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.
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.
The Radiomaster TX16S is an alternative to the popular Frsky Taranis, but while Frsky is pushing towards their new ACCESS protocol, the multi-protocol module in the TX16S allows you to continue using the older Frsky protocols, as well as protocols from many other brands including Flysky and Spketrum.
Apart from the better features, the TX16S is $30 cheaper than the Jumper T16 Pro, 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.
Update (Apr 2022): Radiomaster released a new version of the TX16S – the MKII.
Where to Buy TX16S
- Hall Gimbal – https://bit.ly/34FLB2Y
- Basic version – https://bit.ly/2VbJFfA
- Amazon: https://amzn.to/3eesfWh
- RDQ: https://bit.ly/3cY6IQw
- BuddyRC: https://oscarliang.com/product-b992
You can either get two 18650 Li-ion batteries, or get this LiPo which has way more capacity than two 18650: https://oscarliang.com/product-s8fd
- Supports 40+ protocols
- 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.
- 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
The T16 (Pro Hall Edition) is manufactured by Jumper, the TX16S is manufactured by Radiomaster.
|T16 Pro Hall||TX16S|
|USB Port||Mini USB||USB-C|
For other differences please keep reading.
Closer Look at the TX16S
The Radiomaster TX16S has a black matte finish. The shell 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 (battery management system) that is capable of charging 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. But one annoying thing is it doesn’t like charging adapters for phones/tablets that can supply higher current, only low current sources like computer USB ports work. When it’s charging, the LED under the power button turns green.
Note that you should only use LiPo or Li-ion batteries with an end voltage of 4.2V per cell if you intend to use the built-in charging capability. You are not supposed to charge LiFE or older 3.6V Li-ion cells in this radio. According to Radiomaster:
Approved battery for internal charging:
- 2x 3.7V Li-Ion 18650 cells (7.4V using supplied tray)
- 2x 3.7V Li-Ion 21700 cells (Assembled as 7.4V 2S battery pack)
- 2S LiPo
DO NOT use:
- 3.6V Li-Ion cells (unless the cell is capable of charging to 4.20V)
- 2S 6.6V LiFE battery pack
- LiFEP04 cells
Note that the TX16S doesn’t have over voltage protection, therefore if you plug in a 3S battery it could potentially damage the radio.
There are two USB connectors on the TX16S – 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 (i guess you can but very awkwardly). And the trainer port is located on the top too.
The antenna is sadly not removable, I guess the reason behind this design choice is to comply with regulations (to stop users from using higher gain antennas). You can however, modify your TX16S to have a removable antenna :)
The TX16S is officially supported by OpenTX, just like the T16. It has 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 D16 and D8 modes 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 offers a deeper grip and improves stability. 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.
Looking 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 TX16S setup guide, it’ll walk you through how to set it up from scratch.
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?
It’s clear that RadioMaster has put in a lot of thought into the design and detail. The TX16S has proven itself not only a cheaper T16, but an overall better radio! It has more features, and it’s $30 cheaper!
It’s certainly by no mean a perfect radio, but it gets all the important stuff right, e.g. ergonomics, build quality, protocol support, easy charging etc. And for only $120, I really can’t complain.
T16 owners should not feel bad however, the T16 is 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, the TX16S is definitely a great option. You don’t really need anything else since the TX16S is so versatile.
Is the TX16S Better Than Taranis X9D?
Yes. The Taranis X9D+ used to be my go-to radio when it comes to versatility, but the Jumper T16 took its place, and then the T16 is surpassed by the TX16S.
Should I Get Hall Gimbal Version?
Yes. I think it’s a worthy investment. Hall gimbals feel slightly smoother and last much longer too.
- May 2020 – review published
- Jan 2021 – added extra info (in conclusions) and updated product links, additional info from RM regarding battery
Recently i bought the radiomaster tx16s mkII, and iam facing some problem.
It shows no multi telemetry module detected, even if i flash the AETR from firmaware in radio settings, it says firmware update error and device not responding. i tried to update the frimware with v 2.8.1 still nothing changed.
also i tried installing the multi telem module, i tried both of them STM32 4 in 1 module flash and also STM32 CC2500 nothing works. both at stable version of 22.214.171.124
is there any internal fault or any firmware issue?
Can i have any info on this.
it would be really helpfull.
Hi Oscar, thanks for a great review.
One quick question here. I am trying to calibrate Tx16s with QGroundControl but it does not work. It tells me to move the throttle stick all the way down but nothing happens after I do it. I tried calibrating the tx16s internally multiple times and also did lots of research on google. But it just does not work with QGroundControl.
I am new in this field so I guess I can miss some minor detail. Would appreciate your help a lot. Thanks in advance!
I am not sure what QGroundControl is.
One thing you can check on your radio is to make sure the endpoints are set correctly?
Go to Model Setup (by holding the MDL button), then press the PAGE> button until you see OUTPUTS, check if CH1-CH4 values are responding correctly to the end sticks. For more info check here: https://oscarliang.com/adjust-tx-channel-mid-end-point/
Thanks for the reply, I just found out what the problem was. It was from the model I created in tx16s. I guess some parameters were not enough and it would not recognize my stick movements. After I changed it to pre-created RC models, they worked just fine. I guess I need to learn more about the radio transmitter. In any case, thank you)
Will the rear case from the Jumper fit onto the Radiomaster? I want to fit flat rear grips to my mark one TX16s but I can’t because the rear case is designed for the fatter ones.
Does anyone know what wattage the internal 4 in 1 is?
more or less 100mW
SD card Size, and Replacement SD card Size range from Minimum to Maximum and are recommended. I like to have music to fly to from my radio.
Hi Oscar, thanks for all the information, you explain everything right down to the very last detail, I have a question about the tx12, are the pins in the modual bay the same layout? 1(null)2(null)3(power)4(ground)5(signal), I’m trying to update the firmware on a frsky r-xsr receiver and I do want to fry it, any help would be much appreciated
Yea should be the same, but check with a multimeter first just to be safe!
My haptic motor also sounded awful (exact same “high frequency buzz like the motor is loose or vibrating against something”).
Today I opened my TX16S and found that the mount of the motor (as shown on the picture provided by Oscar) is broken.
I have also got a broken mount. After 9 months I can say I will probably not buy a radiomaster again. Service is great but quality is really low imo.
Same here, 7 months old.
I noticed today mine is broken too. Only six months old. It’s never been dropped or banged around. I little disappointed TBH.
Hello, I have had my TX16s for only a couple of months and haven’t used too often. Today I turned it on and the haptic motor sounds awful, high frequency buzz like the motor is loose or vibrating against something. Do you know how to get to the area to at least see if the screw/s are loose or something of that nature?
Keep up the good work!
Have a good day.
You can try opening the radio, the haptic motor is located at the bottom right: https://oscarliang.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/RadioMaster-TX16S-inside-pcb-main-mother-board-wires-cables.jpg
Which is the best nirvana nv-14 or this?
TX16S much better.
Hi Oscar, could you please tell me why the TX16S is much better than the NV-14? I have both and I’m trying to decide on which one to keep.
Is it possible to connect a receiver in the module bay in the Tx16S or the Jumper T16 as in the Taranis X9D for simple wireless trainer ?
Sorry I am not sure, I’ve never done wireless trainer before with either radios.
But for a fact i know flashing Frsky receiver firmware is the same by plugging receiver into the module bay pin, just like the X9D. Not sure if the two has anything related.
“It’s an odd design to use two separate USB ports, because it means you can’t charge while playing sims.”
Are you sure this statement is correct? Some people report that they play simulators and charge it with separate charger at the same time with no problems. Also user manual does not contain any warnings about this.
yea you can plug in both USB cables to the radio at the same time, but it’s just extremely cumbersome having two cables sticking out from the top and bottom.
On your removable antenna mod, you suggest three different replacements – which ondwill give me the biggest gain? I’m after best range without using crossfire
Hi guys, I’m a proud user of TX16S for about a couple of months now and, as my first controller, it feels great!
Just a question for the other owners here around.. i’ve noticed that looking at the sticks from the top or the bottom side (for the sake of clarity… the sides with the USB ports), the sticks are not perfectly parallel to each other but they are slightly convergent. Is it normal or a defect of my unit ?
Thank you guys!
No they aren’t parallel, but tilted for supposedly better ergonomics so don’t worry :)
Bueller? Anyone? Amperage maybe?
Also seems like the elephant in the room what are the lighted 1-6 buttons above TX16S ?
Does anyone look at these replies?
Radiomaster T16s . I did not find where it mentions how many models in memory
if other models can be selected what happens to protocol change if different receiver brands are used ?
You can put in as many as you want, but you can only select 64 receivers
Good Work: I do nit think I will be buying on of these due to past experience with pots mounted to the moving part of the gimbal. The constant flexing of the pot wires cause the strands inside the insulation to break and cause very intermittent control failures which are very difficult to nail down. I only use radios that use Futaba type gimbals. The pots are stationary and only the pot shafts move, not the pot attaching wires
Thank you, nicely done
Bought the tx16s and the R9m module and I can not get it to bind to a R9sx receiver. Any suggestions? Thanks
I have windows 8 with “normal” usb ports. Is it possible to connect the included usb-c cable to my computer?
Go ChopperGirl! You are so intelligent! Mwa.
The issue I have that I haven’t figured out yet is that the microsd that came with the Jumpertx16s won’t be readable by my PC. I want to add more sounds for my wings etc. I took another SD card and threw the normal OPEN-TX junk on it and the radiomaster bait radio wouldn’t read it. What format does it use? Fat32? I’m a computer guy so this has me a little baffled.
Zizin, gasser, something to keep in mind is that the physical scraping of the pistons – metal on metal – creates radio frequencies. Back in the day (1992?) when I used to fly RC Combat Gremlins, this could become an issue for our Futaba FM radios. Even some of the servo linkages would cause the interference.
So not sure if that helps at all, but I thought I’d throw that out there to educate.
I have Sony Lion batteries in mine. I tried using my Galaxy S20Ultra “super fast” charger – no green charging light. I used my Galaxy S7 “Fast charger” usb plug. Green charging light appears. Do you know what’s up with that?
The transmitter needs 2X 3.7V 18650 Li Ion batteries. 3.6V is NOT recommended as the internal charge soircuit may well over charge them. OR you can use a 2 cell Lipo ie 3.7V per cell. The manual states dont use.
I just received my radiomaster last week and was wondering are the sticks on yours tilted some? Mine are kinda kicked inward a bit. The throttle stick more than the other.
1.Hi..does this suitable for gasser plane? Coz some i notice will have some interference with gasser/ nitro plane.?
2. Futaba type protocol not supported for this radio.?
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
That’s great to know!
Is it without buying the external R9M?
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!!
Does RadioMaster TX16s multi protocol support Radiolink AT9S transmitter?
Radiomaster recommend 3.7 V Lion Cells. Is NCR18650B right?
My recommendations here should work just fine.
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.
Does it support FrSky ACCESS?
So does that mean I can’t use the emaxx hawk pro with this radio
I believe hawk uses access
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 ?
USB charging + touch screen + metal roller + I personally prefer the thicker back plate.
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?
Awesome review thanks, it helped me a lot as a newbie! Are your Li-Ion battery recommendations safe to charge inside the transmitter?
Yes, that’s what i am using now.
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
If your quick charge charger does 5V, it should be fine.
Hi Oscar, I am interested in this radio. I wanted to know if it is sure that it supports frsky’s R9 module.
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?
Not sure if your battery is any good.
Try my Li-Ion recommendations.
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.
Well it’s the industry standard at this point, almost everyone is learning it. Why not give it a try?
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.
See my T18 review
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!
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
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…
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…
that’s great info, thanks for letting us know!
Which receiver will you recommend to use tx16s?
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.
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
I’d recommend TX16S.
thanks for your guidence. please let me know what FC are usalble with TX16S.
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?
1. very similar throw and length.
2. You can, what i means is it’d be nicer if it only needed one cable
Hi Oscar, was there an additional discount available? You had mentioned something in the article.
I couldn’t get one in the end.
Oscar how can you see if you did get the hall gimbals or not
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 !
Does the TX16 use the crappy ribbon cables. I hate my T16 because of these. And the roller button problem.
Already pre-ordered one (normal gimbal) for 599 RMB (about $85 USD) on taobao.
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
And main complaint from most is BRIGHTER SCREEN
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?
Make that last… problems with DSM.
Taobao selling this TX now.
Thank Oscar, and thanks Colin i just ordered mine to from the uk shop
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.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.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.
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…
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.
Just note that it’s a $140 radio :D
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!
How do you not have a removable antenna. That’s a deal breaker. They need to change. Hopefully the case will support it
Ciao Oscarliang e complimenti per le tue recensioni. Ti seguo volentieri.
Ask them to consider selling a T16 upgrade kit to fix the awful battery situation too
Those prices, apart from not being yet confirmed, are correct. The tx16s is cheaper than the jumper.