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Protospace ID cards

Revision as of 18:07, 3 December 2015 by Boomalator (talk | contribs) (Updated to reflect current practices.)
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Waaaaay back in July 2014, Aaron suggested that a Protospace ID card would be helpful for members to identify themselves, particularly when new (probationary) members arrive at the space door, seeking someone to accompany or supervise them in the space. So, a few waves of a magic wand later, and the Protospace ID card was born.

There are a different styles and options available and things may continue to change. This isn't a high security card, it's more of a name-tag with a picture.

Update: the ID card is now the default RFID key for the space, and is also used for discounts at local vendors.

How do I get one?

In person

Send your smiling mug to In a pinch, bring it on a USB stick. Do this before you are getting vetted. If you want to get a new RFID card speak to the issuer of RFID cards, asking him nicely if he will please reprogram the door to accept a new card for you.

By email

Pick a style from the choices, and send an email to Byron at Attach a decent head shot photograph of yourself. This is not a dating site. Be tasteful. Indicate when you joined if desired (or if you are a new member). Let us know if you want to replace/update an RFID card/fob or just need a plastic one for discounts.

Plain plastic cards and non-activated RFID cards can be left for you at the space. Active RFID cards will need to be claimed in person.

Before issuing a card, we verify that you are a member, and what your membership status is. If you are not current on dues, you will need to catch up to get a card.

Is there a cost?

There is no cost to members.

Obviously, printer ribbons and blank cards aren't free, but the supplies are minimal -- the ribbon and blank plastic card costs less than a dollar, depending on shipping, and a new RFID card is under a dollar. If you lose or destroy your card, a contribution of a toonie each time you replace a card would be excellent, a loonie would be cool, but this is not required.

What do they look like?

See the sample image gallery below.

What about lanyards and holders?

  1. Staples.
  2. I like putting my event name tags on 1/8" rope with a lanyard knot above a loop for the card, and a two sliding fisherman's bends as stoppers on the ends, which can adjust the length. I have rope at the space. :)
  3. Get your workplace to donate a handful.
  4. Oh, and you took the safety course, right? It would be really foolish to wear this around your neck near any spinning machinery in the shop.


Sure, we'll call them "policies" because it sounds official. It really just means I wanted a heading.


You may put your nickname on instead of your first name. You may make it the prominent text. However, since this is an ID card, your first initial or first name, as well as your last name, must appear on the card.

New (Probationary) Members

New members may have ID cards once they have completed a form and paid their first dues, however, the card will not open the door and may look different. One reason for having an ID card was so that new members could "introduce" themselves when asking for access to the space from full members. While the bright yellow hazard-tape graphic was kinda cool, it was a bit over the top.

Types of ID Cards

There are two options currently available, plain plastic cards, and printing on your RFID card.

Plain Plastic

A plain plastic member ID card is available to all members, including probationary members who have not yet been vetted. Probationary member cards may look different to clearly indicate that they are not a key.


Bring your RFID card to Boomalator (Byron) and he will print your ID card onto the RFID card. If you are not a full (vetted) member, then you won't have an active RFID card, so this is normally only available to full members, who are over the age of majority, and have their own RFID card for the space. If you are expecting to be vetted shortly, and ask nicely, you might be able to get your RFID card (but not yet have it active) if that's efficient and convenient for everyone involved.

Is there a security risk?

One school of thought in security is that an ID badge should have minimal information, so that the evil-doer who steals a card doesn't know what to do with it. That's one reason, for example, the address of the space isn't printed on the card. It's possible that a bad guy could look up "Protospace", get the address, and then try to use the card to bluff his way in.

I believe that since we aren't that big an organization, such tactics would be noticed.

However, putting information on the card - especially the RFID cards - does mean that the member (that's you!) needs to exercise a modicum of vigilance. Here are some mitigating factors that keep us secure:

  1. Do not give out the Alarm Code to anyone, unless you are the one welcoming a new full (vetted) member
  2. Do not ever, ever use a Sharpie to write the Alarm Code on your RFID card (even a blank one). No, not even then. Never.
  3. Ensure that the Alarm is on when you leave and secure the space.
  4. If you lose, misplace, give away, fold, spindle or mutilate your RFID card, or if it is stolen, email and ask that it be deactivated. If it turns up, it can be turned back on. We'd much rather spend 50 cents replacing a card than deal with unauthorized entry.

What else can we do?

Name tags for events... commemorative special issues... barcodes... the mark of the beast?

Sure, why not.

Would you make name tags for <insert other community event>?

Most likely. Ping me.

This printer was actually bought to do souvenir name tags at a large scout function a while back. The kids loved them.

Sample Images



I have a great idea for a design!

The card dimensions are 2.13 inches by 3.38 inches (CR80, same as a credit card). The software takes any common graphic format, including Photoshop PSD.

The printer doesn't do full bleed very well, especially on the short edge, so I just leave a 1.25mm white border, which I think looks neater. The text is added by the software, and don't forget to leave space for punch on the top.