Maestro Network Issues

  • 2
  • Problem
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Acknowledged
So I am having some network issues with my Maestro. I am currently WIRED on my network with the Maestro. I am connecting to my 6500. I have Gigabit Ethernet switches on my network and the traffic is not running through a router to get from the Maestro to the radio.

There will be times where the network quality is POOR and I will be dropping packets. The network quality will bounce between poor and fair and occasionally reach the  good range for a few seconds then drop back down into the poor range.

I can fix this the majority of the time by rebooting the Maestro. Sometimes it will take a couple of reboots to get the network back to the excellent range. When it shows excellent it is usually rock solid with almost no dropped packets and will stay that way until the next time I turn it on.

I am not going to be troubleshooting my network as I can assure you that this is NOT a network issue. I have read some other posts with people that have had the same issue and all the common factors point towards the Maestro.

There must be some sort of bug in the Maestro. No way this can be my network because I don't have any other issues besides with the Maestro.

I have tried using DHCP and setting static IP's on both the 6500 and the Maestro and get the same result either way. I am not using wireless on the Maestro.

Running 1.10.15 Beta

Is there a bug reports for this issue?


Photo of N4TTN

N4TTN

  • 18 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes

Posted 2 years ago

  • 2
Photo of Chris DL5NAM

Chris DL5NAM

  • 589 Posts
  • 128 Reply Likes
LAN cable goes from Maestro to ....?
Photo of N4TTN

N4TTN

  • 18 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
A 1GB switch and 6500 goes from radio to 1GB switch.
Photo of Mike va3mw

Mike va3mw

  • 824 Posts
  • 195 Reply Likes
0.05% is almost zero, so I would not worry about it. If the stats were not there, you would never have known.

However, the lost packets can be blamed equally on all of: the Maestro, cables, switch and even the radio. The only way to resolve it is to change out 1 item at a time.

I just had a VoIP phone fail. The only thing that fixed it was replacing the switch despite the fact that every other device on the switch was fine. And, yes I changed everything else, ports, cables, etc. The VoIP phone was on the switch working fine for over 8 years.

I run my Maestro remote and remotely and I run about 0.12% all the time.

Mike va3mw
Photo of N4TTN

N4TTN

  • 18 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Well that was only 10 minutes after I turned it on. It just keeps dropping packets.

I could spend a ton of money changing out equipment on my network which is NOT the issue. The PC I have on the SAME switch with SmartSDR has ZERO dropped packets.

Just for grins I did swap the switch out because I had a spare and the issue remained. I am using the cable Flex provided and a brand new cable. Issue remains. 

I have never had any issues with any other devices on my network. This problem only appeared when I hooked up the Maestro which leads me to believe this is a Maestro issue and NOT a network issue.
Photo of Mike va3mw

Mike va3mw

  • 824 Posts
  • 195 Reply Likes
I hear what you are saying. But, I had a work laptop on the same switch and no reported dropped packets. That means it wasn't doing it. Does your laptop report dropped packets?
Photo of N4TTN

N4TTN

  • 18 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
I am using a desktop for SmartSDR. I switched from the Maestro to the PC and have observed zero dropped packets. If I go back to the Maestro it is dropping packets. The dropped packets show up as blank lines in the waterfall.

I also have a laptop that I use occasionally and that was showing zero dropped packets. Hooked that up via same switch. 
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9148 Posts
  • 3466 Reply Likes
Yes, there is an existing bug report for behavior; it is issue #3671
Photo of N4TTN

N4TTN

  • 18 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Thanks Tim! I was just making a ticket but will not do that now since it is a known issue.
Photo of Carmine Iannace, W1EQX

Carmine Iannace, W1EQX

  • 45 Posts
  • 15 Reply Likes
I wonder if it's a gigabit port compatibility issue? Have you tried dropping the speed of the switch port the Maestro is plugged into down to 100 mb? See if that improves your performance while you wait for a bug fix. 

Carmine
W1EQX
Photo of N4TTN

N4TTN

  • 18 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
It's not a managed switch so I can't do that.
Photo of Martin Ewing AA6E

Martin Ewing AA6E

  • 288 Posts
  • 57 Reply Likes
I found that I could improve Ethernet / Maestro reliability by downgrading to 100 Mbs. The only way I know to do that is to insert a (cheap) 100 Mbs switch in the circuit. It would be helpful if Flex would provide an option to force 100 Mbs.
Photo of N4TTN

N4TTN

  • 18 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Well I can usually fix my issue by rebooting the Maestro until it behaves. Sometimes I can do it in one reboot, sometimes 3 or 4. It's just a pain to have to keep rebooting it until it behaves. It would be handy to have an option to change the speed of the port in the Maestro itself. I would hate to redesign my whole network just to insert a 100 Meg switch into the mix.

Since Flex is aware of the issue, I can live with my temporary fix until they get things sorted out.
Photo of Rick Taylor

Rick Taylor

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I have the same problem and am using a Linksys switch.  I usually have to reset the switch and boot the Maestro.
Photo of Clay N9IO

Clay N9IO

  • 522 Posts
  • 123 Reply Likes

N4TTN,

Thanks for bringing this to light.

I assume my issue falls under the same or similar to yours.

At least one time per day (occasionally) two my Maestro loses connection to the 6300.
I have to shut the Maestro down and reboot, generally once a day is all it takes.
Lost packets are noted as well.

The 6300, Maestro and desktop are all connected to a Netgear GS116 16 port unmanaged gigabit switch with cat6 cables, by choice I have snap-on chokes on all sides of each cable (I have an excess of chokes available).

Besides the minor nuisance of having to reboot all works well the remainder of the time.

Looking forward to issue #3671 being resolved.
Thanks for the info Tim, now that I know you have it in your sites it's all good.

Clay N9IO

Photo of Wayne VK4ACN

Wayne VK4ACN

  • 129 Posts
  • 20 Reply Likes
I had similar issues on gigabit switches.  I tried a few, all the same.  I now use 100mb switch, and runs perfectly.  Try connecting maestro to a 100mb switch, and connecting the 100mb switch to the gigabit network.
Photo of Clay N9IO

Clay N9IO

  • 522 Posts
  • 123 Reply Likes

Thanks for the info Wayne,

I just ordered a netgear 10/100 5 port.
Will certainly give it a go. 
Cheap fix and worth doing if the issue goes away.

Will keep you posted when I put it in line next week.

Clay

Photo of Wayne VK4ACN

Wayne VK4ACN

  • 129 Posts
  • 20 Reply Likes
Clay i will be interested in knowing how it goes
Photo of Clay N9IO

Clay N9IO

  • 522 Posts
  • 123 Reply Likes

Update:

Wayne I added the netgear FS105 10/100 5 port switch to the exsisting 16 port netgear GS116 Gigabit switch.
Both with metal shielded boxes.

I let it run Saturday while away, came in and worked the end of naqp rtty.
Left it on all night and day Sunday.  Got up early Monday morning and nabbed the TX5T on 80m cw (very close to 5bdxcc, need 10 more on 80m).

Not a dropped packet, not a failure one.  EXTREMEMLY solid now!

Cheap fix, $17.95 at newegg...

Happy as a clam...
IMO Gigabit switch performance is low on the priority list.

Thanks for all the input everyone...

73'
Clay N9IO

Photo of Wayne VK4ACN

Wayne VK4ACN

  • 129 Posts
  • 20 Reply Likes
Glad its working for you now
73
Wayne
Photo of Carmine Iannace, W1EQX

Carmine Iannace, W1EQX

  • 45 Posts
  • 15 Reply Likes
My suggestion to anyone thinking of replacing their network switch is first to confirm that your current switch does not support management. Typical home routers with a built-in five port switch will allow you to force your Ethernet ports to a speed of your choice such as 100 MB. Many new inexpensive switches such as those made by Netgear and others now also include management capabilities to change port speed and configure quality of service (QOS). QOS is an important feature to have with any type of real time protocol traffic such as what the Flex series radios use in addition to streaming video and home VOIP services as well. Check the specs on the Ethernet switch before you buy and spend the few extra dollars and get a switch that supports management.

Carmine
W1EQX
Photo of Peter K1PGV

Peter K1PGV, Elmer

  • 541 Posts
  • 315 Reply Likes
It's not clear to me what, if any, QOS facilities the radio supports. But, in any case, QOS shouldn't really be necessary. It's far easier to simply "over provision" the link between the radio and the local computer by isolating the traffic behind a switch. No need for QOS when you've got ample bandwidth for everything!

I'm not sure how the network status can be considered "poor" given the screen shot the OP supplied. Max round trip Latency of 1ms, typical Latency < 1ms, 1.3Mb of receive throughput, and 26 lost packets out of 56K packets? That sounds like a darn good link to me.

OP: Is there a problem with running the Maesteo? Or are you just concerned due to the diagnostic display showing "poor"? In a real network, especially one operated in an RF field, dropping 0.05% of your packets just shouldn't be a problem.

Peter
K1PGV
Photo of N4TTN

N4TTN

  • 18 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
There has been a problem running the Maestro. The screen shot I provided was soon after I turned the Maestro on. I wanted to capture a picture of it while it was happening. The number of dropped packets  will just increase pretty quickly when it is in the "poor" state.

When the link starts dropping packets, it shows up as blank lines in the waterfall. There are times when the number of dropped packets is significant enough where it is affecting the transmit and receive of the Maestro.

It drops packets even while not transmitting so there is no RF field to contend with at that point. I could totally understand if I was dropping packets during transmit because of RF affecting the link, but that is not the case.

What I find interesting is when I am running from my PC, I can pull up the network stats and notice very few, if any, dropped packets. There have been times where I have gone hours and it never registers a dropped packet. Both the PC and the Maestro are hooked up to the same switch and everything is following the same path. If I was getting the equivalent number of dropped packets on both the PC and the Maestro I would be convinced that it was a network issue versus just a Maestro issue.

A small amount of dropped packets is not significant, but with the amount that the Maestro drops at times starts to affect the receive and I am sure the transmit as well.  I do notice a little choppiness on phone when it starts dropping packets which is what lead me to check the network statistics in the first place and notice the high amount of dropped packets. I never notice this when running from my PC. Didn't start investigating this until I got the Maestro.

Since others have mentioned they are having the same issues as I am with their Maestro, there is no question in my mind that there is an issue related to the Maestro. Flex has acknowledged that they do have a bug report related to this issue and hopefully at some point they will be able to fix the issue.

The vast majority of the time, a reboot or three will clear up the Maestro and it will behave normally. I would be willing to bet it is a driver issue in the Maestro. It is Windows based afterall :)
Photo of N4TTN

N4TTN

  • 18 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
So the 10/100 switch I ordered arrived today and I hooked it up from the Maestro to the Gigabit switch. Nothing other than the Maestro on that switch.

So far it is looking good. I had the Maestro on for roughly an hour with no dropped packets. I have never been able to go that long without a bunch of dropped packets. Going to keep an eye on it for the next couple of days to see if it continues to behave. I may in fact just be an issue with the Maestro on a 1 Gig port.
Photo of Peter K1PGV

Peter K1PGV, Elmer

  • 541 Posts
  • 315 Reply Likes
Yup. I'm willing to bet there's a problem with the adapter running at gigabit speeds and/or an issue with the driver (for that adapter). NIC drivers can be devilishly difficult to write, and few companies invest to get the best possible job done.

I'm glad you found a work around... and 100Mbps is still plenty of bandwidth... so you should be all set.

Peter
K1PGV
Photo of Wayne VK4ACN

Wayne VK4ACN

  • 129 Posts
  • 20 Reply Likes
I think youll find it works much better
Photo of Mike va3mw

Mike va3mw

  • 824 Posts
  • 195 Reply Likes
I had a very trying career in commercial WiFi. We quickly figured out that 90% of the end user problems were solved by ensuring that the end users WiFi drivers were current. I also learned that there is no such thing as a 'standard' setup. :)

MIke
Photo of Rick Taylor

Rick Taylor

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes

I installed a D-Link 10/100 switch for the Linksys gigabit switch and have had 0 packets dropped in 3 hours of operation.

Thanks W1EQX, AA6E, and the group.