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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop | Buckmaster 7 Band, 3KW, OCF Dipole Antenna Help

Reviews Summary for Buckmaster 7 Band, 3KW, OCF Dipole Antenna
Buckmaster 7 Band, 3KW, OCF Dipole Antenna Reviews: 91 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $ 324.95
Description: No tuner, multi-band, off-center fed(OCF), 135 ft. dipole with 6:1 voltage balun
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Buckmaster 7 Band, 3KW, OCF Dipole Antenna.

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K7JOE Rating: 1/5 Dec 25, 2018 15:13 Send this review to a friend
Ridiculously expensive junk.   Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this 3kw 7 band dipole antenna for the past 4 years. The balun was shorted and destroyed with just 500 Watts in CW mode on 40m. To me this is unacceptable for an antenna that cost as much as a full size 40m yagi. As for physical construction I don't see any faults with the antenna but electrically it is a significant compromise and suffers from a poor balun design -as another reviewer noted the 6:1 balun / design creates significant common mode current on the feed line and use of a one-to-one current balun will not alleviate this problem; I too have suffered from ground fault circuit resets due to excessive common mode in the shack on 80 and 40 despite having the antenna mounted at a 70-foot height with approximately two hundred feet of quality rg8 coax cable. While off center antennas will display some level of common mode I found that it was impossible to eliminate the common mode despite use of quality f ferrite mix 43 material as well as common mode commercially made coax inline chokes. For the money you are better off building a fan dipole or even using a multiband trap dipole - which should perform equally well but not display the same quantity of common mode this antenna exhibits. In terms of price $350 for what amounts to a dipole antenna is insane. Perhaps there are some hams that believe this is a bargain but if you look at the materials used to build this antenna it's about $60 worth of material. In summary I think buckmaster hassold a lot of these products over the years and made a lot of money off of the amateur community good for them but I won't be a repeat customer! F
WA7ARK Rating: 2/5 Sep 27, 2018 11:56 Send this review to a friend
Update on common-mode problems.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I took down the Buckmaster OCF and replaced it with a homebrew ZS6BKW multiband antenna. No more AFCI breaker trips, or false smoke alarms even when running the SB220 at ~1KW on 75,40, and 20 meters.

The Buckmaster OCF has serious common-mode currents on the feedline which cannot be cured by adding a high-quality Common Mode Choke (1:1 current-mode balun) where the coax connects to the transformer because that totally screws up the match on most bands.

Placing the common-mode choke (where the coax shield is bonded to the bottom of the 44 foot tower for lightning protection) had less effect on the Buckmaster SWR, but didn't cure the AFCI tripping.

The Buckmaster cannot be mounted such that the coax feedline is close to a metallic support tower or pipe.

I repeat my caution to prospective buyers that want to deploy this antenna close to their house, especially if the house meets current building codes and has Arc Fault Circuit Breakers.
K7RHT Rating: 5/5 Aug 21, 2018 19:36 Send this review to a friend
Great Product! I have 3  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have read the reviews here and wanted to put in my 2 cents. I bought the 7 band 3K OCF Dipole to give me the bands my KIO Hex Beam did not handle. I have found it to be exceptional in every way and had it orientated North-South, bought a second one and put on my other tower to give East-West and have them setup for NVIS since I also do MARS/SHARES. They really work well with my setup so I bought a 5 band 300W for my go box and use it in the field all the time. Wonderful product, holds up to our winds (up to 80mph at times) and I check them each fall and there is no, absolutely zero degradation in my wires or anything, going on 4 -5 years with the first one which has been up continuously. All are over 3 years old.

I just read the review by WA7ARK and he obviously has some other problem, probably a bad ground or bad feed line (wonder what he used). I use LMR 400, no other choke and run FULL LEGAL on an Expert AMP 2K-FA driven either with my FTDX 5000D or ICOM 7700. He clearly has some other problems that need to be resolved before blaming this great product.
WA7ARK Rating: 1/5 Aug 11, 2018 17:06 Send this review to a friend
Watch out for Common-Mode on feedline  Time owned: more than 12 months
Anybody thinking about getting one of these and using it in a modern house with wired smoke alarms and Arc-Fault Interrupter type circuit breakers should read my postings about the problems I encountered with the Buckmaster in this forum thread:

Note that the problem cannot be mitigated by putting a common-mode choke between the feed coax and the Buckmaster!
KC5RR Rating: 2/5 Dec 24, 2017 13:37 Send this review to a friend
Nice while it lasted.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Warranty is 12 months. The balun went kaput at 14 months. I cannot recommend this antenna. I ended up using it mainly for 80 meters, so I'll just build my own 80 meter with a 1:1 balun and 262 feet of wire (I have a lot of room).
KW4CQ Rating: 5/5 Dec 14, 2017 04:40 Send this review to a friend
Best wire antenna for DXing  Time owned: more than 12 months
Worked and confirmed 307 DXCC countries with the OCFD at 60 feet. What more can I say? Best all round wire antenna going.
N9AOP Rating: 5/5 Dec 13, 2017 08:56 Send this review to a friend
Works like it should  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this OCF antenna up for several years. It works like it did when new but I don't try to shove 3KW into it either. Where problems arise is when someone uses a stiff manual tuner and then runs the antenna on 15 or 30 using a KW+.
KC5RR Rating: 2/5 Dec 12, 2017 11:41 Send this review to a friend
Worked when it worked  Time owned: more than 12 months
Worked for around 18 months, now the balun is shot.
AB9UU Rating: 2/5 Aug 21, 2017 17:24 Send this review to a friend
Broke  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I had one up for several months. It worked a little better than my old G5RV as it easily tuned up 80 meters whereas the G5RV did not. However, it broke. The G5RV I had from Ebay was up for at least five years, in the worst weather off Lake Michigan. The OCF broke in a few months. The end of the wire pulled right through the crimping. Better construction is needed.
K1PGV Rating: 5/5 Nov 8, 2015 07:06 Send this review to a friend
Very Solid, Very Good  Time owned: more than 12 months
This review is based on 10 years (really) of use of the 3KW, 7-Band version.

Short Version: Beautifully built, satisfying to use. I love it.

Long Version:

I have this antenna mounted in some trees, about 50 feet above ground.

This is the first antenna I purchased when I got my license and I've been using it ever since (and I just renewed my license for the first time... so it's been 10 years).

Now, to be clear, I haven't had the exact same antenna in the air for 10 years. Every few years, as a "preventive maintenance" measure, I lower my Buckmaster OCF dipole and replace it, the supporting ropes, and the feedline. There's never been anything WRONG with the antenna when I've done this... but my 200' of (partially buried) feed line and the 3/8" dacron support rope take a beating. I figure while I have everything down, I might as well invest in replacing the antenna.

This antenna just works. I got DXCC with it (with no more than 200W). It's a dipole, it's not a beam, so my expectations are in line with that fact.

But I *definitely* would recommend this antenna for anyone considering a horizontal wire antenna system.
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