Antennas

 

Antennas

 

Most hams agree that the antenna is the most important part of a station. The best microphones, filters, and accessories won't do any good if no one can hear you. And the right antenna is priceless at being able to hear signals that you wouldn't otherwise be able to. This is true for both transmitting and receiving.

My stations are a combination of home-made antennas and commercial antennas. My mobile shack has commercial antennas. My home shack has a combination of commercial and home brew. I plan on adding a few more home brew antennas to it this coming year.

 

Mobile Antennas

My mobile setup consists of a Yaesu ATAS-120A screwdriver antenna for HF and 6 meters, and an MFJ-1432 antenna for 2 meters and 70 cm. And I am very happy with both of these antennas.

The ATAS-120A seems to get a bad rap and I think it is completely undeserved. After about two years of operating mobile, I have over 350 HF contacts total. almost 100 of the 300 contacts are overseas contacts with 58 different countries covering every continent. While there are many antennas that perform better (so I'm told), it doesn't mean the ATAS doesn't perform well. Plus, it doesn't require separate power to the antenna, nor does it require external controllers. One push of a button and the ATAS automatically tunes to the frequency I am on.

Yaesu ATAS-120A:

 

 The first VHF/UHF antenna I had on my car was the Diamond HV7A antenna. Eventually it broke at the base because of hitting so many low-hanging branches over the years; no fault of it's own. So when it came time to replace it, I chose the MFJ because of it's reported gain. After 3 months of using it, I can tell you that the reports must be very close if not better. I work 42 miles from home. With the old antenna, I could only hit 3 of the repeaters around home, and those were scratchy. With this antenna, I can bring up every repeater, most quiet and a few full quieting. I am very pleased with this antenna, especially for the price.

MFJ-1432:

 

Both of my mobile antennas are attached to my car with the Diamond K-400 mount. This is a heavy-duty mount that can support large VHF/UHF antennas and medium size HF antennas. The mount holding my ATAS-120A has been on the car over 6 years with no sign of stress or cracking.

Diamond K-400:

 

Home Antennas

My home antennas consist of a short dipole antenna and an Arrow OSJ-144/440 J-pole. 

 

 

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