Should contest rules allow and act upon 599K QRM reports?

Thursday, 3 January 2019

FlexRadio Systems Maestro

There are currently several problems with this unit. I won't go into the Dell tablet internal battery charge problem (if not connected to power for several months) as this has been admitted by Flex (not sorted) and is well documented elsewhere. The problem that concerns me is one that FlexRadio claims is the fault of common networking equipment e.g. Netgear GS105 gigabit ethernet switch. As a firmware engineer myself, I see this problem as being a Maestro 'power on' boot problem where if the negotiation between the Maestro PHY and the Gigabit switch PHY (auto-negotiation for ethernet link speed) is interrupted (for whatever reason), the two units connection is permanently corrupted until the next power cycle. This means either the Flex or Netgear implementation of this auto-negotiation protocol is incorrect. I tend to trust a networking specialist company over one or two peoples opinion in Texas, especially when everything else plugged into the switch works FB, however YMMV. Apparently if you buy a specific type of switch or mandate a 100Mbs link speed this problem goes away (I am less than impressed with this Flexradio solution? which should really have been a eureka moment for them). FlexRadio does hint at the real root of the problem being that most commercial networking equipment is meant for browsing the internet rather than permanently streaming spectrum and sound information and recommends moving to gaming network gear to achieve a better QOS. I have no problems with QOS, once the Maestro is successfully past the auto-negotiation sequence (which in my opinion is the real problem) everything works fine. The fault happens every 1 in 10 power ups and is realised with the Maestro showing high packet loss despite being wired ethernet connected to a gigabit capable switch. Many users have tried to convince FlexRadio of this fault, but due to the 'fanboys' applying pressure, and the ignorance of company, no reasonable discussion can take place on their community forum. If you are happy to pay £1300 for a Dell tablet with a 1 in 10 start up success rate then go right ahead and buy one, ps. all problems will be down to your own networking equipment!

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