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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | Optibeam OB9-5 Help

Reviews Summary for Optibeam OB9-5
Optibeam OB9-5 Reviews: 81 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $1441. USD
Description: Performant yagi designed as stacked monobander for 20/17/15/12/10 with patented feed system. Optimized computer designed German yagi without traps and with full size elements. The OB9-5 has 2 el on 20, 2 el on 17, 2 el on 15, 2 el on 12 and 3 el on 10 meters.
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G3WZD Rating: 5/5 Jul 28, 2017 09:52 Send this review to a friend
Top quality product and great performer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently completed installing the OB9-5 having spent some time researching a replacement for the broken SpiderBeam 5 band HD, which sadly shook itself to pieces thanks to strong prevailing on-shore winds off the Atlantic.

Following some back and forth emails with Tom, OptiBeam's owner, who proved both extremely passionate about his product and super-responsive in answering my questions (even over the weekend), I purchased the 9-5.

I have nothing but praise for the antenna. It is a fine example of really good engineering, being extremely well constructed of heavy duty material. All the guesswork is taken out of the construction with clear instructions and the way the elements are bundled by band.

Several parts are partially factory assembled (such as the element mounting plates) and this is extremely helpful. The boom and element mounting plates are all marked so it is near on impossible to get it wrong.

I was very pleased to note that no pipe clamps are used in the construction; all element tubes are secured using good quality stainless steel hex-head screws and locking nuts.

From starting to unpack the antenna to the finished assembly sitting on the saw-horses was a total of 5 1/2 hours, which I thought was very good for a solo effort. Tom kindly sent me a copy of the assembly instructions before shipping the antenna so I had some time to study it in advance, though in retrospect this was probably not necessary.

Measured SWR was as claimed and the antenna performs very well on all bands. It's driven by an ICOM 7300/2KL/AT500 combo and the AT500 easily handles what little SWR needs to be tuned out.

The package included hex drivers and a double ended box-spanner, plus some spare screws, nuts and washers, which I thought was a nice touch.

This is a very well designed and built antenna which "does exactly what it says on the tin". Well done OptiBeam!
K6ELQ Rating: 5/5 Jul 2, 2017 15:15 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently installed an OB9-5 at 59', 12' below an OB4030. The OB9-5 replaced a Tennadyne T10 Log Yagi. Very compact, being 7-feet shorter in boom length than the T10 and performance has been outstanding in the short time I've had it. The internal tuner of both my transceiver and amplifier easily handle any residual SWR. Construction technique and materials are second to none and optics are perfect. No drooping element sag. Tom promptly answers all questions and offers useful suggestions in case of difficulty. As I mentioned in my OB4030 review, if BMW made antennas, they would look like an OptiBeam.
DM5RC Rating: 5/5 May 24, 2017 02:37 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have my OB9-5 now for 4 weeks and it is no comparison to the commercial antennas I had before.
The mechanics are terrific, a clean workmanship. The structure is easy to create thanks to the markings and easy to create on a day for two people.
Also the electrical performance is very good, I can work on 10 - 20m completely without a tuner.
This is very good German quality work and I can only recommend this antenna, the money is worth it!
ON7CL Rating: 5/5 Aug 10, 2016 11:23 Send this review to a friend
Super Antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was looking for a new beam to replace my Mosley TA-63N, and wanted something without traps, but an antenne that would have same performance. I quickly came out with Optibeam. Due to place restrictions I would go for the OB9-5 after reading the reviews here on Eham.
In June I met Tom at Friedrichshafen Ham fair and we had a very good eye-ball qso, Tom presented me also his new design antenna, but because it was completely new, I stayed with my idea the OB9-5. I must say that Tom took his time to give me enough info so that I could made up my mind, no pressure just like it has to be. After Friedrichshafen I ordered the antenne and the delivery was like we agreed within 10 days. The antenna was very well packed en delivered without any problem. During the week-end I started to assemble the antenna and didn't read the manual, just had a look time to time. The build was easy and all parts were marked. I took my time to see that all was ok and installed the antenna on my 12m tower with a new coax-line Ecoflex10, I also ordered the 3kw balun, thats enough because I can go max to 1.5kw.
I was also amazed that the SWR on all bands was 1.1 or max 1.2 even without any fine tuning. When I finished to install the antenna I was even more amazed with the RX, this antenne give me much more better reception even in the bad weeks that we had lately, (SFI under 90, A index +12 ). I started to make qso's with 150w max and get reply's from the first call, reports were 59 and 59+, I could not believe it, so sometimes I asked for a real report. I must say I'm very much surprised with the performance of this antenne, this is the best antenna I ever had. I just don't know why I didn't buy one much earlier. It's a keeper thats for sure. The service from Tom is excellent, replies on mails within 24 hours. I recommend this antenna to everyone. Very good antenna for it's price. Hope to see you on the bands. Rudi - ON7CL
F4HJO Rating: 5/5 Jul 4, 2016 22:17 Send this review to a friend
A serious antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
Almost two years since I use my OB9-5, and no problems.
It's a simple antenna to construct, not require maintenance,no need tuner, a single coaxial cable, etc.... There are too many technical problems with dynamic antenna, I want to spend my time doing radio, I want to sleep peacefully !!
if I change my antenna, it will be for next OPTIBEAM.
Quality remains, the price is forgotten !
73's jerry F4HJO
MI0NWA Rating: 5/5 Jun 27, 2016 08:59 Send this review to a friend
Awesome antenna!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Hey all, as many have stated this antenna is an awesome piece of hardware. Itís built with strong aluminium and stainless steel bolts and screws, it really is excellent. I always say you get what you pay for but to be honest I didnít find it over the top expensive as this really is worth every penny.

Here are 10 reasons I had for purchasing this antenna:

1. The size. Ideal for my location and the space I had for when needing to tilt over the mast so as not to hit the neighbours fence.
2. The price. Not expensive for the quality you get.
3. Easy assembly. Everything taped together, i.e., boom parts, elements etc for easy end user assembly and pre-drilled holes.
4. The gain. Just outstanding on all bands.
5. Speed of delivery. From order to front door in Northern Ireland took only 5 days.
6. Tom from Optibeam was brilliant. Loads of info before buying the beam and excellent help and support.
7. Multi bands. 5 bands, 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m and 10m
8. Low SWR, my highest is on the top end of 15m which is 1.5 on 14.350Mhz where I never be at anyway, everywhere else is between 1.0 and 1.3
9. Trapless. No traps to worry about, especially if one develops a problem as this can be a real pain.
10. The weight. Only 30kg, my Tennamast head load is 50kg max so between the Optibeam, rotator and 2m antenna etc I am still under at 42kg although I do use 4 steel rope guys on the mast so itís pretty solid anyway.

I have had the antenna for a while now, I previously owed the Cushcraft A3S with 40m add on and although the Cushcraft was still a good antenna the OB9-5 is in a different league altogether. I am pulling signals out of nowhere and my reports are excellent even when just using 100 watts. I had a problem when building it which sent the SWR high on all bands but contacted Tom who replied straight away and one quick adjustment later we were all good on all bands. I also ordered the 5Kw Balun and although I will never push anything near that kind of power I still liked the idea of having it plus it looks cool and fits nicely onto the boom.
This is a great antenna and I canít really add anymore than what people have already said, thank you Tom and also to all the rest of the guys at Optibeam, you lot should be proud of your products and we all appreciate the time and effort you put into making them.

Thanks again!!!!
OZ1LWT Rating: 5/5 Apr 9, 2016 07:09 Send this review to a friend
Great.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have used the OB9-5 for 2 months now, and all I can say is that this antenna is an excellent performer. I got in contact with Tom, DF2BO and placed an order with him. The antenna arrived safely.

The antenna is a real gem to put together with all of the guess work taken out of the install because all the elements are together and taped in one part so you have the right tubes for the right part and all the elements are labeled and the boom and the boom to the element mounting plates are also labled.

Good DX From OZ1LWT.
HB9BMY Rating: 5/5 Mar 24, 2016 12:23 Send this review to a friend
Is life really too short for QRP? - Not with an OB9-5!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my second review of the OB9-5. I wrote the first in November 2002. Since I donít like to repeat things I already said I also refer to my first review.

In 2000 I began to work CW QRP DX (5W) with a DLP-15 logperiodic from Titanex. My QTH was in Biel (BE), a small town. In April 2002 I replaced my DLP-15 with an OB9-5. The OB9-5 outperformed the DLP-15 by far. Both, short skip and DX signals were much stronger with the OB9-5 than with the DLP-15.

Since February 2003 I have been working exclusively QRP. In June 2005 HB9AAL installed another OB9-5 for me in my second QTH in St. Antoni (FR). My OB9-5 in Biel was 20m up, on a 11.5m high tower installed on a 8.5m high flat roof. My OB9-5 in St. Antoni was on a 13.5m high tower. My QTH in Biel was surrounded by high buildings and hills. My QTH in St. Antoni is in midst of good farmland without nearby buildings. The ground is sloping from northeast to southwest. The noise floor is very low. You can hear the weakest signals, which is crucial for working DX and especially for working QRP DX. With the OB9-5 in St. Antoni I could hear and work DX stations much longer and with much stronger signals than with the same antenna in Biel. Many DX signals I couldnít even hear in Biel. When in spring 2011 I moved to Bern, a town with a very high noise floor and a lot of antenna zoning restrictions, I didnít even think of erecting an antenna here.

Thanks to my OB9-5s I achieved DXCC Honor Roll #1 mixed with QRO and QRP combined. The last dozen DXCC entities that I needed for Honor Roll I worked exclusively with QRP. Thanks to my OB9-5s I could work 320+ DXCC entities with QRP.

The last solar minimum was very frustrating for me as a QRP DXer. That is why I upgraded my antenna system in 2015: I upgraded my Versatower with a third section and my antenna system with an OptiBeam OB4030. The OB9-5 is installed 3m above the OB4030. The OB4030 is 17m above ground and the OB9-5 20m. There is no negative interaction between the two beams (please also read my review of the OB4030).

When we took down the OB9-5 after ten years of operation none of the screws had become loose. All screws, nuts and washers were so shiny as if theyíd come directly from the factory.

Due to their ruggedness the OB9-5 and OB4030 are heavy antennas. A heavy duty rotator is crucial, and also a suitable tower, concrete base and guys. The laws of physics and mechanics cannot be tricked. If you decide to install an OptiBeam antenna, make sure that you also provide the needed infrastructure. If you fail to do that, disaster will be inevitable. I let the upgrade of my antenna system do by professionals, by HB9AAZ and HB9TTY. Both are very experienced installers of big antennas. HB9AAZ is probably the most experienced and best expert we have in Switzerland. During installation they noticed and solved problems I didnít even know they existed. If youíre not an expert yourself, Iíd strongly recommend you to let do the installation by experts for you.

SteppIR antennas have got a big advantage over OptiBeam antennas: They offer comparable gain with significantly less weight and windload. However, their elements consist of fiberglass, they have many moving parts and wires as well as sophisticated electronics. If only one of these many parts or contacts fails, antenna performance is either severely impaired or reduced to zero. If you consider installing such an antenna system, you should be able to repair it yourself or have someone at hand who can repair it for you immediately, even in winter. If not, you will risk missing a most needed DXCC entity that had not been available for the last twenty years and will not be available for the next ten to twenty years. If you miss it because of your broken SteppIR, life might indeed become too short for you! Not only with QRP, but even with a big linear amplifier.

Since I canít repair a SteppIR myself, I decided to install OptiBeam antennas.

Peter Egger
IZ5ASZ Rating: 5/5 Oct 27, 2015 12:54 Send this review to a friend
Happy owner of OB 9-5  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
After 15 years last july my Hy gain th 11 dxs needed some maintenance, so i decide to replace it with a new antenna.
After exclude the motorized antennas I decide for this Optibeam OB 9-5. Initially i was concerned about downgrade,
now after about 4 months I've changed my idea,the feelings is like to have still on the roof the old great th11 dxs.
So what to say about this Optibeam OB 9-5 is very easy to assembly, no traps, swr low on every bands, my OB 9-5 is only 8 meters from the roof of my house.
Considering that is only 2 elements for band, how to say, if You can hear it You can work it.
The assistance by Tomas and the staff is the best You can have.

73's Massimo iz5asz
W2NPR Rating: 5/5 Sep 1, 2015 15:24 Send this review to a friend
Positively Exponentially Excellent!!!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am hellatiously impressed with the performance of the OB9-5. This is the yagi I wanted to install when I revamped my antenna system at my QTH with a new crankup, tilt-over tower and some antenna consolidation. Physical health issues is what warranted the project but it's the price we pay for getting old hi hi.

Initially, I bought a Force 12 C3SS because of its size, where my tower stands and, because it's a tilt-over, the C3SS fit inside my yard when I tilted the tower. Despite the fact that the C3SS worked as well as it could, it didn't work to my expectations. I've used a couple of Mosleys (TA-53M and a CL-33) and my elmer's Sommer XP-707 and have always compared all HF yagis to the XP-707. He has had the XP-707 for 22 years now and it has been an excellent performer since we put it up. It has needed nothing but a signal input into it. He almost never needs the amp because of the gain it has. After a long list of answered questions by Tom, DF2BO, I was determined to figure out a way to put the OB9-5 on my tower - and I did - and I'm exponentially happy that I did! I'm quite sorry I didn't buy the OB9-5 initially but it's never too late. The OB9-5 is quite robust and easy to assemble which makes it very, very flexible for many applications in which it is mounted (I think those that have it would agree). I put the 5kW balun from Array Solutions on it and it works like a champ! Once my tower was vertical, I attached my analyzer to the feedline and the SWR is flat as a potato pancake across all 5 bands - no tuner required. The gain of the OB9-5 is such that I only use the 100W in my transceiver and don't use the amplifier with it unless I deem it necessary.

It is perched at 42' above the ground and is part of a stacked array which is a bit surprising that it works so well because my other VHF & UHF beams being within the effective aperture of the OB9-5 doesn't affect it whatsoever. It is a much, much better receive antenna as well. The side and rear rejection is just as good as my elmer's yagi. It is also just as resonant and without the use of a tuner as my elmer's yagi. I will most certainly enjoy this antenna for many a year to come. If I decide to move and sell my house and it were to go to another ham, the OB9-5 will remain and I will be contacting Tom and Array Solutions for another OB9-5 or, with enough land, perhaps an OB12-6!!! :)

For those of you (and there are many) who price shop, this is an excellent investment - hands down. Once converted, the cost in USD is comparable to Mosley, Force 12, JK Antenna, etc. I'd be hard pressed to find and hear that another FIVE BAND yagi outperforms the OB9-5. Albeit it is not an enormous yagi, it certainly transmits and receives like one! The build quality is beyond superb and unique to say the least. Once assembled, there is nothing you need to do except get on the air and have at it! To Tom and his staff at OptiBeam, thank you so much for your time and thank you many thanks for designing an outstanding antenna!

You can learn more about OptiBeam and their other products by visiting You can see a photo of my antenna system on my QRZ page. See you on the air! 73 de W2NPR
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