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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | Optibeam OB11-3 Help

Reviews Summary for Optibeam OB11-3
Optibeam OB11-3 Reviews: 19 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $1040
Description: Performant yagi designed as stacked monobander for 20/15/10 with patented feed system. Optimized computer designed German yagi without traps and with full size elements. The OB11-3 has 3 el on 20, 3 el on 15 and 5 el on 10 meters on a 6 meter boom. A winner performer !
Product is in production.
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DL1NKS Rating: 5/5 Jun 18, 2014 08:19 Send this review to a friend
great perfomer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Never got in touch with a better company. Thank you so much Mr. Blue Ocean!(Tom DF2BO the owner)
So my little story about optibeam:
My dream-beam arrived shortly after my order. All pieces were marked and with the manual it was very easy to put it together. I had only one question. I phoned with Tom and he gave me the right answer. I have to say this was at an weekend on Saturday. All emails were answered very quickly. Good job Tom!

Mechanical the beam is extremely well designed and the square boom is very strong. So I think when the OB11-3 is coming down because of a storm, my tower is also looking very bad or even will be more damaged then the OB11-3. Very well manufactured so you can see that this optibeam company is leaded by a man who loves his job, knows what to do and perhaps most important: He is active on the bands and his knowledge is therefore not only from reading the books. So I can say the communication with optibeam is perfect.

My beam is 17m up. SWR is very good. Performance is outstanding.
I do not just want to repeat the other reviews. I know the bands very good. My callsign is not only one which is standing in the books. I am active on the bands and worked 295k QSOs since the year 2001. I worked with wires, verticals and before the OB11-3 I had an Fritzel FB53 on the tower at the same height.
It is really like day and night. With my old setup I only call CQ by myself a few times. The day after I had the beam put up, I got up at 00 UTC and rock the 20m band for two hours. I turned the beam towards NA and called CQ and the US Stations coming in with a pile up. But not only US also HK / CE / HI / HC / J8 / KP4 / 8P / PJ2 / XE / KH6 / VK / ZL called me. Important: no amp, all done with 100W and I am from DL not a very rare DXCC!
So I put the radio off and went to work with big big smile on my face.
The next day I called CQ again on 20m. 2,5h later there were 100 US Stations in my log. Again I went to work with a big smile.
The first days I thought that must have been great conditions but the day after and next days were almost the same. Many clusterspots in these days regarding my call are telling the same story.

I can not believe this performance. I now think what a waste of time with my setup in the years before.
DX, Contest, Pile Up it is so much fun now, like never before.
I read all e-ham net reviews many times from all the different optibeams before I bought the OB11-3. I thought if half of the story the others are telling is true I would be very satisfied. Know I have to say. All the former reviews must be true because I can confirm it.

And last but not least. It looks like very nice when I look up on my tower. Much better than before with the fat traps.

Be sure optibeam is the way to go, my Ferrari in antennas.

73 Stefan, DL1NKS
GM7CXM Rating: 5/5 Aug 3, 2013 04:13 Send this review to a friend
Highly recommended  Time owned: more than 12 months
We purchased our OB11-3 in 2008 to replace our clubs old Hy gain explorer 14. Having seen what had happened to the Hygain over the years, we wanted an antenna that would not use traps, that used stainless steel hardware, and would give excellent (better than the explorer) performance in terms of both gain and front to back. The OB11 was the best option on paper and I already had a positive personal experience of Optibeam with the OB6-3M at my home QTH.

Everything went smoothly with the purchase and installation of the antenna, atop of 24m (80í) tower and using a Prosistel rotator. You can see details of the installation at .

The best way to describe how we like the antenna is to say thatÖ.we bought another one! For 5 years, the ED5T contest team has used two OB11-3s, each one on a separate tower, as part of our normally multi-single contest efforts. We have managed quite a few wins in the different international and domestic contests, including in 2009 breaking the 20 year standing Spanish multi-single record in CQWW phone. This, plus the fact that the antennas have been on the tower without any repair or maintenance, I think are probably the best way to summarize the complete satisfaction for these triband antennas. Also, itís noteworthy that now ED5T is immersed in an antenna upgrade in which stacked monoband yagis are playing a prominent role, we still have our original OB11-3 as an integral and fundamental part of our contest arsenal. In short, absolutely recommended for anyone looking for a high performance, reliable and durable mid-size trap-free tribander.

(Oh and did I say that since then, another three club members bought optibeam for use at their home QTH?!)
N0IDX Rating: 5/5 Jul 20, 2013 13:29 Send this review to a friend
YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR WITH OPTIBEAM  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have installed many antennas for fellow hams, and used several over my 30 plus years in Ham radio. This OB11-3 replaced my much loved TH-3 that remained in service for more than 20 years. I did a great deal of research before making the decision to buy from Optibeam, and I sure hit this one out of the park. The antenna was extremely easy to assemble, and I did enlist the help of a metric measuring tape that made the assembly go even faster. The hardware is the highest possible quality, the square boom is very strong, and makes the elements stay where put. (No rolling around the boom here) The boom and all element pieces are marked making sorting the parts fast as well. I used the boom truss to winch the antenna up the tower with a gin pole. (Almost too easy) My antenna analyzer showed this antenna to be incredibly broadbanded. I had to verify the readings with my amp and radio to believe it. I never did have to tune the antenna. (Thatís a first). This antenna is so well made structurally, I have no doubt it will handle whatever Colorado throws at it.
The OB11-3 is on the pricy side, but being the most important component of the shack, I hardly gave it much thought. The only thing I feel needs a little work is the availability of a balun that has a good hard mounting system. I realize many Hams would prefer to use their own, but the balun available via Array Solutions is difficult to mount on the antenna. Iím just not a big fan of wire ties and electrical tape.
If youíre not afraid to spend some real money and get some real quality, this antenna is by far the best choice. In this instance, you truly do ďget what you pay forĒ.
K2NV Rating: 5/5 Nov 28, 2011 13:28 Send this review to a friend
Great performance and quality antenna  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have used Hygain TH6DXX and TH7DXXS antennas for over 40 years.

Every few years, I would take the antennas down, and clean the spider webs out of the traps, and remove the traps to check them with a grid dip meter. I have to say, I was always happy with the performance of them and how they handled the weather. However, whenever we had a heavy rain, the water would get into the spider nests and I would loose 15 meters, or the SWR would vary until the traps dried out.

It was time to make a change!

After meeting reviewing the Optibeam web site, and later meeting Tom at the Dayton Hamfest, I decided to purchase an OB11-3. Luckily, Array Solutions had a few OB11-3 antennas in stock. I was able to get it shipped to me in short order!

The assembly was a snap. The elements and boom pieces are well marked and bundled together for easy assembly.

I would recommend that US buyers acquire a tape metric tape measure rather than trying to convert while measuring. I tried it the hard way! I finally bought a metric tape measure to re-check the lengths before putting it up on the tower.

Putting the antenna on the tilted over tower was a bit of a chore. It took two strong youngsters to move it into place. It is quite a balancing act. I read that others had put the antenna and boom up in pieces, which may have been a better method.

The VSWR is great and very flat across than bands.

I gave the antenna a good workout in the 2011 CQWW CW DX Contest. The band conditions were terrific, but the OB11-3 added even more. It was the first time I was able to break 4 million points and work DXCC on all three bands in one weekend! The Optibeam OB11-3 was superb on 10 meters!

I will never have to worry about the spiders or burned out traps again!

Thanks Tom for a great product!

ZS4S Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2011 08:17 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Have had the OB11/3 up for 10 months now. It replaced my 2 ele Cubical Quad and TH6DXX (by way of a comparison). Performance wise. Great antenna. I receive amazing reports on 20 and 15m and the antenna is a flame thrower on 10. Resonance is as advertised. Materials are high quality and the antenna is very rugged. Easy to assemble and as fas as I can see, will require the minimum maintenance. In my opionion, a keeper !! An excellent product!
VK4JD Rating: 5/5 Jan 3, 2011 22:37 Send this review to a friend
A pleasure  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This antenna is a pleasure. Every piece fitted PERFECTLY and everything required was in the box (including 2 spare of every nut and bolt).

I enjoyed every minute assembling it and now enjoy using it - broad low SWR, plenty more stations to call and I can tell from the incoming calls that I'm now "loud" when the bands are open.

Worth keeping and repairing anything that breaks.
G3UEG Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2009 03:09 Send this review to a friend
Perfect combination of size, performance and value  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I had high expectations and this antenna has met them all. It performed very well in CQWW SSB a few weeks ago (mounted at 60ft) and I got many complimentary reports. I found Tom very helpful in the pre-sales discussions

I cannot keep this antenna up permanently, I have to put it up (single-handed) on a mobile trailer tower when required. Because of this specific requirement I had several discussions with Tom, first at Friedrichshafen and subsequently by email. His input to the discussion was always very helpful, clear and honest. In the end we agreed on a change to the truss to make it similar to the bigger beams with the truss fixed at the centre on the stub mast and adjustments made at the lower (boom) ends with two separate turnbuckles so that it was easy to install at ground level.

My method of assembling the antenna onto the luffed over tower is as follows. There are three boom sections which have their respective elements already attached. I first make sure the rotator is set up for the right direction, and then attach the centre boom section (driven elements) and the centre of the boom truss higher up the stub mast. I then luff the tower up slightly and attach the rear boom section (reflector elements) and its half of the boom truss. I then rotate the beam 180degrees and attach the front boom section (director elements) and the other half of the boom truss. I can then luff the tower back to the vertical and raise it to 60ft.

The parts of the antenna were all well made with holes aligned and no rough edges. A couple of specific tools were included for a few specific tasks. The assembly instructions were clear, so putting the antenna together was straightforward. Once assembled it feels solid with no rattles when it moves.

I am completely happy both with the antenna and the customer service, and have just purchased a customised version of the 40m dipole to go at 70ft, 10ft above the 11-3. I will have to wait to see how the combination works.

73, Dave G3UEG
AD1L Rating: 5/5 Aug 18, 2009 06:00 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding  Time owned: more than 12 months
The OB11-3 is simply an outstanding antenna, I have had mine up for almost 2-years now and it has performed wonderfully. If you like the idea of solid aluminum in the air and no DC motors (read: SteppIR) then an OptiBeam is the way to go, they are built like tanks and perform every bit as well as their stepping cousins. It has given terrific on-air performance and band edge-to- band edge fine SWR response, mounted 18m off the ground. A Yaesu G-1000DXA has had no issues with turning this yagi.

I believe mine to be just as structurally sound today as the day it was erected, and this includes surviving a 100-year ice storm here that took down thousands of trees and left us without power for a week.

All machined parts are extremely well design, very sturdy, and manufactured with precision. All hardware is high grade stainless steel, there are no sheet-metal screws or hose clamps used; this is strictly a bolt and nut affair. The system of high-round hex key bolts used to connect and lock element sections together is unique and a nifty idea. The square boom with its internal aluminum splice tubes is exceptionally strong. Even the pre-made boom support truss is a thing of beauty, made from some of the nicest stainless steel wire rope I have ever seen.

I have no regrets at all about purchasing this antenna, with the one exception of I wish I had gotten off my wallet and bought the model OB12-4, this would have given me two elements on 40m with the removal of one of the five 10m elements (on a 1.5m longer boom of course).
IZ5MOQ Rating: 5/5 Dec 14, 2007 02:21 Send this review to a friend
A missile!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

The OB11-3 it's a missile, for real! Just started my activity with it and I am very satisfying:

1) Excellent communication with OptiBeam H.Q.
2) Perfect shipment and package
3) Amusing and easy the assemblage
4) Exaustive handbook
5) Cool antenna's look
6) Soft optical impact
7) Perfect SWR ( like from the handbook )

Note that I am living between the mountains and my area ins't good, at all, to do DX'ing. I am living in Carrara City between, and under, the white marble's cave ( seems... the Grand Canyon, believe me! ) and the OB11-3 is working well without any problems.

73's - IZ5MOQ Alessandro

ON5ZO Rating: 5/5 Jul 30, 2007 04:03 Send this review to a friend
Small triband yagi - big signals  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I switched from the big KLM KT34XA to the small OB11-3. While I am very pleased with what the KLM did for me, I wanted an antenna with less visual impact and straightforward construction. Then a second hand OB11-3 as a real bargain came along.

* The OB11-3 is smaller and has less visual impact than the KLM.
* The OB11-3ís overall performance is very good for its size. The 3/3/5 full size elements seem to equal the 5/5/6 KLM with linear loading, and the OptiBeam even outperforms the KLM on 15m (its weak point). I donít have figures for this, just facts (my log).
* Very simple construction. While the KLM never gave me problems it is very prone to bad contacts in the loading system in the long run. I wanted to eliminate this factor. The OB11-3 does not have coils to blow, traps to adjust or loading systems needing maintenance. Full size, no fuss. It went together and up the tower in about a day all by myself.
* Metric sized tubing makes for easy DIY store replacement in EU if needed.

OptiBeamís customer care is very good. Fast turnaround by e-mail and honnest answers. Even though Thomas DF2BO knew he wasnít going to make money out of me (2nd hand antenna), he was very helpfull in supplying all info I needed. That helps to build confidence.

Bottom line: I had my doubts about this Ďsmallí tribander but I am convinced now. Full size elements canít be beaten and Iím very pleased with the performance of the OB11-3. I donít feel the need for a bigger tribander. The extra performance does not justify the extra cost and mechanical stress. If you think the OB11-3 is what you need, donít hesitate. It packs a lot of performance on a modest boom.

73 de Franki ON5ZO = OQ5M
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