PS Engineering Introduces Experimental-only PMA5000EX

PS Engineering's new PMA5000EX includes must-have features for Experimental aircraft plus an innovative new time-based alert mute designed specifically for installations with multiple audio alert inputs.

A new low-cost/high-content audio panel has been introduced by PS Engineering today. The PMA5000EX, priced at just $995, is positioned between the no-frills PMA4000 and the sophisticated PMA9000EX in the company's lineup. Without having to undertake TSO certification, PS Engineering was able to reduce the panel's cost and increase its feature set.

Here is the company's press release on the new product:

PS Engineering heard the voices from the experimental and LSA aircraft community, “Give us IntelliVOX® at a reasonable price” and “We don’t need it certified”. So the company directed its engineering staff to give these pilots and aircraft builders what they want. The result? PS Engineering is announcing the addition of the all new PMA5000EX audio control panel to round out their Experimental Audio Panel offering. At just $995, the PMA5000EX achieves a new level of performance per dollar for the homebuilder.

Company president and founder, Mark Scheuer, said, “We listened to this extremely important group of astute customers, and we responded the way only PS Engineering can, with proven design that is packaged just right for the needs of the Experimental market. The PMA5000EX nicely fills out PS Engineering’s audio panel product offering for the homebuilder. It joins the PMA4000 basic audio panel and the high end PMA9000EX, the panel that does it all!”

The PMA5000EX has just the right blend of practical functionality as well as some high end features that will complete any cockpit. It has a 4-place hi-fi stereo intercom that uses PS Engineering’s legendary IntelliVOX® squelch protocol. This proprietary system uses computational power to differentiate instantly between cabin noise and human speech, allowing seamless conversation among the crew and passengers without any adjustments. Since 1997, there have been more than 60,000 IntelliVox® systems installed in various aircraft, ranging from J-3 Cub to the legendary P-51, and by all reports, the systems performs flawlessly.

And the IntelliVox® that is built into the PMA5000EX even has a High Noise capability, making the highly acclaimed automatic VOX that much more effective in the most noisy environments. This special “High Noise” capability is achieved by selecting appropriate switch positions inside the audio panel. Not having to go through the expense of certification helps reduce cost, as does removing the Marker Beacon Receiver and Speaker Amplifier—as a result, the company was able to price the PMA5000EX at a very competitive price of $995.00.

The PMA5000EX supports two VHF COMs, two switched navigation receivers, and has two switched Auxiliary (AUX) receiver inputs for any other audio sources where switch control is desired. One unique feature of the AUX inputs is the ability to automatically mute the audio for 60 seconds. This is useful in cases where the audio is an alert that has been recognized, but becomes annoying. After 60 seconds, the audio is automatically restored. Pilots have asked for ways to temporarily disable audio alarms, and PS Engineering has responded.

Music has become integral to the enjoyment of flight. That’s why the PMA5000EX offers a front panel utility jack that accepts most cellular phones, music inputs, and audio advisory inputs from portable devices. Volume of the music input is easily controlled through front panel buttons

In addition to the switched inputs, the new audio panel also has four unswitched inputs for the priority alert audio sources such as engine analyzers, traffic and terrain monitors that are becoming common in experimental and Light Sport Aircraft. One input is even provided to the pilot with the power off.

Another useful capability is the Monitor (MON) mode, this feature will automatically mute the audio from the Com receiver that is not selected for transmit, when the selected radio audio is active. In this way, the pilot may listen to AWOS on COM 2, but prevents the AWOS audio from interfering from the primary Com audio which is typically ATC.

A frequently requested function is more music mute modes. The PMA5000EX provides four different mute modes. By pressing the Mute button, the pilot can select Mute On, Mute Off, Intercom Mute, and Radio Mute. A new capability that the pilot can enjoy is to enjoy listening to music while even when in Isolate mode.

The Telephone function will put the pilot, crew, or everybody in the aircraft on the phone, this mode is selectable from the front panel.

The PMA5000EX is not intended for installation in certified aircraft, and is not FAA-approved. “We continue to offer a full slate of fully internationally certified audio panels, including the ‘flagship’ PMA8000B that sets the benchmark for audio control capability,” said Gary Picou, Vice President of Quality Systems and Certification, “The PMA5000EX doesn’t take anything away from our existing products, but gives us another competitive tool in a significant market.”

The new audio panel will be available in February 2010 and will have 1-year Pro-Support warranty.

Founded in 1985, PS Engineering has become a leading manufacturer of general aviation intercoms and audio control systems. The company’s soul corporate focus is on audio control for General Aviation Aircraft. PS Engineering and is credited for many innovations in the field, including IntelliVox®, Softmute™, Karaoke Mode™ Split mode™, and the IRS™(Internal Recording System). With a network of over 600 authorized dealer/installers worldwide, the company is a leader in retrofit avionics as well as a supplier to other major avionics manufacturers for their audio panel requirements.

For more information, visit PS Engineering's website.

KITPLANES Editor Mary Bernard began her career in aviation journalism in 1998 and has worked in publishing for more than 15 years.

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