Maestro advice please

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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I am considering purchasing a Maestro but would appreciate some advice on a couple of points before I decide.  I plan  to use the Maestro in the shack as a control interface, although using it outside on the patio on a (very rare) warm sunny Scottish day would be good too. The questions are:

1.  I recall that there was some comment on the CW sidetone being raspy.  As a keen CW op I would rather it was easy on the ear.  Anyone got any opinions on this?

2.  Will CAT and DAX still work on my shack PC whilst I am using Maestro so I can still use HRD logbook and  DM780?

3.  I have an Archer AC750 router.  Although I will use the Maestro on ethernet in the shack has anyone experience of WiFi wit the Maestro on this router?  Just in case of the odd sunny day....

Thanks in advance for any advice on this.

Peter GM4WCE
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Peter Kirsop

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Posted 3 years ago

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Phil m0vse

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Hi Peter.

Yes the sidetone is still 'raspy' I haven't heard anything recently on this and don't know if it is something that can be fixed in software or not?

Yes CAT and DAX work exactly the same whether using SmartSDR or Maestro.

No experience with that particular router but I know others have had success with TP-LINK and it is dual band so it should work (make sure you connect at 5GHz though).

Thanks

Phil
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Stan - VA7NF

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For "in the shack" you don't have to connect the headphones to the maestro and if using a memory keyer (e.g. N1MM+) it may be better to connect headphones to the 6000 server. 

Currently, using the Maestro as a control surface also brings across the GUI so SSDR cannot run concurrently for a large panadapter display.

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Walt - KZ1F

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But if you're in the shack it makes more sense to connect every peripheral to the radio and just use Maestro as an expensive set of knobs and panadapter. Essentially, it gives you back knobs and switches, which many actually prefer anyway.
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Jay / NO5J

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Getting a good display, on the shack desktop, as opposed to taking up screen real estate on the Windows desktop has it's advantages too.

73, Jay - NO5J
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Walt - KZ1F

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Ergonomically, I think its great. Like a HUD in a car, everything you are interested in is right there in your line of sight.
(Edited)
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G8ZPX

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Peter,

A full review in RadCom this month. Plenty already going up for sale on here and on qrz.com 
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ka7gzr

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Steve,

Do you have a link to the Radcom review?

Jim

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G8ZPX

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Sorry, Radcom is available by annual subscription to RSGB members.
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Paul - W3PH

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Which issue is this?  I don't see anything about the Maestro in June or July Radcom.  (Yes, there are RSGB members on this side of the pond ;-) ).
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G8ZPX

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Paul, You will need the August issue. Pages 40 to 42. Only just landed in my mainland UK post box, so expect some time before you see it. It its anything like my CQ magazine then about 3 weeks later.

I think they also put past issues on the web about 4-6 weeks after postal date.
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G8ZPX

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Peter,

In case you don't get to see the Radcom review, it is pretty fair and balanced technically. Mike Richards G4WNC wrote it and I think the overall conclusion is positive, if you want that kind of interface.

However, the cost is going to be a real sales killer in EU. Here it is retailing at £1,199.00 so that is about $1,586 usd (nearly $600 uplift on US prices). Whilst this may still sound good for a TCVR, you have to remember that Maestro is just an interface - essentially just a Dell tablet with some knobs on the side.

It contrasts really badly against the review of the Icom 7300 by Peter Hart in the same issue of Radcom. He gives big praise to this new SDR, which is obviously a fully functioning complete transceiver covering HF to 4m for around £150 ($197usd) less than the cost of the Maestro alone.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Couple very quick comments:

  • The $1586 (UKP 1,199 at a 1.32 exchange rate) will vary on exchange rate, and should be compared to the USD $1199 plus shipping regular sell price.  ( Wouldn't this be a sub USD $400/ sub UKP 300 spread, rather than the nearly $600/UKP 450 spread?)

  • The UK pricing is for a different Stocking Distributor distribution channel, with added international transfer costs, exchange rate projected rates and fees, and costs different than a direct-from-same-country-factory distribution channel.  Uncertain if the UK levies any duty on commercial importation of amateur radio gear, as the HST site suggests both a modest rate might be assessed (circa 5%) and a processing fee. Regardless the cost structure is different and there is always that 20% VAT portion to back out of comparisons.

  • Understood from previous threads that the end UK Price is set by the UK Dealers, and while FRS certain has an influence the sell price is dealer set.

  • Also it is perhaps a better comparison method to look at combined Maestro/Flex-6x00 investment, good or bad, with the Maestro being an add-on requiring a Flex-6x00 radio to be useful.

  • I've had operating time with a IC-7300 and a Maestro side by side in the W9EVT Shack, and the experience is not equivalent. YMMV of course, but while the IC-7300 is fine rig and one I might pick for portable operations, the Maestro/Flex-6300 combination is more ergonomic and a better DXer's experience.  The differences are over-discussed in many threads and across the various internet forums, and both radios earn the respect they get - they just are not equivalent choices. 

BTW curious if the EU continental distributors price the Maestro at the same UKP 1199 for all EU markets? 

Appreciate the insight into the RADCOM reviews.  Hopefully they will go up online for wider readership at some point.

73

Steve K9ZW


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Steven G1XOW

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Hi Steve,

My comparison is purely monetary. I had no interest in technical merit.

Obviously they cannot be compared technically as one is just a control panel and the other is a complete transceiver. But that is kind of the point really. Financially it compares badly.  In other words, if we removed the TCVR part of the IC-7300, how much might the remaining front panel cost?

I know there are lots of reasons why, import duty, sales taxes, reseller margins etc, My point is that when you look purely at "value for money" it fails the XYL test.

Paul: to be clear the review is by one Ham, it was not conducted by the RSGB.
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Paul - W3PH

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I've finally read the RSGB review and they did like it.  The review isn't highly detailed, but it's favorable.  Glad I paid the $US price.
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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That very Maestro is now installed and operational with at FLEX-6500 at the Bletchley Park NRC exhibit.  

Most of the pricing difference in the UK is the uplift for your 20% VAT.  US list pricing never includes sales tax but yours does as I understand it.
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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For RSGB members (only, sorry, login required) the August issue of RadCom with the Maestro review is now available online:

Maybe Flex can get the rights from RSGB to reprint the review?

Peter
K1PGV
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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For RSGB members (only, sorry, login required) the August issue of RadCom with the Maestro review is now available online:

https://thersgb.org/members/publicati...

Maybe Flex can get the rights from RSGB to reprint the review?

Peter
K1PGV

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