Skywriter hat cable length

I bought a skywriter HAT thinking to use it with my RPI4 behind a sunfounder touchscreen. The skywriter appears to work if I mount it directly on the gpio pins. when I use a gpio ribbon cable, however, I get problems. The problem seemed to change character slightly as I reduced the length of the cable. At 20 cm I see “remote” errors when importing “skywriter” in python. A bit less and I see “timeout” errors instead. At 6 cm the skywriter module now imports, however the examples don’t work (NoneType object has no attribute stop).

Shorter is not going to be useful for me. Is the problem as I describe it expected, and is there anything I can do software wise to make a longer cable feasible?

The cables that come with the Mini Black Hat hack3r boards are 18 cm and work fine with i2c devices. The one I have is 18cm, I just measured it.

What gender are the ends of you cable and how do you have it connected between devices?