Originally you mentioned a 80/40m TX/RX, but if you have the PIC controller, then I assume we are talking about the v6.3 TX/RX?
When checking the receiver, do you have a PA module fitted, otherwise you will need to jumper the aerial connection across to the receive section.
The USB to I2C interface is a far better option to use, gives you far more flexibility. Sounds like you possibly did not have the USB driver installed if options were greyed out.
Looks like you are really chasing several problems.
At least you know the basic Si570 LO is working, as the frequencies generated were near enough spot on for the values programmed in the PIC.
The usual problems associated with the transformers is not cleaning off the enamel coating properly.
73, Bob G8VOI