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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: 75 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.
Product is in production.
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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
N5TSP Rating: 5/5 Apr 6, 2015 22:24 Send this review to a friend
German engineering at its best  Time owned: more than 12 months
As mentioned by previous reviewers, the quality of the parts are amazing--German engineering at its best have produced one fine antenna. Instructions can be a bit vague but careful rereading will get you through the assembly. IMO this antenna is quieter than a log periodic, its closest competitor that has no moving parts. For antennas that do use moving parts, good luck! This is a great fit for my Flex 6700 where I can watch all five bands in separate panadapter slices with resonant antennas. A great performer for its size.
VE1JS Rating: 5/5 Mar 24, 2015 09:48 Send this review to a friend
Still going strong!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This antenna has now been inservice for two years, less a few days. It replaced a Force 12 C-19XR which worked very well, but was worn out by Nova Scotia's winter winds.

The OB9-5 is ,without a doubt THE best yagi I have ever owned. It is at only 12m above ground,but if I can hear I can work it....EVERY TIME.

Support from Tom is almost never needed, but when it is, Tom is there.
ON6ID Rating: 5/5 Aug 28, 2014 13:29 Send this review to a friend
the best one  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have this antenna now since 2010 and I must say it's the best one I have ever had since I started ham radio in 1976 and after using Mosley, Cushcraft and Fritzel yagis. The OB9-5 is mounted 85 feet above ground on a telescopic tower and the results are really great.
Assembling the antenna took me about 6 hours.German quality at its best.
Thank you Tom for the excellent service !
Best 73's
K0AU Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2014 11:59 Send this review to a friend
Big Signal  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Why do I hear "big signal" so often?

Installed my OB9-5 in November 2013 replacing a compact tribander.

Tom is extremely helpful and Array Solutions makes airfreight from Germany as simple as local shipment. The product is so well made I wore cotton gloves while building it so I wouldnít leave fingerprints on the aluminum.

220 DXCCs in 8 months. If the band is open I can hear it, and if I hear it I can bust through the pileup to work it. The OB9-5 is an ideal HF antenna for a large suburban lot.
3DA0NJ Rating: 5/5 Jul 14, 2014 12:46 Send this review to a friend
World cup Winner  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have had the OB9-5 for just on a year now. It is not very high of the ground but has made 6000 dx contacts, so much so that I have ordered the OB40-1 now to supplement my requirements.
Optibeam is German Technology at its best and I highly recommend these great products.......
WB4M Rating: 5/5 Jul 2, 2014 21:30 Send this review to a friend
A work of art!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This antenna makes an impression on you before assembly begins. Unpacking is like opening a present; it is cleverly packed with paper strips that prevent parts shifting and rubbing against each other. The paper strips filled 3 trash bags! Upon removing the parts, I was immediately impressed with the quality of all parts. I used to work in a machine shop and would come home with nicks and cuts in my hand from handling rough material. So I was impressed.. all edges had been smoothed and rounded off, all parts were de-burred, screw holes and elements counter sunk and polished. My assistant N4DSP and I both closely examined the parts and the quality was so impressive - no thin elements, hose clamps, etc.
No multiple bags of parts to dig through and sort.
Assembly took only a few hours, and now that I've done it, I think I could put one together in 2 hours or less by myself. It arrives partially assembled and there is absolutely nothing to measure, everything is pre-drilled, marked, ready to go. You almost do not need the manual - the parts are that clearly marked! I kept thinking of when I put my TH7 together and how I had to measure the elements, spacing etc.. what a PITA!
My brother in law helped me put the beam on my tower. He is not a ham but even he mentioned the quality of the antenna.
SWR checks show the highest SWR I have is 1.7 to 1, nominal is around 1.5 all bands, almost flat on 20 meters.
I must admit I had reservations about spending a lot of money on the antenna, plus air freight from Germany. But once I saw the parts, and saw it fully assembled, I knew I had done the right thing. No moving parts or seals to leak at 60 feet, no traps, nothing to rust out. The folks at Array Solutions were very helpful with arranging the purchase and shipping/customs, and they provide the 5KW balun as well.
Needless to say I am completely satisfied just as the previous 69 reviews are, all 5.0 ratings.
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