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OK ... life gets in the way and the Kiwis sat for a couple weeks, and time to bare my soul again and share that indeed it was power supply issues again. This has been a strange journey made stranger by several problems that were all of the same type (power integrity) and happening at the same time.
I am pretty sure that the PS issue(S) have now been solved and I appreciate your patience and advice.
When I believed I had damaged Kiwis, I put them on the bench supply (current limiting Lambda) and did NOT have the current limit set high enough for it to sustain the voltage. I did this knowingly thinking that I had a low impedance short somewhere so I had the available current dialed back. I could see none of the rails with a low impedance short , and nothing on the board felt hot (like it should it if was sinking a couple watts) . I then dialed up the current and inserted the barrel connector and was met with the happy blue lights.
The software updated and we're off to the races once again.
Thanks to you all. I had several other SDR's in line in the meantime and I did not get anything near the same performance and easy to use UI as I do with the kiwis.