ad: KF7PMW-1

Returning amateur

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by G1NIM, Dec 7, 2019.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: Subscribe
ad: Left-2
ad: Left-3
ad: MessiPaoloni-1
ad: L-MFJ
  1. G1NIM

    G1NIM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have been away from Ham radio for circa 20 years, I’m rusty and to be honest unaware of the changes in equipment so I must first apologise for my ignorance. I have settled on getting a Yaesu Ft-857 as it gives me access to HF, VHF and UHF. I travel back to the U.K. in a few days time and collect the radio from one of the large established outlets in my area. So far so good.

    I was going to get the ATAS 120 antenna as it seemed to match the radio but the shop is advising it’s not a good option, doesn’t work work well, really hard to set up on a vehicle without drilling holes (it’s a new Dacia Duster so my xyl insists that’s a no no) and almost impossible to use as home base as it needs really good ground planes....I was going to use it for both.

    They are advising a Windom long wire for HF base station and 5 whip aerials with a mag mount for mobile use. Plus of course a mag mount whip for 2m/70cm. Home base 2m/70cm I already have sorted with a decent vertical antenna.

    Does this sound like the best options?
  2. NG1H

    NG1H Ham Member QRZ Page

    Radio: The Yaesu is a good radio if a bit dated but I personally do not like it for mobile multimode use. Unless something has changed in recent models the settings do not stay with the mode. For SSB or CW you will want a certain combination of settings. A different combination for FM. If switching back and forth you need to go through the menu settings to change a number of things. Not fun to do while driving. If you don't plan on changing modes then this may not be an issue. The Icom models "remember" the settings for each mode.

    Antenna: Read K0BG's web site. Then reread it. Mag mounts have a lot of negatives and will damage your vehicle. Drilling has a lot of benefits and will have no effect on the vehicle's value. I don't know have personal experience with the ATAS-120 but it has a mediocre reputation. From my experience with the Hamstick and Hustler antennas I doubt that they would be better though. There are a number of "screwdriver" style antennas that will work better than either the single band antennas or the ATAS. At a higher price though. Funny how things work that way.
    NH7RO likes this.
  3. KD4UPL

    KD4UPL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had the predecessor to that radio, the FT-100D, with an ATAS100. I had it mounted mobile on my pick-up truck. I was not impressed with it's performance. It did function on every band I tried but the signals were never very strong. Prior to this arrangement I had the radio in an 18 wheeler using a CB antenna for 10m and Hamsticks for 20m and 75m. I don't think the ATAS-100 was any better and possible worse than those antennas.
    NH7RO likes this.
  4. KH6AQ

    KH6AQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I owned an FT-857 and ATAS-120 installed in a car. It worked well for mobile CW DXing, even on 40 meters. I also tried MFJ HamTennas and Hustler mobile antennas On 40 meters, where the ATAS is short, it works about as well as an MFJ HamTenna ($20 USD). The best feature of the ATAS-120 is automatic tuning and that's wonderful when switching bands while driving down the road.

    I eventually replaced the ATAS-120 with a Tarheel model 40 and a 102" whip. It worked much better on 40 meters. The FT-857 was replaced with a Kenwood TS-480HX, mainly because the Kenwood is a 200 watt radio. The Kenwood is much nicer to operate, especially on CW. Having said that, If I were to go mobile again I'd consider the new Yaesu FT-891. In fact, I'm looking at getting one as a back up radio.

    I agree that for for home use a wire antenna would be superior to the ATAS-120. The SWR on just about any multi-band wire antenna will probably exceed the FT-857 capability on one or more bands. Above an SWR of 1.5:1 the radio will cut back its RF output power. So, an antenna tuner is advised. Manual or auto tuners in the $150 USD range will work well to touch up the SWR.
    NH7RO likes this.

Share This Page