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Maestro delivery date - any news?

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Answers

  • K2CB Eric Dobrowansky
    K2CB Eric Dobrowansky Member ✭✭
    edited September 2017
    Now that I think about it, most if not all of the first run Maestros all probably all out of warranty by now. So maybe that's an easy "out" as far as fixing the known issues ?
  • ny3r
    ny3r Member
    edited September 2017
    Good luck
  • Eric-KE5DTO
    Eric-KE5DTO Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited September 2017
    No.  There are no new features in the updated hardware.  The changes were simply to address the display being discontinued.
  • Steve-N5AC
    Steve-N5AC Community Manager admin
    edited September 2017
    Maestro shipments to the US will be resuming this week with shipments to EU commencing as soon as the certification process is complete.  As Tim mentions, it's difficult to predict the outcome of the EU certification process as sometimes it is very quick and at other times requires more effort.

    During the design of the original Maestro, we ran the unit at all levels of charge on the external, insertable battery to ensure that the unit would function properly.  As those of you that have one can attest, when the battery runs out the Maestro provides a warning to replace the battery and provides about two minutes to accomplish the task.  If you don't have a charged battery, Maestro just shuts off until you can plug it in or supply a charged battery.  

    The Maestro has an internal battery to allow for this lapse of energy and guides you through the process.  The software in the Maestro does not allow depletion of the internal battery otherwise.  After the shipment of the original Maestro, we discovered that there are two forms of depletion of the internal battery, however.  In the first stage, if the Maestro is left for long periods of time (typically months), the internal battery will slowly drain.  Once the unit is connected to a charger or battery, energy supplied will be used to restore the state of the internal battery.  This is normal operation and was well tested during design.

    What was not realized during the design process is when the unit is left for extended periods of time (several months typically), the internal battery can become so depleted that the battery charging circuit will no longer respond to charging commands.  Simply placing your Maestro on a charger periodically will prevent this problem.  Our sales staff has a group of about 8 Maestros that get shipped back and forth to shows and otherwise sit in a cabinet.  To my knowledge, we've never had an issue with any of these units having the charging issue.  But once a Maestro battery is depleted to this state, a different charging circuit must be used to restore the internal battery function.  Electrically, this is what is known in the industry as a "dumb charger" as opposed to a smart charger (USB 1.2 CDP).  In a dumb charger, the USB D+ and D- leads of the charger are shorted to indicate that the device connected is a dumb charger.  When in the deep discharged condition as described above, the design of the internal battery accepts a dumb charger, but no longer accepts the smart charger, which is used in the Maestro design.  If this occurs, the Maestro must be opened and the internal battery charged using a dumb charger.  

    In the event that your Maestro internal battery is depleted completely, we have been performing a no-cost fix for our customers the first time that it happens.  We then advise the customer that the unit needs to be periodically charged.   

    The Maestro design has been revised and this issue is no longer present in the newer Maestro design (newer Maestro's serial numbers have 0101 in third group, e.g. XXXX-XXXX-0101-XXXX).  The design of the new Maestro is significantly different in this regard and is not a "retrofittable" change that can be made to older Maestros, otherwise we would be offering this as we have done with similar issues to this in the past.  The best way to avoid the issue is to simply leave your Maestro on a charger when not in use or place it on a charger periodically.  

    We are continuing to consider other alternatives for the rare situations where this might happen so you can avoid a shipment back to FlexRadio and will let you know of any additional solutions.

    Steve

  • John - K3MA
    John - K3MA Member ✭✭
    edited November 2018
    How might a customer acquire and use a dumb charger in order to fix this issue should it unavoidably happen?
  • Steve-N5AC
    Steve-N5AC Community Manager admin
    edited September 2017
    This is what "We are continuing to consider other alternatives for the rare situations where this might happen so you can avoid a shipment back to FlexRadio and will let you know of any additional solutions." is about.  
  • Edward Armstrong-WB2K
    edited September 2017
    Hi Steve I have a Maestro plus other flex radio's.
    I am sitting here reading what you wrote and I am puzzled if we did this in my industry we would have to fix it.
    If I have to sit and Worried about my Maestro when I leave to Florida and don't bring it with me Then this is a problem I believe flex radio should retrofit all of the
     Maestro's so this cannot happen for you to say that this was fixed in the second run of maestros doesn't make me feel very good I think at this stage of the game you should fix these issues .
    Hopefully you will recall all of the maestros that are out there and take care of this issue.
  • Steve-N5AC
    Steve-N5AC Community Manager admin
    edited September 2017
    I think you missed my point where I said: "The design of the new Maestro is significantly different in this regard and is not a "retrofittable" change that can be made to older Maestros, otherwise we would be offering this as we have done with similar issues to this in the past."  This is akin to asking for a V8 in a car with a V6 because the V6 has an issue where the ECM can run the car battery down if the car is not started for some number of months.  Yes, it's an inconvenience and I wish there was an easy fix.  Unfortunately there is not one and the V8 can't just be "dropped in" in a retrofit.  Having said this, in my final point, I mention that we are looking at alternatives to a retrofit, but don't have an answer yet.  We need some time to study the issue and alternatives.

    We also clearly understand that fixing products in production does not help current customers.  I included this because both customers with existing Maestros and those that have ones on order are likely reading this topic so both cases are addressed.

    We're certainly already motivated to fix the issue if we can.
  • K2CB Eric Dobrowansky
    K2CB Eric Dobrowansky Member ✭✭
    edited September 2017
    If my car had a defective ECM that drained the battery, they wouldn't swap the engine. At a minimum they would issue a technical bulletin, if not a full blown recall, and fix the ECM and/or associated components. Some of the Maestro issues have been known for over a year now. Now who the heck in their right mind is going to want to buy our used Maestros, at any price, after reading this thread. First you decimate the used value of our existing 6000 series radios with the new pricing structure, now our Maestros are worthless.. Then factor in the painfully slow software development....... At this point, anyone with half a brain has to be asking themselves, "why would I buy another Flex product? " Thank you, FRS!
  • Edward Armstrong-WB2K
    edited September 2017
    Hi Eric this saves me from writing another letter.
    Steve I read where you talked about the retrofit take out the boards in the old maestros and swap them with the new board that we can go on and on the point is the issue should be fixed

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