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

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

Postby SoCalJon » Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:01 am

I have been using the MRX in the San Diego / Los Angeles area for a month now. I have found it useful in two ways. Since it is often showing warnings with the amount of traffic in this area, it is a constant reminder to keep my eyes outside the airplane. It also has really helped me learn to judge another plane's altitude in relation to mine. I found that I often thought planes were lower than they actually are. I especially found it helpful in judging the alitude of the Boeings and Airbuses I have been told to maintain visual seperation from. I have to pretty much ignore it close in to towered airports, but find it helpful to keep track of planes landing and taking off from the parallel runway at my home airport when the frequencies for the runways are split. I was also surprised how often traffic is not called when on flight following and things are busy. My only complaint is that it seems to be switching to new targets rather often, and I wonder where the other planes are.

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

Postby PilotBrad » Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:02 pm

The timing of this thread is perfect. I was considering purchasing a Zaon MRX, and based on the feedback here I pulled the trigger and ordered it. :D
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Re: Zaon PCAS MRX Traffic Advisories....must have!

Postby topilot » Fri May 16, 2008 9:39 am

The only problem I have encountered since I started using the Zaon PCAS from the time I made the original post to this thread is the four way button broke off. I sent it to Zaon after a call to the tech service department and received a RA#. It was a quick turnaround for repair at no cost. You might have seen my evaluation article in IFR Refresher Magazine.

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

Postby RigaRunner » Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:22 pm

A question for TOPILOT on the Zaon -- do you have the $1600 model or the $500 model?

I've been looking at these and your review answers a lot of the questions I've had. I guess the biggest question is whether the larger screen showing three targets at once is worth the $1000 difference?

According to the pictures on the Zaon website, It seems like the less expensive model gives you a lot less information, signaling only the word "alert" but without the data about distance and altitude differential. Or, is the pilot able to get that information by pushing a button after the word "alert" appears?

Thanks for your thoughts,
A commercial pilot, IFR rated, who flies a Cirrus SR22 out of JYO.

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

Postby AnthonyNalli » Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:12 pm

I am a significant collision avoidance advocate, a leading dealer of PCAS, and writer of the monthly column 'Close Calls'. I'd like to take a moment to reply to the last post and explain the key differences between the MRX and the more expensive XRX.

- Both devices track up to 10 targets. The MRX displays the primary threat only with the distance and relative altitude. The XRX displays the top 3 threats with the primary threat being displayed more prominently.

- The XRX shows not only the distance and relative altitude of the target but also its quadrant bearing. If a target is at your 2 o'clock position, directional pointers will show the quadrant in which the target aircraft is located. (Another display option is below)

- The XRX has the ability to display on most portable GPS units including the Garmin 396. 496, and 495. The GPS display looks very "TCAS-like". A demonstration video can be seen on my site or on YouTube. This was a significant feature upgrade in spring of 2007 which led to a dramatic increase in XRX sales.

Aside from form factor and some other obvious differences, these are the key feature differences. For me, the XRX is by far sells more than the MRX, but for the price the MRX simply can't be beaten versus having nothing. That's why Aviation Consumer rated the MRX #1 - essentially the incredible value of it.

As to safety and distraction, please note that PCAS is intended to replace... NOTHING! As I mention almost every month in my column, pilots should continue to perform a diligent lookout, keep making good use of their radios, and even use flight following. The addition of technology to this regimen of safety only improves the compounded benefits.

Using PCAS practically involves turning it on and forgetting about it... until it has something to tell you. When it beeps or you get a verbal alert, glance at the device (or your GPS) for information on where the conflict aircraft is, then get back out the window and locate that target. Same altitude and closing distance (for example)? Change altitude and create space between yourself and the conflict.

If any of you have any questions I'd be glad to address them in this forum (which I've only just discovered) but I also welcome you to contact me via e-mail at

And if you'd like to anonymously share a story of a Close Call you've had (traffic related or not) I'd love to hear from you at

Fly Safe(r)
Read Close Calls online monthly at

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

Postby topilot » Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:47 pm

I just listed my Zaon PCAS MRX unit on eBay Like new with only a few hours of use. It works as advertised, but just don't use it enough to justify keeping it in my flight bag.

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

Postby Soccer-Jock » Wed Dec 24, 2008 9:07 am

I was happy to find a post in here on this device. A number of mid-air's have happened in Florida this past year. The fact that just recently had a sale on the Zaon MRX unit, pushed me over the edge to just buy it.

This unit is simple and surprisingly effective. You can, if you choose, simply turn it on and leave it to start working on it's own. It works as advertised. My only negative comments are on the materials used in it's construction. For whatever reason Zaon chose to use a translucent, very brittle polycarbonate case. The case does not fit together exceptionally well. It appears the case can easily be cracked if you handle this thing roughly. The buttons are also not very tactile, forcing you to have to pay a little extra attention to any setting changes you make... just to make certain you actually changed something. The alphanumeric display window is clear and bright, but does not have a protective lens. Though insignificant to it's performance, the lack of protective display lens tends to detract from it's already disappointing case design.

The electronics, however, perform admirably. You sure get a lot of technology for a reasonable price. I like the trending feature that allows you to determine the threat. When used with two NiMH batteries, I get about 6-8 hours of life. I don't want to regurgitate the owners manual - which anyone can download from their website - but I will tell you that the unit works EXACTLY as they state. The unit included alkaline batteries, a headset adapter cord, an external power cord and some little velcro pads.

Overall it was a good investment. The cost (at least when it was on sale for just over $400) could not be beat. It's cheap insurance and to me it's like having someone tap you on the shoulder to make sure you're paying attention. It's small and simple enough to be in a "renter's" flight bag.

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