- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | Optibeam OB16-3 Help

Reviews Summary for Optibeam OB16-3
Optibeam OB16-3 Reviews: 26 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $1,600
Description: Top-of-Line Performance triband yagi for 20/15/10
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Optibeam OB16-3.

Page 1 of 3 —>

K4XS Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2017 21:34 Send this review to a friend
GREAT ANTENNA  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Sold my old "superstation" and all the towers/antennas when I moved to KH6. I had been a KLM/M2 guy for more. At my new place on the Big Island I decided to go with a 3- high stack of the 16-3 tribanders on a 90+ foot rotating tower.
Assembly is as easy as it can be...all predrilled, no parts were missing and all parts went together as they should.
This beast is not your Cushcraft lightweight as it checks in at around 125-130 pounds. But a lot of that weight is from a 3 inch thick walled boom.
Performance is what we all want, and the 16-3 provides it. Reasonable SWR, good F/B and F/S. I've used the stack since April and have placed first in several contests, the latest being SS phone. It is a pileup creator and breaker.
Customer service is first class.
A couple of things to be aware of... Since the antenna is manufactured in Germany, all parts are metric so replacement of any could be more of a problem. The U-bolts are all square and I could not find any source for them in the US. Since I had a rotating Rohn 55 tower, I had an issue with the elements not being exactly where they needed to be when installing the antenna. No big deal, I just slightly moved the one 10 meter element and moved the boom mast plate to solve problem.
I would make the same decision again in buying this antenna

PD9Z Rating: 5/5 Oct 13, 2016 10:39 Send this review to a friend
Optibeam..there is no limit!  Time owned: more than 12 months
After using the Mosley TA34xl i did buy and finished the installation of the OB16-3.....i turned ON my TS950sdx....Once on air, there is no limit!.
Wow! What a great Antenna! It is a magnificent collection of Monobanders on a big boom that performs beyond any reasonable expectation for a TRIBANDER.
On 20m you have a clean four element monobander, on 15m a wide spaced four element monobander and on 10m the eight elements act like a well designed eight element monobander. Apparently the gain is very high, that can be seen by the incoming and outgoing signals. Breaking pile ups, and even better, producing them, is just fun if you have the OB16-3 up on your tower.
Furthermore, the antenna listens extremely well, it is an unbelievably quiet Yagi.
I get through any pile up at nearly every first call. Signals are always incredibly strong!. It is just spectacular!. F/B and F/S are excellent. I have not noticed any swr fluctuation at all under rainy or windy conditions, not as I found out in other antennas after some time.
Well.....The was really easy. Everything is perfectly marked, no remeasuring required. Real solid workmanship. No screws or bolts missing. Preassembly on the ground took me alone four hours. Fitting the antenna to the tower together with a friend was done in a couple of hours.
It is truly a large yagi-but well worth the space! If you can handle the size and cost factors of putting up an antenna this size-- you will not regret going with Optibeam!

So Tom.....Lets keep the Optibeam flag high!!!!

73s Sascha de PD9Z
KT0K Rating: 5/5 Mar 7, 2016 15:16 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful beam, wonderful service!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I can't offer any additional superlatives about the OB16-3 than have already been posted, but wanted to share this email exchange. Tom answered my query the next day!:

"Hello Thomas,
I have had the OB16-3 for several years and love it! Thanks very much! I am now thinking about upgrading my signal on 40 Meters and wonder if it is possible to mount a 40M rotatable dipole on the same tower as the OB16-3 without degrading the performance of the beam? If so, should it be parallel with the beam elements or perpendicular; mounted above or below; separation distance? Or can the dipole be inserted on the beam’s boom, again without degrading the beam? I have combed the internet for info without much success.
Thank you and 73,
Greg KT0K"

"Hello Greg,
I am very pleased to understand that you enjoy your OB16-3. Who would not ??!!

Yes, an OB1-40 could be installed above or below the OB16-3. Above would make more sense to achieve more height for the lower frequency (achieving a lower take off angle).

The required stacking distance is 10 feet.

Theoretically it would look slightly more perfect to install the OB1-40 in parallel to the boom of the OB16-3, for a perfect decoupling. This way though the long boom would interact in terms of a capacitive load and the OB1-40 would become lower impedance, the SWR would be screwed up.

So the OB1-40 has to be placed in parallel to the OB16-3 elements.

Practical installations of OB1-40s above OB11-3s, OB11-5s, OB9-5s etc. Have proven that the multiband Yagi does not suffer at all.

On the OB16-3 boom there is not enough space to interlace the OB1-40, with so close nearby elements the OB1-40 even more would become way too low feed point impedance.

I hope to have answered your questions.

Best 73
Tom, DF2BlueOcean"

What better service is that?



VE6AMI Rating: 5/5 Sep 18, 2013 21:17 Send this review to a friend
Professional Product  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Top quality and easy to assemble. Big in size and handles strong winds very well. Have used now in 4 contests, easily handles any amount of rf power. Very good listening antenna, I am using RG-214 for whip with 7/8" andrew heliax back to shack. Perfomance on each of the 3 bands is very close to same size monobanders. For a contester, this unit works very well in a SO2R environment. Thankyou Thomas and factory for this antenna!
VE7GBV Rating: 5/5 Sep 30, 2012 06:50 Send this review to a friend
Optibeam vs. TH-7  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Our Optibeam 16-3 replaces a 20-yr old Hygain TH-7, so I can compare them. The TH-7 was replaced because the traps were failing - end caps gone, SWR changing randomly. When we got it down off the tower, we saw that all of the fasteners - they aren't stainless - were rusting in our salt air and the (flimsy) plastic insulators and trap endcaps were shot, kaput.

What a difference! The OB fasteners are *all* stainless, the plastic insulators are very thick and solid, the mechanical design and materials quality are outstanding, and as for traps, there aren't any.
I bet that it will be in great shape 20 years hence. (GOOD, because we pay a professional rigger about $700 per visit for yagi repairs.)
The OB is also a joy to assemble, as many others have said.

Based on very limited experience to date, the gain and F/B of the OB seem much better than the TH-7's;
my DX total was flat for a year but now is climbing rapidly.

I'll report again in a few years.

Eric, VA7DZ
N5FO Rating: 5/5 Dec 16, 2011 08:44 Send this review to a friend
Superb Engineering & Construction  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
In evaluating a beam for my unusual location, my top priorities were performance and maintenance. This antenna delivers on both, the construction is very rugged and should last for years with little or no maintenance. Performance is as close to having three monobanders on a single boom as you'll get! I consistantly get outstanding reports from all over the globe.
WA2ETU Rating: 5/5 Jun 16, 2011 08:35 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding construction and preformance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
In April I replaced my Mosley PRO-96 with the OB16-3 and an OB4-2 WARC. My primary reason was so I could run power on RTTY without regard to burning out traps. Also, I wanted total band coverage with a low SWR. I was willing to give up 40 meters to achieve unrestricted power operation and total band coverage with low SWR. I have been very happy with my decision. Assembly was quick and easy and almost didn't require instructions. The quality of all components is very good and the performance has exceeded my expectations. If I am not contesting, I seldom turn on the amplifier and still get fantastic reports. I break most pile ups on the first call. I have little doubt that I hear and am heard much better than with the previous yagi. Even the OB 4-2 seems to perform better than the previous antenna. The antennas meet the published specifications with regard to SWR and FB without any need for adjustment. I highly recommend the OB16-3 to anyone seeking a high performance triband beam.
WW4LL Rating: 5/5 Nov 3, 2010 09:18 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was going to run 15 meters this past weekend in CQWW SSB, however, 30 mins before the contest, I decided to run 10 meters. It was punishing running low power and no telnet, however, the bright spot is that I came within a little over 40 Qs from a nearby Alabama station who was running 7/7/7/7 stacks up to 140 ft. I also was able to beat another station in the pileups in GA, within 40 minutes of my home, also running 7/7/7/7 stacks. For the money, my 8 elements on 10 was a real winner.

I also have the OB 2-40 and it is outstanding as well! I am very, happy with my Optibeams!

Fred, WW4LL
P43JB Rating: 5/5 Sep 2, 2007 15:24 Send this review to a friend
Storm survival # 2  Time owned: more than 12 months
My OB 16-3 and OB 9-2 went through their second big storm and again no problems!
Very good.
Joop P43JB
ZR4RV Rating: 5/5 Jun 16, 2007 08:38 Send this review to a friend
Simply the Best  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Don't know actually what to write because all the Hams before me said everything about the OB16 and Optibeam. From the packaging to the final assembly, one thing was evident, best quality and craftsmanship. Was a delight for my wife and me to assemble and install the OB16. SWR below 1.2 on all bands and my first contact to Spain an hour after putting the antenna at 12 meter. Clean and quiet as it should be! Can't wait for my new OB18/6.
Will be an Optibeam fan for life.
Page 1 of 3 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.