"Zugspitze" a great SOTA summit & 2m SSB HTs

I am thinking of visiting Zugspitze in Germany and I was very interesting to see, if it was a SOTA summit, but it isn’t! I have a question after all: Could it be a SOTA summit? Does it fulfil the requirements? Thank you, in advance, for any answer!!!

73 Christos.

Hmmm ???


73 Joe

Joe has already answered you Christos - Zugspitze is definitely a SOTA summit.

Word of warning - I’m presuming you will be using the cable car? I think it’s just gone up in price again - about EUROs 56 per person from EUROs 45 which was bad enough. It’s really expensive. It looks like the price of the lift from the Austrain side hasn’t gone up yet - it’s still EUROs 45.

73 Ed.

DL/VK2JI on Zugspitze lookout platform in 2013 with 6m mast and SOTABeams linked dipole.

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Hello Christos

I activated Zugspitz in 2016 when on holiday at Garmisch. I went up in the cable car and made my “final ascent” to the viewing platform on foot. This was the most uncomfortable and stressful activation in the 13 years I have been activating. I tried to choose a place where I could peg out a 40m length inverted vee along the platform fence. There were people everywhere - my pole got walked on twice whilst I was setting up! No damage fortunately, and when I started operating every man and his dog wanted to talk about what I was doing. My operating time was 45 minutes. My mistake was to activate around the lunchtime period in June. I think it would be best to go as early or as late in day as you can when the crowds are reduced. It may also be best to consider using a vertical antenna or vertical end fed fastened to a pole. After lunch I walked on and activated DL/WS-037 Kreuzjoch before travelling back down the mountain on a different lift. That activation was much more enjoyable and I only met one person on the summit.

Kreuzjoch pictured here - above the newly built restaurant in 2016 with my XYL & Mother in Law (then 85 years old) ahead of me:

Did anyone else find operating on Zugspitz difficult? I certainly did!

73 Phil

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Thank you all of you!

Joe, I was serching, just only, Berchtesgadener Alpen Region, and I couldn’t find Zugspitze!!!

Phil, I am thinking of taking with me only my HT 2m transceiver, and I do not know, if I have any chance to qualify the summit! Maybe germans listen on bands on weekends!!!

Ed, I think there is a seat for you in the car, if you want to activate DL/WS-001!!!
I hope to hear you on the band!!!

73 Christos.

Thanks for the offer Christos but I think it’s simply too expensive to activate Zugspitze nowadays. From Zugspitze 2m HT coverage should be almost all of Bavaria and a lot of Austrian Tirol (perhaps even some HB9), so you should be able to get the needed 4 contacts.

73 Ed.

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My first Zugspitz activation was with a 2m handheld. Even with rubber duck antenna it was not very complicated to make four contacts.

73, Hans F/PB2T

Very reliable information to feel relief for the activation, thanks Hans!
Ed, I would appreciate, if you could tell me the best frequency for 2 m (fm) in this area!
The activation is not sure, as I should ask my son first. It’s possible.

73 Christos.

I’d go with the standard 2m calling frequency of 145.50 if it’s free otherwise 145.525(S21) or 145.55(S22) - then self spot and you should get enough contacts - I should be able to work you from the HT in the garden!

73 Ed.

Klm Christos

I activated DL/WS-001 Zugspitze on 11 September 2012 and experienced similar conditions to Phil. However, I did enjoy the day and Eva my xyl enjoyed looking around the summit area at the spectacular views in superb weather. I used a 7MHz dipole and a 10MHz dipole with the FT-817D and had numerous contacts on cw but I only managed 2 contacts on 145-fm using a handie and rubber duck. The next day I was at our hotel in Garmisch and looking at SOTAWatch as you do and I saw that Max DL/OE5EIN/P was spotted on 2m so I gave him a call and he was pleased to get his 4th contact just using 2 metres in a snow storm on the summit!
Another one that you may consider in the area is DL/EW-001 Wank a very easy summit if you go up on the gondola and there are two restaurants at the summit. Again there are spectacular views of Zugspitze and Alpspitze.



Ed, you are very quick, but now I have another, last question, I hope! What does S21 - S22 mean?

Nick, I am thinking seriously to take with me my 3el yagi, althought 2m needs just height and open area! Between 3 countries I wish to qualify the summit for all of them, seperately!!!
Advertising helps to reach the target!!!
I hope to hear, on the band, all of you! E sporadic!!!

73 Christos.

S20, S21 & S22 was the terminolgy used for 2m FM frequencies about 40 years ago in the UK. Some of us still use them - there are new numbers as the went to 12.5KHz spacing from 25KHz so they had to change the numbers but 145.5 .525 or .550 FM simplex should get you some contacts. If you have SSB , then look at 144.200.

73 Ed.

Ed, this is a good question: Is there a HT transmitter just only for 2 m ssb?



The nearest thing to a new HT for 2m SSB is an FT817 or FT818.

Secondhand, FT-290/FT290MK2, Mizuho MX2, Standard C58. But the newest of these will be 20yrs old at least now.

Hi Christos,
Andy beat me to the reply. I was thinking Yaesu FT-817. Perhaps not HT sized by todays standards but actually smally than the IC-202 portable VXO controlled SSB 2m portable that I had years ago!

With SDR technology and modern production facilities, I see no reason why a 2 metre + 70cm SSB HT couldn’t be designed and built. Of course it would not have the market segment that the large three would need so it’d have to be someone like Elecraft or one of the many Chinese manufacturers, that would produce it.

73 Ed.

I forgot that one. The problem is cost to get a design to production versus possible return from sales. Let’s be grateful 2m/70cms SSB is still supported on the FT-818.

Thanks Andy and Ed! That was what I knew! I like traveling light! Maybe just small transmitters for CW!!! Bis Dann!!!

73 Christos.

The basic problem is that the HT concept of dial up a frequency, stick it by your ear and operate is incompatible with SSB operation as practised currently… when SSB becomes channelised with sufficiently accurate frequency control to obviate the need for the clarifier function an SSB HT might make sense…

In effect SSB has been channelised for a long time. Think of the “select” knob on the FT8x7 series, which enables you to tune the band in steps of 1/2.5/5 kHz, it is so rare to find stations that are not using these steps that some people answer a CQ on an odd frequency and tell the CQer that he is off frequency! It is also very rare to need the clarifier.

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Sorry OT!
The RSGB band plan has been referring to channels V16-V48 for quite a while now for 2m FM. Never heard them used in practice.