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Problem with 6600 and the frequency refresh in Maestro

Todor Ivanov
Todor Ivanov Member
edited June 2020 in Maestro
Hello Guys,

About 3-4 months ago I purchased a brand new FlexRadio 6600 and Maestro console from Martin Lynch and Sons - Ham Radio Store in the UK. The equipment arrived safely, very well packed and without any problems.
After installing my brand new radio shack, I started to face some problems with the Maestro. When I rotate the VFO knob, the frequency doesn't change properly. I did a lot of test but the problem was still there. In the beginning, I used a professional Cisco managed gigabit switch. The first thing I did was to setup all the ports to 100Mbits but the problem didn't disappear. Then, I did tests with about 9-10 different managed and not-managed switches and routers, all of the different brands. The result was always the same. I rotated the VFO knob but the frequency didn't change dynamically and the whole Maestro's interface response was slow.
However, due to my business activities I went to a trip and came back a few weeks ago.
In the meantime, I started to have a doubt that this is a hardware malfunction of my Maestro. I spent a lot of my time in the shack trying to find out what was the problem. Unfortunately, I was not able to find anything that may cause it.
Finally, I decided to purchase a second brand new Maestro. After a week, the new toy arrived. First thing I did, was to check the serial number which was absolutely different than the serial number of the first one. It looked like a different production batch, so I hoped that if it is a production problem, it won't exist in new production run.
I was absolutely disappointed, when I saw that the new Maestro acts in the same absolutely unacceptable way like the first one. I decided to discuss this with a friend of mine, Boyan - LZ2BE who purchased from another vendor his 6600 and Maestro at around the same time, when I bought my setup. He shared with me, that he is having the same problems with his 6600 and Maestro. As far as I know, he already opened a ticket but there isn't any progress with solving this case.
So I am curious if this is a hardware problem in all Maestro units running in Bulgaria or it is a software problem that the guys from Flex can solve with firmware update of the Maestro consoles?
Is there anyone with the same problem as me? If so, can someone give me an advice what to do?

Please see this video of mine, there I demonstrate the problem:
https://youtu.be/ScP9nsPpMhI

73! de LZ3CB


Comments

  • Steve Potter
    Steve Potter Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    To isolate the issue, can you use smartlink to connect to another 6000 series radio? Yes the latency will be higher over the internet, but it would show you if the issue is with your Maesto(s) or 6600 or network. I have looked at mine and I have no problems with freq display keeping up with the spinning VFO even over wifi whith worse latency than your screen shows.
    73
  • WW1SS - Steve
    WW1SS - Steve Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    I had that problem with running a long 50' Ethernet cable. I had 6600 in storage bay of RV and maestro inside and got the same thing. I moved radio inside with a 6' Ethernet and it went away.
  • M Murdock
    M Murdock Member
    edited October 2019
    Hi

    Sorry to hear you are having issues.  There are a few things that help diagnose this, and it is not normal.

    As a test, take a LAN cable and connect the Maestro directly  to the radio without a switch involved.  Run the same tests and if the VFO lags, then open a support ticket.  This keeps the test very simple.

    If not, then look external to the radio.  

    I have seen issues with Gigabit switches buffer way too much data and this can contribute to the issues are seeing.  Can you test on a 100M switch?

    You also didn't mention which version of SmartSDR you are using.  Make sure you are using the latest V2 or V3.

    Lastly a bad cable will cause this.  I have a bad 3ft cable that works, but not well.  I keep it well tagged for testing.

    As for production runs, there are only 2 and you can tell by the location of the power switch.  A model is on the top left and the B model is on the side left.    The serial numbers are not sequential so you can't tell by those.

    Let us know how you make out.

    M
  • Duane_AC5AA
    Duane_AC5AA Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    I have the exact same problem Todor describes.  I use 6' CAT6 cables from the Maestro and the radio to a gigabit router (and previously a 100 Mb router).  The problem is not apparent when the Maestro and radio are initially powered on, but with a few minutes it starts displaying this update lag.  The cursor moves, but the frequency readout lags, just as Todor's video shows.  I have changed from a Spectrum router to a TP-Link with the exact same results.  I am running 2.6.1,  and a Maestro version 2 which was purchased in April.  Radio is a 6600.  Also looking for answers/help.

         73, Duane  AC5AA
  • Todor Ivanov
    Todor Ivanov Member
    edited October 2019
    Hi Steve,
    Unfortunately, I do not have any access to another Flex radio than mine. If someone can grant me a temporary access to 6700, it will be just fine.
    Any volunteer available for tests with me?
    73, Todor
  • Todor Ivanov
    Todor Ivanov Member
    edited October 2019
    Hi Steve,

    I did tests with more than 10 cables Cat5 and Cat6, all of them different brand and length. The result is always same.

    73, Todor LZ3CB
  • Todor Ivanov
    Todor Ivanov Member
    edited October 2019
    Hi M,

    to connect the Maestro directly to the Flex without anything in between was the first thing I did. Unfortunately, no success.

    In the beginning, I used a professional Cisco managed gigabit switch. The first thing I did was to setup all the ports to 100Mbits but the problem didn't disappear. Then, I did tests with about 9-10 different managed and not-managed switches and routers also many different LAN cables, all of the different brands. The result was always the same.

    I repeat, I have 2 brand new Maestro consoles, both of them perform in one same way with with one same problem. When I rotate the VFO knob, the frequency didn't change dynamically and the whole Maestro's interface response become slow.

    It start to smile me to a hardware problem or lack of resources in the Maestro.
    I am impatient to hearing from Flex people their opinion about this problem.

    73, Todor LZ3CB



  • Todor Ivanov
    Todor Ivanov Member
    edited October 2019
    Hi Duane,

    Could you please make some test for me? Open the Display interface of your Maestro and reduce the FPS and AVG sliders to about 20% from the whole scale and let me know do the freq refresh become more alive?

    See the picture below for your reference:


    73, Todor LZ3CB
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited February 2020
    A few other things.

    If the Maestro works with a Single LAN cable but fails on the switch, then you may want to check to see if Jumbo frames are turned on and as a test try turning it off.  If it lags when connected to a switch, that something in the switch is slowing you down,

    Unfortunately, not all switches are created equal.  As well, questionable Lan cables result in many retries on the data movement.

    The key part is the Simple LAN cable test.  Don't go any further until you have tried that.

    Mike


  • James Whiteway
    edited October 2019
    Mike, where is the " jumbo frames" setting? That's a new one on me. James WD5GWY
  • John WA7UAR
    John WA7UAR Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 2019
  • Duane_AC5AA
    Duane_AC5AA Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    So, if I read the thread correctly, jumbo frames will not be a help, correct?  Also, in my case where it runs fine for the first 5-7 minutes (and I'll add more in a few moments) that would seem to rule out the need for jumbo frames. 
  • John WA7UAR
    John WA7UAR Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 2019
    Also MTU jumbo frames can be adjusted now in version 3. Check under advanced settings in the radio settings tab. And also check this article which explains how to set it from the network side in a PC: https://kb.netgear.com/19863/Ping-Test-to-determine-Optimal-MTU-Size-on-Router
  • Duane_AC5AA
    Duane_AC5AA Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    Todor - I reduced the settings (AVG and FPS) and, indeed, it does help the problem.  Unfortunately, it makes the display difficult to use due to the visual effects created.  In my case, AVG seems to have more effect than FPS, however it is not easy to quantify due to the symptoms clearing briefly (for about 5 minutes in some cases) and then the lag returns.  Here is how my testing went:

    Power on after 10 days of no use (away from home)
    No lag for 7 minutes, then the familiar lag returns.
    Reduce AVG and FPS to 20% - freq readout tracks much better, but introduces other issues.
    Switch Maestro from enet to 5G WiFi - tracking is correct again, but after 5 minutes the lagging resumes. 

    I have yet to test with an ethernet cable directly between Maestro and 6600.
  • Todor Ivanov
    Todor Ivanov Member
    edited October 2019
    Mike, the problem exist even when the Maestro is connected directly to the radio. I tried multiple cables, always same result.
  • Todor Ivanov
    Todor Ivanov Member
    edited October 2019
    Thank you for your prompt reply, Duane!

    I am looking forward to hearing from you when you test the Maestro with direct cable connection to 6600

    73, Todor LZ3CB
  • John - AI4FR
    John - AI4FR Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    Hmm, could it be the problem lies with the wifi connection to the radio/PC? Have you swapped them cables out? Either way good luck with it.
  • Tonno Vahk
    Tonno Vahk Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    Hi Todor, 

    yes, I saw the same problem with my Maestro already last year when trying to use it in contests. Then still 2.4.9 or earlier software and connected through LAN to 6600M. The frequency started lagging just as in your video and I believe I had other issues like distortion of SSB TX audio, PTT delays, etc. I tried changing switches and cables like you and no difference!

    My conclusion at a time was that Maestro did not work in contesting the way I hoped it would in a Multi Op station allowing my to place an op anywhere with it while keeping 6600M fixed with all the cabling. Too many lags and no smooth communication with radio over LAN.

    I started using SmartSDR on PC and found it much better in all ways. No delays, bigger bandscope, just making connections was a bit of a hassle having to route some longer cables straight back to 6600M. And ops needed to get used to operating with no VFO at all, etc.

    Now, things seem to be changed with Smart Control. You can have pluses from both. Add Maestro to SmardSDR for knobs and cable interfaces.

    Todor, have you tried Maestro in Smart Control - does it operate smoothly then?? For me the first tests were promising but I have not managed to test much yet. I was trying to ask a few times for advise but have got no replies to question regarding how exactly Maestro should work at Smart Control. It is explained nowhere as to which cables can be routed through Maestro in that case (mic does not seem to work) and neither I seem to get no audio out from Maestro (headphones would not work either).

    By the way, it did seem to me that Maestro worked better over Smartlink than LAN (the same radio)!! That is strange but I look forward to hear about your results when you have tested it! Set it up over Smartlink with YOUR radio, go out and connect through mobile internet or whatever and see what happens.

    73
    Tonno
    ES5TV
  • K0FLY
    K0FLY Gayle-K0FLY Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 2019
    I have watched this thread for several minutes,  Several years ago when I was having problems Tim had me reset my Maestro "A" series control,  I believe that that you remove +12 power, then hold down the Maestro power switch for one minute.  Then reconnect power after after a few minutes,  You might look for the reset procedure on the flex site.  I have lost the e-mail due to Windows 10 update turning my pc in,to a brick, and having to reload win 10.    

    You might try the reset to see if operation improves. I now prefer using SSDR on the PC with a FlexControl as a tuning knob,  I keep the Maestro in case the PC breaks.,

    Gayle K0FLY
  • K0FLY
    K0FLY Gayle-K0FLY Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 2019
    Reset the both the radio and Maestro and see if operation improves.  One at a time.

    Gayle

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