Latest member news 2 December 2016

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Dear all,

There will be a Makespace Christmas Party on Tuesday 20 December from 7.30pm. Come and make those last minute Christmas gifts and decorations, bring some festive food or drink to share, and bid farewell to those foolish members who are going away for Christmas while you stay and have the run of the place to yourself or vice versa. Meet new members and old timers and get ideas for projects to make in the new year.

This will replace the normal monthly social on the last Thursday of the month.

Other news from Makespace is below. Note in particular the Trove survey - please take five minutes to respond!

Trove survey

The idea has been floated in the past of converting the Trove to more workshop space, perhaps adding a mezzanine and retaining some storage as well. We'd like to hear how members are using the Trove and what they'd like to see there. Please take five minutes to complete this survey - all answers are anonymous.

Network improvements

We have been making a number of changes to the network and internet access at Makespace. Over the last 6 months, we have upgraded the WiFi access in the space to provide more reliable WiFi coverage of the Classroom and main space - this supported by a more capable EdgeRouter and firewall and most recently, an upgraded Virgin Media broadband connection.

The network is now monitored from both outside and inside Makespace so that we know when something has gone wrong, know how loaded the network is (we recently had over 100 devices simultaneously connected inside the network) and what it is being used for.

The latter aspect has made us aware that there are a small number of members who are using the Makespace network for P2P sharing and torrenting activities. In addition to reducing network performance and availability for other users, these activities are often associated with illegal downloading and could result in Makespace being fined and prevented from operating an internet connection. The Makespace management will take all neccesary steps to prevent this from happening.

Theft prevention

For some time Makespace has been experiencing a series of thefts of small amounts of material, equipment and cash from the honesty boxes in the space and, more recently, from the office.

After the most recent theft, a decision was taken to setup a CCTV camera covering an area inside the office and not accessible to the general membership. Withing 6 hours of installing and commissioning the camera a (now former) member was observed breaking into a filing cabinet. The matter has now been handed over to Cambridgeshire Constabulary for investigation and probable criminal prosecution.

A small number of positive outcomes did emerge from the spate of thefts:

  • The Makespace community now has a bank account that both keeps funds safe/secure and makes buying stock for equipment and the kitchen much easier
  • The funds in the various honesty boxes are regularly trimmed back and moved to the bank account
  • Makespace now takes ePayments - including contactless! These funds go directly to the community bank account and iZettle keeps track of what the money was used to pay for.

To ensure that we don't have a shortage of materials and snacks, Makespace Cambridge Ltd. has replace the stolen funds. While we hope and expect that this is the end of the problem, remember that, of course, anything left at Makespace is stored at the owners' risk.

Fire safety and Health & Safety

Most of you will appreciate the considerable improvements made to the space in the last few months. Many thanks those members who put in long hours and so much effort cleaning, organizing and building. Part of the reason for doing this has been to bring Makespace closer to full compliance with the Fire and Heath & Safety standards set by the University, who are our landlords. Please help us to:

  • Manage fire doors - if not kept open by an auto-release device that will allow the door to close if the fire alarm sounds, then keep the door closed. Do not jam or prop any fire door open.
  • Look for and help remove Fire and H&S risks
  • Keep the bins emptied and avoid having excess material lying around or stored in the space
  • Remember that in the case of a fire your primary responsibility is to get yourself, and (if possible without additional risk to yourself) others, out of the building and then call the fire service.
  • We still have some work to do to be fully compliant and will be looking for regular members to attend various fire safety training events.

Date for your diary

Makespace's fourth birthday will fall during the Cambridge Science Festival, and to celebrate, there will be an Open Evening and birthday party on the evening of 16 March. More details nearer the time, but save the date - bring along something you've made to show, or you can help out in other ways before or on the day, such as helping get the space ready or showing visitors around.