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I've disabled console on the GPIO serial interface, lowered the speed to 9600 and had some communications observed with minicom and a simple

cat /dev/ttyAMA0

talking to an arduino all ok.

Now for some reason the Pi crashed and upon hard reboot if I try to use /dev/ttyAMA0 in any way, eg configure the speed with

stty -F /dev/ttyAMA0 9600

or

cat /dev/ttyAMA0

the Pi crashes immediately and requires the power reconnected to get it running again.

Voltage level conversion between rPi 3.3v & Arduino 5v was carried out with a MOSFET 2N7000 based design explained here: http://www.fritz-hut.com/connecting-an-arduino-and-raspberry-pi/

Any suggestions as I'm stumped with this one.

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Ok, well no answers here but thought I'd update it anyway. problem has resolved itself since I upgraded the raspberry pi. I'm really not sure what the cause was but it's no longer a problem since doing.

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

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