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

Reviews Summary for Optibeam OB16-3
Optibeam OB16-3 Reviews: 23 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $1,600
Description: Top-of-Line Performance triband yagi for 20/15/10
Product is in production.
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SV1BYI Rating: 5/5 Mar 10, 2006 02:46 Send this review to a friend
FANTASTIC ANTENNA  Time owned: months
The OB16-3 is an unbelievable antenna. If you first see the 16 elements on the 10.10 meter (33 feet) long boom you might wonder how all that can work.
If then you have a closer look you will find out quickly that it is a brilliant design.
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 six element monobander.
The elements are interlaced by the help of modern computer design techniques, and so they do not have war with each other, they cooperate.
The driver cell is a piece of art in itself. The drivers for 10, 15 and 20m have a good distance between each other (60 cm = 2 feet) and they are connected by two square tubes which are called “phase line”. This way the drivers obviously are fed really loss free, and simultaneously a great SWR band width is achieved.
In the practical use the antenna really performs like three separate high performing monobanders. 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.
And the patterns are just awesome: very good f/b ratio, an immense f/s ratio and a sharp horizontal beam width are the facts.
Mechanically the antenna is a little tank, and highest winds have problems to really make it move. The boom is heavy duty and trussed solidly.
As well the long full sized 20m elements are heavy duty (the ones for 15 and 10m are extremely solid anyway).
The boom to mast plate might serve antennas double of that size.
The element platforms are strong and well designed.
If you are looking for a beauty in itself, for a hammer in dxing on 20, 15 and 10m, for an undoubtedly reliable solid Yagi without hindering bells and whistles, the OB16-3 had to be your choice.
OE1EMS Rating: 5/5 Feb 12, 2006 08:40 Send this review to a friend
right choice  Time owned: more than 12 months
We at OE4A have OB16-3 for about 1,5 years.Even we have one problem with our OB16-3(one insulator on 10m element was demaged,of course Tom DF2BO sent us replacment free of charge and we made some upgrates to be sure this will not happend again)i have to say this is one of the best 3 band antennas.
Performace is great and mechanic of the antennas is excellent. Tom is a great guy who will give you best support and will help you with any problem even this have not much to due with his product.
If you want realy good 3 band antenna without any compromise (max. gain, flat SWR, super F/B, great mehanic, no power limit, excellent support)OB16-3 is for sure right choice.
We buy 7 weaks a go OB4-40 and we have plans to buy also OB2-80 to.

73 es best dx
N9BX Rating: 5/5 Nov 14, 2005 08:47 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
In writing a review for the OPTIBEAM OB16-3 I decided to wait at least one month and also one major Contest. That Contest took place last weekend 12-11-2005 and it was the WAE RTTY contest.

Wow! What a great Antenna! It is a magnificent collection of Monobanders on a 10 meter boom that performs beyond any reasonable expectation for a TRIBANDER. 4 Elements on 20, 4 Elements on 15, and 8 elements on 10 meters.

I bought the Antenna from Array Solutions, and with the Help of Jay WX0B, and Thomas from OPTIBEAM. The Antenna Arrived, Drop Shipped from Europe one week after I ordered it. The Balum was supplied by Array Solutions and it was specifically made with the OPTIBEAM in MIND as it had the correct attachment pieces included to mount directly on the Antenna:

Assembly was very easy as their were no rivets, or a round boom to miss-align. The 3” square-boom went together with very solid Stainless-steel Nuts and bolts, and even without the Boom Truss, it had very little Sag. The weight of the Antenna is over 100 LBS assembled, and now sits on my tower at 74’

On the Air Performance is outstanding with the worst SWR of 1.2:1 on 20 Meter CW, on all other bands from top to bottom, it is 1:1 !! Incredible. This antenna is made for Maximum forward gain, but the front to back is not too shabby. Most of the on the air comments were fantastic, with some disbelief that I was not running an amplifier.

Cost of this fine antenna is high, shipping is High, and the import duty was also high. But for 3,000.00 US dollars this is the finest tribander that you can own. And with the outstanding customer service from Array Solutions, and OptiBeam, you cannot go wrong. See you in the Pileups.

SM5AQD Rating: 5/5 Apr 24, 2005 10:37 Send this review to a friend
Excelent antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have now used the Optibeam since about 2 years. I have moved to a
place where I can put up what I want in terms of towers etc. I have
in this Roto tower which is 42m high 3 X OB16-3 stacked and a 3el
mono for 40m. The stack distance is about 13m between my OB16-3´s.

Stacking of tribanders is new for me as I was before using monobanders
in a very good location near the sea.
I have now played with the antennas and I am very happy that I choose
the Optibeam. The construction mechanically is very good we have had
some storms but the last one in January was the heaviest since 1967 it was
over 43m/sec it was like a hurricane… I can say that I was surprised that
they are still in the same condition as before the storm --- I can´t see any
damage at all. No change of SWR etc
The mechanical construction is super good even if I don´t have the HD
model as when I bought these, the HD was not there in the program.
The construction is good, no flexible parts – I also can tell when I assembly these
antennas together (total 5 pcs also OB9-2 – see that story separately) was like
a dream – so easy to screw together in the predrilled holes and I must cleryfy
that mainly what you find when You bought an antenna is a lot of parts like
nuts, bolts and screws all together --- here Optibeam already assebly the element
platforms to boom which make it very easy to assembly---- the mechanics is
outstanding and the nuts and screws etc all are SS hardware.
After assembly the antenna´s we just put them up on the tower –
NO ADJUSTMENTS ---no tuning, great SWR over the whole (all) bands ---
antenna delivers great gain. As the producer also say in the specs.
I can also say that ALL yes ALL parts was winding in papers …. Where do
You see such quality today.
I am so happy that I was choosing these antennas as if they not function have to
climb the tower all the time.
If anyone have any questions, please don´t hesitate to send me an E-mail.
JH0MGW Rating: 5/5 Dec 25, 2004 17:04 Send this review to a friend
Leaves NOTHING to be desired  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
8 months have passed since I installed my OB16-3 and it is high time I wrote my short review of it.
My impression about this antenna is exactly the same as those expressed in the previous reviews in this category --- "top flight" in every respect, say, performance, mechanical strength, quality, cost-effectiveness and customer assistance.

Especially mechanical strength-wise I have something to say. JA hams were cursed with several fierce typhoons this year, resulting in a great many JA hams losing their willow-like yagis from domestic makers in the extremely high winds (some even had their towers knocked down). AND YET... my OB16-3 nicely survived all the natural adversities, even without the slightest twist or tilt in any part. This one should be something you can pass on to your next generations.

I have added some pictures in my homepage along with my note on how to import it to JA.

In my unbiased and detached opinion, I strongly recommend any JA ham still wavering between several models decide on this one. I bet it will exceed your expectation.
AA6NP Rating: 5/5 Jun 20, 2004 23:25 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I am writing this review to cover three Optibeam antennas, the OB16-3, OB9-2 and the OB2-40. As an avid DX-er, my first choice would have been multiple towers with stacked monobanders on each. But with ONE tower and six bands to cover, a compromise had to be found. To be honest, I don't feel too compromised at all! The performance on all bands has been quite SUPERB.

The three antennas are stacked about 10 feet apart on mast above the tower. There was some minor interaction between the WARC antenna and the tribander, but again this was very minor and less interaction than I expected. Again, the on-air performance has been great. I was also very pleased with the elegantly simple design and engineering of these antennas. Top quality stainless hardware is used throughout. All the parts are clearly marked and fit together very well, making these antennas fun and quick to assemble.

Customer service from Tom at Optibeam and Jay at Array solutions was excellent. This included fielding MANY questions during the initial planning stages of this project.

I could not be more pleased with my choice of these antennas.
KZ1X Rating: 5/5 Jan 16, 2004 01:31 Send this review to a friend
Top Notch  Time owned: more than 12 months
My experience has also been tremendous, with the personal support of Jay and Tom.

Both of these guys went WAY beyond the call of duty to help me out, after some shipping damage caused by a knucklehead forklift operator.

The beam's pattern is that out of a textbook, and the single-feed matching system is genius. Gain is the equal or better of my other large yagis, and the match is perfect right out of the box. On 10 this antenna is like a laser beam; the band would be open all the time if everyone had a 16-3 !

XX Towers did their usual fabulous job of helping me get this monster in the air at 80' while making it look easy, and now my (repaired by Matt while I wasn't looking!) F12 C36XR is fixed-mounted west at 40'.

If I had a wish, it would that the new 4 bander Optibeam has now would have been available back when I bought the 16-3! I could use 3 elements on 40 at 80 feet!
W9GE Rating: 5/5 Oct 4, 2003 16:59 Send this review to a friend
excellent product  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have constructed a great many commercial yagi's during my 37 years as a ham. None have been as well built using quality hardware and have been so simple to put together. Opti-Beam makes it easy with each and every component marked with black magic marker. It is impossible to assemble incorrectly, or get the dimensions wrong if you read what is written on the aluminum.

I have not had mine in the air long enough to give a reasonable accounting of how it plays. Been up only two months with very limited usage. That said, initial reaction; it plays very well indeed. Meets makers spec for vswr bandwidth and gain and f/b seem to be about where it should be. This monster appears to be happy all alone at 80 feet up in my very flat location. I expect great things from it.

It has already survived a severe windstorm and hurricane Isabel, with 75 mph sustained winds. I lost several trees, but the OB 16-3 looks and works just as good as before the wind blew. I have purchased and assembled a second antenna from Opti Beam via Array Solutions (a 2 element 40 meter moxon design) and that one is equal to the 16-3 in construction and assembly. DX and contest season will tell how they perform.
EA1XF Rating: 5/5 Jan 1, 2003 17:28 Send this review to a friend
OptiBeam: Only for those who like the Best!.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Two years ago, I decided to improve the antenna system I had so I took down my TH-7 and the A3WS. Since that moment, I spent all this time looking for the best antennas available on the market with the highest performance and the heaviest duty construction. At the end, I found all this and much more with OptiBeam antennas so, I purchased an OB16-3 & OB7-2WARC. (You can see also my other review for the OB7-2WARC).

Most of the antenna already comes pre-assembled, saving a lot of work and making the assembly very easy, avoiding any possibility of confusion. Following the manual you will also find some extra help given by some included pictures in detail. I´ve done the total assembling by myself and I just needed the help of two more people to put it up on the tower. Once there, the swr, F/B, F/S and bandwidth were excellent, meeting all the specifications given by the manufacturer. By the way, I had the best technical support I have ever been given before, directly from the manager and always answering to all of my mailed questions that were hundreds, concerning details of construction and design… (sorry for this Tom, you were very patient with me and all I can say is thank´s a million”).

Once on air, there is no limit!. 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.

The antenna has gone through high winds up to 65 mph several times this winter, with no damage at all. Watching how it swings under this situation, I am sure it is capable of resist much more wind pressure. This was the final test to me to confirm that I really have a great antenna.

73 de EA1XF
DF7YU Rating: 5/5 Sep 22, 2002 06:24 Send this review to a friend
Excellent performance  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I am participating virutally only in contests. Some like the IARU or the WAEDC have All Band entries only. After ten years of operating 14 Mc only with a HyGain Long John 205, I decided to look for a large size tribander. (As neighbours were already used to this size of antenna.) In multi band contests I used dipoles fixed to my 70 ft. tower.
I checked on the web first national and international makers. Then asked for references and checked these out by talking to and operating from other Hams stations. I also visited the Optibeam manufacturing site in Germany. After half a year of comparing, I decided to go for Optibeam 16-3.

Assembly 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 two hours.
The SWR is excellent: On 14 Mc max 1.1, on 21 Mc max 1.3, on 10 meters from 28.1 to 28.8 the meter does not move at all: 1 to 1.0, unbelievable.

During the recent contests I used this antenna, like WPX, IARU or WAEDC, many US stations confirmed me even with 100 Watts of output to generate an outstanding signal.

The best in a neighbourhood is to have only friends. Previously, before contests, I visited them and announced the forthcoming contest operation and left by offering them a bottle of wine. During WPX earlier this year, a neighbour called me and asked if anything was wrong with me as the antenna turned but he experienced no more TVI/BCI interfering his video and television. I then after the contest asked other neighbours and they to confirmed of no longer having TVI. So still they will receive a bottle of wine but it is relaxing to know that with the OB16-3, I no longer generate such problems.

Call you in the CQWW later this year!
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