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Poor Wifi on Maestro

K4QXX
K4QXX Member ✭✭

I have had my Maestro since they were first introduced from Flex. I have always had trouble using it with my home WiFi. I have changed multiple routers and wireless hotspots and some work better than others with the Maestro but all of them have way to many audio drops which makes my Maestro unusable on wifi. I only use 5ghz. On the same home wifi, I can use my Macbook and my Windows 10 laptop with SSDR and things work fine. No audio dropouts.

If I use the Maestro on a cabled Ethernet connection, it works great.

I took my Maestro to my office as I have a dedicated router/wifi connection just for me (I work in IT). I have the same problem with using the Maestro with wifi in the office and I am the only device connected to the router. The router is sitting on my desk 2 feet from the Maestro.

I recently had to send my Maestro to flex to have it repaired and Flex replaced the tablet. I thought this might fix my wifi issue but I still have exactly the same problems with too many audio drops.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix my wifi issue? Since my router is only 2 feet away from the Maestro in my office, I just use the ethernet connection and it works great but at home, I like being able to use the Maestro on my deck or back porch and wifi is the only way to use the Maestro.


Burch

K4QXX

Comments

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    Hi Burch

    This is a good question. I have a career in WiFi client design.

    tldr; The problem isn't the Maestro, that is just the symptom. The problem is today's WiFi and this is why.

    WiFi will always be an issue (at least today's WiFi) as the data is moved in bunches and to make it worse each and every WiFi access point has to wait and give time to each and every other Access Point that it hears. It is a lot like an old telephone party line.

    And, even being beside your Access Point won't help much.

    While movies stream ok, they buffer a lot of data, and we don't care if our movie runs 20 seconds delayed. However, that is not good for real time HF communications. To be blunt, WiFi is broken for time-sensitive real-time communications.

    It doesn't help that on 2.4Ghz, there are only 3 channels, 1, 6, and 11. (You can't use the other numbers as they overlap and actually cause more interference).

    So, what can you do?

    • Try installing a new WiFi Mesh network, such as Eero, Google, TP-Link, etc. You want a TriBand version that moves all its data on a backbone 3rd frequency. I have used all the above with reasonable success.
    • If you can't install a Mesh, see if you can work with only 5Ghz frequencies on clear channels. You will have to find a clear channel. Find some software online that you can do a site survey to find clear channel. I find Acyrlic's free version very good. https://www.acrylicwifi.com/en/. You won't like what you see. :)

    I just did a scan of my house (urban environment). The top panel is all the Access Points I hear sitting in my basement. Wow.

    The middle shows all the channel allocations for 2.4Ghz and the bottom for 5Ghz.

    If we look closer, check out the Brown trace that covers a LOT of the 2.4Ghz spectrum. The is a commercial setup AP from Bell Canada and you can see that it is a 40Mhz wide channel covering (and destroying) channels 5-13 (not mine). It is using channels 7+11 to achieve faster speeds of 450mbs. Now, I know that the fastest speed Bell Canada can supply on my street is about 10mbs (welcome to old DSL phone lines). Does it really have to be a 450mb/sec WiFi link?

    It is amazing WiFi works at all some days.


  • Bob  KN4HH
    Bob KN4HH Bob Member ✭✭

    Thanks for your comments on wifi. My issue is a bit different but may be related. When I use my iPhone as a wifi hotspot, I always get good throughput when I finally connect. However, The maestro takes an extremely long time to acquire my device. I can see every wifi commercial and residence in the area local to me. However, it does not always detect my iPhone. Any thoughts.


    Bob, KN4HH

  • K4QXX
    K4QXX Member ✭✭

    Thanks for the tips. We also have a Google mesh wifi in the office with a seperate internet service. I have the same issue with the Google mesh. I have also selected a 5ghz channel that I don't see in use and still have the same issue. Our office yesterday only had 3 employees working and none of them were connected to the wifi and the Maestro on the Mesh and on my private internet line was dropping tons of packets.

    At home, I only see a couple of other wifi networks and they are on 2.4ghz and I am connecting on a clear 5ghz channel. Same problem on the Maestro.

    Both my Apple and Windows laptops run great on both my home and work wifi networks. I can even surf the web on my Apple while running SSDR and I only have a few audio dropouts. My Maestro is basically unusable on WiFi, even with the new tablet that Flex installed.

    I even purchased an expensive gaming type router a few years ago. It's got great range and while running speed tests I get almost 400mb upload/download speed from my iPhone and Mac via wifi from a 500/500 circuit. This particular router (Asus) won't run the Maestro at all. There are more audio dropouts than actual audio. If I use my 8 year old Netgear, the Maestro works much better but still has enough dropouts to be annoying.

    Burch

    K4QXX

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    Hi Burch

    The WiFi modem for the Maestro is part of the tablet and not a separate part of the Maestro. That tablet is a bit dated when compared to current radio modems in your other devices. I can't remember what mode we are actually using and it is hard to go check since it is a packaged image that gets loaded on the Maestro.

    The quick fix for you may be to turn down the Rate and FPS on the Display for the Maestro and see if that improves your performance. This will reduce the data stream going to the Maestro.

    Even on my Eero Mesh I sometimes have reduced performance on my iPad pro and I have to relate it to WiFe congestion.

    73

  • K4QXX
    K4QXX Member ✭✭

    That's why I thought that replacing the tablet would fix my wifi issue. My Apple mac is a 2014 model and my windows laptop is from 2013 so they are getting long in the tooth as well but run SSDR just fine on the same wifi networks. My iPad also works great on the wifi as does my iPhone running the iOS versions of SSDR. I only have the problem with the Maestro (and both Maestro tablets).

    Reducing the Rate and FPS on the Maestro does help some but does not eleminate the audio drops. I guess I will just use it in my office via ethernet.

    Burch

    K4QXX

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