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Next Meeting
There are 35 days 07hours 02 minutes since the next Virtual Meeting (10:00 BST on 08-October-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 11:00GMT or 10:00BST. Agendas 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. These streams are larger than the thumbnails.

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 35 days 07hours 02 minutes since the next Virtual Meeting (10:00 BST on 8-October-2019)

The proposed agenda is as follows

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

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 10 minutes before the call with a link to enable you to join the call.

Future Meetings in 2019

Calls are held on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 11:00GMT or 10:00BST. The calls scheduled for 2019 are listed in theMERG Meeting Programme.

Currently the group have agreed the meetings until the end of December, there are calendar entries up to the end of September but these may change.

Agendas exist for some future meetings - these may change.

October 22nd

ItemLeaderMinutesNotes
Designing PCBsAlan Turner 30
MERG OnlineMartin Sebborn 30

November Schedule

This is the new schedule for November. Dave will demonstrate PlatformIO - I'd like to restrict questions as we go to points of clarification; we will then have a Q&A at the end.

Please join the discussion time that best suits you.

Time & DateItemLeaderNotes
10:00 GMT 12th Merg FeedbackAllanFeedback from the Thirsk event and AGM
Getting Started with PlatformIODave McCabeWhat is PlatformIO?
18:30 GMT 19th PMP Kit DiscussionAll
10:00 GMT 26th PMP Kit DiscussionAll

December Schedule

Time & DateItemLeaderNotes
10:00 GMT 10th Journal FeedbackAllan
Tales from the KitlockerJudi Rastall
18:30 GMT 17th CBUS Test RigsAll
10:00 GMT 27th CBUS Test RigsAll

This is the initial outline for the programme over the next few months. It will change as I agree dates with presenters.

Suggestions for additional topics would be welcome.

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

DateTopicTopic Lead
2020
Jan 7Arduino
DCC PMPs - discussionAllan
Jan 21MERG in 2020Martin Perry
5 3D Printed ObjectsAllan
Feb 4Raspberry Pi
TBA
Feb 18MERG Feedback
PMP PCBsAllan
Mar 10What is on our Workbenches?All
Mar 24Layout AnimationsAll
TBA
Apr 14SignallingAll
TBA

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

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.1570212271.txt.gz · Last modified: 2019/10/04 18:04 by uppermill