On Saturday, June 23 starting at 2PM through Sunday, June 24 at 2PM, FCW’s Amateur Radio station, K4FCW will participate in Field Day.
Sponsored by the ARRL, Field Day is set up as a contest to make contacts all across the US and Canada. It allows Hams to set up portable/emergency equipment for practice and provides an opportunity to introduce Ham Radio to new people.
K4FCW will be operating to introduce persons to Ham Radio. If you are a Ham, or interested in Ham Radio, come by (it is a 24 hour event), and “get your feet wet” on long distance radio communications. Our antenna system is still being rebuilt, since the fire, but we will be operating.
Contact Michelle, kd4ytu at firstname.lastname@example.org or (828) 754-5002 for more details.
It has been a long journey since the fire on July 21 last year, but FCW has, for the most part, recovered nicely. On “Star Wars Day”, Friday May 4, from 4-9PM and Saturday, May 5 from 9AM-6PM. FCW will be having an Open House celebrating the re-Opening of several areas for usability. The areas ready for use are:
Electronics – includes electrical, analog and digital electronics, microprocessors, robotics, computers, networks, automation, PLCs, soldering, and Internet of Things.
Arts & Crafts – includes the former stagecraft and fabrication areas: model shop (wood, metal, plastic and glass), sewing, laser cutting, 3d printing, sets, props, costumes, special effects, lighting, sound, video, animation, and VR.
K4FCW- the Amateur Radio station.
Classroom – set up for 20 participants.
Computers/robotics/gaming – includes general computing and all kinds of games.
Computer Museum – various vintage computers.
Lounge – a place to relax.
Woodshop – includes woodturning, woodworking, construction, and CNC routing.
As usual, with the Open Houses, there will be food, tours, demos and activities. One special activity this time is a retro-gaming which includes vintage computer games, console games, and arcade games.
The address is 141 N. Main St, Granite Falls, phone 828-212-0930. This event is free and open to the public.
The Open House on December 15, 2017 was preceded by a Ribbon Cutting from the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce. Several from the Chamber as well as the Mayor of Granite Falls, a City Councilwoman, a representative from the County Commissioners, a representative from the N
ation of Makers,
and other local VIPs.
The Ribbon Cutting was to celebrate the acquisition of the new building. Even though construction was still in progress, there was many congratulations and fellowship.
In the picture behind the poster are FCW members, from left to right, Mitch (holding the ribbon), Michelle, Bruce, Colin, Brandon, Rich, Derek, and Kay.
The remainder of the Open House on the 15th and 16th saw a steady flow of visitors and friends checking out the new facility. The rebuild continues.
FCW will be having an Open House at the new facility on Friday, December 15 from 5-9PM and Saturday, December 16 from 10AM-6PM. Even though visitors are welcome anytime someone is at FCW, at the Open Houses, we make a special effort to show of the advantages of FCW, This Open House is special in that is the first one since the fire destroyed nearly everything at the Shuford facility.
At the open house, we will have:
Food – mainly burgers and hotdogs on Friday, a more traditional meal on Saturday.
Demos of replacement equipment.
Tours of the new facility and future plans.
The Open House is at the new facility at 141 N. Main St., Granite Falls, NC 28630 (directly on 321-A). Note that parking is at the rear of the building. This activity is free and open to the public.
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 two hundred 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.
More recent drone flyover: Zooming up, you can see both laser cutters, the shelving supports in the fab lab and StM (computer museum), the mill and lathe in the machine shop, part of the large bandsaw in the woodshop, both fume hoods, the large oven, the autoclave and a metal cart in the science lab, and a light in the stagecraft area. https://youtu.be/0aHt01O719k
Additional drone footage (I can’t post it yet) allowed us to id a cabinet, computer rack, and A/C compressor in the fab lab; the welder, 18″ planer, suction, and a tool box in the cave;, the transformer and instructors desk the classroom; and a power supply and the Pace rework station in the common area. Nothing can be salvaged.
Meetings have resumed on Saturdays and Wednesdays. We have a lead on a temporary space until we can find a building, and multiple leads on replacement equipment.
At the 2017 Field Day, a brief tour was done of FCW. This is the last known video before the fire. The mics being used failed during the interview portion so there is voice over description. This video was done by Gary Pearce of Ham Radio Now on Youtube. Do realize that we had be up over 24 hours for Field Day at the time.
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.
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.
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.
FCW will be having an OPEN HOUSE on Friday, June 3 from 5PM – 9PM and Saturday, June 4 from 10AM – 6PM.
Though visitors are welcome at FCW any time someone is there, at the open houses, extra effort is expended to promote the facilities, expertise and equipment available and the benefits of joining FCW. At the open house there will be:
Demos of multiple machines, the laser cutter, 3d printer, CNC router, robots.
Tours of the facility.
Displays in the science and electronics areas.
Demos of the Ham Radio station.
Persons operating the railroad.
Food and activities for all.
Special deals for membership.
Featured at this open house are the Science and Stagecraft areas being completed and the re-structured woodshop.
Invite your friends, associates, co-workers, family, anyone who may be interested in Science, Engineering, Technology or Arts. The open house is free and open to the public.