Looking for advice on HB / Zurich SOTA

Joyce/K0JJW and I have one day in Zurich later this month. Somehow the idea of squeezing in a SOTA activation while in Switzerland made it onto the itinerary.

This will be on 2m FM only with basic gear. The current plan is looking like a hike up Altberg (HB/ZH-015) but we are open to other ideas.

Looking at alerts on Sotawatch.org, it seems that the the preferred 2m FM frequency in HB is 145.525 MHz. Is that correct? Am I going to find anyone on 2m fm in the Zurich area?

Any advice from the locals would be greatly appreciated.

Tnx & 73 Bob K0NR

Altberg (HB/ZH-015) offers a wodden tower Verein Aussichtsturm Altberg - Aussicht with nice views and a restaurant as well.
Another option is Lägern (HB/ZH-010) with a viewing platform facing South (-> Alps) (although the restaurant on top is closed due to renovation).
FM calling QRG is 145.500 MHz and I have no idea how busy the 2m band nowadays is. I’m only QRV on HF.
How do you travel around Zurich? Car or public transport?
I’m living at the foot of HB/ZH-10 and on the other side of the valley is HB/ZH-015.
73 de Dominik, HB9CZF

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Thanks for the info. QRG 145.500 MHz. I’ll take a look at HB/ZH-010.
We will be using public transportation in Zurich.

Funny coincidence, I was looking for SOTA information for HB and found this page:

It has a photo of me activating a summit in the US.


I would say with a bit of patience and a decent whip antenna on your HT, four QSOs should be possible on a weekday. There are some chasers in the area who always seem to be QRV, also on 2m. A SOTAwatch spot will help. And there are always random (non-SOTA) people monitoring 145.500; not sure how many would respond to a CQ call in English though.

On a weekend, you should have no trouble at all and might even experience a mini pile-up, especially when the weather is good and lots of S2S are around.

Good luck with your activation!

:joy: I hope they asked for permission to use it…


Manuel HB9DQM

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Oh yes, I forgot about the language issue.
Mein Deutsch ist nicht so gut

Just when I thought this CEPT thing was simple and easy, I came across this thread:

This caused me to dig deeper into the CEPT documentation. In particular, it seems that this doc:
ECO Domain Redirect lists the proper prefix for Switzerland as HB9.

And this document says that the HB3 prefix should be used for “Novice” class licenses (includes US licensees with a General Class license).

So my conclusion is that as a US Amateur Extra class licensee, I should sign HB9/K0NR. Joyce as a US General Class licensee should use HB3/K0JJW.

Hi Bob,

I visited HB9 land last year (Interlaken/Thun area then time in Geneva), so a little way from Zurich, but found 2m to be fairly quiet up in the mountains. You may have better luck in Zurich, especially as you are quite close to the D and F borders, so aren’t reliant necessarily on local stations to chase you.

I monitored and called CQ every day at various times on the standard calling frequency of 145.500FM (standard for us in Europe anyway :slight_smile: ) and managed 3 contacts in a two week holiday, two of which were French, just one HB station. As an American you may have better luck, as most Europeans probably choose to ignore Brit’s at the moment ha ha! :wink: :slight_smile: I did find my calls in French and German helped elicit responses; certainly one French station spoke very little English, but my schoolboy French allowed me to converse for a good few minutes - at least, I think he understood me…

I also had some really useful help and HB9 advice from Paul @HB9DST so you may want to contact him for more up to date info.

If you hike high up in the mountains, take a look at REGA who provide an air ambulance/SAR service across HB9. https://www.rega.ch/en/operations/additional-services/emergency-radio.aspx

As Manuel says above, if you are patient and perhaps post a couple of alerts/spots where you can, you should be able to activate, if not qualify your planned summit. I found mobile phone coverage was pretty good, even up 2000m summits, so you should be able to post self spots to help the chasers find you. I imagine a weekend activation would be easier and may result in the odd S2S.

Good luck & let us all know how you get on.
Best 73,

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Thanks for all of the suggestions. SOTA folks are great!
I have connected with Paul/@HB9DST and we are hatching a plan.

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hmm I’ve read the topic, have not recognized which date.
(Maybe I am then near the summits)

The activation is tomorrow, Saturday 20 October. Still deciding where to go (they will be jet-lagging, flying from Denver to London to Zurich and arriving Friday afternoon).
– Paul HB9DST

TNX Paul…so no chance :wink: (still in SV8).

Will be on SV/AG-007 tomorrow.

I travel to HB9 on Monday 22. - maybe we see us in Zofingen on 27.
73 erich

Paul/HB9DST guided Joyce/K0JJW and me to a wonderful activation of Selun (HB/SG-049) yesterday. Paul was on HF while Joyce and I made a bunch of contacts on 2m fm (mostly HB9 plus a few DM and one OE). Three S2S, so it was a good day.
I’ll try to write up a trip report at some point.

Thanks, Paul!!!


I finally put together a trip report after getting back home:

Thanks again to Paul/HB9DST for outstanding hospitality and a wonderful SOTA activation.

73 Bob K0NR