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Author Topic: Hexbeam vs Optibeam 10-5...  (Read 3035 times)
F5NZY
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« on: January 09, 2010, 10:58:44 AM »

Hello all,

I must to rebuild my beam installation, here on the roof. I hesitate between the hexbeam and the optibeam 10-5.

Thanks to let me know your opinions.

73 de Steph, F5NZY
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K7RNV
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2010, 11:07:05 AM »

Go with Steppir you will be happy.......
http://www.steppir.com/
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G3TXQ
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2010, 12:32:43 PM »

The Optibeam:

Has between 0.5dB and 1dB more forward gain, depending on band
Has similar F/B
Is heavier - 31 lbs vs 22 lbs
Has a larger turn radius 14 ft vs 11ft

73,
Steve G3TXQ
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K8AC
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2010, 01:34:31 PM »

I'm not familiar with the Optibeam, but did use a Traffie Hexbeam for a few years.  I can tell you that reports of high f/b ratio were exaggerated, particularly in the CQ review.  I think that guys often quote f/b ratio that they observe assuming that an S-unit is 6 dB.  Having checked many S-meters with a calibrated generator, I know that an S-unit might be as little as 1.5 dB.  So, unless the source of Hexbeam data is known to make accurate measurements, I'd suspect the accuracy. 
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N9WW
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2010, 06:32:01 PM »

I have a Traffie Hexbeam right now (soon to be replaced this Spring with a 2 Ele Quad).  I can say that in the past 3yrs of owning the Hex, it has performed well, and has decent gain and FB for what it is.  The Optibeam looks interesting and like Steve said, weighs a bit more and has a little more performance over the Hexbeam.  The Steppir is a good antenna but has its weaknesses mechanically and its FB performance on 10M is lacking.  Of course nobody is complaining about that until 10M gets hopping one of these days (if ever :-)).

There are trade-offs.
YMMV
73,
Jim N9WW
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W4VR
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2010, 06:41:27 PM »

I think you're better off with the Hexbeam if it's roof mounted.  It's lightweight compared to the Optibeam.  I hear lots of EU's using the Optibeam on 40 meters, but that's a different animal.
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W6VPS
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2010, 08:03:47 PM »

If my calculations are right...the Opti-beam 5 band OBW10-15 is better than $1600.  Is my math correct ?

If true..a bit pricey for my budget..but allegedly a pretty fine antenna.

Paul/W6VPS
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W8JI
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2010, 04:03:08 AM »

If my calculations are right...the Opti-beam 5 band OBW10-15 is better than $1600.  Is my math correct ?

If true..a bit pricey for my budget..but allegedly a pretty fine antenna.

Paul/W6VPS

I can't comment on price, but so far as performance you would have less than 3 dB gain with a Hex beam, regardless of what advertisements and rumors say. The Opti-beam does a little better.

Unless a designer or builder does something wrong, the physically larger antenna will always be better. There is no magic by shape or folding.

As for quads:

http://www.w8ji.com/quad_cubical_quad.htm

So a small dipole element is pretty much even with a quad, unless someone does something wrong with one antenna or the other. It's too bad, but there just isn't really any magic.

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G3TXQ
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2010, 06:28:10 AM »

I can't comment on price, but so far as performance you would have less than 3 dB gain with a Hex beam, regardless of what advertisements and rumors say.

Tom,

It's splitting hairs, but "less than 3dB gain" is a little mean to the hexbeam. My EZNEC models consistently come out around 3.5dBd. Cebik's hexbeam model showed peak gain of 3.7dBd. Like all wire beams in this family, the gain is maximum at the bottom of the band and steadily falls off towards the top.

A few months ago I tried some A/B testing against a reference dipole on 20m ionospheric paths, and after 1500 measurements I reckoned I could say with 80% confidence that the hexbeam gain lay in the range 3dBd to 4dBd.

Like you I take exception to advertisments which claim the hexbeam has an "apparent gain" of 6dBd.

But yes, bigger is better, and the Optibeam should show slightly better gain.

73,
Steve G3TXQ
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W8JI
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2010, 08:28:36 AM »

I can't comment on price, but so far as performance you would have less than 3 dB gain with a Hex beam, regardless of what advertisements and rumors say.

Tom,

It's splitting hairs, but "less than 3dB gain" is a little mean to the hexbeam. My EZNEC models consistently come out around 3.5dBd. Cebik's hexbeam model showed peak gain of 3.7dBd. Like all wire beams in this family, the gain is maximum at the bottom of the band and steadily falls off towards the top.

OK, then it has 3.5 dB gain and less as you move up the band. :-)
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K8AC
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2010, 08:59:14 AM »

W6VPS - yep, $1,627.45 as of this morning.
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G3TXQ
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2010, 09:11:44 AM »

5-band hexbeam:

K4KIO, built: $669   http://k4kio.com/Purchase.html
DX Engineering, kit: $600 http://www.dxengineering.com/Parts.asp?ID=3366&PLID=305&SecID=154&DeptID=49&PartNo=DXE-HEXX-5TAP

It looks like the Forward Gain differential cost is about $1000 per dB at US prices. It may be different in Europe!

73,
Steve G3TXQ
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KA5N
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2010, 12:51:46 PM »

I think the design philosophy is quite different for the two antennas.  The Hex-style antenna is small, light, and has 5 bands with low SWR and will give a boost to ones signal even at low heights on a simple mast/tower arrangement.  A small rotor is all that is required and doesn't look like a radio antenna.  In fact it looks like an umbrella that the wind has bent the ribs and ripped off the fabric.
The Optibeam is build with Teutonic heft and resembles a giant cheese cutter with stainless steel wires stretched taut (don't stand under one when it is being hoisted aloft or risk being cut in half).  It too has gain and is light weight etc. and perhaps will last forever.  
In one case the Hex would cost a bit more having to be shipped to Europe.  The difference in price would not be offset since the Optibeam is almost three times the price.  If price is no object, then the Optibeam is the choice.  Slim pocketbook?  Build your own Hex.
You pays your money and makes your choice.
Allen
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WD4ELG
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2010, 08:53:33 PM »

Speaking of the OptiBeam, it is a beautiful thing to behold, but yes...if it were to fall, it would be like the guy who gut cut to ribbons by the wire trap in that science fiction movie "Cube"
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AB7E
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« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2010, 12:08:38 AM »

KA5N:  "The Optibeam is build with Teutonic heft and resembles a giant cheese cutter with stainless steel wires stretched taut (don't stand under one when it is being hoisted aloft or risk being cut in half)"

WD4ELG:  "if it were to fall, it would be like the guy who gut cut to ribbons by the wire trap in that science fiction movie "Cube""

I assume those are tongue-in-cheek comments.  If not, somebody needs to get real.  The whole antenna weighs roughly 30 lbs and none of the fairly thick wires lie at the center of gravity.  If it fell, I'd rather be hit by a wire and have the antenna flip than be hit by the boom of any conventional antenna of similar weight.  I'm not saying it wouldn't hurt, but it certainly is no more a safety hazard than any other antenna in its class.  Consider, for example, getting skewered by a tubing element on a conventional yagi.

Dave   AB7E
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