Review: Radiomaster TX16S Mark II Radio (MKII)

by Oscar
Radiomaster Tx16s Mark Ii Mkii Radio Transmitter

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.

banggood

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.

Further Reading:

Where to Buy?

You can buy the TX16S Mark II from these vendors:

BG: https://oscarliang.com/product-c6gv

Amazon (affiliate link): https://amzn.to/3Mhyc5W

RDQ: 

GetFPV:

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
  • keychain

Radiomaster Tx16s Mark Ii Mkii Radio Transmitter Unbox Accessories

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.

Radiomaster Tx16s Mark Ii Mkii Radio Transmitter

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.

Radiomaster Tx16s Mark Ii Mkii Radio Transmitter Gimbals

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.

Radiomaster Tx16s Mark Ii Mkii Ag01 Eachine Gimbal Stick Adjustment Front

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.

Radiomaster Tx16s Mark Ii Mkii Radio Transmitter Back Grip HandleThere’s a hole next to the battery compartment, which is for an additional button you can install by yourself.

Installing Diy Switch In Radiometer Tx16s Mk Ii Momentary Latching Push Button

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.

Radiomaster Tx16s Mark Ii Mkii Radio Transmitter Tear Down

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.

Radiomaster Tx16s Mark Ii Mkii Radio Transmitter Battery Bay Cover

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.

Radiomaster Tx16s Mark Ii Mkii Radio Transmitter Bottom ConnectorsThere’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.

Radiomaster Tx16s Mark Ii Mkii Radio Transmitter Top Connectors

I love the fact that they are now using hex screws instead of crossed for the housing, much easier to work with without stripping.

Radiomaster Tx16s Mark Ii Mkii Radio Transmitter Hex Screws

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.

Radiomaster Tx16s Mark Ii Mkii Radio Transmitter PcbThe 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.

Power Levels 10mW 25mW 50mW 100mW 250mW
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.

Radiomaster Tx16s Mark Ii Mkii Radio Transmitter Internal Rf Elrs Moudle

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.

Radiomaster Zorro Radio Calibrate Battery Voltage Multimeter

Something like this

 

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!

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23 comments

ff 28th January 2023 - 7:16 am

When was this transmitter released?

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Mino 11th December 2022 - 10:01 pm

So ive looking into this controller after some time, ive been searching wether its possible to use r9m on it without modding it, from as far as ive searched ive seen about one video succesfully showing its possible but theres also comments saying that you cant do it, and the other half it does work only with a mod, is it possible to use r9m on it ?

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Christian 18th November 2022 - 6:58 am

Hi,
Thanks for all your great reviews!

I am thinking about getting the tx16 and i want to use it with ELRS.

1. Do you have any RF measurements with your IMMERSION RC RF meter? Your Review of Radiomasters new external modules showed me that there are major differences in real vs selected output power. I will only be using the 100mW range.
It seems to me that the internal extention cable/pigtail from u.FL to SMA could be the major reason for the worse output power of the Ranger Micro, and the TX16 has this as well.

2. Is there a downside (beside size and weight) to use an external ELRS module? (Telemetry, settings,…)

Thanks a lot in advance!
– Christian

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Oscar 18th November 2022 - 10:30 am

1. yea i can post some data later today when i get home. Check this post again tomorrow :)
2. The only differences between an internal and external module are output power and antenna, the functionality and features are exactly the same including telemetry and settings. With the external module you can use any antenna you want. With the TX16S MKII internal module are you stuck with the dipole antenna it comes with, to replace it you need to do a custom mod.

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Christian 21st November 2022 - 9:20 am

that was very helpful. thanks a lot and keep up the great articles!

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Avatar 11th September 2022 - 3:57 pm

Is stock antena enough for ELRS ? Or for better signal it should be replaced for T-ant ?

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Oscar 11th September 2022 - 4:49 pm

Depends on how you define enough.
But the stock antenna gives me 800m+ range no problem on 250mW. I have not tried to push maximum range yet that’s how big the park is i am flying in.

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AVATAR 11th September 2022 - 6:18 pm

I need something about 5km – 7km for fixed wing. Stock antenna seems not optimal for ELRS (2 dbi gain only). My tx16s is on the way, and I not sure now for ability stock antenna hit the desired range.

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Dan 10th September 2022 - 2:06 pm

Will this controller work with a prebuilt CL1-VS 5″ with a DJI reciever.
rotorriot.com/collections/vannystyle/products/vannystyle-built-and-tuned-bundle?variant=43238474318054

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Oscar 10th September 2022 - 2:11 pm

Yes, get the TX16S MKII with ELRS built-in version. Then select the ELRS version of the CL1 VS 5″.

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Erik 18th June 2022 - 2:58 am

What’s interesting is Radiomaster seems to have been quietly releasing some of these upgrades in the “MK1” for a while now. I’ve bought 4-5 tx16s radios off amazon (I do animatronics so need dedicated radios for different puppets) and most of them have already had the upgraded gimbals with front adjustment screws. Some had the old style, which was weird because it was the same amazon seller. Also, all my radios have had hex screws, not phillips. Internal ELRS, EdgeTX stock and faster charging sound nice. I need to make the jump to ELRS.

Any good ELRS recievers that are set up for direct PWM servo control? Ideally that can handle 8.4v or greater input voltage and at least 6 channels.

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Bill Adams 10th June 2022 - 7:20 pm

Hi Oscar. I got my Mk 2 and on the internal module setting it no longer says Crossfire. It has multi and then you change a sub menu to ExprsELRS. I cant get anything to recognize the internal module. No binding and it wont even run the ELRS lua script. It just comes up as ??????

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Oscar 10th June 2022 - 9:06 pm

Are you 100% sure you bought the ELRS version and not the multi-protocol version?
If it is, then go to the Hardware page (long press SYS Key, press PAGE button a few times), scroll down and find Internal Module, and select CRSF there (it’s probably selected Multi there).
See if that fix it?

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Tony 6th June 2022 - 3:35 pm

When will 16S also have Access protocol? Thnks Oscar

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Oscar 7th June 2022 - 3:32 pm

Most likely never. If you want to use ACCESS you will have to buy a Frsky radio, because it’s a Frsky proprietary protocol.

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Etienne 8th September 2022 - 9:53 pm

Thank you so much for this answer, Oscar! (Was looking for this the whole evening)

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Dave 12th April 2022 - 5:12 am

Eachine Lover JA, where can I buy an Eachine TX16S for $149?

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Peter 8th April 2022 - 4:23 pm

for a moment i thought i could finally get all my kwads in the same radio, without having to change modules all the time…
then i saw its 4in1 OR elrs..

guess i wont upgrade then. kinda fail radiomaster.

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JA 8th April 2022 - 2:33 pm

All this crap is an Eachine TX16S minus the stupid keychain + $50 overcharge! – You pay for the name here folks!!! – I have the Eachine version and it is amazing or better! Don’t be stupid and fall for this.

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C 9th April 2022 - 1:37 am

The MKII comes with better gimbals, internal Expresslrs, a speaker in the back, and EdgeTX (which is better than opentx it is the bleeding edge fork) preloaded.

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C 7th April 2022 - 8:17 pm

is it compatible with the old tx16s MAX parts(the ones you add to the original tx16s)

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Tom 7th April 2022 - 10:54 am

I’m thinking about replacement my old FrSky radio. I have lot of Frsky ACCSTv2 & ACCESS receivers. Can this radio works with those RXs?

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SnowLeopardFPV 7th April 2022 - 8:42 pm

The 4-in-1 multi-protocol module began supporting the FrSky ACCST V2 protocol back in firmware version 1.3.0.79 (March 2020). See the first bullet point in the change log of the release notes at the link below. So as long as you run that firmware version or later it should work with your ACCST V2 receivers.

https://github.com/pascallanger/DIY-Multiprotocol-TX-Module/releases/tag/1.3.0.79

It can be used by selecting the “FrSkyX2” protocol in the model settings on the transmitter.

The multiprotocol module doesn’t (and won’t ever) support the FrSky ACCESS protocol.

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