Just pulled the trigger on a miniPC (very excited!)
I am quite confident that I will be able to figure this out, but thought if someone already has, then I would prefer to learn from them vs. re-learn it on my own. Either way, my thought process is as follows.
My use cases are:
- Use case 1: Home: This is typical use case where I have good excellent WiFi mesh with great signal outside and access to a monitor & mouse/keyboard if something goes sideways.
- Use case 2: Club site: My astro club has a dark side and they have WiFi. I don't want to travel with a screen/mouse/keyboard as backup but I want to be resilient to their WiFi going down. Does not have to be seamless transition to p2p connectivity, but I don't want to be SOL if it happens in terms of connecting my terminal (laptop) to the mini-pc at the scope.
- Use case 3: Friends house: I have a friend that lives in bortle 3/4 skies. I have an RV and am going out there, want to hop on his WiFi.
- Use case 4: Campsite: Occasionally Ill go somewhere with no internet and possibly no cell service.
NOTE: I do not want to get extra hardware (e.g. WiFi router) nor do I want to travel with a mini screen/keyboard/mouse. Not so much b/c of the cost but b/c I think I can do this w/o it. Also I plan on using RDP (Windows Remote Desktop), so this is mostly around network setup, etc.
I think for use case 1-3 I can just configure the WiFi on the mini-pc to auto-connect to these wireless networks and unless something goes sideways, I am k. I cover the case where things go sideways below.
For #4 I think there is a way to configure my terminal (laptop) to be a hotspot, so as long as I add the SSID to the miniPC ahead of time it should connect to it directly thinking that it is just a regular WiFi router and then from there I can just remote connect as usual.
There is another option which would be to configure my phone to be a hotspot and connect the laptop and the mini-PC to that. I'll have to try that one out, though not sure what will happen if there is no Internet. The advantage to this is that I won't have to change my laptop network settings. Plus sometimes ill be using a Macbook laptop and not sure if it has hotspot capabilities.
Lastly, there is the "disaster case" where I am in the field and it is not connecting to wireless. I think there is a way to direct connect between the laptop and the mini-pc using a crossover ethernet cable in this case.
So, I guess the open things I will research (unless someone has answers) are:
- How to configure my laptop as a WiFi hotspot
- Test whether remote desktop between the laptop and the mini-pc will work if I use my phone as a hotspot
- How to connect/configure LAN (ethernet wire) to work p2p using an ethernet cable (I think it has to be crossover type cable?)
- How to configure order of preference for automatic connect of the wifi networks (in case multiple are active)
If anyone has answers to those or other thoughts let me know! If I figure it out, Ill post what I find.