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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: 73 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $995
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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PA3EXX Rating: 5/5 Mar 17, 2007 07:40 Send this review to a friend
Great replacement for my old FB-33  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After owning a Fritzel FB33 for 14 years I was looking for a replacement. I had the idea the beam was not doing so well anymore because of the traps and the WARC dipole mounted on the FB33 boom did not give good results either.

I was looking for a beam for 14-28 Mhz. The best choices seemed to be the Optibeam 9-5 and the 3 ele Steppir ( because of the size ).

There is not very much difference between the specs of the Steppir and the Optibeam, only the Steppir also works on 50 MHz. My choice was the Optibeam OB9-5 because it has no moving parts, because it is very well constructed, because it is much cheaper and because of all the great reviews on this forum.

The beam was shipped from Optibeam in Germany and the service was very good. Construction is easy and the manual is very clear.

I am very happy with the beam. I do hear less noise and stronger signals and that is what it was all about.

The beam has fullsize elements instead of traps and I was a bit worried that it would look huge but the neighbours did not even notice that I replaced the old beam.

Excellent antenna and great value for money !
MM0MSS Rating: 5/5 Aug 12, 2006 17:15 Send this review to a friend
First impressions - Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had my OB9-5 (HD version - heavy duty) in the air on my 60ft tower only for a short time, but my first impressions are very favourable. Here are a few for/against comments....

(1) No TRAPS or COILS !!!!!!! Nothing to get burnt out or water in - fantastic!
(2) Very good build quality.
(3) Easy to put together (although I did have help from existing Optibeam owners).
(4) SWR excellent on all bands. Exceeds expectations.
(5) Compact size for HF beam.
(6) On air performance is superb.

(1) Nothing !!!

KA5SMA Rating: 5/5 Jun 8, 2006 19:08 Send this review to a friend
So far performance is good.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had my OB9-5 in the air( at 40 ft) for 2 weeks. I am a DXer and every station I have called has come back to me on first or second call running barfoot.

The only criticism I have is that the instructions contain pictures of parts that do not belong to the OB9-5. The instructions seem to be written for several Optibeam antennas. I would have been much better off if I had just put the antenna together without reading the instructions. It would have been nice to have an actual picture of the completed antenna instead of pictures of small sections which in some instances are not even pictures of the OB9-
The elements sag quite a bit..however under gusty wind conditions so far elements do not move very much. After the antenna is in the air the sagging is not so apparent...

From an SWR standpoint this antenna performs better than advertised. The SWR is below specifications in most cases. My SWR across the entire 20 meter band is 1.2:1 or less. The SWR at 29.5 MHz is 2.1:1 which is a little higher than specs..dont operate on FM portion of band but if I did the intenal tuner in my Mark V will take care of the 2.1:1 SWR.

I have noticed that this antenna is very quiet.
This may be partly due to the receiver in the Mark V Field..however.

So far support from Jay and Tom have been great.
I would recommend this antenna if you are looking for a good 5 band antenna. A little inconvience, going through customs at the airport is worth it.
EI8CE Rating: 5/5 Jun 15, 2005 07:58 Send this review to a friend
Customer service  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased an early model and when erected some of the driven elements developed a forward v shape. I contacted Tom about this and he responded immediately suggesting a modification which has since been incorporated on later versions. Not only did he supply the additional parts for free when I asked about fitting a commercail balun he also sent me that. Antenna performance has been without doubt the best I have ever worked behind with many stations commenting on the outstandingly strong signal from what is essentially a 2 element yagi. Great antenna and great service.
EA1DDU Rating: 5/5 Apr 24, 2005 02:14 Send this review to a friend
¡MAGNÍFICA ANTENA!  Time owned: more than 12 months
¡Hola a todos!
Compré esta antena hace un par de años ya que necesitaba una que me diera juego en todas las frecuencias de HF por encima de 14 Mhz., con R.O.E. bajo, y que fuera "poco ruidosa" para una nueva instalación en la ciudad después de haber realizado toda mi actividad hasta entonces en casa de mis padres, en el campo, donde el ruído es mayoritariamente ambiental y no "humano" (Confieso que este tema me preocupaba en gran medida y no era en vano).
¡Pues bien!, después de entrar prácticamente en todas las páginas de los fabricantes de antenas que trabajaran multibandas y descartar las logarítmicas, di con Optibeam. Después de varios e-mails que fueron contestados con toda clase de detalles e incluso fotografías, me decidí por la OB9-5 por:
-El boom no es muy largo (5,10m) lo que me permitía poner más pisos en mi instalación. Dado que sólo puedo tener una torreta y trabajo las bandas de V-UHF en DX, no puedo permitirme colocar un "primer piso" muy voluminoso.
-La ROE que especifican en la WEB es muy interesante por lo que no tendría que usar tanto el acoplador de antenas.
-Quería alguna antena no-logarítmica y sin bobinas para tratar de evitar interferencias indeseadas. Y esta cumple el requisito (hay muy pocas)
-La ganancia que citan es relativamente baja en dB pero esto es un poco ficticio porque, sin embargo, la comparativa con yagis monobandas la sitúan por encima de una yagi monobanda de 2 elementos en todas las bandas y la diferencia es de menos de 1 dB sobre una 3 elementos en la mayoría de los casos.
-Y, por último, un amigo que ya tenía antenas de este fabricante me dijo que estaba muy contento con ellas (no cito nombre e indicativo porque no le consulté sobre el particular).

Por contra, confieso que me preocuban dos temas: Los elementos son muy largos (el más largo está cercano a 11m.)con lo que tenía miedo por la resistencia al viento, que sopla fuerte por nuestra zona del Cantábrico, y estaba dudando si los 1.200€. que costaba la antena se corresponderían con las prestaciones...

Pues bien, tengo que deciros que, aparte del trato recibido, que es excelente, la antena
-Se monta muy rápido porque vienen pre-montadas varias piezas del boom y marcados todos los tramos de los elementos. Todo ello completado con un manual muy interesante y con fotografías.
-La ROE que citan en las especificaciones de la página es real.
-El rendimiento es excelente comparado con yagis más largas y no es ruidosa. Sorprende el entrar en pile-ups grandes con suma facilidad y ¡sólo 100w.!
-La resistencia al viento, después de dos o tres galernas soportadas, es grande. No sufrió ninguna rotura ni deformación y ya hubo ráfagas cercanas a 170 km/h.

Ahora, prácticamente, no uso el amplificador para estas bandas y el equipo que uso es sencillo (TS450SAT) con lo cual, lo que de chaval me enseñaba mi amigo, que en paz descanse, Braulio, EA1EJ, es así:
"El mejor amplificador es una buena antena"
¡Realmente os la aconsejo!
Saludos cordiales,
¡73 y DX!
Domi (EA1DDU)
DJ2HD Rating: 5/5 Apr 21, 2005 14:29 Send this review to a friend
fabulous antennna for DX  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
We were long thinking about an antenna which should be used during our long Dx-pedition to Tonga
and New Zealand in March 2004 as there are many aspects to be considered.
It should be a Yagi for all bands over 14 MHz with best performance, good stability and low wheight.
There were a few brands and types under evaluation.
The helpfulness of Thomas DF2BO and his wife Diana convinced us to try this antenna which was the
the 1st use for a Dxpedition. They supported us with useful hints during the pretest.

The rectangular boom makes the assembly of the thoroughly preassembled elements very comfortable
and prevents the twisting. They stay horizontally in any case.
As the Optibeam manufacturing is near to our QTH we could get a good impression about the minutious
production, preparation and packing of the antennas.

The OB9-5 showed a great performance and allowed us thousands of contacts. Even with only 100 watts
output power we got 59+ reports from Europe, half around the world. All calling stations were astonished
about our big signal. During the sometimes bad conditions we had the strongest signal in Europe
from this area. So we were sure to have made the best choice.

This is why I decided to buy the next bigger version OB12-6 for my home station.

Mathias A35DJ/DJ2HD
DJ7RE Rating: 5/5 Apr 6, 2005 12:08 Send this review to a friend
DJ7RE  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have installed the beam on a Versatower model BP40.After 3 severe winter storms with a wind up to 178Km/h (111mp/h) not a single mechanical failure. My location is in Northern Germany with flat surrounding. Best dx succsess in spite of "just" 100W using, delivered from a Kenw. TS570. Almost one time arround the globe as well when very weak signals from the other side.
DJ7RE Bernd from Heide
HB9DUC Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2005 05:06 Send this review to a friend
All what you read about this OB9-5 is TRUE  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hello everybody,

Sorry if I can give only a 5. Why I cannot give one 6 ? ;-)

OK. I have Optibeam OB9-5 since July 2003.

It is an excellent antenna and I have not had any problem for more than 18 months. All that I can say or write was already written in these reviews.

Optibeam does a very good work and job. You wish to buy a Optibeam antenna? You can do it with closed eyes and you will be VERY VERY HAPPY !

Greetings from Switzerland
Didier, HB9DUC and HE3RSI (
GM0EGI Rating: 5/5 Jan 14, 2005 13:00 Send this review to a friend
excellent construction-looks good works great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had this antenna for 2 months now, I had some initial problems when building it, which were ALL my fault, I tried to put antenna up in a hurry, and did not carefully read the manual. Tom DF2BO was great with all the help I needed to sort out the problems, my questions were answered basically BY RETURN of e-mail, even when I sent an e-mail at about 2300 gmt!. I have worked EVERYTHING that I wanted to since putting up this antenna, even worked the VU4 on my THIRD call on 20 metres. I had a klm kt34 for 10 years, that was a good antenna but I needed something directional for 12 and 17 metres and I feel that I have made a good choice.In an e-mail from tom he mentioned that the antenna was designed to withstand 100mph winds, and he jokingly said that we would probably not be able to test that, WELL, I cannot confirm that it will stand up to 100 mph but CAN confirm that gusts to 90 mph did NO damage, My QTH was badly hit by the hurricane winds to hit Scotland on Tuesday 11th January, the antenna took the full force and was not affected, the swr readings and performance was the same as before the storm. All I can say about this antenna during the short time of use is that I have no regrets in buying it and the customer service is best ever,I would have no hesitation in buying another product from optibeam, if they are all of this standard they should last a long time.
G8WVW Rating: 5/5 Nov 3, 2004 09:03 Send this review to a friend
Fantastisch!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
There is a certain satisfaction in owning a quality piece of engineering be it a motor car, watch, golf club or for readers of this site, Ham Radio equipment; the feel that somebody crafted something with a passion and strived for the highest standard achievable. This statement epitomises the Optibeam 9-5.

All tube and section is thick walled aluminium, there are no pressed steel plates, holes are drilled rather than punched, fixings are by stainless steel Allen-headed machines screws, assemblies align perfectly and there isn’t a hole-clamp anywhere.

Production engineering is first class but does it work? Assembled mine temporarily at 10m AGL for October’s CQWWDX contest; VSWR at all band centres doesn’t move my Bird43 needle and at the very worst is 1.3:1 at the top of 10m. With just 100W, worked 2,290 stations, 108 countries achieving 2.1M points in 27-hours of operation. There is no doubt my ZD8 call helped but if stations couldn’t have heard me, they couldn’t have worked me!

Great antenna and very highly recommended by an Engineer with 20-years in the broadcast/communications business.

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