OK I sorted out the issue with the help form the guys over on the PCengine formun.
The issue was that after the start of the kernel. the terminal speed is changed from 115200 to 38400 once I connected with the new speed I was able to wrok from there.
Load from a usb drive. then run the install option to the m-sata drive.
one trick for me was that on boot it would not recognize the usb drive I had to boot and then with F10 go into the setup mode. make no changes, save and reboot and the usb drive was readable.
it is all good now. will try to replace the production FW next week and will let you know how it performs