Maestro and digital for dummies

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Answered
It seems that Maestro is primarily aimed at the CW/SSB interest.
But I would like to run digital modes, which my 6700 and 6500 with SmartSDR are very good at.
I want to be able to use Maestro in the house with a laptop (i7 model) and run WSJT or RTTY.
The digital programs will run ok on the laptop, but how do I interconnect that to the Maestro????.
I am using wifi for both the Maestro and the laptop and the wifi is ok, on both 2,4 and 5ghz.
Ideas please.
Thanks
Ross
ZL1N/ZL1WN
ps I wifi back to the shack which is about 50m say 150feet away from the house, with the 6700 and 6500 plus amps etc are located..
Photo of Ross Biggar

Ross Biggar

  • 129 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes

Posted 3 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Norm - W7CK

Norm - W7CK

  • 747 Posts
  • 154 Reply Likes
Hey Ross,

The digital program just talk directly to the Flex either directly or through DAX and CAT if required.  They do not talk directly to the Maestro.

The Maestro talks to the Flex via SmartSDR.  All you need to do is make sure SmartSDR is NOT in use on your laptop or any other computer.  Then fire up your Maestro and control the Flex from there.  Your digital programs will continue to run just as they do now.  All your really doing is moving SmartSDR control from your laptop to the Maestro.  Hope this helps...
(Edited)
Photo of Ross Biggar

Ross Biggar

  • 129 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Sorry, my initial email may have been confusing, in the shack I use a computer with the various digital programs, but now I want to be able to sit in my dining room, using the laptop which can also have the digital programs. In the shack the 6700 and 6500 are networked via 2 computers so the digital programs are networked as well. But how do I get the laptop to work, or do I have to have my main computers operating , and if so how do I use a keyboard, to send messages.
Regards
Ross
Photo of Norm - W7CK

Norm - W7CK

  • 747 Posts
  • 154 Reply Likes
I'm not sure what you mean by having 2 computers with digital programs that are networked. 

I just setup my laptop the same way I did the primary computer in my shack that is networked to my Flex.  

Just make sure you don't have DAX or CAT running on either of the shack computers while you are trying to run the system from the laptop.

Until SmartSDR v2.x comes out, you will also have to make sure your wireless laptop is on the same network as the shack computers.  It will not work across the wan just yet.
Photo of David G4NRT / Z21NRT

David G4NRT / Z21NRT

  • 267 Posts
  • 36 Reply Likes
I also am a little unsure of what you are trying to do so let me outline my environment.  I have a FlexRadio 6500 and a Maestro and run predominantly digital modes.  

In my shack are the Flex and Maestro and a Microsoft Surface Book.  The Flex and Surface Book  are both connected by ethernet cables to an Apple AirPort Extreme router which is acting as a LAN extender for my main Apple router which is on a 200MBPS fibre connection to the internet.  The Maestro is connected to the same network by 5GHz Wifi.

I run DAX and CAT on the Surface Book along with whatever digital software I am using (usually FLDigi or WSJT-X).

From elsewhere in the house (or indeed in the world), I attach to the Surface Book using a commercial VPN called LogMeIn Pro (I use it for for all my remote access).  This allows me to operate the Surface Book as though I were in front of it.

Please note that the Maestro, in this configuration is actually not needed!  I could just as well run SSDR on the Surface Book and the result would be the same - in fact if I needed to tweak any rig parameters it would be a more effective solution but I bought the Maestro so I may as well use it right!

I am able to access the digital software via the web, any network attached computer, my iPad, iPhone or Android tablet.

I have had a large number of JT65A QSOs from all over the place using this configuration.

David G4NRT
Photo of Ross Biggar

Ross Biggar

  • 129 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Thanks to both of you.
What I am trying to do is have the Flex in the shack, on ready to accept data from the maestro. Then in our dining room have the Maestro  (battery powered, but that doesnt want to work as yet, see my previous message) and my laptop. Then use the laptop with a digital program connect to the maestro by wifi and using our wifi setup connect to our main wifi router which is then connected in the shack by ethernet cables to the flex.
Sorry to be so vague, I hope this helps.
Regards
Ross
Photo of David G4NRT / Z21NRT

David G4NRT / Z21NRT

  • 267 Posts
  • 36 Reply Likes
One thing that you need to get clear is that the Maestro connects to the rig via the network and the laptop connects to the rig via the network (either can be by Wifi or via ethernet cables) the Maestro and laptop do not connect to one another.

In this configuration (much like mine described above) the laptop runs DAX and CAT so that your digital software can control the rig.  Again, just like me, you could just run the whole shebang on the laptop (SSDR and digital software) and leave the Maestro (unconnected) in the shack.


David G4NRT
(Edited)
Photo of Ross Biggar

Ross Biggar

  • 129 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Thanks David,
to answer your last question I am about 25km north of Auckland city, we have a few acres here, it is a rural area, but still close to the city.
My main emphasis is RTTy contesting, I had a very good run in the DRCG contest a couple of weeks ago, coming 5th in the world from down here, really thrilled me, if I had worked another couple of hors I would have had an even better result.
Your comment about using the laptop and running SSDR and the digital programs was a helpful comment I will try it.
But I now have a Maestro so I might as well make some use of it. Iknow have to check if this Windows 10 laptop can see all the other units on the network, Best wishes
Ross
Photo of David G4NRT / Z21NRT

David G4NRT / Z21NRT

  • 267 Posts
  • 36 Reply Likes
I think that the key thing is to understand that the laptop and Maestro are not connected together but are both 'windows' into the Flex rig!

I removed my question after seeing your callsign on your initial post - I was thinking that an eyeball QSO may help but 12k miles is a bit far for that!! ;-)

David
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9153 Posts
  • 3497 Reply Likes
Official Response
Ross.  CAT, DAX, Maestro and SmartSDR for Windows are all independent programs that connect to the radio (6000) not each other.  So this is what you need to do.

Shut down Maestro and the PC in your shack.   Load SmartSDR for Windows on the laptop you want to use for digital modes (as described above).  Make sure it can connect to the radio and works properly.  Then load your digital mode programs, configure them properly and make sure they work with the radio.  Then shutdown SmartSDR for Windows, but leave CAT and DAX running on the laptop.  Now start Maestro.  At this point, you should be controlling the radio with the Maestro and operating digital modes on the laptop.
(Edited)
Photo of  Carl Jón Denbow N8VZ

Carl Jón Denbow N8VZ

  • 81 Posts
  • 7 Reply Likes
Thanks, Tim.  I was looking into a setup as described by ZL1WN, and your response is clear, precise and answered all my questions relative to setting up remote (LAN) digital modes using a laptop and Maestro.  The key was for me to understand that both the Maestro and the laptop connect to the rig and not to each other.  73 de Carl N8VZ
Photo of Ross Biggar

Ross Biggar

  • 129 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Thanks Tim, yes it took me a while to understand this. And also I had forgotten that I can add comports using CAT. Last night I got it all going, and had my first contact using Maestro and my laptop on the dining room table, Both WSJT and Airlink Express work perfectly. Next to fully automate all my equipment so I can operate remotely.

Now I have started to understand the Maestro it is very good.
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9153 Posts
  • 3497 Reply Likes
You're very welcome.