Well, found the bloody culprit for the signal loss between the hygro/thermo/rain sensors and the main unit. Turned out to be a faulty RJ12 joiner between the two lengths of phone cable. Ghetto repair solution? Cut off connectors - strip wires - twist wires - tape wires - stick back into weatherproof box! So dodgy....
Well, I reckon that wasn't too bad an effort for day one. PC set up; weather station functioning (albeit without the superior wired sensors); weather webcam up and running and wireless connectivity to the router (and internet) established.
The WGE111 is shown here atop the monitor. However, it couldn't maintain a strong connection to the router when the roller door was down. So, ghetto solution #34,889 - just poke the antenna out of a hole in the garage wall - problem solved!
I can't say that I'm proud of the ghetto install (cable ties and Ikea bracket!) of the cheap'n'cheerful weather webcam, but it will do the trick for now.
Wireless connectivity to the garage PC is proving a challenge. The USB ports are a mix (WTF?) or 1.1 and 2.0 and the only PCI slot is a low-profile one. To top it all off, with the rollerdoor down the PC is basically inside a huge RF-shielding box!
PCI - does *anyone* make a low-profile PCI 802.11b/g card?! Arrrggh! If I could get one of these with a low-profile bracket it would be a simple matter to whack an outdoor antenna on the outside of the garage and get a good signal.
USB - offers a lot of flexibility in terms of placement of the dongle (ie at the end of a long USB cable poking outside the garage), but I'm not convinced that running any sort of network over USB is all that stable. But it might make a good last resort.
Ethernet Bridge - excellent possibilities, however, ones with weatherproof housings start at AUD$1200 (OUCH!)
So... the interim solution - steal the grunty Netgear WGE111 bridge from the XBox in the living room and see how it performs.
The WS2310 weather station - operating in 433mHz wireless mode until I can sort out why the hell the wired connection to the thermo/hygro/rain sensors isn't working as it should.
Following on from the Kitchen PC project, it's time for another piece of geekdom to take residence in chateau Linda and DJ.
Here's the first look at our "Garage PC". eBay came to the rescue with the cheap Dell PC/monitor combo (P4 1.7GHz/256MB/20GB/XP Pro/SFF case for AUD$192.00). Only thing missing was any sort of wireless connectivity.
Primary use will be to give the LaCrosse WS2310 weather station internet connectivity (incl weather webcam). It will also serve up music and movies from the NAS; stream internet radio and TV to pass idle hours in the garage; etc etc