So I thought I would try the ESP8266 out at last so got my self a edp8266 module and a USB to 3.3v serial converter.
After many hours of failing to flash the esp with nodemcu and other firmwares I was on the brink of giving up.The nodemcu flash tool kept letting stuck at anywhere between 1% and 6% no settings made any difference and other flash tools failed in similar ways. I then though to change the serial adapter and happen to have a board with a cp2102 on it so a few soldered on wires later and I had an alternative serial converter. This one worked first time.
I remembered the whole fake FTDI issue from a while back and started investigating. Firstly my chip had painted on idents which would easily come off with my finger. Real FTDI chips apparently are laser etched. I then downloaded and ran FT_Prog from ftdi’s website and checked the serial no… Turns out it was the most common fake number there was