Does No Comment = No Problem

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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It has been almost a week and I have seen no official feedback on the problems people have seen with the 1.8 version upgrade. I know Maestro comments were made but that was the end of it.  Why no official updates on what if anything is being done to look at these issues?

We users of Flex radios are a patient lot, and used to delays and disappointments where new releases are concerned. and not always getting full functionality of all functions on the radio. I can only speak for myself but my patience is getting a bit thin.

We are after all customers who put a big chunk of change into a technology with the promise of improvements and exceptional functionality. When release problems occur we deserve to be kept in the loop as to what if anything is being  done to correct these problems.  The silence has been deafening. 

The only comment I saw was a restating of the SWR foldback spec that we are all familiar with. It seems that this problem is not being taken seriously.  

I only ask to be kept in the loop the same way I would expect my car mechanic to let me know whats going on with my repair or any other company I do business with.  Silence only causes people to come up with theories and pages of discussion and hypothesis.

I know the Flex can never be wrong  guys will chime in and say there is no problem.  Their comments are expected and offer nothing to the conversation.  We are not Haters because we expect our radios entire feature set to be functional.  We are not haters because we want updates the work!  I would expect that from Icom. Kenwood, Yaesu etc so why cant I expect this from Flex without being labeled a hater?   

We have an investment in FLex and want to tell everyone we have the best radio on the market.  For that loyalty we ask we be treated as part of the team and not kept in the dark.
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Posted 3 years ago

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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Official Response
Dear "Flex Fan,"

If you personally have a specific problem with v1.8.3, please enter a help desk ticket so that we can work with you.  

Here are the facts:
  1. We released v1.8.3 four working days ago on June 30th.
  2. Friday July 1, we had reports that a percentage of Maestro users who had attempted to upgrade to 1.8.3 failed and were unable to downgrade.  
  3. We immediately pulled the release, communicated publicly, and took action to bring in any affected units at our expense.  We are in contact with all affected customers.
  4. Monday July 4 was a national holiday in the US.  
  5. We received the first few Maestro units back for analysis late on July 5.  
  6. Yesterday, July 6th, we started performing forensics and working on a fix.  We are making good progress and will communicate more specific information when we have the details.  
  7. We have only two help desk tickets entered by customers related to SWR fold back as of this morning, July 7.  
  8. No problems were reported in alpha/beta test for SWR fold back.  We are currently unable to reproduce any problems with SWR fold back here in the lab.
  9. There is an acknowledged problem when using the XVTR port where it can fold back.  This is a bug that will be fixed in the next release.
  10. If someone has a SWR fold back issue, please enter a help desk ticket so that we can gather forensics that may help determine the problem.  Right now we have very little to work with due to only having received two help desk tickets.  
  11. Engineering is reviewing the code and customer support will gather any forensic data that is provided by the help desk tickets.  The problem may be specific to certain customer supplied external equipment.  We just don't know because the number is too small to tell at the moment.
When we have something concrete to report we will do so and not before.

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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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Official Response
Sometimes I think we all struggle to communicate effectively and often enough.  It seems like the biggest joke among hams is that we're communicators but have trouble communicating the right things at the right times.  I hear it all the time in radio clubs, etc.  Perhaps it's a universal problem.  Enough of the philosophizing.  In general, when we release and there are reports of problems, we go right to work looking into the reports and fixing the issues.  Sometimes the issue fixes happen very quickly, sometimes they are a bit more complex.  Sometimes what may look like we don't see the issue is that we are hard at work analyzing the problem or even sometimes waiting to see the reports from other people that will give us an idea for the exact nature of the problem.  I felt we did a good job of communicating where we were, but it seems that it was not good enough.

We have had two types of reports that I am aware of with v1.8.3 -- the issues with Maestro upgrading and an issue with SWR foldback.  We suspect that the issue with SWR foldback is simply the lack of recognition that some devices will provide a lousy SWR for a short period of time before presenting a good one.  At any rate, we are actively working this problem. and will undoubtedly have a fix for this soon.

The Maestro issue is a bit more complicated.  I discussed communicating where we were with our team yesterday evening, but everyone felt like we didn't have enough information yet to pass along anything of value.  I will say this -- we are aware of what is happening in these Maestros, but we are not yet entirely sure why it has happened.  We have three software changes we are making today that will detect and correct the problem, most likely without anyone ever seeing the issue.  It is likely we will discover the root of the problem when we get into this code as well.  My best guess is that it will be another week before we release an update.  If you are on v1.8.3, you should stay there and not go back and forth to other versions.  If you are not yet on v1.8.3, we will be providing an update in the future you can use to get there.

On the Maestro issue, as I mentioned in the original thread it was an unusual thing that has affected a small percentage of folks updating.  Because it was so infrequent, we did not see it when in the numerous upgrades from the Alpha team.  I don't have an idea for how we could have caught this in advance, but we are working hard to fix the issue.  The Maestros that arrive at our office will be quickly fixed and returned to their owners.  Again, thanks for the patience.