Optibeam just launched a set of 4 huge HF antennas, and the OB21-3 is definetely the one that caught my attention the most. It’s a 21 element HF beam, covering the 20, 15 and 10m bands; as some of you may know, Optibeam makes proper (and expensive) antennas: no traps, no shortcuts, nothing compact, nothing lightweight.
The OB21-3 is no exception, at 14m long, 11m wide and weighting 100Kg this is a real monster – rememeber there are triband trapped antennas weighting only around 10Kg. But if you want gain and realiability, this is probably your best bet: the 5 elements on 20m, 5 elements on 15m and 11 elements on 10m provide 15 to 17dBi of gain in a proper installation, the manufacturer rating it for winds of 130Km/h. But as the song says, “baby there’s a price to pay”, get ready to shell out about 2600 EUR for this beauty (I promise this is the last time I’ll make Christina Aguilera references).
But this 21 element beam is by far the smallest, when we look at the other 2014 models from Optibeam: the OB1-160 (yes, a rotatable dipole for 160m) weights 150Kg, the OB804030 (8 element 80m/40m/30m beam) ups the ante to 165Kg and the huge OB4-40 (4 element 40m beam) tips the scales at 185Kg. Don’t even try to look up the prices for these things, they’re even bigger.