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Appareo adds dual USB charging portAppareo adds dual USB charging port

TSOed source for tablet powerTSOed source for tablet power

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.

Appareo introduced Stratus Power, a new TSO-certified dual USB charging port, at the 2017 Aircraft Electronics Association Convention. Photo by Mike Collins.

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.

“We’ve got plenty of these ready to ship,” said Kris Garberg, Appareo director of sales. The company’s dealer network—which has grown to 400 since it was launched at the 2016 AEA convention—has been asking for this kind of product, he said, noting that there is only one other TSOed USB charging port currently offered in the market. “It’s a super-easy install.”

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.

Mike Collins

Mike Collins

Technical Editor
Mike Collins has worked for AOPA’s media network since 1994. He holds a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating.
Topics: Aircraft Electronics Association, Avionics, Gear

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