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Why No USB Interface ?

Lee - N2LEE
Lee - N2LEE Member ✭✭
edited July 2019 in Maestro
I really like my Maestro and while there are few suggestions I would make for the interface or operation, the BIG question that puzzles me is "Why Does it Not have a USB Interface?".

It seems like such a natural option especially when operating digital modes remotely. The ability to sit down with your laptop and a Maestro to run digital modes seems like a natural.

Yes DAX is fantastic but it requires a computer on the other end of the radio and that seems odd with the enphasis on Smartlink and Remote operation.

But a Maestro with a built in USB Audio interface makes so much sense that I can't believe its not part of the design.

Is there an engineering (other than cost) that this is not a consideration ?



  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited July 2019
    Hi Lee

    You can Run DAX remotely on the Laptop you will use for Digital modes, did you know that?  Many do it now.  

    You could also take the audio from the Line Out on the Maestro if you wished and you could feed that into a USB sound card.

    Would that work in the situation you describe?


  • Gene Duprey
    Gene Duprey Member ✭✭
    edited July 2019
    I agree, and also this could provide a way to back up profiles for those of us that only use the Maestro and not a computer to run the radio. Gene, K1GD
  • Lee - N2LEE
    Lee - N2LEE Member ✭✭
    edited July 2019
    As always Mike, you are quick with a solution and ready to help. :)

    First, no I did not know I could run DAX on the laptop which is a great solution.
    Of course unless you are a Mac guy like me. I only Windows desktop I have is Mac Pro tower running Windows. hehe.

    I read the xDAX and xCAT has not been updated to support 3.x yet so you guys should buy the source code and continue development or hire him as a contractor. :)

    I actually have a small USB dongle that has analog audio in/out and was going to try that so was aware that might work.

    But still it does seem silly that there was no USB audio interface included.

    Thanks, Lee

  • Michael N3LI
    Michael N3LI Member ✭✭
    edited July 2019
    I'm not in on the decisions - but my thoughts on the Maestro was that it is an alternative to using a computer. 

    Once a decision is made to use the tablet inside as a computer, we exit the world of a stable environment, and enter the world of  of Windows 10. At present, updates come from Flex. So we don't have dax sound drivers renamed, or bluescreening or
    whatever fun we have with Windows updates. 

    I run with SSDR, or Maestro. My favorite thing about the Maestro is it isn't W10. Or if it is, it is immune from Microsoft update malware.
  • Lee - N2LEE
    Lee - N2LEE Member ✭✭
    edited July 2019
    Michael, I totally agree with your assessment of Windows. From all of the problems I read on the forum, 95% of the problems are Windows related.

    As someone who spent many years in product development, I learned that everything is a compromise and there is always the struggle between Features, Price and Delivery Dates.

  • Michael N3LI
    Michael N3LI Member ✭✭
    edited July 2019
    Now if W10 was reliable, I'd be right in the camp of wanting USB access to Maestro's tablet. 

    Before I ugraded my Flex, I had something that might have been called a poor man's Maestro. I had an inexpensive W10 tablet/laptop combo (Insignia ) that I Ran SSDR on and it was pretty nice. Outside of the update blues. But I had all of the benefits of both worlds on a screen that was a bit bigger that a Maestro. Only real downside was that my ham fingers needed a touch pen to access the menus, which get pretty small on a 10 inch screen. On the real Maestro, Flex made them nice and big. 

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