np, Phil. Thanks in advance for your time checking into it, whenever practical for you.
Using a TTL is not going to be my day-to-day use so I can live with this, if it’s not a dead breakout situation restricted to my unit - worst case scenario I’ll get a black hat to access the GPIO in situation I really need access to it and the HAT at the same time… kind of puts a dent on portability but life is too short to worry ;-)
On a sidenote, I wouldn’t feel I needed the serial at all if Adafruit got their Occi software ballpark there (so I could jump on a different network with a headless Pi easily) but my experience a week ago with it was absolutely abysmal.
… they took a perfectly configured Pi, failed to get the functionality their software is supposed to provide, screwed up SMB in the process, and shoved their clunky bootloader down my throat with the rest of the broken party (it rolls in when you call apt-get upgrade). Quite frankly I will be extremely wary of anything they make from here on, once bitten twice shy as they say.