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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
WA6VIU Rating: 2011-06-14
returned it and got my money back Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I got this antenna after reading all the reviews. I mounted it per the detailed instructions that came with the antenna (more than advertised). Of the 7 bands only 40, 20, 17,12 would have an swr below 4.0. All others nearly pegged my needle on the MFJ antenna analyzer. Tried 3 different lengths of new coax on the antenna. Moved the legs.
If you are looking to switch bands without an antenna tuner this is not the antenna for you. Went back to my 2 G5Rv antennas and tuner. Cost way less and not as picky as to where you mount them. This product just costs too much for what you get. But if you have lots of cash and still want to use a tuner then buy one. It may work?
K4AJL Rating: 2011-04-12
very satisfied Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
could'nt be more satisfied. well made and covers all of 75/80 meters super bandwith.
K7TXO Rating: 2011-03-08
OUTSTANDING Antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I needed to stop making DX contacts today to tell you this:

My wife knew i was interested in the BUCKMASTER OCF antennas a few years ago. She bought one for me for Christmas. I have the balun 31 feet up, using a pine tree as the mast. Both ends are 8 feet up in the air. Although this is installed in a fairly densely forested spot, it works absolutely great. DX contacts are a slam dunk especially on 17 meters. Exciter is a KENWOOD TS-2000X with HEIL Classic 4 mic, into a two month old, home-brew, single 813 tube linear amp producing on average, about 300 watts out through about 130 feet of LMR400 cable. I experience lower noise on the higher bands than my other home-brew dipole or my multi-band vertical.

Tuner is not required on the HF bands but I do use my WANZER Z Match manual tuner on 6 meters.

Many thanks to BUCKMASTER for a solid performing, built like a tank balun and all weather, heavy duty wire elements.

With only 300 watts, just I have worked Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Germany, Alaska, England, Cuba and on and on in the last couple of weeks, some of these countries multiple times. A turkey shoot with this antenna!

Gene Story / K7TXO
AB4KJ Rating: 2011-01-19
Great antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I purchased two of these antennas-one for 160 and one for 80. They were easy to set up. I have mine hung between two trees with a push up pole at the feedpoints. No issues thus far with the antennas. The rain and ice we get here in the midwest have not been a problem. The baluns seem to be sturdy and robust.
W2QQ Rating: 2010-12-05
Solid Performance - Modest Price Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have had the Buckmaster 7-band OCF (high power model) antenna in use since April and would summarize my experience as "solid performance for a very modest price".

The early Spring windstorms in CT took out both of my prior antennas - a Barker & Williamson BWD-90, which is a multi-band folded dipole, and a 5-Band Hex-Beam. (The Hex-Beam will shortly be back in use.) My neighborhood has anti-antenna covenants, so stealth is a consideration in choosing appropriate antennas. I had started with the folded dipole and added the Hex-Beam to get some directional gain and F/B signal separation on 20M and higher. In contrast to the bright stainless of the B&W dipole, the Buckmaster is made with black PVC-coated wire and is virtually invisible in the wooded area of my property.

In looking for a replacement for the BWD-90, I took into consideration my growing dissatisfaction with that antenna on the lower bands (as expected, the Hex-Beam consistently outperformed it on 20M and up). Came across the Buckmaster 7-band OCF Dipole with a free shipping offer and figured "what have I got to lose?" Wow, have I been happy I made that decision.

This antenna is 135' long (only 45' longer than the B&W which it replaced, but what a difference that extra length makes!) and is hung in something like the recommended configuration (an inverted V), with the ends at about NE and SW positions. During the current contest season, it has been a solid performer on all HF bands. I have been able to work all of Europe, Africa, South America, and West Coast and everywhere in between without any problems. In the recent CQWW CW test, for example, I worked ZL8 (Kermadec), ZD8 (Ascension Island) and other highly sought stations through massive pileups without being at the end of the line. On 40M and 80M, I am often able to work stations on a single call, which is much more fun than what I experienced with the folded dipole, where often I could hear stations but not work them. During this contest season, I have so far added more than a dozen new countries on 80M and am finally looking forward to the possibility of DXCC on that band.

Although marketed for 75/80M and above, I decided to see how it would perform on 160M (not recommended by the manufacturer) in the ARRL 160 contest. It tuned up fine with just the onboard tuner on my FT-1000MP. In less than 5 hours of strictly S&P, I was able to work more than 100 stations for more than 40 sections and DX as far as Bosnia-Herzegovina (E77DX must have some fantastic 160M antenna!).

Buckmaster advertising says that the antenna can be used without a tuner. I have always used a tuner with it, so I cannot comment on the 2:1 bandwidth claims. I have never had any problem tuning to 2:1 or less (usually between 1:1 and 1.5:1) on any of the bands on which I've used it. The high power version is rated at 3000W and I can verify that it will take a full kilowatt and more without any problems. However, as a matter of caution, I did not use my amplifier on 160M since the antenna is not designed for the band.

While I may wish that I had a 150' tower with stacked Yagis and a rotatable 80M dipole, I am very happy with what I have in the 7-band OCF from Buckmaster. I would recommend this antenna to anyone who is looking for solid performance in a wire antenna and a very modest price.
W2FBS Rating: 2010-10-08
Great Wire Antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I put this up over a year ago at about 45 feet in an inverted V formation. It has great SWR on 75, 40 and 20 meters and gets out like crazy. Have worked a ton of 40 meter DX with it as well as a lot of time on several 75 meter nets where I have one of the biggest signals.

I also have a resonant beam antenna for the higher bands so my expensive tuner is hardly ever used. I use an amplifier and normally put out about 1 KW and no problems with the balun like I had with the Carolina Windom.

This replaced a Carolina Windom that failed after 2 years. There is no comparison! Better build quality, better wire, better balun and better results too!

Earlier 5-star review posted by W2FBS on 2009-10-04

I put the 7 band version up about 6 months ago to replace a Carolina Windom that failed. It has worked great except for the fact that I could not get the SWR on 75 meters down to the levels mentioned in the Buckmaster literature.
Just yesterday I replaced the old coax, which was two pieces of 213/U spliced with a double female UHF connector, with a new 125 foot length of 213. Wow, what a difference a good feed line makes! The SWR is below 1.3 to 1 on the entire 75 meter band and below 1.3 to 1 on 40 meters. It even loads up on 60 meters with just the tuner in the Pro 3.

I have always had great reports with this antenna, now I have great SWR. The lesson? Change your coax every few years.

W7RUE Rating: 2010-10-01
Excellent Base Antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had this antenna for over a year now. I just pulled it down to do maintenance on the coax, the support system, and raise it up another ten feet. This antenna beats out all of my other HF antennas hands down! (I have 4 other HF wire and 3 HF verticals). I am always asked to relay on the traffic nets that I regularly use because I can hear stations and reach stations others cannot. It has been one of my best buys in amateur radio and the Buckmaster is my mainstay antenna for most of my HF ham activities at the home station! - W7RUE
N5ATM Rating: 2010-06-30
Works Great Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have had this antenna up for close to a year now and it has worked great. I also have a Butternut HF9V vertical with 30 radials and this antenna outperforms it 95% of the time, at least on receive. I normally get 2 S-units more on receive and it is quieter as well.

My SWR is a little higher on 40m than advertised but that is probably due to the long leg being too close to the ground. I would highly recommend this antenna.
KC8Y Rating: 2010-06-26
SUPER Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I have the 6-Band 65-foot version OCF (didn't have the room for the 135-ft version)...Use on 40, 20, 10 and 6; it even works on 15, with acceptable SWR readings, I not use a tuner...Have center & ends at 30-feet...Even used it on Field Day this year

Earlier 5-star review posted by KC8Y on 2010-06-26

I have the 6-Band 68-foot model OCF Dipole (didn't have the room available for the 135-foot model).
Use it on 40, 20, 10 & 6-meter (it even loads on 15) with NO tuner. Had acceptable SWR readings on these bands. Ran it on 2010 Field Day, works great.
I give it a 5++++
W1DVZ Rating: 2010-05-25
A Great Solution Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have the 7-band 300W version, using it with a Kenwood TS-50 at 100W, and feeding it with LMR-400 through a basic LDG tuner. (Even though it's billed as a "no tuner" antenna, I think it's a good idea to spend a Ben Franklin and get a basic one, particularly with a solid-state radio.)

Installation is not optimal, meaning it's not at the altitude nor exact inverted V dimensions that the book calls for. Regardless, it works very, very well.

Built from very high quality multi-stranded wire in a tough coating. Could double as a tow rope with no problem. One tip that you might want to consider: add a half-dozen toroidal coils over your coax just past the balun. I use the ones available from the "Hex Beam" guy, Traffie Technology; they fit perfect. Keeps the RF pushed out on the antenna where it belongs.

Remember this: "Cheap is Expensive." Buy quality, it pays.