July 24, 2013
By Jim Moore
PS Engineering announced a pair of new products just ahead of EAA AirVenture 2013, including the first certified audio panel with integrated com radio. A second new offering will also save panel space, integrating audio with a flat-screen display made for the experimental and amateur-built market.
The PAR200 certified four-place intercom with integrated com radio is designed to save panel space, and has built-in Bluetooth functionality, allowing users to wirelessly connect cell phones, mp3 players, and similar devices. The PAR200 retails for $2,995, including the remote-mounted VHF transceiver made by Trig Avionics. The companies hope to draw customers from both the “family flyer” and light sport aircraft markets, noting the cost savings achieved by integration, and reduced panel space requirements.
The company teamed with Grand Rapids Technologies subsidiary GRT Avionics to develop another new offering: the PAC15EX integrated audio panel and intercom that requires no panel space, since it is remote mounted and controlled by the HXr electronic flight information system (EFIS). The PAC15EX takes advantage of the HXr design, which allows a single 10.4-inch (or 12.1-inch) display to control multiple remote-mounted avionics.
“With the audio panel mounted out of the way, GRT’s flat user-menu gives the pilot all of the capabilities of a panel mounted audio panel without that precious panel space being used, or multiple menu pages being viewed,” said PS Engineering vice president Gary Picou in a news release.
The PAC15EX is sold by GRT Avionics exclusively for the homebuilt and light sport markets. It incorporates a four-place hi-fi stero intercom, a wired telephone interface, stereo music inputs, and a “split mode” function that can help off-load some pilot radio work, the company stated in its announcement.
GRT Avionics announced price cuts in May, with the HXr line starting at $5,650 for the 10.4-inch display, wiring harness and attitude/heading reference system (AHRS). The PAC15EX audio module (among many available add-ons for the HXr series) is priced at $1,400.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
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