Northwest Blacksmith Assoc. Conference 2018

The Northwest Blacksmith Association annual conference will be held May 11-13, 2018 in Longview, WA.

 Go to Online Registration

Planning for the conference is well underway.  Info about our demonstrators will be posted as soon as they are available. Below is a brief outline of what to expect for 2018… and even more will be added as the plans are confirmed.

Set up day Thursday, May 10, 2018

  • Demonstrators:Main Event Local Demonstrator: Scott Szloch. See more about Scott at:  http://szlochironworks.com
    Main Event From Afar: Rachel David of New Orleans, See more about Rachel at: http://redmetal.net
  • Hands-On Classes:
    Alair Wells: Beginner- Tooling up
    Bill Apple:Intermediate- Getting the most out of your top tools.
    Ben Czyhold: Advanced Class – developing forms from a piece of flat bar – i.e. making three dimensions from 2 dimensions
  • Repoussé Station
  • Gallery: bring your works to display in our gallery, show off your latest.
  • Auction: support the NWBA with an entry into the auction, something hand-made, materials, tools or services. Anything of value that can be sold at our auction.
  • Black Smoke Alley: bring your solid fuel forge and set up in Black Smoke Alley to demonstrate and offer hands on experiences, or just enjoy forging at your own setup during the conference.
  • Tailgate Sales: fill your pickup with tools and materials, sell them to your friends, and buy enough of someone else’s stuff to fill the truck back up.
  • Contests with prizes: Friday night Solo Blacksmith Challenge ‘Twist Off’, Saturday night Group Blacksmith Challenge ‘Ring Toss’ (2-3 smiths)
  • Potluck Social: large grill will be available to cook your barbecue meats, bring food to share.  It is a potluck and the NWBA will be providing the grill and the picnic spot and some food.  Last year there was confusion about this, and even though a lot of people did not bring food, there was a lot to eat and people had a really good time hanging out and sharing a meal together. Plan on being there!
  • Banquet and Dessert Dash!

Camping for tents and r.v.s are available for $15 a night plus tax= $16.21, this is PER TENT or RV, not per person.
The past few years the NWBA has subsidized the camping, paying the bill for our group’s camping and paying more for the camping than we charged.  The fees went up yet again this year.  The fees we are charging just covers our costs.

VOLUNTEER and GET A DISCOUNT:  Conference volunteers needed for our registration desk and to oversee midnight madness in our Mentoring Center. Volunteer to take a 3 hour shift and get $45 off your conference registration!! Go to the volunteer sign up page. 

Hotel Info: Use your favorite search engine (Google, Bing, etc etc) to find hotel info for your conference visit: “Longview, WA Hotels”

Hotel Discount: The Best Western Aladdin will give NWBA members a discount on rooms, $95 a room.
You must book by April 27th and mention the NWBA. After the 27th rooms will be normal price.

 

Cowlitz Expo Center and NWBA Mentoring Center
1900 7th Avenue – Longview, WA
Details
Location

Cowlitz Expo Center and NWBA Mentoring Center

Northwest Regional Patriot Academy, Idaho, June 20-22, 2018

The Northwest Region Patriot Academy will be held June 20-22, 2018 in Boise, ID.

Patriot Academy is a three- to seven-day “boot camp” in leadership and government open to students ages 16 to 25 and held every summer in various state capitols throughout the country. Students delve into the political process from the inside out as they file legislation, debate bills, campaign for office and pass laws. In between legislative activities, they receive training in media skills, public speaking, leadership, current issues and America’s heritage–all from a Biblical worldview. Conservative leaders from all areas of the political field mentor students through the process, sharing their experience and wisdom. Patriot Academy offers students the most realistic, condensed, conservative political training that we know of. The Regional Academies in Arizona, Idaho, Florida and Delaware are 3-day sessions, while the National Academy in Texas is a seven-day session open to all qualifying students from around the country.

Patriot Academy has a single, bold vision: to equip a new generation of leaders to champion the cause of freedom and truth in government, media, entertainment, and education, as we help bring our nation back to the principles on which we were founded. Patriot Academy has a proven track record of excellence through a simple four part strategy:

  1. Train students to understand and influence government policy with a Biblical worldview
  2. Demonstrate the principles of ethical servant leadership from the Founding Fathers’ perspective
  3. Teach the political process and essential leadership skills through intense hands-on training
  4. Inspire students to be salt and light in every area of society and culture

DA-SC-90-03096President Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Unless we motivate and equip the next generation to take up and advance the torch of freedom, it will extinguish. We desire to help students be positive change agents, and give them the tools needed to successfully engage in the political arena and every area of the culture. Our prayer is that every young person who attends Patriot Academy will understand it is their duty and privilege to guard the precious legacy of liberty. By God’s grace we will raise up a generation who will leading the change in both the public square and the private sector.

 

Rick Green and Nathan Macias are invited speakers for this year’s Northwest Regional Patriot Academy.

2017 NW APRS Summer Gathering, Sept. 8-10

The 20th Annual Northwest Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) gathering is coming in September. APRS is digital communications information channel for Ham radio

DATES
The 2017 NW APRS Summer Gathering is:
Friday September 8
Saturday September 9; the main day, presentations begin at 9:00
Sunday September 10 (informal, debrief, departure)
Many folks arrive on Friday, or even Thursday, for socializing and camping. Saturday is the main day and presentations start approximately 09:00, with breakfast at 08:00. In addition to breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided (see below). Sunday is primarily for the folks that stay overnight, and a breakfast is provided. Sunday morning is a debrief and/or general discussion. There is no lunch provided on Sunday.

BACKGROUND
The NW APRS Summer Gathering is a very social and educational event right here in the Pacific Northwest. It’s great fun and a great opportunity to learn and practice just about anything you can do with a computer and your ham radio. Summer Gathering started with a focus on Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) but the event has evolved to encompass many facets of digital / data communications in Amateur Radio and related subjects. Some of the most fun of Summer Gathering is the informal discussions between like-minded hams from different areas, and the “show and tell” benches with a chance to see and operate different digital Amateur Radio systems.

The 2017 NW APRS Summer Gathering is an officially recognized ARRL event! Thus we’ll have some ARRL Prize Certificates to give away to three lucky attendees and perhaps a few other goodies. Our thanks to the ARRL and ARRL Northwestern Division Director Jim Pace K7CEX for approving Summer Gathering on short notice. Thanks to Lynn Burlingame N7CFO for the suggestion!.

VALLEY CAMP
If you have not previously attended a Summer Gathering, it’s held at Valley Camp (https://valleycamp.org), an incredibly beautiful campground near North Bend, WA with lots of nature trails and birding opportunities for the family along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River. Elk and deer abound and can often be observed in the main clearing of Valley Camp.

Valley Camp is located near North Bend, WA and is 10 minutes off of I-90 at Exit 34. At the bottom of the Exit 34 ramp, turn Left (North) and continue 1/2 mile past the convenience stores and truck stops and watch for the right turn onto SE Middle Fork Road (County Road sign says Valley Camp 2.2 miles). Continue to the “Y” and take the Left on SE Middle Fork Road (the lower road). Follow until you come to the STOP sign. The entrance to the camp is straight ahead across the small intersection. Please note: there is road work (still) underway on the main road to Valley Camp. It may well be complete by the time of Summer Gathering, but we cannot be certain of that. In previous years, the road work occurs AFTER Valley Camp. Please note: The speed limit is 5 MPH once you enter Valley Camp’s grounds because of dust, kids playing, wildlife, and adults shooting antenna wires in the air.

Coordinates for Valley Camp’s entrance are Lat 47.4680 and Lon -121.6808 (Don’t forget the minus on the longitude or you’ll end up in Mongolia!) Valley Camp’s Amateur Radio club call is WA7VC and the club IS on APRS. Check it out on https://aprs.fi/wa7vc. There is also a UHF D-STAR repeater at Valley Camp – WA7DV, “B”, 440.0125+.

As is the norm for the Pacific Northwest in September, you should come prepared for the weather to be hot… or cool… or wet… or dry.

OVERNIGHT STAYS ARE FULL
Per Teena at Valley Camp, all available RV sites and bunks in the Lodge are FULL. If you have not contacted Teena directly, you do NOT have a reserved spot to stay overnight. If you have any questions about staying overnight (especially if you have to cancel, opening up an available RV site or bunk), please contact Teena at Valley Camp – email teena@valleycamp.org. (Please don’t contact Steve N8GNJ about this – you must contact Teena DIRECTLY).

FIRE DANGER – NO FIRES / OPEN FLAMES
The fire danger from 70+ days of no significant is EXTREME. There will not be any open flames, including charcoal fires for cooking. If you’re a smoker, please be EXTREMELY careful with your discards.

CELLULAR IS SPOTTY, LIMITED WI-FI INTERNET AVAILABLE
Due to the terrain and the location, cellular service is spotty at Valley Camp. There are places on the grounds of Valley Camp that cellular service will work, but generally not at the picnic shelter where the presentations are held. There is Wi-Fi Internet access, but the bandwidth is limited – please don’t plan on downloading videos, app updates, or other high-bandwidth activities.

DONATIONS
Summer Gathering operates on donations. A campground like Valley Camp incurs significant expense in hosting an event like Summer Gathering (even though it’s informal). To date we’ve been able to keep Summer Gathering going for 20 years based on donations instead of charging a hard fee like most similar events do. We suggest a donation $25 and you can donate cash in the donations mailbox at the Valley Camp picnic shelter where Summer Gathering is held, or you can donate with a credit card by talking to Teena at the event. If you’d like to contribute to Valley Camp in a more substantive, recurring manner, there are a variety of electronic methods to donate to Valley Camp (including bitcoins!) at the bottom of the page at https://valleycamp.org.

MEALS / BEVERAGES
Saturday breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday breakfast will be provided for as many people who have registered. Apologies in advance, but we can’t take requests such as special meals such as vegan, gluten-free, low-fat, etc. If you have dietary restrictions, please plan on bringing and storing your own food (the refrigerator in the shelter will not be available). The meals are provided as a donation by Tina and Steve Stroh (though donations for the expense of the food are appreciated). Coffee, iced tea, lemonade will be provided. Due to the large crowd this year, please consider bringing your own bottled water or “canteen” (the tap water is safe), canned soda, or “adult beverages” including your own cooler and ice, and perhaps enough to share with your fellow attendees. Due to the large crowd this year, please consider bringing some beverages to share (and mark your cooler that the contents are for sharing). If you’d like to know the menu, please contact Tina Stroh KD7WSF – tina.stroh@gmail.com.

CALLSIGN BADGES
Even though Summer Gathering is an informal event, please bring a callsign / name badge and wear it. There are a lot of us this year, and apparently a lot of new faces, and wearing a callsign badge will help all of us put names to faces. There will be adhesive paper badges of course, but they usually fall off. It’s also helpful to bring some business cards as you often strike up a conversation with someone interesting and don’t remember their name or callsign or how to reach them to follow up.

BRING A CAMP CHAIR AND POWER STRIPS
There are a lot more attendees than there will be available seats on the picnic benches in the shelter, so please bring a camp chair. Please be sure to MARK your camp chair so you get the right one back (it takes a long time to wear them in correctly). If you need AC power, please bring your own power strip(s) and MARK it, and be willing to share / cascade AC power.

 INFORMAL PRESENTATIONS, SHOW AND TELL
Unfortunately, the 2017 SG will be more informal than previous years as I have not been able to confirm that there will be either a video projector for presentations, a “presentation” computer for PowerPoint slides, or even that there will be a public address amplifier. So, presenters will simply be talking through their presentations, with just their “speaking loud” voice to aid them.

Because of the lack of presentation aids, there won’t be a formal agenda / schedule and we’ll do presentations in the order that the presenters wish to do them, for approximately 45 minutes. We’ll break for approximately 2 hours mid-day for lunch, chats, demos, prize giveaway, and the annual photo.

The presentations that are confirmed are:

  • A Raspberry Pi Based ~1W Transceiver and UDRX Status Update – Bryan Hoyer K7UDR
  • ARRL Update – Jim Pace K7CEX
  • Discussion of the fate of the NW APRS website (http://nwaprs.info) – general discussion
  • High Altitude Ballooning – L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
  • NetTNC an EMCOMM Appliance – Jeremy McDermond NH6Z
  • State of the NW APRS Network – Bill Vodall WA7NWP
  • ThumbDV New SW and Applications – John Hays K7VE
  • UDR-Tracker an APRS Mobile Appliance – Basil Gunn N7NIX
ACTIVITIES
  • ARRL Prize Certificate Giveaway
  • ARRL Table
  • L. Paul Verhage KD4STH will have a video-equipped drone.
  • K9JEB will have dual band 144/446 MHz J-Pole and 220 J-Pole antennas, and some Power Distribution Kits for sale. See his website at http://k9jeb.com for details.
  • Portable RMS Station (N7CFO-10) – Lyn Burlingame N7CFO
  • Sale / Swap Activity – We encourage folks to bring gear they want to swap or sell from their trunks, RV’s, hatchbacks, side doors, or under their own 10×10 awning. If you’re selling items at Summer Gathering, please DO NOT USE the indoor space, which is reserved for showing off projects.
  • Tabletop show and tell demonstrations – various attendees
  • To answer a question from a long-time attendee, it has NOT yet been confirmed that the substantial HF station(s) running digital modes, that have been available at previous Summer Gatherings, will be available at the 2017 Summer Gathering.
POST-EVENT
If you’re interested in ensuring that there is a 2018 NW APRS Summer Gathering, please try to attend the debrief / wrapup session on Sunday morning where we discuss the event and do some planning. This email distribution list came out of one of those sessions. I’ll be taking notes, and after the 2017 NW APRS Summer Gathering is concluded, I’ll send out one last bulletin for 2017 with wrap up information, and a post-event survey to aid the 2018 SG “staff” to plan an even better 21st annual NW APRS Summer Gathering.