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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | OptiBeam OBW10-5 (high performance 10 el wirebeam 20-17-15-12-10 Help

Reviews Summary for OptiBeam OBW10-5 (high performance 10 el wirebeam 20-17-15-12-10
OptiBeam OBW10-5 (high performance 10 el wirebeam 20-17-15-12-10 Reviews: 34 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $1,200
Description: Description: Extremely efficient and unique wire beam for 20/17/15/12/10m.
Use of the fantastic OptiBeam direct coupled driver feed system.
Never seen before mechanical design.
Extremely robust due to an extremely special instep framework, designed by OptiBeam.
All wires pre cut and pre assembled. Assembly is a snap within 1 to 1.5 hours.
Optically beautiful appearence.
Not just a wire beam, this is a piece of art.
Product is in production.
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AA1LY Rating: 5/5 Feb 7, 2015 18:30 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Performance and Engineering  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is an extremely well designed 5 band HF beam that is engineered to provide truly optimized electrical and mechanical performance. The typical comment that I get from other hams is "I had to try to contact you because you have one of the stronger signals on the band". Optibeam has filled a niche need with this antenna design because it does not require a heavy duty rotor or tower yet the antenna is a very competitive and in many cases out-performs other mid to smaller type HF multi band beam designs.
WH7W Rating: 5/5 Apr 13, 2014 02:16 Send this review to a friend
Well designed-High performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I upgraded from Hexbeam to OBW10-5 about 6 weeks ago. Comparing the two antennas, I am quite confident of an improvement in performance for a similar overall antenna footprint and weight. Clearly better antenna design and higher quality parts compared to Hexbeam as well. While Hexbeam does perform, unfolding the elements can do nothing but improve gain. Wire, hardware, including small shackles all appear to be of high grade stainless steel. Antenna is a creative feed/mechanical design of interlaced Moxons on 20M and 17M, and 2 wire elements for 15M, 12M, and 10M.

SWR is fine all bands--CW through SSB segments, including much of 10M band allowing instant QSY without tuner and use of amplifier (solid state KPA500 and an Alpha--both tested).

Tom (DF2BO) and Bob and Jay at Array Solutions were a pleasure to deal with--truly an all-star team. Shipping to Hawai'i took one week. Antenna assembly is not difficult at all. As mentioned in another review, instructions are in "Germanglish", but understandable, especially if you look at the photos and take your time. Tom will reply quickly to your questions should you have them.

I am very pleased so far. I am going to be curious to see how well it holds up to the super gusty trade winds and punishing UV.

OBW10-5 is more expensive than any of the Hexbeams, but at this point, I would say you get what you pay for.

N6PF Rating: 5/5 Dec 2, 2013 15:54 Send this review to a friend
Terrific  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased this antenna to replace a SteppIR Yagi, which had just too many mechanical and electrical problems. It has exceeded my expectations in every respect. It was recommended to me over the 3 element yagi because it had a small footprint and it’s lightweight, which made it perfect for my rooftop (it recently survived some vicious high winds without any problem). In the months I have had it I have worked the world, breaking pileups again and again to a degree I had not thought possible with my modest equipment. This is a winner in every way! And the customer support is superb. Every question has been answered from DL carefully and quickly, and every problem solved in no time (I had a few issues during the buildout, but they were mostly my fault). I highly recommend it to anyone looking for great performance and an excellent “next step” in antenna design. Five stars and more!!!
G3RCQ Rating: 5/5 Oct 6, 2013 04:01 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Engineering  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
If you want a good well engineered product with an outstanding backup from Tom then Optibeam has the answer. I have known Tom and Diana for many years having first met at Friedrichshafen. Both Tom and Diana are passionate about Optibeam - nothing is to much trouble - ok onto the review. I purchased the OBW-10-5 along with two other UK friends - we all had no problems in constructing the OBW10-5 - and we have all found the same - it works - not just average it works but BRILLIANT - I have broken many pile-ups no effort, the beam is at 60 feet and has very little wind resistance. The SWR was exactly as the manual - The OBW10-5 is very light in weight - this was an important consideration - due to Arthritis and old age !! so it was easy to handle and I constructed and installed on my own, I had no problems tensioning the beam - EASY!! - All in all everything about the OBW10-5 is good - its light weight, superb construction, and it just performs SUPERB.
AA7AS Rating: 5/5 Sep 25, 2013 09:54 Send this review to a friend
Superb  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Operation: The antenna itself is wonderful. I have a height restriction here in my small Montana town, and could only mount the beam up at 30 feet; even so, in the first week I made many 20 meter contacts in Europe, several in the middle east, and all over the US. Contrast that with my inverted vee, with which I was able to work within the US and nearby Canada only over the period of a year -- I could neither hear anything further away, or be heard. The antenna is light, durable, offers a very small wind load, and its visibility is low (because it's mostly wire.) So far, I've only worked the 17 and 20 meter bands with it, nothing else has been open when I've been home to play radio, but I've looked at the SWR everywhere on all five bands and it's as advertised. One surprise was that in my installation, 40 meters is received better on the beam than on the vee, and the beam is *not* designed for this. I can even hear quite a bit on 75 meters. No possibility of transmit on these bands, but I was very surprised to hear signals on them. Given these results, of course I'm happy. More like ecstatic. :)

Assembly: The manual needs work. The translation isn't great, and what delays and problems in assembly we experienced were all due to this. But it's good enough to get the antenna assembled correctly IF you read carefully, and that's good enough in my estimation. All the parts were clearly marked and sorted into various bags. We did the assembly on a short (5') stick of 2" mast in order to get the tensioning correct while on the ground, then removed the short mast for the mounting process; the mast we were actually going to use was already up and mounted in the rotor. I highly recommend this slight alteration to the process, because it means you don't have to maneuver both the mast AND the antenna when the time comes to mount it, which means you're carrying considerably less weight on the ladder, bucket, etc. It's also a lot easier to turn the antenna sideways when there isn't a mast stuck through it.

Mounting: This describes the entire process; We walked it up a ladder and dropped it and then the guy wire support over the mast in that order, locked the guy wire support at the top, slid the antenna down below the support to where the tensioning was correct again, locked it there, and we were 100% good to go. It just doesn't get any easier than that.

Price: Ouch. But what you get for that expenditure is a combination of features and convenience I could not find anywhere else in months of searching and asking other hams. The precut and premounted stainless steel wires and hardware remove all uncertainty about tuning and spacing; simply follow the directions and hang it, and you're up and running and likely to remain so for years to come.

Shipping: My antenna was shipped to me from the US distributor and I had it just a couple days after I ordered it. It was well packaged, undamaged, and all the parts were there.

Summary: This is a five band, 2-element-per-band beam that is assembled fairly easily, is light, durable, low visibility, and offers exactly the performance one would hope to get from such a beam without any particular weak spots. SWR is low across all supported bands and you can operate without a tuner, enabling instant QSY without concern with a modern transceiver. My only regret is that I can't mount it higher, and that is certainly no fault of the manufacturer. Highly recommended.
N4JRZ Rating: 5/5 May 27, 2012 12:29 Send this review to a friend
Great Antenna & Great Service!!!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought this antenna from a local ham who used it very briefly in C6 for about 3 months or so. I was using a Cushcraft A3S and I was looking for something with the WARC bands that was directional and has a small footprint. This antenna has exceeded my expectations and has performed outstanding. The antenna is built better than any other beam I have ever seen, it is built to last. It is a little more costly than other beams, but you get what you pay for. The craftsmanship and engineering of this antenna is head and shoulders above other regular antennas. If I am ever in the market for another antenna, I will look at OptiBeam first before all others. Also, the customer service is fantastic!! I am sold on OptiBeam!!
NA1A Rating: 5/5 Jan 6, 2012 20:05 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Performance  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a follow up for my previous posting from a year ago... After using it on a daily basis for more than a year now, this antenna is the best that I've ever had. Pile ups after pile ups, BIG SIGNAL is the typical un-solicited report from DX stations now a days.
Strong windy condition, this antenna handled like there was no wind at all.
I'm sold on Optibeam antenna!
9H4CT Rating: 5/5 Jul 23, 2011 08:49 Send this review to a friend
Money well spent!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I thought it was a bit pricey but on receipt I understood why - very well engineered and everything a precision fit. On the air it is marvellous with low VSWR across all the 5 bands - no need for an ATU. I have had excellent reports from all over the world from my 100W FT950 aand TS50. The gain is what you would expect from a 2+ element yagi/Moxon Rectangle and the directivity is the right compromise for me - not too sharp so that you are not constantly having to rotate it, but quite noticable. I think it very much proves the adage "in this world you get what you pay for".

Assembly is straightforward with all parts carefully marked but you do need a flat space big enough to take the flat plane of the antenna. Getting the tension correct on the 4 fibre glass Y pieces was the only tricky bit but I was doing it alone - a friend helps! The only help I actually had was at the end, lifting the assembled antenna on its mast on to my rotator (Yaesu GS650 which is quite big enough for this antenna).

My location is very windy and so far it has shown no signs of stress.

Excellent sales service from Tom at Optibeam.

I reckon I have made the right choice and have a product which will see me through for a long time to come.

IZ6BRN Rating: 5/5 May 19, 2011 10:36 Send this review to a friend
6000 QSO in a very short time  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
My name is Sergio and my call is HP1/IZ6BRN.
I install the OBW10-5 antenna in Panama City in December 2010 in less than 2 hours. Instruction manual very well done and very clear.
Mounted in a telescopic pole about 12 meters high in the garden
The antenna looks like very nice and doesn’t disturb the landscaping. No any complaint from the neighbors and most important thinks …. no complaint from my wife.
SWR almost null in all 5 bands (1.1 – 1.2) Never need to use the antenna tune of the FT2000D.
Pile up from the first call.
Really satisfied with this 5 stars antenna
N0AH Rating: 2/5 Nov 17, 2010 22:24 Send this review to a friend
Unstable  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Could not get the fiber glass arms supporting the antenna wires stable. The antenna would either flip up or down about 15 degrees versus staying in the horizontal plane as pictured. Problem most likely due to a defective part. Returned antenna and received full refund- Do not agree that the antenna was stealth or easy to assemble out of box due to pre-assembly at factory. Still had to build the supporting frame and assemble using nylon bungie tie straps. Glad we went with stateside distributor. Array Solutions was able to get antenna to work with replacement parts- We put up a Cushcraft A3S and eventually, a tennadyne T-8 LPDA. While heavier, Both were smaller foot prints than the OBW10-15 which seemed to blanket the roof. Worst part was having to pick up antenna at the airport flown in directly from Germany. Was expensive on import duties and took sometime for Customs to figure out shipping duties. They don't get one of these everyday. With some proactive measures from the shipper, I believe a lot of our headaches could have been avoided. We thought when we ordered it it would come from Array Solutions. Waited weeks for it to arrive- If they had stocked one or two, life would have been a lot simplier- Sometimes i don't understand what "distributor" really means- All of these reviews sound good to me- wish the parts we received would have been better QC'd-
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