The PAR100EX, combines an audio control panel, stereo intercom and Bluetooth connectivity from PS Engineering with a remote mounted 760-channel VHF aviation communications transceiver from Australia-based Microair. The list price of the PAR100EX, including the VHF com radio is $2,595, and deliveries will start in the second quarter of 2011.
The right half of the PAR100EX is dedicated to the comm radio, with an LCD display that shows the frequencies, controlled through a concentric knob. The radio has active and standby frequencies, and a standby frequency monitor mode. The left half is dedicated to audio panel controls for radio selection, intercom and music volume, intercom mode, and PS Engineering’s multiple music mute mode control. The functions of the PAR100EX are electrically independent, including the power supply, so even in fail safe on the audio panel, the VHF radio can still be used.
“For years, people have been asking us, ‘Why doesn’t PS Engineering make radios?’ explained company founder Mark Scheuer, “now that we have a great core of audio technologies, it is time to invest into radio technology. After all, since 1972 when I received my Amateur Radio license, I have always been fascinated with radio, now it’s time to put it into our company’s product line.”
PS Engineering partnered with radio expert Microair to integrate an important piece of avionics, with an advanced audio panel system. This system will save cockpit panel space, weight, provide the most sought after functionality, and save money over the stand-alone independent systems.
“Microair is excited about partnering with PS Engineering,” said Microair’s President, Phil Ainsworth, “We are looking forward to getting into more airplanes with the PAR100EX, and the combination of our expertise will change the way experimental and LSA aircraft avionics panels will be created.”
The PAR100EX will be FCC approved but not hold FAA Approval for airplanes certified under standard airworthiness.
According to the Senior Design Engineer, Eduardo Lopez-Gil, “Seamless integration between the audio panel and the radio was the primary goal in this integration, for the best user experience possible, with minimal panel space. The KISS principle was practiced all during the development of the audio panel.”
The PAR100EX can be configured as stand alone, as COM 2, or as COM 1. The system can be a primary VHF Com, and the second radio could be a tactical or business radio, useful for ALE, game management, fish spotters, etc.
An integrated Bluetooth system allows the PAR100EX to interface with cellular telephones, giving the aircraft occupants ready access to their telephones. In addition, the Bluetooth can stream music from compatible devices like iPads, and smart phones.