Regular Member Meeting 2015 04 14

From HacDC Wiki

Time and Location

April 14, 2015
Called to order at 7:40ish by Celeste
Members present: Mirage(VP), Condew, James, Julia, Jamie, Bill B., Don(D), Celeste(P), Phil(D), Enrique(S)
Members remote: Hunter
Others present: New guests Travis, Rob, Deepak
Quorum met? Yes. 10.

Approval of Previous Meeting's Minutes

Regular Member Meeting 2015 03 10


  • 3D Printing at Phillips Collection Event
  • Dan Barlow - Teaching CNC mill class.
  • nootrope - Arranging Phillips opportunity.
  • Don Jones - Acquiring ham radio gear, seeking local opportiunities.
  • Julia Longtin - Many things. Pitching in many hours to make our presence at Phillips a success, volunteering for Treasurer, teaching 3D printer Thursdays, and more.
  • Ben Mendis - Providing laptop for Kinect 3D scanning.
  • Andrew Brown - Manning 3D scanners at Phillips.
  • Zachariah Mully - Manning 3D scanners at Phillips.
  • Travis Brown - for serving as treasurer, handling much of the CFC application and helping out with the Phillips Collection event.
  • Many others.

Director Reports

President's Report

  • Stickers! (donated)
  • Bitcamp
  • We are bleeding members. Please, be nice. It is not worth being "right" all the time. You probably aren't anyway.
  • We should look into getting a table at the US National Maker Faire (

Vice President's Report


Explaining why something should be done differently is always better than venting personal rage.


"The Vice President shall be primarily responsible for the information systems and communication processes of the corporation..."

NetPLC (RFID & Occupancy Sensor)

System is technically ready, and the old Occupancy Sensor is returning valid data again. However, RFID access control has not been physically installed, as the strike plates we have on hand are a poor fit to the door frame.


New HacDC server, named Starlight, has been setup. With 8GB+ effective RAM available and 8 cores, this is a significant step up Shimmer.


HacDC server Shimmer has logged 143 days uptime. Ask for an account.

3D Printers

LulzBot Mini is extremely user-friendly. Simply turn on the laptop, start Cura, load an STL file, select the desired quality/matieral, and click print.

Rostock Max is performing well. New extruder has substantially improved performance and reliability.

Laser Cutter

Have discussed repairs to the laser cutter with Dan Barlow. Electrically, we should be good to go. Physically, mounting brackets are required, and the easiest approach is to 3D print them. Will work on this ASAP.

Treasurer's Report

  • Travis has resigned to focus on other things. Need a new Treasurer.
  • Julia has nominated herself for the position.

Secretary's Report

I haven't been around here long enough to recognize all the members and one of the functions of the Secretary is to maintain an updated membership list. So I would appreciate if members would introduce themselves to me or even shoot me an email just so I can update email addresses, add missing names and remove an unnecessary duplicate entries.

Submitted proposals on disposal and storage policies.

Director-at-Large Reports

==== Don ==== (entered by Enrique)

  • The Greenbelt Mini Maker Faire is coming up. See Don if you're interested in helping out.
  • We should clean up the lockers as many are unlabeled or labeled with former members' names, etc. Don will send out an email asking members to apply an updated label with a recent date to any locker they are using so we can cut...err... pick the locks off the rest and put them to use.
  • It's good to see James back.
  • 3D Printing Thursdays is going well, is a regular and popular event.
  • Details of the upcoming Amateur Radio Field Day will be posted on the website soon. The first choice was Haines Point but the assigned location may be a hospital.
  • There will be an invited speaker at the HARC meeting on May 13. (see website for details)
  • Brian (church admin) is out of town for two weeks.


Don and I composed and filed an appeal of our rejection for participation in the 2015 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), with the local campaign office of the CFC. Timely help and suggestions from Jamie and Katie contributed to our ability to get this done before the deadline.

Project Awesome Reports

Project LASER






Member Reports

Old Business

Proposal for “Planning and Development” Committee Submitted by Phil Stewart, February 24th, 2015

Status Update: This proposal was tabled indefinitely by Phil and was not discussed or voted on.

To Vote Upon: The following proposal to form this committee that will report to the board and to membership, by which vote the committee's work will be authorized with the mandate of the membership.


I propose the creation of a “Planning and Development” Committee to create a coherent package of proposals geared towards refocusing HacDC’s priorities and aligning its activities and expenditures with its primary goals and purposes.


Recent discussions of our budget have highlighted the need for a renewal of purpose at HacDC. A number of proposals have been offered: to put together a fund-raising document, to fix one or another by-law, to re-assess the content of our 501c3 application (or otherwise notify the IRS of a planned change to our activities).

The budget concerns we need to address arise from the convergence of twin trends: a rise in rent over the last few years and a flattening of growth in membership subscriptions (our principle source of revenue). As members have left the area, or founded their own hackerspaces in DC’s suburbs, HacDC has not attracted new members at a similar rate. This most likely has multiple causes, but is at least partially linked to some changes in the direction and scope of our activities—acquiring equipment vs. offering programs, for example—paired with some less pleasant consequences of our light-handed approach to group governance: disorganization, a messy shop, incivility in our email discussions. With fewer members, fewer activities can be carried on, recursively impacting our capacity to attract and retain members. These interacting forces form a coordinated system. To solve them, we need to formulate a coordinated response.


To this end I propose that a limited-term committee be formed to create a coherent package of proposals that looks at our activities, expenditures, funding sources, by-laws, organizational operations, and anything else it deems to be relevant to get us back on track as a nonprofit organization serving the greater good of our community. For the purpose of this proposal, I am calling this the “Planning and Development Committee” (PDC).

The PDC should be composed of a mix of volunteers, board members (one or more), and people recruited by the board for their particular skills and experience relevant to this committee’s work. It should also actively consult with members who may not have the time to serve but whose input is needed. While the PDC should report to the board, its progress and findings should be fully communicated to the membership at large. The PDC is not conceived as a permanent committee. Once its proposals have been delivered and accepted / rejected / acted upon, the PDC will be dissolved and its useful functions reassigned to officers, the board, or standing committees.

The PDC should as part of its duties undertake the following:

• The PDC’s first task should be to find out what is working and what isn’t for HacDC. I have in mind a poll or survey of members, former members, and would-be members (e.g. who participate on Blabber). It may also be useful to survey or interview visitors to the space, and members or directors of other hackerspaces. Such a survey could be conducted online (at a site such as SurveyMonkey).

• As importantly, the PDC (or a separate subcommittee if appropriate) should explore ways to improve revenues, including grants, fees for workshops and events, dues increases—whatever will work, consistent with our mission. This may include entering in consultations with outside experts.

• The PDC should formulate a proposal to create several task-specific standing committees within HacDC as a way to address the club’s ongoing needs and activities. Standing committees would allow for focused attention to ongoing concerns while providing for continuity across terms of the board and the changing commitments of club

• The PDC should develop and present a coherent communication strategy for HacDC to ensure all potential donors, granting organizations, and the public at large are presented a consistent, accurate, and positive portrayal of what we do. Included in this task would be to create procedures and a reporting structure for HacDC to document its own activities (e.g. annual reports).

• The PDC should re-examine avenues for recruitment and retention of members, as well as assessing members’ satisfaction and future needs.

• The PDC should assess, report upon, and make proposals as needed for the suitable enhancement of the strong educational component of HacDC’s mission.

A PDC report including recommendations would be delivered to the board in a timely manner, with all action items requiring a vote at a subsequent regular members’ meeting. Interim reports would recur at intervals to be decided by the board.

Again, it is my feeling that we need to look at the big picture and develop a coordinated set of plans in response to our current fiscal and organizational challenges. Friendly amendments in the spirit of this proposal are welcome and invited.

A proposal that the SEM and the Museum should be made official HacDC Projects will be submitted for consideration at the next meeting. A proposal to change the HacDC storage and disposition policy will be submitted for consideration at the next meeting.

Disposal Policy Proposal (submitted by Enrique March 31)

Status Update: This proposal was approved with about 10 in favor and 0 opposed.

Storage shall include a clearly labeled “Outgoing” shelf area and a clearly labeled “Trash” shelf area. The Outgoing area shall be considered closed to new items (and clearly labeled as such) at least 2 weeks prior to each monthly members' meeting and all items photographed and advertised to members at that time. Immediately following each monthly members' meeting, the Secretary shall coordinate the relabeling of Outgoing pile items as Trash. Members will thus have a minimum of 2 weeks to remove any items from Outgoing. Knowledgeable members are encouraged to establish and announce the fair market value of any high-value items in Outgoing.

Members may only take personal ownership of HacDC items in the Trash pile. Members may make arrangements with the Secretary to take possession of HacDC property as soon as it's moved to the Trash pile (following the monthly members meeting).

If the Trash shelving is near capacity, the Board may solicit bids for the chore of responsibly disposing of the entire Trash pile at a monthly members' meeting, up to the maximum of one monthly membership fee (currently $60). In the absence of a membership vote otherwise, the Board may only accept the lowest bid. The DC Department of Public Works offers a free, weekly electronics recycling drop-off service at the Benning Road Trash Transfer Station, 3200 Benning Road NE, each Saturday from 8 am to 3 pm (check website for updated hours).

In cases of emergency when storage shelving is full and access to work areas or the safety of members requires accelerated disposal of HacDC property, the Board of Directors may vote to document, declare and announce an Emergency Disposal Week and shorten the minimum advertisement period of Outgoing 3 days for that week.

Proposal for Storage Policy (submitted by Enrique March 31)

Status Update: This proposal was approved with about 10 in favor and 0 opposed.

This policy shall take effect at the June 2015 members' meeting.

Whereas HacDC has a considerable cache of valuable tools, parts, items and materials but these are currently not inventoried and their availability, purpose, value and custody is unclear to most members. Whereas HacDC's current disposal policy asks individual members to decree items as “junk” for disposal, often without consensus, and a better policy would identify unwanted items by consensus rather than decree.

Custody of Basement Storage Areas Basement storage areas will be divided into sections and each section clearly labeled with with either a member's name or a HacDC project name as a custodian. The custodian may also identify a backup custodian at her or his discretion. The custodian for each area is responsible for deciding what items may be stored there, what may be transferred to another custodian or moved to the Outgoing shelf. Approval of the custodian should be assured before items are added or removed from his or her area. The custodian shall be responsible for creating and updating an electronic inventory of all items in the storage they manage in a timely manner and transmitting that inventory to the Secretary. The inventory shall note whether the items are available as HacDC tools, tools on loan to HacDC (and owner's contact info), available as HacDC materials, or already assigned to a HacDC project. The custodians shall report the unauthorized removal or disappearance of items under their custody to the Board as soon as possible. Upon departure or resignation of a custodian, custody passes to the backup custodian designated, if any. Items in areas left with no designated custodian shall be advertised as available to members and, after 2 months, either returned to their owners (if on loan) or moved to the Outgoing shelves. Members are encouraged to propose projects to incorporate ongoing HacDC functions, such as Store, Museum, Servers, Raw Materials, etc. into this policy.

Assignment of Basement Storage to Custodians Members and/or project POCs wishing to have custody of basement storage area should make a request to the Board including the dimensions of the area requested (e.g. 2x2x2 ft). If total space requested exceeds the total storage space, the Board will determine the least harmful reductions in the allocated spaces. Any reduction in the space previously allocated must give custodians 1 month notice. Temporary or permanent overruling of the Board's allocation decisions can be made by member vote. At least one storage space of 2x2x2 ft will be kept empty and made immediately available to new members who desire storage space.

New Business

  • Vote for a BOD Treasurer

Julia nominated herself for Treasurer, was unopposed and won overwhelmingly with about 10 of 10 votes. Julia Longtin is now our new HacDC Treasurer

  • Vote for proposed Storage Policy

Disposal and Storage Policy Proposals both passed with about 10:0 votes. See Old Business.

  • As of right now HacDC has reserved ownership of both the pfSense machine that is acting as the router for the church and the Cisco SG-300 series switch that is acting as the core switch for the church. The HacDC Admin Team has maintained full control over both devices. ITechGeek is proposing HacDC transfer ownership and control of both to the church.

New Members

Travis is the acting president of MakerBar in Hoboken NJ, lives near NYC but frequents DC regularly enough to want to join. Deepak learned about HacDC at the Phillips Collection event; he's interested in integrated circuits and radar tech. Travis's and Deepak's memberships were approved by member vote and they will become members upon payment of first month's dues.


Adjourned by Celeste at 9:11pm.