Review: Radiomaster TX16S Transmitter

The new TX16S from Radiomaster looks highly similar to the Jumper T16 at first glance, but it’s made by a different company and has different specs and features. Is it a better radio or just a cheap clone? Let’s find out.

TLDR

The Radiomaster TX16S is basically an improved version of the Jumper T16 Pro (see review). According to the maker, Radiomaster, they used to work with Jumper on the T16, but for some reason they went their separate ways. And now Radiomaster decided to release their own version of the radio, hence the similarity.

Left – Radiomaster TX16S; Right – Jumper T16 Pro Hall

Apart from the better features, the TX16S is even $30 cheaper than the T16, making it much more attractive. Now let’s go through all the details and features of the TX16S in this review.

New to FPV? Do not miss out on my radio transmitter buyer’s guide to learn all the basics about radios.

Where to Buy TX16S?

TX16S Features

  • Touch screen (on Hall gimbal version)
  • Built in Charging
  • Separate USB-C ports for charging and data/simulator
  • External SD card slot (SD card included)
  • Two external UART ports for updates and DIY
  • Improved menu navigation with separate Page back and forward buttons
  • Better housing design with improved grip ergonomics
  • Official OpenTX support
  • Built-in Multi-protocol module

Just like the Jumper T16, the Radiomaster TX16S has lots of switches, buttons and knobs, probably more than what you need if you only fly multirotors. Anyway it’s nice to have them available in case you get into flying other models like RC planes and wings in the future.

This is a multi-protocol radio, which means it can bind to a large number of receivers of different protocols and brands. It’s really handy that you can fly all of your models with just one radio. To find out what protocols and receivers it support, check out this list.

Specification

  • Size: 180x190x58mm
  • Weight: 880g including 2×18650 batteries
  • Input Voltage: 7V – 8.4V DC
  • Battery Support: 2S LiPo or 2×18650 (holder provided)
  • Operation Current: 350mA excluding external module
  • STM32 F429 MCU
  • 4.3″ 480×272 Color Screen
  • Roller menu button
  • Full Size Hall Gimbals

Major Differences Between T16 and TX16S

T16 Pro Hall TX16S
Price $170 $130
USB Port Mini USB USB-C
Built-in Charging No Yes
Hall Gimbals Yes Yes
OpenTX Support Yes Yes
Multi-Protocol Built-in Yes Yes
Removable Antenna Yes No
Crossfire Support Yes Yes
External UART No Yes
Menu Buttons 3 4
Touch Screen No Yes

For other differences please keep reading.

Closer Look at the TX16S

The Radiomaster TX16S has a black matte finish. The housing plastic quality is average, similar to the T16 I’d say but can’t complain given the low price.

The most welcome improvement is probably the USB-C port and built-in charging feature.

USB-C is far easier to use, and more common than the old Mini USB port in the T16. The built-in charging feature means you don’t have to remove the battery from the radio in order to charge it, and you don’t need a separate charger either.

It’s an integrated BMS that balance-charge 2S Lipo or Li-ion cells with cut-off at 4.2V. It also has over current protection and over temperature protection to increase safety during charging. However, you should only use LiPo or Li-ion batteries with an end voltage of 4.2V per cell for the built-in charger. You are not supposed to charge LiFE or older 3.6V Li-ion cells in this radio.

There are two USB interfaces – top USB is for data and simulator, the bottom USB is for charging. It’s an odd design to use two separate USB ports, because it means you can’t charge while playing sims. And the trainer port is located on the top.

The antenna is sadly not removable, but the reason behind this design choice is to comply with regulations (to stop users from using higher gain antennas).

Edit: I modified my TX16S so it has removable antenna now :)

The TX16S is officially supported by OpenTX, just like the T16. It will have its own firmware, and doesn’t use the same firmware as the T16 because of the hardware differences. That means it supports LUA scripts, as well as OpenTX Companion, so you can copy/transfer models from other radios easily.

The TX16S is fully compatible with TBS Crossfire. In fact, you can purchase the TX16S and Crossfire Micro TX module as a bundle to save money :) Apart from Crossfire it also works with Frsky R9M. And it supports Frsky D8 mode in case you are wondering.

Radiomaster claimed they improved the switches and buttons for better ergonomics, but I don’t really notice any difference from the Jumper T16 in that regard.

The sliders are very loose and have weak center detent, not as nice as the ones on the Taranis X9D+.

However the grips of the TX16S is indeed better thanks to the thicker rubber back plates, it’s much easier to hold. And the neck strap also balances really well.

The SD card slot in the TX16S has been moved to the bottom of the radio for easier access. On the Jumper T16, it’s inside the battery bay. Honestly I don’t think it’s a big deal since we normally access the SD card in bootloader mode anyway.

The color screen is huge and really bright, some people love it, but some people don’t. Because it’s an LCD screen you can’t really see it that well under the sun, and it also drains your battery faster. But it’s so nice to look at and there is so much you can do with it like customized theme, displaying logos and images of your models etc.

What’s even better, it’s a touch screen! It’s only available on the Hall gimbal version, but at the time of publishing, it’s still a work-in-progress feature. I believe it will work in future OpenTX releases, V2.4 to be exact.

By the way, some reviewers reported problems with the screen, but really it’s an user error. If you notice some grid patterns on the screen, it probably means you haven’t peeled off the protective layer.

The TX16S offers two “external UART” ports on the bottom, which are missing on the T16. According to Radiomaster, you can use them for “updates and DIY”, I am not quite sure how useful these are yet, just thought I should mention it.

The battery bay in the TX16S is significantly bigger than the T16, so potentially you can use a larger 2S LiPo battery in there. However it won’t make a difference for 18650 users, you can only use 2 cells.

The TX16S has an extra menu button for “Page Back” and “Page Forward” to “improve menu navigation”. But I feel like it’s a little unnecessary to be honest. In the T16 you simply press the Page button for “Page Forward”, and hold it slightly longer for “Page Back”, and I’ve never felt the need for an extra button. Maybe I will like it more after some time, who knows :)

They even engraved my name on the buttons… how nice! But I can’t sell it on eBay now can I? LOL :D Just joking!

Some people had their plastic roller broken in the T16 because they pressed too hard, so Radiomaster decided to put a metal rollers in all versions of their TX16S, hopefully these will be more durable. It has a really solid feel to it, definitely feels better than the plastic one on the T16.

But it seems to be just a tiny bit too sensitive, sometimes it skips an option when you scroll down too fast. But it’s not a big deal once you get used to it. Hopefully they will reduce sensitivity in the future, surely it can be done in the software.

Speaker volume is about the same as the T16 or the Taranis X9D.

Inside TX16S

Taking the TX16S apart is easy. There are only four screws at the corners, and you need to remove the rubber plates on the sides.

The TX16S is using standard cables and connectors internally to make it more reliable and easier to service – no more ribbon cables other than the LCD screen, TP and Main board break out.

PCB quality seems to be really good for the price, can’t complain!

How to Setup TX16S

You can follow my T16 setup guide to setup your TX16S, as the steps are almost identical.

Adjust Gimbal Stick Tension

Apart from stick friction, you can also change the radio from mode 2 to another mode, i.e. mode 1, mode 3 and mode 4.

Is the TX16S Better Than T16?

The TX16S has proven itself not only a cheaper T16, but an overall better radio! It has more features, and it’s $30 cheaper!

But the T16 owners should not feel bad, as it’s still a really good radio, the improvements on the TX16S are not enough to make the T16 obsolete.

If you want to get a controller for all your models, or you are new to the hobby, this is definitely a great option. You don’t really need anything else since the TX16S is so versatile. The Taranis X9D+ used to be my go-to radio when it comes to versatility, but I think the TX16S has just overtaken its place.

56 thoughts on “Review: Radiomaster TX16S Transmitter

  1. Cvetaev

    Software and hardware mod, Radiomaster TX16S for enable external R9M ACCESS protocol
    first mod and use of the UART3 port github.com/cvetaevvitaliy/Radiomaster_TX16S

    Reply
  2. Ömer

    I got 2 18650 with nominal voltage 3.6V, but fully charged they are 4.2V. Today I received my tx16s and charged these batteries in the tx with the provided tray and they are charged fully. Checked with V meter, 4.15V each. Why cant we use the 3.6V 18650?

    Please check on BG the battery and let us know if these are suitable.

    INR18650 30Q Samsung 3000mah 20A

    Thanks in advance!!

    Reply
  3. Freefligt

    Hi I received mine tx16s yesterday and today a test flight. Spent some hours to configure inav lua but now works. Used my 433module and soon noticed there is no noise from speaker like my old taranis. Stick are too soft for me so I’ll have to regulate. All in all good radio with different feel in hands from taranis.

    Reply
  4. Rashid

    This is in similar price range with Jumper T18 lite which has Removable antenna but not a charging port. I will go for T18 lite just because of removable antenna unless T16S has some special advantage over T18 lite. What is the output power of T16S for 2.4 GHZ ?

    Reply
  5. Larry DeBoer

    I’m an rc plane pilot. I’ve been using Spectrum products exclusively. One feature that I really like is Spektrums model match feature. Is that feature still available using the Radio master Tx16s?

    Reply
  6. mario

    Awesome review thanks, it helped me a lot as a newbie! Are your Li-Ion battery recommendations safe to charge inside the transmitter?

    Reply
  7. Adhito

    Do you think the controller can be charged using Quick Charge charger? I know the charger can outputting 5V but I’m afraid somehow it puts out more than that and damages the controller

    Reply
  8. Inti Ferrero

    Hi Oscar, I am interested in this radio. I wanted to know if it is sure that it supports frsky’s R9 module.

    Thank you

    Reply
  9. Wolfgang

    Hi,
    can you tell me the power consumption of the TX16S with an crossfire-module? I have LION 3.7V 8.000 mAh and they are empty after 1h.
    Ist that normal?

    Regards.

    Reply
  10. Roger

    I am not familiar with Open TX firmware.
    How challenging is it for someone new to the hobby to set-up and manage?
    My software mgt. skills are limited and I don’t want to buy-in over my head.
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      Well it’s the industry standard at this point, almost everyone is learning it. Why not give it a try?

      Reply
  11. Badgerlord

    So how does it compare to the T18 now coming out? That’s what I’m interested in. As someone without a long range module yet, the T18 is really appealing.

    Reply
  12. Ömer

    nobody mentions about the averadge range of the T16 or TX16S, while they are in the market for some time.
    I think the bulk of pilots will use FRsky receivers and there should be enough data, have you tested the range on some
    receivers? Also, do you know if there will be a fine tune needed like the T16?

    thanks again, you are of great help!

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      i just fly it like I do with the Taranis, can’t notice any difference. Also most people would be using the Crossfire module anyway so range is not commonly tested

      Reply
  13. CHOPPERGIRL

    The TX-16s Gimbal Stick ends are M4… not M3. Just letting everyone know if you’re planning on replacing them. I am, because I think they are sharp as glass. I’m a thumber so its the Umbrella style replacements for me.

    I found this out the hard way by buying M3 stick ends for mine well in advance, based on Oscar Liangs Jumper T16 Upgrade Parts page that said M3 for the Jumper T16, and they didn’t fit the Radiomaster TX-16s…

    https://oscarliang.com/jumper-t16-upgrade-parts/

    Also, the third party Aluminum Alloy Vertical / Horizontal 4 hole Transmitter Neck Strap Balancers don’t fit either… the hole on the TX-16s is smaller than the included washer. The bar fits, but not the washer. With some finess and a grinder wheel you could maybe shave off some diameter off the washer… and also some off your finger tips… I’ll get around to trying it eventually. Not so thrilled because the balance bar won’t mount straight up vertically like I want it.

    The MicroSD card slot is tricky… you got to go straight in with it, otherwise you risk missing the slot inside entirely and losing your microsd card inside the transmitter. Contact sides go toward face of transmitter. Spring loaded, but you have to use the tip of a knife or ballpoint pen or paper clip to carefully push it in to click.

    I’m not so fond of the USB-C connector, or that there is two of them, and you are constantly having to switch back and forth between them… one for charging, the other for USB drive connection. After screwing up my Liftoff settings and inverting my YAW, I decided to not even try and use it as a game controller. Probably works fine, but for me, the cord really isn’t long enough and if I want to risk dropping anything when I sit up from a computer, I’d rather it be a $30 controller and not a $200 radio…

    CG
    cg.air-war.org

    Reply
  14. Paul Hope

    @Prayash

    The T16S is better than the X9D SE in almost every aspect and also far cheaper. I cant think of anything the X9D SE has or does better than the T16S.

    Frsky are moving in the complete opposite direction of open source and attempting close source their receivers and protocols etc to try and force the Frsky tx owning community to buy genuine frsky receivers. Not cool.

    They have also threatened to stop supplying retailers who sell any Jumper/Radiomaster products. Not cool.

    If you were in the UK I’d sell you my X9D+ for a knockdown price to fund this as I’m done with FRsky.

    Reply
  15. Prayash

    Hello. These information were very helpful but i am still confused to decide which one should i get between Taransis X9d SE 2019 and this radiomaster tx16s. Can you make a comparison

    Reply
  16. Bill

    Two questions:

    1. is the gimbal throw more limited than on the t16pro? Are the sticks the same length?

    2. when you say you can’t charge while playing sims, does that mean you can not plug it in via both usb ports at the same time?

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      1. very similar throw and length.
      2. You can, what i means is it’d be nicer if it only needed one cable

      Reply
  17. MARCOS AURÉLIO Souza Silva

    Duas questões no tx16s radiomaster me deixam impressionado com a falta de visão assertiva. A questão de só aceitar 2s e a questão da antena nao ser removível impossibilitando o uso de antenas melhores !

    Reply
  18. Christopher F

    Just purchased my T-16 pro. I’m D-Frsky-ing myself and seeing that this T16s uses similar Hall gimbals sickens me and honestly I don’t see much improvement enough to make me reconsider my purchase of the T-16 Pro.
    Type C- don’t care..
    Frsky type Hall gimbals- despise them!
    Menu Buttons forward & back- again who cares
    SD card moved- Not concerned (AT All)

    Things I would have liked to see
    Proper 433mhz RF shielding
    Removable antenna
    And main complaint from most is BRIGHTER SCREEN

    Reply
  19. Derf

    So the T16 has a bug that interferes with use of DSM receivers. There is a downloadable fix for this, and a promise that Jumper will upgrade to eliminate the problem in future versions of the T16.
    Has the TS16 been upgraded to eliminate the problems with DMS?

    Reply
  20. fichek

    Some nice additions, but non-removable antenna and usb port moved to the wrong side are enough to not want me to switch from T16 Pro.

    Reply
  21. Colin

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>.Does anyone know when this will be available in the UK?<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    droneshop.biz (Midlands) are expecting a delivery at the end of next week. Mine's already reserved.

    Cheers.

    Reply
  22. Niko

    I think the best is one mix of T16 and T16s.
    I like improvement of T16S but the t16 pro hall sticks, are like T series Futaba, and this is sure good..
    The T16 sticks are great; with gimbal axle lateral degree regulation screw.
    This is not present in T16S (the sticks are Frisky type) and this is in my opinion bad.

    So not the news are fine…

    Reply
  23. Eldenroot

    So no BT module, audio 3,5 mm connector or more switches? :( Maybe in the PRO version or v2? I would like to see detachable antenna as well.

    Reply
  24. Mark A

    Does anyone know when this will be available in the UK?
    Just bought a T16 Pro for multi rotors, but a second set for fixed wing……?
    You can never have too many transmitters!

    Reply
  25. David

    How do you not have a removable antenna. That’s a deal breaker. They need to change. Hopefully the case will support it

    Reply

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