Maestro won't power up.... anyone seen this issue before?

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  • Updated 2 months ago
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So....

I just took my Maestro off the shelf, where it has been for about 6 months without use in my shack. I have tried it on several batteries and the supplied PSU with the same result.

The Maestro will not power on - no flash on the screen, no boot - nothing. But if I leave it to sit for 2-3 mins the buttons will flicker and illuminate a few times. I've tried long press, short press, 2 min press (why? I don't know) - and nothing.

 The Maestro has had little use and was working perfectly the last time I used it before I put it on the shelf - climate controlled room, no moisture - no reason to believe this is environmental.

I've opened a ticket, and appreciate its the weekend (and a long one to boot!) so I am not expecting a response until Tuesday, but was posting here to see if this is something anyone else has experienced - and was a quick fix possible.

Have a great memorial weekend.
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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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  • Not too bothered, lots of other things to do!

Posted 2 years ago

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James Madden

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Just had this same issue. It required that I plug in the ac adapter. It then powered on and after one day it worked without the ac adapter. There is an internal battery that must be kept charged. Jim
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Mark Erbaugh

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Try leaving the Maestro plugged into an external supply for a few hours. There is an internal battery in addition to any plugin batteries. Maybe that has discharged.
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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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Ah, ok.  I'll leave it plugged in for a while.   It won't power up even with the PSU at the moment, so i'll let it charge a while and try again.

Thx for the info.
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James Madden

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It's odd that it won't power up with the PSu. I wonder if you are holding the on/off switch down long enough.
Jim
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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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Yes.   I've used the Maestro many times before I sat it on the shelf a while ago - ive tried the 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds.... got the wife to hold it for 2 mins and 5 mins :-)

It's been plugged in now for a couple of hours and still the same.

It's probably going to have a ride back to Austin.
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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My friend just had the same issue. If the Maestro is left too long and the internal battery completely discharges the power brick will not charge it.

If it is under warranty it will require a trip back to Austin, contact support.
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NT8B

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I had the same problem after leaving my Maestro unplugged for several months.  The problem apparently derives from the fact that there is an internal battery that runs down if the Maestro isn't periodically a/o left plugged in when not in use.  I was advised to first try attaching the power supply to the dead Maestro for several hours.  That did not revive my Maestro so it needed to take a ride to Austin for repair. 
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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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It's been plugged in for a good 8 hours now. Still won't power up. I'll leave it overnight but I suspect it will be getting a ride to Austin on Tuesday.
(Edited)
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Jay -- N0FB, Elmer

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I'm in the same boat.  I have to send my Maestro to Austin to have it repaired.  :-(
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David Merchant

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Same thing here.  My internal battery was completely flat, so I had to send the Maestro back to Austin to have it charged.  Apparently, if the internal battery s completely discharged, there is no way to power-on the Maestro.  I asked if this was being addressed in rev. 2 of the Maestro hardware due in August but never received a  response.  This is a major design flaw that should be addressed.
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Tom Warren

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Isn't there a way to replace the battery in the field, but I suppose FRS would have already mentioned that.........just saying. 
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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There isn't a way to replace the display battery in the field by the user.
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Jay -- N0FB, Elmer

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Thanks Tim for the direct confirmation of this. As this is a design flaw that I'm sure none of you anticipated, a warranty extension for those of us who put down a thousand bucks on a control console before Maestro was even shipping is not unreasonable. This extended warranty period (for this problem only) should continue until engineering provides a lasting solution and upgrade path (even if it is for pay). I would love to hear Gerald's thought on this.
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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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I have to agree on this.   This scenario will likely rear its head for many a Maestro early adopter that bought, like me, on the basis of using it for WAN use with the then not imminent 2.0.      This is the reason my Maestro was sat on the shelf for so long.
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K3SF

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Does the Display unit of the 6400M/6600M has the same internal battery design/issue?  If it has similar internal battery arrangement will it be user replaceable?
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James Madden

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Flex, is this issue being addressed in a revision release of the hardware?
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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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24 hours later - nada.  Looks like it will be heading to Austin on Tuesday.  Shame really as I was looking forward to spending some time in the garden playing a little radio this memorial weekend.

Based on the comments it certainly does seem like this is a design fault.    The Maestro does not get the daily use the radio does in this household - with V2.0 and WAN access it would have got a lot more - but it was destined to be sitting on the shelf a lot of the time until weekends such as this presented some extended radio time.

Ah well.   I am sure the wife has a list of chores for me to do!
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W3DCB

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I am just running into this problem.  Was checking it out before a sale.  I am too ill related to cancer to use ham radio.  Therefore, I am selling out.  Where was there communication that went out about this warning us...as this was known?  I am upset about this...
Daniel
(Edited)
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Daniel,

Here is the procedure the recharge the internal battery on the A version Maestro.

https://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-...

Dave wo2x
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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I have two Maestro, and one needed to get FRS attention, yet the other had been flawless. Wondering if this had to do with the battery pack FRS sourced for the internal backup?

LiPo packs seem to be so variable even within the same make model. Internalizing one perhaps could be updated with a user replaceable pack?

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Lasse Moell

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Not sure if this is a Flex design problem. Maestro is using a Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet. Could there be a way to get the tablet to start, a hidden boot switch maybe??
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David Merchant

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Hmm.  I wonder if the internal battery they refer to is actually part of the Dell Tablet?  If so, the Dell tablet itself probably has a integrated charger.  Perhaps the stop-gap solution is just extending this charge port (USB?) externally?  
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Winston VK7WH

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Just for what it is worth, I haven't used my Maestro for several months and it fired up straight away when I turned it on yesterday. Perhaps it may be just a faulty battery in your Maestro.

73

Winston.
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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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RMA was issued, so it's getting boxed up tonight and heading back to Austin.
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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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So I just packed up the Maestro. - found the original invoice in the box!   May 31st 2016!   Wow!   That was close!
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Paul Christensen, W9AC, Elmer

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If there is indeed a hardware update path forthcoming, I would like to plead with FRS to utilize an internal DSP-generated CW sidetone instead of the quasi-square-wave sidetone of the WinKey chip.  Listening to the current CW sidetone is flat-out painful. 

Paul, W9AC 
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Paul, WB5AGF

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When my Maestro would not boot-up earlier this afternoon I phoned Austin and spoke with Dudley.

Following Dudley's direction :

- I plugged-in the external power supply (confirming that the green LED on the 'brick' was glowing) and then held-down the Maestro's Power Button for 60 seconds (Dudley had said "30 or 40 seconds" but I figured that 'a little more can't hurt')

- leaving the Maestro plugged into the external power supply I set it aside (as Dudley had said to then leave it alone for 24 hours with the external PS connected)

- about 5 minutes later, out of the corner of my eye (since I'd set the Maestro to the side), I caught a flicker (I thought at first it was either my imagination or a reflection off something)

- I looked at the Maestro unit and its screen had come on showing the WiFi Network search screen (no EtherNet cable was plugged in).

Since then my Maestro has 'played' like it should (and I'm going to leave it plugged-in for the next 24 hours to give the internal battery a chance to recharge).

Dudley had explained that there needs to be a slight amount of charge remaining in the internal battery (not what a user can install inside the rear battery compartment but the internal battery which we can't access) for the Maestro to be able to boot-up. Dudley said that from what he's seen there is about a 50/50 chance that holding down the Power Button for an extended period of time, and then waiting 24 hours with the Maestro plugged into the external power source, will get the Maestro to power up (and then allow the internal battery to recharge). I was surprised (but pleased of cource) when my Maestro decided to 'wake-up' after only a few minutes.

- Paul, WB5AGF
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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You should charge the Maestro every couple of months to insure the internal battery does not drop below the threshold where it will not power up.

Dave wo2x
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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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All this is great in an ideal world - plenty of space to leave items on DC power etc.  

But my Maestro was sat on a shelf (with a bunch of other gear) waiting for a day when I had the time to play radio.   Sometimes that can be months.

I should ideally be able to leave it on the shelf for 6 months and not worry about an internal battery.   Afterall, I invested in 4 battery packs for the thing that charge up overnight from dead.  But alas, I am scuppered by an internal battery belonging to a Dell tablet! 

I know hams with gear that sits on shelves for years - they plug it in and off they go.     

So, now I have to have a calendar reminder every couple of weeks.

"Charge Maestro"

Meh, it is what it is.   But my Maestro had less than 24 hours use on it and now it's in the shop!
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Paul, WB5AGF

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When I spoke with Dudley yesterday (31 May 2017) I suggested that Flex consider bringing out wires from the internal battery to an externally accessible couple of tip jacks so that, if the internal  battery goes 'flat ', an external battery could be used to 'jump-start ' the Maestro and get it going (which would then allow the internal battery to recharge).

Dudley didn't directly reply to my suggestion but I got the impression that Flex is considering ways to keep this situation from snowballing (I'm sure that Flex is not thrilled at the prospect of having a bunch of Maestros returning to Austin only to have their internal batteries charged so the units can be restarted).

- Paul, WB5AGF
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Jay -- N0FB, Elmer

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I'm sure that Honda and other car companies didn't like having to recall millions of cars to replace airbags as they were defective.  Its called the cost of doing business.
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I have an Atomic Cobalt 2 Dive Computer with exactly the.same issue. If you let the battery go flat or do not charge it every 90+ days then it needs to go back to the factory to get restarted. IIRC It cost me $150 the last time. Love the dive computer hate the flaw. To make matters worse unlike Flex, Atomic does not acknowledge the flaw and charges to repair it each time.
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WB9IXS

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I have a problem with my Maestro booting up however it is somewhere in between what I have read here. The Maestro is in my shop building connected to the shack via a port from the house router. The Maestro is being powered by a 12vdc supply. When I leave the shop I turn off the power to the outlet that the Maestro is plugged into. When I re-power the outlet the Maestro normally boots up and connects to the radio. For some stupid reason I had a battery in the Maestro the last time I shutdown the shop so it continued to operate until the battery went dead. The power was off for several days before I tried to start the Maestro.

Now the unit try's to start, the panel lights flash and the Windows circular icon is spinning. Next I see the screen gets a bit brighter and the date pops up in the lower left corner. At the same time I see the word USER in about the top center of the screen and then the screen goes very dim and that is where it stays.

I tried holding the power button for as long as 60 seconds but no change. I also disconnected all the cables on the Maestro including the 12vdc power and no battery. It was then that I noticed the screen was very dim it had an almost purple cast. So I pushed the power button again and held it. The unit put up the standard "slide to power down" message. I continued to hold the power button until everything went blank.  I though that was odd that the unit was trying to run with no power connected so I tried to start the unit again with nothing connected and I got the same response, windows booting spin and the time and user test.

So that is where I am stuck. Based on what I read here I assume that internal battery is okay? 


Jim
 
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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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Sure looks like the battery is ok.  With the dead battery issue you would get nothing, or maybe just a flicker on the buttons now and again.

Best option would be a ticket - Dudley and co will hopefully get you fixed up.

My Maestro was shipped back on the 30th May and I already have it back in the shack working a treat.    
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Jim, Open a HelpDesk ticket.  Like Richard said, it is the best option for dealing with hardware related issues.
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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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Also, I posted a quick write up on FB about my experience.

"I want to say a BIG BIG thank you to FlexRadio for the quick turnaround on my Maestro battery issue.  The issue was diagnosed on May 27th, and an RMA was issued. I shipped it to FlexRadio on the 30th May, and it arrived on the 7th June (USPS Priority) .

On the 8th of June, my favorite Engineer ever, Greta Jones, emailed me to say the issue was fixed (battery charged, tested and heading to shipping!)

June 9th, it's on its way back by UPS.

June 14th I have it in my grubby hands and I have been happily playing radio while laying in the hammock since.

Excellent customer service. This is why I will remain a customer.
Thank you!!

Richard W4/G7EIX - Franklinton, NC"
(Edited)
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I am glad this worked out for you. But there are a few interesting comments in this thread from elmers about the need for a recall or some upgrade path to avoid this issue, for the early adopters. I have to keep my maestro plugged in all the time just to avoid it failing due to a design flaw and there isn't any acknowledgement or response from frs dealing with this issue.
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Bob Kupps

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Thanks for the info guys I had no idea. Fortunately mine booted up after a few minutes on the charger after a 3 month absence...won't let that happen again - it's a long way to Texas!

73 Bob HS0ZIA
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KENT HUFFORD

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I have also had my Maestro setting on the shelf for 2.0......  Tried to start it up last week, getting ready for Field Day (we will have 4 flex radios running). And it did not light up at all. 

Did all the 5sec, 30 sec, 5 min, press 12 times routine, tried different internal big batteries, left it on 13.8vdc for a couple of hours. Opened a help ticket, got a RMA number right away to send it in. 

Went to the club meeting, and when I got back, it was running. Cancelled the RMA. Will try and keep it charged like a little PC it is..Guess I missed the warning in the users manual to charge it every 30 days.... NOW waiting still for 2.0
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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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What's a user manual?  :-)

Glad you had a quicker fix than I.