Simple, ba­sic and beau­ti­fully de­signed

Pilot - - BOOKS & GEAR - PW

Icom IC-A16E 8.33/25 khz Ground to Air Sup­port Ra­dio. Typ­i­cal price £276 inc VAT

Icom tells Pi­lot its new IC-A16E air band trans­ceiver has been specif­i­cally de­signed for air­side ground crew who pro­vide avi­a­tion sup­port.

Com­pact, light­weight and hav­ing a high ca­pac­ity (2,400mah) lithi­u­mion bat­tery pack, it is claimed to be ca­pa­ble of pro­vid­ing up to sev­en­teen hours of typ­i­cal op­er­a­tion, so it can be used all day with­out recharg­ing.

Trans­mit­ting power is six Watts – enough to cover the largest of air­ports and get sig­nals through and around thick walls and metal hangars, says Icom. It has ‘classlead­ing’ 1500mw loud and pow­er­ful au­dio out­put to cut through environmen­tal noise. And it’s rugged and rain-re­sis­tant too – enough for ‘the rigours of the avi­a­tion mar­ket’ (and per­haps to sur­vive an in-flight emer­gency or ditch­ing and re­main op­er­a­ble as a stand-by pi­lot ra­dio).

Aimed at large op­er­a­tions where shift work­ers may use it, the ICA16E re­ally is easy and in­tu­itive to op­er­ate. It boasts 200 mem­ory chan­nels, each al­lo­cated and eight al­phanu­meric LCD char­ac­ters. A low bat­tery in­di­ca­tor and beep alert are also stan­dard fea­tures. Other wel­come fea­tures in­clude up to five min­utes voice record­ing/ play­back (never again say “say again”) and built-in Blue­tooth for hands-free op­er­a­tion/con­nec­tion to suit­able head­sets. The LCD and key­pad are back­light for night time op­er­a­tion.

We didn’t try our sam­ple at night, but took it to a private fly-in, where every­one was im­pressed with how easy it was to use, how well it worked and how com­pact it is. The low price also pro­voked a bit of thought, the con­sen­sus be­ing that the IC-A16E would be a nice unit to use in vin­tage Per­mit air­craft, home­builts and ul­tra­lights, where com­pact di­men­sions, simple op­er­a­tion and low cost are val­ued (we’ve fed this back to Icom).

As sup­plied at the mo­ment, the IC-A16E comes with BP-280 bat­tery pack, BC-213 rapid charger, AC adapter, FA-B02AR an­tenna, MB-133 belt clip and hand strap. It’s not as cheap as the op­po­si­tion’s sim­i­lar, ba­sic hand­held, but it feels and looks es­pe­cially well made (even the charger has a metal base­plate and sits solidly on the desk top). For cock­pit use, the thing that is miss­ing is a head­set adapter. Icom does sup­ply one sep­a­rately, but it ap­pears to be nei­ther easy to find or in­ex­pen­sive.

The IC-A16E is a su­per groundto-air sup­port trans­ceiver. The only im­prove­ment we can think of is sup­ply­ing it with that head­set adap­tor as a pi­lot ra­dio.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.