A blog about FM DX events in Telford, UK

08/09 June 2023 Tropo!

After a hiatus of a number of years (since 2019) there was some FM DX to report on in Telford. Whilst not the greatest FM DX event ever; it was certainly nice to see the ducting back in action with good conditions from Denmark and Germany into Telford.

The duct was caused by a classic Tropospheric sandwich (warm air on top with a radio signal filling aloft a cold North Sea)

RDS from Denmark, screenshot

Sunday 11th July 2021

Very intense sporadic E opening to Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland. The MUF extended up into the 2m (144MHz) band which meant excellent FM DX conditions, as illustrated below:

Saturday 3rd July 2021

Sporadic E enhanced Meteor Scatter

This MS appeared (03:59z) a few hours before a very strong FM DX opening to Italy.

Es Enhanced Meteor Scatter

The FM DX opening peaked at around 08:25z with a maximum useable frequency (MUF) extending in to the 2m (144MHz) band. A number of 2m FT8 stations were also recieved here, during this strong opening.

FM DX Es from Italy

Tropo December 2019

The year ended with excellent tropospheric ducting conditions making for a superb crop of DAB DX. DAB was received in Telford from France, Holland, Belgium and Germany (see below)


Of note was the reception of Belgium [5A VLAA...], France [8A LILLE] and Holland [9D Zuidwest] multiplexes on a portable radio.

In addition to the above I also received the following multiplexes on the same portable radio from a local high spot (Longymynd 1700ft ASL):

Belgium6C NAM-LUX 2
France9B RNT PARIS 5
France9C Rouen-Local 1
France10A Rouen-Etendu

2m (144.174 MHz USB) FT8 view of the tropo event

2m FT8 DX

2m FT8 DX


Up until the 18th June the Maximum Usable Frequency (MUF) struggled to get much above 4m's (70MHz), however on the 18th of June; normal SpE service was resumed. The lack of FM DX Es maybe due to the current solar minimum and/or the non-seasonal weather in and around the UK. (monsoon? From a low-pressure system anchored over the UK)

/fmblog/June Es 2019 FM DX

As a side note it is often said that there is a correlation between the appearance of noctilucent clouds and SpE. Given the exceptionally good NLC season this June it would appear to disprove that theory.

June 2019: 404 Sporadic E

DX not found.

FM & DAB DX 29/30th June 2018

The UK heatwave combined with a chilly North Sea (10c) to produce excellent short-range tropospheric ducting conditions facilitating the reception of the following continental DAB multiplexes (from Holland & Germany) in Telford

DAB DX well as the following FM DX

Adventures in weak signal propagation (FT8 & WSPR)

Slightly "off topic" but I thought readers may be interested in what can be achieved with modest equipment using the FT8 and WSPR data modes. The 1st screenshot shows the stations I've received between 03-June-2018 and 24-June-2018 via Sporadic E on 6m using FT8. I've been using FT8 on 6m (and this website) as a heads up to potential band 2 openings

ft8 6m

The next screenshot graphs out the received distances using WSPR on 30m (relative to UK) and plots my own station capabilities in black

wspr 30m

The final screenshot is the distance I've achieved using a 200mW wsprlite classic and a 20m dipole (again plotted against min/max/average of UK radio amateurs)

wspr 20m

The map and graphs have been created using the R scripting language in RStudio and data from WSPRnet and PSKreporter. Using R and WSPRnet I've created a dashboard of conditions, as per the example below:

wspr dashboard

Stats App Updated

I've updated my online stats app to include 2016 & 2017 data

fm dx stats

Ping ping ping...

A superb multi-TX meteor scatter event during the Leonid meteor shower

Leonid multi transmitter ping

Good Tropo Oct/Nov 2017

At the end October and into the start of November an excellent tropo duct opened up initially to Ireland then across northern France and into Belgium. At this location in Telford lots of new stations were received along with the regulars at some very impressive signal levels

rds October 2017

The band was rammed with DX signals as illustrated by the spectrum screenshot below:

rds October 2017

Norway still on FM 22nd July 2017

On 22nd July (via Sporadic E) I logged NRK P1 from Oslo. After enquiring on the SkywavesDX forum it would appear that not all of the high powered transmitters have been decommissioned (in favour of DAB) as yet. According to the forum the next tranche of high powered TX's to be switched off is due September 2017.

Norway FM DX July 2017 this may be my last logging of NRK P1?

June 2017 1000+ Stations Logged

After last year's atrocious June conditions where I logged a mere 200+ stations I was not prepared for this year's fabulous conditions. This June has beaten my previous best of 933 (June 2013) Sporadic E stations logged.

June 2017 Es stats

The above graph illustrates the number of stations logged (per day) through June 2017

11 consecutive days of Sporadic-E and a Double Hop (2E)

A nice run of SpE FM DX from 30th May to 9th June including a rare double hop to Israel

consecutive stats

Meteor Detector for HDSDR (MD4)

I've written software to automatically detect radio signals within HDSDR waterfalls, see Meteor Detector for HDSDR

md4 example

October 2016 B2 Es

Early evening opening to Algeria

radio Soummam rds

Spanish Tropo Duct Tue/Wed 27/28 Sep 2016

Image credit/source William Hepburn credit/source William Hepburn

A narrow but intense tropo duct opened up between Southern UK and North West Spain on Tuesday night allowing strong signals to be received from this area. Spain finally made an appearance (almost RDS signal) here in Telford at 03:25 GMT on Wednesday morning with RNE-CLAS 88.2 and RNE-5 92.8 from O Páramo

The duct then pivoted towards the Netherlands and Germany providing record breaking conditions into North West Spain

11th/12th August - Perseid Meteor Shower

A very active shower this year 11th and 12th

perseid meteor scatter waterfall I even managed to photograph a Perseid meteor

Friday 5th August

Great FM DX Es day on Friday with stations received from many countries

June Es Poor - 2016

June turned out to be a very poor month this year for Sporadic E. I logged just over 200 stations compare this to 672 last year and 933 in 2013.

Intense Tropo and DAB DX - 06-06-2016

A short range but intense tropo opening which had German and Holland stations receivable on a portable radio in the garden View Map

I also received my 1st proper DAB DX with the reception of 9D Zuidwest NL and 8A Randstad NL both from Holland (see screenshots). These were strong enough for unbroken audio and rendering of their station logos via the slideshow feature of DAB player.

DAB DX reception was achieved using a loft mounted DAB log-periodic 6-element beam and a NooElec R820T2 dongle, reception via portable DAB radio was not possible.



Es 2016 - 05-05-2016

1st decent Es opening with many stations received from Romania View Map

Algeria RDS - 05-05-2016

My 1st reception of Algeria (via Sporadic E) since RDS was enabled

Algeria rds

Excellent Meteor Scatter - 24-04-2016

8 stations received from 3 countries from a single meteor View Map

8 station meteor scatter

Ireland via Meteor Scatter - 03-04-2016

RTE Radio 1 from Clermont Carn on 87.8 at just 298 Km / 185 miles from here

Super Winter Es - 03-01-2016

A superb day of winter (could have been summer) Es

Super Aurora Es - 01-01-2016

Aurora Es on Band 2 (in my experience) are very rare and will typically only last a few minutes. So to have an opening for 2.5 hours is unprecedented

Norway/Finland/Sweden Aurora Es - 20-12-2015

Excellent Aurora Es opening

Finland/Sweden Aurora Es - 18-11-2015

Iceland Aurora Es - 03-11-2015

Es out of season - 02-11-2015

Antena 1 from Portugal

Super Tropo - Czech Rep. - 23-10-2015

Another 'special' tropo DX day, the highlight for me was receiving Czech Republic - Ceské Budjovice TX

Es out of season - 21-10-2015

I know it's 'back to the future' day today but I did not expect B2 SpE on and off for 2+ hours!

Super Tropo Sweden - 01-10-2015

Max distance Sweden SR P3 @1203 Km / 748 miles

This is when the event kicked off for me with stations being received from Norway, East Denmark, Germany and Sweden (Sweden being a Tropo 1st for me). Screenshot:

Super Tropo Poland - 02-10-2015

Max distance Poland Radio ZET @1396 Km / 867 miles

The conditions continued to be 'special' with Poland being received (another Tropo 1st for me) along with Germany, East Denmark and the Southern tip of Sweden. Screenshot:

Super Tropo Sweden - 03-10-2015

Max distance Sweden SR P1 @1242 Km / 772 miles

The 3rd didn't disappoint either with again very good conditions to Denmark and an East Coast Sweden station being received. The conditions dropped off quite quickly that day with only Norway on 87.8 hanging around till about 22:00z

Double Hop Es - 17-07-2015

I have been trying to log Turkey for years and on the 8th July I finally logged DAMLA FM on 87.5 and was very chuffed!. So you can imagine my joy to then log Southern Turkey along with Cyprus just 9 days later via double hop E's.

17:56z 87.5  CYP _RADYO__ 2279 Lefkosa/Selvilitepe 3396 Km

rds Cyprus 2E

17:51z 87.5  TUR PAL_FM__ 3235 Adana-Alihocali 3415 Km

Aurora Es - 17-03-2015

Good Spanish Tropo - 05-01-2015

Big Polish Es - 08-07-2014

Short Es Skip down to 832 Km - 02-07-2014

Spanish Tropo - 06-07-2014

Greece Es - 13-06-2014

91.6 Spain (North west corner) Tropo in Midlands - 15-09-2012