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MERG Virtual Area Group

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

Meeting Schudule

There are 492 days 09hours 02 minutes since the next Virtual Area Group Meeting (10:00 BST on 12th May 2020)


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.

Join the Virtual Area Group

In order to join the group you need to be a member and after logging on, you can 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.

Area Group Coordinator

Allan Geekie M5173 - email address:

Meeting Topics

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 - being planned as a two part course.
  • 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 is already scheduled; other calls to be added.
  • 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.

Past Meeetings


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.

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.

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

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.

Members can view the earlier VAG schedules at the Old VAG Page


public/vag2.txt · Last modified: 2020/05/09 11:14 by uppermill