MHV grant application - your input needed: Stronger Communities Programme

This is a dollar-for-dollar matching grant programme. $150k is available per electorate per year for 2015 and 2016. Applications for 2016 seem to be due 15 February but that’s a deadline for our MP [Fraser - Andrew Leigh]! [3] Due to this being an “invite-only” grant, we are running out of time to get a meeting with Andrew Leigh or his staff (contact for this programme is mentioned at [3]), and put a proposal together that can be submitted by this date.

The grant amounts may be between $5,000 - $20,000. The applicant must contribute at least the same amount for themselves towards the proposal. For MHV this means if we spend $5,000, we can double our money to $10,000.

Timeline [2]:

  • 30 January 2016: [2015 round?] Assessments Completed (target date depending on numbers of proposals)
  • 15 February 2016: System open for MPs to advise selected proponents to lodge applications for projects to receive payments in 2016-17
  • 30 April 2016: MPs submit recommended projects to the Department to enable assessment and payment in 2016-17
  • 31 July 2016: [2016 round?] Assessment Completed (target depending on numbers of proposals)

Elegibility [2]:

To be eligible for funding a project must:

  • be for capital purchases/activities; and
  • contribute to an improvement in local community participation and cohesion and contribute to the vibrancy and viability of the community
  • claims against this requirement must be described.

The following items are considered to be ineligible for funding:

  • expenditure incurred prior to the announcement that the project has been successful in its application for funding;
  • provision of services and support activities;
  • payment of salaries for existing staff or contractors;
  • recurring or ongoing expenditure (eg annual maintenance);
  • projects that seek funding to stage events, exhibit a display or for filming;
  • projects to undertake studies or investigations;
  • purchase of land or buildings; or
  • projects that involve the development of private or commercial ventures including licensed areas of registered clubs.


Given that ACTPG have let us know that the land we’re on is going to be “released for development” in 2016, it’s arguable we should hang on to our $5k and reserve it for moving/re-establishment costs.

However, I would at least like to still get to the stage of getting a draft proposal together quickly so that we can get a meeting. It’s possible they already have enough proposals in the works that they won’t need ours; or that they have some other reason they don’t like us.

In any case I think it would be strategically useful to put something together in case it somehow helps us get some leads on a new home for MHV.

Capital expenditure ideas:

Easy(er?) to justify:

  • $5,000 AUD - Ultimaker 2 extended.
  • NB: I am not proposing we specifically buy an Ultimaker. Someone with more 3D printing experience than I should really propose something here. I just noticed that the Ultimaker seemed to be very fast, reliable and accurate in early 2014 when I last researched this.
  • ~$2,000 Sony CH350 3LCD 4000 Lumen WUXGA projector ( see Projector replacement or TV? )
  • ~$1k worth of safety things: replacement fire extinguishers, new first aid kit suitable for heavy workshop, eye wash station, etc?
  • security things? Mainly CCTV
  • shield gas for the mig welder? Being a consumable it’s probably ineligible

Brainstorming ideas (please help me find better ideas that would benefit the entire MHV community rather than those of us interested in radio and software-defined-radio :smile:

  • ~$3,000 Rigol 1.5GHz spectrum analyzer w/tracking generator - useful for testing performance of RF filters, for analyzing spurious emissions from our software defined (or any) radios. Price difference includes my estimated cost for VSWR bridge accessory, for analyzing antennas and cables -
  • ~$380 HackRF -
  • ~$2k ham radio battle station
  • ~$2k for some 24hr accessible interactive educational display/artwork (Eg. a welcome robot and some screens showing hackerspace activities or WebSDR feeds or something?)
  • ~$2k worth educational robotics kit things?

MHV will have to move!! ohno!

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Let me know if I can help with the robotics or IoT or Electronics related things.

I’m in Europe but things have been going really well. So far I have picked up an Order for 1,000x ESP-8266 IoT kits.

It’s really the same things that we did those evening workshops on earlier this year. Heading back soon anyway. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

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Bunch of FPV drones + radio/video gear, signs, barricades, etc, to run “come and try” FPV days to get people excited about drone racing. Perhaps coordinate with Arboretum to find open space that is relatively far away from maddening crowds?

5 drones plus gear, storage, and signs/poles/fences/witches hats should put a pretty dent in $5k, then there’s advertising (e.g.: City News, Canberra Times, RiotACT) and public liability insurance for each event (which might be possible to cover through entry fees).

As for new accommodation, I wonder if we can find a block of land scheduled to be vacant for a few years, and build a MHV HQ using shipping containers?

Then when we need to move, just lock all the cupboards and load the containers onto trucks and move them :smiley:

Not much in the way of vacant blocks in the city though. Though the idea of permanently mounting MHV into containers on the backs of trucks, then driving MHV to wherever we’re “opening” for the night does have a certain romantic appeal, even though it’s totally impractical.

A bunch of 40-foot shipping containers rigged up as octocopters?

Shipping containers are nifty, but you’re right about the impracticalness :stuck_out_tongue: (I’ve had to [merely be involved with] retrofitting shipping containers for mobile oil & gas lab work - not such a ludicrous idea if we had people with time to do it)

I do like the FPV idea, however the main reason I’m asking for capital expenditure ideas rather than activities is because the latter requires an additional justification section (the grant is targeted toward capital works, i get the impression it’d have to be a pretty special thing that gets funded under this scheme, i.e. benefits the wider community beyond just FPV racing enthusiasts) and so I’d need someone to take ownership of that proposal rather than have me write about something I won’t ultimately be involved with (not because I hate FPV racing [sacrilege!] but because I don’t have time to participate).

I guess what I’m trying to say is: the theme of the grant is “Stronger Communities”, so you need to get into the head of the grant committee for how they’re going to make their decisions. We need ideas that will reinforce or align with their narrative.

In order to make FPV fit, you’d have to either have some sort of community outreach/involvement aspect to it (which brings up a semi-related point: do we have lower-income people coming to MHV? If not, why not? What can we do to improve that?) or suggest that it has some other community benefit (for UAVs you could use the search-and-rescue angle, but for FPV racing that’s … pretty contrived :slight_smile:

Feedback on this hasn’t been terribly overwhelming (I like the casual ideas! It’s just they haven’t also come with any specifics that I can actually write up ;-), so my priorities are therefore unchanged:

  1. Shiny 3D printer
  2. Upstairs internal wall removal (subject of this email)
  3. AV things (projector/screen/TV)
  4. Misc. workshop safety items
  5. ??? [maybe sdr things?] ???

We only need a few of these to make up $10k. It may be that just the first two items are well over this amount.

Unanswered questions regarding (2):

  • Does anybody object to the wall being removed (mural?)
  • Are we able to get any clarification on the near future of the premises?
  • How much will the wall removal actually, really, truly cost?
  • Does anybody object to the funds being spent on this (should we do a community-wide vote)?
  • Given all of the above, is this idea worth it?


  1. November: write up the wall/building modification proposal and send to ACTPG. Required:
  • Details of modification; rough floor plan annotation would be useful.
  • Photos of what we want to remove and photos explaining the problem are definitely useful.
  • Details of why the modification is necessary, what we intend to do with the modification afterward.
  • Reference the asbestos reports and which company they came from.
  • If we are going to use our own contractors, then we need to supply qualifications. It seems it would be easier to just use whatever contractor they suggest.
  1. November: while that’s in play, get a meeting with Andrew Leigh’s office so we can at least say we’ve got a proposal for that part of the grant on the way.
  2. December-January: once approval happens, get a quote done ASAP. Hard figures in the SCP grant would be very much preferred. Perhaps find the ~$330 or so among MHV members rather than use community funds.
  3. February: finalize SCP grant proposal with Leigh’s office so that they can recommend it for funding.

Shame about the lack of feedback.

Would want a commitment from ACTPG for a longer term lease if the wall removal was to be progressed, but i would hope if there was a solid plan for wall removal/renovations the chance of a longer lease would be better.

As for the other things will have a bit more of a think.

Anyhow keep up all the great work!

Currently working with ACTPG on that, just finished photos and measurements :slight_smile:

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I’m just going to repeat something in public that we’ve nattered-about privately:

An SLA printer would be a nice thing to have either “instead-of” or “aswell-as” a new fused-material printer.

However, they do tend to be much more expensive though. I’ve also got no awareness of the safety/learning-curve/consumable costs/etc. issues.

Something like the AutoDesk Ember (Which was reasonably recently open-sourced) or the XYZ Nobel (Which is the cheapest one I could quickly Google)

Don’t forget it’s dollar-matching grant - 50% of the grant is our own money :slight_smile:

Several years ago, I seriously tried to get a BOM together for a DIY SLS printer… Now, compared to that the $9169.21 AUD seems cheap for the AutoDesk Ember :smiley: But it doesn’t seem to make functional parts… also, do we know what the resin costs are like?

Perhaps an SLA printer is desirable enough that we’d get better bang for buck buying one of these rather than an adding yet another FDM example to our fleet.

@M0les, would an SLA printer be something that you’d come to visit the space for? What kinds of things would you do with it?

I mainly wanted to gauge community interest in an SLA printer.

If there were one at MHV, I’d certainly visit to use it (It’s one of those things I can’t really justify for the home workshop)

Good news: I rang Lyndell Tutty, it seems I’ve misunderstood the timeline. We have until April to finalize our proposal. So there’s no panicking required yet.

I need to clarify with the rest of the committee whether we meet the financial reporting eligibility requirements…

… other than that (admittedly large) issue, it looks promising so far - seems they only have a handful of other candidate proposals at the moment.

Also: security cameras. I know they’re not very hackerspacey… but discuss :slight_smile:

For Shield Gas for the MIG welder, you could ‘buy’ a cylinder rather than rent so that could work as an investment. Gasweld and Sydney Tools are distributors for Speed Gas which offer a no rent system with an initial up front: Then there is a big issue with safety if we have the high pressure cylinder in the shop.

I’m also looking to replace the bench top of the red metal frame work bench with some steel plate to make it a proper work bench which will require some money to buy the steel plate but I might just go ask for direct funding from the MHV budget since it shouldn’t cost much.

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I have a vague recollection of people objecting to being on camera, but, we’re not NoiseBridge, we’re MHV.

Actually it seems we misunderstood some mixed signals coming out of ACTPG. They’re re-zoning the space around the space, but from something like “recreational” to “urban recreational”. We don’t know what that means yet. I’ll be trying to weasel some hint of clarification out of them during the building modification proposal discussions.