Current Transmitters vs. The Jeti DS-16


Most of our current transmitters are from the dark ages. They appear to be puffed plastic with very little innovation in them.  It seems that the transmitter manufacturers meter out advances very incrementally and very expensively.

For an RC Helicopter guy what matters are the ergonomics, gimbals, switch gear,  configurability, reliability, ease of use, alarming, range, battery capacity and  most recently telemetry.

Futaba is a good company with good products, but I have to admit that I was a bit appalled when they introduced a $3,000 TX with very little to back up that price. They put a color touch screen on it and a small camera to take a picture of your model.  Woo Hoo! (Note the sarcasm )  In order to get their top gimbals you have to anti way up.  They have recently introduced the $600 14FG with Fasstest/S.Bus2 telemetry support like the 18MZ.  So??? $2400 for better gimbals some weight and a color screen and camera?  I can understand some upcharge, but that seems off the map to me.

I’m not trying to pick on Futaba, at least their stuff tends to be pretty bulletproof out of the box unlike Spektrum which has a history of issues especially with the DX8, my first TX which I replaced with a JR 11X that works very well.  Still to get JR’s top gimbals you need to anti up about $1200 for a JR 12X which has no SD card, no telemetry, and is not very cutting edge. Frankly it is a dinosaur.

It’s not that I have anything against these companies or that their products are bad. I just think they have gotten lazy and need a good kick in the pants to innovate a bit.

Along comes Jeti from the Czech Republic and they are offering a Transmitter the likes of which we have never seen in the US.

I was so blown away by this that I pre-ordered one.

What has Jeti done to up the anti ?

1. Ergonomics: They put the display at the top where it is easier to read. The antenna is not something fragile that can snap off. The case is substantial and routed out of Billet Aluminum. It weighs 3.2lbs. The switches are physically movable.

2. Gimbals:  They have Hall Effect, 9 bearing gimbals which means there are no sensors to wear out. They should have a much longer life span than any other gimbals out there and also be the smoothest available.  They can be rotated to line up with your wrists, and of course the sticks adjust in height.

3. Switch Gear: They have high quality switches, Momentary, 2-way, 3-way AND they can all physically be moved all over the transmitter where ever you want them.  Of course you can assign them to do anything you want, but you can actually physically choose to have a specific type of switch in a particular place. You can even add switches to the tops of the gimbals if you are not a thumbs fliers.

4. Ease of Use: They have very intuitive menus, a 4Gb SD card, and a USB port so that you can easily save your models to your computer, and upload wav files, and update firmware.  There is no silly restriction to the number of models that you can configure. If it fits in the memory, you can configure it.

5. Alarming: They not only have very configurable alarming, but you can trigger it to play any .wav file that you upload to it.  The alarm can be continuous, repeat every X period of time, or fire once.

6. Battery Capacity: It comes with a 3200mah LiPO that should run the transmitter for up to 11 hours.

7. Telemetry:  Here they completely run away from the pack:

  • Voice Readout Telemetry values
    • This can be triggered based on a timer, or a momentary switch
    • I think this is really cool. I don’t want to have to look down to see the values. I can just flip a momentary switch and have it read back my current telemetry values, like the mah used in my batteries.
  • The Telemetry values are all logged in the TX and can be downloaded to your computer using the USB port.
  • Configurable alarming based on the telemetry values ( others do this)
  • Tightly integrated with their Jeti Mezon ESC’s that send back telemetry data. This greatly simplifies setup.
  • Very complete list of telemetry sensors available now. This is because Jeti has been doing telemetry for a long time and isn’t new to this game.

8. Other features: It has something like model match but better. It can tell when you have powered up a model that you have not selected and it will let you know about it and even allow you to assign that Transceiver to the currently selected model. Talk about an easy way to bind your heli!  There are accelerometers in the TX that can be used to control things as well. Maybe it could be used to aim a camera for FPV? I really haven’t figured out a use for that one yet, but it is interesting and I think innovative.

Addendum 12/12/12 : They just put out a video showing a really good use for the built in accelerometers as triggers to have it read out a piece of telemetry data. The example they use is basically giving it a small shake that triggers a voice readout of the timer value, but you could have it read off anything else. So maybe a shake of the top of the TX could give me the current head speed, flight mode and mah used…   That has got to be the easiest way to find out how much time you have left to fly ever.

Helifreak Jeti forum:

I am very excited about trying this transmitter out!!!  It actually has really cool features that I can use, and I’m sure that I will find a lot more features once I dig into it.

I’ll be getting 15 points of telemetry data from my Jive via a JLog2 that talks to a Jeti Transceiver.  I’ll cover how that is configured later after I get my DS-16.

I’m planning to start with the following telemetry values.

1 (battery voltage)
2 (motor current)
3 (head speed)
4 (Flight Battery used capacity) mAh
5 (BEC output voltage)
6 (BEC output current)
7 (Throttle 0 to 100% )
8 "PWM" (version control point 0 to 100%)
9 (temperature of the power FET (final stage)
10 (motor speed) rpm
11 (flight pack battery voltage minimum) V
12 (BEC minimum voltage) V
13 (maximum motor current) A
14 (BEC maximum current) A
15 (maximum output) Watts


5 Responses to “Current Transmitters vs. The Jeti DS-16”

  1. 1 lou Peragallo December 11, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    I believe that accelerometesr are only available in the DS-16

  2. 2 Martin December 18, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Hello, the body is still aluminium (always was and will be) 🙂

  3. 4 Viettone Corrado May 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I agree with everything above… but you missed one of the most important and exclusive features: this radio has 2 separate 2.4 ghz tx modules that can be used in a variety of ways… the most important of which is redundancy, especially if used with a satellite receiver on the model. This feature alone explains the price higher than average… but there’s nothing average in this radio!

  4. 5 Kirk September 29, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Just received my Jeti DC24. WOW! I’ve barely scratched the surface so far but I can say I’m very impressed. I was VERY happy the first time I went to bind a receiver. I powered up the RX, then turned on the radio. The TX immediately beeped and said that a RX had been detected and wanted to know if I wanted to bind it. (My memory of exact details could be off. I just wanted to chime in with the basic idea.)

    When I removed power from the RX I got an alarm that said, “Transmitter lost signal.” YOOHOO! I’ve lost signal before WHILE flying my heli with a Spectrum TX. The only warning I got was my inability to control my heli which of course resulted in a spectacular crash.

    So far I love my Jeti.

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