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BOTLab members meeting 25th March 2015

Date/time and location: 7pm, Wed 25 March 2015 at the Hackspace

  1. Apologies:
  2. Action points from last meeting
  3. Options for Provision of Serviced and Maintained Laser for Hackspace; clarify the equipment to be bought and who will pay for it, the ownership model/usage charging etc.
  4. BV Studios improvements update: fire cover, new sockets in G10 and wired broadband
  5. Monthly workshop series update
  6. Health and Safety, cleanliness and tidyness in G10 and food areas
  7. Purchasing proposals:
    1. Laser proposal document
    2. Surface plate proposal
    3. Dust Extraction Unit Purchase
    4. Vacuum Cleaner
    5. Dust mask provision

Matt V, Tom G, Ed R, David W (minute-taker), Russ C, Toby S, David H, Jo E, John M, John W, Steph T, Russell D, Mike H, Kaspar B, Jon D, Nic M, Mike T

In progress!

  1. Apologies: Erica Baccus, Mark Palmer
  2. Points from last meeting:
    1. Fire cover: landlord happy for us to provide our own additional fire cover above building fire alarm but we must take responsibility for it and be trained in how to use it. JW has obtained quote for £200 for 2 CO2 & 2 foam extinguishers, £42/yr for 4 years for maintenance. DW: how to decide about H&S/statutory requirements? MV: discuss/vote as committee outside this meeting. RC: Get in touch with local fire brigade? JW: actually fire brigade is less useful because they don't . Voted to defer this to committee - close to unanimous.
    2. New sockets: yes, we can do it if we get plan & quote from approved contractor - TS still working on it, will produce
    3. Wired broadband: no at the moment
    4. Monthly workshop series: going well, 3rd one upcoming & is sold out
    5. Buying nuts & bolts: MV hasn't done yet, will do
  3. Laser cutter:
    1. No procedure for making large purchases as yet
    2. DW: BOTLab constitution doesn't govern how the hackspace is run
    3. JW: identify which things we could buy, then choose which one to buy, then finances, finally administration
    4. Finances:
      1. JW proposes that we could put some of the surplus each month into a fund for long-term purchases - each member can vote for how to spend their share each month, or vote for it to be reserved for later
      2. Pledges: what do they mean? generally a gift without
      3. Ownership model: co-ownership is generally viewed as a bad thing
    5. JE: bought a laser cutter in Vienna some years ago - came across same sorts of issues - discussion is mostly between small number of people, not clear what the opinion of the remainder is - also hasn't seen any clear proposal as yet, often discussion is diverted into details rather than producing a clear overall proposal - e.g. should be written down somewhere if we decide we won't rely on external finance - would prefer hackspace to own all tools, surprised at lack of clarity over ownership/inductions for tools - surprised at need to have an induction for bandsaw, & low availability/clarity of who can do the inductions - would prefer say 5 people who can do all inductions rather than having to wait for specific people
    6. ER: current laser is unreliable, only kept running by RC's efforts
    7. MV: narrow discussion down to financing models? voted - yes
    8. JW: happy for people to get money back, but only at the rate at which initial purchase is being repaid - effectively an unguaranteed loan - people could be repaid either in money or in time, doesn't matter - people could even loan money to hackspace
    9. JM: suggest crowdsourcing model - e.g. £6/hr base rate, or £3/hr to cover running costs only + £20/month or £240/yr
    10. ER: model of paying upfront for hours - simpler to administer
    11. JE: uncomfortable about having to pay for use of laser - or at least to divide membership between haves & haven-nots
    12. TG: analogy with gliding club's purchase of hangar - people paid upfront for a space in the hangar, £10k for 20yrs - could then sell on the space in the hangar if they left
    13. ?or: don't be exclusive - don't have any loans, only buy the laser cutter if the hackspace can afford it - possibly supplemented by
    14. JD: set a value, say £50, and invite pure no-strings-attached donations of that amount to try to raise funds - could give benefits e.g. prioprity tuition: DH
    15. Reserve amount: I reported current bank situation, people discussed whether 1yr or 6months appropriate -
    16. ?
    17. MT: issues committee need to decide: how much to keep in free cash, whether to take on loans - worst case scenario: space burns flat to the ground, we have nothing, starting from scratch -
    18. MV: come up with proposal for amount of reserve, run pass membership and discuss with next cttee mtg. But in general we still need a model for buying large eqpt.
    19. JW: uncomfortable with people giving lots of money and not getting anything else - perhaps
    20. ER: use trust-based system - contentious,
    21. TG: concerned about mixing CAPEX & OPEX
    22. JD: what is a large purchase? what's the threshold? above £200?
    23. RC: Lauren was happy with the idea of getting rid of her machine - she could sell it and contribute the money in some way to our buying a new machine. Amount? originally cost £30k, new lasers cost £5k ⇒
    24. MV: how do we decide how much of hackspace funds are contributed to it? NM: deicde what we want to buy, find how much money we can raise, hackspace has to fund the remainder?
    25. RD: move forward from having a working machine - get a maintenance contract on the current one?
    26. MH: <£80 is petty cash? JW: £500 for reserve for small purchases? NM: £1000; put remainder into “pot” for large purchases; if we want to buy something, put up a proposal &
    27. RC: current usage rates of laser cutter? Lauren has a logbook but uncollated - no data on it as yet
    28. NM: if current machine broke, how many people would want the space to buy a replacement of some sort? ~10 - TG: How many people want an equivalent machine to the current one?
    29. MH: What fraction of current membership use tool? MV: most used tool, many people anecdotally - JE: regards laser as a basic tool for a hackspace, so not worth discussing if we should have one
    30. How do we decide? survey is a good tool
    31. NM offers to put in difference to fund size upgrade from smaller to larger if it got to A0
    32. Discussion on size of laser cutter - having a larger size is beneficial, can we get
    33. MV: process again: interested parties put together a proposal, pitch it to committee - if they agree, then it's pitched to the membership to raise pledges for the money with a time limit
    34. MT: develop analogy with Kickstarter further - have stretch goals in the proposal so proposal can adapt to money available
    35. NM: he elicited feedback from forum on HPC and JustAddSharks, or lasersaur - ?: TUG have just made a post on 7months after
    36. DH: could get feedback from London on A0 JAS cutter, ST has contacts in other hackspaces e.g. Cambs to get
    37. KB: informal vote on how much to keep - reduce reserve to 6months rent? ~5people vote to reduce to 6months, ~3people (including treasurer - DW) vote *not* to - treasurer suggests 6months rent + an amount
    38. ? How much would Lauren sell us that laser for? NM: Lauren mumbled £10k
    39. NM not prepared to put in work to generate proposal for less than A0
    40. How much for a single-item limit for this kickstarter process? say £300?
    41. MT: Disaster recovery plan for HS? Draft now on the wiki for comment.
    42. ? Using assets as part of reserves? can't do this unless we have insurance
    43. MT: Note that fundraising for such a purchase would be a good recruitment drive opportunity - do we do
    44. TG: need to have


  1. define purchasing policy
  2. reserves to keep in bank account

19 attendees

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