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ATAS-120A Questions

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KK4YDR, Jul 30, 2014.

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  1. KK4YDR

    KK4YDR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would like to ask the community if they have had good experiences with the ATAS-120A not the ATAS-100 or ATAS-120 but the A version. The reason I am specifically asking is because I own an Yaesu 857D in my truck and this seems to be simple and extremely cost effective. I also live in Montana and winters can be harsh but I have no problems removing the antenna during heavy snow weather. I also have a plan to weather proof the antenna in certain spots.

    I have a basic criteria for this... Please do not comment if you do NOT own the antenna nor have owned one in the past. Also I am not looking at a Tarheel etc... right now because of the cost and additional equipment necessary. So either this antenna will work for me or else I will just stick to my current stainless 8 foot whip with LDJ autotuner for working 10m and hamsticks for the rest.
  2. W0LPQ

    W0LPQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'll not bore you with my N9JMX Predator stuff ... great antenna, but if you look at Alan's site, you will find your answer.
  3. W0PEB

    W0PEB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I run one on my truck and have good results with it. I have used just about all mobile antennas. My truck is a semi so my antennas take lots of shaking ! While its NOT a HiQ or a Scorpian It does work but it will need a very good ground. I have just logged a contact in Greece and many others over the weekend. I am going back to a tarheel because I want to be able to do 75/80 meters.
    I will say while its not a beast it is far and away better then a High sierra...just my 2 cents !
  4. KB0MJN

    KB0MJN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've owned the 120 and the 120a. no difference except the 120A has a little rubber boot at the body top and the outer body housing that moves up and down is longer. Both seem to be for better protection from the elements. As for operation I noticed no difference whatsoever. I was happy enough with the performance and conveinence to operate. My cushcraft R8 on a 30 foot tower did perform much better though I think.
  5. KI4KGU

    KI4KGU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had the ATAS 120 on my JEEP Wrangler and I am somewhat of a rig was also the Yaesu FT 857D. Never made great contacts when I drove, but when I parked...under trees, in town, on the huge company parking lot or my favorite high mountain always worked!!
    Contacts with Japan, Germany and all around the world where often in the logbook !!!
    BUT, this thing can get temperamental, IT NEEDS super good ground and an additional ground cable is a must! Had to take it all down, my dear daughter drove the Jeep to school and did not think the 5 antennas looked cool....szzzzz....haha.....
    Sums it up here, NOT a 1200 $ antenna, NOT good for 80M but anything else it worked great for me...and I had her on the Jeep when it was light Winter here in SW VA.

    Hope that helps a bit....mine is getting back on the JEEP next Spring !!! I miss CW mobile and Japan from the company parking lot...HiHi


  6. AF5SX

    AF5SX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the ATAS120A mounted on a 386 Peterbilt. Does a great job for me. (Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Greece, etc). I also have an 857D.
  7. VA3JMK

    VA3JMK Ham Member QRZ Page

    ran a 120A on my grand Cherokee. mounted on a Comet 730 on the lift gate. Had decent results for the size of the antenna. I also ran a little tarheel. I will say the ATAS is tougher then I was lead to believe. Hit a low branch on the edge of the road after a heavy snow, at 80km.. Snapped the mount right off but other then a bend at the end of the whip the antenna survived.
  8. N2ZNC

    N2ZNC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I own an FT 857D and the ATAS 120A on my truck. I have commented on this before because they're a lot of misconceptions and misinformation on this antenna. I have absolutely no relationship with Yaesu or any radio or antenna manufacturer. I will relay my experience with this antenna and the radio.

    The Antenna must be mounted with the KC 400 mount. Any other mount and I did try 2 others before doesn't work well and/or may cause your antenna to find a place on the highway somewhere. Do not use this antenna with any magmount.

    The KC400 mount must be mounted correctly and the 2 screw contact points on the inside of the mount must touch the car's metal surface to get a good ground. That means you must remove the paint under the mounting plate. Once on there you can put some silicone around the area and clean it from time to time.

    If you are not sure about the grounding capability of the door, you may have to ground the door to the chassis with a grounding braid, again it needs to have the paint removed around the area where the braid is attached. ***You must have a good ground***
    You do not need a million straps, most cars have a good ground on all metal surfaces, but most metal surfaces are covered in paint, clear coat and/or rust protection.

    Once you have a good ground, and the antenna is mounted correctly, you attach the coax to the radio. You need a duplexer and comet and diamond make 6m/HF-VHF/UHF duplexers/diplexers. This way you can tune the antenna to all bands that the radio provides.

    This antenna has been on my truck (2008 Chevy Tahoe) for the past almost 5yrs with "NEVER" any problems. I remove it from the mount when the car goes through a car wash, and remove the mount once a year to make sure Im not getting rust under the ground plate on the mount.

    I know several people with older Jeep Wranglers that had to run a braid to the chassis because the rear door did not have a ground. The radio is phenomenal once you learn how to use it, and learn the tuning feature. Once you do the setup you never have to do it again unless for some reason the setup/initializing needs to be done again. I never had to do it. I mounted the radio body in the back of my truck on the inside of the quarter panel, behind the passenger seat. The power cable is fused at both the pos/neg and runs to my separate battery ( I run a dual battery system in my tahoe)

    Performance wise: I have never missed a contact that I heard. I have gotten through pileups, and being mobile always is an advantage DX stations like picking up mobile stations. It also works great on the WARC bands. No 80M though.. Excellent on all the bands.
    Will it compare to larger antennas like the tarheels etc..? I don't know. But what I do know is that other antennas need an additional tuning circuit/box while this antenna needs 1 wire and tunes with the touch of a button with both the 857 and 897. Its a relative small footprint, and does work well.

    I have pictures on my QRZ page and on the yahoo forum for the 857. Any questions please feel free to email.

    good luck

  9. WA6MQZ

    WA6MQZ Ham Member QRZ Page


    I am looking for any info on the Amcom ASAC-100 The 16F872 chip has lost it's hex program and now
    I am trying to reprogram it from scratch I am going to use it in my 5th wheel and it would be used for 80
    meter and 40m. I am not sure I posted wright?
    Dan WA6MQZ
  10. KW4BE

    KW4BE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the ATAS-100 in combination with an Ft-857D on a Jeep patriot . I use a titanium plate approximately 8x8 inches attached to the rear luggage rack with two ground braids going to the hatch mount bolts on the body side.In addition I use a magmount dualbander for VHF/UFH This setup performs excellently . I have had contact from Japan , Russia, South Africa , Galapagos Islands . The ATAS-100 has exceeded all my expectations the only downside is I have to manually tune six meters . For me I will stay with atas system
    73's KW4BE
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