Hi-Q "3/80" screwdriver vs. ATAS-120?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by AI6DX, Oct 7, 2008.

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  1. AI6DX

    AI6DX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I believe the Hi-Q would be a better antenna than the ATAS-120 based on the Hi-Q's coil alone.

    Anyone have experience with the Hi-Q model "3/80" screwdriver antenna and a Yaesu 857d? I'd like to know what do I need to interface the radio with the antenna for automatic tunning? Where would I purchase the interfacing hardware?

  2. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the ATAS 120 , since then I saw the Hi-Qs site , so would like to see this info also .
    Thanks John
  3. KC7YRA

    KC7YRA Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page


    I have used the ATAS and now currently use a HI-q 4/80. I can safely say without a doubt that the HI-q is hundreds of times the antenna that the ATAS is.

    I use both with my ft-100d. Similar to the ft-857 but a little older. The ATAS does have some posatives as well as negatives. Here they are as I see them.

    ATAS Posatives
    1. VERY easy interface. Yaesu radios will automatically tune the antenna through the coax
    2. Fairly pleasing to the eye
    3. Easy to mount (sort of)

    ATAS negatives
    1. A bent coathanger may be more efficient. The ATAS is TERRIBLE at anything under 12 meters.
    2. Wont tune 80 meters. If you want that you would need a seperate antenna.
    3. Fragile in my opinion. Mine did not last even 1 winter in Wyoming
    4. While the mounting is easy, getting the mounting setup to perform correctly (read tune) on 40 meters requires an act of God.

    Now for the Hi-q Posatives
    1. Incredibly well built
    2. VERY effectlive and if set up correctly probably one of the most efficient HF mobile antennas around
    3. Can be set up in a variety of ways to make it play on almost any HF band you could want.

    Now Hi-q negatives
    1. THey are almost OMG expensive
    2. They will draw stares from other motorists
    3. Mounting the antenna is more difficult due to the generally larger weight. I had to weld my mount out of 3/8 steel and bolt the thing into my truck with VERY large grade 8 bolts.
    4. The interface is whatever you build. The HI-q antennas come with the motor leads sticking out of the antenna. Yu have to supply 12ish volts and just switch the polarity to get the antenna to move up or down. THis in turn has to happen while watching some type of SWR meter to get the best match.

    I have the HI-q 4/80 as I said. It is big and ugly. I have the large cap hat and a full 102 inch whip. I can easily tune up all of the way down to 160 meters and all over the HF spectrum. I regularly talk 400-500 miles on 40/80 meters during the day and have no problem working DX on 100 watts. The antenna works great and has stood up to bitterly cold temps and bumpy roads like a champ. IT is very very ugly but it is a compromise that I make due to the fact that I want good mobile HF coms. Plus I am married so I dont have to impress anybody.

    The HI-q is quite difficult to mount as well. Like I said it takes a very very strong mount. My antenna is larger than the 3 incher but still close. Also the antenna pretty much needs a shunt coil to get it to tune right. That is not difficult but does take some understanding. Plus I had to make a 6 volt and a 12 volt switch to get the antenna to tune in smaller incriments. Despite the website the HI-q CANNOT be made "plug and play"

    The question really gets down to do you want it to be plug and and play and do you want it to look NOT as ugly. If you dont mind a little work or ugly vehicles, Then go with the HI-q. If not, Atas (but dont expect great performance)


    Ps. Read www.k0bg.com for more GREAT details
  4. KC1HD

    KC1HD Ham Member QRZ Page

    i own the ft-857d and have the atas 120a and enjoyed the one button tune capability. i've recently upgraded my mobile installation to a hi-q 5/80 antenna and it's an incredible antenna. i wanted to maintain the one button tuning ease i had with the atas so i purchased the 'turbo tuner' (make sure you get the yaesu version)http://WWW.N2VZ.COM . you attach the turbo tuner to the CAT mini-din connector of the radio and then cable just the power leads of the antenna to turbo connector and then you make a couple of radio menu changes and you're good to go. you hit the tune button like you did with the atas and the turbo tuner tunes the antenna to a flat swr.
  5. AI6DX

    AI6DX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very good information. Thank you.
  6. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is kinda what I was expecting .
    Thanks for the replies .
    There is someone in the area that may want the 120 .
    Then I can afford the H Q better .
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