maestro internal battery

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I just got my Maestro back from a trip to Austin to be re-flashed after an unsuccessful attempt to upgrade to 1.8.4.  I was running it using  a USB battery. The indicator on the battery indicated about 60% when the Maestro displayed a message telling me that the internal battery was low and to plug in to DC.

This indicates to me that the internal battery does not recharge when using a USB battery. I purchased two USB batteries and my usage of the Maestro is virtually 100% on USB battery. Since the Maestro does not recharge the USB batteries (I understand the reason why), I saw no reason to ever pug the Maestro into DC, but it appears that this is not the case.

Did any of the alpha testers run the Maestro exclusively on USB batteries to verify that the internal battery is being charged in this scenario?

Also, this is just anecdotal at this time, but it seems that my 5 GHz wireless connection is more reliable when running off of DC than from the USB battery. Granted, I moved a few feet to be closer to a wall outlet, but when I was running of the USB battery, the LAN indicator was constantly fluctuating and there were minor audio drop outs. After getting the low internal battery message and plugging in the Flex AC/DC adapter, the LAN indicator was constantly 5 bars all green. Is there any difference in WiFi operation on DC versus on the USB battery?
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Mark Erbaugh

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Posted 3 years ago

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Official Response
So let me address your questions.

I was running it using  a USB battery. The indicator on the battery indicated about 60% when the Maestro displayed a message telling me that the internal battery was low and to plug in to DC.
This indicates to me that the internal battery does not recharge when using a USB battery. 

That is an invalid assumption.  The internal battery is charged if you are running on DC power or by a battery bank that meets certain requirements.  You will get this error message when the internal battery charge drops while operating the Maestro.  There are several ways this can happen.  If the battery power bank is not providing a full 5 VDC output, then the internal battery will not charge and will begin slowly discharging.  I suspect that is happening, particularly if you are using a Polanfo battery, as we have seen many of these batteries produce less than 5 VDC under load.

Did any of the alpha testers run the Maestro exclusively on USB batteries to verify that the internal battery is being charged in this scenario?

This was a well-tested use case.

Granted, I moved a few feet to be closer to a wall outlet, but when I was running of the USB battery, the LAN indicator was constantly fluctuating and there were minor audio drop outs. After getting the low internal battery message and plugging in the Flex AC/DC adapter, the LAN indicator was constantly 5 bars all green. Is there any difference in WiFi operation on DC versus on the USB battery?

No, there is no difference in wifi operation on DC versus on the battery bank.  As with the previous answer, the wifi operation will fluctuate if the supply voltage is below 5 VDC.  With 12 VDC power, a voltage regulator converts the higher source voltage to 5 VDC.  With a battery, there is no headroom available if the source voltage drops below 5 VDC.