How about finally fixing the Maestro to work as advertised.

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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?
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John - K3MA

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Posted 2 years ago

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Michael Walker, Employee

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My 2 cents on the Maestro (not employee related - related to 12 years of remote operating)

  1. Not sure why VPN support is required, but I am sure you have a very good need.  While I use one, today, I really do not require one.
  2. I'm not sure about the Florida resort, but what I have done many times is called the IT phone number that is usually associated with the Internet in your hotel and asked them to authorize the MAC address of the Maestro.  It only takes a few seconds and I have never been denied.   What also works VERY well is to have your Maestro cabled to the LAN port on your Laptop and then do Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) so that the Maestro can get online via your Laptop.  ICS is a Windows Feature.  This also works well.  
I also don't want my Maestro to be the be all and end all for all things remote.   With Laptop in hand and Maestro, I can do as much as I wish online including contesting.   However, my thought process is different, and I don't see these as limitations, but technical challenges that I enjoy working through.  The Maestro is just part of foundation.  Again, my personal perspective.

I keep a remote PC at the radio end so that it makes it so much easier to control external devices from a single point.  I then do a Remote Desktop (or some other well know method) to connect to this remote PC.  I can do that from any Laptop whether PC or MAC and I have full control.  By having a single PC for all the systems IO (command and control) it is also very easy for me to share my station with anyone I chose once I give them the credentials.  It also makes it easy for me to change them.

My remote is remote enough that I don't actually physically see it from October to April as it sits in Central Ontario out in the cold unheated building.

John, all problems are tracked/logged and calling the staff names won't help your cause much.  I have worked with the Flex staff (not as an employee) since the day the 3000 came out.  These guys are some of the best in the industry and they work some very long and hard hours to deliver affordable equipment.  Your requests are known and logged.

Don't get me wrong, I hear your frustration but I thought I would share my personal preferences, and some internal thoughts.

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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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. :)

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John - K3MA

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Wow sorry to provoke such anger especially when the VP of Engineering answered my specific question satisfactory.  You would think I had shot someone's dog.

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