Zaon PCAS MRX Traffic Advisories....must have!

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topilot
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Zaon PCAS MRX Traffic Advisories....must have!

Postby topilot » Fri Jan 18, 2008 5:17 pm

I finally bit the bullet and purchased a Zaon PCAS unit after having a significant number of close calls in the sunny skies over Florida recently. This little beauty is smaller than a pack of cigarettes and runs about 8 hours on two AA batteries. I will provide a product review as I gain more experience with my newly purchased high tech traffic warning gadget.

CAS
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Re: Zaon PCAS MRX Traffic Advisories....must have!

Postby CAS » Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:08 pm

Topilot: Looking forward to reading your report.

There have been many positive postings about the MRX on rec.aviation.soaring in the past year: http://groups.google.com/group/rec.avia ... this+group

Obviously the Zaon PCAS MRX isn't a complete MAC/NMAC avoidance package, but it sounds like a great addition to a layered approach for light aircraft.

P.S. Is Topilot shorthand for Top Pilot or Tow Pilot?
Last edited by CAS on Sat May 26, 2012 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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topilot
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Re: Zaon PCAS MRX Traffic Advisories....must have!

Postby topilot » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:29 pm

I must confess it is neither Top Pilot or Tow Pilot. I like Top Pilot better though. It is short for To Pilot, but will take the steak dinner anytime you are in the area.

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topilot
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Re: Zaon PCAS MRX Traffic Advisories....must have!

Postby topilot » Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:41 am

Day one of using the Zaon PCAS MRX:
1. Like the fact it goes to default mode for ground operation after 35 seconds of startup. This eliminates the fact that you don't get any aircraft avoidance warnings below 200'.
2. Once airborne, it starting picking up a lot of traffic with range and altitude. It prioritizes the aircraft that poses the most threat.
3. It has two types of warnings; alert and advisory. Alert is the highest level of threat to your position. 2 beep warning for advisory and 4 beeps for alerts.
4. Without azmith it can be in any direction from your position. It does, however, provide some level of position by indicating a + or - to the altitude of the threat.

More later.................

LimaBravo
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Re: Zaon PCAS MRX Traffic Advisories....must have!

Postby LimaBravo » Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:40 pm

Hey ToPilot~

Nice idea to bring up, I enjoyed reading your initial review. I have had the TrafficScope VRX for a few years and love it. It really increases awareness and I have learned how to scan the horizon better than most now! :-)

I agree that it would be nice to have azimuth orientation of the target, but at such an affordable price it is easy to learn how to use with out.

Anyway, I loved it so much I had a custom bracket made and it is panel mounted now!! The audio is set up right through my Garmin intercom. I sometimes get a chuckle when my passengers hear " Traffic Alert, maintain visual seperation".....

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PilotBillFromTexas
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Re: Zaon PCAS MRX Traffic Advisories....must have!

Postby PilotBillFromTexas » Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:49 am

Nice review. Thanks.

I like this technology. One thing that kind of creeps me out is when I get "traffic no longer a factor" from flight following and I never saw the traffic.

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topilot
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Re: Zaon PCAS MRX Traffic Advisories....must have!

Postby topilot » Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:11 am

Here is my further evaluation of the Zaon:
1. I have gone to the cigar plug power adapter moving from aircraft to aircraft as it seems to eat the two AA batteries very quickly.
2. The unit really takes the heat setting ontop of the panel here in Florida. Good thing it has the special poly case to resist high temps.
3. If you consider that it primarily gives a pilot another set of eyes that can spot traffic, it primarily fits the needs of the user. Perfect for the active CFI jumping between aircraft and teaching.
4. After some experience in observing the range and altitude readout, you get more familiar with the possible real threat warnings as they are presented and how to scan for traffic.
5. Provides a great backup for displaying your xponder code and altitude in local mode.
more later......................

PS: It has already provided some traffic alerts that I might have missed seeing. One was within 500'.

Jeb
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Re: Zaon PCAS MRX Traffic Advisories....must have!

Postby Jeb » Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:46 pm

How much of a distraction is it? In what airspace in FL are you flying?

Thanks!

Jeb

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topilot
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Re: Zaon PCAS MRX Traffic Advisories....must have!

Postby topilot » Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:15 pm

Jeb,
I am flying out of FPR and SUA, but fly to many other quadrants of Florida. In fact, tomorrow I will be headed down to Marathon with a instrument client. I did some radiation treatment over in your part of the state at Dattoli Center this past year and loved visiting many of the attractions there including the Ringling Museum.
No, there is not a lot of distraction in using the Zaon box and consider it another set of eyes. Watch for my article coming up in an IFRR issue weaving in the use of the Zaon as an optional safety devise when using view limiting devices during instrument training.
You will love living in Florida! Tom

LimaBravo
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Re: Zaon PCAS MRX Traffic Advisories....must have!

Postby LimaBravo » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:02 am

I agree with topilot. I consider these devices another set of eyes, and as backup (or checkup?) to ATC. If I have a hit at 500' and 1/2 mile with no advisory from ATC, I am usually asking if they have a traffic for me (if the trend is closer or quicker, then I ask sooner). It is just nice to have the additional data to find traffic, that is for sure. It is also nice to see the traffic "trend" as this lets you know of a threat level / converging traffic.

Just my .02 :-)


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