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


Reviews Summary for Yaesu ATAS-120A
Yaesu ATAS-120A Reviews: 108 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $369.00
Description: The ATAS-120A is the upgraded, more weather resistant version of the ATAS-120. Leave comments only on the ATAS-120 "A"!
Product is in production.
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N1ERV Rating: 5/5 Apr 12, 2015 19:15 Send this review to a friend
Works great for my needs  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Using this antenna mounted on the side of a Peterbilt 387 truck. Using 857d. Tunes with no issues.
Having read all the notes of a good ground needed, I drilled right into the metal body of the truck, and added a metal backing plate grounded to the frame.

Have great reception when conditions allow, and great reports from contacts made.
 
WA9Z Rating: 4/5 Mar 25, 2015 11:18 Send this review to a friend
5 years in prof installed  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had mine for 5 years. It's mounted directly in the roof(where an antenna belongs)with a backing plate between the headliner and the roof sheet metal to ensure a rigid and low resistance RF current ground. Land Mobile Radio is in my job description, as such, the whole system looks like a factory installation.
The antenna noticeably outperforms "stick" type loaded antennas on the same mount. It's equal to the old school "bug catcher" style antenna on 20,15,10M bands, but falls way short on efficiency of the big bug catcher on 40M. The loading coil wire and RF blocking components for the internal DC motor control system is only rated for 100W. Running an amplifier would surely damage the antenna.
Those giving poor ratings for performance have either installed the antenna wrong, or have placed cosmetics or compromise ahead of better engineering practice.(mag mounts, drip railings, radio laying on the seat powered through a cig lighter jack, etc) HF vehicular radio installations are somewhat unique to the vehicle at hand and it can be a tedious job to achieve good results. In any case, you cannot blame this antenna itself for lack of hearing or being heard.
The overall convenience with a compatible transceiver, FT-100D in my case, cannot be beat.
The vehicle is a mid sized SUV. I live 5 miles from hard surfaced roads. Gravel, axle deep mud, grill deep snow drifts and low tree branches are the norm. The truck stays outside. I have not experienced any freezing or water ingress to date. There is slight ultraviolet fading of the materials, but no noticeable crazing of plastic components.
What this antenna lacks is mechanical rigidity.
The base loosens from the mast and causes intermittent RF and DC connections that have to be repaired every year or so. The OEM whip has little spring temper, is easy to bend and has snapped off at the base several times before I decided to rework it by drilling and tapping the top to accept the spring and whip of a popular land mobile antenna manufacturer. I made it about a foot longer than the OEM "stinger", simply because the whip happened to be that much longer, not by design. Whether it makes any difference on 20, 15 10 has not been determined, but there is a noticeable improvement on 40M. My whip is a bit too long for 6M, but the 40M improvement suits me better.
As I stated, my mobile environment is harsher than the average bear. Gravel roads, severe dust, dirt, mud is our way of life here in southern Iowa. Based on how this antenna has handled this exposure for the past 5 years, it's overall good performance, small size, and the convenience of autotuning afforded by the compatible host radio, I would not hesitate to purchase another ATAS-120A.

 
HA7WX Rating: 4/5 Dec 23, 2014 10:33 Send this review to a friend
Worked as expected  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hi Folks!
Well i am also writing this review because i am always amazed at those "amateurs" who dare writing a so-called review even though they DO NOT own the reviewed equipment. That's indeed beyond me...
That said i actually owned this antenna and compared to its size it performed honestly even on 20 or on 40 m band. It even worked on 40 m on my triple magnet.
And as with physics laws : the mkt bs really would like to get around them... but!
I mean: for its size it works as expected.
I eventually sold it because i got afraid of its potential failure due to its complexity.
All the time i had it, it matched perfectly my FT-857D and it's a honest antenna that can be found for around 200 euros used (at least on the EU market).
 
W5MPL Rating: 3/5 Dec 22, 2014 05:53 Send this review to a friend
Puzzled  Time owned: months
I don't own this antenna as yet, because I wonder if it can be used with a Icom 7000. Thanks for reading.
 
5B4AJG Rating: 5/5 Oct 21, 2014 11:30 Send this review to a friend
Amazed  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Had mine now for just about four months and is in regular use. On Tuesdays (wx permitting) a few of us Cy hams go along to the Akamas Peninsula for radio playdays where we compare home brew antennas or whatever. Today three of us compared our antennas, Noz 5B4AIX with his homebrew vertical via a 9:1 balun, Norman 5B4AIE with his Comet CHA-250 and me with my Atas-120A. We were parked within a few hundred meters of each other using 100w max and all using our car batteries for powering our rigs. The areas we covered were from S.E.Australia, Tokyo Japan, England, Germany and Holland and other countries too but for sake of space that's enough....Noz's 10m tall homebrew was 1s point better than the Atas for send and receive reports but which when you consider the amount of antenna in the sky was excellent news for my Atas and the Atas only took seconds to set up & put away after use. Norman with his Comet dummy load might as well stayed in bed. I had almost a 20min qso with VK3EO while the Comet failed to get into Australia let alone have a qso!!!! Into Europe the Atas outgunned the Comet by several s points on every contact BOTH WAYS. Over all, if you've a Yaesu rig which will control the Atas-120A (mine is a FT-857D)and you were thinking of buying a Comet CHA-250 THINK AGAIN. I'm very impressed that such a small antenna can easily out perform such a large antenna.
Now a down point or two, the Atas-120A has a limited input power compared say to the Comet CHA-250, but if the Comet can't hear what the Atas hears then being able to put a few hundred extra watts into a dummy load seems point less! Secondly the Atas-120A MUST and I mean MUST be properly mounted (mine is fitted to the SO-239 bolted through the roof of the car!) I know the Atas is expensive say compared to various monoband whips but hey, lifes too short.
 
VK3AUR Rating: 5/5 Sep 23, 2014 19:14 Send this review to a friend
Very happy with this product as it serves my requirement  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I use my Atas120A as a base station antenna as we are not permitted to erect any antenna here in the retirement village in Melbourne, in my case I use a counterpoise wire for each band. The antenna is mounted about 12 feet above ground on an extension at the back of our house, I have worked quite a lot of DX over the past few months with good reports using FT 857D (100) watts.
I'm very happy.

All the best Mike VK3AUR
 
SA6CKE Rating: 4/5 Aug 21, 2014 08:15 Send this review to a friend
Great for it's size with one catch.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
It's a great antenna for it's size as long as you have a radio to pair it with, like the Yaesu FT-857D that I have.

The only problem I have encountered with it is that it's easy to damage if you aren't careful where you drive when you have put it on your car. A flexible mount matching the antenna would be great.

A better design of the antenna to allow for less expensive accidents would be appreciated - now an accident runs a cost of about US$100 to US$130 - replacement of the lowest part of the antenna (contact and controller unit) is sufficient. Remove rubber protection, remove three screws and the contact to the motor and then mount the new unit, so the repair is at least easy.

The antenna itself is a coil that tunes between 40m and 70cm, even though the 2m and 70cm band doesn't really make sense with the 857D since it is on a different connector on that radio. Personally I would have liked it to have a range between 80m and 6m.

It's so good considering it's size that I bought another one when I broke my first (before I found out the spare part).

What drags down the rating is as mentioned that it's a bit sensitive to rough handling.
 
KB0SFP Rating: 2/5 Jul 1, 2014 16:28 Send this review to a friend
Worked Great For Most Of One Day  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It was magical how well this antenna worked. To watch it go up & down all by itself was a treat.

Though I didn't like the idea of no operation below 40 meters, I found one cheap & bought it.

I mounted it temporarily on the rear view mirror of my truck to use on a trip to a hamfest. On air performance was pretty good all the way to the hamfest. About 1/2 way home it quit. When I got home I opened it up and found the CCT board to be fried. Both chokes in it wore toast so I assume the solid sate device was shorted. I contacted Yaesu who wanted NINETY BUCKS for a replacement. Mind you this board is about the size of a postage stamp!

Off to ebay this POS went as a bundle of parts.

The thing is just made too flimsy. They get hot if you QSY very often & burn up. At first I thought it might have been my fault, but then I read all the reviews here and now I know better. I might also ad that the motor in these things looks like it was robbed from an HO scale slot car. It's TINY, with connecting wires just a little bigger that a human hair.

I have another one now that I got in a package deal/trade. I haven't even checked it out yet for fear it may be bad.

Don't buy one of these things, cool looking, but they are junk!
 
KC9DRE Rating: 5/5 Jun 25, 2014 20:21 Send this review to a friend
Revist after several months  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Some time has passed and I have to revist my review. I have since change service vehicles and like on the previous install it is on the Rear door on a lip mount. Work flawlessly with no issues. I do take precautions as to fully lower it while driving in the rain IF I remember so that the spray off the tires doesn't mess with it too much. Signals are great considering its size. I am happy with my setup and purchase.
 
3A2MW Rating: 5/5 Jun 7, 2014 08:31 Send this review to a friend
238 DXCC confirmed  Time owned: more than 12 months
I started with the ATAS in February 2000.
I used first a ATAS-100, then a ATAS-120 and in the last 5 years a ATAS-120A, mounted on the balcony as a stealth antenna.
The results are astonishing, for such a small aerial: 55'000 QSOs; 238 DXCC confirmed countries; 40m, 30m, 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m, 10m each more than 100 confirmed countries; 63 confirmed DXCCs in 6m; DXCC Challenge at 1017 cfm.
Be careful with the grounding, must be perfect to have good results.
 
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