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Next Meeting
There are 2 days 13hours 34 minutes until the next Virtual Meeting (18:30 GMT on 17th December 2019)

MERG Virtual Area Group

Email

To send us an email, use the MERG Area Group contact form
For MERG members, you might also like to look at our area group forum.

Area Group Coordinator

Allan Geekie M5173 - email address: vag@merg.org.uk

How It Works

This group now uses Zoom to conduct a group meeting from member's homes or workplaces. It was formed in October 2018 to assess the usefulness of video conferencing technology.

The calls last one hour and to participate, members need a mobile phone, tablet or a PC / Mac with a camera and microphone. Recently we have started to enable members to join by telephone if they have limited broadband facilities.

In order to join the group you need to send an email to Allan at vag@merg.org.uk.

Calls are scheduled in advance and are held on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 10:00GMT or 10:00BST. 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.

Members are participating from:-

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

Members can access the presentation material here.

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.

http://zoom.us/test

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

Next Meeting

There are 2 days 13hours 34 minutes until the next Virtual Meeting (18:30 GMT on 17th December 2019)

The proposed agenda is as follows

Tuesday 17th December 2019 18:30 GMT

TopicLeaderNotes
Layout WiringAll A general discussion on the basics of wiring a layout

Once you have confirmed with the leader that you wish to participate, you will receive a reminder email on the day before the call and a second email 15 minutes before the call with a link to enable you to join the call.

Future Meetings

Calls are held on the second third and fourth Tuesday of each month at 10:00GMT or 18:30GMT. The calls scheduled

Agendas exist for some future meetings - these may change.

Suggestions for additional topics would be welcome.

I am deliberately trying to leave some gaps so that we can insert topics at short notice.

Date / TimeTopicTopic Lead
January 2020
14th 18:30GMTTrain Detection DiscussionAll
21st 10:00GMTMERG in 2020Martin Perry
28th 10:00GMTRadio Throttles DiscussionAll
February
11th 10:00GMTCANV* ModulesIan Hart
18th 18:30GMTTBAAll
25th 10:00GMTArduino DiscussionAll
March
10th 10:00 GMT3D Resin PrintingChris Walsh and Roger Woodward
17th 18:30GMTWhat is on our Workbenches?All
24th 10:00 GMTTBAAll
April
14th 10:00TBA
21st 18:30GMTTBAAll
28th 10:00GMTRaspberry Pi DiscussionAll

There is a standby list of topics that appear regularly:-

  • MERG Update
  • Last Journal
  • Our Layouts
  • Our Projects
  • Helping Beginners
  • Kit Surgery
  • 3D Printing
  • Blue Pill Microcontrollers.

Previous Meetings in 2019

Tuesday 10th December 2019 - 10:00 GMT

ItemLeaderNotes
Journal FeedbackAllan We will take a few minutes to gather some feedback regarding the December Journal
Tales from the KitlockerJudi Rastall A good opportunity to learn more about this essential part of MERG

26th November 2019 18:30 GMT

ItemLeaderNotes
Video Recording of VAG callsAllMy original of a policy is not working due to space restrictions at Zoom; we need to agree a policy; I can provide an update on the recent problems.

19th November 2019 18:30 GMT

ItemLeaderNotes
DCC PMP Kits DiscussionAllThis is the first of the evening discussion callsd. We weill start with PMP DCC kits but see where it takes us.

12th November 2019 10:00 GMT

ItemLeaderNotes
Merg FeedbackAllanFeedback from the Thirsk event and AGM
Getting Started with PlatformIODave McCabeWhat is PlatformIO?

October 22nd

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
Designing PCBsAlan Turner 30
MERG OnlineMartin Sebborn 30

October 8th

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
Journal - The Road to JMRI seriesAllan 40
Challenge the Group All 20 This is an opportunity to ask the group for help with problems on your layout or with electronics in general

24th September

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
More Wires or More ModulesDiscussion 40 Duncan lit the blue touchpaper on the Forum

10th September

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
Journal FeedbackDiscussion 5 Initial discussion while members join the call
MERG UpdateAllan 5 Update from the last committee meeting
CBUS for BeginnersDiscussion 20 How to progress the idea of helping CBUS adoption for new users
TTH CANCABDiscussion 30 General discussion

27th August

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
Future TopicsDiscussion 5 Initial discussion while members join the call
Station Destination BoardsDiscussion 45 An opportunity to discuss hardware and messaging systems
Burning TopicsDiscussion 10 Does anybody need some help?

13th August

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
Future TopicsDiscussion 5 Initial discussion while members join the call
DC ControlDiscussion 45 An opportunity to discuss the forgotten world of DC control
Burning TopicsDiscussion 10 Does anybody need some help?

9th July

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
Future TopicsDiscussion 5 Initial discussion while members join the call
Signalling Objects for CBUSDave Turner 55 The aims of this White Paper are as follows
1 To make configuration and documentation of an interlocked system easier
2 To add the following higher level functionality to the existing CBUS messaging system
- System initialisation
- Interlocking of modelled signalling items
- Route reservation, locking and release
- Reporting of operational errors

25th June

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
Future TopicsDiscussion 5 Initial discussion while members join the call
General DiscussionAll 45 CANEMPTY, 3D Printing Java FCU, Rocrail, stiction controllers, wifi controllers, CBUS module reset and Duncan's latest servo setter.
Burning TopicsDiscussion 10 Does anybody need some help?

11th June

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
Journal FeedbackDiscussion 5 Initial discussion while members join the call
DCC Decoder for Under a FiverDuncan Greenwood 45 Duncan will talk about the work he has been doing on hardware and firmware for a DCC loco decoder
Burning TopicsDiscussion 10 Does anybody need some help?

28th May

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
Future TopicsDiscussion 5 Initial discussion while members join the call
On my WorkbenchDiscussion 25 What are we all working on.
CBUS - long messages 2Discussion 20 Potential solutions
Burning TopicsDiscussion 10 Does anybody need some help?

14th May

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
Future TopicsDiscussion 5 Initial discussion while members join the call
Blue Pill Talks to CUSDave McCabe 45 Dave takes up the challenge to show how a simple program on a Blue Pill module can communicate with CBUS
Burning TopicsDiscussion 10 Does anybody need some help?

23 April

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
EtiquetteDiscussion 5 Initial discussion while members join the call
PMP Project IdeasDiscussion 25 What would we like to see as future PMP projects?
CBUS - long messages 1Discussion 20 Problem Definition
Burning TopicsDiscussion 10 Does anybody need some help?

9th April

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
Future TopicsDiscussion 5 Initial discussion while members join the call
WorkbenchesDiscussion 25 What are members working on at the moment?
LayoutsDiscussion 20 Share information on the layouts we are contributing to
Burning TopicsDiscussion 10 Does anybody need some help?

26th March

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
From the WorkbenchDiscussion 5 Initial discussion while members join the call
Getting Started with Blue Pill MicrocontrollersDave McC 25 Quick intro to Blue PIll( inc schmatic )
Arduino IDE
Blue pill config
Compiling code
Flashing using ST-Link
Debugging
Any QuestionsDiscussion 10 Let us all try and help one another with any 'burning platforms'
Future TopicsDiscussion 5 What topics would we like to discuss in future calls

12th March

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
Last JournalDiscussion 5 Initial discussion while members join the call
CBUSTBA 40 TBA to include Layouts with large numbers of modules
Any QuestionsDiscussion 10 Let us all try and help one another with any 'burning platforms'
Future TopicsDiscussion 5 What topics would we like to discuss in future calls

26th February

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
MERG UpdateAllan 5 Feedback from last committee meeting
3D PrintingHoward 40 (1) Filament
* Makes
* Types
* Storage
(2) Creating a model
* Design Software
* Correction software
* Slicing software
(3) Printing in more than one colours
* Change filament at certain depth
* Separate objects glued together
* Multi material
(4) 3D Printers
* Makes
* Bed Levelling
* Nozzles
(5) What can go wrong (if time permits)?
Any QuestionsDiscussion 10 Let us all try and help one another with any 'burning platforms'
Future TopicsDiscussion 5 What topics would we like to discuss in future calls

12th February

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
Interesting Forum ThreadsDiscussion 5 Initial discussion while members join the call
A MERG NewsletterDiscussion 25 Discussion about a new way of communicating with members
Helping BeginnersAllan 15 Discussion about what beginners need to know about resistance
Any QuestionsDiscussion 10 Let us all try and help one another with any 'burning platforms'
Future TopicsDiscussion 5 What topics would we like to discuss in future calls

22nd January

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
MERG UpdateAllan Geekie 5 Feedback from last committee meeting
LayoutsDiscussion 25 Updates from the group on the electronics on the layouts they are working on
ProjectsDiscussion 25 Projects from the group's workbenches
Future TopicsDiscussion 5 What topics would we like to discuss in future calls
public/vag.txt · Last modified: 2019/12/13 11:18 by uppermill