March 23, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
PS Engineering has introduced two new audio panels that add functionality in specialized applications requested by a select group of customers. The company has also introduced its first integrated radio.
The new PMA8000C adds a third transceiver and retains Bluetooth connectivity for cell phones. According to Mark Scheuer, founder and CEO, “We had targeted the PMA8000 for the majority of cockpits, two coms and telephone. But we had many requests from businesses, fish spotters, law enforcement and the Coast Guard Auxiliary who needed a third transceiver; in many cases this was a non-aviation two-way radio. We didn’t want to give up the phone, and Bluetooth lets us have it all.”
PS Engineering also introduced the PMA8000D for dual audio installations. The unit allows the pilot and co-pilot (or flight crew and tactical observer) to have separate and independent audio selection. Capabilities include the “Monitor Mode,” four modes for muting the stereo music input, three-com transceiver selection on each panel, Bluetooth telephone and music streaming, and PS Engineering’s IntelliVox intercom squelch protocol.
Finally, PS Engineering announced a 760-channel, VHF communication radio fully integrated with the audio control panel. The PAR100EX system combines an audio control panel, audiophile stereo intercom with IntelliVox, Bluetooth connectivity, and a remote-mounted VHF aviation communications transceiver.
“For years, people have been asking us, `Why doesn’t PS Engineering make radios?’” said company founder Mark Scheuer. “Because we are so deeply focused exploiting every type of audio technology available, developing a radio would only be a distraction. But now that we have a great core of audio technologies, it is time to invest into radio technology. After all, since 1972 when I received my amateur radio license, I have always been fascinated with radio, now it’s time to put it into our company’s product line.”
PS Engineering partnered with radio expert Microair of Australia and integrated an important piece of avionics with an advanced audio panel system. This system is claimed to save cockpit space and weight, provide the most sought-after functionality, and save money over the stand-alone independent systems.
“Microair is excited about partnering with PS Engineering,” said Microair President Phil Ainsworth. “We are looking forward to getting into more airplanes with the PAR100EX, and the combination of our expertise will change the way experimental and LSA aircraft avionics panels will be created.”
The right half of the PAR100EX is dedicated to the communications radio, with an LCD display that shows the frequencies. The left half has all of the audio panel controls for radio selection, intercom and music volume, intercom mode, and PS Engineering’s multiple music mute mode control.
The list price of the PAR100EX, including the VHF com radio, is $2,595, and deliveries will start in the second quarter of 2011.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
Over the past several years, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) developed its digital flight planning tools into a suite of products that put flight planning capability, airport directory information and aviation weather in pilots’ hands. AOPA partnered with Seattle Avionics to create FlyQ EFB, an electronic flight bag (EFB) iPad application, and FlyQ Pocket, a smartphone application.
AOPA is exiting the electronic flight bag (EFB) market, and the association’s existing products will transition to Seattle Avionics.
Dynon Avionics, the pioneering company that provides fully featured glass cockpits for light sport and experimental aircraft at half the cost of fully certified displays, adds more sophistication with video input, upgraded weather, and wide-angle synthetic vision.
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