Finally got the PCB’s and built both of them, it was a great exercise in soldering, and eye test too, especially the SMT 0603 components.
It went pretty smoothly, one of the devices did not respond (but ftdi was visible over USB), quick test with shorted rx/tx demonstrated that ftdi was not at fault,
then quick trace verification showed that the rx pin on the PIC was lifted a tad (nearly not visible) and didn’t have contact, pushed it down, soldered, and voila – full success.
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