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Should I buy the Maestro

Robert Greene
Robert Greene Member
edited June 2020 in Maestro
I'm a early pre-order customer 5/19 4:58p., Since it has taken this long to get close to receiving my new 6400, which I paid in full last week. I have saved up enough to buy a Yaesu 450 rotor and a K4JIO Hex beam with just enough left to get a Maestro.

This will be my first Flex and SDR radio, the Yaesu FTdx3000 will be boxed to take to its new home at a friend’s house shortly.

So I have a couple questions I would like to ask.

I never had a radio without knobs and I see that a lot of people have their Maestro's in the closet or put away. I also see a lot of people ordered a (M) version of the 6400 and 6600.

For those who use their Maestro's instead of the PC what advantages do you feel it has or what do you like about using the Maestro. I am a CW op first and do not like being unable to use a key on the laptop would be one negative for PC.

I will be retiring in about a year, and we are looking to buy a condo in the Rivera Mia area in Mexico and living there 6 months out of the year. So remote operations capability is key. How well does that work with the Maestro.

Since I am primarily CW, can you plug in a keyboard to use the CWX function and setup profiles in the Maestro.

How well does the Maestro play with programs like HRD, N1MM, WSJT-X and other programs running off the PC.

Does the coming version 2.1 on the PC have anything over the latest version on the Maestro or is it the same.


Thanks in advance - DE KC3DOF
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Answers

  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator
    edited June 2020
    I had ordered the 6600M originally and changed it to a 6600 and Maestro instead. The Maestro allows for remote operating, not only from afar over WAN but also around the house. Family room while watching football or baseball, out on the deck on a nice summer day, etc.

    You can also use it at the operating position to free up the PC monitor for logging, digital and other software or just web browsing and email. It is about how do you want to operate?

    For operating CW local to the radio, plug the key into the radio and not the PC or Maestro.
    CWX from a laptop does work well and I use it for live CW keyboard typing instead of using a key.

    I actually have two Maestros. The original hardware version and the new hardware version. Only difference is location of the power button and the original you need to plug in every couple of months if you are not going to be using it long term to charge the internal battery. I plan to keep the original Maestro plugged in at my desk at work when I go back in a couple of weeks. The new Maestro will be used locally in the shack and remote (have a Pelican travel case for it)

    Dave wo2x

  • Scott Russell - N1SER
    Scott Russell - N1SER Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    Excellent post David. Thanks!
  • Gary Johnson
    Gary Johnson Member
    edited June 2020
    The M version lets you play radio without the hassle of dealing with Microsoft updates.  The M version,  I understand runs Windows 10, but this version is proprietary to Flex and they get to massage any updates prior to my downloading them.  A Maestro or other computer will work with an M version, especially after Multi-client becomes reality.
  • Gerald-K5SDR
    Gerald-K5SDR FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Maestro also does not require Microsoft updates.
  • Butch
    Butch Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    I hadn't thought of that.  Excellent point Gerald.
  • Gerald-K5SDR
    Gerald-K5SDR FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    They run virtually the same software.
  • Butch
    Butch Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    It wouldn't surprise me if those that have opted for one of the "M" models, also pick up a Maestro since the Maestro's display basically mimics the M's display, but adds portability. 

    I actually prefer running SmartSDR using a PC and the Flex Knob, but for portable use I prefer the Maestro over an iPad.   
  • Gary Johnson
    Gary Johnson Member
    edited April 2019
    One would think that they would run virtually the same software - in either case the user is protected from Microsoft by Flex and that helps me sleep better at night.  Microsoft just realized my XYL's computer which  she uses to run Bernina Embroidery software (requires Microsoft 8) so when she forgot to disconnect from the house WIFI, they dutifully upgraded her laptop.  Now I have to try to reverse the install to get back to Windows 8.  Windows 10 is like the BORG - everyone will be assimilated.
  • Gary Johnson
    Gary Johnson Member
    edited January 2018
    When I want to use the radio, I don't want to first have to play computer technician.  Just leave me alone to play in the magic that is radio.
  • Gary Johnson
    Gary Johnson Member
    edited January 2018
    I probably will be one of those, once Multi-client becomes reality.  2 operators, 1 radio.  How sweet is that??
  • Gerald-K5SDR
    Gerald-K5SDR FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Gary, you are correct. Both run virtually the same software and are “locked down.”
  • Butch
    Butch Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Gary - my xyl is in a similar situation, but worse, a business environment.  She runs Coastal Quilting Plus, a nationwide quilting business.  Thankfully her long arm sewing equipment, while running a version of Windows, are never connected to the internet, so she doesn't have to worry about Windows upgrades messing things up.  Having Windows "locked down" certainly has its merits!
  • wb7ond
    wb7ond Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Thanks for the tip on the duty bag, Amazon has a great selection, I had never paid much attention to those bags, they sure have a plethora of compartments.  Again thanks...
  • David Salomon
    David Salomon Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Speaking of Multi-Client, does anyone know if is will be a limit to the number of simultaneous users that will be supported?

    For example, I will have the 6600M.  Will I be able to use the front display, and a PC via hardwired Ethernet and an iPad simultaneously?

    73 - David, AG4F
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator
    edited January 2018
    The details of how multi client will work have not been released so unknown what Flex is designing in that regard. They have not talked about when it will be available. 

    I would guess we will learn more as it gets closer.

    Dave wo2x


  • David Salomon
    David Salomon Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Thanks Dave.  I thought it already existed for the previous signature radios.  I guess I read some post from somewhere incorrectly.  For my operating style, I probably wouldn't use that much, if at all anyway.  I was just curious.

    73 - David, AG4F
  • Gary Johnson
    Gary Johnson Member
    edited January 2018
    All of the limited knowledge of multi-client comes via Duffy at last years Texas State Convention in Austin.  I understood from him that you could have the primary user plus one other, each with up to 2 slices on a 6600M.  How the radio tracks who is talking and on what band is somehow hidden in the software.  How the radio will do it is of no interest to me - just look forward to doing it.  How that works in contesting (1 radio 2 operators - Multi Multi I guess) - I haven't a clue.  Would be a screaming good time at Field Day though or roving on state QSO parties.
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator
    edited January 2018
    Duffy?

    Just asking...  :-)
  • Butch
    Butch Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    I assume he meant to type Dudley.
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator
    edited January 2018
    Yes I know. Just having some fun. Sorry for my weird sense of humor. We need more humor! Dave wo2x
  • Gary Johnson
    Gary Johnson Member
    edited January 2018
    Begins with a D, ends with a Y.  I'm 68.  How much memory can I expend in any one sitting.  At least I didn't **** up his call - then I truly would have committed a cardinal sin.
  • Gary Johnson
    Gary Johnson Member
    edited January 2018
    I got 3 of the 6 letters correct.  Be kind to we older folk.
  • Robert Greene
    Robert Greene Member
    edited January 2018
    David, thanks for the info. Should I also put the microphone, PTT, and powered speakers in the radio instead of the Maestro.
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator
    edited January 2018
    If at the operating position, yes. That would give lowest latency.
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator
    edited January 2018
    I knew who you meant. My answer was meant to inject some humor. Believe me, I am one of the worst at remembering people’s names. Dudley is a great guy. 73 Dave
  • Robert Greene
    Robert Greene Member
    edited January 2018
    Thanks David for your thoughts on the Maestro. Lucky me I got a $50 Amazon card for Xmas. just enough for two batteries for the Maestro and one spare for my GoPro Hero6. I also checked out the Police duty bags, looks like the bags I take to the gun range.
  • Robert Greene
    Robert Greene Member
    edited January 2018
    Thanks everyone for answering my Maestro questions. After reading them all and watching every Maestro Youtube video last night, I decide to give it a go. So I will add it to my to be shipped when I get my email to verify my purchase. Hopefully it will be next week. 
  • Ria
    Ria Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    I am not a knobs person at all. I find the Maestro to hinder my operating style and I like everything accessible in one place. But it's good that we have choice. 

    If you aren't getting a Maestro now, try SSDR without it. If you find that you need the knobs, you can always get a Maestro after.

    I may go against the grain for this, but I don't generally recommend the M models unless you HAVE To have an all in one with knobs or you want the HDMI out separate from a computer. I nearly always recommend the plain faced 6600 or 6400 (or 6500, 6700 or 6300) and a separate Maestro as an option. This way you can take it anywhere, SmartLink or simply wifi on your couch, or in a hotel room or something. Even on the same desk you can tuck the radio away on a shelf and have the maestro on your desk. 

    Ria
    N2RJ
  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator
    edited January 2018
    I was originally going to order the 6600m but changed it to the 6600 and Maestro combo. I am fortunate to be testing them and glad with my choice for my operating style. I now own two Maestros. The original one will be left on my desk at the office to use at work during lunch. I use a Maestro every day from the family room while watching tv. When in front of the operating position I have a dual monitor setup and run SmartSDR for Windows along with logging, amp Control and other software. The M series radios make sense for those who prefer to have the radio at the operating position and is completely self contained. It does not depend on a computer, network or other clients (Maestro/SmartSDR for IOS) to operate. It is all about choice and picking the solution which fits your preferred operating style. Dave wo2x

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