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  • Updated 3 years ago
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Maestro,  I purchased the Maestro primarily for local remote operation around the home QTH.  While it preforms OK, there are quite a few short comings for the use I thought it would provide. It appears that the device was mainly designed to operate at the local station as it really provides a lot of flexibility in control, apparently for a contest station. 

I find that I use a laptop computer most of the time rather than the Maestro for any operation around the house as I can turn on and off the radio, control the amplifier and so forth.  As my station is in another building, remote from my home it is inconvenient running back and forth to turn the station on and off.   Needing two control devices at, [Maestro and a computer] say the easy chair in the family room is really not convenient..........................>

While I may be ignorant  of all the Maestro operation details, here are some short comings that I see:

1) The display lacks a clock.  It would be nice to have both, local and UTC time.  While time is available from the 6700 GPS it's really not convenient to keep switching between screens. There appears to be lots of spare real estate on the display for two clocks. What about the other 6XXX devices?

2) Lacks Bluetooth connectivity.......More "Stuff and wires" around the remote operating location.  Almost every communication device offered has Bluetooth connectivity which is supported in the windows platform.  Chained to the device by a cord is really "obsolete"

3) Lacks the ability to control the 6XXX series on and off.  As a windows based device, access to remote switching devices should not be difficult.

4) Battery operation and charging.  I have a hard time believing  that Flex software engineers cannot provide a charging feature.  Again just about all user communication devices allow the refreshing of  the battery.  As an absolute minimum, provide a charging port that does not require the removal of the battery access cover and battery removal to charge.

I also note that the battery charge indicator in useless using the current battery packs.  Just about the time I wish to use the Maestro, the battery is dead, then need to find a refreshed battery or a power cord.  Fumble with removing the battery cover, unstrapping the fragile securing straps, removing the usb connector then reversing the process. Every 4 ~6 hours of battery operation, this is really not very acceptable as the maestro is a portable device...........Now  where the heck is the refreshed battery? Cord?

For  the contesters and others, these issues may be minor, for my expectations these features have really impacted my enjoyment of this device.

Ken K7YR        

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Ken K7YR

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Posted 3 years ago

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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Official Response

@Ken K7YR

All four ideas are good one that have been discussed.

If you use the Google Search trick on the community ( "search term(s)" and then add  "" in your google search window) you may be able to find discussions of all four suggestions.

Quick summary as I recall:

Clock - being considered for a later "SmartSDR for Maestro" release.  I've been guessing there are some decisions on what time to display here? (which CPU time, radio time, GPSDO time, calculated time based on last WWV time synced, or?)

Bluetooth - Hardware is there, the implementation will follow in a later version of "SmartSDR for Maestro" after resolving a number of decisions. (my guess is security, lost/hinder connectivity logic, and general Bluetooth fun & games to implement.)

Remote Hardware On/Off - has been mentioned that it very likely a later release of "SmartSDR for Maestro" will include this feature. (As there are more than a binary single on-off pair of "off states" - each compounded if the unit has the GPSDO option installed it hadn't made it to a production release yet.)

Battery Charge/Indicator - there is lots of reasons why it could only be safely and competently done if battery selection was sharply limited, perhaps to a proprietary offering.  Even Gerald has spoken about why what we have is the way it has ended up.  (Since the LiPo packs are cheap, hot swappable, HIGHLY variable in actual performance and draw down is only loosely measured even when you see a pretty display the $20-30/pack option picked is not all bad.  A dedicated pack manufacturer I spoke with thinking I could offer a dedicated pack suggested a nearly $200/pack if ordered in some quantity for what amounted to about 1-1/2 generic LiPo packs of power. I dropped the project at the earliest of stages with the estimate.)


Steve K9ZW