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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
W4LGH Rating: 2006-12-31
GREAT! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
OK...I have now had the OCF up for 2 days and it delivers as promised! Hard to believe that one antenna can cover so much ground! Mine is up 42' @ the apex and 20' on the ends. It is pretty flat across each band. I have noticed that it does favor the direction of the longer end. Mine is pointed N/S with the 90' end going north.

The price of the antenna sounds high, until you get it, see how it is built, then its performance. I would highly reccommed this to anyone who has the room to install it properly.
Its over all length is 135', min antenna height needs to be 30' with min end height @ 8' if installing as an inverted V.

Go for the 3000Watt version, incase you want to run an amp. However I know for a fact that the 300watt version took 700 watts for about 3 months, then when my buddy applied 1300watts he fried the balun. He thought he had the 3000W version. So the power levels are way under rated.

73 de W4LGH - Alan
NC6A Rating: 2006-11-23
Great Antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Very well constructed antenna and really works great. Being out here in Hawaii and working qrp is not the easiest challenge. In a month I have worked 25 countries and made over 100 contacts all with 5 watts.Probably my best contacts have been with China and S. America, not bad for band conditions. I'm very impressed with this antenna, the key is to put it up as instructed and you should be less than 2:1 swr on all bands. I use a tuner for 15 meters and have made probably 50% of my contacts on that band. If you decide to purchase one make sure you have a strong support to put it on as it is heavy. Very well built and should be able to survive all weather conditions.
KB0QMF Rating: 2006-06-26
One Fantastic Antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
They're a little pricey, but worth every penny. I knew as soon a the antenna arrived why they're a bit heavy price-wise. These things are built like a tank! The toughest wire antenna I've ever seen. Super heavy-duty materials from start to finish.

I had to install the antenna with a fairly long coax run (150 ft) with the apex of the inverted "vee" at 22 ft. (30 ft reccomended) inbetween heavy tree rows in my pecan orchard. SWR practically flat on all bands, including six meters. The only reason I use my tuner now is for use of the meter. Just no need to tune with such low SWR across every band. (except 15 and 30 meters)

Within a few hours after hanging the antenna I had worked Slovak Republic, Russia, Nicaragua, Lithuania, and Poland on 20 meters. Not one signal report less than 5/8.

This is the finest wire antenna I've ever used. Just cannot reccomend it enough. Will check back in for an update in a few months.
N7VXD Rating: 2006-04-11
Great All-Around Antenna! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
After "frying" a couple of Carolina Windoms with 1KW PEP, I decided it was time to try something more rugged. The Buckmaster 7-Band OCF 3KW version seems to fit the bill. Built like a "Sherman Tank", high-quality construction and ease of installation makes this antenna a real winner. My Buckmaster is mounted flat-top between two trees about 40 ft. in the air.

The manufacturer claims the antenna to cover 7-bands, but it will do more. He's what I've found:

80 meters: 1.8/1 SWR or less across the band
40 meters: 1.4/1 SWR or less across the band
20 meters: 1.2/1 SWR or less across the band
17 meters: 1.4/1 SWR or less across the band
15 meters: 2.5/1 SWR or less across the band
12 meters: 1.5/1 SWR or less across the band
10 meters: 1.5/1 SWR or less across the band

The big surprise is 160 meters. At 1.9 mHz and below, 1.8/1 or less. Above 1.9 mHz the SWR jumps as high as 4.0/1. The manufacturer does not recommend using this antenna on 160 or 30 meters, and I found 30 meters to have a very high SWR. My Icom PW1 tunes this antenna with ease and even makes a good showing on 160 meters. I haven't tried 6 meters yet but Buckmaster claims a very low SWR across the whole band.

Finally, this antenna is built to last. After seeing the quality of construction of other manufacturers out there, I believe the Buckmaster is really worth the money and way ahead of all of them Check it out.
K3VV Rating: 2006-03-07
Liked it so much I bought a second one Time Owned: more than 12 months.

I have two Buckmaster 3KW antennas suspended from a single tree at right angles to each other. One is broadside E-W at 35 feet, and the other is broadside N-S at 42 feet. The ends are at 15-25 feet, suspended with 5/16 dacron rope using halyards and 10-15 pound counterweights. Each of the antennas is fed with 120 feet of buried Davis RF Bury-Flex RG-8 cable, switched in the shack with an Alpha-Delta coax switch.

As mentioned by others, construction is totally robust. Neither antenna shows FS degradation after over a year in the air. Both antennas made it through winter winds and ice storms without incident.

The antennas show about 3-4 dB of directivity on 80 and 40 meters and as much as ~20 dB directivity on higher bands. Patterns are complex on 20 meters and higher. I don't keep track of the patterns themselves -- I just switch to the antenna that yields the better signal.

Both antennas are, as advertised, no-tune propositions on six HF bands -- I did not evaluate them on 6 meters. Nevertheless, I use my K1's and K2's built-in autotuners routinely when QSYing to a new band -- good practice when using a muliband antenna.

Raw SWR is ~5:1 on 30 meters and ~3:1 on 15 meters in my installation. Both antennas tune to ~1.2:1 on 30 meters and ~1.7:1 on 15 meters, using the KAT1 and KAT2 autotuners. I have made many stateside and DX contacts on 30 and 15 meters using these antennas at QRP power levels.

Both stateside and DX, the Buckmasters work at least as well as other 135-ft antennas that I have erected at this QTH at equivalent heights. The Buckmaster 3kW antenna does not appear to be a "magic" antenna, and to their great credit, Buckmaster makes no such claim. Rather, it's just an effective dipole that is stupendously easy to use. Performance is 3-4 dB over that of a older but well-maintained Fritzel FD4 mounted at the same height on another part of the property.

I was able to sniff a little current on the shield exterior, so I mounted Wireman W2DU baluns at the feedpoints. This is probably not strictly necessary, but again, this is good practice, especially when running QRO, which I occasionally do.

The real and considerable benefit of these antennas compared to a balanced-feedline doublet is that they tune with low SWR on 6 bands and with modest SWR on 30 and 15 meters. Calculated feedline loss including SWR-induced loss is < 0.8 dB on 10 meters and < 1.6 dB on 15 meters.

The Buckmasters are definitely worth the money, and they occasion far less maintenance and operate-time fiddling than the classic 135-ft doublet, at least in my experience.

Usual disclaimer applies.

Ken Rice
KC4QH Rating: 2006-02-02
Fantastic and Quiet Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Absolutely the best dipole I have owned or tried. Superior to the Windom. Yes, the OCF is pricey, but well worth the money. Quiet on all bands, flat across from 80-10, with a bump to 1:2.0 on 20M. Worked Europe, Asia, South Africa, West Coast, Canada, South America mostly on 17M and 20M. 90% of the reports are 5-9. Configured as a slight inverted V at 50 apex and 30 ends. 100 watt ICOM 7000. No amps. I have used it on the top end of 160M. Excellent construction. Would buy another product from them again without questions.
N9VV Rating: 2005-10-23
resonant just as advertised Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Fine construction and resonant on all advertised bands. I am very pleased with it compared to several previous Radio Works Carolina Windom ANTs.
AH6B Rating: 2005-02-20
Great performer Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
As expected, the antenna (now at 30 feet) performs even better than before, which is pretty amazing considering it's high level of performance at 15 feet.
N4CQR Rating: 2004-07-26
Excellent Product - Very Pleased Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
HamCall.Net 6-Band OCF Dipole

Initial observations:

Very nicely made antenna and the closest thing I have seen that compares to the Fritzel FD-4 both in construction and performance. The antenna's weight is just a bit over 7 pounds and requires a fairly strong support.
The weight is the result of the wire; insulated #12, 65-strand. Overall length is a bit over 135 feet.
The wire leaving the balun goes through an insulator and is held in place with what appears to be similar to a C-23 wire rope crimp. The same is used on the end insulators. The center end insulators are nicely done and are drilled in such a way as to provide a smooth surface for the wire and support ropes. A really nice
feature is the drip ring around the antenna connector. There are no external wire or
solder connections to come loose, corrode or break.
The antenna is rated for 300 watts, however, a 3KW model is available for $179.00 at the time of this writing. I don't use an amp so the 300 watt model is fine for my casual operating.


It is recommended that the antenna be installed at 30 or more feet above ground with the
ends 8 or more feet above ground. Being limited in my options for installing the antenna,
I came up with a modest 20' support. Two overlapped 14-foot 1X4s which are showing the antenna's weight. The ends are about 6 feet off the ground and tied off to a wood fence. The antenna is being fed with 65 feet of mini RG-8.

Check Out:

A quick check with a MFJ-259 showed all of 80/75-meters under 2.5:1. Forty, 20 and 17 meters under 1.6:1 Twelve and 10-meters under 2.5:1 across the band. Thirty and 15 meters were around 4:1 and 5:1 respectively across the band. These figures are a fairly close match the manufacturer's figures on their web site. A couple of on-the-air checks were very, very encouraging. One operator immediately noticed a dramatic improvement over my previous antenna - a 104' doublet. Short-wave and BCB reception is nothing less than outstanding.

Final Thoughts:

Impressed! Although a bit expensive ($129.00) I consider this being a good purchase and
I have no regrets. Finding a better (taller) support in store for the Fall but for the time it is working out really well.

Buckmaster Antennas
6196 Jefferson Highway
Mineral, Virginia 23117