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Saturday, August 23, 2008

On the Air (QRP) from Vietnam

Our friend Jonathan, 7J1AWL, managed to overcome the bureaucratic barriers, and was on the air from some really beautiful locations in Vietnam.
Check out his pictures and videos: XV2OC
I really like the shot of Oscar in the helmet.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, thanks for the mention, Bill. It was a good time there.

    No joy for the first week or so, lacking a single CSCE that was needed by Hanoi--but that didn't stop me from setting up antenna and monitoring the bands from hotel rooms. Not much on the bands, though.

    But when the paperwork went through, and I got my call--that was when it started happening. Five nights QRV from DocLet Beach netted me a couple dozen contacts in half a dozen countries, all with about 4 watts into a little dipole.

    Once I got back into Saigon, I paid a visit to the 6th-floor shack of XV2A. He invited a bunch of friends who were either hams or would-be hams. They don't have a Amateur Radio League per se there, but there are a loosely organized group of avid hams with interest in homebrewing. They definitely have THE KNACK.

    Although I am not qualified, and I am not an engineer or anything--I found myself doing demonstrations of the DDS rig, the ATS3B and several peripherals. My key built from scraps of PCB was a hit--because it was basically free to make. They are eager to homebrew equipment, and XV2A was eager to see them get on the air within their modest means.

    Vietnamese hams are limited to military surplus and donated gear. XV2A's station was given to him by generous Japanese, US, and Australian hams--among others. But he wanted me to demonstrate that a non-engineer with simple tools and basic electronic skills could make DX contacts and have fun with ham radio.

    Talk naturally turned to the BITX20. I was excited to hear it mentioned by one engineer--especially because I am CW only, and nobody in the room knew the code. XV2A uses a computer keyboard and software to generate and receive CW. I was slightly disappointed because I love the code so much. But the gateway to many hams there in Vietnam is likely to be SSB or PSK-type modes.

    Anyway, it was a fun and successful side-DXpedition to VX2.
    Best 73,
    Jonathan KC7FYS/7J1AWL/XV2OC

    PS. Doug Fieger from The Knack actually does have the knack. He's a successful lawyer now, and the band still plays sometimes.

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