New members guide

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We'd like to make a short New Visitors/Members guide.

See also - 'new member's email'

Short Guide

Aim: to be printed on A4 paper easily to give to visitors, especially on Tuesday Open Nights. Also useful for people who turn up at other times and we're ill-prepared to give them a full tour.

How to be awesome

Interact with the community! Join the mailing list (or at least read it on Google Groups occasionally), make an account on the Wiki and when you're a member, introduce yourself on your own shiny page and link it to the Members page. It's helpful to put faces to names. For instant communication with a lot of members you might like to join/idle in our IRC channel as well.

The Door

New and pending members are allowed to register an Oyster card (Or similar 13.56mhz "MIFARE-style" RFID card) to open the door. See this page on how to register your card for doorbot access. If you're not a member, you'll need to ring the door bell. If you're travelling from far away, it's best to email ahead of time and online chat with someone on IRC and ask if someone will be in the Space to let you in, especially if you intend on visiting during off-peak hours (between Midnight and 9AM) The doors work off the membership database. If you're a recently paid up member, the membership database should know of this in the morning after Barclays Bank produce their end-of-day statement files. (So, if you sign up in the evening, and even though payment may have cleared, it will take more than 24 hours for the doors to recognise you as a member. This is because Barclays Bank don't produce anything more often than once per day that includes the payment references that we need to correlate incoming payments with the memberships)

Warning!

There's tools around that could do you harm but that's pretty unlikely to happen. Don't fear the tools, just respect them. You can also harm tools, such as the laser cutter, if you're not trained.

People in the Space

The Hackspace attracts all kinds of people - some are chatty and some would rather work on their own projects quietly. Don't take this personally! Not everyone can be awesome all the time. Unless they are and then we love them to be part of our community.

Internet

We are on a shared Internet connection, so please use bandwidth courteously with your neighbours, and please *DO NOT* download or upload illegal or legally questionable content.

Storing items

Only Members are allowed to do this. For small items, you can store as much as you can fit in your "member's box". Large items may only be stored with special permission BEFORE bringing the project into the Space.

Donating items

We need all sorts of materials, electronic and mechanical items to hack. BUT we don't need too much of the wrong sort. Always ask before you bring donated items to the space, to check whether it's as useful as you think. Don't just pick up junk from the street, however useful it looks - we might be overflowing with that already, or it might bring unwanted infestations in with it.

To keep control of unwanted items we regularly throw things away. Much of it goes through the 'three-week-bin' system - something designed to make sure that one hacker's jewel isn't thrown out as another hacker's rubbish. Larger items may be marked before disposal, but may be thrown away immediately if it's not marked, or brought in thoughtlessly.

Hacking items

Please respect Do Not Hack stickers. If something looks large/useful, post to the mailing list asking about the status of it (if it's hackable or someone's project). Some items are considered infrastructure and should not be hacked without discussion with the community first.

Using things

Feel free to make use of our wood/metal scraps, any screws & fixings you can find, solder, wire, components etc but please make a donation towards buying replacement items too. If you're into electronics, you'll probably need to bring your own copper strip boards, breadboards, customs ICs. If you're in the workshop, you may need to bring in specialist screws (we tend to run out of long screws), or other small, quirky items.

Even though we may appear to be a public open space or even a charity, we are not. The LHS is an organisation created to provide space and tools to members of the LHS community.

Looking after the space

Although we have a cleaner to look after a few essential places, most of the space is looked after by the members. Please play your part. If you leave without cleaning up your mess, somebody else has to do it for you. Remember that a lot of people are using the space and, even if you could leave a dirty mug at home to be done later, you can't do it here. Especially :

  • Don't leave dirty pots, plates, mugs around the space or in the kitchen. Wash them up and put them away in a cupboard. We have a washing up machine to help with this, but it can't deal with baked-on-food (and it doesn't fill itself).
  • Clean up after you work - whether it's paper shreds on the floor, odd components on the soldering station, sawdust and swarf in the workshop, paint in the workshop sink .. it's your responsibility to clean it (and more : if you find stuff left by someone else, please help clean up).
  • Treat our furniture with respect. Using chairs in the workshop, standing on them, using tables as a cutting surface etc. ruins good furniture, it's expensive to replace and unpleasant for you and others to use.
  • Do odd jobs. There are always jobs to do to keep the space useful. Whether it's emptying a bin, vacuuming a carpet or building an awesome machine, we can't function without all our members helping out. All our time is as valuable as yours - please don't leave it for someone else. Adopt a tool to look after (see Adopt-a-Spanner on on the wiki)

Longer Guide

There's been a vague mumbling of possibly producing a larger, more extensive guide. Possibly in the form of a heavy & obvious book to stay in the Space and referred to.

Latest revision of the content of this document is here: http://piratepad.net/740SSaXpn3

Links