The internal MP3 player functions of the Experimental-aircraft-only PMA9000EX have been so popular that PS Engineering has embedded the same technology into the TSO'd PMA8000B audio panel/intercom to create the PMA8000B-MP3.
Using the same chassis and front-panel layout as the popular 8000B, the new MP3 version adds a 1-gigabyte chip to hold the music contents. The front-panel jack now also acts as a USB portal for uploading the music; a converter cable is provided. Unlike the 9000EX, which has an LCD panel to denote the various modes, the 8000 relies upon a clever menu system using the existing keys. PS Engineering debuted a voice-responder mode system in the 8000B; change modes by the front panel keys and a voice tells you what you've done. That system remains and is expanded in the MP3, which retains all the base functions of the 8000B, including six-place stereo intercom with IntelliVox, various switched and unswitched audio inputs, support for two nav/coms plus other ancillary inputs (DME, ADF) and, finally, the ability to split the comm functions between pilot and copilot. The entertainment channels have SoftMute technology and can be switched on for a sing-along mode. (Woe for the teenager in the back seat.)
Naturally, the 8000-MP3 is a slide-in replacement for the 8000B but also for the Garmin GMA 340. Price is $1849. For more information, visit PS Engineering's web site, or visit the company at Oshkosh this week.