PAN011: Build thread for 'Cloudy'

Hey All!

I’m starting assembly of a baseline PANOPTES unit for Google Cloud demos. It’s nicknamed Cloudy :slight_smile:

Components are stating to arrive, so I figured it was a good time to start a build thread. Here I’ll log my progress, and share my thoughts on the build.

The plan

I’m going to build in roughly this order:

  • Mount assembly
  • Camera box electronics
  • Rest of camera box assembly

At this point, Cloudy will go on tour at Google events. Once it’s done with its world tour, I’ll finish it off so it can do actual science.

  • Control box assembly
  • Weather proofing
  • Find a place for it to do its work

I’m using these instructions:


Cloudy is coming along pretty well! I have the physical assembly of the head unit done, so it mounts up as you can see.

Build observations

  • I was unable to achieve 0.5mm tolerance on the head unit mechanical parts using only hand tools. It fits together, but it’s off by at least an mm for sure. I assume I’ll have to try again, and will probably do so with higher precision tools (a CNC mill or a water jet).

Hi, it’s Winnie!
I’m picking up on finishing Cloudy where Jen left off.
I went to do an inventory of materials for the components, and it seems like we have to buy quite a few things. I figure many people will run into the same situation so I wanted to build some amazon wish lists. Then Jen came up with a better idea: making a web page with amazon affiliate links for all the components so Project Panoptes can get a cut of each item purchased. Do y’all have an Amazon affiliate account?

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Yay! Thanks @wee

Do y’all have an Amazon affiliate account?

Nope. We have a gmail account that we could use for that or set up a name in our domain (e.g. What else is involved with setting up an affiliate account?

And yes, I think that is a good idea. Our idea was always to try to a company like OPT to bundle everything into a “kit” for us. The original owner of OPT had agreed to this but somewhere along the line the company was bought out.

You will also need a Tax ID and bank account for deposits of earnings.

Ok, sounds good. I’ll contact you offline with the info. I’m assuming we don’t need the non-profit status for this but just a tax id and a bank account.

@wee I’m also updating some of the Amazon links. My list is somewhat specific to a special build we are doing but I’m also reviewing things like all the M6 & M8 bolts (and sourcing from Amazon rather than a separate supplier).

Long story short, contact me before you spend too much time digging through all the links.