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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Portable (not mobile) | Yaesu ATAS-25 Portable Antenna Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu ATAS-25 Portable Antenna
Yaesu ATAS-25 Portable Antenna Reviews: 13 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $299.95
Description: The ATAS-25 is a manually-tuned portable antenna system ideal for the FT-817, FT-897, and FT-857 transceivers. Capable of operating on the Amateur bands between 7 MHz and 450 MHz, the ATAS-25 is designed for mounting on a standard 1/4" camera tripod stud (tripod not supplied), and includes an innovative fine-tuning system allowing precise SWR adjustment in the field.
Product is in production.
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K8WAR Rating: 5/5 Jul 22, 2016 22:25 Send this review to a friend
A Good Portable Antenna  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I got this antenna as part of a used FT-897D purchase. It sat for a few months and finally decided to put it through its paces. All I can say is that I am throughly impressed. First of all, you really need to have an antenna analyzer. I would hate to imagine trying to tune this antenna by noise and an SWR meter. Also, make a counterpoise system. The stock one that comes with the antenna is marginal at best. I currently have 6 - 14.25 foot radials that are elevated about 12" above ground. This allows me to work 40m through 6m. Finally, get a decent camera tripod. Something that will get you 5 to 6 feet above the ground.With this setup @ 100w, I have made contacts on 20m as far as New Zealand and on 40m as far as Eastern Europe. Would I have bought this antenna? Probably not. But now that I have had some experience with it, YES, definately! A great solution for quick setup and portable work.
DJ3UN Rating: 4/5 Jul 15, 2016 07:34 Send this review to a friend
Not bad at all but needs some getting used to  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
More or less everyone before me complained about shipped manual, so I will skip that part. I got it month ago, bought it together with my FT817ND. Wanted to do only portable, and wanted something that I will be able to start working in a matter of minutes. I think I got that exactly with this antenna.

Now couple of things that I did wrong:

- First thing I did when I unpacked antenna I a) set it up inside the room, and b) connected it immediately to antenna tuner. I tested this and that, nothing really worked the way I expected it, but wasn't too much disappointed as I never really believed in multiband stuff.
- Tried to follow the manual, and after like two hours trying to do the stuff as it's written there, I didn't get antenna to resonate on a single band.
- Got it outside with antenna tuner. It was basically working, I did some QSOs on 40m and 20m CW, but reports were still much worse than I expected them, even with 2w I used.

Than basically what I did - inside the apartment where I live - was:

- I decided to forget fully about manual, and started testing it first with all elements, lowering number of elements (and tuning active element), and without radials, and within minutes I got it resonating on all bands except 40m and 20m (SWR wasn't that bad even there, below 1:2). Combinations were different, and I could get it resonant on the exactly same frequency using one or two whips, etc.
- I got it working fine on 40m and 20m using radials as well, but it's not quite handy for indoor usage (yes, I know this is not indoor antenna, and even if it is, I have so much QRM inside that there's no way to use anything at all).
- After getting good SWRs on my FT817ND and having my own table with values and how to get it quickly ready for usage, I retested it with RigExpert AA34. It was consistent with what I got with my FT817ND.

However, I got it outside, and did two final tests:

- One was testing 'old way' (antenna with Z718 tuner) and then testing without tuner with antenna really being resonant. Reports went from 549/559 in first case to 589/599 in second one.
- Second one was comparing what I got at home with what I get outside. It was quite different, but I managed, being more experienced now, to really get it quite quickly working outside and to avoid using tuner for this specific case at all.

Last 'big' test was last HQ, where I got the report from every single station that I heard without having to repeat my call and with just 2W. Definitely going to test it in different scenarios.

One last and maybe also important thing that I still have to test better but saw it makes difference so far is tripod I use. I use the cheapest one I bought on Amazon, and it's different tuning when tripod is just on it's default minimum side and extended to 1.2m (it's maximum). Also, specially for 40m and 20m, it makes difference which radials are connected and in which combination, but also multiple combinations are possible. On 15m and 10m I used it only without radials and it worked fine, but definitely still lot of things to test.
KD2ILG Rating: 4/5 Mar 5, 2016 14:31 Send this review to a friend
Your Mileage May Vary  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I don't know how I would have managed to tune this antenna without an analyzer. To my amazement I have had successful contacts on both 10m and 40m with all 3 antenna elements extended.
Getting 10m to tune required a temporary small antenna extension which I made from a 6-8" of rosin cored solder to bring the resonant frequency down. I used a metal tripod. The balun recommended was essential - otherwise RF in the shack.

Moving the height of the antenna 2-3" by adjusting the tripod affected the SWR. I used all of the "radials" including the spare. The ground under the antenna was partly frozen, and this might have affected tuning. I was able to get acceptable SWRs on both bands. I have not tried the others yet.

I am not getting much in the way of local contacts. I think the vertical polarization is not friendly to horizontal antennas, and some Faraday rotation may be necessary for good contacts DX. My 1st contact on 40m was about 500 miles away at 100 watts. On 10m, I heard PX5E from Brazil like he was next door - probably about a 4500 mile distance.

I found this antenna tricky to use, it did not behave as described in the pathetic "manual" but once the kinks were worked out, so far, I am quite pleased and surprised by its performance.
PY2ONU Rating: 5/5 Dec 7, 2015 05:19 Send this review to a friend
Very good!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Very good antenna for portable operations, easy to tuner and worked very well. With my FT-817ND i made a contact in several contries in America, Europa and Africa.
AI6BH Rating: 5/5 Aug 30, 2014 19:43 Send this review to a friend
With Patience just outstanding  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Without an analyzer this antenna would be real frustrating I am sure. But with one I can set it up in a matter of minutes.

Once up it is quiet and gets out very well. I take it on my Jeep trips and recently in California's High Sierra's on the Rubicon Trail I worked a station and was amazed to hear that he was at the South Pole in Antarctica, no really he was!

With that sort of contact I do not think I can ever blame the antenna again just the atmosphere!

Just take your time and expect the world.
F8FEO Rating: 4/5 Jan 12, 2013 04:09 Send this review to a friend
good , but try and try again.  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my favorite Sota Antenna.
On 20 meters 22 qso whose 9 with report 599/599.
With YoukIts HB- 1A (4watts) and lipo batteries.
But it is necessary to have an antenna tuner with SWR meter, and a radial of 1/4 longwave

You must place the coil at the good coarse before

But I think the procedure in operation instructions :
" seek the position of the coil assembly producing the most noise in the receiver... "
not sufficient for HF operation.

WY3X Rating: 3/5 Jul 11, 2009 18:42 Send this review to a friend
My detailed opinion, your mileage may vary  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just purchased this ATAS-25 used, but in practically unused condition. I thought the first thing I should do is to test it under the actual working conditions I plan to use it in. And yes, I realize it's designed for OUTDOOR use, but I needed an INDOOR antenna, so please keep that in mind when reading this review.

First off, the vertical part of the antenna is made from gun cleaning rods. If it ever breaks, I anticipate being able to ride over to Wal-Mart and visiting the sporting goods department for replacement whip pieces. The one included appears to be aluminum. You can buy replacements (from your local gun shop) made of brass or stainless steel if you don't like aluminum.

I found it would not tune on 40M. Hold on- let me explain. The ceiling in my home is standard 7 feet 8 inches. Using the tripod I had and three whips, I could not extend the coil fully. I suspect I probably could have reached 40M if I could have extended it some more. If you plan on using this antenna indoors, you may have the same problem.

A chart follows that tells what SWR I was able to get when tuning the unit using an MFJ SWR analyzer to check it.

Absolute lowest frequency with three whips: 9.275MHz 1.5:1
Absolute lowest frequency with two whips (fully extended): 7.685MHz 1.7:1
3 whip sections all the way retracted NO MATCH ANYWHERE.
2 whip sections all the way retracted NO MATCH ANYWHERE
1 whip section all the way retracted 1.2:1 at 65.000
Could not extend fully with three whips because of hitting my ceiling.
2 whip sections fully extended 1.7:1 at 7.685
2 whips NO GOOD MATCH on 20M. 2:1 at 14.350MHz
18.150 2 whips 1.3:1
21.400 2 whips 1.2:1
10.125 1 whip 1.2:1
18.140 1 whip 1.2:1
21.350 1 whip 1.2:1
24.900 1 whip 2:1
27.185 (CB) 1 whip 1.2:1
28.400 1 whip 1.3:1
50.125 1 whip no match
50.125 no whip, no radials 1.6:1
146.520 no whip with radials 2.3:1
146.520 no whip no radials 1.1:1
Could not test 440, my meter doesn't go there.

I have not had an opportunity to try this antenna outdoors in the wide open spaces. I'm certain the wiring in my home, the metal ductwork, my refrigerator, and other metallic objects cause difficulties in obtaining good matches. The length of the whip on 10M causes me concern that there is not enough radiating surface to make good contacts. The efficiency has to be somewhere along the lines of a Radio Shack gutter mount CB whip. I'd be suprised if I were able to make any contacts on 10M. In fact, on any band below 10M where only one whip was used for a decent match, I suspect the efficiency is so low as to be a total waste of time trying to make contacts. You could probably do as well on a wet noodle. I think a telescopic whip would have been a better choice, because having to work within the constraints of fixed-length whips (one whip, two whips, or all three, with no other alternatives) seems to limit the flexibility of the unit. I will probably manufacture my own adapter to allow the top of the antenna to accept a standard 3/8-24 thread telescopic 9 foot whip from MFJ. This will allow the least amount of loading coil to be used for maximum efficiency. As far as removing all the whips and radials and using only the loading coil as a radiator for 6M, 2M, and 440, the efficiency probably only marginally better than a rubber duck.

One variable aspect of this antenna is the tripod. The one I have is metal throughout, so the tripod legs become part of the ground system of the antenna. Some tripods have plastic mounts, and this would insulate the antenna from the tripod legs. There is nothing in Yaesu's instruction sheet to indicate which type of tripod is preferred for proper tuning of the antenna.

There is some ambiguous language in the tuning chart. What is the difference between "No Connection", "Do Not Connect", and "Not Used"? In English these all mean basically the same thing! Are they referring to the tuning rods or the radial wires? The rest of the instructions are well written.

As far as the overall design, simplicity of operation, durability, and aesthetics aspects, I think Yaesu has a winner! Personally I would have preferred that they package two of these units together and included 9 foot telescoping whips and some type of center insulator to allow you to make a rotatable dipole of sorts, and priced the set around $250.00. But if you do that, the adjustable coil would have to go somewhere else besides the center, and weight and angle-of-moment with resultant force against the center insulator would become an issue.

Hopefully I'll get to try this antenna out in an outdoor environment real soon, and I fully expect it to tune better under those conditions. Since my primary purpose is to use it as an indoor travel antenna, that was the condition I tested it under.

73, -KR4WM
K9MGY Rating: 1/5 Jul 9, 2007 02:53 Send this review to a friend
Get a Buddipole  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I am not impressed at all with this antenna. The instructions are vague, and very poorly written. I have yet to make a contact with this antenna. The construction if the antenna is very weak. I am having to send it back to Yaesu since the coil adjustment stripped out and now will not tune. I would buy one of the Buddipole products.
K9YEQ Rating: 5/5 Dec 22, 2005 20:35 Send this review to a friend
Works Very well and great quality.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Lightweight, high quality and effective when used outdoors, like any good antenna. Quick to tune once you get- the hang of it. tune for max receive noise first then Adjust for best SWR. I use with ft 817, K2, KX1 ,With good results.
K8RBW Rating: 5/5 May 1, 2005 22:49 Send this review to a friend
DOES THE JOB  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am scheduled to attend a conference in Hawaii and was looking for something I could put on a hotel balcony that worked 40 and 20 meters and wouldn't get me thrown out ot the hotel and the conference. I am tired of people yelling at me and yanking on wires from lower floors. It tends to breed paranoia. Accordingly, I thought I would give the ATAS-25 a try.

I am quite pleased. I gave it a trial run at my condo in Wisconsin. It has been an exceptional performer and not lead to any complaints from neighbors. Given current propagation, I thought in Hawaii I would need something that would perform in the evening on 40 meter CW with 100 watts. Thus far, I have received 599 reports out of South America and Europe. The antenna is mounted up about 30 feet on the balcony railing and attached to a 8 inch angle bracket secured to the railing with a C-clamp. My experience with a camera tripod, as they recommended, was dismal at best. If you are portable and have access to a balcony the angle bracket and a 1/4 inch bolt to screw the antenna base to is far superior.

I assume the height of the hotel and the proximity to the water at Waikiki will substantially enhance the performance of the antenna. On the other hand, the structure of the hotel may serve to impede the performance of the antenna. Only experience will tell.

The Buddipole is great and will probably substanially outperform it if you can set it out from the hotel structure with a painter's pole; nonetheless, its 16 foot length obstructs the view of other residents and can lead to complaints.

You can purchase them from Ham City (Jun's) for $199, much cheaper than most other places.

That's my two cents. 73 de Dick, K8RBW
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