Sporty’s Debuts New Handheld Radio

The PJ2 fits in your hand for easy portability. Sporty’s Pilot Shop

What if you could design the handheld radio you would want to have ready in your flight bag, able to grab right when you needed it? For years, the team at Sporty's Pilot Shop has sought to make that "just right" portable com radio—and now they have the requisite pieces together to debut the new PJ2.

“For years we've asked pilots at Oshkosh or in our shop, ‘What do you want in a radio?’” said John Zimmerman, vice president of the catalog division at Sporty’s. “Eight out of 10 people said the same basic thing: ‘Inexpensive, easy to use, no adapter cable.’ We agreed, so that that became the goal for the PJ2.”

The key to the the PJ2's ease of use is that it's the only handheld com that allows you to plug any headset with a standard twin plug straight into the unit, negating the need for an adapter cable. Large, dedicated volume and squelch knobs are made to be easy to grab in turbulent air, and the lack of menus keeps operation simple. The PJ2 has a "last frequency" recall button, as well as 20 memory channels. Updated weather is accessible via NOAA radio stations. The unit comes with a battery pack that uses 6 AA batteries, and it has the ability to be powered by a USB-C connection as well.

Zimmerman noted that a lot of behind-the-scenes work went into using new technology to make the unit as small as possible while retaining key features. The PJ2 retails for $199, with an adapter for special Lemo/6-pin plugs available for $39.95.

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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