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BOTLab committee meeting 30 Aug 2012


  • Tarim
  • Barney
  • David
  • Apologies from Matt

Topics discussed

  • Rental contract for the architects' space: Tarim finally received this on 15 August. However, the address for BOTLab is out-of-date and the contract dates are given as 1-30 June 2012, although it's supposed to be for a year (but in practice we should be able to move out sooner if necessary). The rent is £65.75/month. Along with the contract (which Tarim was going to sign and return tomorrow i.e. 31 August), we also received copies of the BV Studios License Agreement which David will scan and put on the wiki. (UPDATE: done)
  • Laser cutters: Now that we have got the one Dominic has currently loaned us into an operational condition (thanks to the efforts of Patrick, John, Dave Stewart et al.), Dominic has told us he may be able to lend us a different, more powerful one with a larger cutting area - again on a pay-per-use (and per-induction) basis. We discussed whether this is a good idea, ideologically and in practice, and the logistics of doing so - which would also apply to the current one. We decided, rather than putting it to the membership, just to agree for it to go ahead and see how much use gets made of it. David will codify some of the terms in a wiki page (UPDATE: started) and initiate discussions with Dominic, and arrange for an honesty box for the current laser. As a side note, there is a tradeoff between new cheap low-quality equipment and better second-hand stuff.
  • Obtaining more door keys/electronic access: Tarim will ask BV Studios about both of these issues, hopefully tomorrow (31 August). The issue with electronic access of some type is security given the number and turnover of members, and the fact that by getting in through the street door you have free run of the building. Suggestions for mechanisms included RFID tags for members, a keypad with the code on a password-protected webpage or pinned up in the space and changed regularly. This led on to a discussion of why there aren't sufficient people just *around* to let people in at any time of the day or night - partly most members work full time, but there are people in the space quite often - they just aren't the same as people who come along on Thursday evenings! To facilitate people letting other people in, we should try to put together a buzzer on the external door that sounds in G11 (and possibly G10 too to alert Matt) - would a cheap wireless doorbell work? David will also put together a wiki page on getting access to the space.
  • “Instant-access” fund for equipment purchases: Tarim suggested it would be useful to have a fund that Hackspace members can use to buy tools etc. without committee authorisation (highlighted by a recent 3d printer on eBay when it took some time for enough committee members to come online and approve the purchase). We decided on a sum of £100 per item with a total budget of £300/yr, as long as there is general approval for the purchase from the mailing list. David will inform people appropriately.
  • Moving to a new space: We agreed it would be useful to continue David Henshall's work on drawing up a budget spreadsheet to better understand our available money to cover rents and rates, but ultimately leave the decision on specific options to interested members who can present their plans and budgets to the whole membership for a vote. G11 is very good in almost all respects apart from the sheer amount of space, so one option might be to take over the 3 other sub-studios as other people move out/move into Phase 2 as and when it becomes available. The only other problem with G11 is access, as discussed above.
  • Insurance: This is a priority. Matt has obtained 2 quotes: one from the Hencilla Canworth AIR Artists Insurance Policy for £350/year “with millions of public liability”, and another from a model makers club insurer. We want public liability, not products, and we may have to have employer's liability. We decided to put the soldering social and Arduino workshops on hold until this is sorted. David and Tarim will continue chasing this.
  • Shelving: Matt has offered to put up shelving, but hasn't detected consensus on where shelves should go and will raise it on the mailing list again. Tarim says some standalone shelves might be available from M2 - he will chase this up.
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