K7MAS in Switzerland - July 21 - August 12

I hope to activate several SOTA Summits while in Switzerland. I’m wondering what frequencies on 20M and 40M I should use. I’ll be using a linked dipole, inverted V, 20 - 30 Watts, mainly on 20 meters SSB.

I’m assuming my call will be: HB9/K7MAS. I’ve never worked HF in Europe before. What can I expect as far as range and response? I will post on SOTAwatch2 every evening before an activation, and try and locate local repeaters the day before an activation. Will language be a barrier? I don’t speak any European languages, except for a few words here and there.

Thank you in advance,


In reply to K7MAS:
Hi Mark,

To answer a few of your questions: yes, you will use HB9/K7MAS/P during activations. The most popular SOTA freqs are 40m (and 30m for CW), plus 20m and the higher freqs as conditions allow such as for the 12m challenge. I spend most of my time on 40m and 30m, and I can get QSOs throughout Europe, it’s easy to get 50 or more QSOs on an activation without a problem. And this without any self-spotting whatsoever – just ask your first QSO to spot you.

Don’t worry about speaking German – virtually everyone here has some working level of English, and most people are actually quite fluent. OK, get into the mountains and the level of English drops, but somebody always speaks some (look for young people).

If you’d like some suggestions on places to activate, let me know offline where your base of operations (hotel city) will be. Perhaps, if I’m around and not chained to my desk (I work at home as a German->English translator) we could do a joint activation.

(an Ami who has been in HB9-Land for 13 years, recently elected VP of HB9SOTA)

In reply to K7MAS:

Language: depending where you’re headed local languages will be either German, French or Italian; but most probably you’ll be fine speaking english.

Marco HB9CAT

In reply to K7MAS:
Keep in mind that the CEPT agreement only recognizes US ADVANCED and EXTRA class licenses for HF bands. US GENERAL class licenses are considered the equivalent of a CEPT NOVICE RADIO AMATEUR LICENSE - VHF/UHF only.

More: CEPT

I learned the hard way and missed several SOTA peaks because of this.

73 and have fun in HB9.


In reply to K7MAS:


VHF/UHF only

I think this is not entirely true. The CEPT NOVICE license corresponds to the Swiss HB3 license (i.e. your call here would be HB3/K7MAS). It allows also HF operations, however with the following restrictions:

  • Only 160m, 80m, 15m and 10m bands
  • Max. output power 100W
  • Only commercial transmitters (no hombrew/kits)

Unfortunately, this excludes the most popular EU SOTA bands (30/40m), but activations on 80m and 15m should be possible.

vy73, Peter/HB9TVK

In reply to HB9TVK:

Hi Peter:

Thank you for the further clarification. 15M may be the best option relating to wire antenna size.

Meantime, I am studying and working hard to upgrade to Extra Class in US License. So we will see if I have enough time to get it done.

Best Regards & 73, Mark, K7MAS