View to the northeast from the QTH in Ta'aoa, Hiva Oa

TX7MB in CI00ld

6m EME DXpedition by W7GJ


October 27 -November 7, 2021

  Ta'aoa Village, Hiva Oa Island, IOTA OC-027,CQ DX Zone 31, ITU Zone 63

A complete summary of the DXpedition can be seen here

This DXpedition was originally scheduled for 2020, but had to be postponed to 2021 because of the Covid 19 pandemic. Significant schedule changes were required because of reduced flights and then additional changes as more flights were added back into the airline schedule.  I have extended my stay to include favorable days for EME operation as well as common moon with just about all active 6m EME stations around the world.

Some old timers have already worked FO/M on 6m on F2, but it is still quite rare in North America and even rarer in Europe, and has never been activated on 6m EME. Of course, one of the reasons for this is the very high expense in getting there with all the equipment.  However, another very challenging obstacle is finding a location that affords common moon windows with most of the rest of the world. It is especially important to be able to have a relatively good moonrise from the Marquesas in order to be able to work eastern Europe and Africa.  As you will find, most available locations in the Marquesas are blocked to the east by the very steep and rugged mountains that are so characteristic of the topography there.  However, I finally found a location that appears to have an open enough view to the east to enable contacts during moonset in Eastern Europe and Africa. Although the mountains and neighboring houses to the west will prohibit operation below 20 degrees during my moonset, there will still be plenty of opportunity to contact stations as far west as Japan and Australia while I am elevated, as well as horizon-only stations across all of North America during their moonsets.

Because we are at the bottom of a very poor solar cycle, there is little chance of making any long distance contacts with high latitude stations on 50 MHz via the ionosphere. However, I will be active there during the optimum days of the month and at a time of the year to take advantage of the superb EME conditions afforded at this point in the low solar cycle. Since this DXCC is VERY rare, I am looking forward to providing a new DXCC with practically every half million mile contact. In order to provide sufficient advance planning for stations wishing to contact me while I am in FO/M, I am providing plenty of advance notice of this DXpedition. I am planning to use Q65 for all my EME operations, but I may have to resort to JT65A if a station has too much frequency instability.  I urge you to gain experience with both JT65A and Q65. Please  follow my Step-By-Step JT65A Setup Checklist and Step-By-Step Q65 Setup Checklist to make sure you are using them properly for EME!  And please also review the JT65 QSO PROCEDURE and Q65 QSO PROCEDURE that I use most effectively on these DXpeditions.  Remember also to use the SHORTHAND (SH) messages (the two tone RO, RRR and 73) in JT65A but do NOT check the SH box with Q65!  I look forward to contacting you on 6m!


As explained above, a good location can mean everything to the success of one of these DXpeditions.  The photos above show some of the key reasons that make this a highly desirable location. Most of the time, the antenna will be elevated, so the mountains to the north will not be a problem. And since 80 through 117 degrees azimuth is out ovthe first few days will be out over the ocean.  Although the antenna will be over 375m west of the ocean, it also will be over 66m above sea level, so there should be some good very low ground gain lobes, at least for the last 5 moonrises. This site does afford reliable AC power, nearby access to a source of food, a secure and safe location for the equipment, internet access, and an open spot to be able to set up and operate the antenna. I prefer to have the antenna clearing on the other side of the operating position, but we will have to hope that by siting the antennas directly to the south, the effects from aiming back north will be minimal, since the antenna will be at maximum elevation in that direction.

Local time there is 9.5 hours before UTC. The maps below show where in the world this remote place is located.   


Antenna Location at 216' above sea level in Ta'aoa, Hiva Oa


Because of the lengthy plane flights, in addition to lengthy layovers, a few days are required for traveling and then setup.  I expect to periodically have access to the internet.  I should be able to update this page daily with progress reports and stations worked and will also be sending out the same updates to the Magic Band EME email group.  I  will try to check in from time to time on the ON4SKT EME CHAT page.

I am going to the Austral Islands before the TX7MB DXpedition in the Marquesas.  Please work me from both DXCC!  Info on the FO/W7GJ DXpedition to the Austral Islands is HERE.


My equipment is described in detail hereAs you can see from reviewing the results on my web pages from previous 6m EME DXpeditions, many contacts were made with single yagi horizon-only stations.  The smallest station contacted from all the DXCC so far was N3CXV with his single 6M5X yagi (and 8877 amplifier) and extremely short, low loss feedline.  If you have a good yagi, good ground gain, a quiet QTH, good power and lots of patience, we should be able to complete, even if you are a horizon-only single yagi station!  


My tentative operating schedule as an Excel spreadsheet is here, in pdf format is hereThe moon position from TX7MB during the operating schedule is shown here. As shown in the planned schedule, operation is not planned when the moon is below 20 degrees elevation on moonset, or when the moon is greater than 75 degrees elevation. This schedule assumes that all the flights remain as scheduled, and I am able to get all my gear on each flight with me. All I can say is that I will TRY to be QRV for as much of the published operating schedule as possible. Please try to work me quickly when I do finally get set up.

If you copy me, please spot me on the DX Cluster so people will know the correct grid locator, as well as the frequency and my status.   I will diligently try to be QRV during all my moonrises and moonsets as published on the operating schedule.  The antenna will be installed at a height of 217' above the ocean, and it will soon become clear after a few moonsets and moonrises which elevations are best for my ground gain lobes and what effects, if any, local trees and bushes have on my ability to aim in certain azimuths/elevations). Please watch the ON4KST EME CHAT page and/or the DX Cluster for updates on what people are copying and when. 

Please keep calling me even if you copy me working someone else, or even if you don't copy me.  As long as you are not on the same frequency as the other station, you will not be interfering with them, and your call and offset frequency will be added to the AVERAGE.  Please coordinate your calling frequency with others on the ON4KST EME CHAT page to prevent interfering with each other - ideally, stations should be spread out every 100 Hz.  I try to decode all callers every receive sequence, and I make a note of each caller and their DF (or "offset:") so I can reply to you as soon as I am able, or use that frequency to identify you later if you are copying me (by sending me reports - see the special DXpedition QSO Procedure links above). Therefore, NEVER change your transmit frequency after you start calling - pick a clear frequency nobody else is using, stay on it, and don't wait until you see me before you start calling!  I will try to contact any callers I can copy, but first priority will be given to people who are copying at that particular time, contributors, and stations with shorter common moon windows.  I also will be giving priority to  those stations who have demonstrated their unselfish commitment to 6m EME by their willingness to accept schedules as requested by other DXers who still need their DXCC.

NOTE TO ALL STATIONS:  Remember that I am using a single yagi, and it can be elevated only to a maximum elevation of 65 degrees, and if the guy ropes are wet, the elements are shorted out causing high SWR, making operation impossible.  I have a lot better success when my elevation is below 45 degrees.  So....even if you figure we have plenty of common window time, PLEASE don't wait until my elevation is too high to work you - if you are horizon-only, I encourage you to try to contact me when my moon is lower than 45 degrees elevation if at all possible!  With the ground sloping so rapidly to the east and the high horizon to the west of the antenna,  I am sure my usual ground gain lobes will not be there, and any ground lobe elevations will only be realized after the first few days.   If you are in NA and you have a 6m EME array with elevation, PLEASE call me after moonset in Europe or Africa.  I will be giving priority to Region 1 stations during their moonset.  There is lots of time to work NA while we are both elevated and/or during your moonset - MNI TNX!!! 

On the above tentative operating schedule spreadsheet, I have indicated times when the elevation is over 65 degrees by marking the time periods with diagonal lines throughout the cells.  If possible, I will try to remain QRV when the moon is higher than that but I may choose to go QRT when the moon is above 65 degrees. Please check on the ON4KST EME CHAT page for updates regarding my activity during such periods.  Please also note that  heavy rains can create a 1.5:1 SWR on the antenna, which is high enough to shut down the amplifier, and static crashes may make decoding difficult.  So, I may have to be off the air at times.  Please just keep watch on 50.190 and I will try to stick to the published schedule as well as I can. I hope you will make the effort to look for me!


As explained above, I expect to be able to send out daily updates to the MAGIC BAND EME email group and revise this website daily with a list of the stations worked.  Please watch the MAGIC BAND EME email list for updated information.  Please also share any updates with others on the ON4KST EME CHAT page.  
If there is some question regarding a contact, please DO call again.  However, once you have confirmed a contact with me, please do not call for a second contact - some of the common moon windows during the lowest Degradation periods are extremely limited, and many stations are expected to be calling during those short windows. 

I will be using full color photo QSL cards.  I submit my TX7MB log to LOTW.  If we have made a non-EME contact and you want a QSL card, please QSL DIRECT with SASE (foreign stations include a current IRC or $2 USD for postage) direct to:

Lance Collister, W7GJ
P.O.Box 73
Frenchtown, MT   59834-0073

If we have completed an EME contact, I am happy to QSL direct to you for free.  However, I will very much appreciate receiving your card and a self addressed envelope to relieve some of the burden of looking up all your addresses! PSE make sure your correct mailing address is listed on QRZ.COM!  MNI TNX!

For EME, I plan to operate on 50.190 and will always transmit in the first sequence.  I  plan on using Q65-60A mode in WSJT-X and will transmit on an "offset" of 1500 Hz.  With the "Wide Graph" of  WSJT-X, and my wide, flat bandwidth receiver, I should be able to see callers from an offset of about 200 to 2600 Hz. However, remember there could be a 100 Hz doppler shift on your signal, so please don't try to get too close to those band edges, or I may never be able to find you!  Here is how you spread out with Q65 mode:

Please check the ON4KST EME CHAT page for news from other hams in case I have to change this frequency due to receiver birdies at my end !  If you should copy me on some ionospheric mode while I am pointed at the moon and calling CQ on Q65 mode, please answer me on Q65 mode and let's make a quick contact!  It is very inconvenient for me to switch modes while I am calling CQ or working EME stations on Q65 mode, so please do not call me on CW, SSB or FT8 and expect me to switch over to answer you. 

When I am not aimed up at the moon, I very well may be on FT8 mode trying to take advantage of any TEP.  For FT8, I will be using WSJT-X on 50.313 MHz.  The QTH appears to be near the geomagnetic equator, so I expect there to be some TEP or other ionospheric propagation somewhere - please spot me if you copy me on a direct path (my DT=0).  
If there is too much flutter on the ionospheric signals for FT8, please look for me on Q65 mode on 50.305 MHz.

It is extremely expensive to haul a 6m EME station halfway around the world.  Too many times, we hear DXpedition stations say they can't take a 6m beam and/or amp because "they are already overweight and cannot afford the excess baggage fees".  If you want to do a good job and are committed to going halfway around the world to succeed, this unfortunately is a large part of the necessary expense. Although I always keep my costs as low as possible, my travel, excess baggage, flight change expenses and lodging costs alone to activate a rare DXCC far exceed any contributions.  Therefore, any contributions toward the DXpedition are greatly appreciated!  If you would like to contribute, please send your contribution by check or cash to my mailing address, or directly via PayPal to my email address, which is my current PayPal account.  I am only able to do these long distance 6m EME DXpeditions every year because of the continued support from the 6m community and I am extremely indebted to you for your continued support.  I have the time and equipment to go more often than once a year to new rare DXCC, but I just don't have the finances available.  Many thanks to the following hams who  recognize that a large percentage of the costs are incurred before leaving, and have already very generously contributed to this and the Austral Island DXpedition:

MNI MNI TNX for your continued support!!
         M2 Antenna Systems,
                                Inc            The DX Shop


Tue Oct 26
Wed Oct 27
Thu Oct 28
Fri Oct 29
Sat Oct 30
Sun Oct 31
Mon Nov 1
Tue Nov 2
Wed Nov 3
Thu Nov 4
Fri Nov 5
Sat Nov 6
Sun Nov 7
Mon Nov 8
Tue Nov 9


Here is a list of the total stations contacted via 6m EME:

Moonpass 1 - October 28

1. EA8DBM    1005 -32  2.9 2022 :  TX7MB EA8DBM RRR   q3
2. ON4GG    1023 -32  2.6 1485 :  TX7MB ON4GG RRR    q3
3. G8BCG    1053 -32  2.9 1705 :  TX7MB G8BCG RRR    q3
4. KJ9I    1105 -23  3.4  989 :  TX7MB KJ9I RRR     q3
5. ON4IQ    1111 -25  2.9 1476 :  TX7MB ON4IQ RRR    q3
6. N0TB    1149 -24  3.0 2366 :  TX7MB N0TB RRR     q3
7. KG7H    1153 -29  2.9 2034 :  TX7MB KG7H RRR     q2
8. ES6RQ    1209 -22  2.9 2187 :  TX7MB ES6RQ RR73   q3
9. K9RX    1221 -26  2.9  628 :  TX7MB K9RX RRR     q3
10. OH7KM    1221 -26  2.9  300 :  TX7MB OH7KM RRR    q0
11. N8RR    1239 -25  2.9 2315 :  TX7MB N8RR RRR     q0
12. DK2PH    1301 -29  2.9 1205 :  TX7MB DK2PH RRR    q3
13. N3XX    1309 -27  2.9  544 :  TX7MB N3XX RRR     q3
14. PA5Y    1313 -24  2.9 1805 :  TX7MB PA5Y RRR     q0
15. GM3POI    1321 -27  2.9 1708 :  TX7MB GM3POI 73    q3
16. K4PI    1337 -32  2.9 2421 :  TX7MB K4PI 73      q3
17. K2ZD    1407 -26  2.9 1480 :  TX7MB K2ZD RRR     q3
18. ZL1RS    1421 -32  2.9  870 :  TX7MB ZL1RS RRR    q4
19. W7JW    1507 -29  2.9 2071 :  TX7MB W7JW RRR     q3
20. JG2BRI    RRR received per chat
21. W8PAT    1727 -29  3.0 1015 :  TX7MB W8PAT RR73   q3
22. JA9SJI    1823 -24  2.9  896 :  TX7MB JA9SJI RRR   q3

Moonpass 2 - October 29

23. UR0MC    1051 -30  3.3 1468 :  TX7MB UR0MC RR73   q3
24. NJ6P    1117 -24  2.9 1223 :  TX7MB NJ6P 73      q0
25. OH2BC    1135 -32  3.3 1028 :  TX7MB OH2BC RR73   q3
26. F6BKI    1137 -27  3.1  930 :  TX7MB F6BKI RRR    q3
27. HA0DU    1155 -28  3.3 1743 :  TX7MB HA0DU RRR    q4
28. DL8YHR    1245 -32  3.1 2126 :  TX7MB DL8YHR RRR   q3
29. S57RR    1303 -32  3.2  808 :  TX7MB S57RR RRR    q3
30. HB9Q    1321 -24  2.9 1316 :  TX7MB HB9Q RR73    q3
31. K5XI    1343 -29  3.2 1747 :  TX7MB K5XI 73      q4
32. WA5VGI    1503 -32  3.2 1128 :  TX7MB WA5VGI 73    q3
33. JR3DVL    1513 -32  3.0  975 :  TX7MB JR3DVL 73    q3
34. JS2CQA    1521 -27  3.2 1290 :  TX7MB JS2CQA RRR   q3
35. W7IV    1521 -27  3.2 1290 :  TX7MB JS2CQA RRR   q3
36. JE3GRQ    1537 -23  3.1  968 :  TX7MB JE3GRQ RRR   q3
37. N7NW    1549 -32  3.1 1703 :  TX7MB N7NW 73      q3
38. K6ND    1605 -25  3.3 1094 :  TX7MB K6ND RRR     q3
39. W6UC    1633 -28  3.2 1079 :  TX7MB W6UC 73      q3
40. JA7QVI    1657 -29  3.0 2051 :  TX7MB JA7QVI RRR   q3
41. N1DG    1709 -25  3.1 2072 :  TX7MB N1DG RRR     q3
42. N8GTI    1739 -28  3.3  679 :  TX7MB N8GTI RR73   q3
43. N9IW    1751 -25  3.2 2038 :  TX7MB N9IW RRR
44. JG1TSG    1753 -28  3.1 2430 :  TX7MB JG1TSG 73    q3
45. K0DAS    1853 -32  3.2 1617 :  TX7MB K0DAS RRR    q0
46. K8OM    1859 -32  3.1 1616 :  TX7MB K8OM RRR     q3
47. W6BBS    1915 -30  3.1  306 :  TX7MB W6BBS 73     q3
48. K5NA    1919 -30  3.0 1783 :  TX7MB K5NA RRR     q3
49. K5DU    1943 -30  3.2 1778 :  TX7MB K5DU RRR     q3
50. JO1PSX    2017 -24  2.9 1273 :  TX7MB JO1PSX RRR   q3

Moonpass 3 - October 30

51. IW5DHN    1115 -16  3.0 2042 :  TX7MB IW5DHN 73    q3
52. UT7QF    1131 -27  3.2 1472 :  TX7MB UT7QF 73     q3
53. SP4MPB    1137 -25  3.1 1245 :  TX7MB SP4MPB RR73  q3
54. UA4CC    1139 -22  3.2 1723 :  TX7MB UA4CC RR73   q3
55. I4YRW    1231 -28  3.0 1440 :  TX7MB I4YRW RRR    q3
56. OH1LEU    1235 -25  2.6 2257 :  TX7MB OH1LEU RRR   q3
57. S59A    1333 -22  2.5 1897 :  TX7MB S59A RR73    q3
58. OZ4VV    1347 -24  2.9 2234 :  TX7MB OZ4VV 73     q3
59. GD0TEP    1401 -26  3.0 1708 :  TX7MB GD0TEP RRR   q3
60. N6BBS    1431 -32  2.7  466 :  TX7MB N6BBS RRR    q3
61. K6QXY    1433 -30  2.8 1818 :  TX7MB K6QXY RRR    q0
62. G4BWP    1445 -30  2.7 1088 :  TX7MB G4BWP RRR    q3
63. W6XU    RRR confirmed on chat
64. N7NR    1527 -29  2.9 2074 :  TX7MB N7NR RRR     q3
65. K7KX    1549 -23  2.8 1040 :  TX7MB K7KX 73      q3
66. W7GJ    1623 -24  2.8 1483 :  TX7MB W7GJ 73      q3
67. AJ7LL    1635 -25  2.8 1479 :  TX7MB AJ7LL 73     q3
68. W8OI    1639 -32  2.7 2263 :  TX7MB W8OI RRR     q3
69. K6EME    RRR confirmed on chat
70. W7KNT    1655 -18  2.8 1476 :  TX7MB W7KNT 73     q3
71. N8DX    1703 -29  2.8 2254 :  TX7MB N8DX RRR     q3
72. KB7Q    1713 -16  2.8 1473 :  TX7MB KB7Q RRR     q3
73. KY7M    1747 -23  3.2 1801 :  TX7MB KY7M RRR     q3
74. W9GA    1749 -25  2.8  440 :  TX7MB W9GA RR73    q3
75. AA7A    1829 -26  2.9 1482 :  TX7MB AA7A 73      q0
76. K6MYC    1843 -25  2.9  336 :  TX7MB K6MYC RRR    q3
77. W9JN    1859 -32  2.8  415 :  TX7MB W9JN RR73    q4
78. K9TVG    1909 -27  2.8  410 :  TX7MB K9TVG RRR    q3
79. N9GEP    1923 -24  2.8  410 :  TX7MB N9GEP RRR    q3
80. AC0RA    1933 -22  2.9 1483 :  TX7MB AC0RA RRR    q3

4th Moon Pass October 31, 2021

81. RW5C    1149 -26  3.2 1834 :  TX7MB RW5C 73      q3
82. UW7LL    1201 -18  3.1 1427 :  TX7MB UW7LL RR73   q3
83. US0LW    1211 -25  3.2 1427 :  TX7MB US0LW RR73   q3
84. PA9RX    1251 -27  2.7 1545 :  TX7MB PA9RX RRR    q3
85. SP3RNZ    1253 -26  2.9 2043 :  TX7MB SP3RNZ RRR   q3
86. YL2AO    1315 -26  3.0 2537 :  TX7MB YL2AO RRR    q0
87. SP7VC    1337 -32  2.9 2040 :  TX7MB SP7VC RRR    q4
88. N2RVU    1553 -27  2.9 1506 :  TX7MB N2RVU RRR    q3
89. WA9LFO    1611 -32  2.9  811 :  TX7MB WA9LFO RRR   q3
90. VK2XN    1825 -32  2.9 1156 :  TX7MB VK2XN RRR    q4
91. KC0SKM    1929 -22  2.8 1937 :  TX7MB KC0SKM RRR   q3
92. NR0X    1941 -25  2.8 1931 :  TX7MB NR0X RRR     q3
93. W0GN    1959 -21  2.9 1927 :  TX7MB W0GN RRR     q3
94. KL7UW    RRR confirmed on chat

5th Moon Pass November 1, 2021

95. ZS4TX    1229 -19  2.6 1630 :  TX7MB ZS4TX RRR    q3
96. OH6MW    1319 -31  2.9 1853 :  TX7MB OH6MW RRR    q3
97. LY2IJ    1335 -27  2.7  745 :  TX7MB LY2IJ RRR    q2
98. KC8ENN    1927 -23  2.9  451 :  TX7MB KC8ENN 73    q3
99. KA9CFD    RRR confirmed on chat
100. XE2OR    2133 -26  2.7 1778 :  TX7MB XE2OR RR73   q3

6th Moon Pass November 2, 2021

101. ZS6NK    1315 -21  2.7  828 :  TX7MB ZS6NK RRR    q3
102. N8JX    RRR confirmed on chat
103. G4FUF    1511 -23  2.9 2135 :  TX7MB G4FUF RRR    q0
104. F5LNU    1527 -32  3.0 1327 :  TX7MB F5LNU RR73   q3
105. KL7HBK    1609 -27  2.9 2099 :  TX7MB KL7HBK RRR   q4
106. W8IW    1633 -22  3.0 2330 :  TX7MB W8IW 73      q2
107. VK3ZL    2201 -30  3.7 1093 :  TX7MB VK3ZL RRR    q4
108. VK5PJ    2325 -32  2.7 1477 :  TX7MB VK5PJ RRR    q4

7th Moon Pass November 3, 2021

109. NU0P    1409 -27  2.3  897 :  TX7MB 4O6AH JN92   q3
110. WB8CQV    1459 -24  2.6 2083 :  TX7MB WB8CQV RRR   q3

8th Moon Pass November 4, 2021

111. PA7MM    1509 -26  2.5  645 :  TX7MB PA7MM RRR    q3
112. ZL3NW    RRR confirmed on chat  1846 -32 2.6 1589 : ZL3NW TX7MB RRR q4
113. NN7J    2013 -28  2.6  605 :  TX7MB NN7J RRR     q3
114. WB9Z     RRR confirmed by email

9th Moon Pass November 5, 2021

115. DK8NE    1603 -30  2.6 1029 :  TX7MB DK8NE RRR    q3
116. W5ADD     2005 -25  3.2  608 :  TX7MB W5ADD 73     q3
117. N4BAA    RRR Confirmed on chat
118. NV9L    2301 -27  2.6 1728 :  TX7MB NV9L 73      q3
119. YB2MDU RRR Confirmed on chat

10th Moon Pass November 6, 2021 - MOONRISE ONLY


Last  revised on 26 December, 2021