Category Archives: FCW

Ham Radio Tech Class – Jan 2019

FCW will be hosting an Amateur Radio (Ham) entry level Techician Class in January 2019.  This class will prepare participants to take the Technician exam, which will be offered at the end of the class.

 The class will begin with The Excitement of Amateur Radio, a session introducing Ham Radio with questions and discussion.  This is intended to answer questions for anyone who may have interest.

The following sessions will concentrate on the more difficult portions of the exam.  The instructor is Gary Schwartz a

Intro to Ham Radio & Class discussion: Sat Jan 5, 10:30AM

Class
#1 Sat Jan 12, 9:30-12

Class#2 Sat Jan 19, 9:30-12

Class#3 Sun Jan 27, 2-4:30PM (Note: different day and time)

Exam: Sat Feb 2, 10 AM

The sessions will be held at FoothillsCommunity Workshop, 141North Main Street, GraniteFalls, NC 28630

The class and all materials are free and will be available online for downloading.  This class is open to the public.

Theremay be a charge for the exam. We will advise at the Jan 5 session.

For more information, contact michelle@foothillscommunityworkshop.org or call 828-754-5002

Open House, Dec 7 and 8

Open House and Ribbon Cutting Dec. 15, 2017

FCW will host an Open House on Friday, Dec. 7 from 4-9PM and Saturday, Dec 8 from 10AM-6PM.  Although visitors are welcome at FCW anytime someone is at the space; at the Open House there will be

  • Food
  • Tours of the areas
  • Demonstrations
  • Activities

Much has been done since the previous open house.  Demos in Arts & Crafts will include the 3d printers, laser cutters, and CNC mill.  The Electronics area will be showing Arduinos, propeller and Raspberry Pis.  The Ham Radio station, K4FCW will be operating, and (with any luck) the railroad will be operational.

Primary parking is in the rear.  This event is free and open to the public.

Ham Radio Field Day

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 michelle@foothillscommunityworkshop.org or (828) 754-5002 for more details.

This event is free and open to the public.

Grand re-Opening/Open House

Open House and Ribbon Cutting Dec. 15, 2017

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.

Arts and Crafts Area partially operational

As FCW works to get all areas rebuilt after the fire, some areas are further along than others.   One of the expanded areas is Arts & Crafts.  Spawned from the Stagecraft shop and light Fabrication labs at the old space before the fire,  A&C, when completed, will have all of stagecraft (sets, props, costumes, efx, lighting, sound), 3d printing, lasercutting, and contain a model shop (metal, wood and plastic working), glass shop, art, photography/videography,  and VR.

A significant portion of the model shop and fabrication is now operational.  The model shop is for reasonably small items, large items should be built in the wood shop and metal shop.

Hutch welder MIG/Stick with spool gun

Bolton metal lathe

For metal working, A&C has a welder, bandsaw, small metal lathe, chop saw, and drill press. These will soon be joined by a desktop CNC mill and some sheet metal tools.

For woodworking,  A&C has a table saw, small jointer, and drill press, which will soon be joined by a sander, bandsaw, and miter saw.

For fabrication, the shop just got in a Lasersaur laser cutter

Lasersaur 2’x4′, The cheesy grin belongs to Robert

(courtesy of Dallas Makerspace) to join two small laser cutters previously donated.  These will be set up over the next few weeks as exhaust ducts are installed.

 

There is also a vinyl cutter and 3d printer operational in A&C.  Other items being currently set up are sewing machines, an overlock machine, an industrial sewing machine, a vacu-former, and a powdercoat/curing oven.  This area is adjacent to the electronics shop (partially operational)and science center (under construction), both of which add additional capabilities.

 

Robotics Club Meeting at FCW

Alex instructs the Catawba Valley Robotics group

Alex is meeting with the Catawba Valley Robotics Club at FCW on Wednesday evenings from 5PM until around 8PM.  This group is composed of children of Elementary and Middle School age and uses the Lego robotics components.  The group competes in contests involving tasks for autonomous (self controlled) robots.

Any kids in the age range, and their parents are welcome to attend.

Ribbon Cutting at the Open House

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

Open House and Ribbon Cutting Dec. 15, 2017

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 Open House

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.
  • Activities

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.

We Have A New Building!!

New FCW at 141 N. Main St.

As of Monday, October 31, 2017.  FCW has a new location.  Since the fire on July 21, we have been obtaining equipment and looking for a new home.  Many of our members spent extra time, money and effort to help FCW get started again.

The new location is at 141 N. Main St. Granite Falls, NC.  We have to do some work but can start up several operations soon.  This location is 11000 sq. ft which is slightly over twice the previous space.   Due to scrounging and donations, we have roughly 60% of our equipment back and plan to start up the areas as soon as possible.  This is a two story building and has large external doors accessing both floors.  This building is air-conditioned and has 5 restrooms.

Part of top floor as equipment is moved in

There is a lot of internal construction and wiring to be done for full operation. The current plan is as follows:

 

Top Floor:

  • Common Area/Lounge
  • StM  vintage computer museum
  • Classroom
  • Galley (expanded from before)
  • Science Center, containing:
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Supporting subjects
  • Electrical,  containing:
    • Electronics
    • K4FCW -Ham radio station
    • Robotics
    • Mechatronics
    • Motors and Controls
    • PLCs
    • Computer repair
  • Arts & Crafts, containing:
    • Stagecraft
    • Costumes/sewing
    • Sets
    • Props
    • Lighting/sound
    • Animatronics
    • Special effects and CGI
    • Art/Sculpture
    • Glass shop
    • Jewelry
    • Videography
    • VR
    • Model shop
    • 3d Printing
    • Laser cutting
  • Railroad

The Science Center and Railroad will take additional time before they can be used.

The lower floor contains:

  • Office
  • Woodworking
  • Metalworking, containing:
    • Machine shop
    • Sheet metal shop
    • Welding
  • Canteen
  • Exercise room (new)

The metal shop will take some time to build.  The wood shop is missing a few items which should be replaced soon.

The crew is working to make the space usable as soon as possible.  Spread the word — FCW is back!!

 

Classes Resume: Ham Radio Technician Class

FCW will conduct a condensed Ham Radio Technician License class on Saturday, September 9, from 9AM to 3PM at the Caldwell County Public Library, Room 5 in Lenoir.  This class will cover the more difficult aspects of the entry level Technician exam.  Topics covered will include:

  • Electromagnetic waves
  • Electrical Fundamentals
  • Electronics components and circuits
  • Station setup and operation
  • Antennas and propagation
  • Modes of operation
  • Units and the metric system
  • Safety
  • 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, (michelle@foothillscommunityworkshop.org) or 828-754-5002 for more information.