Okay so after weeks of messing around ..... uninstalling and re-installing and rebooting ..., I found a solution...
In the Designer web.config file I changed the following:
<add key="IEWebControlsInstalled" value="False"/>
<add key="IEWebControlsInstalled" value="True"/>
and now it seems to be working.... and as a side note I did the same with the Ultimate Panel and guess what.... that works too!!
anyway thanks for your help.... I hope this helps someone else!!!