While solar conditions and weather were not in our favor, Joe C (KB2OYJ) and myself (K2RWF) headed off to Sandy Hook to conduct an NPOTA activation on Sunday, April 3rd. Sandy Hook is part of Gateway National Recreation Area, which also includes parks in NYC. We used my call for the activation, and our NPOTA designation code was RC08.
We started off on 20 meters around 12 pm, and worked quite a few stations given the poor band conditions. We used Joe’s ICOM 706 rig in the truck with a hamstick 20 meter dipole. Propagation favored out into the mid-west and plains states, as well as the gulf coast states. At around 1:30 pm, we switched 40 meters, we used a simple ham stick vertical mounted to the trailer hitch, and covered into NY as well as most of the Mid Atlantic states nicely. We were lucky enough to be worked by former ARRL President, Kay Cragie N3KN!
Winds were consistent at around 50 miles an hour for the duration of the activation. This lead to quite a bit of QSB on 20 meters when working with the hamstick dipole, which would rotate around like a weather vane, causing fading mid QSO with many stations.
All in all, it was a very fun time, despite the low QSO numbers. We’re hoping to activate a few other National Parks prior to the year end!