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Meeting Minutes

Saturday 13 December 2008

Called to order 20:18TMRCST

Attendance: 2 regular, 2 associate, 1 guest

1)  ASM (JEM) Move to accept reading of previous minutes MPWB

2) Amendments
 - None

3) Governor Reports
 - Treasurer reports he has just deposited another $1229 of soda machine earnings in the club account, bringing our balance over $7000.  Dr. Pepper has replaced root beer in the machine, and is selling so well the change will continue.
 - Our treasurer, DML, will be leaving at the end of January.  Graduating, possibly.

 - We would have liked to hold elections to replace our departing treasurer, but no eligible candidates who aren't already officers were in attendance.  Elections are tabled until the next meeting.  Nominations for club governor:
     David Backus nominated by JEM
     Quentin Smith nominated by himself
     Tom O'Reilly nominated by JEM

5) Officer Reports

 - S&P
    * Six of the new cabs are now working.  They've been re-numbered to cabs 1-6 now that the old-style cabs have been removed.  They work great, except for sometimes not recognizing the number "2".
    * QEJS has been wiring the subway track to regular block cards.  It should be operational soon.  If we want to make it independent, that will require a dedicated block card and power supply.

 - Operations
    * DML is writing a guide to our operation system, which should be finished soon.
    * Our next op session will be during IAP, see the '09 calendar below.

 - Rolling Stock and Track Standards
    * Two more locomotives (F-units) have been "fixed" by replacing the Life-Like mechanisms with Kato units we had on hand.  It would be a good idea to stick with Kato-powered locomotives as far as possible for our new acquisitions.
    * ASM is repairing the nearly-complete RS-3 units that were made for commuter service.
    * The freight cars that were bad ordered have been repaired.  The passenger equipment still needs work.

 - Maintenance of Way
    * The way is still there.
    * JP will be demonstrating how to build switches so we can complete East Berkmannville.

 - SceneComm
    * Middle Heights is essentially complete except for some ground cover and the rearmost part of the scene.  Thanks to the crossing gates it draws good crowds at the open house.

 - Benchwork
    * Might we be building the helix in January?
    * JP has painted yellow squares at all of the cab plug jacks, making them much easier to find.

 - Public Relations
    * The open house was successful.  Crowds were large but manageable and the trains ran well.  A couple of lessons were learned.  Send the announcement email early.  Schedule floor cleanings with a repair request, which is free, rather than a cleaning request, for which we would be charged.

6) Old Business
 - None

7) New Business
 - We discussed our 2009 schedule:
    * January 10: Op session.  Invite members of the RailRun round-robin operators group to join us to see if they would want to include us in this year's tour.
    * March-April: The RailRun group will be having their annual event, where they invite the public to operate on some of their layouts.  Our layout could be included this year.  The three 3-hour sessions are Friday night, Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon.  Some ex-TMRC members are usually involved.  Expect six or so guests.  ASM is our point of contact.
    * April 17 (Friday): Campus preview weekend.  Afternoon meet-the-prefrosh event at the Edgerton labs.  Plan to hold an op session right afterward so we can invite prefrosh to join us.
    * April 25: Spring open house.  We'll have to do our room cleaning early to accomodate CPW.
    * September 4: Activities Midway.
    * September 12: Op session for frosh.
    * November 21: Fall open house.
    * We'll continue scheduling monthly meetings (Jan. 10, Feb. 14, Mar. 14, Apr. 11, May 9, June 13, July 11, Aug. 8, Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14, Dec. 12) though we may not hold full meetings every month.
    * We're planning tours for next year.  QEJS will try to get us a tour of the interesting engineering in the MIT utilities plant.  Railroad locations we could tour include South Station, MBTA Riverside shops, and the North Side Cobble Hill Boston engine terminal.  We haven't been to the north side in longer.
 - We discussed some major purchases for the future.
     * A belt sander / disc sander would be very useful.  Name brand models run $110-150.  Make sure we get one with a dust catcher.
     * We've been testing LED rope light for lighting under the upper levels.  It's thinner and more durable than any other alternative, and quite bright.  It might not be bright enough, though.  A 164-foot spool will make two strings of lights under the edge of the upper levels for $380.  We might need two spools.  This decision can be left to the future.
     * The upper levels will also require more block cards.  We have three unbuilt boards.  Ten more boards will cost $550, plus $200-300 for components.  We'll start looking into this.
     * New club decals would be nice.  The North Shore club has had a debacle with their orders.  Microscale's minimum order is too large for us.  RailGraphics would be more expensive per unit but has more reasonable order sizes.  The first step is to determine what we need.  We have decal paper for prototyping designs.  Perhaps we should get a better printer for decals and keep it locked up.
     * ASM is creating a prototype for a new club car, a North-East Refrigerated Dispatch reefer (NERD).
     * Should we get a label maker for the club?  It looks like JEM has taken care of most of our label needs with his.
     * We do have a club airbrush.  Three, actually.  There's a single-action Paasche, a double-action Paasche, and a Badger knock-off.
 - The Springfield show will be January 24 and 25.  JEM will be running a carpool, ASM might as well.  Things we should get are nice weed and junk materials and scrap metal gondola loads.

8) Miscellaneous
 - None

JP {JEM) motion to adjourn MPWB 
Adjourned at 21:43TMRCST

Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT
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Cambridge, MA 02139

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