Remote CW with a paddle and Maestro - it works!

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  • Updated 7 months ago
I really wanted to see how sending CW with a paddle via Maestro would work remotely.  This morning I made about a dozen contacts with Maestro + paddle + SmartLink connected back to the 6500 in the shack via an Android smartphone acting as a Verizon hot spot. 

Because I wanted to see if I could get the same UI experience as when the Maestro is on the shack's LAN, the Maestro settings for FPS (panadapter frame rate), Rate (waterfall speed), etc. were not changed. 

-Wow! It really works! :) Kudos to the Flex team!
-Great fun @ 30 WPM during this morning's Mini-CWT contest. 
-No need for any mental timing compensation.
-Tuning with the Maestro knob, or tapping on the screen, works like in the shack.
-The panadapter and meters on the Maestro work just as in the shack.
-A downside: the not so nice sounding Maestro CW side-tone when remote.     

My conclusion
I'd say all things considered, if you want to send CW with a paddle..and want a great remote setup ... get a Maestro and go for it!

John AF3K


Data Usage:
-Maestro network info showed 156ms latency and rx rate of 1438 kbps.
-Used 288 Megabytes of billable data in 30 mins. 
-Equivalent to 7.6 Megabytes/Min
-Equivalent to 1 Megabit per second.
-Not sure why the discrepancy between the billed rate of 1 Mbps and the 1.438 mbps Rx rate reported in the Maestro screen.
-To reduce data usage there seem to be lots of things to try that don't change the experience all that much - I noticed for example that in addition to changing FPS and Rate, enabling the new 2.0 "metering sidebar" reduces bandwidth by about 10% - I'd guess because less panadapter data is needed. 

Remote setup details:
-Paddle plugged into Maestro CW jack
-30 WPM using Maestro Winkeyer 3
-Maestro running SmartLink and WiFi
-Android phone acting as WiFi hotspot
-Verizon Internet LTE (SpeedTest: 64Mbps/28Mbps 36ms latency)

Shack setup details:
-6500 via ethernet to router 
-Arris TM822R DOCSISS 3.0 cable modem
-Comcast internet (SpeedTest: 180Mbps/24Mbps 10ms latency)
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John - AF3K

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Posted 7 months ago

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Mark WS7M

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Thanks John for a great post!   I don't have a maestro but it is nice to know this can work.

30 wpm!  Wow... when I try to send that fast my paddle I sound like some 2 year old playing around with the key!   I'm copying these days about 22 reliably and callsigns, 5NN, etc at about 40.  But I sure cannot send that fast.
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John - AF3K

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Mark - BTW... re: sending @ 30... It's at my upper limit, and only doable for short contest type exchanges. It's also a pretty new experience for me. The enabler being the (splurge) upgrading of the old Vibrokeyer to a Begali Mono.  - 73, John, AF3K
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Jim Gilliam

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That was a great post. Sir, you made my day!

Jim, K6QE

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Are you using a Winkeyer?
Do I have to attach a winkeyer to the Maestro to work wit a Lambic Paddle?

Thanks for the great post.
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John - AF3K

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Chris - Maestro includes an internal Winkeyer. Just plug your key or paddle directly into the jack on the back.  There is a knob on the Maestro front panel that controls sending speed.  There is also a setup screen accessed from the main menu for detailed settings (iambic A, iambic B, reverse, etc.). 
John AF3K
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Rick Hadley - W0FG

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I've been running CW with the Maestro for a year and a half, and have never had a problem (except for disliking the sidertone) at all. I run normally between 25-30 wpm and have the F1 and F2 keys mapped to CWX for quicky DX QSOs. The Bencher paddle works fine too.