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Author: Brian Neale

Back issues of the Journal (1976 onwards)

Thanks to the good offices of Mike Tilby, the online collection of back issues of The Journal now goes back to 1976, and right up to the latest version hot off the press (April 2021). Many thanks to Mike for his work in scanning back copies which are now easily available to all of us via the web site.

The index to the list of available issues of The Journal is available HERE.

WARNING - fake "SMEE" emails

I have had reports from several members that they have received emails which mention “SMEE” in the Subject: line, usually with mention of a general meeting presentation topic or similar. However, the “Sender” address is unknown to the recipient, and the addresses that I have seen have nothing to do with SMEE members.

I cannot see any obvious connection between these emails and the SMEE website, and the most likely explanation is that a SMEE member, or possibly a non-SMEE member who has a number of SMEE members in their email contact list, has had their email hacked and a copy of their contact list taken. How or when is impossible to tell. Scammers will then use these email addresses to send emails which either have malicious content, or which have pointers to web sites containing malicious code and encourage the reader to click on the link.

The best advice for any email that you receive from an unknown source is to regard it as suspicious unless proved otherwise. In particular, do not click on any attachments in the email or on any links to other web sites unless you are confident that you know the real sender of the email. You can also report suspicious emails to the National Cyber Security Centre; more information on how to spot and deal with suspicious emails is available from their web site here.

Brian Neale
SMEE Webmaster

Coronavirus and Marshall House

As you are no doubt aware, Covid-19 (AKA Coronavirus) is causing some changes in the way we live. Current advice from the UK government is to restrict large gatherings, but it is very likely that the government will take the decision to make ‘self isolation’ of everyone over 70 compulsory. Currently they are saying  ‘within weeks’ and for up to 12 weeks.
Even before this announcement, the SMEE Council had debated the effect this virus will have on meetings held in Marshall House. Although the Kemsley Room will only hold about 60 members (and therefore could not be classified as a large gathering), we are nearly all in the vulnerable age range. We also sit quite close together and these are ideal conditions for the virus to spread. Many people come to Marshall House via public transport, which is a potential source of infection. Even one case of the virus in the room would then require all of us to self-isolate for 14 days and a deep clean of Marshall House would be necessary. 
With this in mind, the SMEE Council has reluctantly decided to postpone the lecture programme, rummage sales, courses and other meetings until further notice. We will offer money back to students that have pre-paid for SMEE Courses or, if they prefer, a place when we next run it.
For the moment the Workshop Group will continue to operate, but is likely to be restricted to members under 70 and in good health.
Council will still meet, but they will do this on-line via Zoom. Any important decisions will be communicated vie email, the SMEE website and The Journal.
Members are reminded that they can still communicate with each other via the website ‘forum’ facility. Think of this as a temporary replacement for the Marshall House tearoom!
These are extraordinary times and call for extraordinary measures. The overriding priority is to protect our membership and keep them safe.
Stay healthy and vigilant.
[This message has been posted on behalf of the Chairman and Directors of SMEE]

SMEE Competition results

We now have an area of the web site dedicated to reports of SMEE competitions. The results of the 2019 Annual Competition, along with pointers to notes on the models concerned, can be found via this page. Congratulations to all competition entrants and especially prize-winners. Even if you were not awarded a prize, there’s a good chance that your entry on display has put ideas into the heads of other members and maybe will inspire them to enter next year!

SMEE discussion forums

We now have a number of discussion forums on the web site, available to SMEE members. As well as a couple of “special interest” forums for the Engine Builders’ Group and Digital Group. we also have a general discussion forum (ask questions, make suggestions, answer other members’ questions) and a buy/sell/exchange forum where you can post details of items for sale or wanted, or just to give away to get them out of your workshop!

All forums are open to all SMEE members and everyone is invited to participate. This is a way for members who are unable to get to Marshall House on a regular basis to participate a little more in the activities of the Society.

Just go to the “Members” drop-down menu above (just under the title bar on every page) and select “SMEE Members’ Forums” to see a list of all forums, or click on the links above. Look forward to seeing you there!

SMEE website reliability problems

Some of you might have suffered because of the website problems we have had a couple of times in the last month or so. It seems that it is nothing to do with our site, but the hosting service we use has had some issues that have affected us. They believe that they know where the problems are, and are looking for a suitable solution.

In the meantime, if you go to one of our pages and get a “404 Page not found” error, don’t worry about it, and try again later. I try to keep track of the site but you can always drop me an email just to warn me that something isn’t right. Emails to webmaster@sm-ee.co.uk, please. As soon as I see or hear of a problem, I shall chase the hosting service to fix it as quickly as possible – unfortunately I cannot fix it myself.

Thanks for your understanding,

SMEE Webmaster

A further episode in "Building a Desktop CNC Milling Machine"

A further episode (part 23) of this series on a home-built CNC-milling-machine-from-scratch has now been added. Take a look and see how the project is progressing.

3D CAD and Fusion 360 tutorial series

The 3D CAD and Fusion 360 tutorial series has now started running online. The first session was held on 4th March with more to come and was presented via a live video-conferencing link to around 15 participants.

All sessions are being recorded and are available to all SMEE members. If any member is interested in taking a look or even joining in, the recordings are available via the Digital Group programme page. Just click on the date of the session in the programme grid to run the recording. There is also a support forum on the SMEE website where participants can post questions or discuss techniques. They can even find their homework there!

If you would like to know more about these tutorials, please contact the Digital Group Coordinator via digital@sm-ee.co.uk. If you were unable to see the initial sessions live but have been watching the recordings, you are also welcome to join the forum to ask questions and see all the discussions to date. Again, contact the DG Coordinator to get access to the forum.

Library List updated

Please note that the Library List is now updated to January 2019. There is a pointer to the latest list on this page. Note that the Library List is on several spreadsheet pages; the first page lists new additions to the Library.

Please contact the Librarian if you have any questions about the library and access to its collections. 

New SMEE Members' Forum capability added.

We are currently experimenting with a new “forum” capability on the SMEE website. This will only be available to SMEE members, and is intended to allow discussion, questions and answers, and general debate. At the moment, during the trial period, only a few members are allowed to post entries so that we can look at how it all works in practice before we roll it out to everyone. We are actually using it to provide a “support” mechanism for the Digital Group 3D CAD tutorial sessions. The forums are accessible via the “Members” menu for the convenience of the test user group but please do not be surprised if you try it out but are not allowed access!