Yes, ESP8266 is not the strongest... it has single processor and you may run into resource contentions... (What else is running on it, especially in JS?). The other thing I'm not sure about is: is data always a complete send / receive? or could it be chopped and you have to compose the message? What speaks against this is that the output always starts with the begin of a sent message. A third thing is: is your power supply ok? EPS8266 do spikes in current for calibration of the (RF) transmission. What kind of 8266 are you using?
Nothing else running on it. I had more, but to debug this problem I removed anything else (not that much was running since it's very much space constrained).
Since the point is to display whatever is sent (up to 6 bytes, since it's a 6 character display), not much chopping up possible.
For power: It's using a USB power adapter. Never had problems with it.
Two different ESP8266 modules. Both with ESP12E: Wemos D1mini and a random NodeMCU module.
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