issue with Yaesu ATAS 120

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by WD8BWW, Mar 9, 2018.

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  1. WD8BWW

    WD8BWW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The issue with the antenna I have is the matching base is open on the ground path. It appears to be assembled and pinned and not serviceable. The rest of the antenna is fine. The replacement assy is very expensive. Has anyone ever tried to service the matching base?
  2. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Probably not worth the effort; that antenna has a very bad reputation even when brand new out of the box. I'd ditch it and use a better dummy load :D if I were you (sorry to rain on your parade but read about the ATAS-120 on for the full story).


  3. WD8BWW

    WD8BWW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The ATAS is basically a great idea just lots of moving parts. Lots of moving parts equals unreliability. On this like other things I'm an old kid at heart and I love to take stuff apart and see how it ticks. But this (base matching assembly) looks like it needs a can opener or cutting torch. I'd love to know what is in there. upload_2018-3-9_13-29-10.png
  4. N7WR

    N7WR Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree with RO. That antenna has a bad rep and once having owned one and having nothing but problems with it I ditched it. The Tarheel Jr works much better
    NH7RO likes this.
  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It would have been a great idea if the coil was much larger (diameter, and larger gauge conductor) and the whip was much longer, and if nobody ever used a "clamp" type mounting system.

    As it comes, and how most mount it, it's a pretty terrible mobile antenna. Yes, I had one also -- used it for about a week. It didn't perform nearly as well as a cheap Hustler foldover mast/resonator on a 3/8-24 ball mount. No comparison.
    NH7RO likes this.
  6. N7WR

    N7WR Subscriber QRZ Page

    If by chance you fix it and decide to use it like WIK said do not use a "clamp" type mounting system. They need a very good, solid ground and clamps do not usually provide that
    NH7RO likes this.
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    ^I agree, it's the weak link in many mobile antenna systems -- especially on HF.

    As cars are becoming more and more "plastic" and less and less "metal" (good for fuel economy, and even for crash survivability -- not good as a ground plane), along with cars today being computers with a wheel dongle, HF mobiling is more challenging than in the past.

    My "best" HF mobile vehicle was my 1968 Cadillac Sedan deVille. Heavy metal, everything steel and lots of it, plus big bumpers for chain mounts to support big, heavy antennas. That car's long gone, but it sure did well as a "mobile" vehicle. I haven't had anything like that since.
    NH7RO likes this.
  8. N7WR

    N7WR Subscriber QRZ Page

    Back in the day when I was involved with CAL OES and the local fire department I had a big Dodge Ramcharger SUV and it was all metal. 4 vhf or uhf antennas roof mounted as well as an HF antenna on a ball mount through the L/R metal fender. I traveled all over Shasta, Trinity and Siskiyou Counties and was never out of radio range on either ham or public safety frequencies. Lots of metal under those antennas. Even worked an ATNO on 20 meters through a pileup while mobile through a canyon on Hwy 299 in the Trinity Alps.
    NH7RO likes this.
  9. G8HUL

    G8HUL Ham Member QRZ Page


    The ATAS 120 is repairable. There are details on how to disassemble and repair on the web with pictures. Another useful place for info is the ATAS Yahoo group.

    W5PFG likes this.
  10. W5PFG

    W5PFG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It is funny that some would advise to "toss it" because it has a bad reputation. I still have my original ATAS-100 and the 120 I had is still going strong. Just because it doesn't perform like a three element yagi, it doesn't mean the antenna is junk. What other manufacturer came out with such a simple system?

    You can definitely try to repair it and disassemble beyond what you've done. Sounds like a worthwhile experience if you have the time.

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