BOTLab members' meeting 8 November 2016

Date/time and location: 7pm, 8 November 2016 at the Hackspace

  • Micro purchase mechanism for purchases <£50: 2 members, 2 committee, email only (DW)
  • CNC Sound and dust booth proposal: one more member vote, 2 more committee votes needed (NM)
  • Allowable usage of space in BV Studios (DW)
  • Additions to consumables list (detailed here) (JW)
  • Authorisation for maintenance weekend contributors to spend up to £300 (JW)
  • Authorisation for skillshare organisers to spend up to £12.50 per planned attendee (up to 12) (JW)
  • Hackspace group project ideas (DH/DW)
  • Matt G, John W, Chino D, Tracey B, Russ C, Nic M, Emily G, Tom G, Toby Sc, Toby Se, Ian S, David W (minutes-taker)
  • Policy on children in the Hackspace
    • Discussed and made some edits on the policy - principally to indicate that children must behave appropriately in the space (no games) and accompanying adults must take responsibility.
    • Approved
    • RC: Should define an acceptable behaviour policy for children visiting the space, written in a way they can understand themselves - to be pursued subsequently.
  • Micro purchase mechanism
    • To simplify purchasing small items (i.e. <£50 cost), covering many ongoing maintenance/improvement needs in the space
    • Mechanism: proposer sends email to members' mailing list (no wiki proposal), need approval from 2 members and 2 committee
    • TG: Should we keep a list of all such approved proposals? Ans: since the emails will be on the members' mailing list, that represents a record
    • JW: Please could committee members state if they have seen but disagree with a proposal, so proposers can understand the status? - Action (committee)
    • TG: What if someone split a large purchase into many small purchase “chunks”? Ans: people would notice!
    • MG: Clarification of this relative to petty cash? Ans: Petty cash is a repayment mechanism only, the purchase much be authorised separately! (i.e. via a proposal or if the items are on the consumables list.) DW: Working on a flowchart to clarify this.
    • Approved
    • JW: Recommend ccing purchase requests to committee to ensure committee see it - IS: and also put “PROPOSAL” or equivalent in subject line of email to flag up that it requires attention
  • CNC Sound and dust booth proposal
    • NM summarised current status of proposal: enclosure will contain sound and dust generated by machine, making a better working environment and reducing the need to wear ear defenders etc. - this is required for use of machine by Hackspace members. Proposal is led by NM but other members are contributing to design and proposal.
    • NM: Main issue causing concern is noise - don't know amount generated by machine or amount that will be attentuated by the booth. In discussion to date, two opinions on how to tackle this: 1. Use appropriate principles and best efforts to make an attempt to construct an enclosure, and if this is not sufficient at reducing noise then improve design and modify/rebuild. 2. Use engineering modelling/analysis based on known properties of materials and amount of sound attenuation needed to make a design that should work, then build it and should have no need to redesign.
    • IS: Current noise level from machine? Ans: Low when machine is idlng, high when it starts cutting. TSc: target level after noise reduction will be well below those specified by HSE. IS: has confidence the HSE target will be met, because in practice the aim is to reduce noise enough that other BV studios users and the building management do not complain.
    • NM: Proposed approach is option 1, principles-based - requires reasonable faith in community's ability to put something together that is appropriate and does not involve specifying all details at first.
    • JW: Anything would be better than the previous CNC routers which had no enclosures/noise mitigation at all!
    • DW: Proposal includes a BoM, is this an estimate or based on a specific design? TSc: CAD model is mostly complete, BoM representative of that
    • TG: Why should the Hackspace put money in to make a structure for a machine that's owned by another? - NM: Hackspace will own booth, reusable if we bought our own router in due course - JW: Precedent was installing the extraction system for the original laser cutter that was owned by a 3rd party, paid for by Hackspace, which we then reused for our own machine.
    • TG: Define a minimum acceptance test for booth? E.g. able to have a conversation in the same room - Ans: we do have access to a sound meter
    • DW: Proposals in general should specifically state the benefit to Hackspace members. Committee have drafted an addition to this proposal for NM's consideration. Action: DW to forward to NM.
    • IS: There are still 3 other issues to resolve after this before machine is usable by members - listed on the proposal (inductions, card reader, maintenance).
    • Action: NM to update proposal to state ownership of booth and benefit to members section. Proposal then likely to receive approval from sufficient other members.
  • Allowable usage of space in BV Studios
    • We are allowed to use only Hackspace's space in G11 and G10 for our activities.
    • Specifically, we are not allowed to use the shared kitchen or to leave bikes in the corridor.
    • RC: This was highlighted when the Mead skillshare set up in the kitchen and the building owner saw this through CCTV - was surprised and came to find out.
    • Action: DW to publicise this via wiki/mailing list.
  • Additions to consumables list
    • Plugs and DeWalt drill batteries: approved
    • Electronic components:
      • JW: It would be useful to have a list of parts that are kept in stock so that members can rely on being able to obtain some - at present it's not possible to assume any parts will be on hand in the space.
      • TG: Better to use up the components we have first before buying new.
      • IS: Concerned about precedent of providing materials for individuals' projects - JW: but we already provide screws and bolts
      • IS: Maybe add items to the list so that people can buy them, but don't buy upfront, wait for people to buy them if they need them.
      • TG: With electronic components, there's only a limited range of commonly-needed parts and many are specific.
      • TG: Members may not know that we have parts - IS: currently it's easier to buy from RS than find them in the stock! DW: TG has catalogued all parts we have in stock.
      • JW: Next maintenance weekend we can sort through the selection of components, label them up and order anything needed.
      • In principle it is acceptable to have a list of electronic components - Action: draw up a better list and agree at next meeting
  • Maintenance weekend budget and consumables additions
    • Authorisation requested for maintenance weekend contributors to add necessary items to consumables list and spend up to £300 on them (JW)
    • JW: Already have £50 approved to spend at maintenance weekend
    • IS: Concerned about spending as much as £300 without oversight
    • Decision: Produce a list of items to add to consumables list at this maintenance weekend, and review at next members' meeting
    • Action: Committee to attempt to review proposals more rapidly
  • Authorisation for skillshare organisers to spend up to £12.50 per planned attendee (up to 12)
    • This is regularising the existing situation, where money needs to be spent upfront to obtain materials. Cost is normally reclaimed by adding to ticket price, but currently no mechanism to get authorisation without going through a proposal - for which htere may not be time. Risk is if we don't sell all the tickets we end up losing money - this happened with Mead skillshare. Ticket price is set to cover costs, not to make money.
    • Skillshare organiser (currently JW) will keep records of spending and liaise with treasurer.
    • Runners of individual skillshares don't always engage with purchasing process, often just buy items and assume they can be reimbursed.
    • IS: Risk of giving people money to spend with no oversight - JW: but running a skillshare is a big job already and we don't want to load more work onto the individuals doing so.
    • TSe: Hackspace should take the risk of not selling tickets, not individuals.
    • JW: suggests trial for 6 months and review afterwards. Most skillshares will be well under the proposed ceiling.
    • Approved as articulated above.
  • Hackspace group project ideas
    • DW introduced idea of a group project: something to bring space together, perhaps an overarching theme with scope for individual prjects within it. Precedents include Draw Project and Sound festival (Pisano wheels). Maybe partner with external organisation e.g. AtBristol.
    • MG: It would be good for the space to have another project sharing the space with the Braille Project - IS: BBP has their own space.
    • CD: Could attempt “challenges” from IdeaConnection website: companies put challenges out with prize money for contributors to solve problems - could raise money for Hackspace. May only be for individuals not team-based? E.g. heat recovery system for peanut roasting.
    • IS: As the hackspace we could publicise opportunities to get money for collaborative work rather than pitching ideas ourselves - contribution of Hackspace is being a facilitator/enabler not a commissioner, by helping people to connect with others and use the facilities.
    • JW: Groups project opportunities within the Hackspace include lathe commissioning and developing the biohack area.
    • IS: Maybe focus on BV Open Studios, with a prize for best projects. Or pursue diversity of approaches spanning all these areas
    • IS: e.g. slot-car racing, run as an activity on BV Open Studios
    • JW: “Crappy robot competition” - robot wars for really bad robots! E.g. this. Ran it a little while ago, could be run as a build-then-fight day or just a tournament event.
    • IS: Set up a wiki for project ideas.
    • TG: Tallest/widest structure you can build out of matchsticks and glue, or paper.
    • IS: Run a challenge evening where you invite people to turn up for a challenge, without telling them what it will be in advance.
    • IS: Repair Cafe? - some in Bristol, one in Reading - JW: Penny interested in making wider use of Hackspace's facilities and skills.
    • How to proceed with this? Ans: Do something simple at the Christmas Party e.g. run a Crappy Robot Competition. Need to set a date for the party!
  • AOB:
    • JW: Who has admin access to the Wordpress website to reset the Events user password? Action (DW): Put a list on the wiki of web accounts and who administrates them.
  • botlab/openmeeting_20161108
  • Last modified: 13 days ago
  • by felix.h