I finally got some time to finish the software and do a v0.1 ground station. Its based around the ESP-01 still because I will need to spend some time working out the circuit board layout for the ESP-07, so at the moment I'm not logging solar voltage, etc. I'm hoping to build it into a suitable box tomorrow and deploy it in the back yard. I've retasked a TPLink router using OpenWRT that is currently receiving logs from the build on my desktop :-) I'd hoped to get there today but I ended up spending some time working around a possible SDK bug in deep sleep mode, which I seem to have resolved successfully.
Along the way I actually came up with some ideas to really squeeze out the ESP-01. Once things are really bedding down I wont need the serial RX pin so that can be retasked; so at that point could put an I2C ADC on the RX and GPIO #2, so things will get interesting for a variety of projects...
More importantly, my inAir9 SX1276 LoRa modules arrived.
So while the ground sensor is chugging away, I will be working out how to use the modules so that I can then build a proper fencepost relay station.
I think I may have a use for my Digisparks. I think they have just enough pins and memory that I can use them to make a bridge from my laptop USB to the SX1276 SPI connection so that I can build up some software in Linux and come to a good understanding of their performance in relative comfort.
The LoRa modules will provide the 10km+ link so they form the critical path at this stage. It will be easy enough to integrate the sensors for rainwater, wind etc later on.