Friedrichshafen 2019

Hi All
last year I went to the German Rally and enjoyed it, so this year I am going again but this time plan taking my sota kit and making time to play radio’s.
I have decided to drive my own car this year, three reasons. 1. I hired a car last time and got ripped off, 2. If I buy anything its easy to transport back, 3. I can play Sota on the way and way back.

I took a quick look at SOTA Mapping and I am looking at these summits. If anyone one else has any suggestions please let me know.

Drive to Folkestone, tunnel to Calais. Then looking at driving to Nancy area for a hotel. The next morning refreshed and a drive to FL/VO-019 in the morning then on to Germany and DM/BW-853. Once complete to which ever hotel we are going to stay at for the rally.
Friday at the rally and maybe Saturday or Sunday to do DM/BW-854 and DM/BW-348. Then the following day start heading home via Belgium and activating something like ON/ON-004.
Anyone any other or better suggestions I would be more than happy to listen to. I will have my Wife with me and she is not a mountain or hill walker so I am trying to keep things simple then she can come along and enjoy the atmosphere lol.

Cheers in advance

Hi Paul,
This thread might be of interest to you if you haven’t already found it:

73 Ed.

Also there’s a great feature in the latest SOTAMaps ( ) - set your route start and end points, let it map out the route and mark all summits within say 5 km of your route. I believe there are several relatively easy access summits with high points in FL and DM/BW.

There are many summits that are either a gentle walk or near drive on and many which are drive on summits. As Ed says, the SOTA maps will help. It should be possible for you to activate FL/NO, ON, LX, FL/VO and DM without really breaking into a sweat.

Drive on: FL/VO-002, DM/BW-015

Short walk: DM/DW-008, LX/LX-001, DM/BW-193

It all depends on your route and what you want. Do you want to activate as many associations as you can or get as many points? Or do you want to get to the rally and back ASAP with bagging something that’s not far from your chosen route.

Of course, a nice problem to have is trying to avoid other SOTA activators doing the same on their way to and from the rally. I bumped into Sake PA0SKP on a summit last year in France. We were doing the same 4/5 summits but in a different order. Luc ON7DQ was also never more than a few km away.

So many choices…

Hi Andy
points and associations would both be good, I am only probably spending one day at the rally, the rest is relaxing with a bit of SOTA thrown in. I had a quick look at mapping but cant see the route option? can you send me a link or explain please.


I just had a play and managed to do it with no instructions :grin: It’s on the range mapping page, have a play and see what you can do. I did Rotterdam to Kaiserslautern, then from there down to the SOTA meal QTH. Found lots of summits within 20km of the route. The only problem I found was making extra waypoints as I tried scrolling the map. I put this down to using a mobile phone. Will try on the desktop tomorrow.

Hi Paul, as Steve has helpfully pointed out, you can find this on the “range” page Range - find SOTA summits within range of geographical feature - measure on map - in sotamaps.

Click on the “Define range” button, and in the dialog you can choose any one of five ways to define a range within which summits should be found. The fourth option is “Road route”, which allows you to select start- and end-points of a road route, and then the width of a “corridor” around the road route in which summits should be found.

Click the “Map” button to display any summits found.

HTH, Rob

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The summits near a road route is a very useful feature as it finds all the summits in the range you give. You can do it by selecting multiple regions and manually inspecting. But that is prone to large numbers of user errors when there are many overlapping regions.

Once you know where you will be based, you can use the range about a place to locate summits. Again, simplifies things when multiple regions overlap you area of interest.

One point for Rob’s tip ! I use it a lot too.

For some inspiration on summits, read my blog posts of my trips to Friedrichshafen in 2017 and 2018.

If you want to increase your number of regions for the Mountain Explorer award, you can catch OE and HB0 in one day (but it involves a bit of walking).
And of course if you come to Belgium, you can grab a summit or two in Luxemburg !
The two in the southern part are both easy.

If you want it, I have compiled a document with all parking postions, tracks, tips and other info for the summits I did (and then some I skipped or plan to do in the fututre). Send me a PM for that.

73 Luc ON7DQ

I’m not going to Friedrichshafen, but am looking to plan a Benelux road trip in 2019. So this approach to bagging plenty of new unique SOTA activations is relevant to me.

Thought I’d better check what the driving licence situation is going to be. Answer: nobody knows.

“if there is no EU Exit deal or any other relevant agreement, you may need a new 1968 IDP to drive in…”

[list includes ON, F, DL, PA, LX]

BTW, different countries, ie EA, HB0, EI - have different IDPs, so it might be necessary to hold up to three different IDPs depending on itinerary. All the countries being discussed here though (UK <–> Fried, Benelux etc) are covered by the 1968 IDP.

Right then, visas…???

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The normal need for an IDP is when your driving licence is in a script that is not recognised by the country you are visiting. e.g. a driving licence with Japanese characters being presented in the UK. In this case the IDP you get in Japan would have stuff about your licence in a Roman font.

But you’re right there is confusion and today (11.15 16-1-2019) nobody knows. Well I was umming-and-ahing wondering about what will be happening and getting all concerned. Then speaking with my co-conspirator last night for this year’s bash, we decided to just go ahead and book flights and a car and get on with it. I don’t have enough minutes left in my life to worry what may happen. I will be flying, driving, eating, drinking, activating and rallying in Europe this Summer irrespective of the attempts by 52% of my countrymen to make this harder and more expensive for me.

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I was similarly confused by it all Andy. Fortunately, in this area we have a chap who explains it all, every morning, without fail, on 145.525MHz FM.

Like Andy my trip to France is booked for July. Le Shuttle, hotels, all done. If Brexit goes ahead and we have to purchase an international driving permit for near EU countries they cost about £6 only. Czech Republic also booked for May, so as backup driver on that tour I may also need an IDP for that.
Just now in UK Parliament 202 to 432 vote against current deal… Anything could happen about the need for an IDP … the clock is ticking hihi


Hi All
I have had a play with SOTA Maps and yes it is easy when you go into range, thank you. I have been having a play and lots of 10 points to be had. Thanks to G4OBK Phil’s Blog I have lots of ideas. Just need to pass these past the boss lol. They are mainly drive on summits so she should be ok, she just needs to understand that I am the boss and let her think she is. (Dont tell her that she would kill me).

Thinking of: BW-228, BW-195, BW/038, BW-156 and BW-193 just for starters. plus FL/NO-144, ON/ON-019, ON/ON-004 and maybe LX/LX-001 andLX/LX-003 on the way.

We are going for a week and a half so should be good. Thinking of driving over on the Wednesday before the rally, taking two days to get to a hotel, a day in the rally a little sight seeing and playing radios. What else can I ask for.


You wont believe how cheap Luxembourg is!

Diesel only, everything else for the tourist seems more expensive to me, not sure about tobacco.


Summer 2015 the petrol was was €0.85/L in Luxembourg City. €35 for a night in a 3* hotel and under €20 for a slap up 3 course meal. And you got €1.35 to the £ back then before the madness started!

Hi Paul,

ON/ON-004 is not the most attractive ON summit. Depending on the route you plan, there might be a better alternative. Feel free to contact me ( if you need some assistance.

73, Peter ON4UP
ON association manager

Yes, Pre the vote Andy. You did well in Luxembourg. The times I have stayed in the city I found it expensive. Once when I stayed there with Nick G4OOE in Wlitz in Luxembourg (Well out of the city close to one of the LX summits) the hotel was poor and overpriced. I would stay in Belgium if I visited LX again and hop across the border for the LX summits.

I checked out of my hotel in Garmisch on 24th June 2016 after an enjoyable night of hospitality with Martin DF3MC I received an expensive shock. We stayed 8 night, two persons in a small family run 4 start hotel. The hotel was booked through with the usual arrangement “pay on departure”. Had I paid my bill on the night of the referendum vote before the hotel reception closed, like my mother in law did who was with us, I would have saved myself £120. This excess was due to the fall in the pound against the Euro when the markets opened an hour before I paid my bill the morning after the vote. Sick as a parrot I was…

The price of international SOTA, its an expensive hobby for activators, as you know only too well!

73 Phil

PS Just out of interest I checked my accounts. On 22 June 2016 my credit card exchange rate on a purchase was €1.30 to £1. On 24 June 2016 it was €1.22 and on 27 June 2016 the day we travelled home it was £1.19 to the £. Tourist rate shown using a Nationwide Card where there are no surcharges applied for using it overseas. .

Hi Paul,
All of these ON/ON- summts are drive on : 01, 04, 06, 09, 10, 16, 17,18, 25, 26, 27
(doesn’t mean you’re at the real trig point, but you’re in the AZ, info is on my blog).
So pick your choice.
If you put alerts in time, I may try to visit you on one of the summits, or work you from another one … I will also be activating somewhere between Nancy and Mulhouse on the Wednesday. And of course we’ll meet in Friedrichshafen !
If you’re tired of the “Messe” … there is a nice radio/computer museum in Tettnang, only 10 km from Friedrichshafen ( only in German)
73 Luc

Thank you Luc I will take a look on my pc later, on phone at the moment. I was going to stop in Luxembourg on the Wednesday evening but after reading a few posts I am now thinking of Belgium close to the Luxembourg boarder if you can suggest anywhere?
It would be good to meet up in a summit I will let you know which I choose, thank you again