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Keep Maestro plugged in or not?

K6JV Member ✭✭

I have searched the archives on the Forum and can not find a definitive answer to this question. If you keep the Maestro (A model) plugged in to the AC wall wart all the time does this lead to the dreaded bloated battery and distorted display issue? I am currently only keeping the external power connected while using the Maestro (almost daily) and disconnecting via a voice activated AC plug (Amazon) while not in use. Does applying and removing the AC power have a chance to corrupt the firmware in the tablet? It appears that the Maestro A model does not know when the internal battery for the Dell tablet is fully charged. Does the B model Maestro have such a battery sensing circuit? It would be great if Flex would chime in and answer this question.


  • Bob K8RC
    Bob K8RC Member ✭✭✭

    I recently sold my A model Maestro but before I did, it was plugged in 24/7/365 for a few years with no ill effects.

    The quirk in my experience was that, if the mains power was interrupted, the Maestro A would boot up when power was restored. This led to one occasion when:

    1. The AC power was interrupted, then restored.
    2. Maestro boots.
    3. Mains power dies again and remains off for a period of several hours.
    4. The fully booted Maestro continues to run until the main battery dies.
    5. The tablet continues to run until its battery is exhausted.

    If you get to step 5, the Maestro A is bricked since the onboard charger will not sense/recharge a fully depleted tablet battery. Revival requires disassembly to access the tablet and using a dumb charger to recharge to the point where the built-in charger can again recognize the tablet battery. I am under the impression that this quirk was fixed in some way in the model B. However, I have no knowledge of this.

    Since the tablet is actually running (at low power) all the time, waiting for you to press the "soft" power button, it will slowly discharge the tablet battery anyway, over time. This consumption is low and will take quite a while (weeks/months?) to completely discharge the tablet battery. This is a decent argument for keeping it plugged in all the time or, at least plugging it in for a while on a regular basis.

    My conclusion was to keep it plugged into mains all the time and make sure it is shut down during an extended mains outage.

  • RFord
    RFord Member ✭✭✭

    I had the A model Maestro…I would plug mine in once a month to keep the internal battery charged. I would not keep it plugged in 24/7.

    Best Regards


  • Al K0VM
    Al K0VM Member ✭✭✭

    My Maestro A has been plugged in and operating nearly continuous since it was new 5-6 years ago. Finally failed hard.

    If you do not keep it plugged, you should power it up for a few hours monthly to keep the internal battery charged.

    AL, K0VM

  • Ed Woodrick
    Ed Woodrick Member ✭✭

    Instead of using a wall wart to power it, why not use the same 12V as you use to power the radio.

    I recently moved, and accidentally left the Maestro unplugged for too long. It took a trip back to the shop and the battery had already expanded and ended up replacing the tablet.

    If you make sure that you plug it in every day, you may be okay, but dependent on the age of the battery, leaving it off for a week during a vacation may not be the best move.

  • K1ESE
    K1ESE Member ✭✭✭

    You might check the other postings on charging a Maestro. Overcharging may cause brown spots on the screen.

  • K6JV
    K6JV Member ✭✭

    The radio is located on a mountaintop and is powered on 24/7 so I cannot power the Maestro with the same 12v the the radio is running on. Still cannot get an answer whether the B model of the Maestro has a sensing circuit so the internal Dell tablet battery knows when it is fully charged and will not overcharge the battery and avoid the dreaded brown spot on the display

  • Ken Wells
    Ken Wells Community Manager admin

    Maestro A should not be left on charge when not in use, except for about once a month to charge it for a while. (If you actually use it and have it connected to the 12 V power/charger then this will top off the battery.)

    The Maestro B has a sensor that can help prevent overcharging, but it is still recommended that you do not simply leave it connected for long periods of time when not in use. 

    The advantage of the Maestro B is that if left in a discharged state, it will be able to charge from the 12V/ AC adapter even when the internal battery is "dead" (unlike the Maestro A, which often requires the special manual procedure).

     When you operate the Maestro, you need to use either the 12V / AC Supply, OR the "Optional" "External " battery that mounts in the compartment in the back of the case. The "internal" tablet battery will not power the Maestro for very long.

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