So great news - finished the panel, checked the circuits, everything looked good.
Plugged it in, turned on the breaker - no smoke. Good start.
(never mind the weird random black wire in the middle - that's the feed to my LEDs for the backlight box, once I finish it)
Turned on the key - nada. After some checking, realized I ran the safe-start-interlock relay neutral to downstream of the main contactor -
. Swapped to be connected before the contactor, flipped the switch and....
After some trouble shooting, it's evident that I was sent a sub-par contactor. It was listed as 'new' on eBay, but when I got it there was obvious damage and an attempted repair. I didn't complain because hey - if it works, it'll live inside the panel. Well... it didn't work, and now they want me to send it back (my expense) to refund the purchase cost. I'll be out the shipping cost to get it here and to get it back (about the same cost as the contactor itself) and will have nothing. I'm not too fond of that idea - like hell I'm paying $20 something to get nothing but disappointment and let down.
Once I get a new contactor, should be able to continue the process of trouble shooting. Was planning to brew this weekend - doesn't look like that's happening.