Appareo introduced Stratus Power, its new TSO-certified dual USB Standard-A charging port, at the Aircraft Electronics Association’s 2017 convention in New Orleans. With a list price of $349, the company said Stratus Power is the industry’s most affordable certified USB-A charging port.
The company said that Stratus Power was designed for quick and easy installation. Although the product is rectangular in shape, it has a round face, allowing installers to use a drill with a common step bit to drill the 1-1/4-inch hole needed for instrument-panel mounting. “Our goal with Stratus Power was to provide the best-value charging port with the minimal amount of installation time,” said Derek Aslakson, aviation product manager.
With more pilots flying with portable devices such as tablets and smartphones, there is an increased demand for USB power sources in the panel. Appareo, which makes the Stratus line of ADS-B receivers and the certified Stratus ESG transponder, set out to design a USB charging port with the quality expected from the Stratus name, but at a price lower than any other certified charging port.
“While our ADS-B products were developed specifically with non-glass-panel aircraft in mind, the newest addition to the Stratus family was designed to be a great fit for all types of aircraft,” Aslakson said. “We heard a lot of complaints about cheap USB adapters for cigarette lighters,” which often failed or created electrical noise. “I think a lot of people will put one on the pilot’s side and one on the co-pilot’s side. Your’re always going to need this.”
And if panel space is tight, Garberg added, a USB charging power port can always replace the cigarette lighter.
The charging port was announced March 13, during the convention’s popular new product announcements. As soon as it was announced, Garberg said, his phone started to buzz—with messages from dealers who wanted to order the new product.
Stratus Power offers two 2.1-amp USB-A charging ports and is FAA certified to TSO-C71. It has an aluminum face plate for durability. More information is available online.