Operating QRP Portable During Bad Weather

One cold winter day I decided to operate from Smiths Point County Park on the south shore of Long Island. 

Smiths Point is about 3 miles south of my home QTH. In the state of New York everything costs money. However, there is no park entrance fee off season. 

To give you an idea what Suffolk County New York does to it’s residents and visitors during the summer, residents have to buy a 3 year county green card for $60 and then pay an additional $9 per visit. (Seniors and Vets are “free” during the week provided you paid for a Green Card) That’s the definition of “free” in Suffolk County New York. Non residents have to pay $18 per visit. The moral of the story is: Be thankful you don’t live in Suffolk County New York.

 Fire Island National Seashore

 The county park is located on Fire Island but cannot technically be counted as an activation for the Parks on the Air program. 

The Fire Island National Seashore (FINS) preserve is adjacent to the county park but without walking in or buying 2 more annual passes for a 4 wheel vehicle you cannot enter FINS.

If memory serves me right I think you have to be in the park or within 100 feet of the entrance to start an activation for the (POTA) Parks on the Air program.  Unfortunately FINS (POTA K-0679) is not within 100 feet of the county parking lot. So activating it from within the vehicle in winter is not workable. 

Some of the Wildlife looking for handouts at FINS

Running the KX3 with a Hamstick screwed into a mag mount of the roof works very well from the county park. It’s always fun and surprising to see the results of operating QRP portable with compromise antennas. Working Europe with 5 watts from that location is a bit of a challenge but a lot of fun when making contact. 

Hope you enjoyed my first QRP in the field post from the QRP Shack! 

Please comment and share your QRP operating experiences with other QRP enthusiasts!