Issue with Maestro v1.8 Update

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  • Updated 2 years ago
We have had several customers who have upgraded to v1.8 of Maestro software have a failure after the upgrade which indicates that one of the internal processors was not correctly updated.  In reviewing the update procedure, it does not look like we have a good recovery method for this particular failure mode.  As a result, those affected Maestros will be coming back to FlexRadio for a quick-turn reflash of the microprocessor involved.  This problem did not appear during Alpha testing and our analysis at this point is that it is a narrow timing window which could occur with any Maestro during an update that changes the contents of this particular processor.  As a result of our preliminary analysis, our recommendation is that all customers refrain from upgrading or downgrading until we have released an update that corrects this issue.  Specifically, we are recommending:

1. If you have successfully installed v1.8, stay on v1.8 and do not downgrade
2. If you have not upgraded to v1.8, do not attempt to do so.  If you try, the following message will be displayed:



Even though this message indicates you should update, further attempts will be futile since the software has been removed from the server.

Everyone will not have read this announcement so we have done the following things to attempt to ensure other folks do not have this issue:

1. SmartSDR for Maestro v1.8 has been pulled from the server, BUT the knowledge of it is still left on the server.  This will ensure that folks that already have it are not forced to downgrade.  Those that attempt to upgrade will get the message above.  We cannot prevent someone from downgrading that has the software already so if you are in this boat, please do not downgrade as you run the risk of having this problem.

We are bringing the affected units in and will update them, create a software fix and then re-enable upgrades as quickly as we can.  We appreciate your patience while we address the issue. 
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering

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Posted 2 years ago

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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering

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Also, I failed to mention that using SmartSDR for Windows v1.8 is perfectly fine.  

If you experience the issue discussed above on your Maestro and have not entered a ticket, please enter a helpdesk ticket and we will work with you ASAP to get your unit brought back to the factory.  If you already have a helpdesk ticket, we are in the process of contacting you with the details on getting your unit sent back to FlexRadio.
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David

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This is a little ambiguous. What is the "issue discussed above"? Is it an upgrade to the Maesto which breaks it, or is it just the inability to download the upgrade because it has been removed from the server. I assume the former, but it it is not entirely clear.

The first time I tried to upgrade the Maestro, before reading this thread, I got the "problem while downloading" message, so the upgrade was never downloaded and installed.
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering

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There's no need to enter a ticket if you can't download the upgrade. If you Maestro is unable to function after the upgrade, you should enter a ticket so we can contact you to manually update your Maestro
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Lester Shields

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Before reading this, I tried to to upgrade to v1.8.3.17 but got the error box. So I did the upgrade on Windows. Do I need to downgrade the F6700 to get the Maestro to work again?
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KK9W - Steve

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Nope you need to send the Maestro back to flex so they can fix it.
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Martin Ewing AA6E

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Depends - if you got the error that bricks your Maestro (ie it won't run at all), it has to go back.  If you just got the error that says the file couldn't be downloaded from Flex's server, then read on...

Yes, since 1.8 is not available (at this time) for Maestro.  I understand why Flex did what it did (to prevent further downloads & Maestro failures), but it would be nice if the full situation was explained before people tried partially upgrading (Windows + radio) to 1.8 and getting out ahead of their Maestro's supported version.  It was clear enough if you read the forums carefully, but not everybody does!
(Edited)
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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What about customers like myself who purchased their Maestro from an authorised dealer?

How will that be handled? I may be the only one outside the US. I'm not sure!
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering

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David I saw you had posted you have the issue earlier. We have notified our service center in Germany and are working on the procedure with them. We are also in the process of notifying our International distributors to ensure we have a plan for update of any Maestros not in the US. You should contact your distributo r(perhaps after giving them a little time to get the message ;-) ) and work with them on how to get your unit updated.
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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Thank you Steve.  I have had an update from Tim.  My unit will need to go to Germany for repair and I am not sure if it needs to go via Martin Lynch or direct.  I will wait for the RMA details on ticket.  Disappointing but well-handled by FRS!

David G4NRT
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km9r.mike

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Not being critical, but why is it not possible for Flex to fix an issue like this remotely via the interwebs ? I would also support a link on FRS 's website that would allow a diagnostic check of my SS rig or maestro ( if I had one). This would be a neat preventative maintenance tool.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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It is a chicken and egg issue.  If the Maestro will not boot, you can't load a fix from the field.
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km9r.mike

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Light bulb. Thanks Tim. It would be neat if something like administrative access could get around something like this saving both FRS and the end user a lot of time.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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This is not a far fetch idea. I use Teamviewer to access computers remotely, if the Maestro has a button sequence that puts it in a listen mode where you could Telnet or SSH in, a Flex engineer might be able to use Teamviewer and remotely go into the Maestro and perform a fix. Turn around time from continental US to Austin, TX and back is acceptable (probably Europe too), but some of us will be in for a long wait if we had to send any equipment back to FRS. I am very lucky that my upgrade has not disabled the Maestro, but man.... I am definitely not jumping into an upgrade right away anymore.
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km9r.mike

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I love Flex's attitude of fully exploiting technology and their leadership of this is how it should be done. An ability like this would be another industry first for them and I see it as a win win for both FRS and the end user, however, I just do not know enough to fully understand just how useful a capability like this would be.
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Burt Fisher

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There is a reason I wait 2 weeks to install any updates. Companies can only do so much testing.
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Burt Fisher

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I rely on those who need instant gratification to save me from messing things up.
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k3Tim

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"no guts - no glory!"
"no pain - no gain!"
"the strongest steel goes through the hottest fire"
.....


I always with latest s/w loads.  If a bricked device has to go on a vacation to Austin it's no big deal. 
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Burt Fisher

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Point taken
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Steve W6SDM

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Shoot first, die last.  :)
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Jay / NO5J

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Climb to far out of the Foxhole and the shots will be coming from both sides.

But I'm known for my lack of caution, I figure whatever doesn't kill me, really justs makes me appreciate backups and backup plans.

Anyone know how to backup a Maestro?

73, Jay - NO5J
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KK9W - Steve

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There should be a way to back up the maestro completely to your pc so if this ever happens again you can simply reload your backup and be in business. Shouldn't be too hard to accomplish I don't think.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Sounds like your are suggesting that that infamous phrase  "A SIMPLE MATTER OF PROGRAMMING"

without any understanding of the interrelationships between the flash memory firmware inside the Maestro or the internal firmware of the radio or the boot loaders, etc, etc. etc.

I don't know what your  level of computer engineering experience may be but in my 50+ years experience very few little matters of programming ever turns out to be simple ....


BTW.. except for a very few Maestro's most either worked on 1.8 or were downgradable back to 1.7 

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Martin Ewing AA6E

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There is not much user-specific information (like the Fn key setup and wifi passwords) stored in Maestro AFAIK, so there is little point in backing it up.  If you get into trouble, just reload it from the Flex distribution.  Older versions are still available on their server, if needed.
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Jay / NO5J

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Actually when I asked "Anyone know how to backup a Maestro?" While I'd be interested in learning a method of doing such, My question was mostly sarcasm, maybe a better question would have been, Anyone know how to restore a brick?
Which is unintended sarcasm mostly.

My theory is it's not the Maestro App portion of the update, but might have been the OS/firmware parts of the update that failed, leaving Maestro unable to load it's operating system. Just speculation.

I expect we will get more information when the problem's been solved. I'm sure most of us have had to deal with PCs that fail to boot up after an update. The My PC boots up to a Blue Screen and now I'm stuck in a reboot > Blue Screen > reboot loop problem that occurs once in a while. No big deal at all once you discover the fix
 which for some reason is only becomes available after the problem becomes active.

Just another pothole on the road to perfection.

73, Jay - NO5J  
(Edited)
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Don

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Maestro still functions with original software vs 1.7, but update doesnot download vs 1.8.3. ( as mentioned above)
Because i did already upgrade my PC to SmartSDR vs 1.8.3 the Flex-6700 has to be matched every time again to Maestro or to the PC.
Information above is still a bit ambiguous to me.

Do I have to wait for a new upgrade version for the Maestro or does it have to be send to the dealer in Germany?
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering

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You should not downgrade your Maestro if it is already on v1.8
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Bill W2PKY

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What other company VP monitors forums and responds to issues on Holiday weekends?
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Reg

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Bill wrote, "What other company VP monitors forums and responds to issues on Holiday weekends?"

The kind of company that does this provides the best customer support I have ever experienced.
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Burt Fisher

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None, not one
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Walt - KZ1F

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Given you level of admiration for the company and staff, you should order that Maestro and add a gratuity as a thank you. This as opposed to constantly threatening to sell your radio.
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N3NER

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Any idea when the maestro update will be fixed?
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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As soon as we can get one of the affected units in to validate our root cause assumption and then code the fix.  It should not be a protracted process.
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Cal Spreitzer

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Tim,

Flex should receive my RMA Maestro today.  UPS Tracking shows it out for delivery.   Take good care of her and be gentle.  :-)  

Cal/N3CAL
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Philip KA4KOE

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Glad I read this note. I'm picking my Maestro up today from UPS.
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Bob G W1GLV

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It would be interesting to see how long it would take the big three JAP manufacturers to respond to this type fault. I have an Icom 7100 that has a power problem and after numerous e-mails to Icom product support, I'm still waiting for a reply. This all started 6 months ago. As a Flex owner I am one lucky dude.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Bob, I think that's largely a scaling problem. How many customers does ICOM have, how many does FRS have?

How many customers does Maytag and LG have? How many customers does your local appliance store have?

I think the advantage of having a distributor is it adds another level of indirection. Think of it as an organization chart. The 'direct reports' of the manufacturer are the distributors, HRO, DX Engineering,Bill's Appliances, for example. Underneath the distributors are the customers. In this model, manufacturers are set up to deal with their customers, not their customer's customers.

Can one even buy direct from KYI?

On that issue, I'd work through the place you bought it. If it's out of warranty, then you'd get a bill for service, just like you would from FRS. However, if you bypassed the distributor and are trying to engage the manufacturer directly, good luck, whether it is a ham radio or a dishwasher, color tv, etc.

When I had a problem with a Sony Home Theater amplifier, I didn't try to work through Sony International. I took it back to the local Sony retailer, where I bought it and made it THEIR problem to get it resolved.

As for feeling lucky, a much younger Clint Eastwood character comes to mind. hihi.
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Bob G W1GLV

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I don't think it's a scaling problem. The word is that Icom doesn't it has a problem, consequently it's ignoring it.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Be that as it may, I find, when buying a major manufacturers products work through a local retailer or one close by and make your problems THEIR problems.I am not surprised what you tried failed. They don't care if you come back, that local retailer does. At least in the states, FRS is 'the local retailer'.

But whatever.
(Edited)
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Paul

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My Ftdx5000 developed the well documented "white line fault" on the vfo 2 sub display. Yaesu were exemplary with their response; the radio was collected by a courier, all three sub displays were replaced and the radio was delivered back within 7 days. This was all at the expense of Yaesu, even though the transceiver was 8 months out of warranty. I do not own a Flex but may once WAN is implemented. It's reassuring that Flex customer service is highly regarded by many on this forum but they are *definitely* not unique.
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N9VC

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That's good that Yaesu finally is doing the right things on the OLED's
because they had a different approach just not that long ago. Many
complaints on the Eham review page about it. So good for you that
they are replacing all rather than the piece-meal approach that was
their policy for some time.

73, Jim N9VC
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Paul

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True Jim, I was gearing myself up for some "discussion" about it but the offer to replace all of the OLED's was unsolicited. Not sure if it is global policy or just courtesy of Yaesu UK. Either way I remain impressed.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Organic Light Emitting Diodes? As in the newer technology 4K televisions?
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Paul

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Yes, I believe so. Hopefully more reliable now than when first introduced.
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Walt - KZ1F

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I am awed by our newLG 4K SmartTV. It's incredibly low wattage and, in theory, not subject t to pixel failure. Best part, I don't have e to feed them.

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