Nissequogue River State Park

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

Nissequogue River State Park

Nissequogue River State Park

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:

Nice sky with the wire antenna

Nice sky with the wire antenna

Picnic Table with my setup

Picnic Table with my setup

Closeup of the rig and tablet

Closeup of the rig and tablet

View of the inlet from the picnic table

View of the inlet from the picnic table


Definitely worth a return visit.  Happy QRP-ing!

Neil – W2NDG

Neil Goldstein, W2NDG, is a regular contributor to and writes from New York, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

10 Responses to “Nissequogue River State Park”

  • Dan KD2AWJ:

    You know I have always thought about trying to make contacts from there since I only live about 15 minutes away in Huntington. I am definitely going to have to give it a shot now that I have seen this.

  • Matt W1MST:

    Great post, Neil!

    What’s been your experience with the Xiegu X1M? Would you recommend it compared to the other options out there? Seems like a pretty good value for the money.

  • Dan, let me know if you’re going. There are a couple of other spots I’d love to try too, like the David Weld Sanctuary, and maybe Heckscher or some other South Shore park. You can email me at neil(at)neilgoldstein(dot)com. I usually respond quickly, as like many of us, I wear my email these days.

  • Matt, the early model (which I have) has some issues with its LPF choices. It uses the Chinese bandplan, which leaves 3.5 – 3.9 for 75 meters, and 7.0 – 7.15 for 40. The rest of the LPF choices are good, but leave out the WARC bands totally. Also, I can only recommend the rig for SSB use for now. There are some serious shortcomings with the rig in the CW department. The main issue is a lack of offset of any kind. Even the RIT function doesn’t correct things, as it moves BOTH the TX and RX frequencies. For Phone though, it’s a nice little rig for $350. In one of my recent posts though, I detailed a whole host of other options including YouKits, and LNR Precision, as well as kit-based options. I neglected to post it here, as some of it was aimed at non-hams, and beginners, but I think I’ll throw it up here anyway.

    Here’s a link for now :

  • Dave K1THP:

    Neil, what ham radio apps do you run on the Android? I have had an Android tablet for almost a year and have not found many ham radio apps. I would like a logger and sat tracker for LEO sats. Also have not been able to get Echolink for Androids to load. It keeps telling me that I am not authorised. The problem might be that my Android will not work with Google Play store. Keep up the QRP op stories.
    Dave K1THP

  • KK4ITN:

    My aunt worked there many years ago. She past about 22 years ago. I delivered her lunch there one day [she forgot it at home]and the place was creepy then when it was opened and doing business. Great place for a haunted house for holloween!

  • Dave, I have a bunch, but mostly use it for QRZ lookups in the browser. I’ll name some of the others: RFinder, EchoLink, GLSDR, HF Beacon, Morse Reader, Pocket RXTX, RepeaterBook, Scanner Radio, Shortwave Schedules, Ham Radio Tools, Ham Log, QRZ Droid, and many more available. Yeah, not having the official app store is an issue. For Echolink you have to be registered with them. You can do that on the web site.

    If you’re looking for an alternative market, try installing this one: Sounds like you have what we call a Chi-Pad.

  • Charlie W5COV:

    Neil looks like a great day and a great outing for you . I personally sent a letter to the factory detailing the problems and fixes for the Pro model. Like you , I am having a ball with it on SSB and will really enjoy it when the CW issue is resolved . I have both models , the one like you have and the Pro both . I got mine through Ed at and he has been as responsive as possible dealing with the factory . Strangely enough many of us have tried our hand at communicating with the factory , but nobody has been successful at getting in touch with anyone that has much more knowledge of the English language than I or most Americans do of the Chinese language . The factory seems quite willing to resolve the issues IF we can ever get past the language barrier . So I for one feel confident we WILL get a firmware update hopefully SOON !! For the price there isn’t anything even close to it on the market if it were up to advertised specs . Even with just SSB only I consider it a darned good buy . If you want to send me a personal e-mail , I can fill you in as to where I am at in getting the filter problem resolved on that model . Hope to get mine out for a day in the open maybe this weekend !! Best 73 , Charlie

  • Andy KD4UKW:

    It sounds as if several QRP’ers live close to that park. I have heard rumors of hams clandestinely erecting stealthy, semi-permanent wire antennas in public parks. Anyone who knows the location can hook up a rig, match the impedance, and get on the air pronto…

  • Andy, not only would that be somewhat possible here because of the layout of the place, but many of the buildings still have TV antennas up on masts. I wonder if I could actually get something “semi-official” there by talking to the administrators.

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