Pilots living in the colder parts of the world have to decide whether to leave heating devices running constantly, or make the time to turn the preheat devices on well in advance of a flight. Now Aerotherm offers a third alternative, thanks to its new Remote Cellular Phone Switch.
This device, which is designed to turn engine preheaters on and off, actually works for any AC device. It's pretty simple, and pretty cool.
Two circuits can be turned on or off through a phone call or a text message; there is no need to have operating "landline" phone service in the hangar—though, obviously, you need to have cellular service there.
The Switch works according to one of three schemes. You can pre-program the duration of preheat, call the device, and it will stay on for the period you've selected; there are no text charges associated with this mode. However, the unit will send a text message when it turns off again.
By using text messaging, you can tell the Switch to turn on and stay on. In addition, you can turn it on and specify how long it should stay activated. These modes require you to send a text message with the instructions. As in the other modes, the unit will send a text message when it has turned off.
According to the company, the T-Mobile SIM card that provides the cell/text-message connection should operate for 90 days at a cost of $10; there is no activation charge. The Switch itself sells for $399 with a one-year warranty and free shipping.
For more information, visit the company's website or call 605/645-2006.