Apparently the 24VAC to DC circuit does not work correctly because the DC/DC conversion to 3.3V doesn't seem to properly work. Is the full bridge rectifier with wrong specs? https://rayshobby.net/wordpress/24vac-to-5vdc-conversion/ Ok, some clarity is beginning to form around where I went wrong... ouch. Simulators http://lushprojects.com/circuitjs/circuitjs.html http://www.spectrum-soft.com/download/download.shtm Signal strength RSSI - Receiver Signal Strength Indication LQI - Link Quality Index