The majority of us need USB chargers in the cabin and the ones that plug into the lighter or accessory socket are a roll of the dice. Many users report that cheap ones work just fine, but others say they induce so much noise into the audio system they’re virtually useless. In some cases it depends how much noise is present in the first place, and even the type of USB cable you’re using. Appareo’s new Stratus Power Pro panel-mounted USB port is TSO-C71 compliant, and the company says it’s radio-shielded to eliminate VHF radio interference.
Priced at $399, the Power Pro has both a 3.0-amp USB-A and a USB-C connector built into a chassis that can mount in an existing 2 1/4-inch instrument cutout or it can be surface-mounted on instrument panels with 0.040- to 0.125-inch thickness. The port weighs 2.56 ounces and the body measures 1.84 by 1.84 and requires 1.2 inches of depth behind the panel, including the two-pin mating connector.
The ports have a blue LED lighted front—a feature that’s welcomed for night ops if you (or passengers) frequently unplug charging cables. Appareo says the updated Power Pro provides 20 percent more power than the company’s original $249 (reduced from $349) Stratus Power, which will remain in the product lineup. Unlike the new Power Pro that has both USB-C and A capability, the original port has dual USB-A ports. Both are pictured below.
Worth noting is Appareo warns that the Power Pro’s USB-C port will not charge a Stratus portable ADS-B receiver. Both the USB-A and USB-C ports output 3 amps of current. The device requires a 2-amp circuit breaker in 28-volt electrical systems and a 4-amp breaker in 14-volt systems.
The new ports put out enough juice to fully recharge most phones and tablets while they are in use. The Power Pro has a five-year warranty.