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Old 02-24-2017, 02:30 PM
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snopercod snopercod is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 365
Default CrazedPilot Bluetooth to Headset Adapter

Today I test flew my CrazedPilot Bluetooth Headset Interface that I purchased from ACS for $46.95. This little gizmo uses Bluetooth to broadcast the audio from your iPad to your headset or intercom system. My iPad/ForeFlight/Stratus2 is my primary means of navigation. ForeFlight sends audible warnings to the iPad speaker but, until today, those warnings were inaudible in the cockpit. Now I can hear them in my headset!

It comes with a 12" USB charging cable and a 12v cigarette lighter to dual USB adapter:


The unit is intended to hook up in series with your headset, but I just plugged the male end directly into the passenger's headphone jack with no headphone connected. I fly with my Intercom enabled so I can dictate comments into my Garmin Virb video recorder as I fly. The Virb audio interface is connected in series with the Pilot's headset.

The unit worked really well, although I had to bump up the sidetone level in my Icom A-210 radio, and turn down the iPad volume to get everything balanced. Here's what it sounded like:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ro8sid1wxs..._0230.mp4?dl=0

There's an On/Off slide switch on the gizmo, as well as a blue and a red LED. When first turning the unit on, the red LED blinks until the unit is "paired" with the iPad bluetooth. Then the red LED goes off and the blue LED blinks occasionally. The iPad shows that the Bluetooth is paired with "H166" and you're good to go.

The ForeFlight audio alerts are Runway Proximity, Cabin Altitude, Traffic (if you have ADS-B out), Approaching TFR, Sink Rate, destination weather frequency (e.g. ATIS) and 500' AGL (terrain). The only alert I heard today was the runway proximity. I should have heard the 500' but that may have to do with the "priorities" of my setup. If something is being received on the COMM radio, it inhibits the secondary audio, including both the Intercom and my AoA warnings. Not good, but it is what it is.

The unit seems to work well, but one small downside is that now I have one more piece of equipment to verify powered up on my pre-flight checklist, and one more battery to charge after flight. As a bonus, you can play music from your iPad on those long cross-country flights. The battery is supposed to be good for 4-6 hours.
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Last edited by snopercod : 02-24-2017 at 02:38 PM. Reason: added battery life
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Old 02-28-2017, 12:36 PM
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snopercod snopercod is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 365
Default more questions

I've stumbled across several more questions. I emailed Foreflight and asked them if I were playing music on the iPad and an Alert came through, would the Alert override the music or just mix in with it. They replied that it would override the music but I'll have to test that out before I believe it. I don't normally listen to music while I fly (too darn busy), but I might want to on one of those long flights over the desert.

The second question has to do with the ForeFlight 500' AGL alert. I made two circuits around the pattern and never got the Alert. The User's Guide says that the 500' alert is only armed when you exceed 1,000' AGL, which I had done twice, but still no alert. So I asked myself, "Are these altitudes GPS altitude or pressure altitude?" (My iPad Air 2 has a built in pressure sensor.) Then I asked myself, "If it's GPS altitude, does the Stratus 2 use the Geoid or the Elipsoid to determine height?" I dumped my ForeFlight Track Log and the altitude it was reporting on the runway was within 10' of the real runway elevation. I'm going to have to try flying with this system more. I also want to plug the Bluetooth interface into the USB charger while flying and see if it messes up the COMM radio. I fly with my iPad plugged in, but not the Stratus because it introduces noise. Go figure...
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