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)
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.
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.
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):
|France||6A||RNT PARIS 2|
|France||9B||RNT PARIS 5|
2m (144.174 MHz USB) FT8 view of the tropo event
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)
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
...as 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
The next screenshot graphs out the received distances using WSPR on 30m (relative to UK) and plots my own station capabilities in black
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)
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:
Stats App Updated
I've updated my online stats app to include 2016 & 2017 data
Ping ping ping...
A superb multi-TX meteor scatter event during the Leonid meteor shower
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
The band was rammed with DX signals as illustrated by the spectrum screenshot below:
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.
...so 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.
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
Meteor Detector for HDSDR (MD4)
I've written software to automatically detect radio signals within HDSDR waterfalls, see Meteor Detector for HDSDR
October 2016 B2 Es
Early evening opening to Algeria
Spanish Tropo Duct Tue/Wed 27/28 Sep 2016
Image credit/source William Hepburn https://www.dxinfocentre.com/tropo.html
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
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
Excellent Meteor Scatter - 24-04-2016
8 stations received from 3 countries from a single meteor View Map
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: https://www.apritch.co.uk/TropoSweden1145Km.png
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: https://www.apritch.co.uk/TropoPoland1286Km.png
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
17:51z 87.5 TUR PAL_FM__ 3235 Adana-Alihocali 3415 Km ****************************************************