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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | OptiBeam OBW14-6 (high performing 14el wirebeam 20-17-15-12-10-6 Help


Reviews Summary for OptiBeam OBW14-6 (high performing 14el wirebeam 20-17-15-12-10-6
OptiBeam OBW14-6 (high performing 14el wirebeam 20-17-15-12-10-6 Reviews: 4 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $1190
Description: Extremely efficient and unique wire beam for
20/17/15/12/10/6m.
The follower model of the well known OBW10-5.
High performing Moxon structures on all bands, and even
additional directors on 6 and 10m (also acting on 12m).
Clean symmetric feeding by the OptiBeam directly coupled
driver feed system.
Heavy duty construction, realized by a tenter frame
consisting of very strong high quality fiberglas tubing
and a Phillystran truss system.
Nice optical appearance.
Far reaching pre assembly.
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.optibeam.de
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OR4U Rating: 5/5 May 29, 2016 07:13 Send this review to a friend
antenna dwellers antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've mounted the antenne 14 days ago and enjoyed it all day long.
Very good design, first class material, easy to build.
Can work a lot of DX with normal tx power.
Would I buy this antenna again? yes!
Tom again a winner tnx for all your feedback.And
prime after sale.
73
Jean OR4U aka ON4JW
 
DL9DAN Rating: 5/5 Dec 29, 2015 23:24 Send this review to a friend
big-fun-potential  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Since about 1 month I am now using the new OBW 14-6 wire beam. And I can confirm its an absolute wonderful antenna! Mounted on a 12m 2nd hand pole it looks like the highest rotary clothes dryer in our small village!
Assembling was done with four hands in about 3.5h respecting breaks for coffee and rolls!
The instruction is precise and if you do not skip a full page(!) it runs smooth.
The parts are made of very ruggedized stuff - I am living on an exposed piece of land where the wind comes very strong and unopposed, so this material will last a few days . . .
The perfect thing is - building - erecting - connecting >>> working!!
There is NO adjustment necessary- all SWR´s are according to the description. Just put power on the beam and here it goes.
I could break several pileups very simple - my russian ceramic lady and a clear modulation of the K3 and DC-headset working perfectly together.
F/B ratio is clearly visible and as I cannot compare this antenna with e.g. a 3-Band FB33 I do not speculate about some db which might not be available - so far nothing noticed. I can work what I hear on my radio. Looking forward to see its performance on 6m as I do not have any QSO on 6m right now!
For my small patch of land in Germany it is the ideal choice - no traps - small wind load and very ruggedized design.
At the moment I can clearly say, it is a good (expensive) investigation in the future!
 
KK4EOF Rating: 5/5 Oct 27, 2015 15:02 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding design, excellent materials, superb construction..  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I originally wanted to put an OB9-5 on my tower but was advised that it was too much for my rotator. I had earlier seen a wire beam on the Optibeam website, but it was gone when I went back to reconsider my options. There was, however the new OBW14-6, which covered one more band than the previous wirebeam. I called the North American distributor for Optibeam, ArraySolutions, and ordered one. It had not even been started in production in August, but I did get mine by mid October. The cost was $1550 USD.

The antenna shipped in a cardboard box about 10 inches square in cross section and about seven feet long (going by memory; I didn't measure it.) It weighed about 45 pounds. When I opened the box I found it very efficiently packed and a 32 page instruction book with 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch pages including color photographs. The syntax is clearly not native English, but was understandable and I had no difficulty knowing how to put it together.

The materials are of very high quality and well made. Every part is labeled, and the place that any part meets another part is labeled. All fasteners are already in one of the two parts that they hold together, so there's no digging around in a bag for bolts and then getting the wrong size. Tools are provided for the major nuts and bolts, and the tools are of surprisingly good quality to be included with an item. I chose to use my own sockets and used 13 mm and 10 mm sockets and box end wrenches, and a 7 mm box end wrench for the nuts that hold the actual wires to the aluminum phasing tubes. Allen wrenches included with the unit were used on the socket head screws.

I was able to assemble the antenna entirely alone, in about three hours all told, but could have done it more quickly had I not been assailed by mosquitoes and darkness. The antenna weighs 42 pounds, and I can pick it up and carry it alone, but it is unwieldy. The dimensions are 21 feet by 12 feet.

An important consideration with this antenna is that it is a set of nested moxon rectangles. The outermost wire runs around the entire perimeter of the frame. This means that it is more difficult to mount on a mast. The antenna must be lifted over the top of the mast and settled down directly on top of it; it can not be brought alongside the mast, bolted on, and then slid higher up the mast. Also, if lifting the antenna by the center, with the plane of the wires horizontal (the orientation the antenna is intended to be mounted in) it would have to be held a distance of about seven feet away from the tower while lifting. Only four inches of the top of the mast are needed for mounting, so objects welded to the mast lower than four inches will not interfere. I have a steel ring welded to my mast for affixing fall arrest lanyards to.

It is possible to tilt the antenna so the plane of the wires is vertical, and lift it with a simple pulley mounted to the mast. It can be easily pushed away from guy wires with a pvc pipe while standing on the tower. I raised the antenna and mounted it on the mast entirely alone. It was a struggle, and I would advise having one helper if possible. I had planned to simply lift the antenna from a vertical position with the center of it 2 feet below the top of the mast, tilting it to the horizontal and settling it down on to the mast top. I found it to be just too heavy to lift over my head standing on the guy wire brackets.

I ended up mounting a gin pole on the tower and lifting it until the center plate was only about one and a half feet below the top of the gin pole. There is enough clearance between the innermost wire and the center plate for the wire to clear the top of the gin pole as the antenna rotates into the horizontal position. Then the antenna can be lowered on to the mast. It is a little tricky, but can be done. My tower is 110 feet counting the mast. If you can afford a crane, it would be much easier, but if you can't afford one or get one on to the site, you can install the antenna without one.

My measurement of the swr of the six bands, made through about 20 feet of RG-8 coax were not all less than 1.3:1 across each band. They were altogether acceptable to me, though. Most bands did have less than 1.5:1 from the bottom of the band to almost the top, except for the 6 meter band, which shows an swr rising to over 5:1 from about 52 MHZ to the high end of the band. The CW end of the band is fine, though and I do almost exclusively CW. I will hasten to say that the unit was treated somewhat roughly as I tried to lift it into position, and it had to hang vertically overnight, so the reflected energy may be due to some displacement of the wires.

I have never had a directional antenna before, only stationary dipoles, so I can't compare the OBW14-6 with other yagis or beam antennas. I did compare signal strength measured on my Yaesu FT450D s meter with the antenna pointed in differet directions. One station in Massachusetts running a killowatt on USB on 10 meters went from 20 over s9 to s3 when I turned 180 degrees away from him. I'm in North Central Florida. I can hear stations ninety degrees off the side of the antenna, so you won't be totally unaware of anything you're not pointing directly at, but those stations will get louder when you point right at them. The Massachusetts station mentioned above I first heard with the antenna pointed at the station he was in contact with, in Arizona, so he was probably about forty degrees away from the backend.

As one last bit of info, my first contact with the antenna on October 26th, was the V73D DXpedition in the Marshall Islands. Not bad for 80 watts.

It is hard for me to imagine finding a quality product that gives you six bands, gain, light weight and only 4.8 square feet of wind load, important in a hurricane state where I have to meet TIAA 95 mph wind spec. I highly recommend this antenna to anyone who is willing to pay a bit more for a lot of antenna in a small package.
 
HB9EKK Rating: 5/5 Oct 16, 2015 08:06 Send this review to a friend
Best wind and weight to performance ratio in the market.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The new OBW14-6 is a real "plug-and-play"- Wire-Antenna. This new model of OptiBeam can be set up within 2 hours completely. The manufactor's description is detailed, but straight forward and not too long. The mechanical impression of this antenna is just great. Flexible but also heavy duty for heavy winds and storms with a weight of only 19 Kg. Included is a 3 KW current balun, which I feeded for more than one hour with continuously 1 KW in RTTY, produced by my Rhode&Schwarz XK859C1, whitout any problem. All parts fitted the first time, no drilling, no missing parts, just great quality made in germany. After assembling the antenna I brought it up onto 20m over ground on a Flammex-Steal-Tower. The SWR on all 6 bands was not higher than 1:1,4 max., so my build in tuner of my Expert 1K-FA amplifier could tune the SWR to 1:1 everywhere. Normally the SWR was between 1 and 1,2 within the most used parts of the bands.This OBW14-6 replaced my 4el SteppIR, which was simply to heavy for my unsupported pull up crank-tower. Further the motors of the 4el. SteppIR have been frozen every winter and could not move anymore. So I looked for a light weight, simple but heavy duty plug and play antenna which I can leave for the next 10 years on my tower without any service or maintenance. The performance of the new OBW14-6, which has been delivered just 3 days after payment, is outstanding. Compared to the 4el SteppIR I loose with this antenna only 3-4 dB, which is in fact a half of a S-stage. I use this new wire beam now for 1 month and the performance is just impressive. I crack up EVERY pile up with this antenna, if I hear the other DX-station. What I hear, I can work. None of my longterm DX-contacts recognised, that I changed the antenna. One would expect, that the angle of a 2-element beam would be nearby 180 degrees. But the OBW14-6 produces a signal angle of not more than 70 degrees and a forward to backward ratio of minimum 18 to 20 dB. I felt like I would work with a fullsize 3el beam all the time. I fact, on 10m and 6m the antenna is a 3 element full size beam. Finally this antenna plays on its own category, since it combines the advantage of a light weight beam with the performance of big gun. For me this antenna is no compromise, but the next evolution of high end antenna systems. And last but not least this antenna is NOT comparable with any Hexbeam, since the electrical and mechanical benchmark data are way better than that. Saying that, I will never step back to a motor driven or trap antenna system, since the OBW14-6 fullfills all my needs by far.
 


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