No spectrum display from my hotel room

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  • Problem
  • Updated 7 months ago
  • Acknowledged
Last week, I stayed at a hotel in New Orleans and everything worked well with my Maestro. This week I'm at a different hotel in New Orleans and I get no spectrum display. I read another posting that the problem might be that the ISP is blocking fragmented UDP packets because the VITA-49 packets exceed 1500 bytes. In that posting it was not deemed a problem. I just wanted to let you know that it is a problem for travelers like myself. If this is the problem, it would be good to have a button to push on the Maestro to use shorter packet sizes. Perhaps this can be worked on in conjunction with sorting out the authentication from many hotels. This hotel also has a login screen that can't be accessed by the Maestro, asking for room number and name. I resolved that issue by contacting the ISP and having them authenticate my Maestro by MAC address, only to find out I have no spectrum display :(

Les, VE3NNT (aka VE3ABN)
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Les Brown

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Posted 10 months ago

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Garry F. Fisher

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Hi Les,
How did you get through the Hotel.  Did they ask for a password?  I have had a difficult time trying to get Maestro to work at places that do not have passwords but wants you to agree to terms of agreement..Thus McDonalds, Starbucks etc will nt allow the maestro to use their wifi
Garry
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Andy M5ZAP

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Hi Les,

I agree it is a problem, it was a  large problem for myself as my son could not use the software from his geographic home location. We worked around by setting up a VPN, this is an OK solution and one used by others.

The fact is the use of Vita 49 oversize packets over WAN is not a good idea and I am surprised other people who have the problem aren't more vocal. 
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Mike va3mw

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Hi Less

The waterfall/panadapter issue is part of the UDP packet scrub or packet re-assembly.  It tends to happen with none 'consuer' routers either outbound or inbound.    For the most part it does not happen with any unit you may purchase at BestBuy, etc.

I have the same issue with my pfSense router that hosts my remote base, so I have experienced the same issue.  

It is one of those problems that where everything is working as designed and no one is really doing anything wrong, but your experience is not what you wish.  

Flex engineering is aware of the issue and considering methods that may assist in resolving it.

As for the captive portal issue at hotels, I have done what you have done and had them add my Maestro to the authorized device list.  You just have to call the support phone number that you can find in most hotels.  This is not the front desk.  :)  Like you found out, it only takes a few moments.

Mike
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Dave Gipson

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Well DUH!!! It helps if you select "PC Audio" as suggested. It's working great and I love it! My road trips are going to be MUCH better now. Thank You FLEX-Radio!!!
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Happy to help!

Dave wo2x
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Bob - W7KWS -

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Micheal,

My experience indicates this isn't limited to enterprise routers. I am unable to use my Maestro from my daughter's home where she uses a Comcast Arris TG 862 modem/router. As far as I know this is a consumer router in widespread use.

I find it significant that, out of dozens of apps I use that traverse the Internet, SmartSDR is the ONLY one that is problematic in this way. This would lead me to conclude that this type of problem is well understood and dealt with elsewhere.
(Edited)
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Dave Gipson

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In an attempt to be perfectly clear..... In my case the problem was caused by my trying to forward port number 5002 for both the TCP and UDP to my FLEX 6600M inside my home, behind the firewall. Changing the forwarded ports to 4993 and 4994 instantly fixed the problem. 
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I use uPnP on my pfSense router and it just works. 
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Garry F. Fisher

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Hotels and most others require the agreement because we have WAY too many lawyers.

It is a liability issue.

If you have a way to get to a browser, you could log in and agree to the liability waiver (that is what it actually is) and then you should be good to go.

That might be a way for them to do a work around, provide a simple browser so that you could get past that issue.

It might work to carry a small switch and have your laptop do the authorization on one port and then use the Flex on the other.

If they are recording ip, that would work, if they authorize by MAC it will not, you would have to try it to know for sure, and it might work in some spots but not others.

 

If the location has an Ethernet wired port, that would be a MUCH better choice as they would not have the wifi security issue.

 

WIRED is ALWAYS better.
Garry K9WZB
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Les Brown

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Mike,
   Is this a router configuration issue? Does it relate to enabling Jumbo packets?

Andy,
   How did you set up the VPN. The communications is between the radio and Maestro, so it's not a VPN on the computer. Did you configure your router for VPN? I wonder if I can do that remotely using TeamViewer to access my remote computer and accessing the remote router through the remote terminal. I also wonder if this will mess up my port forwarding for remote access of my IP switches.

73, Les
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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It does not relate to jumbo packets.  To my knowledge, no ISP uses jumbo packets (>1500 bytes) on the Internet. 

This issue has everything to do with the ISP and/or the path the data takes from your radio to your PC or the endpoint router preventing data from completely traversing the Internet from your radio to the client. 

The operation of the Internet is defined by RFCs (request for comments).  RFC 791, one of the original standards defined for the Internet,  defines what UPD packet is and how it is designed to behave on the Internet.  It is RFC 791 that defines UDP packet fragmentation and reassembly when the sent datagram is larger than the network's MTU (maximum transmission unit).  The FLEX-6000 sends the standard 1500 byte payload for an Ethernet frame.  Just about all ISPs conform to this and use a 1500 byte MTU to prevent fragmentation. 

Due to several factors, some outlined in RFC 1858, have resulted in some ISPs configuring their network to prevent fragmented datagrams from traversing their networks rather than employ stateful IDS (intrusion detection systems).  Some endpoint routers have features that do not allow packets with the fragment flag set to pass for the same reasons.  Either of these two factors can result in the behavior described above.

We recognize that this is an operational issue and we have committed to looking into the issue to see if there is a way to mitigate these issues.  There are several technical challenges that will have to be characterized and tested before we can commit to a fix.
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John - K3MA

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The Engineering VP already verbally committed to fixing it when questioned at the Orlando Hamfest.  I quote "We need to fix that".  He did not give a timing.
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Bob - W7KWS -

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Tim, I guess that this is the type of situation where one must not only adhere to the RFCs but also design what works in light of situations that aren't always as we like. Notably, Internet paths that take the easy way out in the name of security.

Clearly this is more urgent to those of us suffering the problem. A VPN is a good work around for a PC but not so convenient for Maestro.

Since Maestro uses Windows Embedded, maybe an easy work around for the short term would be for Flex to include the native Windows VPN client in the next Maestro update.

This might impact sales of SSDR v 2.x but it can be removed as soon as a permanent solution is designed for SmartLink. On the other hand, maybe Maestro sales would improve with this problem resolved.
(Edited)
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John - K3MA

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Bob, including a VPN client in the Maestro is a good suggestion.  In fact I and several others were told by Flex that it would be included when the Maestro had not yet been released.  Many of us were already using VPN to remote our stations.  Unfortunately, to our surprize it was not included with the Maestro once they started to ship and has not been included over the last roughly two years it has been out.  Hence, I would not hold your breath on this one.  Additionally, I doubt the limited development resources would be spent on this functionality since there are just so many other things much more important and needed for a longer time in terms of SmartSDR product functionality since Flex has never supported VPN for remote operations.
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Kevin Hogg

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I have had the same problem since day one using Spectrum (previously Brighthouse).  One suggestion I recieved was change ISP which was ridiculous. I got around it initially by using a Verizon mifi (expensive get around) but ended up using a VPN to a network closer to home 4000 miles away. I have to say its not ideal but the VPN works good on my 6700.


Kev

(Edited)