after reading a bit and seeing where to look I may have found the error msg.
root@beaglebone:/home/debian# dmesg | grep i2c
[ 0.817817] omap_i2c 44e0b000.i2c: could not find pctldev for node
[ 0.818857] omap_i2c 4802a000.i2c: bus 1 rev0.11 at 100 kHz
[ 0.820424] omap_i2c 4819c000.i2c: bus 2 rev0.11 at 100 kHz
[ 1.710864] i2c /dev entries driver
[ 1.942267] input: tps65217_pwr_but as
[ 1.943439] omap_i2c 44e0b000.i2c: bus 0 rev0.11 at 400 kHz
[ 205.003986] omap_i2c 4802a000.i2c: timeout waiting for bus ready
[ 206.012018] omap_i2c 4802a000.i2c: timeout waiting for bus ready
[ 207.020050] omap_i2c 4802a000.i2c: timeout waiting for bus ready
4802a000.i2c seems to be I2C1
i2c0 = "/ocp/i2c@44e0b000";
i2c1 = "/ocp/i2c@4802a000";
i2c2 = "/ocp/i2c@4819c000";
so it seems there may be a pinmux issue ?
this is on a stock image free standing BBG
I am a hardware dude. Whats all this software stuff anyhow?