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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | OptiBeam OB6/3M High Performance Tribander Help


Reviews Summary for OptiBeam OB6/3M High Performance Tribander
OptiBeam OB6/3M High Performance Tribander Reviews: 19 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $780
Description: German designed high performance multi band 20/15/10m Yagi with patented efficient feed system. Computer optimized and field tested yagi without traps and with full size elements on all bands. It has 2 elements on 20 (moxxon), 2 on 15, and 2 on 10 meters all on a 10 foot boom. Mechanically this antenna is a beauty. Get a better beam for your money, check it out!
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.optibeam.de
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GM7CXM Rating: 5/5 Mar 29, 2007 04:12 Send this review to a friend
Excellent solution for small spaces  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought a new house (in construction) a few years back, moving from a small suburban house to a city centre apartment. This narrow corner building with sloping roof made the antenna choice pretty difficult indeed, with the added ingredient of power lines and no other place to put the communal TV antennas other than on my tower and not being able to install full size 20m elements since they would overhang the adjoining property (not permitted under Spanish law)

I checked out lots of options, including quads, the hexbeam, and a number of others, before settling on the Optibeam. I made the decision not only on the antenna characteristics but also the super detailed and quick replies from Tom DF2BO in answer to my multiple queries.

Fast forward three and a half years. I have been living in the house for a year and a half and it’s time to install the antenna. Perfectly packed, easy to put together, once the first element was done the rest is a piece of cake. I especially liked the stainless screws which embed themselves into the elements, making it virtually impossible to come undone once up on the tower. I assembled the elements on the terrace, and at midnight on Friday discovered what I thought to be an error in the instructions with respect to feeding the phasing lines. I zapped off an email to Tom, without much hope of an answer before the team arrived next morning. To my surprise at 9 the next morning I had a concise reply from Tom clarifying the point. Yet another example of the excellent optibeam service.

I then took the elements up to the top of the roof where I found a small flat space to assemble the elements on the boom, while EA5YC finished some guy wire mods in order to haul the antenna up (not an easy job six floors up on a sloping roof with a guyed tower). But up it went, just in time to be put through it’s paces for the WPX phone contest.

Conditions at the bottom of the cycle are difficult, nevertheless I managed to make a good number of DX contacts, not only on 20 but also on 15 metres. I have no antenna with which to make a comparison, but many years of experience to guide me instinctively. Instinct tells me this is a good antenna. I was able to make contacts on 10m with 50w while the amp was warming up. The directivity on 20 is great, here’s an example: I am beaming west and hear a PY and a W calling on the same frequency. I turn the beam to 300 and work the W. The PY has almost disappeared. I then turn down to about 230º and work the PY. The W is nowhere to be heard. This is one of the basic premises of Mr. Moxon’s book, that directional antennas should not focus so much on forward gain as rejecting unwanted signals.

Other plus points: no traps so can accept unlimited power. Will tune up on the warc bands and even on 40, although performance is quite poor on 40. Very small footprint and low visual impact. Low weight means it will turn with a small rotator, my yaesu 650 is overkill for this antenna.

All in all, excellent design, build quality, service, and performance. You couldn’t hope for more.

73 de Duncan EA5ON / GM7CXM
 
DM1TT Rating: 5/5 Aug 20, 2006 14:30 Send this review to a friend
Excellent, compact tribander without traps  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm having this nice ant up for more than a year now.

Assembling was easy. The relatively low weight also makes handling of the ant easy in the mast.

The most important: performance. The ant performs like good 2 element monobander, good gain, very good f/b ratio, good swr curve. You get a feeling that rf really is radiating instead of e.g. warming traps.

I needed advice on a possibility to assemble another ant on the same mast and this was very professionally provided by Tom of Optibeam. So also support I consider very good.

Would I buy it again? Sure! But I would also consider Optibeam's new 5-Band wirebeam.

No connection to the company or people around it other can being a (happy) customer.
 
IZ7GXB Rating: 5/5 May 7, 2006 08:13 Send this review to a friend
CONGRATULATIONS OPTIBEAM  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am very happy to have bought an Optibeam OB6-3m, compact spar, easy assemblage, service clients very efficient taken care of by Thomas, the builder;) few days and have directly received the antenna to complete house of everything, also of the keys for the assemblage!!!
Great antenna on air but small antenna on the ideal roof for the one who doesn't have notable spaces but that he/she wants to be performante.
The SWR and very low, for example my OB6-3m in 10mt 1,1 15mt 1,1 20mt 1,2 amazing antenna.
The rectangle of MOXON dearly works and strong!!!
I work with a small amplifier and in little time I have worked KP2, 9Y4, TT8, VR2, V8, BA, 9V1, You, JW, KH2, 9L, VK, ZL, LU...
the signals are very cleaner, I had one 4elementi with traps.... doesn't Have Comparison!!!!
less call... more stations... hi..hi!!!
CONGRATULATIONS OPTIBEAM!
 
F4BWJ Rating: 5/5 Mar 12, 2006 01:29 Send this review to a friend
Efficient and surprising antenna  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Although it's not a large antenna, this OB6-3M is a very efficient antenna. I'm very surprised. I must confess that it's my first beam antenna but only with the 100 Watts of my IC7400 transceiver I've made around 150 DXCC during the last 6 month (the antenna is on my tower since September 2005) and I'm not on HF band very often because my favourite "DX" bands are VHF/UHF bands in SSB.
With only 100 Watts I've tried many pile-up and I've been heard very fast (1 to 10 calls)in most cases.. I've contacted 3Y0X on 20m with no problem on the second call, sure an element of chance too but it proves that I can be heard with only 100 Watts all around the world with this great antenna although the propagation is not on top at this moment. Generally when I hear a station I get it even if it is in a big pile up.
Of course, I can use this antenna on 20m-15m-10m but I have no problem to tune it on 17 and 12m with the IC7400 tuner and I have interesting results on this bands too.

Other thing, many stations I contact ask me what is my power because they receive me with good signal and when I tell them that I'm using 100W they are surprised.

The mechanical construction is ok, no problem with strong wind.. I've appreciated Thomas (DF2BO)'s advises before I bought him the antenna. Assembling this antenna is very easy, the instruction manual is very clear and each part of the antenna is a high quality realization. There is more stainless steel screws and bolts than necessary.

Well if you are looking for a little beam with high performance, I can recommend you this antenna.
 
OZ1DTF Rating: 5/5 Sep 30, 2004 10:10 Send this review to a friend
Excellent and compact tribander  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The OB6-3M is robust, compact and with 2 (very) active elements per band (14/21/28 MHz). Some benefits:
•Super performance
•It gives a small load to the rotator and mast due to low weight, short boom (3.1m) and a short “longest element” (8m). Having a short “longest element” is a great advantage when tilting a mast on a narrow (or crowded) property. This is my situation.
•Despite that the 20m element width is only 8m long (Moxon) this is not a compromise. I rejected an alternative with linear loading as this is mechanically more complicated and may give a change in SWR during rain.
•Simple standard tools required during installation (was included in the delivery).
•Attractive appearance. Neighbour and XYL approved.
•The antenna is not 3 dimensional. It is simpler compared to 3 dimensional alternatives.
•Simple high quality mechanics.
There is nothing strange about the Moxon rectangle. It is a 2 element beam with the tips folded. See www.cebik.com and other interesting sites. My OB6-3M is installed 13 m up (Titanex ULT 1300) and rotated with a Yaesu G-650 rotator. The total weight of the system is less than 40 kg. The antenna performs very well. I work DX very easily and often barefoot. Compared with my wire antenna the difference is many S-units on DX. Satisfaction with the product and support is 100%.
 
IK2DZN Rating: 5/5 Jul 7, 2004 18:04 Send this review to a friend
VERY EFFICIENT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I think it is the most efficient antenna in the size/performance ratio.
As for the size, there is a short boom and the length for the elements is tolerable.
As for the performance, it has very low SWR, good and consistent gain and FB throughout the full 14-21-28 MHz bands.
No traps, 2 full size elements on each of the 3 bands (Moxon rectangle on 14 MHz).
Mechanically perfect, a German construction.
I think now that it is better to have 2 full size elements for each band rather than 3 trapped elements that peak performance just at the center of the bandwidth.
My antenna is just 8 meters above the top of the building where I live. It's a rocket...
 
N3EON Rating: 5/5 May 17, 2004 13:12 Send this review to a friend
Big Signal in a Small Package  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is only my second beam. It replaced a Cushcraft A3S that I enjoyed for 8 years. However, I wanted a trapless antenna with more SWR stability, especially in wet weather. My space for a beam is limited, so were my options. I finally decided on the unique 6 element Optibeam with the Moxon design for 20 meters. When the box was opened, all parts were accounted for, as indicated by the signature of the owner of Optibeam himself. The beam's installation is relatively straightforward with all parts bundled in an efficient manner. The boom is only 10 feet long with the longest element about 27 feet (the bent 20 meter elements are full size). The total weight of the beam is about 33 lbs. So far, the Optibeam works very well. Even though the beam is very low to the roof of my house, the SWRs are good, ranging from 1.8 - 1.0 to 1.1 to 1.1. on 10 - 20 meters. I've worked just about all the DX I can hear. Another plus with this antenna is that I can work the WARC bands with a tuner, something I could not do with the A3S. In short, this is an effective alternative for limited space hams who want to have a competitive signal. Support from the manufacturer and Array Solutions, its U.S. distributor, was excellent.
 
IZ0EHO Rating: 5/5 Mar 3, 2004 15:26 Send this review to a friend
GREAT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Here is a great antenna.
The mechanical construction is perfect and simple, it has a great bandwidth. I have passed in the confusion of the pileup with only the 70watts of my Kenwood ts850. It obviously behaves well also in the WARC using a tuner, a thing for me very important it is also the speed in the answer to the email to his producer DF2BO Thomas. Put to comparison with a KT34.... in the 15 meters band has lost 6 dbs, while in the 20 meters band it had the same signal, only that it is much smaller. So small...... so strong!
 
ON4BAA Rating: 5/5 Sep 29, 2003 05:57 Send this review to a friend
Excellent DX performance - Outstanding mechanical design  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
OptiBeam OB6-3M is a German-breed high-quality compact 3-band directive antenna exhibiting mechanical and electrical characteristics that are superior to the already excellent Force12 C3. Hardware is aluminium, stainless steel and UV-resistant plastics. All elements are trapless (= almost lossless). The antenna is fed at a single coaxial feedpoint from where a parallel feedline made out of aluminium tubing further connects to the three driven elements. Element spacing and element length is clearly marked, so no tuning is necessary after assembly.

I only added a couple of isolated polypropene guying ropes from the mast to the 20m elements, thereby reducing the sag of these elements. I did so in order to prevent the 20m elements from colliding with the rather tall chimneys in the proximity of the antenna.

The antenna configuration is a driver-director Yagi on 10m, a driver-reflector Yagi on 15m and a Moxon beam on 20m. A Moxon beam is a driver-reflector Yagi with the ends of the elements bent towards each other at about 70% of the element length. Due to an augmented coupling between the driver and the refrlector, a Moxon beam typically yields a a much higher front-to-back ratio than an ordinary 2-element Yagi beam and this in a more compact design. The antenna was first described by Les Moxon, G6XN, in his book HF Antennas for All Locations, RSGB, 2nd Edition, 1993. See also http://www.cebik.com/moxpage.html

The idea of combining a 20m Moxon with two 2-element Yagis for higher bands originated from antenna-guru L. B. Cebik, W4RNL. It was Cebik who made this suggestion to Thomas Schmenger, DF2BO, owner of OptiBeam. Cebik also published modelling results of a similar antenna on his website. http://www.cebik.com/c3m.html

For complete antenna characteristics of the OB6-3M and ordering details visit http://www.optibeam.de
Being an antenna engineer myself, I long time considered building one of Cebik's antennas myself because I could not find any commercial antenna that I really liked out of mechanical nor electrical considerations. But when I saw the OptiBeam, I decided I prefered to spend my time on other things rather than putting together a whole HF beam!

Be sure to check out detail pictures of my OB6-3M antenna at http://salsawaves.com/equipment
 
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