Door code and RFID system changes

Everyone’s keypad door code will be changing this coming Tuesday, July 9, and all active members will receive an email with a new door code.

Door codes will be phased out entirely on October 1, 2019. At that point, you must use an RFID key fob to access PS1.

Please read on for details, as you may be affected by the upcoming change even if you already have a working key fob.

If you already have a fob

Please make sure that your RFID number is present in the “RFID Tag” field in your member account. Due to how the system works, only RFID numbers stored in member profiles will continue working after the door code is reset next week:

  1. To check or add your RFID number to you member account, first log into your account.
  2. Next, click on “View profile” and then “Edit profile”:
  3. In the “RFID Tag” field, enter the 10-digit code that appears on your fob and finally, click “Save”.

If you don’t yet have a key fob

Between now and October 1, we will be changing the door code on a monthly basis. Notifications will be posted seven days in advance of a code change and a new door code will be emailed to you once each change is completed.

On October 1, we will discontinue using the emailed keypad door code. Entry into PS1 will only be through an RFID token. We have free fobs available for all members.

 “How do I get a fob?” you ask? Simple! We have a lot of them and you can have one just for asking. The best time to get a fob is during a member meeting, but any person that can do an ID check, such as board members and area hosts, can help with this process.

If you don’t like the fobs we have, you are welcome to bring your own! Any 125kHz EM4100 compatible device should work. Bring it in and try it on the door: if it beeps the fob was read.

You can add your RFID number by logging into your member profile and editing the “RFID Tag” field as in the instructions above. We also have an RFID reader available so that your can determine an unmarked token’s number.

If you have any further questions or need help with any part of this process or you think you may have missed a door code email please email [email protected].

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Chicago South Side Mini Maker Faire, August 3: come help and have fun

The 7th annual Chicago South Side Mini Maker Faire is taking place on August 3. Part science fair, part art fair, and part something entirely new, Mini Maker Faire is a fun and energetic community-based event that brings together science, art, crafts and engineering. This free celebration will showcase Chicago area makers with a focus on the diversity of people and thought that makes Chicago an innovative city.

There are several ways to participate:

  • PS1 is planning to host a booth. Please help us showcase PS1, the premier maker space in the Midwest.
  • The faire has asked PS1 to help set up a Nerdy Derby. PS1 has a great racing tradition, and we would love someone to take this on as a project.

Of course, another way to show support is just to show up and enjoy the faire. It takes place on August 3 at Daley College, 7500 S Pulaski Rd.

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Apply to be an area host: lasers, 3D printing, kitchen

PS1 currently has three open area host positions: laser cutting, 3D printing, and kitchen.

Laser and 3D printing hosts are similar posititons that both fall within the CNC area. Hosts are responsible for maintaining equipment, planning the area budget, making purchases, managing authorizers, and, of course, developing a longer-term vision for development of the area.

Kitchen host has similar responsibilities: overseeing equipment in the area, managing the budget, and promoting use of the kitchen as an integral part of the maker community at PS1.

Being a host is a great way to help fulfill PS1’s mission and play a bigger role in the PS1 community. If you are interested in applying, please fill out an application.

And of course feel free to reach out to the board with any questions.

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Upcoming board election: candidate statements and request for nominations

A vote will be held on July 23 to fill two vacant board positions: Secretary and Public Relations Director.

The nomination period remains open until July 9, so we invite to nominate yourself or any other PS1 member in good standing who you think is a great fit for the roles.

At the July 16 member meeting, everyone will have a chance to meet with candidates and engage in an open Q&A session.

Currently, we have two nominees:

Secretary

Kathryn Born

I’ve been a member of PS1 for 3 years and served on the board as Director-at-Large in 2018. I “rolled off” the board because I thought we were moving, but then we decided to push it back indefinitely.

I’ve returned to the board as interim Secretary and feel it would be widely beneficial if I jumped back into the fray. As Secretary, I would also serve on the DRC. As one who served on the committee that helped craft the language of the document, I look forward to seeing if the new DRC system is helpful, and amending it if it needs to be changed.

I also wrote a document called “Starving Hacker Suffrage” in 2017 which began the push to give starving hackers the right to vote in this, and every, vote/election.

Public Relations Director

Ese Osaghae

I believe that PS1 has a lot of people doing great things that should be showcased more within our community as well as the greater Chicago community. I currently work as a media professional for 3DPrint.com as a journalist and have had various experience in digital marketing campaigns for global maker organizations such as the organization Wikifactory. I believe that we could be utilizing the PS1 space to engage more with the larger maker community in Chicago locally as well as globally.

My main objectives for the position of PR would be the following: 1) Showcasing more of the community members as well as the projects they are working on through social media. 2) Holding more events that involve local organizations within the greater Chicago land area. 3) Connecting the PS1 community to the larger makerspace community that is global by taking the organization through the FabLab certification program.

You can nominate additional candidate by posting on the thread here. Candidates must be members in good standing for 5 months to qualify.

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Join Us for Our 10 Year Summit

Join Pumping Station: One in celebrating 10 years of making with demos and discussion on Saturday, April 27 & Sunday, April 28. On Saturday, enjoy creative demos, a design sprint and a party featuring robot bartender and Drinking Station: One. On Sunday, we’re inviting other maker spaces to dish on what they’ve learned and where spaces are headed.

Here’s a look at the schedule:

Saturday, April 27
1pm 300 seconds of Fame
2pm Creative Demos
3pm Design Sprint / Hackathon
4pm Group Games
6pm Party + Food / Drinking Station: One

Sunday, April 28
1pm Meet & Greet other spaces
2pm Makerspace panel
3pm Lightning talks
4pm Creative Demos
6pm Cleanup party

Download a flyer and schedule summary.

Demos include plasma cutting, chocolate mold making, small metals, tye dying, and more.

Email [email protected] to sign up for one of the 300 seconds of fame slots if you’d like to show off your project or highlight a quick topic. For a longer form talk of up to 10 minutes, sign up to give a Lightning talk on Sunday.

To volunteer or help clean up, email [email protected]

Need a reminder? Here’s the Facebook event & Meetup event.

We hope to see you!

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DIY Zines come to PS1

We’re excited to welcome CHI PRC’s Zine Zine Club Thursday 2/21 from 7-9pm in the lounge.  We’ll be discussing DIY zines that teach and inspire readers to do it yourself. Bring your favorite titles that instruct us on how you can make, design, build, create, tinker, and hack anything. Zine newbies and longtime enthusiasts alike are welcome to join us for a fun discussion and snacks.

If you’d like to participate in a Mystery Zine Swap bring a zine (concealed in some way) to trade with someone else on the spot. This free event will be led by PS1 member (and Zine Club regular) Mariano Muñoz and Chicago Zine Fest organizer Cynthia E. Hanifin.

Here’s a Facebook event and Meetup link. Hope to see you there!

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All members can now vote!

Voting at PS1
All member tiers can now vote and propose new votes. Illustration by Mark Creasy.

Good news for Starving Hacker tier members: you can now vote at PS1 member meetings for things like purchases, activities, or elections. On January 22nd, those with Full Member status approved the Vote for All Member Suffrage. All members can propose new votes.

If you’re ready to exercise your voting rights, there are upcoming opportunities at the meeting on Tuesday, January 29, 2019:

If you can’t make the meeting, you can vote by proxy in the email sent to members on 1/24. You can also simply “abstain” on your ballot. This allows us to reach quorum – which is the minimum number of people required for a vote to be decided – without you having to decide yes or no on the proposal.

If you have questions- there’s a Voting FAQ thread on the Google Groups.
Happy voting!

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Art area: new for 2019!

Hello, everyone!

Here is an overview of what is incoming for the Art Area in 2019. I expect to have everything in place hopefully before the end of January to early February. Thank you to everyone that responded to the annual usage and needs survey.

Make t-shirts on demand

Color printing! This has been a while in the making. Many t-shirt printing systems I have looked into had no actual third party reviews, usually are dedicated units of questionable functionality, lack any information on ink permanence and are super over-priced. The ‘direct to garment’ units look super shady. After looking at option after option for years, I am going with an easy solution. We have a mid-range Konica Minolta CMYK color laser printer coming. We will be able to affordably refill its toner thanks to member Latrice Dixon; she tipped me off to inkowl.com and their great deals. Transfer films for printing color will be available to use with a heat press. If you want to make MAD amount of t-shirts, Neenah Paper Techni heat press transfer paper films for laser printers films are as low as $31 for 50 films on Amazon. This brand has two types for light or dark color t-shirts. Members interested in zines and self publishing will be happy to know this unit accepts a pretty wide range of paper weights and finishes. Printing patterns and instructions will be easier. Manufacturers do not claim full-bleed (edge to edge) page printing in the specs that often as OS, software and users are all a factor: so I am not sure if we can manage full-bleed printing on this unit until we have time to check it out. Konica Minolta has an overall good reputation with the graphic design community for out-performing HP or Lexmark similarly priced printers.

Dye sublimation has been upgraded

The prior gravity feed system gets air bubbles and the flow is poor. Members got some use but it under-performed. This gravity feed system has been replaced with a refillable cartridge system for the Artisan 1430 printer. Dye sublimation works for transfer sheets to put images on synthetic fabrics, glass and metal projects. Make your auntie that cat pillow for 2019. =^-^=

More paintbrushes

Please wash paintbrushes you use with soap and water and heckin put them back. If you are using an oil-based media, please use a proper solvent and then wash brushes with soap and water. More brush soap has been ordered. Also, it is bad to leave brushes sitting bristles down in liquid; they warp. (I have a set of watercolor brushes that I have been consistently using for 28 years.) Brushes are not a single-use item. Do your part. Be kind to the brushes. A clean brush is a happy brush!

Swivel headed heat press

This is a smaller 9×12″ unit but may be easier and safer for members to use as you can keep the heat element away from your hands. If you think a clamshell heat press is kind of scary, this new one is kinder and gentler.

Noise suppression

Heavy weight fitness center rubber mats are going under the Singer 20U industrial machine and the work bench that has the heat presses. Hopefully this will muffle any whomping and hammering sounds that carry through the floor to CNC below. Thanks to Ray Doeksen for advising me that this was happening.

Upgraded lighting

Two new LED daylight tabletop task laps are coming and the overhead daylight light bulb tubes are getting replaced. LED lighting for the printmaking bench will replace the old halogen lamp.

Pro model button maker

You LOVE LOVE LOVE button making! You literally wore out the small button press; the plastic slider warped. This budget unit has been replaced with an all-steel pro model. We have a 1.25″ and 2.25″ button making presses and new pro circle cutters for each. IF you want to make insane amounts of buttons, I can refer you to sources to buy parts; Amazon also has vendors for button making parts.

New leather working tools

Leather working tools are replaced. Please return any leather crafting hand tools when you are done using them and do not take them home. I have needed to replace every single item this year. Share the tools, please!

Power strips and extensions cords

New and not frayed. Please do not remove these from the Art Area. If people need to plug in a piece of equipment at a particular table, I want them to easily be able to grab an extension cord or reach a power strip. Do not take them down to the other shops as they will get dirty.

Sewing machines

A new electronic Brother CE8100 with automated button holes is here, replacing the prior Husqvarna machine. The Brother has many more stitch styles. There is also a pro bobbin winder for the Singer 20U that I just have to install. Also, on the white book shelf is a small tin box with these new plastic fabric clips to use instead of pokey pins. These are helpful for delicate fabrics you do not want to put holes in or thick fabrics like fleece that are not easily pinned. Less stabbing, more sewing!

Let’s be tidy!

Lemon disinfectant wipes, Simple Green and window cleaner are in stock; see the drawer under the black and white printer. There are dusting cloths. I also discovered and ordered a mega box of paper towels to help with spills and stuff that gets on tables. Please do not leave your projects laying around and do not stash your project materials in nooks around the space.

New light boxes for photography

The old photography light tents tore and the frames broke, the tripod lamps wore out or broke when they tipped over. The new units are hard bodied boxes that collapse easily, so you do not have to be an origami master to put them away. The new light boxes fold out, snap into place, and have LED lighting built into the photo box itself. A 12″ and 20″ light box with sweeps are incoming. Heavy weight colored artist drawing papers make better background sweeps if you want a particular color. Document your projects for blogs or portfolios, get product images for online sales, or make weird 3D clay animations. The potential is huge.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is on both PCs for you to use; both the Artastic PC and the one with the Wacon Cintiq HD22 pen tablet.

Soliciting class ideas

Partner with me for planning and the art area can fund needed materials. If there is money and enough interest, let’s get some classes running. I have ideas for zero cost / free classes for 2019 which will be easiest to run in the summer when school is out.

As always, touch base with me in open office hours or by email if there is anything I can help you with or if you feel there is a need that could be met. Please help by putting hand tools away in their labelled storage containers; which has been going very well so keep it up. If anything is broken or not working properly, please put a sign on that piece of equipment and email me right away.

All the best to everyone being creating and making stuff for 2019!

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Growth and churn analysis of PS1’s membership

I used historical payment records to analyze member growth and member churn, the rates at which people join and leave the organization. The data set also allows analysis of how these rates differ by gender.

Growth: fairly slow and getting slower

New members joined PS1 at a remarkably consistent rate on an absolute basis between 2015 and 2018. On average, 25 new members join per month: 20 men and 5 women. On a percentage basis, this represents a declining growth rate, despite the fact that PS1 dues continue to fall in real terms, and the space doubled in size and added new equipment during this period.

25 new members might seem like significant growth, but members leave at a similar rate. Net growth averages 1.0% per month. Net growth of female members was actually negative every month between July 2017 through March 2018.

Churn: new members don’t stick around long, especially if they are female

Churn, the rate at which people leave PS1, has varied over time. For male members, the churn rate has dropped steadily from 9.6% per month to 5.0% per month. For female members, churn rate has been as high as 12.3% per month, and was 8.5% per month in early 2018.

Cohort analysis provides a behavioral lens on the data. In their first six months of membership, female members churn at an average rate of 11.5% per month, compared to an average rate of 7.5% for male members. 45.9% of women leave PS1 within six months. 33.7% of men leave PS1 within six months. Overall, 55.6% of new members leave within the first year.

A club of older members

The “age” of a member refers to the duration of their membership. For example, a “two-year-old” member joined two years ago. In growing organizations, average member age is often flat or even declining over time, as new members join and older members leave. At PS1, member age has climbed steadily, a reflection of moderate growth and churn that is concentrated in new members.

What it means

There are at least two ways to view the high churn rate among new members. The first is that this reflects a natural sorting process as people discover whether there is a good fit between their interests and what PS1 offers. Perhaps PS1 is like a gym membership for many: an aspirational purchase that they don’t end up using.

Alternatively, perhaps PS1 is failing its new members. Anecdotally, many have noted the difficulty of navigating PS1’s authorization processes, rules, and cultural practices. Some might find the hurdles too high to clear.

These explanations aren’t mutually exclusive, or exhaustive. Almost certainly they are both at least partly true. The gender disparity in growth and churn, however, suggests that the hurdles are higher for some groups than others.

Less ambiguous are the implications of a high churn rate for PS1’s finances. The space’s sole source of funding is member dues. A high churn rate makes growth difficult; adds additional administrative overhead and demand for authorizations; and raises the risk that the low net growth rate could tip negative with small changes in underlying trends.

See a more detailed analysis and discussion the methodology here.

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How to watch the live stream of Tuesday’s election Q&A

Update: great event! A recording is available here.

All are encouraged to attend the candidate Q&A at PS1 on Tuesday, January 8, 8:15PM. Come for the pizza, stay for the democracy!

But if you can’t make it in person, we will be broadcasting it live in amazing 360° pano-vision. The easiest way to participate is to bookmark this page and click the video below to join in:

For a more immersive experience that includes chat, reaction emojis, and 360° panning, head over to the Facebook website. And don’t forget that you can participate directly in the candidate Q&A even if you are remote.

The live stream will be recorded and made available for viewing after the event.

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