Frequently Asked Questions

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New Member Questions

=Concerns & Observations may answer some questions

How do I get my newbie questions answered?

Refer to the new member "welcome page" that you got when you joined! The new-member form is three pages, only the last of which gets filed. The first two (usually printed on two sides of the same sheet) is yours to keep for reference.

There are also scheduled New Member orientations on the Calendar. Typically they are after the regular member meetings on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month. Most all general questions can be answered at one of those Orientations. Please gather a list of all of your questions and bring them in then. We will be happy to answer all of them in one-fell-swoop :)

What is the Google Group ahashop_members used for?

The internal mailing list is used for BROADCASTs to all members. It is for immediate communication with members. However, because of volume, some members don't read it in a timely fashion. Urgent stuff may be posted to -announce, but this is moderated to keep it super-low-volume. btw - anyone on this list stays until they choose to opt out regardless of membership status.

How are Supplies (like garbage bags) purchased/handled?

Supplies are bought by members and donated. That means you. General Inventory is here.

What are Consumables and how are they purchased/handled?

Consumables are non-component articles that are used with a piece of equipment that are used up and must be replaced periodically. Please donate as you use the Consumables. Consumables will be purchased by the Board when something is needed.

What are Components and how are they purchased/handled?

Components are materials that will be incorporated into your project, such as resistors, screws, tape, paint, wood, and metal. Small components which are bought in bulk (tape, screws, etc) are bought by the member for a particular project. Excess components (the rest of the tape, the rest of the box of screws, etc.) can be voluntarily contributed to the group by storing them in the appropriate zone small components area. If you use significant small components, please be considerate and contribute some back, either replenish with like, or toss a few dollars into the zone's money-box.

In all cases, advise the board if something's out of stock, or if you have something you'd like to contribute but can't find a place for!

If I want to donate tools, how do I do it?

Look at the Wishlist. Find if your tool is on the wishlist. If yes, contact the board. If it is a large or unusual piece which might not have been thought of before, ask the aboard.

Somebody left their briefcase, what do I do?

Post on the members' google group with a picture of it.

How can I pay my dues?

PayPal (using the "subscribe" button on the right-hand side of the AHA Blog) or at the register. More details here!.

How are events publicized?

See Events

Can a Member attend the Board meeting?

Yes. Please do.

Who can write in the wiki?

Any member can write in the wiki. We also allow non-members to write in the wiki. Automatic account creation is disabled because of spam, so see HOWTO_Get_a_Wiki_Account

Why is the member wiki a public document?

The wiki is a public site because we are a community educational organization that tries to provide information about technology and our activities to both members and the public. Your reminder that this is publicly visible should be a reminder to everyone that we should not post personal, private information that should be exposed to the public (e.g., e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc.). Unless you're comfortable with that, which most folks actually are.

What do I do if I break a tool? Do I have to pay for it?

Mark it as broken with date and your name. Email the board.

What do I do if I damage, but do not break a tool?

See above.

Who do I see if I need training on a piece of equipment?

Email the board or attend one of our training classes (current schedule available on the Meetup site).

Pre-Member Questions

Will you build this gizmo for me?

No. We'll help you build it, but we're not a job shop. We're not an engineering firm. We're not a contract house. We're a club. You can be part of the club! You can use the group's tools, and toss ideas around with anyone who'll listen. (And maybe you could strike a side deal with an individual member, but that's beyond the scope of this document.)

What are your hours? I stopped in the other day and nobody answered the door.

We have no paid staff, and regular hours are subject to change, dependent on volunteer availability. Open hours are generally organized into 4-hour blocks from 2-6pm and 6-10pm. Variations will be posted to the mailing list and to the AHA website.

How do I become a member?

See HOWTO_Become_a_member.

Can I give you a pile of computer junk?

CRTs, absolutely not. See: [1]

Anything else, check the wishlist.

In general, if you have a pile of it, we probably do too! For interesting stuff (lab stuff, optics stuff), email the board, and get their approval before bringing it to the space.

What do I need to do in order to hold a class?

Oh look, there's a page for that!

How does something get in Purgatory?

If it is not in current use things are subject to purgatory, where they will be placed and eventually disposed of.

I still have a question

Email the mailing list or the board.