3B9GJ in MH10rh


W7GJ 6m EME DXpedition
August 27-September 8, 2023

Rogrigues Island, Mauritius

(CQ Zone 39, IOTA AF-017, ITU Zone 53)

Antenna Location at 240' above the ocean from the northeast corner of Rodrigues Island.



Providing the first ever 6m contacts to the United States from FH last fall is a tough act to follow! I have tried for some time to activate ZD9 on 6m EME, but was told at the end of 2022 that my berth from Capetown to Tristan da Cunha had to be re-assigned to a government contractor who had been delayed due to the previous Pandemic travel restrictions. I have been placed high on the waiting list to travel to ZD9 in September, 2024; we will see if  it works out next time. In the meantime, for 2023, I selected 3B9 as a backup 6m EME DXpedition destination.

Until recently, 3B9 also had never been contacted before on 6m from the United States, but 3B9FR is doing a great job on TEP and F2 ;-) So I will focus on activating 3B9 on 6m EME to contact stations who cannot take advantage of the ionospheric propagation to 3B9. In order to provide sufficient advance planning for stations wishing to contact me while I am in 3B9, I am providing plenty of advance notice of this DXpedition.

As you know, a good location can mean everything to the success of one of these DXpeditions. Ideally, the site must be quiet, provide enough open space to erect and operate the large antenna and - especially from a location as distant from potential contacts as 3B9 - must provide a good view of the moon rising and setting out over the ocean. I searched for months for a suitable QTH in 3B9, and think I finally found one that will provide capability for good EME and terrestrial success. The location on Rodrigues is shown on the Google Earth map above. The other maps show where in the world this remote place is located.  I hope you will make the effort to look for me!


I will be leaving home early on August 23 and plan to finally arrive in Rodrigues in the middle of the day on Sunday, August 27.  I plan to tear down and pack on Thursday September 7 and depart for home on September 8.  Because of the lengthy plane flights, in addition to the layovers, there are a number of days required just in traveling.  However, I expect to have everything operational in plenty of time for the optimum EME conditions. I MAY even be able to be QRV as early as the NA moonrise on August 28. I expect to have internet access and hope to be able to announce my status via email and the ON4KST EME CHAT page, and update my log of EME contacts on this web page.

This operation does include the lowest Degradation days of the month, which take place during a full moon.  For me, at least on the best days, this means EME operation during the night, which
is the ideal time to avoid high TEC interference from locations so close to the geomagnetic equator. And for those in the USA, I will be QRV the entire Labor Day Weekend, so no need to take time off from work!

The remoteness of this location causes the common moon windows with NA to be extremely small. Therefore I will be giving priority to NA stations during their moonrise and moonset. As you can see from the panorama below, I expect to have a negative horizon out over the ocean between an azimuth of 80 degrees around through north to 257 degrees. That means a negative over water moonrise after September 2, and a negative over water moonset after August 30. Unfortunately, there are only a couple days at the end of the operation when I will have brief common moon windows with western NA stations during their moonsets. I chose a 3B9 QTH that will provide a clear shot out over the ocean during my moonrise on those days, and hope that the good ground gain (between -1.5 and +3 degrees) I expect to have on my end with the antenna at 240' ASL will overcome the increased Degradation on those days and still provide enough opportunity for contacts with the western NA stations during their moonsets.

I will be able to have common moon with the East Coast NA stations the entire time. I will have common moon with EU the entire trip, although I do have difficulty elevating over 55 degrees, and I lose any ground gain above 45 degrees elevation.  So, if you can, please look for me when my moon is lower than 45 degrees.  During the beginning of the operation, the Declination is quite far south and the moon in 3B9 is quite high. I do not expect to be QRV when the moon is above 55 degrees elevation. I think that still gives me plenty of common moon with everyone; if you think there is a problem with your being able to contact me, please send me an email with a proposed sked time and we will see what might be possible.


As you can see from reviewing the results from my 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.  If you have a good yagi, good ground gain, a quiet QTH, good power and lots of patience, we should be able to complete!  This is especially true in  the many situations in which we should both have ground gain at the same time! A complete description of all the equipment being used on this DXpedition can be found here.


My tentative operating schedule as an Excel spreadsheet is here, and  in pdf format is here. The 3B9 local time is 4 hours ahead of UTC. On the operating schedule, I have indicated times when the elevation is over 55 degrees by marking those cells in red.  If possible, I will try to remain QRV when the moon is high and elevate as high as I can, especially during the days of lowest Degradation.  However, if nobody seems to be around, I may choose to go QRT if nobody shows up during those periods, or if I have already worked stations whose moon is on the horizon during those periods.  Please check on the ON4KST EME CHAT page for updates regarding my activity during such periods. Please just keep watch on 50.190 and I will try to stick to the published schedule as closely as I can.

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 should have a good view at a height of 240' over the ocean, and it will soon become clear after a few moonrises which elevations are best for my ground gain lobes.  Please watch the ON4KST EME 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.  As long as you are not on the same frequency as the other station, you will not be interfering with them.  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 will be using Q65-60A in the "Q65 Pileup" mode in the most recent version of WSJT-X. This averages callers on their particular offset frequencies, so
NEVER change your transmit frequency after you start calling - pick a clear frequency nobody else is using and stay on it!  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.  

Because of my location in the Indian Ocean, the only possibility for ground gain with NA is when the moon is rising or setting for one or both of us.  I expect to have many callers from horizon-only stations in NA as the moon rises across the continent. Depending on your location, I may also have ground gain during my moonset as your moon rises. Let's make some real magic!


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  are very limited, and many stations are expected to be calling.  

Sorry, no eQSL or other newfangled ways of confirmation. I will upload all contacts to LOTW.  I also will be printing photo QSL cards.  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 free.  However, I will very much appreciate receiving a self addressed envelope to relieve some of the burden of looking up all your addresses on QRZ.com.

For EME, I plan to operate on 50.190, where I run 6m EME skeds when I am at home. I will always transmit in the first sequence Q65-60A using "Q65 Pileup" mode.  Please call me using either Q65-Pileup or NA VHF Contest Mode  from the most recent version of WSJT-X. Please DO NOT call me using any other modes. I will not be sending signal reports - in NA Contest Mode, only the grids are exchanged! So if you want to get in the log, make sure to spread the word to get on WSJT-X and operate in NA VHF CONTEST mode, which is the most sensitive for me to decode with Q65 Pileup mode on my end, and also results in faster contacts. And this will NOT work well with compound callsigns!!  That is why I have applied for a real 3B9 callsign and I suggest that you just send me your callsign and grid, even if you are operating portable. Do NOT call me with a /P or /R or /# after your callsign - your grid will show where you are!

Here is the link to download the most recent version of WSJT-X:


Here is my step-by-step checklist to setting up Q65-60A for success on EME:


And here is a more detailed explanation of the DXpedition procedure I am using:


Remember, PLEASE, DO NOT USE A SINGLE RR73 to try to complete a contact with me! Change your messages so you send RRR instead, for as long as it is needed! (Just double click on message # 4 to toggle back and forth between RR73 and RRR).

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 ! 
It is very inconvenient for me to switch modes while I am calling CQ or working EME stations, so please do not call me on CW or SSB or FT8 and expect me to switch over to answer you. If you should copy me on some ionospheric mode while I am pointed at the moon and am calling CQ on Q65-60A mode, please answer me in that mode and let's make a quick contact! Please do NOT call me on anything other than EME unless I am calling CQ! Please only contact me once! Do NOT interrupt me if I have already contacted you before!

When I am not aimed up at the moon, I very well may be on SSB or FT8 mode.  For FT8, I will be using the most recent version of WSJT-X on 50.313 MHz If signals are strong and there are many callers, I may switch to FT4 on 50.318. 

It is extremely expensive to haul a 6m EME station halfway around the world to this location.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 and lodging costs alone will be over $7000.  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 QRZ.com mailing address, or directly via PayPal using the "FRIENDS AND FAMILY" option 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 have already very generously contributed to this DXpedition:


MNI MNI TNX for your continued support!!

http://www.advancedreceiver.com/101.gif         M2 Antenna Systems,


EF0609GJ Yagi installed on the M2 24' high Portable Mast in Terre Rouge, Rordigues Island. Yagi mount was the W7GJ Hinged Mount. Elevation and Azimuth was manually set through use of the 4 nylon steering lines attached to the yagi as shown in the photo below. Feedline was 50' of LMR-600 Ultra Flex coaxial cable. Preamplifier was ARR into an Airspy R2 SDR receiver. used with SDR Console software to feed audio to WSJT-X Improved using a Virtual Audio Cable. Transmitter was an ELAD FDM-DUO SDR transceiver putting out 3 watts to drive a DX Shop Custom DXpedition solid state amplifier. View in the photo below is looking toward the northeast with the yagi in stowed position pointing with the prevailing winds from the southeast.

Final Moonrise September 7, 2023
(Look how strong some of those stations were!)


I met several times with Robert, 3B9FR, and answered a number of questions from him regarding EME and 6m propagation. He is very enthusiastic about 6m and how easy it is from the TEP Zone to be successful even with low power.  He is currently using a 6 element quad with less than ideal feedline. However, as he has demonstrated over the last year, he is more than capable of successfully working strong signal 6m modes such as TEP and F2. He has a particularly good shot toward the west, with a horizon view of the ocean, as shown in the photos below.

I left him with a Mirage KP-1/6 RF switched preamplifier for 6m, along with UHF to N coaxial cable adapter connectors and a cable, so he can connect the preamp to his system. I also provided him a 12 VDC cable connector to allow powering the preamplifier from a separate little "wall wart" power supply so he would not blow up the transistor with transient voltage spikes generated by the transceiver connected the main 12 VDC power supply. Although the Mirage KP-1/6 preamp is RF switched and hard PTT keying for transmit mode is optional, I left him with a 12 VDC PTT relay box and cables so he could power that box from a computer USB port when/if he needs to key the preamp and/or other devices (such as coaxial relays, an amplifier, an SDR switch, etc.) for transmit in the future. My experience operating at 3B9 suggested to me that the high noise level there is primarily due to LED lights, which is not reduced by an SDR receiver or wide band noise blanker. For that reason, and the fact that he had no coaxial relays or any way to incorporate an SDR receiver into this station operation,  and the fact that his old computer was already challenged in running the digital  communication programs, I did not leave him with an SDR or load up SDR-Console on his computer.
In summary, the 6m EME DXpedition has to be considered a success for completing with 78 stations on 6m EME.  All the equipment arrived with us and everything worked properly. Normally during a 6m EME DXpedition to a rare DXCC, I expect to work over 100 stations, but I lost a moonset as well as a number of hours of elevated operation because of the unusually strong winds during the first week of the operation. Also, since many of the European stations had already worked 3B9FR on 6m, there was less demand for that DXCC from that part of the world.

Although 6m EME was the prime objective during this trip, there were a few instances when it was convenient to check for TEP propagation, and 21 stations were worked on FT8.

Following are the logged contacts during the 3B9GJ 6m EME DXpedition

#     CALLSIGN     GRID       DATE


1     3B9FR     MH10RH    29 August 2023


1     JG1TSG    QM05AC   
29 August 2023
2     JA7QVI    QM08KA
3     ZL1RS     RF64
4     ZS4TX     KG30BV
5     ZS6NK     KG46RC
6     G8BCG     IO70RK
7     PJ4MM     FK52VE
8     VK3DUT    QF32VF
9     JO1PSX    QM05AS
   30 August 2023  
10    JA9SJI    PM86QQ

11    VK5PJ     PF95MK
12    KJ9I      EN53QB   
31 August 2023
13    W5WP      EM00IH
14    K2ZD      FN21NR
15    W9GA      EN53
16    K9RX      EM84
17    W0GJ      EN43
18    WB9Z      EN60
19    VK2XN     QF59AR
20    S57RR     JN65UM
21    OH7KM     KP11VJ
22    ZL3NW     RE66HO
23    N3XX      EM73WL
    1 September 2023
24    K4PI      EM73OQ
25    S59A      JN76
26    W9JN      EN54
27    NV9L      EN60BR
28    N9IW      EN65KF
29    N8RR      EM98CG
30    XE2OR     DL98OK
31    N5DG      EM20AB
32    W8IW      EM98FJ   
2 September 2023
33    W8PAT     EN81VG
34    N7NW      CN87QF
35    NU4E      EM84     
3 September 2023
36    N8DX      EM98CG
37    N1DG      FN42PA
38    W8UV      EM98
39    PY2XB     GG66PI
40    N7NR      DM52LL
41    K5XI      DM09EI
42    JE3GRQ    PM75SR
43    OH3SR     KP21CL
44    SM7FJE    JO65VU
46    K8CX      EN91RF   
4 September 2023
47    KA9CFD    EN40OM
48    K9CT      EN50BQ
49    W3UUM     EL29PW
50    K5RK      EL29IH
51    NJ6D      DM42
52    W6XU      CM88MJ
53    K6EME     DM06DK
54    WW2DX     DM09
55    N7IP      CN85
56    PC5C      JO33EE
57    PA5Y      JO21VO
58    IW5DHN    JN53GI
59    F1IXQ     IN96GQ
60    AA7A      DM52DR   
5 September 2023
61    W6UC      DM05II
62    K6QXY     CM88QL
63    W7GJ      DN27UB
64    AJ7LL     DN27TB
65    NJ6P      DM05
66    KB7Q      DN27
67    K7KX      DM05
69    KL7HBK    BO49ET
69    WW1L      FN54OM   
6 September 2023
70    K1SIX     FN43AD
71    WA5VGI    DM05
72    ES6RQ     KO28WA
73    OG2M      KP20JG
74    HA8FK     KN06IF
75    N4BAA     EM79HU   
7 September 2023
76    OH2BC     KP30TX


1     BA7NQ     OL63NA    1 September 2023
2     BG8SRK    OL05
3     BG8SRK    OL05
4     BA5CJ     PL07
5     BH7ACO    OL68      2
September 2023
6     JR1LZK    QM06FI
7     BH4SPN    PM01
8     BA4SI     PM01HD
9     JN1JFC    QM06AD
10    BH7ACO    OL67
11    9K2GS     LL39XG
12    4X6ZK   
13    4X6ZK   
14    SV5/SV1LK   
15    SV5DKL   
16    4Z1TL   
17    9K2GR     LL49
18    4X6YA   
19    3B9FR     MH10QH
20    YO4RYU/MM MH22  
21    BH7ACO    OL67     
4 September 2023

This page last revised on 27 September, 2023