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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
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W5RDW Rating: 2008-06-24
Initial Observations Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have a 40 meter end fed antenna and a 75 meter inv. V. I wanted a common wire antenna for both 40 and 75 meters AND a useable antenna on 12 and 17M, especially 17 meters. I have a 5 band yagi, but it has only a dipole element for 12 and 17, very useable on these bands, but with only the gain of a dipole. I want to eventually put up a longer boom triband antenna with good gain on 15 and 20 and use this antenna for 12 and 17. My brother, K5WDW, has the 6 band version of this antenna and is very pleased with it.

I have a UST HDX555 crank-up and mounted this antenna on one of the coax arms at around 30 to 35 ft. off the ground for this initial test. The short end of the antenna was about 15 ft. off the ground on top of the house and the other end (the longer wire) was about 6 ft. off the ground, not per instructions, but good enough for me to start the initial testing. I was pleased that the VSWR was 1.6:1 or less across all the bands and only needed the tuner to get down to 1.2:1. I plan on doing a more exact return loss measurement soon when the antenna goes up permanently in a few months. My first impressions were very positive, especially on 17 and 40 and 80 meters. On 17 meters, it is on par with the WARC yagi at 55 feet. Sometimes the yagi was better, sometimes the OCF dipole was better, but always less than a 1-2 S unit differences. It had met my expectations for 17 meters. I heard no one on 12 meters, as it is always quite except during a DXpedition. On 20 meters, it was about 2-3 S units less than the yagi when the yagi was pointed in the OCF dipoles direction. Not bad for a wire antenna and very useable. Heard no signals on 15 to speak of. Now 10 meters seems to be the band where the antenna, although having good VSWR, does not exhibit a similar S-meter delta from yagi to OCF dipole as it did on 20 meters. When there is no signal, the antenna seems to have more noise pickup than the yagi. With 10 meters now open, it hears signals but quite a bit down from the yagi (3-4 S-units).

Overall, I say the antenna performs as I expected. I can compare it to my yagi and it does the job as specified. It has good VSWR across all the bands. I will repost my results when the antenna goes up permanently in a few months and is located per the specifications Fast delivery and ruggedly built.
N5MZL Rating: 2008-06-07
OK for a compromise Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I live in the city, on a small lot with not many trees. And what trees I do have are not in an optimal position. Prior to this antenna, I'd tried the Radioworks Carolina Windom and the DX Engineering multiband dipole. Neither worked very well. Unfortunately, at least in these days of no sunspots, the Buckmaster OCF has not overwhelmed me either. It is a very well made antenna, the "like a tank" description fits. But if you are going to get one, make sure you have the height and room to put it up properly, or you will be disappointed.

I have the balun up about 25 feet, with the long leg more or less at the same height. The short leg is a problem. Initially the end of it was only about 15 feet up, and the two legs were closer to 90 degrees apart than 120. I now have the legs at 120 degrees apart, but the short leg's end is now only about 7 feet off the ground. Best I could do with the layout of this place.

Right off the bat I discovered that I did need a tuner on some of the bands. Also I had serious common mode problems with the feedline. A DX Engineering RF choke helped with this (I have 25 feet of RG8X down to the choke, and RG8 buried to the window of the operating position). I have severe RFI on 80 meters and 40 is unusable due to high SWR.

I have no doubt that if I could get this puppy up in the clear at least 40 feet from end to end, with both legs 180 degrees apart, it would work just fine and provide years of good service. But if you don't have the room and support structures (and clearly feedline length and routing relative to the antenna is also critical) to put this antenna up properly, you will likely end up with more problems than you will care to deal with.
NE0S Rating: 2008-05-08
good antenna Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This has to be the best antenna I've ever used. I've got the 300 watt version which I tote around the western U.S. from drilling rig to drilling rig, often setting it up in less than ideal locations. Using my Kenwood ts-180s putting out 140 watts I can talk anywhere in the country.

This thing is tough and efficient. I recommend it.

W2JVP Rating: 2008-03-26
Wish I could Give It A 10 Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
My son and I put up the Dipole last week. The instructions recomended a 120 degree angle at a hieght of 35-40 feet for best performence. We could only get it to 25 feet at a 100 degree angle. To my surprize the SWR was better than Buckmaster's chart. Hearing stations and working them is great. West coast and Europe. It out performs a vertical and compared to my folded dipole (folded dummy load) receiving is at least 3 to 4 S-units higher. As far as construction goes it IS built like a tank. Also, my son comes over more often to work DX from my QTH. Hi, Hi.
WA2EEW Rating: 2008-03-14
Not satisfied with the results of the antenna. Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
After doing a bit of research on this antenna, I decided to get one. The antenna itself looks to be bullet proof! Onfortunately I was not happy with the results in actual use.

Though the claims for the swr sounded great, I was never able to actually get similar results. Yes you had 7 bands, but solid state radios have a difficult time matching this antenna.
ND1X Rating: 2008-03-14
Great Multi-band antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned this antenna now for 2 yrs, the 3kw version and it is one of best multi-band antennas I have ever used. I use to roll my own dipoles, but this is a much better way to go. Bandwith is as advertised but for some reason my installation shows it even better. The center is at 34' the ends are at about 7' and oriented broadside E-W. If I hear it I usually can work it, but one never knows how the Ol propogation god works from place to place! It is a great contesting antenna for quick band changes to catch hopefully a new multiplier when it would take forever for that beam to rotate, Okay, StepIr's don't have that problem! I have a BIGIr steppir and the Ir is usually a good 1-2 s units better on receive, but sometimes static takes over because of it being vertical, again its all relative depending on condition etc. In a few words you can't go wrong using the OCF dipole, it is a Great antenna.
K8IEL Rating: 2008-01-01
Better than a vertical Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought this antenna because I have only used verticals for the last 48 years. I wanted to go back to my roots and use a wire antenna like I had for the first few years of my hobby.

This product is well made and the reports I have been getting are every bit as good and better than the verticals (both home-brew and commercially made)
Shipping was fast, and questions by phone were answered to my satisfaction.

SWR is better than 2/1 on every band (without tuner)

You can't go wrong with this antenna, if you install it as suggested.
W1ZZA Rating: 2007-12-26
After 2 years Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Best wire antenna I've ever used, hands down! Also best wire antenna for New England weather. As other's have commented it is built like a tank. Don't mess with other wires that will fall down at the first winter storm. You will be extremely happy you bought the Buckmaster. 73
KD6SX Rating: 2007-12-09
Excellent Multi-Band Antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I am very satisfied with this antenna and offer the following review:

CONSTRUCTION: Buckmaster has done a great job constructing this antenna and it is made from very high quality materials. It is simply the best constructed wire antenna I have ever seen—better than any I have homebrewed or purchased. As other reviewers have noted, it is “built like a tank” and is designed to survive the worst weather conditions and last for a long time. You can put it up and forget about it.

INSTALLATION: I installed the antenna as an inverted vee in accordance with the instructions except that I was unable to keep it completely clear of other objects. I fastened the apex (feedpoint) at the top of my 40 foot metal tower and fed it with RG8X. The feedpoint is offset from the tower by about 26 inches. The 45 foot leg of the antenna comes down above the roof of my one story house and the end is tied off at about 20 feet above ground—about 5 feet above the roof. The 90 foot leg is tied off to a tree and is about 13 feet above ground. Near its end, this leg passes about 5 feet from my vertical antenna.

MULTI-BAND CAPABILITY: My SWR on 80 meters is 2.6:1 on the CW portion and 1.5:1 on the phone portion of the band. On 40, 20, 17, 12, and 10 meters, the SWR is about 1.5:1 or less on the whole band. On 6 meters, the SWR is 2.5:1. Even though the antenna is not designed to work well on 30 and 15 meters I found that, with my installation, my SWR on 30 meters is about 5.0:1 and on 15 meters it is 2.8:1 and my internal antenna tuner mops that up quite well. On 160 meters, the SWR is out of sight and I did not attempt to tune it with my internal antenna tuner.

PERFORMANCE: I have observed the following based on signal reports I have given and received: This antenna is at least as good as my half wave dipole on 80 meters except that it tunes the whole band while my dipole was cut only for the CW portion of the band. I took the dipole down. This antenna is a good 3-4 S-units better than my vertical ( a Gap Titan vertical that has performed very well for me) on 80 meters—both DX and local. On 40 and 20 meters the signals are about an S-unit better than on my vertical. It is much better than the vertical on 30 meters—about 3 S-units better. The vertical is bit better on 17 meters. I have not been able to compare antennas on 15, 12, 10, and 6 meters yet due to poor conditions on those bands. I will update this review when conditions improve on those bands.

As soon as I erected the antenna, I tuned to the 20 meter CW band and called CQ. It was mid-afternoon and conditions were horrible. Nevertheless, a UA0 answered and we gave each other 559 signal reports.

I am very pleased with this antenna and have no problem giving it a 5.0 rating.
N4VHR Rating: 2007-12-05
Great Antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
After years of cutting my own monoband dipoles, I decided to try a commercial multiband. This antenna is very well built, and I made several DX contacts with only 100 watts to South America within 30 minutes of getting it on the air. I installed pretty much as the directions specified, with my apex about 33 feet. I bought the "limited space" 300-watt version, and now wish I had spent a little extra for the 3KW version in case I ever buy an amplifier, although I have never owned an amp in 18 years of being a ham. I usually only work CW with about 50 watts...

I'm very pleased with it, and would definately buy another.

Bill N4VHR