last revised 06 January 2022
Although we had a joint online and in-person meeting in November of 2021, our January, 2022 meeting will be online only due to the Omicron variant of Covid-19. It is too hard to predict what the in-person gathering rules will be next week, so NO in-person meeting in January of 2022! Read on for the equipment you will need and instructions to make it work. Our club members should be receiving an email containing a link to the online meeting, from our club secretary a day or two before each meeting – visitors will need to email the secretary in order to receive the link and password. It will take some time to prepare yourself to join us for your first online meeting, so start now!
We hope the online experience will recreate the meeting experience, within technology limits. A live video and audio stream will be sent to all attendees, under the control of member Deven Kane serving as the meeting moderator. A live video and audio feed from each attendee will be received by the meeting moderator, who will determine which video feed will be sent to all attendees as the main image. Each attendee can also see a small window with the video feed from each attendee.
We will use a service provided by Webex. If you have already been part of a meeting hosted by Webex, great! If this is your first Webex meeting, we will provide enough details to get you started. There is no need for a beginner to learn how to schedule, manage, or run a meeting — so please do not go off on tangents trying to learn everything. To prepare for our meeting, try to be familiar with how to join a scheduled meeting and how to participate in a meeting.
A number of training videos are available online,
showing how to use many of the features.
Before our board meeting in late March, board members
were emailed links to get them familiar with the service.
The two dealing with initial set up were:
How-to: Join a Webex Meeting Video Conference https://youtu.be/fE5FnEUKtaE
Manage audio & video preferences in Webex Meetings https://youtu.be/VElbXzZCWjw
A good starting point to other videos is
General playlist of How-tos https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_YnWo4XhzTfhkcwB6M1a-wJ9dTlz58yz
and another getting-started video is
You can join the full meeting (video and audio) in three different ways: through your computer’s browser (referred to as web app), through a Webex program running on your computer (referred to as Webex Desktop App, or through a Webex App for your smartphone.
If you cannot join the full meeting using any of the above, you can join the audio part of the meeting by calling the long-distance number located below the Join by phone header in your emailed invitation.
Although the Webex app is available for smartphones, their screens are much smaller than a computer’s.
You will need a computer (Windows or MAC) with good video and a camera; even a recent, good entry-level unit should work reasonably well. Speakers and a microphone can be built-in or separate, or a headset can be used. A good network connection will be needed to ensure smooth and sharp video is sent and displayed.
You will receive the fastest speeds and highest fidelity if you connect directly to your router via an ethernet cable. If you want to go wireless, I recommend buying a new 5G adapter card. [This is fifth-generation Wi-Fi – which is totally independent of fifth-generation cell phone service, even though both operate around 5GHz in the RF spectrum.] Chances are the card in your PC uses only 2.4 GHz. You can buy a new card and install it in your machine, but you can buy an external USB-port dongle which is less than the size of a thumb drive.
First, check with your internet service provider to see if they are now delivering 5G Wi-Fi service, and whether your existing router can handle 5G. If not, you may want to buy a new router.
I bought a new ARRIS - SURFboard AC1600 Dual-Band Router with 16 x 4 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem from Best Buy for $120. If you still have a router from Comcast, you can return it and save $15 per month. If you need longer range in your house, you can get a better one for about $180.
The 5G USB dongle is available from Amazon for $15. The dongle comes with a manual and a help line number. They are very helpful. I found that you have to have two separate IDs and passwords for 2.4GHz and 5GHz service.
After you get through, the setup works fine – but at 5G, the signal strength only extends about 1-2 rooms from your router. [The tradeoff is higher speed over a shorter distance.] At least I can sit in my recliner with a beer in hand.
Your emailed invitation will contain two attachments containing instructions on using Webex for our meeting. Print them as a handy reference. View the invitation on the device (computer or smartphone) you wish to use with Webex, and then select the green Join button to connect to the service and start downloading needed programs.
Although Webex can run within most browsers, a better experience might be obtained by installing the Webex Desktop App onto your desktop or laptop computer. Installatuon might take 10 minutes, so start installing well before the meeting time.
There are Webex apps for Android and Apple smartphones,
but these displays are much smaller than on a computer.
If you want to download the app:
Club members should expect an emailed invitation from our club Secretary by the morning of April 7, the day before our meeting. If you have not received such an email by then, fisrt look in your spam folder! If you did not receive it, please email our Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for the online meeting invitation.
The email will contain a green oval button icon to join the meeting, and it also will contain the Meeting Number (access code) and Meeting password. As a security measure, please do not share these with anyone.
If you wish to exhibit any items for Show-and-Tell, you must email us image files well before the meeting. The name of each file should start with your name and end with a sequence number. The meeting moderator will step through the images in the numbered sequence, as prompted by the exhibitor whose voice will be heard live, by all attendees.
Email your exhibit images by Tuesday, the day before the meeting, to Deven Kane at email@example.com
We expect more attendees than usual; if they all exhibit, we might announce time limits before the session starts.
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