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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
FISHAMERICABOY Rating: 2007-12-03
Amazing Antenna Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I use this antenna on my little ICF SW77 and it works wonders. Im getting SSB and CW on 80/40/20/17 and even 15 Meters. I get on occasion, SSB on 160. Some thought it would overload but I have no problems with that. Buckmaster told me to use Belden Flex 9913 and I did, works like a charm. I was using LMR-195 but with the Belden 9913 Flex. If this set-up can make my little portable shine, I'm sure its doing wonders on base stations. The build is rock-solid and worth every penny.
WU2X Rating: 2007-09-27
Good all around antenna - esp. for new ham Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have been using the this antenna for more than a year and half. I have been waiting to post a review for several reasons which I will explain. I've noticed many reviews with ownership of only 0-3 months.

Pulling this antenna from the package, one will notice that build quality simply can not be improved. For as simple as a wire antenna is - you might not think much about it, but I learned a few things from how this was built that I incorporate into every wire antenna I build myself now. For the price of this antenna - one should more than expect (i.e. demand) this build quality though.

The PVC insulated, multi-stranded wire is very nice to work with compared to copperweld wire - it doesn't kink or 'roll up' on you. The balun is the biggest/heaviest one I have ever seen in my life. Very tightly sealed. Mine still looks like new after 1.5 years, but note, I use a pulley and counterweight and suspend it from three points (feedpoint and ends) from trees. The orientation is horizontal about 50 - 60 feet in the air (depending on how much I tension the support ropes). I feed mine with RG8X that goes straight to the ground (to lessen weight) and then hook to RG8 which runs to the shack.

My findings on the SWR is that it has never been consistent since I put the antenna up. Obviously SWR will be sensitive to the mounting height and orientation of the antenna. Buckmaster seems to give very specific directions (now) as to use it as an inverted-vee with the center at ends at a certain height. My guess is that this it more to guarantee the SWR curves they report - when I originally purchased my antenna there was some verbage along the lines of "The higher the antenna is mounted the better for DXing" - I don't see this on the website anymore. My SWR curves were pretty much as advertised when I ran the antenna around the 25 foot mark (horizontal). As I improved my antenna support system and cut down a few trees in the way, I raised the antenna higher (50-60feet). SWR on the 80m -40m was still acceptable, though the bandwidth starts to narrow. SWR on upper HF started not dip much under 2:1. The fact that the antenna is fed off center and fed with what appears to me to be a voltage balun led me to believe SWR changes were largely due to some feedline radiation and that pulling the antenna higher gave a longer vertical section of coax. Over time, with nothing changing but the ground condition (antenna is mounted over a bog/swamp type area with varying degrees of standing water) the SWR has changed a bit where there has been a reversal - SWR on the low bands is now above 2:1 and upper HF is well under 2:1. I ended up putting a W2DU style 1:1 Choke right at the feedpoint of the OCF dipole hoping to tame what seemed to be a very SWR sensitive antenna. It actually had no impact on the SWR readings whatsoever. I have run this antenna on 60 meters, 30 meters and 15 meters with a small tuner without any problems. Is it possible that 100 watts on these bands was enough to damage the balun and this caused the SWR inconsistencies? I just don't know. I have never ran more than 600 watts from my ALS-600 through this antenna (and never forced 600 watts into it with a tuner either). I haven't noted a significant stretching of the wire either - to warrant noted SWR changes.

On the air performance of this antenna at 50-60 feet horizontal. Performance on 80 meters definitely matches that of a dipole. 60 meters works well (5:1 SWR) . On 40 meters I have found this to work very well as a DX antenna (easily working 3B7C on 40m). With 600 watts, I can do well in pile-ups with this antenna on 40 meters. Above 40 meters, performance is a bit hit or miss - mostly miss. As computer modeling shows, there are many high angle lobes on 20 meters and above. It just depends on how your antenna is laid out and which direction you are trying to use. There have been several times on 20 and 17 meters where I have been disappointed with the performance of this antenna. Mostly notably the week solid I spent trying to work BS7H. Yes, this was asking too much of this antenna. Even with 600 watts - It has never been pile-up buster on 20 and 17. Sometimes I even struggle with calling long haul DX stations in the clear. Shortwave listeners take note - I think this antenna is exceptional for RXing in the 1-10Mhz range!

I do not have any experience with the antenna DX wise much above 17 meters (since I have only had it 1.5 years and we are currently in the slump). I have hit a few repeaters with it on 6 meters though!

Overall, I think its a great first HF antenna, limited space antenna or emergency work antenna. For DXing, particularly on the upper bands, I think one can do better. For a single all band, no tune antenna, I think it is unmatched. But as we all know - low SWR does not guarantee any type of performance.
KQ0C Rating: 2007-09-11
Hallelujah Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
What a relief. I just moved to a new location in the very dry Southwest... apparently terrible ground conditions. None of my old vertical antennas seemed to work at all well, even when mounted on high ground with clear horizons. So I thought I'd try the highly acclaimed Buckmaster, hung as an inverted V in a ravine near the river. Even with a very long coax feed line (about 250 feet) I am finally able to hear again... and get out. The Buckmaster is at least 2 S units better than a Sigma 5, and MA5V, and at least equal to a Hustler 6BTV with elevated radials. Tunes 160 just fine with my internal tuners, and naturally ressonant on other bands. Plus it really simplifies my covert antenna issues... this can stay up all the time without anyone ever being able to see it. Very happy camper.
KC2PUF Rating: 2007-08-03
real decent Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Got 1. Aligned e-w, broadside to n-s.Only up 25' as inv. v. Worked very well. Replaced dx-cc which worked good.Bought 2nd. Flat toped it, 45' up, aligned n-s, broadside to e-w, replaced another dx-cc. Worked superb. Heard calls on 3905 net others could not. No tune is no lie. Easiest wire ever worked with. Best wire tx-rx ever had. Put up high, try flat top, sound like big gun. Cheap for the performance.
AA7IN Rating: 2007-07-07
Great Dipole Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I bought the 3kW version of this antenna. It's VERY well made, far better than the Alpha Delta DX-CC it replaced. I have used this antenna on all bands except 6 meters so far and I'm happy with its performance. I have run legal limit into this antenna and have had no problems. If you are looking for a well built dipole you can't go wrong with this one.

Craig - N7UQA
N4MWY Rating: 2007-06-02
a little on the pricey side but works great! Time Owned: N.A.

Mine is about 56 feet high in the middle and about 40 feet high on each end.

I like it being fed with coax, LMR 400 in my case, instead of with ladder line. The coax is easier to get into the shack and is easier to work with.

It works great-no problems-and performs as advertised.


K4GUN Rating: 2007-05-30
Wow... just wow. Its a loop! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have owned this antenna for a grand total of about 6 hours so I'll likely post another review in a few months, but I wanted to get this up now. I've been living with various attic mounted antennas for the last few months and just haven't been happy with them. None that I have tried would tune 75 meters. Signal reports were spotty at best. I thought I'd have to live with that since I live in a townhouse with a very small roof and strict HOA rules.

Well, after a bit of reasearch, I came up with the idea of using the OCF dipole (7 band, 300 watts) in a "loop". I hung the balun on a beam in the attic. There is a vent about a foot away and I ran the wires out of it. Using a ladder and a strap stapler, I ran the wires to the edge of the roof and then in as large of a pattern as possible. I used various edges and corners to camoflague the wire. The result is a nearly invisible wire loop that has a lot of bends and angles and has the ends about 7' from each other.

I ran all this into the auto tuner in my 746 Pro. With one touch of the tune button, its well under 1.5:1 on all bands from 6 to 80. At most points, its at 1:1. It even does the upper end of 160 at 1.5:1 and the lower end at about 3:1.

I know there's a lot more to antenna performance than SWR, but that's the first challenge for me. After going through three different attic mounts that couldn't tune 75, I'm just glad to be able to get full power out.

I haven't really run this through its paces yet, but running 100 watts in just a few minutes, I have made solid contacts on 20, 40 and 75. I'm not used to that. It usually takes several tries and people have a hard time hearing me with the attic mounts. I'm getting heard fairly easily it seems with the OCF loop.

The best part is, I don't think my HOA will even notice it. If they do, they sure will not recognize what it is and I really don't anticipate any problems. If you're working with limited space but have a roof, this is a great option.
WA5TWL Rating: 2007-03-08
Magic! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I like to give credit where it is due and this antenna deserves it. I have been a ham for 40 years and most of my antennas have been home made. I like to experiment with wire antennas, loops, and the like. The Buckmaster worked right out of the box and as claimed. Wow! Quality of components and workmanship is excellent.

With the big phone band now on 80 meters, this antenna is a champ for those wanting to use coax feed. I have the 300 watt version.
W1NEJ Rating: 2007-02-28
Just put this antenna up and it works Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is an antenna that just works. No pruning, no traps, good VSWR, no tweaking, no tuner required. I have a tuner, but it is in storage in my basement.

I wanted to get on the air quickly, so I strung this antenna between two trees at about 30 feet and have worked Africa, the UK, Europe, and the west coast of the US with no problems in the past 5 days. Every time I have called, I have been heard.

It gives very low VSWR on all advertised bands from 80/75 to 10 meters. (This is all bands except 15 meters.) I bought the 3,000 watt version, and it handles my AL-80B (1,000 watts PEP) with no problems.

I like the fact that this antenna is fed with coax because it is simple to feed coax from the antenna to my operating position with no concerns as to how the coax is routed.

If you want to be able to put up an HF antenna quickly, that has low VSWR and just radiates on all bands, this antenna cannot be beat.

I have also installed a Butternut 80/75 - 40 meter vertical and a Gap mono band 20 meter vertical. These are considered top-notch vertical antennas. In every test I have done, the Buckmaster OCF dipole equals the performance of the vertical antennas, and almost always exceeds the performance of these verticals.

I have been able to work stations in Europe, Africa, the US Midwest, Texas, Colorado, California, the US southland, and Hawaii in just the past few days with my Buckmaster OCF dipole antenna.

Oh, I almost forgot, it appears to be very well constructed.

Hang it and forget it!

N4FPS Rating: 2007-01-18
Good Antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Put this one up just after Christmas. It is a good antenna and the multiband makes things simple. I had the 300 Watt version before but fried the Balun after pushing 1300 Watts into it. The 300 Watt version had been handling 600 watts with no problem. Anyway back to the 3000 watt version; as you all know a cut dipole for any given frequency will give you better performance but I have cut dipoles and the difference isn't enough to notice. One antenna, no tuner needed and a real performer. The price is a little much but hey it's a good antenna and built like none other I have ever seen.