Moving events online

Agreed Chris, I think helping people stay connected and cultivating a sense of solidarity is really important.

I’ve not tried a Twitter hour before, but like the idea. But we are talking to an Estonian makerspace who want to start a #FixingFromHome campaign/competition to encourage people to repair things around the house in creative/fun ways. Perhaps that could be a vehicle for some kind of repair hour?

Educational content is also on our radar. @Purna (Repair Café Bengaluru) started a conversation about this here:

I’m with Janet here; I think for us, the interaction between the person who owns the item, the volunteer repairer and the item itself is the heart of our events. Repairing items is good, but changing people’s relationships with their belongings is even more powerful.

That said, I believe @Lorna_Montgomery is currently running a pop-up repair shop in Bath and may have some advice here (though possibly in a new topic, as this one is about online events :slight_smile: )

This would be really useful! But I’ve not come across anything like this anywhere yet. Maybe others have?

:clap: yes, agreed! I find that platforms/events that try to replicate offline spaces often don’t work that well. Besides, in-person events can often feel slightly chaotic, a tendency I think would only become more pronounced if the same format were to be attempted online. This seems like a good opportunity to try out some different ideas that make the most of digital technologies (e.g. embedding how-to Youtube videos, bringing together specialists in more obscure types of repair and so on)

This sounds great! I don’t have anything that needs repairing, but I’d love to come along to support :slight_smile:

Hi all…in Portsmouth UK we’re keeping it simple to start with…we were due to have a physical Repair Café tomorrow but I cancelled it a week or so back. I’m going to do a little facebook live piece tomorrow when it should have been on and we’re encouraging people to share their small fix challenges e.g. vacuum cleaners that won’t suck (it’s rarely anything electrical, so we can help them learn how to clean filters and remove blockages), fabric items that need small fixes and possibly even info on how to set up WhatsApp on your phone or do a family zoom. We’ve already had a couple of folk send in videos and photos of broken things that we’ll look at and see if we can give them tips to start with.

We’ll see how it develops, and will continue to use our hashtag #PompeyFix and see if we can get people sharing their small fixes at home to encourage others to learn and try things.

Stay safe all. Clare


Hi everyone,

I signed up to the free trial for Remo and had a look around. Definitely not suitable for an informal community event, very much “sales conference” look & feel, but…

… it does allow that upon entry… :roll_eyes:

I suppose it could be possible to have a link to house rules/T&Cs in the general chat window for everyone to click on?

@Stuart_Ward & @Jessika_Richter - how did your Zoom events go?

We had an event yesterday. We had only repairers attending (but from Repair Cafe Malmö and Leuven - so we got to meet new people, which was fun). My guess is that the online forum is still daunting for a lot of people. We had one person come in, couldn’t get the audio to work or some other issue and she left before we could figure it out.

The downloading software can be a barrier. Otherwise, Zoom was great, especially with the break out rooms. We found it useful for everyone to put with their name also their languages, as online events might attract more diverse crowds and then the host can also match languages a well as skills.

We also checked out jitsi. We thought maybe if breakout rooms are already thought of in advance, you could organise the sessions by what kind of repair (e.g. computer issues all in one session) and have multiple sessions running. Then it would be good to have a host who goes between sessions and/or a chat function where there is still some communication between sessions.

We discussed what kind of things we could really do with an online event. Most agreed it would likely be limited to some advice rather than assistance with repairs in real-time. We would recommend starting each session still with a disclaimer and some general safety tips too. And encourage people to get in touch with their follow-up repair story after the session, but otherwise, it might be hard to collect any data on such events.

Lastly, the repairers attending had an idea of maybe an online fixing marathon or Fixathon, using the fact that we have repair groups from all over the globe now - we could run a 24 hour event with different hubs taking turns running it. At least the experience from Repair Cafe Malmö was that it was good to get to talk to other repairers too, and it could be fun to run some online repair Q&A sessions together with other groups.

So that was our notes from the session. Happy to discuss further!


Moonee Valley Repair Cafe in Australia have also been running virtual repair sessions - anyone been to one (they are late here in Europe though)?

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Great write up Jessika, thanks! Sorry I couldn’t make it in the end.

Good to hear that Zoom worked pretty well. It does seem to be relatively reliable and the breakout rooms sound really promising. A shame that it involves downloading software and might raise eyebrows for the more privacy-minded.

Having different rooms for different types of repair/issue makes sense as an approach to me, though I can see how some kind of cross-room chat function or floating facilitator would still be useful to coordinate things.

I love the idea of an extended Fixathon/repairathon! Sounds like Malmö and Leuven are up for it, I wonder whether people in different time zones would also be interested. We could start a new topic for this to generate/gauge interest?

Interesting to see that Moonee Valley Repair Café are running virtual repair sessions too. I wonder whether @Michelle_Fisher has anything to do with that?


Thank you, Jessika, much appreciated.

We have bit the bullet and will be using Zoom for our virtual Repair Café on 4th April :slight_smile:



See the two most recent blog posts at

We held a virtual Fixit Clinic on March 15 that went really well so we’re planning more. Any community repairer in the world is invited to participate: to present things from their local community or their own “stumpers” or just listen in.

Additionally: As COVID-19 unfolds we’re extending the vision of these virtual events to offer “rapid response repair” for medical equipment and laboratory research and/or diagnostic equipment. It doesn’t have to be critical care equipment: it might be as mundane as the toaster oven in the hospital staff break room or the hospital’s floor polisher.)

All Fixit Coaches everywhere are invited to join in this global effort: and (virtually) meet your fellow fixers.

To sign up for either or both go to and choose “Virtual Fixit Clinic” and/or “Rapid Response Repair” (indicate where you’re located in the “Anything special about your participation?” field.)


This is a great thread! We would like to participate in these events. We’ve encouraged our volunteers to register on Talk.

Practical question: how do we deal with folks coming to the ‘event’ who don’t have tools to do the repairs that require them? Do we just focus on educating about the repair?

Are other groups also focusing on repair videos in general?


Our best thinking at the moment is: we will pre-screen participants beforehand to make sure they have tools and can present the item effectively via video conference. Alternatively, have the repairers present items from their local communities.

We have started a series of videos with iFixit, we are actively soliciting subjects for upcoming videos:
Introducing Repair Tips from the Fixit Clinic with Peter Mui

How to Replace Thermal Fuses: Repair Tips from the Fixit Clinic

Optical Drive Troubleshooting: Repair Tips from the Fixit Clinic

(A general caveat: after working on these videos I have a heightened respect for how difficult it is to create high-quality compelling video content.)

Alternatively: you can post repair guides on iFixit: here’s one I did on zipper repair:

Let me know if this interests you and I can help facilitate.


Same from the Leuven side! :slight_smile:

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All community repairers anywhere in the world are heartily welcome to the virtual Fixit Clinics (e.g.: Fixit Clinic, Restart Party, Repair Cafe, Anstiftung Foundation, etc.). For Q&A or to present things from your local community or your own “stumpers”.
Register at (indicate where you’re located in the “Anything special about your participation?” field.)**

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Btw, @james how many people were a lot in your meetings? Just to have an idea

More than about 8-10 I’d say. It does tend to vary depending on the time and day.

Ok, gracias :wink:

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Some practical testing about how Jitsi Meet copes with several participants, if you host your own Jitsi server, by Martin Sauteur at his excellent Wireless Moves blog in his latest post: Jitsi Meet and the Number of Video Participants.


Thanks @Panda. I found another test with a rented server, although way more expensive. And my experience doesn’t tell me much, probably not even possible to compare.

summary of all results:

On a plain Xeon server (like this one) that you can rent for about a hundred dollars, for about 20% CPU you will be able to run 1000+ video streams using an average of 550 Mbps! Check the graph below!

Maybe also beyond the topic, so I would close it here. Thanks for the tips!

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Next online event:


Are you happy for me to include it in the Restart newsletter, which is due to go out tomorrow?

(If anyone else reading would like their online event included in the newsletter, let me know)

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Yes, please do! Note it is a cooperation between Repair Cafe Malmö, Repair Cafe Lund, and Fixit Clinic in the U.S. :slight_smile:

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