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Sounds like the sensor board then is a bit duff and not giving out a decent signal. Like you said get your hands on another board from the same year / model and things should improve somewhat.
I remember doing the same (managed to get one off a renault tech for £5) that worked for me when I was having problems with that on my old car.
Obviously this didnt stop it getting wet, you will need to solve that issue too.
Currently in dave_mezza2006's garage:
2014 Vauxhall Astra Limited Edition 1.4 16v VVT Turbo