Maestro & FHM-2 mic issue

  • 2
  • Problem
  • Updated 4 months ago
  • In Progress
  • (Edited)
My friend just received his new 6400 and Maestro from FRS.

He also purchased the 8-pin modular mic cord so he could use the FHM-2 supplied with the 6400 on the Maestro.

He proceeded to connect the 8 pin modular mic cord to the Maestro. The mic will key the radio, but there is no transmit audio. Not being sure if he missed a setting somewhere, I took a ride over to his place to assist in determining what the issue is.

All settings were correct. Maestro set for MIC1, bias on, mic level at 100.

We then took the FHM-2 mic and reconnected the modular to 1/8” / RCA cable. We plugged it into the 6400. The mic worked fine.

We then plugged the 1/8” plug into MIC2 on the Maestro, and used a 1/8” male to RCA female adapter to connect the PTT lead. Set the Maestro for MIC2. The mic keyed the radio and modulated it just fine. Bias on and off makes a noticeable difference in mic gain level.

I spent the next hour or two troubleshooting the issue further. Examining the optional mic cable shipped for use with the Maestro, it is nothing more than a straight thru cable. I ohm’ed it out pin for pin, and it checked good. I then connected one end to the Maestro, and took measurements at the other end. PTT, 5V, GNDs, and MIC pins check out fine, as per the Maestro manual. I can take a tone generator and inject a tone onto the MIC pin (pin 5) and modulate the radio. However, if I measure the MIC pin with a voltmeter, regardless of the BIAS setting for the Maestro, at no time is there any bias voltage present.

If I perform the same test at the modular end of the Y cable supplied with the 6400, while plugged into the Maestro MIC2 port, the BIAS voltage is present on the MIC pin when turned on, and absent when turned off, as expected.

While testing for the presence of BIAS voltage, the source of the problem became clear:

The cord supplied with the FHM-2 and 6400 has MIC audio on pin 3 of the modular end, and the cord supposedly for the Maestro has MIC audio from the radio on pin 5 (as expected, since it is a straight thru pinout). The other function pins are also layed out differently between the two mic cables.

The coiled cord shipped with modular connectors on both ends is obviously straight thru. The radio mic cable is obviously a custom pinout between different connectors. So the question is:

Did FRS ship him the wrong cable to use the FHM-2 on the Maestro?

Or did they ship him an older version FHM-2 that used a different pinout scheme at the bottom of the mic itself? (And accordingly, a different version mic to radio cable?)

And more importantly, is the Maestro defective, in that there is no mic bias voltage present on pin 5 (MIC), regardless of he BIAS setting in Maestro?

Eric
K2CB
Photo of K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

  • 253 Posts
  • 102 Reply Likes
  • frustrated

Posted 10 months ago

  • 2
Photo of Tim KG8OC

Tim KG8OC

  • 15 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
You need a different mic for the Maestro. I had the same problem, and it was fixed when flex radio sent me a new mic for the Maestro. The mic that comes with the radio is not the same mic needed for the Maestro. Contact the company for a new mic for the Maestro.
Photo of K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

  • 253 Posts
  • 102 Reply Likes
So did they send you a second mic for the Maestro at no charge, or did they swap out the radio mic to a newer version that is compatible with both the radio and Maestro?

What’s the purpose of selling the $12 cable if it isn’t going to work?

You would think, when the purchaser explained to the sales rep that he wanted to use the same mic for both, and purchased the recommended optional cable for this very purpose, that FRS could have made sure to ship the correct mic.

I’m sure my friend wasn’t the first to buy this combination.
(Edited)
Photo of W5AP

W5AP

  • 96 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
I had the same problem. I ended up using an Elecraft mic and wired it for the Maestro & 6600M. Gave up on the FRS mic.
Photo of Tim KG8OC

Tim KG8OC

  • 15 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
The two mics are different inside. They can't work on both. I now have two mics, one that came with my 6400 that only works on the 6400, and the Maestro mic that only works on the Maestro. The mics have the same model number, and look the same. But are different inside. 73, Tim KG8OC
Photo of Neal Pollack, N6YFM

Neal Pollack, N6YFM

  • 231 Posts
  • 115 Reply Likes
Re:  "The mics have the same model number, and look the same. But are different inside.
"

THAT was a mistake FRS, really.   Two dissimilar products with the same model number is a special kind of stupid {tm}.  It causes confusion that results in a " customer call generator" which drives up costs, eats profits, annoys customers.   How hard really would it have been to have a different part number, like FH-3, or at least FH-2M for Maestro?

This just BEGS for an additional page added to the Hardware Reference manual, for both the 6x00 Radios and for the Maestro, that makes it very clear that you can't just
use the transceiver mic on the Maestro, and vice versa, without a proper adapting cable (or maybe not even then??).   If the differences and issues and methods are
spelled out in the manual, then Flex will save money on support calls, and also have less annoyed users.

I recently ordered the adapter cable for my Maestro.  Is that not going to work with the transceiver mic?   If not, then why list the adapter?     Not enough information available to make an informed decision, I guess I should raise a support call....

See my point?

Cheers,

Neal
Photo of Tim KG8OC

Tim KG8OC

  • 15 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I ordered the cable first, and it still didn't work. I filled a support ticket with them, then they sent me the correct mic for the Maestro.
Photo of Rex K0KP

Rex K0KP

  • 44 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
This issue and what is going on has been discussed in detail at the following Community thread.

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/i-just-received-my-flex-6400-and-maestro-i-cant-get...
Photo of Rex K0KP

Rex K0KP

  • 44 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Like Tim said, there are TWO versions of the mic with the same model number and they are not interchangeable.  The mic that comes with the 6400 lacks some parts in the mic head that are required to also use that mic with the Maestro.  The spare RJ45 cable is great but it still won't convert a "made for the 6400" mic to a Maestro compatible mic.  You need two mics that look on the outside like they are one in the same.
(Edited)
Photo of Wayne

Wayne

  • 614 Posts
  • 88 Reply Likes
This is sad there making the same mics without compatibility between there own rigs and even flex is so confused they dont even know what to provide the correct things so it will make it work out of the box.

This is why I got an ipad and the ios ssdr and you know it works right out of the box. Someday they will realize some of the choices they make cause sales lost and increase rigs and equipment returned for refunds hams expect things work out of the box with the correct accessories that work the day it arrives.
Photo of Neil   N4FN

Neil N4FN

  • 78 Posts
  • 14 Reply Likes
FLEX does not "make" two different FHM-2 mics. The issue is that FLEX received some mics from the vendor that lack the capacitor and resistor so that it will pass Bias. That is the issue, it is NOT a modular cable problem. Gerald and I discussed this and they are working on a solution. I discovered this problem some time ago and did extensive testing with Neal (he spells his name wrong) and Tim Ellison. It was when I opened the mic and looked at the back of the circuit board that the problem was discovered. Flex sent me a properly configured mic and the issue was solved. When using MIC 2 with what I call the "pigtail" cable there is no problem because the Maestro applies Bias on Mic 2 differently. The issue is only on MIC 1 with the modular cable and a FHM-2 mic head missing the components. Put in a help ticket and you should get a properly configured mic. As I understand it in an email from Gerald,  Lori Hicks at Flex is working on this issue with the vendor.
Neil   N4FN
(Edited)
Photo of Dudley - WA5QPZ

Dudley - WA5QPZ, Elmer

  • 172 Posts
  • 26 Reply Likes
There is a work around..    If you only push the 6400 mic connector to the first notch on the Mic2 input of the Maestro (or make an adapter the swaps the tip and ring of the mic audio)   you will find that the audio is top notch..  The push to talk is connected via a "stereo" 1/8" TRS to female RCA adapter,  one of the female inputs,  left or right will key the Maestro when you push the mic button..  Make sure you select the "Mic2"  input on the Maestro..    Hope this helps
Dudley - WA5QPZ
Photo of K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

  • 253 Posts
  • 102 Reply Likes
There is definitely a difference in the mics.

The cord supplied with the 6400/6600 mic has MIC + (the tip of the 1/8" plug) tied to pin 3 of the RJ45 mic end, where as the Maestro cord (which is straight thru wiring) has MIC + on pin 5.

So there is more going on than just adding a bias resistor and blocking capacitor. The pinout of the socket on the FHM-2 must vary between versions. How else is the straight thru cord going to work?

The bigger question remains - this far into the production and shipment of Maestros and 6400/6600 radios, how could this be allowed to occur? You would think by now, if someone simultaneously ordered a new Maestro, 6400, and mic cord, Flex would have gotten it right!

Eric
K2CB
Photo of Rex K0KP

Rex K0KP

  • 44 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
There certainly are two versions of the FHM-2 mic.  I have both.  The mic that is shipped with the 6400 has the same model number as the mic shipped with the Maestro.  The two variants of the mics are not interchangeable.  You need both versions of the FHM-2 if you own both pieces of equipment.    
(Edited)
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 3742 Posts
  • 900 Reply Likes
Ok so each product comes with it's own mic, no big deal. But seeing both mics are called the same would confuse things for shipping.
Photo of Rex K0KP

Rex K0KP

  • 44 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Agreed not too big of a deal.  But more importantly seeing both mics are called the same confuses end users, customers.
Photo of Tim KG8OC

Tim KG8OC

  • 15 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
My Maestro did NOT come with it's own mic. The 6400 came with a mic, and I finally got a Maestro mic when the company had to send me one to fix the issue that it wouldn't work on the Maestro. Of course after I had already went thru all the trouble if trying to figure out why my mic only worked on the radio and not the Maestro. Also after I purchased the new mic cord thinking that was it, and that didn't fix the problem either. It did finally get fixed, and I'm very happy at this point.
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9183 Posts
  • 3529 Reply Likes
Official Response
The issue you are experiencing with the FHM-2 microphone provided with the FLEX-6400(M) and FLEX-6600(M) not working when used on a Maestro connected to the MIC-1 connector is due to a manufacturing issue from our supplier.  This manufacturing oversight was brought to our attention and we are actively working to correct the problem.  In the past, we provided a replacement mic head but unfortunately, we are currently out of stock of them.  

Due to the estimated time to receive the new hand mic we are in the process of modifying existing FMH-2 microphones so they will work with the Maestro and all FLEX-6000s.  We expect to have the modified microphones available in a few weeks barring any unforeseen circumstances that may delay delivery.  If you are experiencing this issue with your Maestro, please open a HelpDesk support ticket so that you will be automatically placed in the order fulfillment queue when they become available.

We apologize for this oversight and expect to have this situation corrected as quickly as possible.  Thank you.
Photo of John Adkins

John Adkins

  • 14 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I was sent the FHM-2-TRS/RCA mic with my Maestro.  Obviously, the RCA connector will plug into the FLEX-6400, but not into the Maestro.
Is there any reason that I can't use this little RCA-TRS adapter when I'm using the Maestro remotely using SmartLink?  The ring is floating.
(Edited)
Photo of David Decoons wo2x

David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

  • 1338 Posts
  • 284 Reply Likes
John

I suggest you check with Flex to ensure you have the correct mic. The 6400 uses tip and ring for MIC+ and MIC- while the Maestro uses Tip and Shell. Might be worth an email to Flex, or open a Help Desk ticket to ensure you get the proper response.

Dave wo2x
Photo of John Adkins

John Adkins

  • 14 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thanks!
Photo of Neil   N4FN

Neil N4FN

  • 78 Posts
  • 14 Reply Likes
Thanks Tim for FLEX finally wading in on this issue. I was pleased (I guess) to work with you on this issue and tried to indicate that some of the earlier posts were erroneous. So folks now you have the official word from the man who identified and solved the problem...Thanks Tim 
Neil  N4FN
Photo of Rex K0KP

Rex K0KP

  • 44 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
What was erroneous?
Photo of Jamie WW3S

Jamie WW3S

  • 118 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
Just received new 6600 this week, borrowed a new, unused Maestro....when I used the new supplied mic with the maestro, it immediately goes into tx, should the FMH-2 work when plugged into mic2 on the maestro?