Vietnam Ops XV9WJR - Field Report Part 3

Discussion in 'The DX Zone' started by WA7WJR, Jan 31, 2018.

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  1. WA7WJR

    WA7WJR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I began operating in Vietnam again last week (and will be on air until Feb 14; primarily on 20 meters). Unfortunately propagation conditions are very poor these days, and construction in the area is generating a lot of QRN. (As before, 40 meters is generally unusable here due to very high QRN.) Ungrounded power tools cause quite the ear blasting pulsating buzz in the headphones. Noise levels are S5 - S7 until about 2 pm local time, then I can operate with noise levels from S1-S3 until about 6 pm or so when they begin to increase again. But, again due to propagation conditions received signals are generally weak with QSB. Between the QSB and QRN it is really hard to pull out a call sign without several tries...for me QRS at 12 - 15 wpm usually helps. :)

    Unfortunately , I've only managed to pull in a dozen or so stations during 6 days of ops; but last night had a window to Europe and made contacts with stations in France and Finland both coming in clear. I can also hear the pileups from several nearby stations (Thailand, China, etc) trying to contact K6 ops in Kosovo, but I cannot hear that station....yet. I'll be patiently listening every day I'm here.

    Over the Christmas holidays I built a new Elecraft K2/100. So, now my DxVacation setup comprises of
    • Elecraft K2/100
    • Elecraft KAT 100
    • Buddipole Antenna at 35'
    • MFJ-818 VSWR/Wattmeter
    The K2/100 is doing wonderfully and I prefer this setup to the K2/10 and RM Italy HLA 305 amp I was using previously. (Obviously smaller footprint and lighter to pack.) There is a slight hum in the headphones when the cooling fan on the back kicks onto high and the noise blanker really has negligible affect on local QRN. The KAT 100 is not necessary with the Buddipole antenna, and I could probably do without it. I am also getting a little 'bite' on the surfaces of the K2 and Vibrokeyer. Finding a suitable ground is a problem here as described previously in past reports. The Buddipole antenna is up about 35' AGL on a bamboo pole as before, with the antenna radials oriented east/west about 15' above a metal roof.

    I neglected to pack ferrites, so I would definitely add those and/or common mode chokes to my packing list. Today I'll wrap an 'ugly balun' to see if that helps with RFI, run more wire hoping to find something close to a suitable ground, and pray to the sun gods for better propagation conditions.

    Any hints or tips on reducing RFI with extremely limited resources would be greatly appreciated. :)


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