After going thru no less than 8 cables, one finally work! I use several of these with other Arduino and ESP32 boards with out issue. Guess I need to clean house.
thanks guys, I knew it had to be something simple, but only 1 of 8 cables working was unexpected, arrrrrgh!
My next step is getting an Rpi “people counter” running on this board. I have a couple of examples for the Rpi, but the libraries will be need to be modified for use with microPython.