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Reviews For: Buckmaster 7 Band, 3KW, OCF Dipole Antenna

Category: Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop

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Review Summary For : Buckmaster 7 Band, 3KW, OCF Dipole Antenna
Reviews: 89MSRP: 324.95
No tuner, multi-band, off-center fed(OCF), 135 ft. dipole with 6:1 voltage balun
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KO4DKI Rating: 2020-10-12
Excellent - Got Me On the Air Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Fairly new ham here - I put up a little-used Buckmaster 75M-6M 3k watt antenna in June... and I can't say anything other than good things about it. Do NOT put it next to a metal tower - it won't tune up! Put it 35' up in a tree - and it sings like a bird. My SWR sweep:

3.750 = 1.28
7.020 = 1.58
14.328 = 1.24
18.118 = 1.24
24.940 = 1.55
28.944 = 1.12
50.868 = 1.13

QSO's: West Coast, East Coast, New England, lower Canada, South America, Europe, handles NVIS as well. I am sure I could make my own, but as a new ham it got me on the air and making DX contacts the first day.
K9AT Rating: 2020-09-10
Awesome Dipole! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
For full disclosure I've been an amateur radio operator for 43 years. In that time I've tried numerous wire antennas in an attempt to find one that is resonant across the ENTIRE 75 -80 meter band. Many claim to accomplish this but now I finally found one that does, the Buckmaster. I've known about them for years but was dragging my feet because of the price. $350 for a dipole! You're crazy. Well crazy finally got the best of me as I've heard rave reviews from my other ham friends that bought the Buckmaster and loved it. I look at it like when I bought my Flex Radio, you get what you pay for.

Now there are some people claiming to have interference with them setting off smoke alarms and the like. Not knowing their exact situation I'm guessing they're missing the proper grounding of their equipment as I have not experience any of that running close to 1000 watts on all the bands it supports.

In order to have the best Buckmaster experience pay close attention to a couple installation points. First keep the apex and the entire antenna at least 5 feet away from any metal like your tower. In my case I ran a Dacron line from my tower to a spruce tree to support the balun in the middle of the run. This placed the balun about 15 feet from the tower in the 30 foot span. Having the balun in free space is SOOO important to the antenna's success. Setting up a couple Dacron lines on both ends for a pulley support and the wire tie off with a weight is a good idea too. Second make sure the coax that leaves the balun is at a right angle to the dipole wires. Or in other words make sure the coax is NOT parallel to the dipole wires.

Like others have said it's resonant on all the 7 bands it supports WITHOUT a tuner and the reason I call it an amazing dipole. Buy one now before the price goes up. Looking at the first review on this listing it cost $129.00 in 2004.

Best 73,
NN4U Rating: 2020-01-31
Best of the 3 Antennas I own Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I've owned the 300 watt and 3000 watt 7-Band Buckmaster and used them both for MARS and on the Ham Bands. Bought the 3000 watt model when I added an amp for MARS. Of the three antennas I own - Cushcraft R9 and Mosley TH-33 Tri-Band, the Buckmaster Inverted V's are my goto antennas. I finally got over being surprised at how well the wire works for both long range and NVIS (vertical incidence for MARS).

Am about to order the 8-band 3000 watt, once I move a few tree branches!
K9UR Rating: 2018-12-25
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: 2018-09-27
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.

Earlier 1-star review posted by WA7ARK on 2018-08-11

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!
K7RHT Rating: 2018-08-21
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.
KC5RR Rating: 2017-12-24
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).

Earlier 2-star review posted by KC5RR on 2017-12-12

Worked for around 18 months, now the balun is shot.
KW4CQ Rating: 2017-12-14
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: 2017-12-13
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+.
AB9UU Rating: 2017-08-21
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.