You're Invited: 19th Annual Summer Gathering near North Bend, September 10th

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-- QST QST QST - All APRS and Digital Radio enthusiasts --

19th Annual Summer Gathering near North Bend, WA Sept 10th 2016

The Summer Gathering is a great opportunity to learn and practice just about anything you can do with a computer and your ham radio particularly focused on the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS)  This is a fun, very social and educational event right here in the Pacific Northwest.   Always the weekend after Labor Day.  Please share this with your local hams and clubs.

To Attend - Register Here: Contact Teena, below, for housing.

For more information about Valley Camp, North Bend, WA 

To signup for Email updates on the event::,

The location is a beautiful camp with hot showers and a bunkhouse, tent camping or RV opportunities. Contact Teena at info@...  for overnight arrangements.  Many folks arrive on Friday for socializing. The presentations are on Saturday.  Arrive for breakfast from 7:00 to 8:30. Presentations start at 9:00am.

Summer Gathering happens at Valley Camp ( N47.4680 W-121.6808 ): located near North Bend, Washington 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 (lower road). Follow until you come to the stop sign. The entrance to the camp is straight ahead across the small intersection.  The camp call is WA7VC.  Check out WA7VC on

Valley Camp is an incredibly beautiful place.  Nature trails and birding opportunities for the family abound along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River.  I promise you will see Elk and deer.  Bring your thirst for knowledge, some warm clothing for the evenings, a chair and something soft to enhance your enjoyment of the picnic-table seats.  Saturday, breakfast, lunch and dinner are being provided by Steve and Tina Stroh to maximize your opportunities for social and technical interaction. To "rightsize" the food purchased, number of meals provided, please register your interest in attending SG by filling out the form at  Coffee is provided each day... Breakfast is 0700 to 0830 – Not to be missed.

The event runs on donations and we encourage you to donate $25 for the day plus the cost of the overnight housing.  There is a donation box for the event. If you donated what you would pay for the tasty meals, we would probably be in great shape. Please help us keep this event go for another 19 years!  This venue is made available to us at no charge but it cannot continue to happen without your participation and support.

We are still working on it, but here is an idea of what the content should be this year – if you don’t see your favorite topic – propose a presentation on it – we are trying for a larger number of focused mini-talks with just enough time allotted for treatment of each topic and questions:

There will be excellent operating conditions for you to try HF - rigs, computers with lots of digital modes, interfaces and 3-element Triband antenna or some awesome wires in very tall trees…Lots of space to experiment with your next antenna project and excellent analysis tools…Bring your projects for help from knowledgeable folk and access to great test equipment.  Never done JT65 or WSPR? Want to send some Email with the Winlink2000 system, need help configuring a soft modem or setting up a SignaLink? – we would be honored to help get you going.

Proposed Topics:

Getting Started with APRS - why use digital modes, what characteristics make them so effective. Software Replacements for Hardware TNCs Direwolf and UZ7HO Soundmodem. Curt Black – WR5J

Near Space Balloon Launch and Balloon APRS Adventures – Yep – We said LAUNCH.  Still looking for payload components – contact us if you have a tracker to commit to the project.  Due to the Wetside launch location, we have little confidence on getting the payload back. Paul Verhage, AF7HL

9600 Baud Packet Demo - a pair of systems that can do 9600 baud and do many "Internet" things - display web pages, send email, etc. There will be Raspberry Pis on both ends  Steve Stroh, N8GNJ


State of the Science in HSMM/Mesh Networks for Hams – Yakima is doing it


Update on HamWAN – another year of amazing progress


Round-Table Session – Compare and Contrast APRS Clients:

APRSIS - The Swiss-Army Knife of free Digital Software - Free

SARTrack – New Zealand’s Gift to the APRS, ARES and SAR Communities - Free

YAAC – Yet Another APRS Client - Free

APRSPoint – Still the most polished User Interface – Old School – not Free.

APRS_Messenger - Toolkit for Digital Communication – Free

XASTIR – Wonderful APRS Software and the Best Reason Yet to Move Toward the Light that is Linux…

Trackers and Systems on a Chip - Raspberry-Pi/Beagle-bone Black vs. Arduino – what platforms best enhance your use of APRS?  Small trackers and Big Tools  AP 510 APRS tracker

Sarguy Digital's Products" including a ruggedized APRS Tracker and a nice Android App for coordinate translation on the quick and easy…Coordinates NOW!

Best Practices for setting up an iGate – Case Study: Hillsboro, Oregon  iGate KI7CRA-10 Craig Kirkpatrick – KI7CRA

Update on use of FLDIGI-FLAMP – and RMSExpress transporting data from the backcountry for 800 cyclists in RAMROD – (Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day) to the start/finish line.  Update on the BIGFOOT200 foot race – great future opportunity for digital data transport.

RTL Dongle:  Planes and boats and hams (Oh my!) Ken - N7IPB n7ipb@...

Inexpensive USB interfaces originally designed for DVB-T TV tuners have

become the poor mans Software Defined Radio.   Usable over wide frequency

ranges they can receive nearly every modulation given the appropriate software. This talk demonstrates the use of $20 RTL-SDR dongles to receive ADS-B (Automatic Dependant Surveillance – Broadcast) aircraft and AIS (Automatic Identification System) for vessels, displaying them on Xastir.


9.6Kpalousa -- It's time to move from 1200 bauds (it's been 38 years) John Hays and Brian Hoyer

NW Digital Radio will setup a test bench at the Summer Gathering  to help get stations operating at 9600 baud packet.  This is your opportunity to get your equipment up and running on 9.6K packet.  


We will have spectrum analyzers and deviation measurement equipment setup to make sure your configuration is optimal. 

Bring your 9.6K capable hardware or software TNC, your radio, connection cables, and documentation on adjusting the radio's deviation and TNC levels.

If you don't have a 9.6K capability.  We will be offering the UDRC for sale on site (or pre-order).  You need to provide:

  1. A Raspberry Pi 2 or 3
  2. A 9600 baud packet capable radio with appropriate cable 
    • Mini Din 6 on the UDRC to your radio's interface 
    • We will bring a soldering station if you need to put a connector on a Mini Din 6 cable, 
  3. A micro SD Card, preloaded with Compass Linux and direwolf 
    • We can load your SD Card on site.
  4. Power supply for radio and Raspberry Pi (3A recommended)

There will also be examples of messaging applications as well as APRS applications available for running on the Raspberry Pi.

There will be free beer with every new digital mode you try...there are more than 120 modes inside FLDIGI alone…  Good Luck exploring those – or watching others try!

There will be cheesy Sci-Fi Movies and popcorn late into Saturday Night thanks to Bill, WA7NWP ...

Summer Gathering - Rules Of Engagement

Have FUN!   Try out new things!  Meet as many new people as possible!

Satisfy your Thirst For Knowledge!

YOU MUST HAVE A GOOD TIME - if at any time you fail to have a good time
please find Curt Black - WR5J, 206 755-4541c  tell him what’s up and we’ll work it…

Please meet your fellow participants.  If you don't know someone, go find
out what makes them tick - there is a treasure trove of interest and
experience here -make sure you check it all out

We would like to reserve the whole north side for presentations -
Please don't set up equipment on the north side  / please set up demos on
the Pavilion south side tables only

Please socialize anytime, but during presentations, please move
conversations to the South Side with the Demos
- we want everyone to be able
to hear our brave and generous speakers

If you have a QUESTION you would like answered during the Gathering, please:
1) bring it up during the introductions, and/or 2) grab any of the presenters or other participants
anytime during the weekend - Don't leave without getting help or setting up future help.

Please DONATE to Valley Camp to keep this beautiful venue available to us.

Thom and Teena and the SG Team (Curt, Paul, Bill, Ken, Steve, Tina, Anna, Brian, Brian, Gerard, John, Chris, Herb) Thank You!

If you are willing to act as a topic resource, please put your
interests/areas of expertise on your name tag

Questions:     Please contact Curt Black, WR5J, wr5j@...  206 755-4541