologize to Mr. Yaseu (is he still alive, is this a real name in Japanese?) -- I'd been badmouthing my Yaesu ATAS 120 antenna complaining about my tuning woes when it wasn't the antenna's fault at all, but as it turns out it was the stinkin' commercial mount I've been using!!

Its all about grounding with this screwdriver antenna....any resistance (impedance) at all between the antenna base and the vehicle body and the antenna goes nuts!!

So....the antenna works great -- except when it rains, then like so many others have written, mine stops being able to tune correctly. Once the antenna dries up it works great again!

It really does.....

Cheers All!
 
W6OFG Rating: 0/5 Aug 5, 2006 08:32 Send this review to a friend
After a long illness, it finally died.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I installed the ATAS-120 mounted on top of a pickup truck toolbox in the fall of 2004. I was using a Yeasu FT-857d and wanted the auto-tune capability of the two working together. I tried to use a duplexer so the antenna would handle both the HF and VHF/UHF outputs from the radio. In operation, when tuning 2 meters, a point in the process set up a spurious resonance and knocked out the VHF final on the radio. It took three trips back to Yaesu before we figured this out. I began using the ATAS for just HF and installed a separate antenna for the higher frequencies.

From day one, the antenna would tune intermittently. Sometimes it would tune to 10 or 15 meters and sometimes it wouldn't. It would always tune to 40 meters and I had very good signal reports on that band. On 20 meters I had to install a RF choke to get the garble out of my SSB signal. The antenna only tuned to 6 meters once in more than 20 attempts over the 20 some months I used it.

I almost forgot that early on I had to return the antenna to Yaesu to have a "rolled O-ring" repaired when it wouldn't tune at all!

For the last couple of months, the antenna would only move about +/- an inch around the 40 meter resonant point so I sent it back to Yaesu. They called this week and let me know that the tuning sensor is bad and it will cost $285.00 to repair the antenna. I told them to just trash it (I've got enough paper weights).

In summation, if you are considering spending $300 bucks on an ATAS-120, I would recommend that you just give the money to your teenager. You'll get just as much benefit our of it and avoid all of the frustration.
 
KX4BSA Rating: 5/5 Jul 18, 2006 19:39 Send this review to a friend
Using mine with an FT-857D  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got my 857D during a Yaesu promotion, where I got a $70 rebate and a free YSK-857 separation kit. So for HF, I got the Yaesu ATAS-120 moble antenna. Yes, at $289 it's expensive- but it's worth every penny because it's so nicely married to the radio from the front menu.

Reading the other reviews as to engine noise and grounding issues of the antennas, I paid careful attention to ground my antenna carefully (I ran grounding wires to the frame) and to place the antenna in the rear of the vehicle, by using a Diamond hatchback mount ($70) with the thin HF cable. (Another great little item.)

What a sweet installation! I told the radio that I was using a separate VHF/UHF antenna, told it that I had the ATAS-120 installed, and then even found a menu setting (thanks to KE4QDC) that all but eliminated my engine noise.

Finished installing it about 8 pm, and my first 20 meter contact was 10 minutes later with another mobile station in Cape Cod (I'm in North Georgia). The next afternoon while driving through the mountains I made a nice 17 meter contact with Puerto Rico, and the same evening while sitting in my driveway after checking into the 2 meter net I made a very nice reported 5x6 contact with Argentina, again on 17 meters. Simple and painless.

Heard a very nice 6-meter st, but he was too busy having a rag chew for me to speak to him before I got home and had to shut it down.

By having the ATAS-120 married to the radio, about all I'm having to do at this point is to select the proper band, tune up by hitting the "tune" button and talk. SWR is down in the basement.

This is my first Yaesu radio and antenna. Won't be my last.
 
K4PDM Rating: 5/5 Jul 8, 2006 06:59 Send this review to a friend
857D/Atas a nice combo!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
First, let me say that I think this antenna is overpriced--for just a little more money, you can buy antennas that are more rugged and efficient. For a lot less money, a Hamstick is more efficient (but I have broken my share of them!) I probably would not have the 120A if Yaesu had not had a special package deal going on.

But it certainly is convenient to be able to hit the "Tune" button on the 857D and switch bands, knowing you will have a perfect match every time. Until I experienced it, I really didn't know how enjoyable that would be. I have seen no need to run separate grounds or go to any extra lengths to get the antenna to work, because it tunes fine with just the Diamond K400 screws cutting into the paint on the back door of my 2003 Tracker. The only other ground in my system is the DC ground at the battery.

As far as performance goes, the laws of physics are still in effect--this is a small antenna, so it's even more of a compromise than a Hamstick or other, larger unit. It does work, but I am longing for the next sunspot maximum when ANY matched antenna will provide lots of DX on a daily basis. And it does work best on the higher HF frequencies, being less of a compromise as you go up in frequency. (I don't use it on VHF or UHF.)

I have the newer 120A model and in six months, have had no trouble in rainstorms or after hitting tree limbs. Occasionally I must fine-tune the match on 6M as per the 857D manual, but other than that, it always tunes perfectly.

I think it is noteworthy that my installation required no extra grounding, and I understand that my vehicle must be an exception to the norm. I just want to stress that one should not assume they will have trouble with this antenna, because not everyone does!
 
W6NYG Rating: 4/5 Jul 7, 2006 22:28 Send this review to a friend
First evaluation  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This experience might be of assistance to another ham with a plastic Saturn SUV.

We bought our 2006 Saturn Vue last week. My first thought was to install my SG 237 Smartunner and a fender mounted ball mount.

My options were limited to the small screwdriver antenna manufactured by Yaesu. The ATAS 120A is an improved version of the earlier antennas.

Most of the reviews on Eham have covered the improvements. I was forced to use a clamp on mount that is designed to work with the ATAS HF antenna. The coax is about as small as any I've ever seen.

Now for the details and a warning to others. I had a professional installer mount the antenna and add a 20 ga ground wire. The vehicle is a 2006 Saturn Vue SUV. Most of the body parts are made from aerospace polymer materials.

On my install the antenna went thru it's low swr routine on my FT 857 D. When the swr was below a pre set point the transceivers microprocessor stopped the motor.

I tested the ATAS 120 A on 20, 17, 15, 12 and ten meters. it searched for the lowest swr and stopped the tuning process. Then I pressed the tune button with the transceiver on 40 meters the motor would go to the stops and not move until using the manual down button.

On the remote display I could see the swr warning indicator blinking. If this happens to you it is necessary to use your microphone and key the transceiver TUNE on and select the down button.

There is a service menu that qualified techs use but it is not recommended for most hams.

The reason my antenna will not auto tune on bands higher then 20 meters is poor counterpoise.
I had my ATAS 120 A installed on the hatchback door. The door requires an additional bonding ground at the hinge assemblies.

A word of caution! Every mobile install is slightly different. Saturn vehicles have plastic fenders and door panels. I recommend contacting Yaesu service if you have a similar problem.

I did get on the air this evening on 20 meters SSB. I worked a station in Georgia and received a S 9 report. Hopefully other hams have easier installs. It is hard to rate the antenna until I have made contacts on all the bands.
de w6nyg/m
 
K6LCS Rating: 4/5 Jun 22, 2006 14:57 Send this review to a friend
Current Version Fine!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Complaints about poor weatherproofing have been "cured" for over a year - with the current ATAS-120A model.

For those with the older ATAS-120 models (like the previous poster), Yaesu offers a rubber cap (Yaesu part number RA0698300) to better weatherproof the unit.

Poor 40M performance complaints? Many of these performance-related complaints are from folks who have not properly grounded their antenna. The ATAS-120 demands a good ground.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
909-241-7666
 
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