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How about finally fixing the Maestro to work as advertised.

John - K3MAJohn - K3MA Member ✭✭
edited May 23 in Maestro
The Maestro has been release and sold for over two years.  How about finally delivering on the promise of it being used remotely.  Today I checked into a very large Florida resort that has the internet managed by Brighthouse.  I thought great they have internet connections in each individual unit so no sharing of bandwidth.  I brought the Maestro along.  What a waste.  The internet signon requires a web page to accept the terms and conditions.  The the Maestro does not support this capability.  So as I have done before I called the facility internet support only to be told that it is the policy of Brighthouse to not add individual Mac addresses to their network.  They can only support web page sign-in at all their locations.

So to summarize the issues I have personally experienced in order to effectively use our Maestros remotely away from our LAN without the need to bring along other gear to handle all contingencies.

1) Provide VPN logon support.
2) Provide web page sign-in support
3) Fix the jumbo packet waterfall display issue.

Until these get fixed IMHO the Maestro is really a poorly implemented half backed product that represents a failure in operation compared to its marketing hype.  Having been released for over two years the longer these issues that any other tablet can easily handle get fixed it will continue to show that Flex does not quickly fix issues with their equipment in a timely manner post retail payment.  It is unknown if this is because Flex does not care about the users issues, does not have the technical expertise to fix them, does not have the resources to fix them in a timely manner or simply did not do enough prework to identify the issues before releasing the product.

And this does not take into account some of the other Maestro miss steps such as the none internally chargeable battery on initial release.

None the less where do these specific issues stand on the priority list to be fixed?


Completed · Last Updated

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Answers

  • WW1SS - SteveWW1SS - Steve Member
    edited April 10
    Probably nothing on the list. Too busy with the new radios and getting the AMP out.
  • Jay - AJ6AZJay - AJ6AZ Member
    edited April 2018
    If the MAC address is the barrier and you have a windows computer, I have an idea you might try. It involves downloading some MAC spoofing software to the PC. https://technitium.com/tmac/ You then spoof the MAC address of the Maestro via this software on the computer and then answer the terms and conditions. Then return the PC to normal and try the Maestro. Hopefully that may work. By the way I’ve never tried this so I don’t know that it would actually work but might be worth a try. I’m sure there’s probably MAC spoofing software for Mac OS as well. If anyone tries it and it works let us know.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Was wondering, What is Flex to fix? I thought the Maestro does work remote?
  • John - K3MAJohn - K3MA Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    @Mike - Thanks for you detailed reply.  Firstly, please point out where I called the Staff names?  I never mention anyone specifically or the staff in general.  So I am confused why you even mention it.  Secondly, I am glad these issues are on the list but my question is specific in that I have been waiting for 2 years.  Other items have come along that have received attention.  It would be nice to know if these are going to be addressed in 3 months, 6 months, a year or never.  I also believe anyone looking at buying a Maestro might find the information important to their decision.  Thirdly, I am aware of all the options you outline.  I also run my station remotely nearly 100% of the time.  The Maestro was not advertised and sold as LAN only device and should be useable on the WAN without having to utilize work arounds.  None the less understanding it takes time for things to get fixed waiting two years with no firm date for fix would be considered patient in most situations.

    In closing I would say that often we hear on this forum the explanation that we need to be patient and wait.  That Flex wants to do it right with no issue when they release a product and that is the explanation for the missed dates.  In this case it has not be done right upon release and it should be fixed in a reasonable time.  Given two years has passed I think it is reasonable for Flex to address these my question of how they fit on the priority list.

    @Bill - please go back and read my message I clearly lay out three specific issues in which the Maestro does not work correctly.  Other uses may have more but these are the ones I have personally experienced.  If you do not have those issue with your Maestro then I guess you would not understand but that does not mean that other are not having these issues.
  • Steve-N5ACSteve-N5AC Community Manager admin
    edited September 2018
    John, just FYI we've been working on #2&3 recently which I consider to be significant implementation issues that affect a large number of customers at least some of the time.  #2 we knew at launch was an issue, but set it aside in the interest of getting to market.  #3 was a surprise that was not revealed during our beta testing. #1 is, for me, an edge case that I don't feel compelled to address at this time.  I hope to be able to update the current implementation with #2 and #3 fixed soon.
  • K1UO - LarryK1UO - Larry Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    How does the Jumbo packet waterfall display manifest itself?   Guess i missed that one or may have seen it and didnt know what I was seeing.
  • Pat N6PATPat N6PAT Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Did you just say that you knew about " significant implementation issues that affect a large number of customers at least some of the time" at launch time but went forward anyway in order to get to market?

    Did you tell any of the potential customers of these known significant implementation issues before they made a purchase? I certainly would hope so.

    I own a 6700 and am very happy with it but I would be very upset if it had significant issues that were known but not disclosed at time of purchase. This is the exact reason why I dumped my FT450D and bought Flex. Yaesu knew about a serious VFO problem for years yet kept selling faulty units,  one of which I was unlucky enough to purchase.


  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Pat, from reading Steve's reply I don't think your wording was his intent, Flex has never ever had a reputation of rushing products to market till they are ready, never.

    #1&2 were never a secret and customers knew they were not implemented at the time of purchase. And as time went on people using the Meastro at some hotels and resorts have had problems working through some of the networks in these places. But for the most part it does work remote very well.
  • Pat N6PATPat N6PAT Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    I'm reading what he said:

    "John, just FYI we've been working on #2&3 recently which I consider to be significant implementation issues that affect a large number of customers at least some of the time.  #2 we knew at launch was an issue, but set it aside in the interest of getting to market."

    That sounds like they knew of these issues but went forward to market.

    If customers knew about this beforehand then why are they complaining now?

  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Good question, why were they not complaining at the time of purchase?
    2) Provide web page sign-in support
    3) Fix the jumbo packet waterfall display issue.

    People had ample time to use it and return it if it did not work as intended. Or at least ask about them shortly after.

    But for you to suggest Flex withheld information to rush to market is way over the top.
  • K1UO - LarryK1UO - Larry Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Nevermind....   Guess I missed the first big "Jumbo packet frame" debate :)
  • Pat N6PATPat N6PAT Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    I did not say they withheld information. I said if they knew of these issues that I would hope they informed customers prior to purchase.  I also said if I had issues with my 6700 that were known but I was not informed then I would be upset.

    Steve said that they knew of these issues but went forward to market. His words.




  • Pat N6PATPat N6PAT Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Bill,

    Regarding your comment:

    "People had ample time to use it and return it if it did not work as intended. Or at least ask about them shortly after."

    Some folks may not have needed remote capabilities when they purchased but circumstances have changed causing them to now require the included feature.

    I have not yet used Smartlink and may not ever use it but something may prompt me to need to use it in a year or two. Not everyone uses every single feature right away and given the enormous number of features in a Flex radio I'm sure that happens a lot.



  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2018
    I know Pat, I think my main point is this. Hiding info from customers for sales has never been in Flex Radios business practices. 

    Gerald has been asked a few times how they decide when a product is ready for market and one thing he mentioned is that they discuss if there is anything missing that has to hold the release back, mostly talking about a feature or something not implemented yet, is it a deal breaker? and can that be implemented later? If there is something that causes the unit not to work properly then yes it is held back till fixed.

    I don't work for Flex but I know how they do things based on the past and things they say, to my original point about what Steve said here, when the Maestro came out they released it with some things not implemented yet based on peoples needs. The idea is to add it later, so as more people take the Maestro abroad into hotels and such the needs are more relevant. So as he mentioned they have been working on these things already.
  • Mike-VA3MWMike-VA3MW FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager admin
    edited April 2018
    It isn't jumbo frames, but UDP packet re-assembly.  You will know you have it when your radio works fine, but you have no panadapter or waterfall.

    I confirmed that in my case it was my inbound firewall that caused the problem, aka, at the user end.

    It was a hardware setting on the NIC card on my firewall (not at the radio end).   That solved my Waterfall/Panadapter issue.

    Mike
  • Pat N6PATPat N6PAT Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Bill,

    This is the last time I'll mention this but Steve states that there were " significant implementation issues that affect a large number of customers at least some of the time." that were known at launch but set aside to get to market. 

    Why would you ever release a product that still had "significant implementation issues that affect a large number of customers"? That's not good policy in my book.

    Like I said, I really like my 6700 and have not had any issues but when I read that statement I just had to toss my two cents in because it really surprised me that a VP would make a comment like that.

  • edited April 2018
    I wish they would or could fix the USB D-Star dongle.  That has been over two years also.

  • VaristorVaristor Member
    edited April 2018
    Saying we knew about #2, but didn’t think it was a big deal is the same as saying it’s not a big deal to be able to use the Maestro in most public spaces. I don’t remember ever being at a place without a captive portal. It’s not just hotels, it’s everywhere, from airports to parks to Starbucks. I don’t own a Maestro, but can fully understand and appreciate how Maestro owners feel.
  • Bob - W7KWS -Bob - W7KWS - Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Steve,

    For No. 1, is there a reason you can't simply add back in or enable the native Windows VPN client? This would solve No. 3 while you look for a permanent solution. It's very frustrating to travel not knowing where & when my Maestro will work.

    You could remove the client once you have a solution.

    By the way, regarding the comments from others above, I bought my Maestro a year "before" WAN remote was advertised as an included feature.

    It's SmartLink for $199 that suffers problems 2 & 3. Problem 1 was never advertised by Flex that I remember.

    I suspect the two year time reference should be much shorter to be fair to Flex.
  • Bob - W7KWS -Bob - W7KWS - Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
  • John - K3MAJohn - K3MA Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    @Steve TU for your response it is exactly what I wanted to receive and appreciate it.  I can agree #1 is not the most important NOW and if you do not do it but complete #2 and #3 then I as a user will be satisfied.  For me if #1 was working then I could continue to operate thru the VPN connection with no issue while the other items were fixed.  I also understand it is not good use of resources to work on it when those same resource could be working on #2 and #3.  I also agree with your comment about #3 not showing up in testing.  You did say those exact words to me in person at the Orlando hamfest when I presented you with a picture of the screen showing the problem.

    @Bill With all due respect and you can go back and check dates.  People buying the Maestro originally did not know that #1 would not be provided.  In fact I along with others specifically asked if the Meastro would be released with VPN log on capability.  I asked a Flex employee directly at a hamfest.   I was told directly YES it would be.  It was only after shipment had begun that it became apparent it was not included and then it took sometime for the issue to be raised on the forum and for Steve to provide a reply explaining why it was not included and that it might be added in the future (might may not be his exact words but as no guarantee was given but rather implied.).  At least this is how I remember it.
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    When I first saw it (in the employee cafeteria at work) I would hear audio and see S meter moving but no waterfall or panadapter. That’s basically what you will see. Most times you can use the radio blindly without a waterfall since radio commands are TCP and the audio packets often aren’t fragmented and thus not dropped by the firewall do not fragment policy.
  • Bob - W7KWS -Bob - W7KWS - Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Ria,
    It doesn't seem to me that my inbound firewall at the radio site is at issue as others have speculated since I can get full Maestro access from some locations and not others.

    A recent post, I think by Tim, said the problem is in the Internet. That some networks in the path summarily throw out packets marked as fragmented as a simplistic security measure.

    Do you have insight into this. It would be great if I could determine if this is one, the other or something else? It would be nice if I had some ability to improve this with a simple LAN firewall adjustment here at home.
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    It doesn't seem to me that my inbound firewall at the radio site is at issue 
    It isn't. It's corporate networks and their firewalls. It isn't the Internet in general as the areas I have experienced it in are specific types of environments - certain public wifi and corporate networks. In fact I have confirmed with my IT security department that they are dropping fragmented packets for security reasons. It's framed as DDoS protection. 
  • Steve K9ZWSteve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 10
    Put in a “full effort “ rather than blaming FRS for a really **** rant where you neither did your homework, created your own backup plans, and ignored the present fact that your list is not available in the here and now. To head off, hit the wall, and then **** & moan publicly that you were unprepared and someone else should make it right simply peeves at lest me as a community member. I’m not going to even lay out how I take my Maestros traveling, as a few minutes reading on the community you can plenty of “plan B” methods. I do take the remote part of a Raspberry Pi based VPN and have called the hotel’s sort with some success. And sometimes for reasons well laid out it just doesn’t work. I’ve had a pair of Maestros from right when they can out, and more often than not I’ve been able remote them. I’ve found hotels where an iPad was the way to go, and cases where either the Maestro or iOS remote didn’t work or worked poorly. I’ve not dragged around a cellular hotspot (miFi?) because so many places I go have rubbishy cell data coverage as well. One your feature requests: 1) Provide VPN logon support. 2) Provide web page sign-in support 3) Fix the jumbo packet waterfall display issue. All are known current limitations. So you headed out absolutely knowing you couldn’t do this stuff, so sorry - nobody rained on your parade. Be prepared and have your work around as ready. But nobody is joining you pity party when you aren’t prepared. Sorry. 73 Steve K9ZW
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2018
    This 2 years ago before Maestro was released

     Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering

    • 1001 Posts
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    •  960 Reply Likes
    Official Response





    As it stands now, we have decided to produce the first release without VPN.  This is simply a reduction in effort to get Maestros in everyone hands as quickly as possible.  This could change if we get through everything we need to do quickly, but as it stands now w will not have VPN on release day.
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    I doubt that Flex wants unhappy customers, but at the same time they do have to balance between a lot of things here. With all things flex, a heavy helping of patience is needed but the rewards are immense.  As an alpha tester and elmer I help them the best as I can. I did encounter issue #3 in my testing of SmartLink and since they positively now know what is causing it, they can work on a suitable solution. 

    Steve says he and the team will make it right. I trust them. 

    If you want some other VPN based solutions in the interim, I can help. I have a blueprint and PoC for raspberry pi VPN based solutions for Maestro. I have documented bits and pieces of it here on the forum but it is not too hard. You can also use a Windows PC and route through that as well. Both seem to work. I've never turned down requests for help here and I don't plan to... so please, feel free to reach out. :)

    Ria
  • Bob - W7KWS -Bob - W7KWS - Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    :-(

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