Cool tools: The Blulink Wireless Cellphone Adapter
Device from Merit Apparel packs plenty of features
By Ron Whitney
I’ll admit it, I love gadgets. All types of gadgets, especially the type that can make my life, or my job a little bit easier. While strolling the aisles at the 2009 Heliexpo I ran into Rob Hamers, owner of Merit Apparel of Vero Beach, Florida.
Merit Apparel has been around for quite some time, actually they have been in business for over thirty years. Specializing in custom Gallet flight helmets, Nomex gloves, communication systems, lip lights, and all the parts, pieces and upgrades you can possibly imagine. In the past few years they’ve added cell phone adapters to their product lineup.
The first few versions of these handy devices included a few extra cables to make the necessary connections. While these adapters worked great, extra cables can create more clutter in your cockpit, or cabin than you really want. Well, now we have a product that eliminates the clutter, interfaces with every Bluetooth enabled cell phone or MP3 player, and allows hands free communication right through your existing headset or helmet, the Blulink Wireless Cell phone adapter.
It will even allow you to listen to your Bluetooth enabled MP3 player as well. What sets this device apart from other cell phone adapter is that it has a mute feature which will mute the phone call, or interrupt the music if an intercom transmission, or radio transmission is sensed.
I know the rules concerning the use of cell phones aboard aircraft, and do not condone breaking, bending, or otherwise abusing the regulated use of these devices. However, anyone who has been around the block at least once knows well the limitations of “line of sight” communications systems, they don’t always get the job done. For those times, while on the ground, when you just have to contact the FAA, FSS, or any other agency the Blulink Cell phone adapter fits the bill quite nicely.
• File, cancel or close your flight plan
• Obtain your full flight briefing
• Obtain your IFR clearance
• Call WxBrief or ASOS/AWOS
• Call to coordinate aircraft servicing
The adapter, which weighs 4.2 oz is fitted with two quick release cables that make the connection between the aircraft and your headset or helmet. Two AA batteries will power the unit for approximately 15-20 hours of use, 100 hours in the standby mode. Setup is simple and if followed correctly will have you up and running in just a few minutes.
Once you have the unit setup all you have to do is turn it on and it will automatically connect to your Bluetooth device. Another of the neat capabilities of this adapter is that you can take it with you when you leave the aircraft and still want to make a call through your helmet or headset. This is especially useful for EMS medical crews who need to call their medical authority from an accident scene.
The Blulink adapter is manufactured by Pilot Communications, and can be ordered through Merit Apparel by visiting www.meritapparel.com, or calling (772)563-0002.