XV9RH (last update 2021/12/27)

Another work trip for an exotic country !

Trip 1: Oct 2018

I had a chance to go to Viet Nam for work in October 2018. This time I had a 7 day stay in the country including one weekend. It sounds not bad. The licensing procedure is relatively easy, though it took a bit time. Any of government process takes time in this country. Even my visa for work needed almost one month.

This time, I chose my hotel very carefully. I received a list of recommended hotel from the government. I checked the web sites of the hotels carefully, and I chose one hotel where the rooms may have windows which can be opened, according to the photos found in the web page.  I went into my room. It looked as I found in the web. I found the windows which can be opened, but they were locked for safety reasons. I can not open by myself ...oops

Again, indoor antenna like previous S2 operation. This time I prepared a bit for better results. I brought a laptop which may be better for RF feedback. I set my radio as far from the windows as possible for less feedback.

Propagations were not so good and I had severe noise in down town. 17m was productive as well. During several days operation after work, I managed approx 100 QSOs from Hanoi, a half with JAs and a half with EUs. Not so bad for me for spare time operation. Ok, it is enough this time.

+1 for DXFC !

Radio was set inside of the closet, next to the door to maximize the distance from the antenna hang at the window.

A 20m dipole hang at the window. Do you see it ?  ...


Trip 2: June 2021

Another chance of activation in Viet Nam happened during COVID period.

For my work purposes, I have spent almost one year to negotiate with Vietnamese counterparts for permit to get into the country. Since may 2020 Viet Nam enforced very strict border control, it is almost impossible for foreigners to get into the country.

Getting flight tickets is another hustle. At that time (end of May 2021) all normal commercial flights to Viet Nam were cancelled due to border control policy. Only limited numbers of "Rescue flights" were available, which were provided for Vietnamese nations to go home, or foreigners to evacuate the country.  We finally got tickets with lots of extra paperwork.

The flight is Qatar, with 14hr stopover at Doha.

The flight to Hanoi was completely empty, we, two, were only passengers on this big A350, meanwhile there were approx 10 cabin attendants on board.

After arrival, we are asked to ware a protective clothes. Then we had a ride of the special quarantine transport to the quarantine hotel.

The we had THREE WEEK quarantine at a quarantine hotel in Hanoi. For this 3 weeks, I prepare a bit to kill time. I applied a radio license and chose a hotel carefully, to choose one which has a balcony and opening windows.

My choice was as follows. Fortunately I had a 10F room (with red circle), which could be the best so far under this circumstance. No photo with my antenna, as I was not allowed to go out of my room for entire 3 weeks.


I was informed my license was granted before my departure. The hardcopy arrived at the hotel on day 2.


The antenna at the balcony.

Same radio.

The WPX CW weekend was just after my arrival. I tried to have some fun with it.

Unfortunately, my Bluetooth keyboard did not work with this PC, though I have tested them before the trip. I wasted hours and hours to solve the issue, but no luck. Finally I installed N1MM software and manipulated it with software keyboard on the screen. Maybe I was only one who played CW contest with this environment.
As it is mid of the big city, Hanoi and the noise level is extremely high. It was very tough propagation though, I had some fun with CW.

After that weekend, I tried FT8 as my first time. It is much easier ! Though the noise was still high, the software deals with it. During this 3 weeks in the Jail, I managed more than 2000 QSOs total, including some good DX on 6m.

It was a good experience, how to kill time during such boring quarantine period.