Review: Jumper T16 Radio Transmitter

The FPV community is going to be super excited about the Jumper T16 TX! With the amount of features offered by the Jumper T16 at this affordable price, the popular Frsky Taranis X9D and QX7 are finally facing some serious competition.

Learn about the basics of radio transmitter for multirotors.

Where to Buy

You can learn about how to setup the Jumper T16 for the first time in this tutorial.

jumper t16 radio transmitter lying down

Table of Content

Specs and Features

Jumper is ambitious with the T16, quoting their email:

… to create the most affordable, high-performance open source remote control on the market today. The T16 truly is the ONE radio to rule them all…

What makes them feel so confident? The answer is in the list of features:

  • Color 4.3” LCD display (480*272px)
  • Removable battery – takes two 18650 batteries, or a 2S LiPo
  • Supports external JR modules, such as the TBS Crossfire and Frsky R9M
  • Includes a multi-protocol module – Supports Frsky, Flysky and more
  • Runs OpenTX (technically JumperTX, but same thing really)
  • Voice Reminder
  • Haptic Vibration Feedback

It basically does everything the Taranis X9D-Plus do, and more, for only $150!

Here is the basic specifications:

  • Powered by STM32F429BIT6 MCU
  • Input Voltage: Voltage: 7V – 8.4V
  • Current Consumption: 350mA without external module
  • Dimension: 180*190*58
  • Weight: around 860g

What’s in the box:

The T16 radio comes with the following accessories:

  • Mini USB cable
  • Neck strap
  • Spare gimbal parts (throttle return springs and parts)
  • Screen protector

jumper t16 radio transmitter accessories

With these already installed in the TX:

  • SD Card (512MB)
  • 18650 two-cell battery holder
  • JP4-in-1 Multi-protocol Module

And there is no manual included, I hope they can fix this in the future.

T16 Appearance

jumper t16 radio transmitter compares to the taranis X9D

When I took the T16 out of the box, I was pleasantly surprised by the full size form factor. Finally it’s not “another toy” like the T8 or T12.

The T16 is slightly taller than the X9D, but skinnier.

The back handle sticks out too much, and takes up a lot of space when you put it in the bag. The rubber handles on the back and the sides are a nice touch though.

The handles can be removed quite easily. Maybe we can design and replace with custom 3D printed handles for this radio.

It has a neck strap hook located in the centre of the radio. When using with the neck strap provided, the radio is perfectly balanced without using a balance bar,

To turn on the radio, simply hold down the power button for 5 seconds. The LED lights up when it turns on. Same thing for powering it down. This is similar to how it works in the QX7 and Horus X10S. I think this is a better solution than the toggle switch on the X9D, because it often gets turned on accidentally inside my bag, and it also prevents accidental shutdowns.

Screen, Buttons and User Interface

jumper t16 screen

The large color screen is just awesome! It’s basically the same LCD screen from the $420 Horus X10S. Note that it’s not a touch screen. The Flysky Nirvana uses a color touch screen, sounds cool, but to be honest, i still prefer using buttons because it’s more precise.

The user interface is identical to Horus X10S on OpenTX. And if you are already familiar with the QX7 or X9D, it would feel just like home.

On the left side of the screen, there are four push buttons: SYS (radio setup), MDL (model), PAGE and TELE (telemetry).

jumper t16 wheel button

On the right, there is the RTN button (return/cancel), and a roller button (wheel) – this thing is so easy to use! A bit like the button on the iSDT Q6 charger. BUT, why did they put it side way when it’s actually controlling up and down… It would be more intuitive to rotate it 90 degree. I guess it’s for aesthetics reason.

Gimbals

jumper t16 gimbals

I believe these T16 gimbals are just “pot gimbals” (potentiometer), not “hall sensor”. (I will explain more on “how it feels” later in the First Impression section).

There is a M2 screw next to each gimbal, it elevates one side of the gimbal, so you can adjust the tilt angle left or right (only slightly). Pretty cool feature, first time I have ever seen this.

Adjusting gimbal stick height, left shortest, right longest

The height of the sticks can be adjusted. And in case you want to get custom stick ends, the gimbals stick thread is M3 (3mm diameter).

My Jumper T16 came in Mode 2 (throttle/yaw on the left, pitch/roll on the right). However you can change it to other modes if you want (I will do a how to in the future).

Curiously, there are six trim buttons – four for the two gimbals, and two spare (T5 and T6) are user assigned to anything you wish to program.

Switches and Sliders

jumper t16 switches pots sliders

It has the same amount of switches, pots and sliders as the Taranis X9D-Plus. This should be more than enough for most pilots, especially mini quads.

To be specific, there are eight switches, six of which are 3-position switches, one 2-position switch, and one momentary switch. Two pots (potentiometers), and two sliders, one on each side.

For mini quad pilots we normally only need two to four of the switches, the rest are normally used by plane and fixed wing pilots.

In addition, there are six more buttons numbered 1 to 6 in the centre, under the pots (S1 and S2). These are the “function keys”, presumably for flight modes in advanced systems like APM and Pixhawk flight controllers

External Module

It has a module bay on the back that supports external JR modules, such as the R9M and Crossfire.

Just like its little brother, the Jumper T12, the T16 doesn’t have a built-in RF module. It relies on external module to work. That’s why the T16 comes with the same Jumper JP4IN1 Multi-Protocol module.

The JP4IN1 is a pretty powerful module as it supports many popular RF protocols, including FrSKY, Flysky, Hubsan and more. This means if you are coming from Frsky or Flysky systems, the transition would be seamless. You would be able to keep using the same receivers in your drones. (just need re-binding)

Protocol can be changed inside the model setup menu.

Here is a list of protocols it supports:

Note that the JP4in1 module looks slightly different than the one in the T12. They’ve removed the rotary switch and bind button. Not a big deal really, because we can do everything inside OpenTX menu, and never use these physical buttons. The mini USB port is still there for updating firmware on the JP4in1 module.

jumper t16 crossfire module

In Jumper’s marketing material, they emphasized numerous times that “TBS Crossfire is supported out of the box”, making me wondering if they are going after Frsky here.

All the new radios from Frsky after the X9D, stopped supporting Crossfire. It’s possible to use, but you’d have to do some DIY mods, which is annoying. Many speculated this is a move to push their own 900MHz long range system – the R9M.

jumper t16 R9M module

Battery Bay & SD Card

jumper t16 battery bay 18650

18650 batteries not included

The Jumper T16 comes with a 2-cell 18650 holder, the batteries are not included.

You can also use a 2S LiPo to power the T16. The dimension of the battery bay is 75x42x16mm (estimation), in case you want to check compatibility.

One tiny problem though, is the battery holder doesn’t fit snugly and rattles inside the radio. Some foam can easily fix that. Jumper also confirmed this will be fixed in production.

It doesn’t have internal charger, so you would have to remove the batteries for charging.

They should have made the 18650 holder capable for charging as well – it just needs an extra discharge lead, and add a middle wire in the balance plug… Not sure why they didn’t do that, maybe to save cost.

The SD card slot is also inside the battery bay. It comes with a 512MB SD card pre-installed so you don’t have to buy it separately! Kudos to Jumper.

Playing FPV Simulator with T16

jumper t16 mini usb port

There is a mini USB port on top of the radio, under the rubber cover. (should have used micro USB really…) It’s for:

  • playing FPV simulators
  • accessing the SD card inside the radio
  • flashing radio firmware

I checked, the T16 works with FPVAir 2 and Liftoff FPV simulators out of the box. The channels are different from the Taranis, so it needs re-calibration. If your radio doesn’t appear as joystick on your computer upon connecting, check USB mode is set to Joystick.

Right next to the USB port there is a connector, looks like it’s for headphone jack. But I checked and it doesn’t work with headphone so not sure what it’s for at this moment. (maybe trainer port, but it’s not mentioned in the specs)

Update: This is the Trainer port.

Firmware

The Jumper T16 radio comes with a very recent firmware version 2.2.3, dated back in March 17 2019.

The user interface looks identical to the OpenTX firmware that runs on the Horus X10S. Apart from the logo, I really can’t tell the difference.

JumperTX is basically the forked version of OpenTX. It’s a legit firmware, not a ripoff. They have to fork OpenTX because they are not allowed to use it. Since OpenTX is an open source project, they can fork their code as long as they keep their project open source as well.

By the way, multicopter is missing when creating a new model. Hope this gets fixed in future release.

Jumper confirmed we can update the firmware via OpenTX Companion software, or you can update via the SD card.

First Impression

Size and Weight

The Jumper T16 is bigger than I expected. Initially when I look at the images, I thought it was going to be smaller like the T8 and T12, but turns out to be similar form factor to the Taranis X9D or QX7, which is a good thing for me :)

And the weight is roughly the same too: T16 with two 18650 batteries is 860g, vs. 870g of the Taranis X9D also using two 18650 batteries.

Gimbals

Compared to the M9 gimbals on my X9D, the T16 gimbals are considerably stiffer. There is more resistance in the centre and less toward full deflection, and the “click” in the centre crossing is noticeably harder. But it’s still slightly “smoother” than the stock gimbals in the Taranis.

Jumper confirmed they will use slightly softer springs in the production units.

Comparing to the Taranis

Build quality wise (just from the outside), is similar to that of the Taranis X9D-Plus.

The biggest difference to the X9D is probably the screen and housing. Just purely based on my experience in the last few days, I still prefer the ergonomics of the X9D for pinching. Maybe because I have been using it for so many years, and I am more used to it.

Out of the box, the gimbal sticks are quite short, though they can be adjusted longer. Yet, it’s not 100% ideal for pinchers due to the location of the gimbals. They are placed quite far out towards the top, and there is not quite enough space to hold the radio while pinching. It just feels awkward.

Further Reading: What’s pincher and thumber?

I can hold and pinch at the same time with the X9D, I just can’t with the T16, unless I use neck strap. Maybe someone can create 3D printed custom handles to “fix” it in the future. For thumbers, it’s absolutely fine, maybe I should go back to using thumbs only :)

The Taranis X9D is facing some real competition here from the Jumper T16! The non-SE X9D is priced at around $220 (Pot gimbals, NOT hall sensor gimbals), while the T16 is only $150 (add $10 for battery)…

And is the T16 better than the Taranis QX7? I would say so just based on the features. And if you are looking for the cheapest worth having radio, the T12 is even cheaper anyway.

See my comparison between the X9D and QX7 if you want to know more about Taranis radios.

The T16 so far appears to be a solid radio, but I am still a bit hesitant about it mainly because of the ergonomics. If they can improve that for pinchers, it will be a clear winner for me.

And finally, I wish they had the 4in1 RF module built-in, so when you want to use an external module like the R9M you don’t have to swap it out every single time. But I guess that’s a limitation from the firmware. Doing what they are doing, avoids making massive changes to the software.

Jumper T16 Vs. Jumper T12

I previously reviewed the Jumper T12. It can do pretty much everything the T16 can do: supports external JR modules and runs “OpenTX” firmware. But the T12 just wasn’t competitive enough in my opinion.

Yes, the T12 is a great value radio that is packed with features, but it feels more like a toy, the gimbals are too small and I didn’t like how it handles in my hands (same reason why I don’t like the X-Lite that much). Of course this is a personal preference.

I guess if someone prefers the T12, it would probably because of the smaller form factor, and cheaper price. It’s only $90 after all.

The Good’s and Bad’s of Jumper T16 Radio

Good’s:

  • massive color screen, absolutely love it!
  • user-friendly wheel menu button
  • removable battery – supports both 18650 and 2S LiPo
  • full size gimbals – quality not bad for a cheap radio
  • more than enough switches, sliders and pots, with 6 extra flight mode buttons
  • supports Crossfire, and other JR external modules
  • comes with multi-protocol RF module – supports Frsky, Flysky and more
  • only $150!
  • most importantly, finally there is some real competition in the radio market!

Bad’s:

  • not 100% ideal for pinchers (okay if you use neck strap)
  • not hall sensor gimbals
  • there is no manual – update: a manual is under progress for final production units
  • back handle takes up too much space
  • 18650 battery holder cannot be used for charging

jumper t16 radio

More Testing Coming Soon

So here is my initial review of the Jumper T16. I hope that was useful! It took me a lot of time writing this and taking/editing all the photos, please help me by sharing the review to your groups :)

In the next few weeks, I will be testing the performance and reliability, and I will report back! What I want to find out are:

  • How’s the range when using Frsky protocol with XM+ and R-XSR receivers?
  • How’s the performance with R9M compared to Taranis X9D?
  • How long does 18650 batteries last per charge?
  • Are all the popular OpenTX features working as expected, like LUA script, special functions etc…

If you have any questions just leave me a comment.

FAQ’s

Can I turn off the screen while flying?

The large color screen can be quite power hungry. You can’t turn it off while flying, though you can disable the backlight, simply by setting it to be activated only by menu buttons. This is a good way to save battery life. Same as the Taranis really.

Can I replace the gimbals to M7/M9?

At this stage, I don’t think directly swap is possible, it might be possible with some DIY modifications, will confirm later.

Can I adjust gimbal tension?

Gimbal tension can be adjusted. I will show you how in future review update.

Can I charge LiPo or 18650 battery inside the radio?

No, the USB port doesn’t charge the battery, you have to remove them for charging.

40 thoughts on “Review: Jumper T16 Radio Transmitter

  1. Mervin

    Hi Oscar,
    I am new to OPENTX and I just had my new Jumper T16 radio a few day ago. The last few day I been trying to setup my T16 for my xk k110 but it not working as it should. Do you think you could post a guide on how to setup this radio for the xk k110 heli?
    Thanks.

    Reply
  2. Poppy Ann.

    Same as someone else stated I have never had a problem with mini USB connectors but have had lots of problems with micro USB especially when whatever it is plugged into getting moved around without unplugging it. I know several people who have had to pay out several hundred pounds to get devices repaired just due to the micro USB connectors either breaking or cracking with the way modern phones and tablets are almost impossible to get into a connector that costs just a few pennies ends up not worth sending in for repair as you can buy a second hand one for less.

    Reply
  3. JB-Copter

    Hey, on the Jumper, there are M3 Gimbals and not M2. I think and all other people i know in my group, using the Jumper, ist perfect for pinchers and hybrid flying people. I haven’t a transmitter… until yet with the jumper t16… that is so good in the hand for pinchers :)

    Greez

    JB-Copter

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      I’ve not tried the T8, so not sure. OpenTX is powerful but takes some learning to get used to.

      Reply
  4. Wolfgang Eckstein

    How can i use OpenTX Companion software to programm the t16, I canot find the T16 on the settigs

    Reply
  5. Ian

    Hi, can anyone compare the gimbal ‘throw’ (angle between full stick deflections) of the Jumper T16 and the FrSky X9D? Thanks, Ian

    Reply
  6. Tomas Konkol

    That will be great if somebody can find how to configure T16 trainer port. Im quite new to hobby and cat get head around it. Thanks

    Reply
  7. Nick W

    Whatever the specs might say, I have had past problems with micro-USB connectors, never with mini-USB. USB-C is better, though.

    Reply
  8. Romolo Manfredini

    I got one of this radios in my hands:
    ergonomics in my opnion is not the best, lateral sliders are difficult to use and imprecise.
    Battery get drained very fast (even a true 3300ma liion cell doesn’t last a day on slope)
    Supplied software references a bunch of hardware that is not available (internal module, bluetooth and so on), It took me only ten minutes to remove them from the menus by modding with a series of “ifdef” their fork of opentx.
    Companion is missing (ok you can use it pretending it’s a X10 but it’s far from optimal)
    BTW the supplied module lacks any form of certification and at least for CE I really doubt it will never obtain one as at the moment at least the EU implementation of FrSky protocol lacks LBT.
    In my opinion to be a real competitor the way is still long as at the moment this radio is just a poor copy of other people work.
    Very easy to be cheaper when you do not need to spend money and time to develop something really new.

    Reply
  9. Frank Stooks

    Hi, can you tell me if the T16 is compatible with the Graupner HOTT receivers? Thanks……………Frank

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      Jumper currently doesn’t have FCC certification for the radios. But as far as i know, Jumper is expecting to receive the certification soon. I think you should contact them for more detail, contact info is at the beginning of this review.

      Reply
  10. SuperStig

    Hi Oscar. I don’t understand your comments regarding ergonomics because the radio is a direct copy of Futaba 18MZ. The neckstrap is also perfectly balanced. I am a pincher myself and have the QX 7S and that radio has very bad ergonomics for everybody not using their thumbs for flying. I am considering swapping to this radio instead. Since jumper came 6 months later with a plus version for the T12 one my think that there will be a T16 plus with hall sensor later?

    Reply
  11. Andrew Blanche

    No manual, no shocker there, let’s depend on the reviewers of within the hobby to do things. Isn’t that close to status quo anyways. But other than that is there any news/word of gimbal upgrades eventually/in the works. I know goal was to keep price down but if gimbals aren’t even up to snuff with Taranis’ stock gimbals which most have shelves for upgrades anyways can’t think T16 deserving of placement as alternative for either Taranis radios? IMO of course, plus as soon as an arming occurs in that color LCD should shutdown cause that’s just a battery waster, everyone’s head in googles then so why is it on?

    Reply
  12. Clifton Hipsher

    Not to bust everyone’s bubbles, but you do realize the T12 and the T16 are electronically 1:1 copies of the QX7 and Horus respectively? One of the reasons that these radios are not supported by OpenTX is that Jumper refused to follow the OpenTX process for having radios “certified”?

    You can read all about the T12 fiasco here: rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?3110422-Jumper-T12-Open-Source-16ch-Radio-with-JP4-in-1-Multi-protocol-RF-Module

    I have a T12 that I got to review. Compared to a QX7 (which I also have) the T12 is more like the transmitter that came with my Syma X5-SW.

    Reply
  13. Olaf

    Do you have experience about the battery drain? How long do the batteries last? X9d and QX7 last forever, Horus in comparison lasts only one flight day.

    Reply
  14. Luis Loreto

    I would like to see inside images of the gimbals, main processor unit and all electronics inside.

    Thankyou

    Reply
  15. OBDarryl

    At this price, I would be inclined to steer new students into this radio, so they can avoid upgrading in the future.

    Would it be an easy enough task to set them up with a Spektrum DSM2 or DSMX compatible system ? I don’t want too have to spend hours teaching the radio and software, instead of teaching flying.

    In other words, How appropriate is it for noobs?

    Reply
  16. Mektah

    The sideways scroller is an ergonomic design. When holding the controller, your thumb more naturally moves left to right versus up and down.

    Reply
  17. Harry Herring

    Mini usb is a bit stronger than microusb, in a situation where space doesn’t matter miniusb is a better choice. usb c would be even better, but you can’t have it all

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      Discussing the difference between Mini USB and Micro USB is beyond the scope of this review. To keep it short, micro USB has more rated mating cycles over mini USB, making it the more durable option. That’s one of the reasons why it’s was deprecated in favor of Micro USB

      Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      I am not sure either, they didn’t mention “trainer feature” in the specs so I just assumed it didn’t have it.

      Reply

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