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Strikermd140
Recruit

Posts: 11
Unit: PCR-CA-448

Challenger Composite Squadron 1986
« on: September 04, 2017, 03:55:49 PM »

I was looking though the forums and didn't see anything that really pertained to this, although some were close. So myself and another IT guy at my squadron were looking into a way to use swipe cards (or CAP IDs) to log into our meetings. Basically a member shows up, swipes there CAP ID in a card reader and it logs the time they arrive, the members name, CAP ID, etc. This would then transfer to the excel attendance log NHQ has on member reports to either be printed or stored online (right now we print out the attendance log and wet sign in). We want to get out of the paper era and move to a somewhat digital era.  Anyone use this at there squadrons? looking for idea on how to proceed and make it work. TIA.

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Maj. Chris Striker, CAP
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PCR-CA-448/ Squadron 1986
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kwe1009
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 696

« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2017, 04:38:35 PM »

My previous squadron used SIMS and a barcode scanner to track member attendance and a Google form for visitors.  It worked very well and generates zero paper.  Since SIMS had everyone in alphabetical order, it is easy to transpose that to eServices.  It would be nice if there was the ability to upload to the Attendance module or to use a barcode scanner to input into it but that is probably a decade from happening, if ever.

Hopefully someone on here has a better way to do this.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2017, 05:46:37 PM »

Eservices now has electronic attendance logging.
It's not perfect but it's better than paper.
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Strikermd140
Recruit

Posts: 11
Unit: PCR-CA-448

Challenger Composite Squadron 1986
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2017, 06:35:54 PM »

I do use the electronic form after everyone logs in on paper..  Should be the admin or personnel officer to input that into e-services but sometimes other things are higher priority to get done.

I tried to get SIMS to work, but its was the CAPWATCH downloads that had to be done weekly that never actually got done. and i never really got it to work.

Ive seen them scan the ID cards at missions, so i know it sort-of exists is some form. If we happen to get some sort of system going at squadron, ill make sure its passed on for others to use.
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Maj. Chris Striker, CAP
Deputy Commander
PCR-CA-448/ Squadron 1986
Sq1986.org
Luis R. Ramos
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,497

« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2017, 06:41:51 PM »

I guess we will disagree about paper vs online.

Given light, paper is always readable for a long time.

Electronic you need the program standard, which may not be readable across platforms. I just read a message from SarDragon stating that "Smilies are not readable in his iPhone, but in his computer" or similar.

Paper can be read or written to whether it is a blank piece of paper, a notebook, red, white, or blue.

Online you need the program having been written to run on a Mac, PC, and also "for that application standard" or Doc, Docx, PDF, etc.

Paper can be carried to just any other place and does not weigh a lot.

To read an electronic signature you need to carry (huff, puff) your laptop, or tablet, with other stuff just in case where you are going does not have one.

Where they are equal is that, when paper gets wet, it is damaged.

And when water falls on a computer, it short circuits!

 >:D

But I agree that online is here to stay, so I will continue using it. And no, I am not against computers. My first professional job was as a library teacher in charge of the library computer systems. I made purchase orders regarding computers for the library for the college administration to approve and disseminate. And remained more or less the person to look for when computers are doing crazy things in some of the positions I have been. I retired in Jul 17...

 8)

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kwe1009
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Posts: 696

« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2017, 07:39:59 PM »

I would disagree that paper is always readable.  Paper not only fades over time but is easily destroyed.  The main issues that my previous squadron had was that too often a person would visit and we could never follow up with them because we were not able to decipher what that wrote on the visitor log.  Using a Google Form, we have that information and it is available across any platform (Mac, PC, Android, LINUX, etc) without installing any software.  Very few people today don't have a smartphone or computer within 3 feet of them at any time so access to information is not difficult as long as the unit is using a cloud-based storage solution for their files (highly recommended). 

At the end of the day, it is really personal preference and for my previous squadron electronic was the best way to go.  They don't have offices or storage other than at people's houses so minimizing paper was a prime goal.  We were able to reduce the squadron's paper footprint down to just a single small file box that is easily carried by one person.  Everything else is online with strictly controlled permissions to each folder.  It also makes things like seeing how many meeting Cadet Smith has attended in the last 8 months very easy.  Instead of looking through multiple sign in sheets, we can just run a report.  eServices is making attendance tracking easier too but still has a ways to go.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2017, 07:47:46 PM »

Everything in your electronic unit files should be in .pdf.

It's a cross-platform, ISO-standard format intended for long-term arhiving of documents.
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Luis R. Ramos
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Posts: 2,497

« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2017, 08:24:55 PM »

All my CAP paper files going back to 1996 are still readable.

But side aside, I cannot remember where I stored the folder. Have at least two copies. One is in my house somewhere, the other is at group.

Which is the same issue whenever I need a particular CAP file in my computer. In which directory is it?

I have paper files going back farther than the CAP files...
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Eclipse
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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2017, 08:35:09 PM »

If they are "in your computer", they are "in the wrong place".

Think of all the files in Houston that were "in a computer", that aren't any more.

Same for the paper.
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2017, 08:37:04 PM »

Correction. In my squadron's laptop!  >:D
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« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2017, 08:51:34 PM »

Oh Lord...
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kwe1009
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Posts: 696

« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2017, 08:54:26 PM »

If they are "in your computer", they are "in the wrong place".

Think of all the files in Houston that were "in a computer", that aren't any more.

Same for the paper.

Exactly.  Both paper and a computer are equally destroyed if exposed to water or fire long enough.  Having back ups on a thumb drive that is in the same case as the computer is not the answer either.  There are a good number of cloud-based storage options for little or no cost.  I just don't understand why so many people (not just in CAP) are hesitant to use them.

Google drive works great for me.  I can access any of my files from any computer or my phone.  I can even pull them up on the radio in my car!  That definitely beats lugging around boxes of paper and rifling through them to find a specific document.

Where I work we use a cloud-based solution for all document storage.  If it is good enough for a multi-billion dollar corporation that is literally the backbone of the Internet, it should be good enough for anyone.  DoD is moving to the cloud as well so might as well get with the times...
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waukwiz
Member

Posts: 60
Unit: GLR-WI-048

« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2017, 07:27:48 PM »

might as well get with the times...

Lol
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Cadet Cullen Mayes
Cadet ES Officer
Waukesha Composite Squadron
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TIger
Recruit

Posts: 13

« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2017, 10:06:43 PM »

I use SIMS and a bluetooth barcode reader I pass around the meeting.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
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Luis R. Ramos
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,497

« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2017, 08:35:10 AM »

Tiger, I have been looking for a barcode reader to use for signing in at missions or exercises. Can you private message me with the specs?
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kwe1009
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« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2017, 08:53:06 AM »

Go to amazon.com and search for barcode scanner is all you need to do.  We spent less than $15 on ours and it works great.  A bluetooth one will run a little more but is basically boils down to what you want.

We use SIMS as well and it is set up at the entrance so people just scan their CAPID as they walk in.  Quick and easy.
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etodd
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Posts: 765

« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2017, 10:48:14 AM »

I use SIMS and a bluetooth barcode reader I pass around the meeting.


How many folks say 'Sorry, I forgot my card?"
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Eclipse
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« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2017, 11:00:33 AM »

How many folks say 'Sorry, I forgot my card?"

Just the ones who want to go home an get it.

No ID, no play.
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kwe1009
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Posts: 696

« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2017, 11:13:47 AM »

How many folks say 'Sorry, I forgot my card?"

Just the ones who want to go home an get it.

No ID, no play.

Exactly.  For the cadet, having their CAPID on them was part of the computation for cadet of the quarter so that helped with not forgetting them. 
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etodd
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Posts: 765

« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2017, 12:28:38 PM »

How many folks say 'Sorry, I forgot my card?"

Just the ones who want to go home an get it.

No ID, no play.

I keep a good photo of it on my cell phone as well. Tested it for fun at a SAREX and their barcode scanner read it off the phone just fine.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2017, 12:34:39 PM »

Is the required equipment for ES "CAP ID Card", or "picture of a CAP ID card?"
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Fubar
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Posts: 610

« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2017, 12:43:22 PM »

Is the required equipment for ES "CAP ID Card", or "picture of a CAP ID card?"

Says the guy who's anti-paper.

(Just giving you a hard time)
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Eclipse
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« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2017, 12:44:38 PM »

Nice - for the record I'm basically "anti-everything" - makes filtering a lot easier.
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UWONGO2
Member

Posts: 80

« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2017, 11:37:01 AM »

There was a squadron near me that did this, scanned in everyone as they came in and I believe as they left. Was extremely efficient, right up until an SUI where the inspector decided wet signatures were required.

I've argued it's perfectly fine, but everyone seems to value my opinion for exactly what it's worth.
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A.Member
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Posts: 1,606

« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2017, 12:26:45 PM »

Eservices now has electronic attendance logging.
It's not perfect but it's better than paper.
Where exactly can we find that functionality in eServices? 
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"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
Eclipse
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« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2017, 12:45:11 PM »

Eservices now has electronic attendance logging.
It's not perfect but it's better than paper.
Where exactly can we find that functionality in eServices?

Personnel - Attendance Log

I see it as CC, not sure which other staff jobs can see it.  There was a complaint that it could
not be WSA designated, that may have been fixed.
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A.Member
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« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2017, 02:53:06 PM »

Eservices now has electronic attendance logging.
It's not perfect but it's better than paper.
Where exactly can we find that functionality in eServices?

Personnel - Attendance Log

I see it as CC, not sure which other staff jobs can see it.  There was a complaint that it could
not be WSA designated, that may have been fixed.
I'll check it out.  Thanks!
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"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
Майор Хаткевич
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« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2017, 02:57:36 PM »



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Panther
Recruit

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« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2017, 06:05:48 PM »

My squadron does use an electronic sign in, which is a system created by a few IT capable seniors. The person signing in either inputs their CAPID (which is subsequently matched to their name) or signs in as a guest. I personally think it's an incredibly handy way to manage attendance every week.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2017, 07:47:09 PM »

That may well be true, but the official wheel exists now, so no point in using a homegrown system.
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kwe1009
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Posts: 696

« Reply #30 on: September 17, 2017, 10:15:45 AM »

That may well be true, but the official wheel exists now, so no point in using a homegrown system.

Unfortunately the eSerivces system has quite a few holes: no way to account for guests and members of other units are the 2 biggest ones I see.  So units must either use 2 different systems to track attendance or stick with whatever they are currently using.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #31 on: September 17, 2017, 01:29:14 PM »

Agreed - but there's no need to "track" visitors attendance, and how often does the average squadron get
a non-unit visitor that needs to be "tracked"?

At least this is, theoretically, roll-up-able into a view of real participation at the national level (once people know it exists
and use it). 

There probably should be an "other" or "outsider" field.

It should also automatically enter Safety if that box is checked, for all on the sheet.

Does anyone know if higher HQ can see the meetings?   Are there any roll-up reports yet on total attendance, etc?
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SarDragon
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Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #32 on: September 17, 2017, 02:44:37 PM »

Agreed - but there's no need to "track" visitors attendance, and how often does the average squadron get
a non-unit visitor that needs to be "tracked"?

We track prospective members for their three meetings. They aren't always consecutive.b
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Dave Bowles
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Lem
Recruit

Posts: 11
Unit: MER-VA-017

« Reply #33 on: September 17, 2017, 02:58:03 PM »

Greetings All
This is something that our squadron has been considering doing.  I am interested in this from the E services site  and was wondering how it worked . In looking at the screen shot I am a bit confused as I didn't see a button to click for a  member to sign in.  With this application will we still need a bar code scanner. or will the members just type in there CAPID. Anything to make signing in and out much easier for a 100+ member squadron I am all for  and any help you all can provide will be greatly appreciated.
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arajca
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Posts: 4,139

« Reply #34 on: September 17, 2017, 03:23:46 PM »

Typically, you'd print out a sign-in sheet and after the meeting, enter the meeting information and check the boxes of those who attended. It is not made for electronic sign in, unless you have the meeting open in Eservices and check folks in as they arrive.
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Lem
Recruit

Posts: 11
Unit: MER-VA-017

« Reply #35 on: September 17, 2017, 03:59:21 PM »

Thanks arajca   That answered my question  that is what we do now   was hoping to see something where a member could just scan in.  I know it is doable as I saw it in action at NESA
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arajca
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« Reply #36 on: September 17, 2017, 04:15:31 PM »

The problem with what NESA does is not everything is available outside NESA. Same with the homebrew solutions many members have come up with.

Have you asked the NESA folks what they're using?
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Lem
Recruit

Posts: 11
Unit: MER-VA-017

« Reply #37 on: September 17, 2017, 04:29:19 PM »

Not yet that was my next move . The company I work for uses bar code scanners  on the machines we build. Was thinking we could come up with something to populate the current attendance roster the we sign in on now
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Eclipse
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« Reply #38 on: September 17, 2017, 05:55:55 PM »

I would say now is not a good time to be building home-grown solutions.

Now that NHQ has finally given the field an "official" attendance log, many people
are hoping that is step one towards requiring the tracking of participation in a meaningful way.

To Sardragon's points, a unit really has no reason to track the participation of someone from
another charter, and rare is the unit with so many newbs you lose track of the 3-meetings.

There's really no mandate today to track attendance at all, except CYA. In 18 years, the subject
has literally never come up except in regards to some subjective SUI questions.
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kcebnaes
Member

Posts: 94
Unit: GLR-OH-064

« Reply #39 on: September 17, 2017, 06:45:32 PM »

Agreed - but there's no need to "track" visitors attendance, and how often does the average squadron get
a non-unit visitor that needs to be "tracked"?



For local units, it's probably negligible, but for Group/Wing/Region staff meetings (most of my Group staff is ADY, and they don't show up for attendance logs), or something like Group O-Flights, being able to add people not on the official roster would be nice.
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Maj Sean Beck
Ohio Wing
Group VI Commander
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