Maestro Randomly Restarting

  • 2
  • Problem
  • Updated 3 years ago
My Maestro running SmartSDR v1.9.13 has been randomly restarting. It doesn't completely restart, but the screen goes blank except for the slice A & B headers at the top, which are without any information. I hear my 6500 click as the relays change or dropout, whatever they do. After a few moments the Maestro comes back online all by itself. Typically when it does the frequencies aren't where I had them before the incident occurred and the display type changes, but other than that it is like it never happened.

Anybody else having this issue?

73 Chris AK4SK
Photo of Moose

Moose

  • 139 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes

Posted 3 years ago

  • 2
Photo of k3Tim

k3Tim

  • 914 Posts
  • 189 Reply Likes
Hi Chris,

I do not see this behavior on the Maestro. I would suggest using a known good 12 V-DC supply and direct Ethernet direct. If the misbehavior is still present it's time to open a ticket.

GL...

k3Tim
Photo of Moose

Moose

  • 139 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Thanks Tim. I'm using my shack 12v supply for the Maestro and Ethernet is via a switch.

73 Chris AK4SK
Photo of k3Tim

k3Tim

  • 914 Posts
  • 189 Reply Likes
Hmmm.  Sounds like it's time to open a ticket...

Best Regards,
Tim
Photo of Brian - W9HLQ

Brian - W9HLQ

  • 52 Posts
  • 15 Reply Likes
Did anyone submit a trouble ticket?  This exact problem happend to me twice.  I am simply listening to a QSO, not fussing with knobs.    Brian, W9HLQ
Photo of Moose

Moose

  • 139 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
No, I haven't yet. I think I have the same issue with SmartSDR on my PC. Every so often SmartSDR quits and says it has lost connection with the radio.

I haven't been on the air too much recently with the Maestro. I didn't want to turn in a ticket until I've tried some of the suggestions here.

73 Chris AK4SK
Photo of Burch - K4QXX

Burch - K4QXX

  • 528 Posts
  • 129 Reply Likes
Mine did this twice yesterday while playing around in the contest.  I haven't used my Maestro much lately but I used it a few hours yesterday.  It's the first time I have used it with the newest software version.  Had the same behavior, blank screen except for slice headers. After a few seconds, it would come back to life and the network statistics would be reset.  I also noticed a lot more dropped packets than I used to get.  My Maestro has run very well on my Netgear router (not so on my Asus).  The last time I had used the Maestro I left it running for hours and only had 8-9 dropped packets.  Yesterday it would run fine for 5 minutes or so and then I would start getting auto drops and packet drops.  After a minute of two of this, it would run fine for 5-10 minutes.
Photo of Moose

Moose

  • 139 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Thanks Burch. I'm not sure about dropped packets, how do I check that? I can't say for sure the restarting issue didn't happen with older versions of SmartSDR but it has happen more frequently recently. I was on the air for about three and a half hours last night, listening about 99% of the time, and it happened at least 3 times if not 4 or 5.

Another issue I've had, that I only bring up here in case there is a commom cause, is that the DAX connection will drop out with no warning or error message. I only notice because the digital mode program I'm using stops receiving and the received signal level bottoms out but it usually takes me several minutes to notice this has happened. Restarting DAX fixes the issue. 

73 Chris AK4SK
Photo of Burch - K4QXX

Burch - K4QXX

  • 528 Posts
  • 129 Reply Likes

This is the first time I have seen the restarting issue.  I was using a battery when it happened on mine.  If you go to the menu and then network at the bottom of the screen you will see the network statistics.  I usually don't have many dropped packets but I had a lot yesterday and several times the green bars went to red and I had a lot of audio drops.  I rarely had this happen in the past but this happened every few minutes yesterday, along with the Maestro restarting twice.  I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the newest software but this is the first time I have used the Maestro since updating the software and I never had these issues before.


Burch

Photo of Moose

Moose

  • 139 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Thanks, I'll check that out.
Photo of KC9NRN

KC9NRN

  • 324 Posts
  • 32 Reply Likes

The Ethernet connection should be able to drop out completely off and on and not cause a reboot or crash. Mine has crashed a few times using 1.9.13 doing the exact same thing as yours Moose. It doesn't go back to the previous location because I believe like regular Windows, it wasn't able to save this information prior to crashing. Yesterday it ran all day flawlessly, go figure.

(Edited)
Photo of KC9NRN

KC9NRN

  • 324 Posts
  • 32 Reply Likes

Chris,

Apparently if the radio disconnects it will reboot. Mine just now said on an Ethernet connection it could not find the radio (WTF??) even though it's been running fine all day, then the timer counted down and the Maestro rebooted to the "Select a Version" screen.

People can blame the network all they want, on Ethernet with no latency issues there is no excuse for the Maestro to lose connection to the radio unless either the radio or the Maestro started having internal networking issues or a firmware issue?

I powered the 6300 down and also powered down the Maestro and let them sit for 5 minutes.

They powered back up fine, so I'll let them run the rest of the day and we'll see.
(Edited)
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9186 Posts
  • 3548 Reply Likes
Are you running the Maestro off a battery?  The Ethernet interface is one of the devices that has a modest power budget.  If you are running off a battery and the voltage dips below 5 VDC, that can cause the Ethernet interface to rest and lose connection to the network.
Photo of KC9NRN

KC9NRN

  • 324 Posts
  • 32 Reply Likes
Mine was plugged in at the time, the timer was the device looking for the radio, when the timer got to zero it rebooted. Power seemed fine? After rebooting the 6300 and the Maestro they both seem happy again.
(Edited)
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9186 Posts
  • 3548 Reply Likes
Was there a battery also plugged in when the Maestro was running off DC power?
Photo of KC9NRN

KC9NRN

  • 324 Posts
  • 32 Reply Likes
No, I don't keep a battery in the Maestro unless I need and at home I have not needed it. I take it where I plan on using it powered off, then plug in the Flex supplied AC adapter and power it up.
Photo of Bob - W7KWS -

Bob - W7KWS -

  • 321 Posts
  • 52 Reply Likes
I've had the same exact problem with my Maestro and my 6300 for as long as I've owned the Maestro. I called Dudley at Flex a few weeks ago with a description much like yours. Dudly knew right away what I was talking about. He asked about my network arrangement between the two units.

The only device intermediate of the two was a gigabit switch. Dudley advised that I replace it with a 100Mb switch. His explanation was that the 6300, when connected to the gigabit unit, auto detects the faster device and can produce so much data that, on occasion, it can overwhelm the switch creating a log jam and therefore latency and disconnect from the Maestro.

This advice seems counter intuitive to me but I followed his suggestion last week and put in a D-Link DES-1105 100Mb IP switch. Only the Maestro, 6300 and one network cable connect to this switch. The rest of my gigabit network remains as it was. So far it's six days later and I've had 100% up time with 24/7 power on.

Dudley also had some suggestions for gigabit switch models that would do better with the 6300 than mine did but I've lost track of the models as I had this slower unit on the shelf.

73
(Edited)
Photo of Norm - W7CK

Norm - W7CK

  • 757 Posts
  • 163 Reply Likes
I use a gigabit switch and have had no problems.  It seems strange that the Maestro would have problem with some gigabit switches and not others.  The statement that it would produce so much traffic that it would overwhelm the switch doesn't sound quite right to me.  Regardless of the Ethernet connection 100mb/1Gb, the device should produce and attempt to pass the same exact traffic. 

The other issue that seems strange is that some switches work and others don't.  If the Maestro is adhering to standard Ethernet protocol, it should work with ANY switch that also adheres to those standards.  I've run hundreds of devices off of 100/1000 switches and have never come across a device that would not work properly due to the switch being used.

There must be something that I just don't understand here.....
Photo of Burch - K4QXX

Burch - K4QXX

  • 528 Posts
  • 129 Reply Likes
I agree.  It doesn't make sense that the Maestro is so sensitive to the type of switch.  I can say thought that once I took my brand new Netgear 1GB switch out of line with the 6700, my Maestro is now working much better.  Very few dropped packets now.
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9186 Posts
  • 3549 Reply Likes
The bandwidth assumption does not hold water.

The issue as best as I can tell may be a port level negotiation issue (mismatch) between the Maestro GigE interface and the GigE switch.  Since most of these switches are unmanaged, we have no visibility into the port parameters or stats. As it has been noted numerous times on the Community, some GigE switches work just fine (my Cisco SG-200 is one of them) and others do not.  100BaseT uses a different (and simpler) port negotiation protocol and for whatever reason seems to operate with fewer issues.  I suspect that part of it has to do with the chipsets used for 100BaseT have had more time to refine their feature set functions and interoperate better.  This is conjecture on my part.

And bandwidth has NOTHING to do with it.  The Maestro consumes a modest amount network bandwidth and sends out even less.
(Edited)
Photo of Ross - K9COX

Ross - K9COX

  • 345 Posts
  • 107 Reply Likes
Modest amount of bandwidth is being modest Tim, it is less than that.
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9186 Posts
  • 3549 Reply Likes
I know. I was covering my bases ;-)  It is a little over 2 MB/s
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9186 Posts
  • 3549 Reply Likes
Chris - The behavior you described is the radio firmware crashing and then doing an auto restart. Once the firmware restarts, it automatically reconnects to client (Maestro).
(Edited)
Photo of Moose

Moose

  • 139 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Thanks Tim. If there is anything I can do to help you figure it out please let me know. It happened again tonight within minutes of me turning on the radio.

73 Chris
Photo of Bob  KN4HH

Bob KN4HH

  • 102 Posts
  • 21 Reply Likes
Not sure if this is related.  I have experienced the same condition when my Maestro internal battery gets low.  As soon as I change the battery, the problem disappears. 
Photo of Bob - W7KWS -

Bob - W7KWS -

  • 321 Posts
  • 52 Reply Likes
Bob,  The Maestro here has been on an Astron 12 Volt supply continuously for several months.

(Edited)
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9186 Posts
  • 3549 Reply Likes
My best advice is to open a HelpDesk ticket if you continue having these issues so we can do some one-on-one troubleshooting.
Photo of Bob - W7KWS -

Bob - W7KWS -

  • 321 Posts
  • 52 Reply Likes
Tim,  Thanks!  You might not have connected my posts above to this one.  After talking to Dudley and changing the switch between the 6300 and the Maestro to a 100Mb unit, everything has been stable for a full week.  If they are still crashing and then quickly reconnecting, as you suggested, I've missed it. Either that or the switch is no longer aggravating things.

(Edited)
Photo of Moose

Moose

  • 139 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Tim,
Is there a way to completely reset or reload the firmware for the radio similar to reformatting a computer hard drive and loading everything fresh? Would that help?

73 Chris AK4SK
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9186 Posts
  • 3549 Reply Likes
Sort of.  You can do a reset to factory defaults.  The procedure is documented for the different FLEX-6000 radios in the FLEX-6000 Hardware Reference Guide.

It is not a complete "wipe to the bare metal and start over" type reset, but it clears the databases and restores most of the default settings.  
Photo of Moose

Moose

  • 139 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Do you think that would be worth a try?
Photo of Ken W9IE

Ken W9IE

  • 90 Posts
  • 17 Reply Likes
Another test would be to put a cat 5 cable between the Maestro and the Flex...
In so doing there is not another device in the Mix......

Just a thought.


Ken   W9IE
Photo of Moose

Moose

  • 139 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
I have made an interesting observation about this issue. For the last two days or so I've left my radio on scanning ALE channels. During that time this issue has not occurred once. There was one instance where I received an error message on the Maestro but it was a different issue.

Maybe the ALE software constantly changing the frequency is keeping the radio occupied and keeping it from crashing? So maybe the firmware is crashing due to inactivity from the client or something like that?

73 Chris AK4SK