thanks for the answer.
1 I looked at the BOM ss and it “seemed” that most of the parts came from AMZN oops. Sorry.
2 we are located in Chicago so parts should be no problem.
3 thanks for the GREAT list of links will look at them before posting more
4 noted on the parts thing. if we have to make mods based on advice from Northwestern they would be DELIGHTED to usurp MIT
5 I have 30 years SW dev in real time systems and am LOVING learning python. We live in an area of Chicago jam packed with people who work on construction, AND have a great working relationship with Homedepot.
thanks for your excellent guidance it is a GREAT start for us