The Radiomaster TX16S radio has been the gold standard in the FPV scene for a couple of years now. On every FPV meetup or race, the majority of the pilots would be using a TX16S. However, Radiomaster continues to improve and they just dropped an upgraded version, the TX16S Mark II featuring numerous improvements over the original radio.
If you are looking at the TX16S and haven’t pulled the trigger yet, now it’s a good time to get the latest version.
Where to Buy?
You can buy the TX16S Mark II from these vendors:
Amazon (affiliate link): https://amzn.to/3Mhyc5W
- TX16S MKII: https://oscarliang.com/product-fs4n
- TX16S MKII MAX: https://oscarliang.com/product-m5tp
- TX16S MKII MAX (JB Edition): https://oscarliang.com/product-owcd
- TX16S MKII MAX Pro (MCK Edition): https://oscarliang.com/product-4bkx
- TX16S MKII MAX Pro (Lumenier Edition): https://oscarliang.com/product-6wlg
Check out those product pages for the differences between editions. The radio I am reviewing is the basic TX16S MKII with internal ELRS module. You can also get it with a 4in1 multiprotocol internal RF module.
It comes with:
- springs of heavier tension for the gimbals
- different grips
- USB-C cable
- screen protector
Features and Improvements
Two versions available for each edition: 2.4 GHz ExpressLRS and 4in1 multi-protocol built-in modules with full speed internal baud rates.
If you can’t decide between ELRS and 4in1, I’d probably go for the ELRS version. It’s going to be the major RC protocol in the near future as it’s so powerful and affordable, with a wide range of tiny and inexpensive ELRS receivers available.
One reason to get the 4in1 is if you only want to use other protocols such as Frsky D8/D16, but these are kind of obsolete and slowly phasing out. Or if you are buying an external ELRS module for the radio, then it also makes sense to get the 4in1 as you don’t want to have another ELRS module onboard doing nothing. An external ELRS module might have the advantage of higher maximum output power of up to 1W. But honestly the internal module’s 250mW is plenty for FPV pilots, giving you miles of range in ideal conditions.
The TX16S Mark II comes with EdgeTX 2.6.0 pre-installed with fully functional touch screen. It also supports OpenTX if you want to, but IMO EdgeTX is a more advanced and just overall better firmware right now for the TX16S.
The gimbals on the Mark 2 feel smoother than the original TX16S. They are upgraded Hall Gimbals V4.0 which are using the same chipset as the top of the line AG01 (costs $130 just the gimbals themselves), with optimized hall sensor circuitry and improved centre point positioning.
Similar to the AG01, stick travel, self-centering and stick tension can be adjusted from the front of the gimbals, meaning you don’t have to take the radio apart to do it, which is a lot more convenient.
Two different back grips are included in the box for better ergonomics – flat or raised grips.
Notice there’s also a new 3.5mm Audio jack on the back of the radio (next to the battery bay) you can plug your headphone into.
There’s a hole next to the battery compartment, which is for an additional button you can install by yourself.
It’s a separate audio jack module mounted on the rear housing away from the main PCB, this new design minimizes RF interference to the external RF module according to Radiomaster.
There are now two speakers in the TX16S Mark II for better audio quality, one facing the back and the other facing front.
Redesigned battery cover, it’s easier to remove, and also stays on more securely. The battery bay design remain the same including dimension and depth, so any battery for the original TX16S will work on the MKII.
There’s a USB-C port at the bottom of the radio for charging.
The charging circuity has been given a boost, it takes much shorter time to charge the battery via the USB-C port. Top charging power is now almost 11.5W compared to 7.5W in the previous version, allowing a maximum charging current of up to 2.2A. It also has reverse polarity protection now.
The TX16S MKII comes with an SD card, this radio is fully functional out of the box.
There’s another USB-C port on top of the radio which is for accessing the SD card, flashing firmware, as well as connecting to your computer to play FPV simulators.
I love the fact that they are now using hex screws instead of crossed for the housing, much easier to work with without stripping.
Other improvements according to Radiomaster:
- Optimized power supply circuit, minimizing ripple voltage and improves gimbal stability.
- Retooled faceplate with improved fit and finish
- Improved S1/S2 knobs with center detents
Apart from these new improvements and features, the MKII gives pretty much the same feel as the original TX16S. You would probably have a hard time telling which is which just by looking at the outside.
Here’s a closer look at the inside of the radio and PCB.
The Internal ExpressLRS (ELRS) RF module has a maximum output power of 250mW, same as the Zorro. To be honest it’s a bit on the low side, it would have been nice if it was a 1W module. I don’t personally use that much power (usually 250mW is enough for 99% of my flying), but it’s nice to have in case we need it for long range in the future. If you want higher power than that you can still get an external module for it.
Internal ELRS Module Testing
The radio draws about 0.3A at 7.4V without RF module. The below current draw only accounts for the internal ELRS RF module.
|TX16S MKII||8 (0.12A)||25 (0.29A)||48 (0.33A)||90 (0.35A)||195 (0.41A)|
I measured the output power at 250mW over 10 mins, the output fluctuates between 190-195mW, pretty stable output.
Setup TX16S MKII for the First Time
I have a guide on how to setup the TX16S, but this is for OpenTX. Also check out how I setup EdgeTX on the TX16S.
Here I will show you what I did in the TX16S MKII that are different to what I did in those guides.
In Model Setup, enable Internal RF and select CRSF if you have the ELRS version like me.
Hold down the SYS key, go to the Hardware page, here you want to disable ADC filter if you fly multirotors – important for flight performance. This settings is only useful for wings and planes.
Then calibrate battery voltage reading against a reliable multimeter.
The MKII I am testing comes with ELRS V2 firmware. There’s no target for the internal ELRS module yet currently so you can’t flash it just yet. But it binds fine to receivers with V2 firmware.
So yea, the TX16S MKII remains the best full size radio on the market in terms of versatility and value. Highly recommended!