On July 21 at around 7PM, the building containing FCW was totally destroyed by fire. Apparently it started in a rear corner, then spread up the back side before spreading forward and destroying FCW. In addition to us, there were several businesses, a couple of warehouses, a few residential apartments, and over a thousand storage units in the building. Fortunately, at this time, it appears that nobody was injured.
However, FCW is down for a while. The early consensus of the board is that we will rebuild and like the Phoenix “rise from the ashes”. Exact details will be worked out over the next few weeks. In the meantime, donations of money and equipment will be accepted (Remember that FCW is a 501(c)( 3) non-profit organization.
All classes and workshops are canceled for the near future as we clean up, salvage anything possible and look for a new home.
UPDATE: It appears that at least one piece of equipment survived. Our R5 Ham Radio Antenna remains proudly perched on its beam. Now if we only still had a radio….
The current estimate is that we will be able to survey the damage on Tuesday.
A Members Meeting discussed the rebuilding of FCW today. Here are a few key points.
FCW will rebuild – eventually having more interest areas than before.
Top priority is finding a new space – this one should require little renovation for us to start using.
Scheduled events (hamfest, makerfaires. etc.) will be attended as planned, but with a smaller display focused toward the rebuild.
Classes will be delayed for about a month, then start being scheduled again, depending on resources.
The Common area (lounge), Woodworking, Electronics, and the Ham Station will come on line first.
The Railroad will be rebuilt (HO gage) but will be used also for classes to instill interest in trains and making.
Equipment priorities after a space is found are the computers and laser cutter. Woodworking, electronics, science, and stagecraft (art) will be built up as resources permit.
Everyone should be in “scrounge mode”, look out for possible locations, watch for possible deals or donations, and spread the word that FCW is far from dead.
There is a slight chance that some of the equipment can be salvaged/repaired. Ben will bring a drone down this week to see if we can get a better look.
A Slack group is being set up for those who would like to be involved, have ideas, or just want information. Members will be invited automatically. Others should email email@example.com
I’ll try to get some pictures specific to our damage on Tuesday.
FCW will conduct a condensed Ham Radio Technician License class on Saturday, July 22, from 9AM to 3PM. This class will cover the more difficult aspects of the entry level Technician exam. Topics covered will include:
Electronics components and circuits
Station setup and operation
Antennas and propagation
Modes of operation
Units and the metric system
Some rules and regulations
Since this is a condensed class, participants will be expected to view some videos and do practice exams on-line. A schedule for the test will be determined at the class.
This class is free and open to the public. Contact Michelle, (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 828-754-5002 for more information.
Once again, FCW via Amateur Radio station K4FCW will participate in Field Day from Saturday, June 24 at 2 PM thru Sunday, June 25 at 2 PM. Field Day was created by the ARRL and encourages Hams in North America to:
Set up under emergency conditions
Promote Amateur Radio
Practice contest techniques
Even though FCW is not a “portable” setup, it is not a normal station location. For 24 hours, participants will be contacting hams across North America (and a few other countries) to accumulate points in the contest.
If you are a ham, interested in ham radio, or just curious, this is a good opportunity to get on the air and see why many people still enjoy ham radio as a hobby or a public service.
The event starts at 2PM on Saturday. Drop by for a while and check out the activity. This event is free and open to the public.
Rick will be conducting classes in Wood Turning on the 3rd Saturday of each month from 10AM – 2PM. Beginners are welcome at any session. Besides the basics, each session will concentrate on methods to create specific items, such as bowls, plates, goblets, table legs, etc. Advanced topics will also be covered.
FCW will have a Spring Open House on Friday, June 2, 5-9PM and Saturday, June 3, 10AM-6PM. Though visitors are welcome at any time, at the open houses an extra effort is made to present what FCW has to offer.
At the Open House:
There will be food – burgers and hotdogs on Fri, regular meal on Sat.
The Railroad will be operating.
Demos will be in the Electronics and Science areas.
The laser cutter will be operating.
The Ham station will be operating.
There will be tours and activities.
There will be special membership offers.
Areas available for use at FCW include:
A machine shop with CNC mill
A wood shop with 2 CNC routers and traditional tools.
An electronics shop.
A Ham Radio station (K4FCW)
A Science Lab for Chemistry, Physics, and Biology and support.
A Stagecraft shop for props, sets, costumes, SFX, lights, sound.
A HO scale model railroad
A technical library
A Fabrication lab with laser cutter and 3d printer.
A vintage computer museum.
Things are always changing at FCW. The woodshop has been overhauled, the Science Lab and Stagecraft shops are close to starting up, new machines have been added to the computer museum, and the electronics area has expanded. There is also new equipment provided by grants and some exciting plans for the near future.
For more information contact info@foothillscommuntiyworkshop or call (828) 351-2551.
The Arduino Uno – Microcontroller Bread Board: An open–source platform used for building electronic projects of all kinds.
Programming the Arduino for Model Railroad Applications
1. At Grade Crossing Flashing Warning Lights, a simple Arduino Uno project for Model Railroaders.
2. At Grade Crossing Flashing Warning Lights, Safety Gates and Bell with approaching train detection.
There is a possibility that we could provide laptops and Arduino kits for each attendee so there could some hands-on programming for more of the class time. (Dependent on class size, maximum of 14-Attendees)
FCW will be having an Introduction to Soldering Class on Sunday, February 26 at 3PM for approx 2.5 hours. The class will provide instruction in “Through-the-Hole” Soldering, using temperature controlled soldering stations. Each participant will solder a project — a small siren, which can be taken home. There is a service charge to cover materials of $10 and each participant should bring a 9V battery for the project. This class is open to the public. For more information contact email@example.com
FCW will be having an Open House on Friday, December 16 from 5-9PM and Saturday, Decamber 17 from 10AM to 6PM. Though visitors are welcome any time, at the open houses we make a special effort to display the many areas of FCW. There will be:
Demonstrations of various equipment including the laser cutter and CNC routers.
Special membership deals
the railroad wil be operating
the Ham radio station will demonstrate digital modes
there will be displays in the electronics and science areas
FCW is pleased to host a Google CS-First session on Wednesday, June 15 and Thursday, June 16 from 4PM – 8:30PM. CS First is a free program that increases student access and exposure to computer science (CS) by using the block based Scratch language from MIT.
The program is intended for ages 9-14. The class and materials are free. More information on CS-First can be found at http://www.cs-first.com . To reserve a slot or get additional information, contact Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org or (828) 754-5002.