When I stuck a logic analyzer on the serial I did see chatter when it was only passing DIO. I did change timeout settings on the modems though. Anyway here's a video showing how I got the wireless programming working VERY well, but it is buggy at 10+ feet.
anyway a video demo here showing the setup if anyone's interestedhttp://youtu.be/eHcDzwCFV5E
I'm not going to look into it too much - just need to get this project done.