The Open House at FCW on Dec 17 was a success. The doors opened at 10AM and there was a steady group of visitors until after 5PM. We had food, from doughnuts and sausage biscuits to beans a franks, and, of course …… candy.
The tours started off in the office/lounge area, showing the ham station, and the electronics area, which had various microcomputers (ARM, AVR, Propeller, STM) on display as well as an Eggbot printing on ping-pong balls. On the back wall were several masks that Ross had made. The FCW Christmas tree had the usual decorations, but also was decorated with gears, chips, circuit boards, Eggbot ping-pong balls, and 3D printed parts. The big hit in this area was the MAME machine. Though still needing painting and the second set of controls, the various classic arcade games entertained the young and young-at-heart for most of the day.
The tour then went into the cave, with the first stop being the classroom, where the food was available. Then came the model shop. The railroad was another big hit with Gene running it for most of the day. Also on display there was model making tools and materials used to make scenery. In addition, Gene had a High voltage demonstration, with a Wimshurst machine, an electrometer, and a demonstration of static electricity.
Continuing down the cave was the machining area. Due partially to safety reasons, the lathe and mill were not demonstrated live. After that was the woodworking area and the CNC router was demonstrated making small engraved cards.
One hit was the sleigh that FCW made which was set up with a blue screen for pictures. Kids could sit with Santa in the sleigh and have free pictures made with various backgrounds. Ed did a fantastic job with the photography and had backgrounds for snowy mountains, snowy forest, clouds, the desert, a beach, and the moon. Many kids and a few adults took the opportunity to have pictures made.
One new member signed up and several other persons expressed interest in joining. All in all, it was a fun day and a great PR opportunity.