Pilot's Guide to Avionics 2015-16 Edition - 55
Aspen Avionics CG100
ing about $ 100 more than
the A20. This $ 100 buys only a
phone connection, however, leaving any music input to a cable Bose provides for both versions.
Intercom connection remains through the usual Bose wired connections to the audio panel. But for music and mobile phone use
with Bose's BluLink adapter, the owner needs a device with music
streaming capability or a Bluetooth dongle through which to connect
the portable music player. Bose notes to be certain the Bluetoothenabled phone or adapter has Bluetooth A2DP (advanced audio distribution profile) and Bluetooth AVRCP (audio/video remote control
profile). These Bluetooth technologies allow the device to work with
David Clark's DC PRO-lineup of ENC (electronic noise canceling) headsets integrate Bluetooth technology as a standard feature,
again for connecting wirelessly through the headsets to mobile
phone, music player or tablet.
Lightspeed Aviation also offers Bluetooth for its Zulu.2 ANR headset. But both the DC PRO and Zulu.2 lineup retain their cable connections to the audio-control panel.
Other players offer Bluetooth audio-panel options, but a pioneer and predominant player in this realm is PS Engineering. The
Tennessee-based company specializes in audio-control equipment,
and integrating a Bluetooth interface to connect mobile phones and
music players stands amid a number of advances pioneered by the
At some point, Bluetooth-based connections should emerge allowing wireless intercom between headsets and audio panels while
preserving Bluetooth options for cellphone calls or music input.
But it's unlikely that PS Engineering plans to pioneer Bluetooth
headset-to-audio-panel-intercom system connectivity, according to
Gary Picou, executive vice president.
Bluetooth versus other wireless technologies
Picou noted the company's Bluetooth-equipped audio panels work
with phones and music players, not Bluetooth-enabled headsets. He
said, " The headset connects to phone and music the way the audio
panel does; however, if you are linked to a headset, only the wearer
gets to use the device. If the Bluetooth phone or music source is
linked to the audio panel, everybody gets to benefit."
Picou, also PS Engineering's top engineer, noted what he called
" technical issues regarding the wireless headset to the audio panel/
aircraft radios that we aren't comfortable tackling right now. We
consider the link between the crew microphone and headphone to
the aircraft radio to be a holy bond. Integrating a BT link, which may
have latency issues, frequency response issues or power consumption problems into the flight-critical ATC communications, is an area
we don't wish to venture."
In this area, PS Engineering appears to be a majority voice, since
all the Bluetooth options we could find limited their use to mobile
phones and Bluetooth-equipped personal devices like music players
and tablet computers.
Meanwhile, don't expect the wireless-cockpit concept to abate, not with
so much fresh frontier for exploration by new product idea makers. q
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ABC AvioniCs Co.
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