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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | OptiBeam OB18-6 high performance sixbander 40-20-17-15-12-10m Help

Reviews Summary for OptiBeam OB18-6 high performance sixbander 40-20-17-15-12-10m
OptiBeam OB18-6 high performance sixbander 40-20-17-15-12-10m Reviews: 5 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $4,500
Description: Extremely efficient trapless Yagi for 40-20-17-15-12-10m.
3el on 40 / 4el on 20,17,15,12 / 7el on 10m.
An absolute "dream Yagi"!
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 high efficent "OptiBeam direct coupled driver feed system" .
Decoupling of the WARC bands from the others by the unique "hidden sleeve element technique".
One beam for six bands, big gain, tremendous patterns, really six interlaced monobanders on one boom with one feed line, the Yagi for the ham with the highest demands!!!
Product is in production.
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WA4KCN Rating: 5/5 May 6, 2013 20:14 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Once I decided to purchase the OptiBeam OB18-6, the antenna was ordered and at my qth in 6 days from Germany. I thought fantastic speed especially from such a far away land. The antenna arrived well packed and in 3 heavy boxes. While opening the boxes it was clear the packaging was well done with the contents labeled and organized. The assembly went well with all mechanical aspects professionally designed and built. I took my time putting the antenna together in no hurry trying to get it right spending about 24 man hours in assembly. Tom the owner of OptiBeam was very helpful with the few questions I had and was easy to reach and quick to respond with answers and suggestions. Once together the antenna has a "WOW" impact on anyone looking. It looks big and well put together. The antenna was raised to 30 feet for initial testing with SWR curves exactly as expected. The beam was raised to 95 feet without problems and again SWR curves exactly as expected. SWR band widths are excellent and exactly as predicted. My on air results thus far are beyond expectations. As one might think big signals on all bands. One comparison, the OB 18-6 is greatly outperforming a 2 element linear loaded yagi at 85 feet and a 2 element quad at 90 feet on the 40 meter band. Tom made several unsolicited e-mail contacts with me after the antenna was up and on the air to question if all was well. I would encourage anyone looking for a big high performance 6 band beam to look closely at the OB 18-6. I very much recommend it.
ON4JZ Rating: 5/5 Jun 18, 2009 23:50 Send this review to a friend
Just superb  Time owned: more than 12 months
After having an OB17-4 for 3 years (2004 - 2007), I wanted to have the WARC bands as well.
Knowing the quality of Optibeam, I did not hesitate to go for the OB18-6.
It has exactly the same dimensions as the 17-4 but adds 12 + 17m on the same boom and you have 7 el instead of 6 elements on 10m. Just a few kilo's/pounds extra weight compared to the 17-4.

Some remarks: why not having a N connector instead of PL and I would go for full saddles clamps instead of the zig zag ones.
Not cheap but for quality you have to pay a certain price.

I am playing with my OB18-6 for 2 years now and it passed all test (severe wind gust of 111km/h - almost 80Mph).

Time to work some DX now hihi
73 de Joe
AH6FC Rating: 5/5 Nov 22, 2008 10:22 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
Since all too often the reviews in Eham are done a bit prematurely, being guilty of such enthusiasm my self, I decided to wait a year before offering my comments regarding the OB18-6 yagi. After hundreds of hours of use, I can say that this is an excellent antenna.
Though a bit verbose, I hope to accurately describe my observations of this great antenna.

The OB18-6 was selected to replace a 4 element SteppIR, since it had the added feature of 3 elements on 40 meters, and no moving parts.

This is a BIG antenna. It requires a hefty tower, robust rotator, and some financial willpower to get all ready to go and up in the air. Itís a sight to see up there. Stands up to lousy weather without pauseÖitís rock solid for sure.

The design and fabrication of the Optibeam is superb, all the parts fit exceptionally well and are well thought out. Though I assembled the antenna alone over about five days, having an assistant to help with the lifting and to provide for some quality control would have been a nice help. The antenna is complex, i.e. 18 elements, thus the instructions are quite detailed. For the most part the instructions are well written, certainly better than most other Ham antenna instructions Iíve used. In spite of reading and re-reading I did make a mistake in the placement of the hairpin coil that required another trip up the tower, in winter of course, to fix the problem. Having done considerable technical writing I empathize with the task of composing a succinct and functional instruction guide. Though all the information is present, some of the photos are not clearly labeled and there are some rough spots in syntax that added to my confusion. This is one of the best, without question, but there is always opportunity for improvement.

Tom provides excellent and prompt support for questions and helped me fix my misadventures quickly.

Performance, the most important partÖexcellent. On 20 Ė 10 meters the antenna works very well. Though often the comment is made here on Eham: ďfirst call every time,Ē I canít imagine that being reality with so many antennas reviewed. I have found that if I can hear them, I can usually work them. Being on the west coast, itís often tough to break through those east coast big guns, but I usually can do it, and yes, often on the first call. Performance on 40 meters is good, but it is a shortened yagi so doesnít quite deliver the punch of a full-size 3-element yagi. Again, I usually can get them all with a little patience. Often times I hear stations much better than they hear me, which I attribute to the excellent design of this antenna and less favorable performance of the other stationís antenna. I only wish this antenna had 30 meters on it!

Overall, this is a great antenna. Take your time in building, prepare the infrastructure, and take a deep breath when itís time to pay the bills. Of course, nothing is free and you get what you pay for, certainly in the case of the Optibeam products. Well worth the cost and I expect it to play nicely for many years to come.

73, Bill

OE1HOW Rating: 5/5 May 8, 2007 09:11 Send this review to a friend
Best of the Best !!!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
For a long time I had planned my actual antenna installation.
I live in a 10 story building inside of Vienna, Austria.
Due to special local regulations I am lucky enough to have the permission for the installation of a 12.50 meter tall tower on top of the building and to put on top of the tower a big size antenna.
I have been looking around a lot, analysing what the market had to offer.
I finally ended up with this antenna, the OB18-6 from OptiBeam.
I wanted extreme mechanical strength, as the antenna in total is at 45 meters above the ground. I wanted absolute mechanical and electrical reliability, nothing which could fail because of moving parts, switching necessities etc.
Also I wanted electrically logical arrangements and first class engineering.
The OB18-6 for sure has all that.
The antenna is up since September last year, and the performance is just awesome. I have no amplifier, just using my Kenwood TS950S or TS2000 barefoot. If I call cq dx, I quickly have a pile up from North America, Japan or whatever.
The three elements on 40m are simply amazing, the pattern is terrific, great front to back ratio, unbelievable front to side reduction, perfect directivity.
It is a totally different world of 40m dxing with such an antenna compared to my vertical which I used before, though that one was installed under ideal conditions.
The SWR curves on all bands meet the specs or are even better.
Optically the antenna looks just majestic, a piece of art, everything is straight, all appears more than just robust.
The service by Tom, DF2BO, the owner of OptiBeam, was outstanding as well.
I teased him with an endless number of questions for months and months, and either by e mail or on the phone he always kindly and quickly answered in perfect manners.
The antenna is not cheap, how could it, with that amount of mechanical brilliancy ant that much of material included.
But if you are looking for the best of the best and if you have the tower and rotator to support such an antenna, there can only be one antenna you had to go for, and that is the big OptiBeam Sixbander OB18-6.
Regards to all de Rob, OE1HOW.
XE2WWW Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2007 06:36 Send this review to a friend
PROFESSIONAL DX ANTENNA  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Hi to everyone, from Mexico.Well after having the ob13-6 on my tower and playing with it for around one year, I really loved it, and Iím really pleased with the optibeam antennas. At that time I needed to do some things on my tower and I needed to put down my first antenna ob13-6, so at the same time I saw on the optibeam web page the new 6 bander model OB18-6; I checked its specifications and after some emails with Tom, we closed the deal. I waited for it for some time ,because as you know it comes from Germany, but it was worth the wait. I finally received the ob18-6 on my USA address in 4 boxes; everything was complete and with no damages, so I was happy for that. After arranging everything with the mexican customs, I crossed it to Mexico, and I will never forget when one customs officer opened one of the boxes and saw the materials and again he asked me are you sure that all these materials are for antenna use?, and I answered yes; then he only said it well, it looks fantastic!. Then I arrived home and after opening the boxes, honestly, all I can say is QUALITY . I started to assemble it; I had some experience with my first antenna and I must say that Tom always does a great job on his antennas, marking the elements and preassembling a lot of the parts on all the optibeam models, so it is very easy to assemble. So I installed it on one crank up the tower,72ft up, but I will be honest; I didnít like much how the tower looked; simply that tower is not designed for this sq/ft antenna. So I started with my plan B, ruged tower, large prop pitch rotor, and things like that. After disassembling and assembling it twice, finally I installed this antenna, around 85ft above the ground. After some tests, like my first experience, swr as advertised; regarding how the antenna looks on the 60 or 70 miles winds, I will keep you posted on that. I live very close to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, so it is common to have that kind of winds, but on the other hand I can say that my first model ob13-6 had some 70miles winds and nothing happened. I donít have much more to say; in short, it is a professional antenna for a serius dxers,and as I mentioned, if you are planning to buy one antenna for your station and do not want to waiste time and money and of course time and work, this is your best option. I know that is not the cheapest antenna, but I am sure that you investment will pay off. If you donít have the room for this model, try any other model from optibeam; Iím sure that you will be very pleased. So at this point, if you are looking first for a great customer service, a great quality product and the most important thing that works as advertised, this is your choice.I have no more than to thank to Tom and to all the staff at Optibeam, and thanks to Jay and his staff from Array Solutions (north america optibeam dealer). Both work in great sinc and have a superb service; thanks for giving me for a second time this great experience.

Like I said on my first review,Simple. German quality developed from hams to hamsÖ..

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