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Written by Jay Smith.
This feature-rich radio will tell you all of the things you've been missing.
Online bonus video and 360-viewer.
Read the complete article and features in the November 2013 issue.


If I had to describe the Jeti DS-16 transmitter in a single word, impressive is the best fit. The first time I held the 44-ounce radio in my hands, I admired its stout aluminum construction. Although the radio is slightly heavier than some other models, it is comfortable to hold thanks to the molded hand grips on the side and back of the radio.

I performed the obligatory wiggle of the sticks. I was impressed by the smooth feel. The full metal gimbals have nine ball bearings and feature Hall magnetic sensors with fully adjustable stick movement and tension.

The 3.8-inch, backlit LCD screen was situated on the top of the transmitter, which should make it easier to see, especially when flying.

Then Zb from Espirit Model turned on the transmitter and it introduced itself in a synthesized female voice. Although it was an interesting feature, other than trying to impress my flying buddies, I didn’t see a practical use for it. That is until I found out that the radio is fully capable of providing voice announcements for any alarms or notifications you could want!

You can have the DS-16 tell you any information that is located on the LCD screen, which will help you keep your eyes on your aircraft. It can also tell you a host of things that aren’t typically displayed.

The voice you hear is your choice because the transmitter supports any voice or sound recorded as a WAV file. These files are easily transferred to the radio from a PC via the included USB cable.

You’re probably thinking the same thing I was at this point—the possibilities are endless! You’ll not have to worry that you flipped an incorrect switch or initiated the wrong function, because the DS-16 can tell you when you have activated retracts, flaps, dual rates, etc.

The icing on the cake was the accelerometers. The DS-16 is equipped with an inertial unit that precisely determines the orientation of the device in space. The unit consists of a three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer, and additional mathematic operations. You can freely use this inertial unit to control any function, trigger voice announcements, or even pilot your model.

The demonstration radio was set up to work on the X axis. Tilting the radio to the left or right provided an audible voice announcing the remaining time on the timer.

When the short demonstration was over at the Espirit Model booth, I reluctantly handed back the transmitter. I knew I was ready to step up to the talking transmitter and what it had to say can be used for so much more than just a gimmick!

Layout and Ergonomics
Looking at the top of the radio with the sticks facing you, you’ll find the carry handle and three plugs. From left to right they are the Charge Jack, USB PC Interface, and Earphone Jack. The radio can be charged using either the included power supply or with the USB plug connected to a PC.




The Jeti DS-16 comes with all the accessories seen here. Also provided is a nice aluminum case to safely transport it. Photo by Mark Lanterman.




On the top are the carry handle and (L-R) the Earphone Jack, USB PC Interface, and the Charge Jack. All radios sold in the US have FCC certification. Lanterman photo.




The top right quadrant houses one three-position switch, two two-position switches, a momentary spring-loaded switch, and a slider on the side. The switches are removable and completely programmable. Lanterman photo.




The top left quadrant houses three two-position switches and a three-position switch as well as a slider on the side. Lanterman photo.




A look inside the transmitter shows the preinstalled battery. On the top right is the preinstalled micro SD card. Photo courtesy of Jeti Model.



The top left quadrant houses three two-position switches, a three-position switch, and a slider on the side. The top right quadrant houses one three-position and two two-position switches, a momentary spring-loaded switch, and the slider. The switches are removable and completely programmable.

Below the 320 x 240 3.8-inch backlit LCD screen are five function buttons which are used to aid in programming and quickly selecting certain options.

The neck strap hook in the center of the transmitter is balanced, allowing the transmitter to hang flat when using a strap. Slightly above the neck strap hook are the on/off and charging indicators and below it are two rotary control knobs. The digital trims are located below and to the inside of the sticks. Between them you will find the power button, which needs to be held for two seconds to power the transmitter.

On the bottom left of the DS-16 is the speaker and on the bottom right is the menu button, 3D control selector, and ESC button used for programming.

The left and right control sticks have completely adjustable lengths. By removing the eight screws on the back of the case, you can also adjust the angle of the sticks, the control stick tension, and the ratchet tension. You can also adjust the throttle stick’s travel and change the Mode of the radio.

It is important to remember that anytime you remove the back cover of the radio, the radio should be off and not currently charging or connected via USB. When the cover is removed, immediately disconnect the battery by unplugging the connector to prevent the chance of damaging your radio. If the battery is unplugged for more than a minute, the time and date, if set, will be deleted and need to be reset. No other settings will be affected.

Navigation and Basic Programming
The Jeti DS-16 is easy to navigate and programing is intuitive and straightforward. Although the manual provides an overview of using the radio and its programming, it can’t cover in-depth all of the advanced programing features. The manual is available online as a PDF and a link to it is listed in the “Sources” section.

When you first turn on the transmitter, you will be asked if you want to “Start Transmitter.” You will be given approximately 10 seconds to answer yes or no, or you have the option to go directly into model selection by selecting the middle function button. If no selection is made, the transmitter will power off. You can choose to disable the startup question in the Configuration Menu.

The main screen provides a wealth of useful information including the transmitter signal strength, selected flight mode, throttle lock, current time, transmitter battery status, model information, programmed alarms, and telemetry data. The more user-defined information you select will determine the number of pages for the main screen. Additional pages will automatically be added and can be accessed with the function keys.

When you depress the menu button on the transmitter, the LCD screen will display the following options: Model, Fine Tuning, Advanced Properties, Timers/Sensors, Applications, and System.

The 3D Control Selector, a wheel with a select button in the middle, makes moving through the programing screens, selecting options, and making changes quick and easy.

To test some of the features and how intuitive the programming is, I created a basic five-channel model (using two aileron servos) without even reading the manual! The radio walks you through the process when you select Model from the Main Menu. When you select New Model, the basic setup includes Name, Model Type (Aero, Heli, General), Wing Type and Tail Type, Functions Assignment, Servo Assignment, and Servo Setup.

Although I wouldn’t recommend skipping reading the manual before setting up a model, I confirmed that the programing is logical and basic setup parameters with provided illustrations, such as the wing and tail type, further simplify the process.

Binding a receiver to the transmitter is done using a bind plug inserted into the EXT port on the receiver. Power the receiver first and then turn on the transmitter. The transmitter will display “Unregisted Receiver” on the LCD display and ask if you want it to bind. Select yes and the process is complete. At this point you are able to setup the Fail Safe if you wish, and then remove the bind plug.

Safety is a key component of the DS-16 with its Throttle Lock feature. The throttle lock can be activated or deactivated from the Main Menu using the Function 1 button. It can also be set up to work from any switch on the transmitter. The LCD screen displays the status of the function to allow for visual confirmation of its status.





The Configuration screen is where you set the date and time. Distance and temperature can be set to Metric or Imperial..




The Home screen shows the author’s timer and currently selected model. Off indicates the throttle lock is activated.




The Main Menu shows the various programming options. The throttle lock on the bottom left can be activated or deactivated using the Function 1 button.




The Home screen view shows the capacity alarm, which is set for 1,620 mAh. According to the telemetry on the screen, the capacity is at 1,723 mAh.




Telemetry allows the pilot to review post-flight data. This is a graph view of the ampere draw during a flight.




The Accelerometer is an inertial unit that can be used to control any function, trigger any voice announcements, or even pilot your model. The author’s is set up to utilize the X axis. Tilting the radio to the left or right, it announces the remaining time on the timer.


Telemetry
The radio I received for review did not include telemetry sensors or a Jeti Mezon ESC, so only the receiver pack voltage could be monitored via the receiver. I asked Joe Smith, who is a Jeti sponsored pilot, to provide an overview of Jeti’s telemetry options and a little insight into his experiences using it. Here is what Joe had to say:

As you may have guessed from the name Duplex, Jeti’s radio control system is bidirectional, allowing two-way communication with telemetry sensors that provide data on a model’s performance. Telemetry sensors are currently available to measure temperature, airspeed, GPS data, voltage, current, and capacity. Also available is a variometer that provides real-time data on altitude and rate of climb and descent. These sensors can be added to any setup and can be utilized in a few different ways.

The Jeti DC-16 and DS-16 transmitters can program, monitor, and log data from all of these sensors. However, owning a Jeti radio is not the only way to take advantage of the company’s telemetry system. A device known as the JetiBox Profi allows users to employ Jeti’s telemetry system with any brand of radio.

All four of these devices can program the telemetry sensors and Jeti ESCs. Each allows the user to adjust the settings of the individual sensors as needed. The Jeti radios and JetiBox Profi are capable of receiving inflight data, which can be logged and analyzed.

Alarms can be set up to give warnings during the flight under certain conditions. For example, the MUI (current/capacity/voltage) sensor monitors main pack voltage, the current the system is pulling, and also the milliamps (mAh) that have been used.

I set up an alarm for capacity so when it senses that a programmed number of milliamps have been pulled from the battery, it will give me an audible warning. This removes the need for a timer, so you can actually fly until the battery is discharged and not worry about damaging your battery packs. I also set up a voltage alarm, and this keeps me from flying with a discharged pack.

Jeti is now including telemetry in some of its other devices. These devices will have a label of EX in the description. Some of these devices include receivers, Mezon ESCs, and voltage regulators. For example, the receivers all have a built in voltage sensor so you can monitor your receiver pack voltage.

Although Jeti telemetry has advanced features, the system remains simple for the end user to program and utilize to monitor a model’s performance.

Advanced Programing and Helicopter Setup
The Jeti DS-16 is a feature-rich, advanced radio and I have only scratched the surface of its abilities. Look for the conclusion of this review in the December issue where I will cover some of the more advanced programing features and options, as well as an overview of the helicopter functionality.

—Jay Smith
jays@modelaircraft.org



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3 comments

I have been flying RC over 40 years. My radio brands have been Orbit, Kraft, Futaba, Spektrum, and now Jeti Duplex. I am a HAM Radio Operator and flew on 53 Mhz but when the 2.4 Ghz technology came out, I had to switch as the 1 inch antenna looked a lot better than a 3 foot antenna wire hanging out of my scale plane.

There are over 400 members in my RC Club and 80% of them use the Spektrum brand as the local hobby shops stock PNP planes with the Spektrum receiver. So I bought a DX8. I lost 6 planes with it due to radio failure. And other club members with DX8's have had the same problem. There were 2 recalls on my DX8 to replace defective hardware components. They caused a reboot of the receiver while in the air. I lost over $3000 in planes.

The reason I bought the Jeti Duplex DS-16 was because it has 2 RF modules and 4 antennas and quality construction and standard telemetry. Another plus is the sensors plug directly into the receiver. My favorite is the battery sensor that monitors the capacity of the battery. I programmed Voice Alerts to say:
"Battery at 40%"
"Battery at 30%"
and at 25% she says "Land Now". My batteries are always at 21% when I land so the 80% battery life rule is met.

I really like the voice response to switch throw. It's like having a copilot with me. When flying jets at 100 mph it is good to hear her confirm I am on Low Rate for high speed turns and on High Rate for landings in a crosswind.

I have a Fun Cub with a bomb release. I drop 6 ft streamers with a weighted wood bead on one end from 200 feet and try to get in a 30 foot circle of small parking cones on the grass field. When I land to reload, it is nice to hear her say "Safety On" on Throttle Cut so I don't risk a prop cut. She says "Motor On" for takeoff.

Mixing is very easy. On my 70mm EDF F22 Raptor I can go from standard elevator and ailerons to 4x4 mode (4 servos and 4 control surfaces, elevator and ailerons, work together as elevons) or I can choose spoilerons and flaperons.

Anything you can think of you can easily do with this incredible radio system. I am currently flight testing an original design. I have a YF-23 with a pusher prop and a Quad rotor mounted in the large wings. I used the throttle stick to control the quad. After take off, I use the left side proportional lever to turn on the pusher prop. When I have lift over the wings, the Jeti built in sequencer shuts down the quad motors and closes vanes over the wing openings so I have a solid wing. It then flies as a normal plane. I do the reverse to land.

What a great radio system.

Santa, I've been a fairly well behaved Sailor all year, so please put a Jeti 16 under my tree!

DX8 owner here. Well, actually, it's more like DX4 1/2. The programming algorithms seem to shut down one channel when programming in another. So you can have flaps or gear, but not both, for instance. I can't ever seem to get full functionality out of all my switches, so I'm not sure how this thing is a true 8-channel radio. Maybe I'm just not getting it, but the instructions usually lead me right into a dark, thug-infested alley whenever I try to program anything other than the standard one-servo-aileron, one-servo-flap, fixed gear plank, or 120 CCP helo. *Sigh*

Does anyone know if the Jeti will control all the Spektrum DSMX/2 receivers I've invested so much money in over the last couple of years?

Congrats on your Jeti procurement! It sounds awesome.

I have a dx8 and don't trust it. Lost all of my Helis to reboot issue. Went to a Taranis X9D and couldn't be happier. This sounds similar.

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