AEA New Product: Bluetooth-Capable Audio Panel

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PS Engineering announced Thursday at the Aircraft Electronics Association convention in Orlando a new, FAA-certified, Bluetooth-enabled audio panel, the PMA8000BT, that it expects to ship by the end of Q2. The technology allows pilots and passengers to wirelessly connect smart phones to the audio panel, which can then distribute the phone’s music, cellular telephone access, or other audio to anyone using the intercom. It also offers multiple distribution modes that control the dominance/discrimination given to the Bluetooth output versus other audio as received by up to six occupants. Bluetooth aside, the panel is otherwise fully functional in the traditional sense with the addition of a “monitor mode” that automatically mutes the standby frequency whenever the primary frequency is active.

The technology is not new to PS Engineering, which has offered a similar interface to pilots of experimental aircraft for more than two years. In the certified version, the Bluetooth link is accessed via a “TEL” button. The PMA8000BT is set to be offered at about $2,100 and will interface wirelessly with iPhones, Blackberry devices and more.

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