SOTA: W2/NJ-011: Pimple Hill

A paved driveway descends to Triple Crown Road.
Looking down the driveway from the tower.

This summit is surrounded by private homes, and I had to circle around it a couple times before I found what I was looking for: a small service road that leads between houses up to a blue water tower and neighboring outbuilding. The road and tower are obvious on aerial photos, but the road could be mistaken for a driveway from along Triple Crown Drive, as even the tower is not visible from that road.

The tower itself is surrounded by a fence and off limits, as a friendly sign warns. I wish the photo were clearer, because I’m curious what federal regulation they are citing here. I can make out Title 42, and it looks like three thousand something. *As an employee of Department of Health and Human Services, this section is somewhat familiar as it deals with public health. Curious.

Red and white sign that reads: warning! Tampering this facility is a federal offense. US Code Title 42, Section 3*** (the section is blurry). Below that, it says to report suspicious activity to... but does not provide contact information

Anyhow, it is possible to pull to the side of the paved area (41.073073N, 74.626598W) to avoid blocking the tower gate. Given the residential nature of the area and not seeing anyone parked along the street, I thought this was more discrete. To make this a valid activation, it is then necessary to walk down to the road and back up.

A blue water tower with a couple microwave dishes at the top, surrounded by a fence.
Blue tower atop Pimple Hill.
The other outbuilding on the hill, just above where I activated.

I had the Chameleon P-Loop antenna with me, and set it up on a tripod. I didn’t get a lot of contacts, but I did take advantage of the frequency agility of the antenna to get a few on each band: 40, 30, 20, 17, and 15 meters — a first for contacts on 15m and 17m from this site.

This site is a short drive from some other SOTA peaks, particularly Pochuck and Hamburg Mountain, but Pochuck is on private property and Hamburg looks like it would require a bushwhack, so I deferred both on this trip and headed for Bald Hill, W2/NJ-006, which is the subject of the next blog entry.


* This blog has absolutely nothing to do with my employer. That should make their lawyers happy.

2 thoughts on “SOTA: W2/NJ-011: Pimple Hill”

  1. Dear Jack…Your info is good for me.I will from 15 to 26 june this Year, in New York, and I prepare activation on some SOTA Hill. Id like to give some info from you about some nearest SOTA Hill from NY.I will live on Manhattan.
    Thanks for your answer Jozef OM6TC…. email: stefik@stonline.sk

  2. Hi Jozef,

    The first thing I would recommend is to look at the SOTA mapping site (https://www.sotamaps.org/) to see which associations are closest. There are no SOTA peaks in New York City itself. However, there are a number of SOTA Associations around New York City that should be less than an hour away by car. These associations include W2/NJ in the state of New Jersey, W2/GC and W2/EC in New York State, and W1/CT in the state of Connecticut. One possible itinerary would be to drive to the western side of the Hudson River and visit State Line Park (W2/NJ-009). That is essentially a drive-on summit. Then continue northward on route 9W to Hook Mountain (W2/GC-055), which looks like a relatively quick climb, and then further north to Bear Mountain (W2/GC-077). There is a road right to the top of Bear Mountain, but there is also a trail that you can take from near the bottom or a car park about half-way up the mountain. I have done W2/NJ-009 and W2/GC-077 and reviews are on my blog. I haven’t tried W2/GC-055 yet, but it is on my list.

    I know a lot of people who live in Manhattan do not have cars, so if that is the case, my suggestion is to rent one for a weekend and see how many summits you can activate. It may be possible to find peaks that are near bus and train routes, but it will take more detective work. Another suggestion is to look on the SOTA website and see who has been active in the area in the last few months and see if you can plan a day to join them.

    If you are free on the weekend of 22-23 June 2019, that is when North American Field Day takes place. You might consider visiting a field day site. A list of sites is available at: http://www.arrl.org/field-day-locator. I see that there are some sites on Long Island, New York and other locations near New York City. I would suggest writing to the organizer of the station in advance. In some cases, it may even be possible to camp overnight at a field site. On this weekend, the band will be full of signals, so it may be harder for a QRP SOTA signal to be heard (on the other hand, there are a lot more people on the air and listening, so perhaps it would help?).

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