Maestro

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Answered
I getting sick & tired of waiting for the Maestro. I put my order in last June thinking a December 2015 delivery date would be acceptable. We are now 21/2 months beyond that date. What gives FRS?
Photo of Bob G   W1GLV

Bob G W1GLV

  • 815 Posts
  • 145 Reply Likes

Posted 4 years ago

  • 1
Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

  • 804 Posts
  • 269 Reply Likes
That is my gripe and some people are running 4 of them . . . Alpha Testers. First it was December. Then February, Now who knows when it will be ready.
I can't get even one.They are showing them at the shows and everything else but we have to wait and wait and wait. How about you do what you do with the radio. Sell it . . . Ship it . . . Then issue updates to add features as it develops.
(Edited)
Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1565 Posts
  • 771 Reply Likes

@Steven & Bob - I saw more than four Maestros in the linked picture set. 

And you and I aren't getting even one to share... nada... until the fantastic volunteer Alpha team and FRS give a thumbs up.

To put this in perspective, the last time I personally saw Craig K9CT he was a volunteer showing off the Maestro and the SOnR add-on box and was due to fly out to FRS yet again to work with their engineers as the Maestro moved from prototype to production hardware.

Guys like Craig K9CT out of a love of the hobby, high technical skill, time & self-funding availability, a proven ability to be a team player & leader, and all with a willingness to share rather than horde advantage for just themselves, are putting in so much effort to make the release product shine.  Way more time than so many of us have available, even if we had the full skills set needed to be net contributors to the Alpha Team. 

So Steven, Bob and this Steve here - we wait... yes impatiently but as there has never been anything like the Maestro and Flex-6x00 combination before we are not lagging behind.  No one is ahead of us in receiving the commercially ready Maestro product before us.

I hope you too feel like a little kid - that kid tucked in bed the night before our birthday so excited that the next day our friends will be celebrating with us as we play with a new toy.

Sad, but predictable that the exact birthdate can't be given - but hey we know nothing quite like this Maestro has been born before, so perhaps that delay is not as much a problem in the birthing process as it is a our eagerness mis-channeled?

Again my thanks to the Alpha Team - and a super thanks to the willingness to share pictures of the K9CT Maestro Alpha units in heavy contesting.  We weren't owed that preview and for my part I do appreciate it being given. 

Just those pictures have my imagination going, and I have an early chance to make some changes ergonomically to my second shack project.

Like each of you Steven & Bob - very much awaiting Matt's phone call to ask for payment & confirm shipping details.  Until then I hope FRS continues to share pictures and information!

No Gripes here on waiting for ready to use product, as I'm imagining the QSOs and not so interested in a "Shack Trophy" in a pretty but not-quite-baked release.

For each person YMMV and I respect that, but for now I'll savor the anticipation and make QSOs the same as I have with the Flex-6700/6300 through a PC.

73

Steve K9ZW



(Edited)
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 645 Reply Likes
Oh c'mon Steve, enquiring minds and all. Where all want to know your birthday! ;-)
Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

  • 804 Posts
  • 269 Reply Likes
Where was the Alpha team when they were testing the 6300,6500,6700. Noise blanker is still poor. That is far from "perfect" as you all tout. That is a lame arguement. Nuff said and I won't say another word about it.
Photo of K0UNX

K0UNX

  • 107 Posts
  • 30 Reply Likes
"Daddy, are we there yet?"  Hey, in life we need SOMETHING to look forward to, eh?  At 71, it is one of the very few things that I have to look forward to.


Reminds me of the catsup commercial... "Anticipation!"

Jim
K0UNX
Colorado
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 645 Reply Likes
Wow Jim, I am looking forward to spending a month in Europe next year.
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 3969 Posts
  • 967 Reply Likes
Is it only the ones that have paid already, thinking they should ship before it's ready? Next time don't pay up front, bingo. And lets say they did what Steven says, shipping before it's ready, than they would complain it is not working as they think it should or a feature missing, it would never end.
Photo of AE0MW

AE0MW

  • 105 Posts
  • 29 Reply Likes
I preordered my Maestro in Dayton last year, and honestly I'm just fine with them taking their time to get it right. In my opinion Flex needs to get this as perfect as possible right out of the gate. The Maestro already has too many drawbacks for it to be anything less when the first reviews roll out.

Considering that for the same price as a Maestro I can buy a decent Surface Pro that can run the full SmartSDR suite in addition to having the ability to log, operate digital modes, interface with the cluster, and VPN (if necessary) on a much nicer and larger screen I'm having a hard time deciding if I'm even going to go through with my preorder.

We need a home run on the Maestro, I'm willing to wait a bit longer to see if it happens.
Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

  • 804 Posts
  • 269 Reply Likes
I am running mine on a Surface 3 now and it is great.
Photo of Gerald - K5SDR

Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

  • 830 Posts
  • 1515 Reply Likes
Official Response
@Bob
With your pre-order, you received the benefit of introductory pricing that saved you $200 over the regular price.  You are free to cancel your order if you do not wish to wait until we and our alpha testers give the thumbs up that the software is ready to ship.  

Had we not taken pre-orders, we would have under estimated production order build size based on our original budget by a factor of 5X.  Pre-orders have helped us get the production size right so that we will have plenty of parts available to cover all our current orders.

@Steven
The only person who has 4 Maestros is K9CT.  Craig was integrally involved in the design of the Maestro control surface when the product was in the concept phase and is now stress testing Maestro in a strenuous Multi-2 contest environment.  He and the rest of the alpha team are giving us great feedback that is being integrated into the software.  We will release Maestro as soon as we deem it is ready for prime time.

@All
Watch your email box later today for an official Maestro Update in a special version of the Flex Insider.  We are giving our updated estimate in the email.
Photo of AE0MW

AE0MW

  • 105 Posts
  • 29 Reply Likes
Thanks for the updates Gerald! Keep up the good work!
Photo of Charles - K5UA

Charles - K5UA

  • 319 Posts
  • 89 Reply Likes
Like Ralphie with his Red Ryder BB gun at the end of "A Christmas Story", I hope soon we'll all be peacefully sleeping with our arms wrapped around our Maestro's.
Photo of Lewis Cheek

Lewis Cheek

  • 240 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
Craig really needs to send one of his Maestros down to South Carolina Low Country for a proper salt air environment test cycle, I think test cycle would end one day after I receive my unit. :)

Lew
N4CO
Photo of Gerald - K5SDR

Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

  • 830 Posts
  • 1515 Reply Likes
Craig took two to Palmyra.  Pretty salty there.  ;>)
Photo of Lewis Cheek

Lewis Cheek

  • 240 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
Nice try, it's just not the same, it's salt air combined with pfuff mud which makes for a one of its kind test environment.

Looking forward to receiving Maestro. :)
Lew
N4CO
Photo of Gerald - K5SDR

Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

  • 830 Posts
  • 1515 Reply Likes
The Flex Insider is in the ether so read your email.
Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

  • 804 Posts
  • 269 Reply Likes
Didn't get it here??
Photo of Gerald - K5SDR

Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

  • 830 Posts
  • 1515 Reply Likes
Check your spam folder.  It went out at 2:32 PM CST.  If you ordered through an international distributor you may not be on our direct mailing list.  You can email lori at flexradio dot com to be sure you are on the list.
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9197 Posts
  • 3557 Reply Likes
There is a convenient form you can use on the web site to sign up too
http://www.flexradio.com/resources/flexinsider/
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 645 Reply Likes
It came here after Steven said he didn't get it yet.
Photo of Rick Hadley - W0FG

Rick Hadley - W0FG

  • 605 Posts
  • 130 Reply Likes
Got mine at 20:33Z.
Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

  • 804 Posts
  • 269 Reply Likes
Can you forward it to me at kk9wradio@gmaiil.com Filled out form and no email. Checked junk and spam.
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

  • 1782 Posts
  • 547 Reply Likes


That is probably why you are not getting it. You might have mistyped your email in the newsletter registration form.
Photo of PB Shell - k7shl

PB Shell - k7shl

  • 13 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Shipping to begin mid April 2016, with updated Smart SDR to boot.  I can deal with that.
Photo of N3NER

N3NER

  • 186 Posts
  • 24 Reply Likes
I hope this is for real, I'm getting a little tired of the wait game.
Photo of David G4NRT / Z21NRT

David G4NRT / Z21NRT

  • 285 Posts
  • 38 Reply Likes
I am also hoping that international dealers get a fair allocation of Maestros!  I placed my order (and left a substantial deposit) with an authorised dealer in the UK quite a while ago and hope to be amongst the first to get a Maestro on this side of the pond!

David G4NRT
(Edited)
Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

  • 804 Posts
  • 269 Reply Likes
Careful . . . Youy may start getting hammered about waiting like I did. You know the "daddy are we there yet" routine.
Photo of Gerald - K5SDR

Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

  • 830 Posts
  • 1515 Reply Likes
@David
International dealers will get everything they have ordered as of this date.  That is why we and they took pre orders.  

@W2NER
Yes, it is for real unless an unanticipated issue comes up.  We have a fairly good handle on what is left to be done on the software but Murphy does have a law.  Oh, and we're kind of tired of the waiting game too.  ;>)  
Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

  • 804 Posts
  • 269 Reply Likes
Thanks I found it.
Photo of Burt Fisher

Burt Fisher

  • 1267 Posts
  • 484 Reply Likes
Am I to understand that you got 5 times the orders you expected?
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9197 Posts
  • 3557 Reply Likes
Yes.
Photo of Burt Fisher

Burt Fisher

  • 1267 Posts
  • 484 Reply Likes
Amazing, raise the price.
Photo of k3Tim

k3Tim

  • 928 Posts
  • 197 Reply Likes
Silly question..  In the Maestro email (thanks for that G.) it says "ability to pan the CW sidetone from one ear to the other."  Does this mean the L-R audio channel levels will pan with the frequency of CW tone? Is this side tone (local osc) only?
Photo of Gerald - K5SDR

Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

  • 830 Posts
  • 1515 Reply Likes
Steve is referring to the local CW side tone pan.  You can also pan the RX audio for A and B just as you can today in SmartSDR.
Photo of Steve Gw0gei

Steve Gw0gei

  • 193 Posts
  • 50 Reply Likes
Any news on the timescale for the so2r box yet? Some more info on that would be really helpful Gerald. My 6500 is in its way to a new home next week and I have the option of a new 6700 this week to dealer at a higher price due to drop in value of pound , or buying a friend's mint 6300 (he has decided to stick with his k3) as a stop gap and wait to see the price of the so2r box as an alternative. I saw the pictures of the prototype so2r box some time back but nothing since ( unless my busy work schedule caused me to miss something in it in recent weeks?). I am still unsure about the maestro and will want to play with one in the flesh at some point before deciding if it's needed in my contest station or not. No rush here, as I am still working my way through so2r set up tweeting having had some audio switching issues with n1mm and my 6500 this weekend in 12 hour section of rsgb Beru cw contest. Probably pilot set up error here and need to rtfm again
Photo of Ned K1NJ

Ned K1NJ

  • 319 Posts
  • 83 Reply Likes
    
      And the 4o3a amplifier?  Still in the works?  Any progress?

Ned,  K1NJ
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 645 Reply Likes
Rather than death by 1,000 cuts why not just ask Gerald for complete transparency of and on his company?
Photo of Ned K1NJ

Ned K1NJ

  • 319 Posts
  • 83 Reply Likes
Walt, 
    Since that product effort was announced about 10 months ago, I thought
it was a fair question.  If it wasn't, then I apologize.

Ned,  K1NJ
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 645 Reply Likes
It wasn't directed specifically at you Ned. Multiple people are asking for status on this project or that project or when 1.7 is gonna ship etc. My guess is FRS will ignore until and unless the volume becomes disruptive. My thinking was, if one of us held up the mirror we could all reflect on the efficacy of asking questions we can all be reasonable certain FRS won't answer until and unless they are ready to announce.
No, I wasn't elected to weigh in, I volunteered.

I believe it is fair to say FRS has a vested interest in letting their customers know as new products become ready. If one looks at the first sentence of this thread, the problem should become self evident.
Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1565 Posts
  • 771 Reply Likes
Cool stuff coming for sure.

While no harm in the repetitive asking, it is harmful when a belligerent attitude when asking risks shutdown of information flowing out of FRS.

If you put yourself in FRS's shoes, you perhaps might give out more or less information. But let's remember it is their call 110% when and what they release.

Purposely being horses asses in requests that are belligerent and repetitive shut down the road map sharing.

As I quietly ask questions and have some of the answers in return shared with me, I can confirm that the deliberate bad acting - the almost troll like approach to this forum gets much less information than asking directly, including a recognition that if trusted with advance information with a future open release that you will respect that embargo completely.

The Alpha teams won't talk will upholding their trust with FRS. They are also doing an awesome job of polishing pioneering products into market ready releases.

Have some self dignity and stop the three year old's badgering or understand we all end up kept in the dark and in "time out."

None of us can say we didn't earn FRS's silences.

73

Steve K9ZW
Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

  • 804 Posts
  • 269 Reply Likes
If FRS can't keep us in the loop about the delays in a timely manner they shouldn't ask us for deposits for orders and make promises they can't keep. Why does it always take someone to "bitch" to get a response from flex with a "special edition" of the "flex insider".  I have started to realize that when Flex gives a release date for something, whether it be a software update or new hardware, add 6 months to it and that is when you wil have it. Maybe they shouldn't tell us about anything till it is READY to ship.

This is just my opinion . Call it bitchin, call it being like a kid, I don't care.
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

  • 1782 Posts
  • 547 Reply Likes
I preordered the Maestro, about a year ago (I would be surprise if my order is not within the first 10 from the general public). I was never under the impression that I will get it right away and I must admit I would have loved to get it before Christmas. But I do not feel cheated at all because it is late. I was buying the opportunity to get the Maestro at a discount of $200.

I think Flex has informed me of the delays, they have explained why there are delays and I have never felt like I couldn't get my $99 deposit back. If and when they contact me I will make the final decision on the purchase.

I think you are not an ideal candidate for a new release pre order type of product. 
You should definitely wait until it is in Stock, ready to be shipped and then buy it (or don't buy).

I do not believe anyone forced you or anyone to Pre Order. I am not sure why you took a chance if it is clearly not your cup of tea.

I also wholeheartedly agree that post like yours or the Original Poster (OP) add no value whatsoever beyond pushing FRS to become like the rest of manufacturers, completely obscure and far removed from the customers.

I really hope FRS realizes that there is a vast majority of us that will appreciate to be kept in the loop of upcoming ideas and products, and that even though we are not as brusque in our communication we are very much appreciative of receiving information and discounts on future products.
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 3969 Posts
  • 967 Reply Likes
Here here!!
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 645 Reply Likes
That was part of my point, when people are chided with comments like...well....just demeaning personal comments or opinions, that is what leads conversations to spiral downward. While I wouldn't want to be the recipient of personal emails from hundreds of antsy customers asking about the state of the soup it might be that rather than in a public forum which just serves to stoke people, on both sides, angst, a personal email to someone at FRS politely asking the status might be a better solution. If nothing else it might serve as a tickler to Flex maybe it is time to do an Insider status to calm those collecting torches and pitchforks and thereby reducing the email flow.
Photo of Gerald - K5SDR

Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

  • 830 Posts
  • 1515 Reply Likes
We have been providing a special edition of the Flex Insider every 2-3 weeks.  The most recent one went out on March 11th and there is nothing new to say since then.  We will continue to give updates on a periodic basis until the bulk of the backlog has been shipped.  

I do not have a date yet on the SO2R controller for the 6300/6500.  It is behind Maestro in priority.  The 6700 does SO2R today without any other hardware.  

Here are the SO2R before and after photos at K9CT:

Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1565 Posts
  • 771 Reply Likes
What an awesome difference!

Noticed that the old way gear is being largely eliminated from his operations, which speaks hugely of the New Way viability!

Thank you for sharing .

I briefly touched base with Matt prior to this month's travel and appreciate the eventual ability to adjust around travels for Maestro delivery. I should have brought up to him that I will be happy initially with a single Maestro if fully filling my order would cause others to be delayed.

With my Island shack largely unused until better weather and ditto on portable operations a delay for the additional if needed will work out fine.

Again thank you for sharing and I do enjoy the special edition FlexInsider emails.

73

Steve K9ZW
Photo of Charles - K5UA

Charles - K5UA

  • 319 Posts
  • 89 Reply Likes
Hi Gerald,

Nice reduction of clutter shown in these two photos.  All you need to do is show the wives of hams these two photos.  Hi. 

Would like to eliminate one more wire, as well as the possibility of a lightning strike on the network  traveling up the ethernet cable into the Flex.  Is it possible to use one of those ethernet to wireless adapters in the ethernet port on the Flex 6000 series to transfer network data wirelessly?
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 645 Reply Likes
Steve, island shack largely unused? We could probably work something out, should you be so inclined.
Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1565 Posts
  • 771 Reply Likes
Winter access limitations, weather and only portable antennas until warm enough to dig & pour bases for Skyneedle and vertical.

Much to do, which will be incorporating the K9CT lessons and Maestro-centric for the greater party.

Since the trenching, wiring, tower, antennas and so much need fair weather, and then cure-time for the concrete to set prior to going on air other than with portable gear, I can wait.

73

Steve K9ZW
Photo of Gerald - K5SDR

Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

  • 830 Posts
  • 1515 Reply Likes
@Charles
I know that some customers have found wireless devices that plug directly into the Ethernet port to provide a Wifi connection.  I think I saw it posted here on the community.  Maybe someone else remembers.
Photo of Al / NN4ZZ

Al / NN4ZZ

  • 1853 Posts
  • 672 Reply Likes
@Charles,
This is not exactly what you were asking about (i.e. a wireless bridge) but another option to consider.  It has the advantage of being a full speed internet connection as well as protecting other devices (eg. your PC, printer, etc)

I use a fiber link to eliminate the "lightning on ethernet"  problem and another potential source of common mode RF.   It doesn't eliminate the "one more wire" but does allow you to maintain the full speed ethernet connection.  Cost is about $150.

http://www.nn4zz.com/FLEX6700.htm#Ethernet_Lightning_Protection





  Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 - HW.................... V 1.6.21.77
SSDR / DAX / CAT...... V 1.6.21.159
Win10
Photo of K1UO - Larry

K1UO - Larry

  • 886 Posts
  • 135 Reply Likes

Charles...  this is the one I have used since day one.....  works flawlessly into my Asus RT-AC68 Router.  I plug it directly into the back of my Flex6500.

http://www.amazon.com/EA-N66-Ultra-Fast-Wireless-Repeater-High-Power/dp/B007ZT23ZE

Photo of Tim VE6SH

Tim VE6SH

  • 295 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
Following the advice on Al's excellent web site I just installed a fiber link and it cured a minor RF issue I was having. Well worth it!

73

Tim VE6SH
Photo of Philip KA4KOE

Philip KA4KOE

  • 176 Posts
  • 22 Reply Likes
I just ordered a Flex 6300 and preordered a Maestro. I hope to have it by Field Day, but if not, hey, its a just a radio widget.....and I've been doing this ham radio thingy for 37 years.