Meeting Modifications

Due to numerous space, personal, and common projects, FCW will start having a project/build meeting each Tuesday at 7PM.  In addition, Business meetings will be alternate Saturdays, with the other Saturdays being project/build meetings.  Saturday meetings will continue to be at 3PM.

Open House/Cookout (Phase II)- June 2

FCW is nearing the end of Phase II of construction at the site.  This will mark the opening of new areas.

  • The classroom – will be able to handle 16-20 students in a seated environment.  The room can also be used for computer training, demos, and movies.
  • The model shop– will eventually house the model railroad which is to be moved in this Summer.  It will also house model making equipment and tools for making scenery, props, and models for railroad, airplanes and others.  There is a large viewing window  in the railroad area.
  • The ham radio station – K4FCW.  This will start off with HF and VHF equipment.

These will join the Machine Shop, Electronics Shop, and Wood Shop to support FCW activities.

The opening of these areas will be celebrated with an Open House and Cookout on Saturday, June 2 from 10AM to 6PM.  The day will be filled with:

  • Tours
  • Demonstrations of various science and technical topics
  • Games
  • Activities for all ages
  • Food

Guests are welcome!!


Electronics Workshop Successful

Rich instructing the class

The Electronics Workshop at FCW on April 28, 2012 can be considered a success.  Rich Goldner conducted the 4 hour workshop for four participants, covering  various electrical topics including:

  • Parameters – Current, Voltage, Resistance, Power
  • Measurements – using a DMM
  • Use of a solderless breadboard
  • Component identification
  • Basic series and parallel circuits
  • A transistor as a switch
  • The 555 timer

Thanks to the Granite Falls Radio Shack, who provided materials for this workshop.

This is the first of numerous workshops which will include electronics, soldering, machining, ham radio, programming, and other topics.


A student completes a circuit

Basic Electronics Workshop

A Basic Electronics Workshop will be conducted at FCW from 10AM -2PM on Saturday, April 28, 2012.  This workshop is intended to introduce simple electronics concepts to those with no electronics background.

Topics include:

  • Voltage, Current, Resistance and Power
  • Measurements
  • Component Identification and purposes
  • Simple Circuit Configurations

Lab exercises will be included to:

  • Use a multimeter to make measurements
  • Connect simple electric and electronic circuits

Rich Goldner will be the instructor.  He has extensive experience with electronic and microprocessor circuits.  There are 6 slots available.  Leave a message for Rich or the general FCW contact to reserve a place.


Room Construction Started

Warren checks out the model shop wall

The construction for the classroom and railroad/model shop room has started. Joe, Warren and Gene are starting the construction stage of FCW’s phase 2.
The classroom will allow FCW to provide instruction in numerous topics for up to 24 persons at a time. The model shop will contain a large model railroad – provided by Gene – and a model shop for railroad and RC models.

Electronics Shop Operational

Electronics shop

The electronics shop is now in operation. We have a 350Mhz scope, several meters, function generator, power supply and several trainers. Over the next few weeks we’ll be adding additional parts, tools and equipment. We will be using arduino, PIC, and propeller microcontrollers; FPGAs; and discrete digital for a while.
An introduction to electronics is planned for a limited group in two weeks, then that workshop, soldering and arduinos will be scheduled in the near future.
Michelle is the the coordinator of the electronics area. She brings 40 years experience in analog, digital and embedded systems to FCW.

Machine Shop is On-line

Rich and Warren with Mill
Warren and Rich with the CNC mill

The machine shop is now operational. We have a CNC mill, lathe, bandsaw and grinders. Pictured are Warren, a retired machining instructor, and Rich, who converted the mill to CNC and furnished the equipment.

The shop has already been used to assist a local high school in fabricating parts for a robot.  Regular training in Basic Safety and Usage is offered.

A Hackerspace/Makerspace for the NC Foothills