Maestro and Built-In Car Hotspot Oddity

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  • Updated 4 months ago
I have been messing around with SmartSDR for iOS and Maestro in my new car using the built-in AT&T-provisioned LTE-to-WiFi hotspot.

When I do a speed check via my iPad Ookla app, I get great numbers like 13 M down and 5 M up.  IIRC, latency was ~28 mSec.  Seems good to me.

When I use SmartSDR for iOS, everything works well and all is good.

However, when I use the Maestro, things get complicated.  The Maestro transmits and receives just fine, but the spectrum display and waterfall go rogue:



The screen never progresses past that triangular spectrum stuff and the black box hole in the waterfall area never changes.

I know it's not the Maestro, per se, because when I change from the car's hotspot to my office WiFi while sitting in the car in my parking spot, things are very good:



These two photos were taken within minutes of each other with no changes except the WiFi connection.

Anybody have an idea of what is going on and maybe how to fix or work around it?
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Mike - W8MM

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Posted 5 months ago

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Photo of Martin Ewing AA6E

Martin Ewing AA6E

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What kind of stats are you seeing in Maestro's network tab?

I'd suppose it's a latency problem, although your "ISP" may be blocking ports.

73 Martin AA6E
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Mike - W8MM

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See network tab below.  I assume that Maestro uses the same SmartLink ports as does SmartSDR for iOS, so why would the iPad/iPhone work where the Maestro doesn't?
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Mike - W8MM

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Here's a really crappy pic of the network tab after a few test transmissions:



The latency seems an order of magnitude worse than the iPad Pro Ookla results.  I wonder why?
(Edited)
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John - K3MA

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Mike

I have seen this issue before on both the Maestro and the computer.  I believe you are having the same jumbo packet issue as has been reported numerous times here on the forum.  Here is a link to one posting I made but if you search there are others with screen shots that look exactly like yours.

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/how-about-finally-fixing-the-maestro-to-work-as-adv...

If you read the post you will not that Flex is aware of this issue and wants to fit it however a fix was not in the most recent version 2.2.8.  Hopefully one will come soon.
(Edited)
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Mike - W8MM

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This thread re-educated me about the VITA-49 display data and what may be going on: https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/2-x-upgrade-has-been-a-nightmare-several-problems-b...

Does SmartSDR for iOS not have the same data transport issues?  My iPad & iPhone display spectrum and waterfall without any problems using the same Porsche WiFi hotspot.  If VITA-49 jumbo packets were the issue, shouldn't it affect the Maestro and SmartSDR for iOS in the same way?

I'm really confused.
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Steven Linley

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It 5/29/18 and I am just reading this.  My vehicles 4G LTE wi-fi works with my Maestro.  The waterfall has blank spaces about every 5 seconds, but it works FB.  Can this malfunction possibly be cause by a weak battery?
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Blank display data is caused by the Internet provider dropping some of the larger VITA-49 packets that contain the display data.
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Mike - W8MM

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I decided to see if changing hotspots would be a solution to the Maestro display conundrum.

Over last weekend, I demoed an AT&T Nighthawk LTE category 16 mobile hotspot:  https://www.att.com/devices/netgear/nighthawk-lte-mobile-hotspot-router.html#sku=sku8820339 



It worked well with the Maestro in the AT&T store, so I decided to buy it.

It's been fabulous to date.  It supports all the latest LTE-Advanced features and has 802.11ac WiFi onboard.  I connect to the 5GHZ side with the Maestro while the hotspot is plugged into a USB charging port in the back seat.  The hotspot resides on a crossbar enclosing the retractable trunk cover.  That way it can "see" out almost every window that might contribute signal to its built-in 4x4 Mimo antennas.

The Maestro connects to it easily and acts just like it was receiving data through a wired connection.

I'm extremely happy with this setup. Now, on my way to the office in the morning, I sign, "W8MM ... hotspot mobile."
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Mike - W8MM

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Update!

Upgrading to 2.3.7 has completely cured the issue!

Thanks to Flex for finding the cause and rolling out a fix.

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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You're welcome