Turning its focus to the experimental market, Garmin has launched a stand-alone Bluetooth comm radio, the GTR 200B, an upgraded version of the company’s GTR 200. In addition to Bluetooth, which allows the pilot to connect a smartphone or tablet to the comm radio, allowing the pilot to stream music or make phone calls through the headset, the unit features auto-squelch, stereo intercom, alert inputs, standby frequency monitoring and more.
Garmin’s 3D Audio processing separates the sounds going into any stereo headset to help the pilot differentiate the source of each sound. Sounds from occupants in the airplane come from their approximate seating positions.
Some of the GTR 200B’s features can be configured by the operator through special softkeys. Softkeys can be used as shortcuts for emergency frequencies or other saved frequencies, audio isolation, music mute and more. Customizations can also be made to add some basic functions, such as swapping a frequency, to buttons on the yoke. The unit can store 20 pilot-selectable frequencies and it automatically saves the most recent 20 frequencies. An identifier is displayed under the frequency on the screen, confirming to the pilot that he or she has entered the correct digits.
The GTR 200B is configured in a 1.35-inch high box, which allows many operators to slot the unit into a previous space. And for builders, the comm radio won’t take up much real estate on the panel and it is compatible with both 14 and 28-volt electric systems. At $1,395, the GTR 200B will also fit most experimental operators’ budgets.