Lessons learned

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Misc. lessons learned

Problem Solution
Cheap ESC's may have a faulty 5V regulator (5.68V measured) which may cause certain components to malfunction. Some headers are near impossible to solder, without cold soldering.
Use an external 5v regultator between ESC and your circuit It seems the headers with gold coated beneath the plastic base are meant to be thrown in the trash (1)

(1) Various header pin metals. The white has a solder friendly base, the black is junk and the blue is completely solder friendly HeaderPinMetals.jpg