Regular Member Meeting 2017 05 09

From HacDC Wiki

Time and Location

Called to order at Julia pm by 8:00
Members present: Julia, Tom, Matt Zand, Nic, James, Kevin, Ken
Members remote:
Others present: Nancy
Quorum met? No

Approval of Previous Meeting's Minutes

Dispense with the reading of the previous minutes.


New Members

Old Business

New Business

  • Enrique: The MOU proposed by HSTS. Sorry to add this last minute; busy couple of weeks. I'm skeptical because the proposal sounds less than a subcontract-for-service arrangement (or fiscal sponsorhip) than a rental agreement for the space with license to use HacDC's brand and other advertising resources. If HSTS accepts payment and then pays HacDC, we have no visibility or oversight of the funding for the classes, which is a no-no for fiscal sponsorship too. There's an issue of liability if HSTS doesn't have it's own insurance. Does HSTS do background checks on its instructors? Responsibility for unaccompanied minors has been a stumbling block for K-12 events at HacDC for years. In addition, HSTS wants to use other HacDC resources that we enjoy because of our non-profit status (eg Google Ad grant) and possibly the HacDC name. I think if this is a rental agreement, then the classes should not be HacDC events and shouldn't use the HacDC name. If it's a subcontract agreement then HacDC should accept payment and pay HSTS for services.
    • Insufficient notice of this latest MOU to the mailing list.
    • Matt says, lots of misunderstanding. If the Google AdWords grant is not used quickly, it will be lost. SEO is best left to a professional, and HacDC isn't qualified to run the campaign. HacDC does not have enough services for $10,000.
    • Tom has created a Google Ad, but founds it limited to something like a 30-character blurb.

Project Awesome Reports




Project Electron Microscope (SEM)

microcontroller to speak to our vacuum sensor has been located, and a USB serial adaptor for talking to that microcontroller has also been found.

Julia and Andrew making slow progress on parts, etc.

Project Optical Table Robot (OTR)

James and Tom are still plugging away on the classroom laser. It now has safety switches.

There are more mirrors for printing on the OTR, thanks to Bobby, but the new belts have not been installed yet.

  • Cheap Chinese Laser may be finished this evening, which should scale up to the OTR
  • Ping-pong ball water level switch close to completion
  • Needed:
    • Temperature sensor
    • Flow sensor for air
    • Flow sensor for water

Project CRISPR

April's been busy for me with work, so not much time for CRISPR. We met once or twice (Nancy, Enrique, Sophia, Bobby) to make fresh plates and go through the protocol but still made some other mistakes. I haven't had time to troubleshoot more. Tried to order streptomycin antibiotic but Sigma won't ship to a church.

  • Seven plates available for people who want to get involved
  • No successes yet.
  • Hope to establish a regular meeting schedule

Project SpaceBlimp

There's been little interest in Spaceblimp 7 lately. I will ask once more.r me

  • About 5 people have responded to Blabber inquiries.
  • Most of the equipment is currently available
  • Another meeting proposed.

Member Reports

Not sure where to put these

  • Nancy: Positive Force held a funraising concert and will continue to promote us. Enrique and Nancy spoke about the group. And a comment from Kevin in the balcony
  • Nancy: Robot Fest was great. Andrew and James really helped out. James ran one 3D printer. Andrew handled the other. Nic has contributed his printer. Lots of flyers given out. Nancy and Andrew started at 7:00 AM. Lots of driving. A visit to Unallocated Space. Spoke to Gary about 2018 event at USASEF at the Convention Center. Hopefully next to Unallocated Space.
  • Nancy: Reimburse Andrew for gas
  • Julia is bringing more equipment into the space. Zone 23 mixer, and two Pioneer CDJ-800's for DJ'ing.
  • James should also ask for reimbursement when there's quorum.
  • Ken looking for a grant opportunity that will fit HacDC but need to provide a proposal / letter of intent.
  • Ken: I was at community center in Ward 8 and wants to establish hackerspace-lite. Ran into Project Reboot. They have ties to government and business contacts. (Julia, Kevin and Tom provided feedback. See Free Geek.)

Director Reports

President's Report

  • We're bringing online two more 3d printers: A taz, and the old rostock. As the printers are getting a bit deep, We're going to clear out the front left shelf in the back room of the basement for the more reliable printers to live.
    • Taller prints will be possible
    • Rubber printer stays upstairs
    • TAZ potentially moving down.
  • MicroController Monday and 3D Thursday are now standing room only events. I'm not sure what to do about that. People are not able to attend because there is just not enough space, and I'm definitely NOT starting a third weekly event.
    • Pre-arranged events for a fee makes people more likely to show up. (James)
    • More donation boxes everywhere (Andrew)
    • Need income for buying a space
    • More events needed

Vice President's Report

  • We've got a 2d print server and some printers up and running. The hostname of the printserver is classroom-printserver.
  • I've got plans to update and improve the classroom laptops in the works.
  • I've been plugging along with James on the Cheap_Chinese_Laser. We've been taking our sweet time on getting the laser to actually fire from the controlboard, but we're about close to having that sorted.
  • I'd like to do a basement day sometime soon. TODO:
    • re-rack all the servers after re-jiggering the existing four-post cabinet to hold actual full-size servers so we don't have to rest them on rack trays.
    • take pictures of our two-post rack and patch panel and put them for sale up on craigslist for a cool $2k or something like that.
    • anything else we feel like doing in an organized fashion.
  • Any interest in [1] 5S, or some other organizing system? I think our outgoing process is kind of broken or at least insufficient...
  • Related - no secretary? I guess I'll try to close the outgoing pile soon.
  • Project Datacenter -- Members seem to think we provide free server colocation services. If indeed we do, we should allocate some funds for this.
    • For instance -- To use the rack downstairs fully, we need a nice switch, and I'm not opposed to buying one. Alternatively we could just find any old piece of junk that still werks and put it in a rack until it dies, then find another.
    • Just get TP link (Andrew)
    • Create it as an official project (Julia)

Treasurer's Report

  • Revenue was $1,360 and our expenses would have been $1,096 if we hadn't paid rent early. Since we did, our expenses were only $101. I have a very nice PDF sheet of the numbers for the whole year so far, balances and everything... where do I put it? Is there an Upload File link here? No. So yeah, no PDF because I can't.
  • Anyway, the numbers look rosier than they are, because $240 of this month's revenue was catch-up payments of overdue members. Also in the last three months we've lost $150/mo due to long-time (3-5yr) members stopping their dues payments (in many cases they don't come around, email bounces and we have no other contact info).
  • Tax stuff. Filed FR-500 and FR-164 to register as a "business" in DC and then get tax-exempt status and next a solicitation license and finally a "Clean Hands," certificate stating our stuff is in order and we don't owe DC taxes or files, etc. This is required for many grants. I also filled out a DC tax return for HacDC... but without the exemption, we would owe about $800 for 2016 taxes. I spoke with DC Office of Taxation who said not to bother filing taxes now because the exemption, once granted, would match the IRS exemption, which is retroactive to the date of incorporation in 2008. The acknowledgement letters are in the Treasurer's binder and in the Google Drive. The IRS tax return was already done last month and much easier.
  • Dwolla has begun charging us transaction fees (free ride is over, time to monetize!). It's 0.5% so 30 cents per $60. Still better than PayPal.
  • Nobody is helping me update the website with content. Everything on there since November is from me. Should we switch to a static website rather than this dynamic WordPress thing nobody updates?
  • We effectively have no Secretary ; Ben has been away for several months now.

Secretary's Report

Director-at-Large Reports


  • A git repository named "publicity" now lives out on Julia's git server. It contains a feeble attempt at a brochure which was produced using Scribus, qrencode and potrace. And of course, the GIMP.
  • A splendid time was had by all at the "Make for the Planet" hack-a-thon -- part of the Smithsonian Institute's Earth Optimism Summit. Five 3D printers, 16 teams, 48 hrs, two $2,500 prize winners. The PAW2017 (People and Wildlife 2017) team from Duke University managed to get in 30-hours of print time. In attendance were Julia and meself, with a cameo by Sanjay. Conservation X Labs, sponsors of the hack-a-thon were quite pleased and want to visit the space. They have also promised to donate equipment. We shall see...
  • Learned at the hack-a-thon:
    • Ferric filament is a wee bit hard on our TAZ and is not a good idea at the moment.
    • We can raise funds by selling propeller earings. ;-)
    • Multiple removable beds for the TAZ worked GREAT allowing us to swap out boards to allow people lots of time to remove their parts while not holding up people waiting to use the printer.



Adjourned by at xxx by xxx