Sporty’s Unveils PJ2+ Handheld COM Radio


Sporty’s has introduced an upgraded version of its PJ2 handheld COM radio. The PJ2+ adds features such as a 3.5-mm jack, 6 watts peak transmit power, automatic noise limiter and high contrast backlit screen. As with its predecessor, the PJ2+ can connect to standard twin-plug aviation headsets without a specialized adapter and offers a quick access emergency 121.5 button, NOAA weather button and 20 scannable memory channels.

“An emergency is no time to be searching for a headset adapter or a user manual to figure out how to turn your radio on,” said Sporty’s director of aviation products and marketing Doug Ranly. “Our focus has always been on making simple and reliable radios, and we think we’ve raised the bar with the upgraded PJ2+.”

List price for the PJ2+ is $249. Included with the radio are an alkaline battery pack, antenna, 100-240v wall plug, USB-A to USB-C power cable, belt clip and pilot’s guide. An adapter for LEMO/6-pin plug headsets is offered separately for $39.95. Sporty’s noted that the PJ2+ can be operated directly from its USB-C plug with either a cigarette lighter plug or backup battery pack.

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Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. According to the specification sheet, the output power of the PJ2 is “350 mW into 8 Ohms.”

    But aviation headsets aren’t eight ohms, they’re two 300 ohm speakers in parallel, giving an effective impedance of 150 ohms.

    Even though it has the standard jacks to take an aviation headset, then, a standard headset will deliver about 6 dB less to the pilot’s ears.

    Won’t make much difference in a quiet airplane, but noisy antiques or homebuilts using these as primary comm radios might have trouble.

    • The 350 mW is a power measurement and specifying it at 8 ohms is an industry standard. Using headphones, I am sure you will find the lightly loaded audio output stage will be capable of a voltage swing that will produce a painfully loud volume level. But yes, if the plan is to listen via a speaker in an airplane cabin, probably you should plan on an external power amplifier.

      • I get that 6 dB loss back by using a $4 transformer to match the audio impedance. I got driven to that when my standard headset just didn’t provide enough volume in my very noisy open-cockpit airplane. That 6dB is measured, by the way.

        The headphone output for a Becker 6200 radio provides 300 mW *into a 150-ohm load*.

        The problem, of course, is that all these handheld radios are adapted from VHF radios sold for police, etc. and thus are designed for 8 ohm speakers like all modern electronics. I just feel the companies selling the handhelds would just make the small additional changes to match the output impedances.

        This isn’t just Sporty’s, this is nearly all the handheld vendors.

        I have an Icom for my primary radio in my homebuilt. I’ve built impedance matchers to improve the sound volume, but now, I’m just using 8 ohm headsets. Lot better sound volume than my Flightcom Denali ANR was providing.

        Those facing the same issues might do a google search for “Kitplanes Pump Up the Volume,” an article I wrote on this subject about five years ago.

  2. I certainly hope this one gets better support than the Dynon handheld I bought a few years ago. That one ended up being a throw away when they stopped supporting it and the battery wouldn’t take a charge anymore.
    And they wanted to charge me another $250 to buy the last one on the shelf when all I needed was another battery.
    Sorry for being off topic.

    • I had a similar situation with a portable nav radio. I took it to Batteries + and they were able to replace the rechargeable battery inside the radio rather cheaply and it has been holding a charge and operating well for the past 2 years. I’ve taken several radios (Icom and Bendix) and battery back-up devices (APX) to them for battery replacements and they have always come through for me.

  3. So many pilots fly without radios because the FAA regulations say they can. I know many Champ, Glider and other Cub type aircraft pilots that have no electrical system and wear the ‘No Radio Required’ regulation like a badge of rebellion. Handhelds selling for $250, it’s time the FAA updates the ‘NORDO’ rules. I understand failures happen but taking off into a hornet’s nest of aircraft because “I Can”. My opinion, it’s wrong. 😠

    • I flew the original Fly Baby NORDO for seven years in the ’80s and ’90s. Its Continental had non-shielded ignition. Used a handheld once flying into Boeing Field…the headset was like strapping two popcorn poppers over your ears, from the ignition noise.

      $250 may seem like a reasonable amount, but a pair of magnetos, two sets of shielded plug wires, and eight shielded plugs will run the cost up by a factor of ten. My current Fly Baby is only worth $10,000….and I’ve already been required to add a transponder and ADS-B Out to it. Fortunately, it came with shielded ignition.