Things happening at FCW

FCW is working with Tony and Mike (the building owner) to create a “Haunted House” on Oct. 26, 27, and 31.  We are planning for 9 sets in the “pole area” behind our space.  The event will be free for the public.  Any help will be appreciated in the setup or operation of this event.  Spread the word, especially to those who may not be able to afford such events for their kids.  Contact Ross if you would like to help.

FCW has been donated a 4×4 foot CNC wood router.  It is currently in the process of being re-assembled and calibrated.

The large dust collector has been tested and works well on a 220V 20A circuit.  We will be pulling a new 220V circuit to the woodworking area to handle it.  Rick and Ross need some suction duct for it.

Work on the 3D printer has been suspended for now until some of the other projects have been completed.

We are waiting for cooler weather to put the Butternut antenna on the roof.

We got a letter from the IRS concerning the status of the 501(c)(3).  It was sent to the next level for additional checking, so we wait again.

We are planning an open house on December 15, with photo sessions for kids and Santa (ie. Warren).

We are negotiating for some additional space.

If anyone knows of any public relations opportunities, or ideas, be sure to tell Colin.

Have a good Labor Day.

Amateur Radio Field Day

On June 23-24, FCW operated a Field Day Station for the ARRL Field Day.  The purpose of Field Day is to allow Amateur (HAM)  Radio operators:

-To test equipment

-Gain experience in operating under non-optimal, or emergency conditions

-Introduce the public to Ham radio

-To socialize

Field Day is in the form of a contest in which Hams contact stations all over the country.  This was the first serious use of the FCW station – call sign K4FCW, and so, was essentially, an experiment.  Despite our main antenna not being available, things worked out ok as two HF transmitters were active.  Even with temporary antennas the station made contacts with 29 states and 2 provinces.    Thanks to Buck for the loan of some gear and Ross for the loan of a slushie machine.  We now know what to improve for next year.

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

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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.

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Success

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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

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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

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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.

A Hackerspace/Makerspace for the NC Foothills