Reply To: EMGS Crossing Jigs

Members Forum Track Scratch building track EMGS Crossing Jigs Reply To: EMGS Crossing Jigs

John Simpson

    Hi Bob, Nick,

    Think we might be straying here (a forum curse …)

    I did put a short para in the Newsletter some time ago about Technical Papers and Steve has suggested I rerun a slightly longer item it because it merits the space and in summary situation is evolving even now …..

    …..But currently if a document is long or complex, or very narrow or theoretical in scope,  or I have been unable for one reason or another to convert it to a Manual Sheet e.g. I receive a hand typed photocopy or it had too many queries (it happens) but it is complete in itself and I feel it is of value then it becomes a Technical Paper. If it is how I built an 0-X-0 tank part 1 of 20 then it stays/goes to Steve for consideration as a Newsletter article. It might be a fine decision – especially if instead of it being part 1 of an o-x-x CLC tank it was “Guidelines for building and balancing 0-4-4T chassis” (I could do with one of those right now !!) . The general guideline is both TPs and MSs need to be stand-alone complete. Normally the decision is agreed between me, and the author, with Steve providing a balancing view.

    N.B. The main difference between an MS and a TP is that as a TP it will not get the same level of scrutiny that a Manual Sheet gets, e.g in terms of me possibly taking a model apart to see if the words make detailed sense in a real context or giving the author a grilling on how they actually did something, or asking qns about supplier sources or parts lists. I will review a TP for literacy logic, and general understanding. The Manual Sheet is effectively a “Gold Standard”. Any member should be able to pick an MS up and confidently do the job. The Technical Paper may not be to the same level of detail or clarity or it may even be massively more detailed (we have one currently with over 50 photos in the process!!) and so I also I tend to leave a TP in the supplier format thus emphasising the difference.
    There is nothing to stop a Technical Paper transitioning into the Manual Sheets section as a formal Manual Sheet at some stage but nowadays a 16 or even 8 page Manual Sheet is most unlikely to ever be printed but may well still be of interest to the Membership so I feel it should be distributed

    By making it a Technical Paper I can make them available on the website and announce them in the News when they are loaded to emphasise that we are going down the electronic path and encourage people to use the website particularly reluctant users. In the long run I could see videos for example also being put up there but that is for the future. You will note even MSs go up electronically well in front of paper distribution – this is deliberate – we want people to see there is benefit in using the website. We should not let the 25% slow the distribution of knowledge.

    A numbering scheme for TPs is under review – currently it is a bran tub. That is not the solution – I want something more user friendly than a  search that lists 1200 items leaving the user to wade thro a sea of dross to get the info he needs.

    As regards going down the “paper will cost you extra” route – hmmm – we need the 25% non-IT participant subscriptions  – so they in turn need to feel they are getting something –  what’s in it for the generally loyal 25% who do not access the website – I don’t think anyone has a happy customer base by charging long term customers more for something they have come to expect and can we as a Society afford to alienate them?

    In addition I believe we may be legally required as a Ltd company to supply certain paper documents as inserts on demand. – I believe print surcharges have been raised before but the savings are not commensurate with the effort and cost saving however this is all outside my competence/pay (what pay !?) grade, and I must confess that like Nick when I am doing something I like the A4 paper in front of me – my work-bench is not an IT friendly environment – sawdust, metal filings, solder, solder fluid coffee even a tuna mayo sandwich – you name it but paper just mops it up !!

    Hope that helps