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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: 25 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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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!
FRANK_NORTON_EX_W8HO Rating: 5/5 Sep 18, 2002 00:03 Send this review to a friend
Quality to top all others  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have owned the OB16-3 since January. I purchased it after discussions with Thomas-the designer/company owner, on the advice of my friend Jay T. wx0b of Array Solutions. Since there were no others in service in the U.S.A. at that time I relied mainly on Jay' word. As usual, his advice was reliable.

My OB16-3 is by far the premier antenna of all yagis, or other style antennas in the past 20 years of being a ham. All aspects from construction to performance are outstanding.

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!

WB2YL Rating: 4/5 Sep 16, 2002 14:42 Send this review to a friend
Optibeam a new name in the US market place  Time owned: 3 to 6 months

The Optibeam. OB16-3. I have had an Optibeam OB16- 3 up for about 5 months now. First I must say I have never seen such a good job of packing. About 60% of the antenna was already put together. No looking for nuts and bolts in a big bag. All the elements were inserted together inside of each other. Ever piece of tubing was marked. Where to place the elements on the boom was clearly marked. No need to make any measurements on the antenna. Anyone could put this antenna together without getting into trouble. I have found that all the claims as far as gain and F/B ratio are very true. Over all I am very happy with the way the antenna performs. The SWR curve is very good across the band. So far this antenna has survived one heavy windstorm with 50 mph plus winds that did so much damage here I had no power for 2 whole days. This antenna has not been with out problem but as they have been identified the manufacturer has been willing to make the needed changes. There have been upgrades to the driven elements, element tips mast to boom bracket. And there are a few more revisions on the way. All of the parts have been supplied free of charge by Optibeam I have found Jay of Array solutions to be a excellent person to deal with when ever I had any questions or concerns about the Optibeam Jay was there to help set things straight so don’t be worried about buying this antenna because you never heard of it. It truly is all it’s claimed to be. And Array solution stands behind what they sell more to come in the future. Laura WB2YL

K1UO Rating: 5/5 Aug 31, 2002 11:38 Send this review to a friend
Performance Plus!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This antenna is by far the best Triband antenna I have ever owned. I am anxious to add the OB7-2 WARC antenna to round out the system.

For those of you who saw the antennas at Dayton, there is no need to mention the very fine HD construction and first rate craftsmanship that goes into these antennas. For me as a first time purchaser, sight unseen, the quality of construction was very impressive and best of all the antenna is very easy to assemble. no measuring required. All hardware is stainless steel and all boom and element connections are self tapping screws or hose clamps to fool with. The element length positions are predrilled. Just for kicks, I measured the element sections after assembly and all were exactly as shown on the simple, easy to follow, assembly manual. For the faint of heart though it should be noted that this antenna is not easy to manhandle! A crane was used to lift the approximately 100lb finished weight beast to the top of a 70ft tower. Oh yes, I should mention the antenna seems to be very well balanced also as we picked the antenna and mast up at the boom/mast mounting bracket and it never deviated from level while being lifted by the crane.

This is the first antenna I have ever owned that was an immediate 'hit' with the Alpha 87A. SWR levels are below what was least here on my installation which is mounted on a 70ft Rohn 45 tower all by itself.
Worst case SWR readings here was 1:3:1 on the CW end of 20 meters and never above 1:2:1 at any other point on the 20/15/10 meter bands! I used the center drilled holes on the driven elements but this antenna can be tuned to favor the CW or Phone ends of the bands by utilizing either of the other predrilled driven element holes.
I should also mention this is a single feedline antenna using a patented feed system to seperate full size driven elements.

For the short time I have owned this antenna, the performance and electrical claims of the manufacturer have all been met or exceeded. Actual on air reports and tests have been very encouraging and I don't come away with any feelings of dissapointment. Now we will have to wait and see what the tests of Winter (and contesting) bring!

73 de K1UO
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