Sunday, September 22, 2013

Nissequogue River State Park QRP expedition

I’ve been to this creepy state park several times since moving to Long Island.  Why creepy?  Mostly the abandoned buildings from the previous tenant on this property; The Kings Park Psychiatric Center.  So, crumbling scary buildings, and a great view of the Nissequogue River Inlet?  Is there a better place for a Sunday afternoon QRP outing?  I think not!

While I was here last time, I spotted a great spot for a QRP setup.  At the top of the long hill, and past the courtyards is a nice grassy area that terminates at a fence at the top of a 40 foot cliff over the water.  There are a number of trees for antenna hoisting, two picnic tables, and a great unobstructed view into the inlet and the Long Island Sound beyond.

I set up on one of the tables, and raised a vertical antenna high into the nearest tree using my twine and water bottle/counterweight, and later I put up a nice high end-fed.  I’m using a Xiegu X1M radio, with an Emtech XM-2 tuner.  Along with the main components are a small amplified speaker, mic, key, different counterpoise and/or ground methods, a 7″ Android tablet, and a portable jumpstart battery for power.  It was a perfect day.  I made 6 phone contacts with 5 Watts on 10, 15, and 17 Meters.  UK, Scotland, Mexico, Italy, The Azores, and Austria.  Not bad.  The weather was great, and I only got a few funny looks from walkers, bikers, and dog walkers as they heard me speaking into the mic.  The ghosts of patients past left me alone too.  One nice surprise was that there was an Optimum Wifi hotspot somewhere nearby, with enough signal to get me online without using my phone as a hotspot.  Great for QRZ lookups.  I have an Empire Park Pass, so admission was free, although I’m still amazed that they charge people to walk around this strange place.

Here’s a few pictures of the setup:

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