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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | OptiBeam OB17-4 fourbander 40-20-15-10 Help


Reviews Summary for OptiBeam OB17-4 fourbander 40-20-15-10
OptiBeam OB17-4 fourbander 40-20-15-10 Reviews: 22 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $3,875
Description: Description: Extremely efficient trapless Yagi for 40-20-15-10m.
3el on 40 / 4el on 20 / 4el on 15 / 6el on 10.
An absolute "killer beam" !!!
Lossfree shortened 40m elements by computer designed high Q air coils.
40m elements decoupled from other bands by the "OptiBeam decoupling stub technique".
Broadband single 50 Ohm coax cable feed system by the patented "OptiBeam direct coupled driver feed system"
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.optibeam.de
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IK2LFF Rating: 5/5 Jul 23, 2016 10:54 Send this review to a friend
a real contest machine  Time owned: more than 12 months
We had installed this antenna at CN3A on a >40mt tower, more than 4 years ago now.

It's "The antenna", we never had a problem... and there the conditions are not easy, the Atlantic ocean is at few Kms and winds are blowing like hell.

Dozens of thousands qsos every contest.

Great job TOM!

The CN3A team.


 
V55A Rating: 5/5 Feb 28, 2014 12:30 Send this review to a friend
This antenna is just freaking awesome!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
WOW!!!! What else is there to say!!!!!

German engineering at its best. The quality and material was of the highest possible standards existing.

This antenna is just freaking awesome. For many years I had a Fritzel Beam 660 and it worked very nice. Then lightning decided to visit my tower and Fritzel Beam was in 660 pieces…. Well and me without an antenna is like a car with no wheels. So I decided to get a new one, a better one. And while I was surfing through the net, I thought why not also a bigger one.
It took quite some time but then I read an article about the OptiBeams. I read all the articles there are about these antennas (I think) and also reports from customers about their experience and OB´s service.

I emailed Tom and boy was he fast with the answers. I had a lot of questions and he had all the answers and info I needed. So I ordered the OB17/4 and it arrived in Namibia +- 2 weeks later.

Packaging 110%. All parts were marked and it was easy to assemble. If you are alone, take your time. As soon as the beam was put together, I noticed for the first time how big this antenna was. Gee was this beam big!!!! But the moment I turned on the radio it was like Christmas and my birthday together….!!! WOW what a difference. On all 4 bands the SWR is SUPER: 1.2, 1.4, 1.2 and 1.5.
I am now all of a sudden hearing stations talking from the other side of the world with S5 or better. Before that I only could only hear a faint whisper that was it.
In a pileup I call 1 or 2 times and I’m logged. The reports I get these days: S9, S9+, S9+20 …. If I get a S5 or S6, I’m sort of getting a feeling…. Oh sh...t could there be something wrong with my antenna!

I am a 10m man and let me tell you, this beam is a KILLER!!!!! 15m and 20m: Super! 40m: I had a QSO with a ham in Italy (I used 10W). He had the feeling I was standing next to him.

All in all: THIS IS THE ULTIMATE BEAM. Nothing more to say, nothing less to say.
TOM, YOU ARE THE MAN.

A few pictures showing my little project. http://namham.phpbb8.de/post343.html#p343

P.S. I was so impressed with Tom´s antennas, that I also bought an OB11/5 with the same results as mentioned above. This one I use at my HQ.

Best 73s

Michael de V51Q / V55A Scout Clubstation Namibia
 
VK2KRR Rating: 5/5 Jun 15, 2012 06:40 Send this review to a friend
Awesome Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
An amazing antenna. Very professionally made. I have never had a problem with the antenna and it went together perfectly.
I use my antenna mainly for watching propagation with WSPR Digital mode with outstanding results on all bands the antenna is designed for.
Very glad I purchased this antenna, with its performance and build quality, I will never need anything else.
 
OE6MBG Rating: 5/5 Jan 23, 2011 00:49 Send this review to a friend
7 years after  Time owned: more than 12 months
It is hard to imagine it was in 2004 that I put up this antenna. It still looks and works at the site of its initial installation like new. It has seen a few heavy storms in the past 7 years but no mechanical problems whatsoever. Some slight changes in the 40 meter elements lengths were made in order to shift the bandpass somewhat higher up in frequency when the band was opened up above 7100. A better coverage of the SSB portion could be achieved. The initial hairpin was replaced by a coil 5 or 6 years ago and is part of the standard OB 17-4 now, as far as I understand. The guy ropes to hold up the elements have not stretched and therefore have not needed any retightening. No UV damage to the black element mounting hardware has been observed, so nothing but praise for the OB 17-4 from Tom's and Diana's workshop. Thanks for a great product!
 
SM4OTI Rating: 5/5 Aug 31, 2010 06:34 Send this review to a friend
Excellent antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hi,

The OB17-4 has been up for 3 years and it has performned superbly from day one. The mechanical design is the best I've ever seen and the performance on the air is even better. The antenna is a little more sensitive to static rain/snow compared to other monoband yagis with gamma match I previously owned, but not a big deal, really. I can highly recommend this antenna to any ham having the space for it.

See you on the air!

Stefan/SM4OTI
 
YO9FNP Rating: 5/5 Aug 18, 2009 12:38 Send this review to a friend
YO9FNP  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Hi everyone!
Recently I had the pleasure I modernize my setup shake with an excellent Optibeam 17 / 4.
I am so passionate work DX, and competitions, so OB 17 / 4 seemed to me to be the perfect choice.
The antenna is installed at 20 meters high, and tests performed in competitions like All Asia CW and Iaru HF, and in traffic daily also demonstrates a significant evolution from my old beam.
SWR is excellent, and DX can get in my log often the first call.
Good job, Tom!
73, Dan - YO9FNP
 
W3JK Rating: 5/5 Jun 23, 2009 11:54 Send this review to a friend
Killer antenna with a Killer signal !!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had a TH7 stack and was very happy with it and started looking for options to put a 2-element 40mtr yagi above the TH7. I was talking to Jay WX0B and he mentioned about the Optibeam 2-40 as one of the choices. In the meantime, I was also now looking at getting a bigger mast, calculating wind load, bending movement etc. It occured to me that I need to look for an antenna that also included 40m on a single boom. The choices immediately narrowed down to Force12 and Optibeam.
Why did I choose the OB17-4? I was able to get immediate responses from Array Solutions and Optibeam, whenever I had questions. (believe me, I had lots of questions). Tom, DF2BO went one step further and he shared with me the NEC file of the OB17-4. This was great, it was like looking at the floor & structural plan of a house that you were moving into. I used Eznec myself as well as had some of the leading antenna experts in the amateur community take a look at it and they all recommended the antenna without any issues. The antenna is almost, if not a true monobander on 10, 15, 20 & 40.
I placed the order and like clock work, within 4 weeks I was notified of the shipping dates and had to pick it up at JFK with my friend (as well as tower installer) Ray W2RE. Solid packing and no issues in transport, other than the fact, the bone headed handlers in one of the airport had put in a hole with the fork lift. Still all ok with the entire packing.
It came in 2 boxes, and upon opening them, I was able to see how neatly everything was labeled and packed. When it came time to installing the antenna, the manual and the labeling of the parts helped big time. It took around a full day to assemble the antenna by Lori KB2HZI and she is an expert at this. She assembles all of Ray's W2RE antennas and I stepped aside to let the expert help me out.
The fun part of buying this antenna is that I now needed a new tower. So, I went through the process of dismantling the existing tower and the TH7 stack and putting up a new tower through Hudson Valley Towers. Please bear in mind, that this antenna is a massive one and it weight is 225lbs. By no means is this a small or medium sized antenna, its a beast. We trammed it up with lots of ingenuity and its rotated by a Prosistel PT71D and double thrust bearing etc etc.
I was keeping my fingers crossed on its performance, because the models from eznec were almost too good to be true for this antenna. Fire it away and the swr is exactly as what it is supposed to be on all bands. I setup the 40m portion on the EU setting. This gives me CW and part of the US phone band on 40m.
What's the performance? I am now all of a sudden hearing guys talking locally in 9M or Asia working EU. In the past they used to be faintly heard on 20m but now I can hear them S5 S6. I thought that it was propagation on that day but now based on the consistency ever since this antenna has been put up, I now know that this is the antenna performing A class. I shout a few times and try to get the attention of the DX stations in Asia and they are all pleasantly surprised that they hear me and vice versa with their antennas not pointed at US. Its also sometimes disappointing because, I hear these rare DX stations when there is no actual propagation into the US and I have to struggle to break the EU wall as well as local rag chewers on their dipoles in the DX window. The antenna is quiet and hears extremely well.
The antenna has given me a new layer in DX'ing and I am extremely happy that I went through all the trouble to put it up. As far as 40m goes, it works extremely well given that I am at a low height. It has a Killer signal on 40m.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely, its a killer antenna and if you can afford the time and labor, you wont be ever disappointed. I am waiting for 10 & 15 to open up to enjoy this antenna further. See you on the air.

Regards,
Ken
 
W1AJT Rating: 5/5 Jun 18, 2009 06:47 Send this review to a friend
None Better - Period!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
It has now been 2 years since putting up Tom’s masterpiece (my previous review June, 2007). I am an active contester using my VE3UTT call. I can say without doubt that it is the best 4-band antenna period. At my latitude, I consistently perform as well as or better than stacks and monobanders on 20m and 15m in signal strength. I work anything I hear on 10m but the band has not been open enough up here for any real data. Stacks may have a listening advantage but I cannot confirm or deny that. There is no comparison against any antenna or system at my latitude on 40m. This includes the ultra expensive wide spaced 40m monobanders whose build quality is not remotely close to the Optibeam. The antenna is 150 miles Northeast of Toronto so the climate is quite harsh. In two years I had one loose screw on one element tip, that’s it. That was most likely my fault in construction. I constantly get “loudest” signal reports and people breaking in when rag chewing to comment on how strong my signal is. If you have the room and want 4 bands on one boom this is the best option. If you live in a harsh climate, this is the only option. If you like maintenance get an “adjustable” yagi, it will give you lots to do.
 
GOKXV Rating: 5/5 Jun 6, 2009 11:26 Send this review to a friend
Simply the best!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have no complaints about this antenna. It has provided the most outstanding results....

Whenever I turn the radio on signals come in from far and wide.

It has been up on the tower for over 12 months and still looks like new.

Not for the person who plays at being a radio ham...its for the real operator.

Tom, please can you make me a loaded 80m beam your curent models are just tooo big.

I cannot recomend this antenna highly enough...

It opens up a new world and as for operation on 20m and 10m its fantastic.

You will never replace it... an absolute Killer Beam... I break the pile ps with my first call every time..

Keep up the good work tom and make some 2m beams for us!!!!

Gary
 
WB4SLM Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2008 07:27 Send this review to a friend
German engineering & craftsmanship at it's best  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
OptiBeam 17-4

One antenna -- Four amateur bands -- 40;20;15;10 -- 17 elements ...

This is a very large antenna and not for the faint of heart ... having said that, if you want to hear & be heard you will not be disappointed .. German engineering & craftsmanship at it's best ... every piece fits, all stainless steel hardware, all dimensions are spot on per drawing, if it doesn't come into the published SWR curves, then you did something wrong ....

I got my OB17-4 used ... I wanted to restore the antenna to like new condition .. at this point I must say when it comes to customer support, Thomas, DF2BO, is one of the BEST I've ever had the pleasure of working with ... Thomas treated me as if I was the original buyer of the antenna ... as far as I'm concerned, Thomas went the "extra mile" to get me the new hardware and parts I needed to put the antenna together correctly .. when I had a question there was never an email that went unanswered ... I laud his patience with my seemingly endless questions to him ... try that with some other manufactures of amateur equipment ..

I installed the antenna at 28 meters on the side of a rotating 55 series tower -- Jay, WX0B, Array Solutions, supplied me with a W1JR balun made specifically for the OptiBeam, the feedline is Eupen 50-5A ... the rig, an old IC-761 ..

So how does it work ??? Ironically, the first contact I made on the antenna was Thomas, DF2BO, on 20 meters with 59 report .. perhaps a random contact with the owner of the company as my first "Q" is sign of good things to come .. I don't have a lot of spare time to operate, having said that, anything I hear, I work with 100 watts .. yes most has been cw, and all reports are very good ... time will tell in the pileups, but so far, all is good ... as an example I worked A61Q with one call 599 in the pileup on 20 meters ...

40 meters is impressive ... I've never owned a rotating gain antenna for 40m ...all my years as a ham I've used fixed antennas like curtains, verticals, Franklin's, dipoles, random wire, gutters or whatever on 40 .... most noticeable item --- the OptiBeam is "quiet" on 40 -- the difference is noticeable immediately when switching between my HB Collinear Dipole and the OB17 .. the collinear has a higher noise level than the OptiBeam .. signals from East Africa were just above or in the noise on the collinear, whereas on the OptiBeam those same signals were "in the clear" ... VK's & JA's normally are in the noise, not so with this antenna ... so far I've seen at the least a 2 to 3 "S" unit above the noise improvement using the OptiBeam on 40 meters .. comparing the U.S. east coast signals between the two antennas yield an "in the red" report with the OB ...

15 meters -- while the band has not been "hot" -- anything I hear I work --

10 meters -- since the solar activity is down at the present the only comparison I can offer is ground wave -- I typically can work stations on 10m that I work on 6 meters .. I have a circa 1970 TA-33 at 8 meters, but lets be fair, that is not much of a comparison .. I'll say the signals on 10m are comparable to the reports I get on 6 meters ... the OptiBeam also seems to perform as well as any long boom mono-band antenna I've ever had up for 10m ....

Weather related item -- five days after the antenna was installed on the tower, my community had a tornado warning -- while no one can say for sure as to the cause, an area about 300 meters south from my tower suffered some significant wind damage -- the debris pattern was similar to straight line winds in excess of 70 to 80 mph ... while I don't know what the wind speed was at my exact location, I can say the OptiBeam never fluttered ... I just hope we don't face a similar situation again as I don't want to test the "max wind rating" ... but there is no doubt this antenna is built very strong !!

These are my observations of performance of the OptiBeam -- I'm completing my first month of operation with the antenna and my expectations of the product have not been swayed anyway what so ever -- the quality of the manufacturing is impeccable -- the antenna takes up a lot of real estate in the sky and the operation is as impressive as the looks --- will I buy another OptiBeam?? Yes !! --- I give it a 5 star rating for performance, quality, and an "extra" star for customer support --

Cheers de Vic WB4SLM //
 
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