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Maestro TX audio quality

Jim - N7CXIJim - N7CXI Member
edited June 11 in Maestro
Hello,
I've only spent a few hours with the Maestro so far. but I'll admit to a little frustration trying to get top-quality TX audio out of it. I get excellent reports on both AM and SSB - using the 6400M radio mic port - with a variety of mics and profiles, but no such luck yet with the Maestro.  Reports are that the audio is "pinched" or "crunchy". I've listened to both live and recorded samples using Full Duplex mode and I agree. There's been no difference between antenna and dummy load tests at low and full power, so my assumption is that RF isn't an issue.

I've tried a fairly large sampling of mics with various settings - EQ, processor, gain, preamp. Dynamic mics obviously use no bias supply, electrets do. The pro-audio condenser mics get 48V phantom power from a small mixer I have dedicated to the purpose. The broadcast dynamics need more gain and some positive EQ from 2K up to whatever filter edge is in use.

My intended use for the Maestro isn't stringent, (armchair and RV mobile) but so far TX audio quality is a non-starter. Am I tripping over the compression codec?

I realize I'm probably one of the worst possible candidates for networked operation. I dislike distortion and latency intensely, but I have to think I'm doing something wrong here - I just don't know what.

So after all that - can someone tell me they're getting great audio reports from their Maestro? If so, I'll just tilt the lance and keep poking at the windmill.

Thanks,
Jim N7CXI

Answers

  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 11
    Hi Jim,

    Which mic connector are you using? MIC1 is the RJ45 and MIC2 is the 3.5mm TRS connector.

    MIC2 uses tip as MIC+ and Shell as MIC-. The Ring connection is for PTT.

    Dave wo2x


  • Jim - N7CXIJim - N7CXI Member
    edited June 11
    Hi Dave,
    I'm using MIC2, the 3.5mm TRS connector.

    According to the user guide, MIC2 is unbalanced :

    TIP       audio
    RING    PTT
    SHELL  GND

    Now I R confused... !  

    Thanks,
    --jim


  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Tip is MIC+ and Shell is ground (mic-).
    The 6400 has tip as MIC+ and Ring as mic- 

    I'm using the RadioSport RS55SL headset with a TRRS to headphone and MIC splitter cable. This headset uses an electret condenser element.

    I found better audio reports when running the audio to peak around -10 to -5. It starts to get rough as I approach zero.
  • Jim - N7CXIJim - N7CXI Member
    edited September 2018
    Thanks, Dave.  I'll give it another shot tonight.

    73,
    Jim N7CXI
  • Jim - N7CXIJim - N7CXI Member
    edited September 2018
    I'm not sure what the difference is, but the update tonight is that I plugged in the Yamaha CM500 headset, fiddled the EQ just a bit and it worked like a charm. I got on 75M for an hour or so and everyone that heard it thought it sounded just fine.

    Do I understand the difference between last night and tonight?  Nope, not a bit.
    Did I do anything differently?  Nope.

    Anyway - thanks for the replies. If it continues to work I'll be happy, but I'd be a lot happier if I knew what was going on.

    73,
    Jim N7CXI


  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Glad it is working. I think the most important thing is levels. Making sure the peak audio does not exceed zero. I run my Maestro tx level at just over -10. 73 and have fun! Dave wo2x
  • Jim - N7CXIJim - N7CXI Member
    edited September 2018
    W-e-l-l, something must be wrong with the Maestro.
    If I load one of the TX profiles, sometimes it works, sometimes it's distorted, sometimes it even causes the 6400M to start "stuttering" in an endless loop that only a power cycle can clear. That last one got me excited last night...

    Since I bought it used I'll have to consider whether I want to deal with a repair. 
    Perhaps I should have spent the same money on an iPad. :-)

    Thanks for the responses. The rig works fine, it's those pesky accessories... 

    73,
    Jim N7CXI


  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Are you using WiFi? Can you try an Ethernet connection to see if it is better? Dave wo2x
  • Jim - N7CXIJim - N7CXI Member
    edited September 2018

    Not yet. I did try 3 different WAP's, two of which are high-end MikroTik critters that are connected to my network with GigE copper. The third is a generic NetGear with a 100Mb NIC that I tried just in case there was some compatibility issue with the MikroTik's. In any case, total packet loss was in the low single digits in all cases after 5 or so minutes of operation.

    I will try plugging into a switch here in  a bit and see what happens. Maybe I've missed something.


    Thanks,

    Jim N7CXI
  • Jim - N7CXIJim - N7CXI Member
    edited September 2018
    ... and the funny part is that I wrote the above response on a Mac, but the forum software wouldn't let me post it. I had to email it to myself then paste it from a Windows box.

    Batting 1000 tonight. 

  • Jim - N7CXIJim - N7CXI Member
    edited September 2018
      - experiment completed. I plugged the Maestro into the same gigabit L2 switch the radio is on, and the behavior is exactly the same. If I load the [whatever it is] 107 WIDE profile, about 2 times out of three it will throw the Maestro into a stuttering fit that "infects" the 6400M. The only cure is to power cycle both.

    I tried uploading a video, no soap. I'm posting it to one of my servers and paste a link, we'll see if that works.

    Bear in mind the 6400M seems to work on its own. I opened up UPNP in my edge router, and connected the rig from the office yesterday using SmartSDR and SmartLink. Its ran around 1.5 to 1.6 Mbs, but worked ok. Anything's possible, but at this point a problem with my network doesn't seem likely.

    Here's that video link:
    http://barberdsp.com/downloads/maestro.mp4

    Thanks,
    --jim

  • Jim - N7CXIJim - N7CXI Member
    edited September 2018
    Make that profile "RadioSport WIDE M207" . The radio and the Maestro rebooting while I was writing the email.

    Jim N7CXI

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