Connecting a Flex maestro to a Flex 6400 and a pc.

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New Flex owner here have a question. I have a flex maestro using a flex 6400 directly connected using cat-cable works fine. Now I want to also use my pc that has ft8 on it alone with the maestro at the same time. I have the current version of smart sdr 3.1.8 for windows. How can I use ft8 on my pc and my maestro at the same time? Thanks for your time...
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Jim Kd6ccp

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Posted 4 months ago

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John KB4DU

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Connect the Maestro to the Flex as normal. Then bring up SSDR on the PC, and connect as usual. Should work. Only caution is there are only two slices available on the 6400, so the Maestro gets one and the PC gets one. Both will show as Slice A on their respective connections. I don't have a Maestro, but I do connect SSDR on the PC and SDR for IOS on an ipad at the same time.
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Jim Kd6ccp

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Thank you for the speedy reply! My stumbling block is I connect my Maestro to the 6400 via cable, no wifi. Or I connect my 6400 to the pc via cable. But being there is one single cat cable connection on the 6400 and one on the Maestro how do I connect the Maestro, computer and 6400 altogether ? Thanks again for your time.
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Gayle Lawson

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What you need for hardware to connect everything together is an either net switch ( 4 port will do) or a router .  Connect  each unit to the switch or router via cat 5 or 6 cables.  The switch will permit both the Maestro and PC to talk to the 6400.   I believe that Flex has some documentation describing this hardware setup on their site.

Gayle K0FLY
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The Maestro has audio in/out jacks on the back.   Simply connect those jacks to your computer audio in/out jacks and you can decode FT8 just fine.  I prefer to use a small external USB sound card on the PC instead of windows internal sound card.  I have never tried VOX operation on DIGU so you may have to play with that to get the PTT to work on TX.

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Mike, W8BE

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Official Response

I would avoid just connecting the audio to the pc.  One of great features of Flex is the use of the ethernet port for connectivity.   Look at this drawing below.   

Substitute your 6400 for the radio.  Notice that there is a ethernet switch providing connectivity between the internet router, radio, and pc.  You will just connect your Maestro to the switch like any other device. 

Here is the switch that I use.  You can get them for less than $50.   You should already have a ethernet cable that came with the Maestro.  

Now when you operate.   Start the Maestro and load SmartSDR.   On your computer all you need to do is start CAT and DAX.   It will see the Maestro client and you can connect to it.   You will need to configure the programs to connect to both CAT and DAX.   There are plenty of tutorials on that.  

This one of the main features that make Flex a great radio.  Simplicity.  

Good luck 

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John KB4DU

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Like Mike said.

However, getting a network that is compatible with the Flex can take some trial and error.  I had some intermittent disconnects where the network health indicator would go red and lose connection. Tried several configurations with varying frame rates, waterfall variations, different cables, location of equipment. I had the same switch as above, 1 gig switch, 1 gig port on the computer (laptop). Seems it should work. In desperation I reconfigured an older router/wifi box to disable the wifi and use it as a switch with 100Mb ports. Now no disconnects. I don't understand.