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There are 1 days 15hours 50 minutes since the next Virtual Area Group Meeting (12:30 BST on 31st March 2020)

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 register at this link. In the Area Groups section, select MERG Virtual Area Group from the drop down list and press the green button with the plus sign.

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

This page provides guidance for members on what needs be done to prepare for and join video calls.

Members are participating from:-

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

Members can access the presentation material here.

Calls are recorded and stored on MERG TV; access links are provided to members of the virtual area group.

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 1 days 15hours 50 minutes since the next Virtual Area Group Meeting (12:30 BST on 31st March 2020)

The proposed agenda is as follows

Tuesday 31st March 2020 12:30 BST

TopicLeaderNotes
An Introduction to Arduinos for Model Railway LayoutsDuncan GreenwoodHow to get started with an Arduino module and do useful things on a layout.

Once you have confirmed with the leader that you wish to participate, you will receive a reminder email on the Sunday before the call and a second email 15 / 30 minutes before the call with a link to enable you to join.

Future Meetings

Calls are held on most Tuesdays of each month at 10:00, 12:30 or 18:30 BST / GMT.

Topics exist for some future meetings - these may change.

Suggestions for additional topics would be welcome.

Some discussion topics may move if needed.

Date / TimeTopicTopic Lead
April
7th 10:00 BSTMaking Great ConnectionsHoward Watkins
14th 10:00 BSTUniversal SoftwareDave McCabe
21st 18:30 BSTSemaphore SignalsAll
28th 10:00 BSTRaspberry Pi DiscussionAll
May
7th 18:30 BSTYou, too, can Change the WikiAllan Geekie
14th 10:00 BSTFusion 360Dave McCabe
21st 18:30 BSTDC ControlAll
28th 10:00 BSTCBUS on my ArduinoAll
June
2nd 18:30 BSTTBA
9th 10:00 BSTSuccess with Surface Mount DevicesDuncan Greenwood
16th 18:30 BSTConnectorsAll
23rd 10:00 BSTTBAAll
July
7th 18:30 BSTTBA
14th 10:00 BSTTBAAll
21st 18:30 BSTTBAAll
28th 10:00 BSTTBAAll
August
4th 18:30 BSTTBA
11th 10:00 BSTTBAAll
18st 18:30 BSTTBAAll
25th 10:00 BSTTBAAll
September
1st 18:30 BSTTBA
8th 10:00 BSTSignallingDave McCabe
18:30 BSTWhat is on our Workbenches?All
28th 10:00 BSTTBAAll

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 2020

TopicLeaderNotes
Journal DiscussionAllA discussion around the Journal, what w like, what changes might we want to see

Tuesday 17th March 2020 18:30 GMT

TopicLeaderNotes
Colour Light SignalsAllA discussion around the topic of controlling colour light signals

Tuesday 10th March 2020 10:00 GMT

TopicLeaderNotes
3D Resin PrintingChris Walsh and Roger WoodwardChris and Roger will talk about the highs and lows of 3D resin printing

Tuesday 25th February

TopicLeaderNotes
What is on our Workbenches?AllWhat are we workin on

Tuesday 18th February 2020

TopicLeaderNotes
Changing PointsAllA general discussion on the topic of changing points - I guess we will start with a finger!

Tuesday 11th February 2020 10:00 GMT

TopicLeaderNotes
CANV* ModulesIan HartIan will talk about the new CANV range of modules, now in production and about to appear in the Kitlocker

Tuesday 28th January 2020 10:00 GMT

TopicLeaderNotes
Radio Throttles DiscussionAllA general discussion around wireless communication with hand-held throttles.

Tuesday 21st January 2020 10:00 GMT

TopicLeaderNotes
MERG in 2020Martin PerryMERG Chairman, Martin Perry discusses what MERG will be doing in the coming year.

Tuesday 14th January 2020 18:30 GMT

TopicLeaderNotes
Train Detection DiscussionAllA general discussion around train detection using light, lasers, magnets, current consumption and any other ideas that members can devise

Previous Meetings in 2019

Tuesday 17th December 2019 18:30 GMT

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

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: 2020/03/31 07:54 by uppermill