No Good Deed Goes Unpunished - Any further info on the Maestro optional battery?

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I put my deposit down, now it's a "waiting game"

This hobby is not well suited to people in need of immediate gratification.  I waited 5 months for my beautiful DEMI 75 watt LDPA. I have a month or two to go for my DEMI's 70cm transverter and 6 months for Expert Linear's new 1.5K-FA Linear Amplifier!

Now I can add the Maestro to this illustrious list of delayed gratification.

Any further details regarding the LiPO optional battery? I assume that it will be available the same time that the Maestro becomes available. Any rough idea of the price point, or are you waiting to see what the wholesale price settles on by the time the Maestro ships?

The Maestro will be a great addition to any Flex 6000 series shack. I hope at some point the "A" and "B" slices will be changeable if you want to control, say, "F" and "G" instead.

Keep up the great work!

73,
Roy, AC2GS
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Roy Laufer

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Posted 3 years ago

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Jim Gilliam

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I have found that life is just as exciting looking forward to it as it is living it!
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Roy Laufer

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I agree, anticipation can sometimes be more fun than actual realization. Some things we dream of are better anticipated than realized.

Ain't life strange that way <for the "grammar police", 'ain't' has been used in a whimsical, knowingly ungrammatical way, like 'HI HI' might be>.

I have another question regarding the Maestro's mic input (it looks like it will utilize a somewhat problematic RJ-45 connector). Is it a particular standardized version or proprietary to FRS? Will it have a powered pin for those electret mics?

(I'm planning on buying an appropriate adapter cable for a planned Radiosport RS60CF purchase.)

Roy, AC2GS
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James Kennedy-WU5E

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No one answer the original question about the Optional Battery, Cost and if will be ready in 4th QRT 2015.

got my Maestro also ordered

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Al / NN4ZZ

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I Heard it uses an off the shelf battery pack at a cost of about $25. This was in responce to someone asking about it at the booth during a demo.

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering

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We discussed "building" a battery with our own enclosure and purchased cells or having a compartment to put in alkalines.  Both of these seemed like poor solutions.  Operating alkaline batteries in a radio tends to put a lot of pressure on the operator to think about and minimize battery usage because of the cost of replacing all the alkalines.  Integrating a rechargeable battery has issues also.  First, it requires more manufacturing effort to build a battery enclosure, battery management electronics and the cost of extra safety certification.  All of these costs would necessarily get passed along to our customers.  This is why batteries for some consumer electronics are expensive.

The other option we thought about, and where I think we'll end up, is to have a compartment to place an off-the-shelf battery pack with USB source and supply connections.  This is what we had at Dayton and it works very well.  We were able to purchase a 50Wh battery for about $25.  We could never offer our customers a custom battery solution for this kind of money.  Then, if you are going to operate for an extended time, you could just buy more batteries.  When the batteries wear out, just buy more.

Just as a comparison, it would take a dozen AA batteries to reach 50Wh.  50Wh will last about 6-10 hours depending on usage.  A dozen AA batteries cost about $5 US so after 30-50 hours of Maestro use, you would have spent $25.  But with an off-the-shelf Li-ion battery you would get hundreds of uses for that $25.

This is our thinking, but we have not finalized all elements of the design so this could change.
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AE0MW

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I saw this feature in Dayton, and everyone in my Dayton party had the same reaction: This is brilliant. It solves so many problems, as you already noted, for both Flex and us!

PLEASE keep the generic USB battery.
(Edited)
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Martin Smith

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Yes, well done flex, that sounds like an excellent answer, just make sure there is enough room to suit other packs when the one offered is no longer made!
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Jim Gilliam

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It would have been wonderful had they made the unit blue tooth compatible to utilize both a Bluetooth microphone (Heil has a wonderful Bluetooth adapter) and a Bluetooth headset. However, trying to be a "crowd pleaser" to all is impossible. LIke you, I HATE RJ-45 microphone connectors.


Jim, K6QE

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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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It does have Bluetooth 4.0
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Yes
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Jim Gilliam

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That's wonderful!!! Wonder if it will support two devices at once.
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Stan - VA7NF

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Maestro is great news, but not for the obvious.

On the rear is a key jack.  By extrapolation that means:

  • CW keying is supported
  • Maestro is a network appliance, therefore
  • The API has a method for CW keying
  • Maestro is to support WAN with much larger jitter figures than a local network, therefore
  • The CW API client must feed jitter resistant controls
  • Real CW is not a pure mathematical ratios function, therefore
  • Each part of each character must handle variable delay and duration

Can we assist developing a standard for CW over WAN in V1.x API and SSDR client?

-.. .   ...- .- --... -. ..-.

Sample coding example for the letters "de" where every character is precisely defined

Jitter=100ms
Speed=25

El.Delay=0
El.Duration=9ms
El.Delay=3ms
El.Duration=3ms
El.Delay=3ms
El.Duration=3ms
El.End

El.Delay=9ms
El.Duration=3ms
El.End

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Stan - VA7NF

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So much to say but no way to make it sound nice :-(  Spoken as a CW bigot with a keying wire between computer and 6700.  Thanks for the info Steve.


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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering

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If you have feedback on the internal keyer, I would like to hear it.  I also consider the problem of a keyer and the problem of remote transmission of keyer data to be two separate, but related, problems.  I believe that the keyer is a widely tackled problem with good results in the amateur community.  I cannot say the same for the latter.  As a software engineer, the former problem is not as interesting to me as the latter, but is of course required to be done correctly.  The key feedback we have received to date on the 6000 keyer has been good, but that we need weighting.
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Charles - K5UA

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May I also suggest dot/dash ratio control as implemented in the micro-ham keyers and the Icom and yaesu keyers. Not the same as "weight". Please consider this when upgrading the keyer.
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Stan - VA7NF

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Steve, I don't have any problems with the internal keyer, not even the perfect ratios/weight.  Personal opinion - pushing the weight distorts the "sound" of the resulting code.

The discussion has always been remote, which in this case goes from 10' to VPN and the only keying available was via the rear plug and a wire to the (nearby) computer com port.

With the fine code coming out of FRS I'm confident your 2009 keying plus enhancements cover what is here plus a whole lot more.  Perhaps a thread or two on the API discussion group could be of value to the community?

That aside, now how to best use the radio server with remote client ("nothing but net" from SSDR or other via API):

Notes: 

  • The client must provide a real-time keying monitor as feedback from actual RF keying would be too much of a distraction
  • The server keyer is not used, actually the internal keyer (physical contacts or keyboard) may supply a 0ms jitter stream just as a remote has a n-ms delay
  • There will be a programmed delay between KEY DOWN and RF OUT that is a combination of server delay + network delay +/- jitter.  For example 0=internal, 1=local net, 100=remote operation
  • The server side must re-constitute perfect timing unless packet delay > max jitter when the time base is reset
  • The API makes the keying method into very short UDP Vita-49 packets that may be as small as single keying elements or for a TUNE/solid key down a non-ending signal
  • And of course a documented API command + data layout


This Maestro thread is sufficiently hijacked.

Respectfully - Stan VA7NF

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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering

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  • The client must provide a real-time keying monitor as feedback from actual RF keying would be too much of a distraction
Of course -- this is just a requirement and our keyer does this.  We are also looking at commercial keyer solutions where we would buy the keyer and use our own transport mechanism.  No final decisions have been made here.
  • The server keyer is not used, actually the internal keyer (physical contacts or keyboard) may supply a 0ms jitter stream just as a remote has a n-ms delay
I'm not sure I understand this comment
  • There will be a programmed delay between KEY DOWN and RF OUT that is a combination of server delay + network delay +/- jitter.  For example 0=internal, 1=local net, 100=remote operation
Yes this is already coded except for jitter measurement and the jitter compensation algorithm.  The design of this missing piece is very important
  • The server side must re-constitute perfect timing unless packet delay > max jitter when the time base is reset
Yes, this is already coded
  • The API makes the keying method into very short UDP Vita-49 packets that may be as small as single keying elements or for a TUNE/solid key down a non-ending signal
The exact transport packing has not been finalized.  I think it is likely that we will encapsulate it in VITA-49.  Transmission interval rates will be contingent on the jitter compensation algorithm -- in other words, you can buffer for a short time and then are forced to emit what you have based on when it will need to be transmitted and the current jitter measurement
  • And of course a documented API command + data layout
Sure
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k3Tim

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"delayed gratification" - I must be the record holder on that one.  Waited 7 years for a telescope. At the 6'th year, it was full cash down.  A second scope (from other vendor) was 'only' a two year wait with full cash down at order.  So a wait of less then 1 year is not so much.

This (Mistro) device would make a great setup in the mobile.  Have the Flex in the trunk of vehicle close to antenna, amps etc and WiFi to the control head (Mistro) in the passenger compartment.  A BT connection to car sound system for in/out audio would be icing on the cake.

How about an ultra-modern man-pack version. Flex radio in back pack (with lot's of LiPo batteries). WiFi to control head and a wired headset/mic/ptt to the Flex (via ACC directly). A 100 watt 'Walkie-Talkie".

I'm in.,,  order placed also.

k3Tim
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Ernest - W4EG

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Tim,
Don't forget that you will need a solar charger for the LiPo batteries as you go and climb mount  Everest.  LOL
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Jim Gilliam

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In the trunk? Why not remote it from the house using the car and Verizon LTE?
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k3Tim

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I guess you could but then are you really a mobile?
On second thought if you want to use the rig whilst in vehicle your concept would be most practical.  

Best,

Tim