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Reviews For: Yaesu ATAS-100

Category: Antennas: HF Mobile & Accessories

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Review Summary For : Yaesu ATAS-100
Reviews: 68MSRP: 325.00
Motorized Mobile Screwdriver Antenna 40M-70cm
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KE3Q Rating: 2004-05-06
Yaesu ATAS-100 is great! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I was so impressed watching my friend, K3RA, answer a DX station's CQ during a contest on 10 phone, get it first call, then immediately go to 15M, answer a DX CQ, get it on the first call, then immediatley go to 20M, answer a DX CQ, get it on the first call, then go to 40M, answer a DX station's CQ, get it on the first call -- all within 2-3 minutes, that I had to go get one. Actually, he had the FT-847 radio too, so I got one of those and the ATAS-100.

Extremely good, convenient, slick. I assume the obvious good signal is due to resonance on every frequency you go to, so the efficiency is quite good, better than having a higher SWR on a larger antenna that doesn't resonate on your chosen frequency.

It is critical to have a good RF ground to the vehicle. A wire over to a screw somewhere won't do, a mag mount won't do. Mine works great with a hole drilled through the roof of my pickup and a proper SO-238 mount. K3RA's trunk lip mount works well too. Without a proper RF ground the antenna will have trouble tuning and you won't have fun, believe me. Quite the opposite when you do it right. I understand there are professional installers who will mount the antenna and get you proper DC for the rig too for about $50. This is a good way to go.

Now, on a vacation, etc. if you're at the beach, being a vertical, it should give you 6 db gain over a dipole or other horizontal antenna, if you are pretty close to the salt water. The "Team Vertical" boys from California have done experiments in Jamaica and elsewhere and have proved, at least to their own satisfaction, that 1/4 wavelength from the water works best. Others I've talked to have said "within a mile" of the salt water will show some saltwater enhancement effect. I don't know if this is true but I've heard it said.

Can anyone tell me what the difference is between the newer ATAS-120 and the ATAS-100? I want to get another one for the minivan and want to know which I should look for.
73 - Rich, KE3Q
K7AXE Rating: 2003-12-30
Very Good Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have only used a couple of mobile antennas on HF but this one is great. Small in size, the atas 100 is perfect. I love the simplicity of just pushing a button to tune it. I've had a ball working all bands including 40 meters. I've had no problems being heard on any band so far. I think mounting it in a high location is best. I have mine on a Ford Escort wagon mounted on the fender by the hood. I also have both the radio and the antenna grounded good.
W9WHE Rating: 2003-11-21
Works fine Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Works fine for me. 1st contact Hondouras, 5/7.

Its no dipole, but you can't take your dipole mobile! You can't beat it for simplicity and ease of use. No klugy extra tuning boxes to mount and/or adjust, no extra 12 volt lines to run (or get RF into) and it is fairly efficent (for its size).

I give it a 4.5.
K4MAT Rating: 2003-11-12
Design Flaw in ATAS-100 Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I agree with those that say the ATAS-100 CAN be great. BUT, I've also hit a flaw in this antenna TWICE, and lost use of it both times until Yaesu services it. Worse, the problem is a design flaw in the base, and should have been permanently corrected by Yaesu the first time. Even WORSE, the second time, they said it's out of warantee, and won't be fixed free.

The problem is in the mounting of the ring at the very base which screws onto the mount on the car. This ring is locked in place by a simple steel pin which is pressed into place, and held only by friction. It fell out after less than a year of use, and Yaesu replaced the base for the cost of shipping the main stick to them, but with two weeks loss of use. Still, that was fast service, and I was pleased.

But to my surprise, the new base still had exactly the SAME pin holding it in place. I had expected they'd at least change the pin to a screw after all that trouble. But no. So I watched that pin like a hawk, looking for the first sign of loosening. Alas, that was not good enough, and the pin dropped out undetected a second time, after only 13.5 additional months (and the antenna was in storage half of that time). Now they won't service it without a charge. This pin should have never been used in the first place. The base is under high stress whenever the antenna is screwed onto the mount, or removed. A screw is called for, or something at least sealed into place, not just held by friction.

So regardless of how well this antenna CAN work, I have to rate it as "poor" because of this flaw. And Yaesu appears unwilling to take responsibility for a faulty design in the first place, so I have to give them poor marks as well.

If you buy an ATAS-100, or an ATAS-120, check for this pin at the base immediately. If it's still being used, maybe you can come up with some way to seal this pin in place that won't loosen under the stress of mounting/dismounting. If not, EXPECT TROUBLE!! Indeed, unless someone out there has a good solution for this flaw, I'd hesitate to purchase this antenna at all. Just ten months of use without trouble is no bargain at its price. And I can't see leaving it on the car permanently as a solution, since it is then exposed to possible thievery.

One final point: Yaesu claims this problem is rare. I find that hard to believe after it got me twice in such short time periods. I hope anyone else who has encountered this problem will speak up.

Jim, K4MAT
NK7J Rating: 2003-11-12
Its OK Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have been using the antenna for about 18 Months now and have had fairly good luck with it. It is mainly on my work truck and gets beat around alot.
The main problem I have had with it is the pin at the bottom of the antenna. IT kept working loose and coming partially out. After pushing it back in who knows how many times I finally put a small dap of locktite on it to keep it in place. Everytime it came out I would get a fluttering effect while driving. Very irritating. After that it worked FB for several months then the fluttering came back again but the pin was still in place. I thought this was probably cuased by the "fingers" inside losing contact with the coil but after playing around with it some I noticed that the antenna was moving slightly on the crome base piece. Not much, but if you looked very closely you could see it flex on the base. Well after studying it for a bit I decided I needed to take that base off and look what was going on, well that little pin keeps the antenna from unscrewing off the base. It was not fun to get the pin out with locktite on it! But I finally got it back out.
Here is what I found to be the problem. The antenna did not screw down tight against the base with teh pin in place. I could turn it a full half turn tighter with little effort with the pin removed. Took it for a spin, no fluttering.
Seems to me someone made a mistake in where the pin hole was drilled and therfore you cannot get the antenna tight on that crome base piece. I have since left the pin out, no problems at all with it tightened down all the way.
May want to give it a look if you have problems with yours.
I must say I do not like the PL style connector on the bottom and here is why. Depending on the manufacturer the fingers that make contact in the SO-239 (on your vehicle) can loose there spring and not make adequate contact with the PL-259 Pin on the antenna. I have went through 2 so-239 mount due to this problem.
N0TTW Rating: 2003-07-09
Use it as a base Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I've had this antenna for 6+ months and have made many contacts around the world easily on HF and good contacts state-side on 6m. I've used this antenna for satellite contacts on VHF/UHF as well and works just fine.

I live in an apartment that limits me to the type of antenna I can use. With a proper mount and setup (I use two 8' radials) makes a good base or emergency setup. I have installed these antennas on vehicles as well and they work fantastic for a small screwdriver. I gave it a 4, as it is a verticle. As the elmers say, "A verticle radiates poorly in all directions."

I also run a YAHOO group on ATAS series of antennas. Visit this group at and support this fine antenna.
W0PJK Rating: 2003-05-17
Best Antenna Ever Made Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Well maybe not, but it's been on my car since 1999 and worked with no problems.
Not so my FT100 unfortunately.
K2KJ Rating: 2003-05-17
For the Junk Pile Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Ever wonder why Vertex came out with the 120? Well the 100 is junk, not only terribly inefficent, but also prone to shorting out. A couple of good soakings and some highway driving does quite a bit of them in. Have had two go south in under a month, the dreaded tune err is the telltale sign!
Would not even reccommend one to the neighnorhood lid!

Im going to Hi-Q
AF5U Rating: 2003-04-25
Camry Antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have been all over the eastern USA with my ATAS-100 on the trunk of my Camry. The rig I used was the ICOM IC-706MKIIG. I built a control unit that raised and lowered the antenna via a switch. I first tuned the antenna for greatest noise in the receiver. I checked the VSWR by applying 10 watts (need a tune plug circuit). In order for the antenna to raise, it applied full DC voltage. To lower, it needs about 10-6 volts, if I can remember. So, the control box simply suppied what was needed. I dropped the voltage with series diodes (1N4002 drops about .8VDC each).
The antenna was okay but not a real bug catcher by a long shot. However, it did perform as advertised and looked pretty good. One of the most important rules of Ham Radio is - if an antenna looks good - it will perform poorly. The bigger the coil and the longer the stinger - the better the performance and your wife will hate going places with you.
David Little,
N4SL Rating: 2003-04-08
It's good for what it is Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I got the ATAS-100 for 'free' when I bought my FT847 about five years ago. It sat around the shack for a long time, finally I installed it on my 2000 Toyota Tundra (full sized pickup).

I installed it mounted to the top of the driver's rear door so the whole antenna is above the truck. In modern cars, the doors are usually NOT electrically connected to the body/frame, so I ran a grounding strap from a door hinge bolt to a frame hinge bolt -- got a good RF ground, now nearly the entire truck is connected.

I've found this antenna to work quite well on 6,10,12,15,17 and less well on 20... and pretty crappy on 40. But of course, right?

Mount it at the highest point in your vehicle, get a good RF ground to the body, have a good time. The FT847 controls it nicely,just press the TUNE button and wait for it to tune.

Since I haven't used mine much and I take it off when I'm not using it, it's seen little wear and looks/acts like new.

When mounted this way, you have to THINK about driving into garages and stuff, it's kinda tall.