2018 NW APRS Summer Gathering, North Bend, Sept. 7-9th

From the folks who run the NW APRS Summer Gathering:

Summer Gathering 2018!
Back for the 21st year it is once again time for the Annual NWAPRS Summer Gathering
This year September 7-9 (always the weekend after Labor Day) at Valley Camp  6 miles east of North Bend Washington.
For us location precision nuts the GPS coordinates for a point near the center of camp are:
47.4662216  -121.6804046  (Highly accurate GPS control point)
(The first to find what’s at this location and show a picture of it to K7FZO wins a special door prize)

Directions to camp for those needing actual pictures, maps and words can be found here: Directions to Valley Camp or the bottom of the Summer Gathering webpage.The Summer Gathering is an event for everyone involved in Amatuer Radio that wants to learn about what’s new in the hobby, meet people involved in the newest technologies that create the opportunities to experiment and advance the hobby.
Because the Summer Gathering has always been a very social event, we suggest taking advantage of all the opportunities we provide to spend time with other Hams involved in the hobby.Friday evening social time, ice cream anyone? Or share a beverage with friends, this usually goes until around 10PM, later if you don’t need sleep, but quiet time in camp is 10PM to 7AM.Saturday morning Breakfast, provided by the West Seattle Amatuer Radio Club, starts at 7AM with coffee and a full breakfast prepared by our chef Curt WR5J and his helpers.The event officially begins at 8:45AM with the first presentation at 9AM
Lunch at noon will be provided, as to what it will be and the cost is being worked on right now, so stay tuned.
Afternoon sessions begin at 1PM with a wrap-up session at 5PM
Dinner plans are currently being discussed, once again stay tuned.
After Dinner open time for discussions, Q&A with presenters, and project show-n-tell.Sunday starts with coffee available at 7AM followed by a full breakfast once again prepared for you by Curt WR5J.
Sunday presentations will begin at 9AM.
Lunch and the afternoon program are still in discussion. If you have ideas please send them to Thom at

Saturday presentation slots have been filled, we are working on some great ideas for Sunday. We are looking to you for ideas that you feel should be discussed and volunteer presenters.
Once again, if you want to facilitate, share a project, or know someone we should contact let us know by emailing  summergathering@wa7vc.org

The current presentation schedule is available on the WA7VC website which will be updated as changes are made.
Presentations are held in the large picnic shelter, you can improve your seating experience by bringing your own comfy folding camp chair, coffee and hot water for tea will be available all day.

With just a month to go, it would be a great idea to make your reservations soon for Friday and or Saturday nights accommodations.
Full Service RV sites, parking for RV’s not needing services, tent sites, and bunk space in the Teneriffe Lodge are currently available. Please contact Teena at Valley Camp to reserve your space at   info@valleycamp.org
Discuss with Teena at Valley Camp the cost for these overnight accommodations.

It is time to make sure the SUMMER GATHERING is on your calendar!

August 17 Update:

Updates this week


  • RV sites – If you don’t already have a site reserved, I’m sorry to say all the Full Service sites are spoken for. If you want to dry camp in your RV I’m sure we can find you a place, just contact Teena at info@valleycamp.org
  • Tent sites – We still have plenty of room for tent campers, make your reservations soon.
  • Cabin – Is booked
  • Roundhouse – is booked
  • Lodge – The last 2 lower bunks are waiting for the next 2 to ask. After that you’ll need to be small and very agile to claim an upper bunk.
  • Local Hotels – The Edgewick Inn  http://www.edgewickinn.com/ is 3 miles away and just off I-90 at exit 34. Next closest hotels are in Issaquah about 20 minutes west of North Bend


Saturday and Sunday Breakfasts are brought to you by Curt, WR5J of the West Seattle Amateur Radio Club. Curt is once again our morning chef but I am sure would not turn down any help in the kitchen especially getting setup and cleaning up.
Saturday and Sunday lunches will be provided by the WA7VC Amateur Radio Group
Friday dinner is on your own, Saturday Dinner is still be discussed but whatever is decided a large BBQ will be available if you want to cook your own dinner.
We will be providing a way to poll all who plan to attend next week so we can determine how much food to purchase.

Program Updates

The current program can be found here:  https://wa7vc.org/nwaprssg
We have added 4 topics on Sunday, from how to be a nature friendly operator to how to get to near space cheaper than being a space tourist.
The Saturday program is offering the newest information on one of the hottest topics in Amateur Radio voice communications, DMR.
  • So what’s the huge interest propelling the growth of DMR?
  • Maybe it is the 2 simultaneous talk paths in each repeater?
  • Or is it the inexpensive DMR radios?
  • Maybe it is the control of a “Talkgroup” that enables the repeater to link to a thousand repeaters around the world or a talkgroup that only repeats on the local repeater.
  • Could it be the rich feature set that puts the control in the hands of a hotSpot owner, a club, EmComm group, a state or or a region?
  • How is DMR different from D-Star and System Fusion?
It is all of these things!  You are about to find out all this and more!
If you want to dive in now so you are able to ask really good questions of our presenters check out these links: Welcome to PNW DMR   PNW DMR Best practices   PNW Quick Start
As you will see on the program list there is a wide range of cutting edge topics available Saturday and Sunday. As part of the deep dive into technologies we provide lots of social time to visit with each other, and with the presenters, while enjoying a meal together, a special dessert being created by Lynn – N7CFO, and time during the evenings to just sit around and talk. The Summer Gathering has always been about sharing ideas, and enjoying the personal side of the hobby as well.
Speaking about gathering together, do you know who has never missed a Summer Gathering in 21 years?


We recently were given several door prizes we will make available by way of a raffle drawing including gift certificates from the ARRL and a really cool gift from N3FJP www.n3fjp.com
Maybe more, watch for the next updates.
AUGUST 31 Updates:
With just one week to go, here are the things you need to know……
Summer Gathering, the 21st annual gathering of amateur radio enthusiasts from all over the Northwest corner of the Americas exploring the newest in technologies in the hobby. We gather to share ideas, projects, and accomplishments that help to keep this great hobby on the cutting edge, and, to all learn something new from each other while having fun actually seeing and talking to each other in person.
Important Updates This Week (August 31st 2018)


We now have a wait list for bunk space and RV sites so if life suddenly changes and you can’t join us please contact
Teena at info@valleycamp.org and let her know so she can help the next on the list with accommodations.
We still have space for more tents and campers that do not need power, water or sewer.


50 of you have responded and here is what we are buying food for next week unless we hear back from you by Monday afternoon September 3rd. Then we will add you to the list.
  • Saturday Breakfast – 32
  • Saturday Lunch – 44
  • Saturday Dinner – 33
  • Sunday Breakfast – 28
  • Sunday Lunch – 25
Coffee and hot water will be available all weekend.
All water in camp is clear fresh mountain well water, enjoy!
If you have just decided to attend please let us know by Monday the 3rd if you will be joining us and for which meals.
If you have not already responded to this survey please fill it out now.
If you have already responded thank you, we will see you soon.
We still need some volunteers to help with food prep, serving and cleanup, talk to Curt and Teena when you arrive.


There has been little change in the program with exception of a few additional additions to already scheduled topics. You can find the program list here: https://wa7vc.org/nwaprssg 
Things can change at the last minute so we will post all we know at the shelter Friday afternoon.

Lots of Extras

  • Yes, there will be some door prizes given away Saturday around 5 PM. To take home a prize you must be in attendance at 5PM.
  • Campfires – As of right now we are under a state mandated complete fire ban. No open flame, except for cooking on the grill, and no smoking anywhere on the property including buildings or trails. If we see you smoking we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate actions.
  • If you have a comfortable folding camp chair bring it along. The picnic benches are 60 year old very hard 2×12’s.
  • Internet Access – Please turn off automatic updates on computers and do not do large downloads while in camp, this includes movie/video streaming. You are sharing an old slow CenturyLink pipe with everyone else.
  • WiFi network login info will be available at the event.
  • The vehicle Speed Limit inside Valley Camp is 5 MPH. We have lots of small critters and none of them get out of the way of vehicles including the 2 leg variety.
  • Pets – If you must bring your pet it has to stay on a 6 foot leash and stay connected to you at all times. We also expect you to clean up after it and be very careful feeding it, any spilled food attracts wild animals, some you don’t want to meet at night.
  • Parking while at the event – Please be aware that not all RV’s in the campground are attending the Summer Gathering so please do not block vehicles parked in front of RV’s. Parking is best accomplished west of the RV area along the road towards the Lodge and Roundhouse.
  • The Summer Gathering is funded only through donations of the attendees, no outside organization financially sponsors the event. Please consider what this event is worth to you and donate appropriately. There will be several places to leave your donations, the main one being the green MAILBOX marked DONATIONS in the shelter and if you would like to make a donation using a credit card Teena can make that work.
Valley Camp is the conduit for all donations and it is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization.
Online donation opportunities can be found here on the first page:  http://valleycamp.org


As of a week out, the weather looks like it will be in the 60’s and 70’s with a partly cloudy sky and a very little chance of rain. However this event is in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state anything is possible so come prepared.

Last Thoughts

Once again if you have not already completed the survey please do so here:  SG Survey
If you have to cancel please contact Teena at info@valleycamp.org
If you want to look at the schedule it can be found here: https://wa7vc.org/nwaprssg
If you want to volunteer to help with meals talk to Curt and Teena
If you would like to see this event back in 2019 please donate generously!
See you in a week!!
73 from the WA7VC team and friends