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MERG Virtual Area Group

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How do I contact the Virtual Area Group?

* Replace NN with the number of your area group - get from the AG admin page. Update the contact form title. *

Who is the leader of the group?

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Allan Geekie

Would you like to join today?

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Not a member? then

and sign up to this Area Group. If you are already a member

Select Virtual Area Group from the drop down list in Other Area Groups and press the Subscribe to Area Group button.

How do you meet?

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The Virtual Area Group uses a Zoom video call to meet every Tuesday for an hour or more.

The times vary to try and make the calls work for different time zones. We regularly welcome members from: -

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • UK
  • USA.

Calls are recorded and made available to all members through MERG TV; presentation materials are also available.

And the Next Meeting?

* Replace NN with the number of your area group - get from the AG admin page. Update the contact form title. *

18:30 03-NovVirtual Area Group - CANCELLEDThe presentation on Logic Analysers will take place in the New Year.Zoom conference callLink
10:00 10-NovVirtual Area Group - CBUS on P4 - Paul TownsendPaul will describe how he has planned the deployment of CBUS on a large P4 layout. Having used my designs of CMOS hard wired logic for decades on my old layout, I wanted to use Merg designs for my new layout to gain sophistication and flexibility for partial automation at reasonable cost. Of the available buses, I will explain why I chose CBus and how I have evolved my implementation both for P4 Broad Gauge Dartmouth and its baby brother, Pseudo-Dartmouth in N Gauge. The presentation will include videos of the installations and operations.Zoom video callLink
12:30 17-NovVirtual Area Group - How Kits Work - Martin PerryMartin will select a current MERG kit and explain how it works using the circuit diagram and the components on the printed circuit board.Zoom video callLink
10:00 24-NovVirtual Area Group - RFID - Mike BoltonMike Bolton will be describing the work he has been undertaking with Nick Murphy on Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) using 13.56 MHz. This is used to both detect and identify locos and rolling stock.Zoom video callLink
18:30 01-DecVirtual Area Group - Test and Trace - Simon WestSimon will take you through some basic fault finding techniques in the unlikely event that your MERG kit does not work.Zoom video callLink

How are Topics Chosen?

In April 2020 we carried out a poll of VAG members and the following topics were identified as the most popular: -

  • How kits work - a series of calls, each discussing the how one particular kit works - now schuduled
  • Types and use of baseboard connectors - covered in Demystifying Components -Wires and Connectors
  • Oscilloscopes and logic analysers for hobbyists - now scheduled
  • Using the FCU - a multi part course is being considered including the use of the FCU to configure individual 2nd generation modules.
  • Testing boards (use of various pieces of test equipment and the way to go about it) - A Test Gear Buyers Guide has already been presented.
  • Neater Methods of under board wiring
  • Best practice for wiring different bus types
  • Layout control buses
  • CBUS wiring strategy on a large club O gauge layout - scheduled
  • CANPAN wiring
  • Servo and Servo Mounts
  • Building CANVOUT
  • Prusa 3D Printer
  • 3D scanners
  • Photogrammetry - generating 3D models from multiple photographs
  • CBUS Beginners Kit.

Members can suggest topics at any time using the member email system.

How do Video Calls Work?

The calls last one hour and to participate, members need a mobile phone, tablet or a PC / Mac with a camera and microphone.

Calls are scheduled in advance and are held on each Tuesday of each month at 10:00, 12:30 or 18:30 GMT or BST. Topics are agreed in advance.

When it is time to start a call, a voice and video conference is opened up which has thumbnails of each video participant and any shared presentations or desktops. The call leader facilitates the call and the discussions and tries to get through the agenda in the agreed time. Zoom has two views available. The first is the speaker view which selects the video stream from the person speaking. The second is Gallery view which shows streams from all participants.

If you would like to try out Zoom, then there is a test meeting service where you are the only participant and you can experiment with the various options available.

This link is available to anybody, not just members of the virtual area group.

public/vag.txt · Last modified: 2020/07/07 07:35 by uppermill