Mavlink Manual_control message with APM planner.with joystick

I am building a diy controller mostly for learning mavlink using a Teensy 3.5 MCU and APM Planner.  I have a lot implemented already:  can send messages to APM planner to display GPS, Attitude Data from an IMU, Pressure sensor for Altitude, battery status etc.  I can even send Waypoints from APM planner to the Teensy (essentially Arduino compatible).  But have a couple of major issues that I thought maybe somebody can help me to resolve:

1.  I want to use a joystick to control the rover I have this all attached to and am assuming that Mavlink message manual_control is used to do this.  From APM Planner it is telling me that it is sending a manual control message.  However, and here is the kicker, parse char function does seem to recognize the manual control message.  I am using mavlink 1 with this so don't know if its a 1 vs 2 issue?  Any help would be appreciated.  I am overriding RC by sending 65536 to all channels in set up.

2.  the second issue is that for some reason I can not set params from the GCS to the Teensy.  Again, parse_char does not seem to recognize the command for me to test as a message id.

So would really appreciate the help.

Thanks

Mike

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