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Last active Jan 3, 2016
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The purpose of this document is to specify who should be able to let themselves into the space and when. It does not specify the technical method use to implement the access restrictions - think of it as a specification the Door Entry System should comply to.

Benjie's Space Entry Proposal


The purpose of this document is to specify who should be able to let themselves into the space and when. It does not specify the technical method use to implement the access restrictions - think of it as a specification the Door Entry System should comply to.

This is how Benjie thinks it should work, and is written formally in the interest of having an open discussion on this subject. If your idea of what should go on is significantly different I strongly encourage you to write your own proposal; feel free to use this one as a template (and to avoid confusion try and use the same definitions; though feel free to add your own or omit some).


the Space
The premises controlled by So Make It Ltd., currently Unit K6, Liners' Industrial Estate, Pitt Road, Freemantle, Southampton, SO15 3FQ
A member of So Make It Ltd., as defined by the list in the Members Area; NOTE: if the Membership Process Proposal is also ratified then within this proposal Member also includes Supporters
A Member who is also a director of So Make It Ltd., currently: Anton, Benjie, Bracken, Chris, and James
Someone who is not a Member.
Something that allows access into the space at any time, for example a physical key, an RFID or NFC card, a door entry code, or a combination of these.
A Member who possesses a Key
Access Card
Like a Key, but only allows access into the space when it is Open. A Access Card need not be of the same form as a Key.
Access Cardholder
A Member who possesses a Access Card
Access-less Member
A Member who possesses neither a Key nor a Access Card.
The space is Open when it is occupied (e.g. when a Keyholder has unlocked the door); however there should be a way of disambiguation someone just popping in to pick something up versus stating for an hour or more
Not Open

Space Access


Guests should always be escorted around the space - not just for security but also for health and safety. For this reason to enter the space Guests will ring the door-bell and someone will let them in.

The Keyholder who opens the space must be willing to greet Guests since they are vital to the growth of So Make It and should always be made to feel welcome. However if there are more people in the space then others may let the Guest in.

Access-less Member

There should be no Access-less Members; however in the event that a Member loses their Key/Access Card or attends the space after registering but before receiving a Access Card they will be treated as a Guest.

Access Cardholders

When the space is Open Access Cardholders should just be able to utilise their Access Card to open the door and gain entry to the space.

The the space is Closed Access Cardholders will not be able to gain entry to the space


Keyholders can open the space and gain entry at any time. Please see Opening the Space below for further discussion around opening/closing the space.

Becoming a Access Cardholder

All Members should be Access Cardholders almost immediately after registering. The process should be like this:

  1. Register on the website to be a Member
  2. Get approved (by a quorum of Trustees)
  3. Someone posts you a Welcome Pack including a Access Card (thereby verifying your address)
  4. Your Access Card might not be activated until the first time you visit the space (this may require intervention by a Keyholder to say that they've at least seen your face)

Becoming a Keyholder

All Members can become Keyholders; but first we need to check a few things:

  • They must prove their identity and address to a Trustee
    • Identity can be verified via a driving license, passport, or anything else deemed suitable by the Trustee (e.g. if the Trustee knows them personally, works with them, or somehow otherwise knows their identity)
    • Address will be verified by possession of their Access Card.
  • They must be known within the So Make It community
    • e.g. they must have visited the space at least 8 times and in at least 3 separate calendar weeks over a 3 month period
      • i.e. they cannot become a Keyholder until at least 3 weeks after they registered
  • They must be in good standing
    • Subscription up to date
    • No violence/verbal abuse recorded
    • No dangerous incidents recorded (e.g. using a power-tool under the influence of alcohol or illicit substances)
  • They must be approved by a Trustee
    • This may be a technical requirement (e.g it might be that only Trustees can upgrade the Access Card to a Key)
    • This is also a fail-safe incase the rules above are insufficient to protect the Space and its Members

Opening the Space

Only Keyholders can Open the space. Simply using their Key may open the Space, or they may be required to perform an additional action. This additional action can serve two purposes:

  1. Prevent the space being broadcast as open when really the Keyholder just popped in to get something.
  2. Getting an idea of how long the Space is likely to be open until (so Members and Guests don't waste time visiting the space if it's only likely to be open for an hour)

The Keyholder who Opens the space must either Close the space when they leave; or they must pass on their Closing responsibility to another Keyholder. This does mean that a Keyholder may have to kick out Members when they leave, but hopefully we can address this in two ways: 1) by having a sufficient number of Keyholders, and 2) by having a way of recording how long the space is likely to be Open for.

Closing the Space

The last Keyholder to leave the space must:

  • Check that no-one remains in the space
  • Check that the space is safe (no soldering irons/tools left switched on, no taps running, etc)
  • Check that the space is secure (all windows and doors closed and locked)
  • Trigger the space closing script (e.g. that announces that the space is closed on IRC/Twitter/etc) - this may be manual or automatic
  • Turn off the lights
  • Lock the door (this may be manual or automatic)

Appendix: An Simple Example Implementation

This example is purely to show how the system could work with the proposal above, it is not to be treated as part of the proposal itself and it's likely that the technical solution we use to address the proposal will not be this example implementation.

Keys/Access Cards

RFID lock on the door. Access Cards and Keys are both RFID cards. When an RFID card is scanned the system looks up the user and if they are a Keyholder then it lets them in; otherwise if they are a Access Cardholder it only lets them in if the space is Open.


When a Keyholder enters the space they flick the Space Opening Switch (like we had at rideride) which marks the space as Open and announces the opening to Twitter/IRC/etc.


When the last Keyholder leaves the space they reset the Space Opening Switch, announcing that the space is closed.

There may be a Watchdog timer that automatically Closes the space if the door has not been opened in at least 2 hours unless someone inside the space presses a button.

Problems with this implementation

  • No indication of how long the space will be open for
    • This could be addressed by using a potentiometer or similar combined with an LCD display instead of a switch as the Space Opening Switch; this could also address the "having to kick people out" issue too.
  • Fails in a power cut
    • A key override in the RFID lock is desirable, but the people who have access to this key should be severely limited (e.g. just the Trustees) since it doesn't involve any authentication.
  • Is software based and potentially hackable
    • May be best to run this off of a non-networked Pi that is locked securely; though doing so makes it harder to approve new Access Cardholder/Keyholders quickly
  • The RFID lock may not be sufficiently strong for an external door.
    • This could be solved by using a heavy duty mechanical combination lock and giving the code to all Keyholders.
      • The combo lock needs to be able to be left in an unlocked state otherwise Access Cardholder would not be able to gain access to the space when it is Open.

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@antonpiatek antonpiatek commented Jan 14, 2014

I have no problems with this proposal however I would stipulate it only makes sense if our rfid lock is enough on its own without a pin-lock as I think remembering to un-latch it is likely to fail.

I personally don't see the need for a protokeyholder or protokey but do not object to having them if it comes to it.

I do not see the value in drafting a full proposal, only in proposing that the proto-* is not required, and this can be decided at the AGM

It is worth noting that this method of locking requires our electronic lock to be a fail-secure model, suitable for emergency exit, and with a physical key backup. This is exactly the sort of lock recommended to us, and should be secure enough based on my understanding of them -


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@TheMadMaker-YT TheMadMaker-YT commented Feb 6, 2014

The 3 months before being allowed to become a keyholder requirement is fine for now but I'd eventually like to see this go up to 6 month or even a year once we have a certain number of keyholders (enough to keep the space open most of the time)

Like the approval process right now it should be a min of two trustee's who sign off on that member IMO.

There is a section on keyholders currently on our rules which needs reviewing also. We should have something similar to this so keyholders understand their responsibilities. See below:

"1) As a keyholder you have 24h access to the makerspace but also have a responsibility to the space and its members. It is expected that a keyholder pay a deposit for any keys or keycards they are issued with and since they are in a position of trust, must be approved by the trustees. Typically they have been members of the space for some time already.
2) When finished at the space be sure to lock up and turn all lights and equipment off. Electricity is a significant cost to us.
3) Make sure that members are following the rules i.e. tidying up after themselves etc.
4) Let people know that you're at the space or going to the space and for how long. (we'll come up with a system later)
5) Don't let anybody you don't know into the space unless they are being escorted by a member. Member lists should be available for all key holders to check.
6) Get rid of all rubbish, empty mugs etc at the end of the night. Giant rats live in our space (and guard the equipment at night) and they will claw through anything to get at food."


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@benjie benjie commented Feb 24, 2014

I've changed "Protokey" to "Access Card" and "Protokeyholder" to "Access Cardholder" throughout. (And fixed some spelling mistakes.)


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@RedXanadu RedXanadu commented Mar 3, 2014

The proposal states that in order for a Member to become a Keyholder they must "be in good standing" and have "no violence/verbal abuse recorded" and "no dangerous incidents recorded".

What is to be the official method of recording such events? Is there to be a record book or communication log of some description?


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@TheMadMaker-YT TheMadMaker-YT commented Mar 3, 2014

There is not and hopefully will never be need for one. Much like our grievance procedure that I just suggested elsewhere we should probably create one.

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