Light Up Your TX16S with URUAV Gimbal Backlight

by Oscar
Published: Last Updated on

The URUAV Gimbal Backlight is a DIY kit that you can install in the TX16S radio. The LED strips light up around the gimbal sticks, it looks awesome at night, even visible during the day.

After installing, the gimbals also sink into the radio by 3.5mm. Some people might prefer that if they find the sticks too long even after adjusting.

If you like modding the TX16S, don’t forget to check out my tutorial on how to make TX16S antenna removable.

Disclaimer

This is not an official DIY kit, so do this mod at your own risk.

Where to Buy?

Purchase the URUAVGimbal Backlight from Banggood: https://oscarliang.com/product-6nqk

There are three color options: pink, blue and white. It comes with the following components in the kit:

  • 2 x Transparent plastic pieces
  • 2 x LED Strips
  • 2 x Resistors
  • 4 x 28AWG wires
  • 8 x screws

Radio Compatibility

The URUAV Gimbal Backlight kit is designed for the Radiomaster TX16S, but according to the product page, it should also work on the FrSky X9D,  Jumper T18 and T16, as well as RadioKing TX18S Transmitters.

You just need to find a 5V source to power the LED’s, but every radio is different. 3.3V might also work, but I am not 100% sure, you should test it first.

It does NOT work with Frsky QX7 or the Horus X10.

How to Install

I documented how I installed the backlight in my radio by following the guide on the backlight product page. My radio is the Radiomaster TX16S Max.

Cut the ground wire (black) in half and solder them to the resistor. If you can, put heatshrink over the resistor and its solder joints.

Solder the wires to the LED strips, red wire to positive (+) and black wire to negative (-). Both ends of the LED strip are the same, so you can solder on either side.

Wrap the LED strips around the translucent plastic pieces. I cut little pieces of double sided tapes and stick the strip to plastic, seemed to work well.

Now open the radio. For instructions, see my TX16S review.

Remove the sliders. There are only two screws on each slider.

Then remove the gimbal by taking out these 4 screws.

Take out the CNC plate, and install the backlight.

Then put the CNC plate back on, as well as the gimbal with the longer screws provided in the kit.

Locate this 5V voltage regulator, make sure you verify its voltage output using a multimeter before connecting. (Tutorial: how to use a multimeter)

That’s it, turn on the radio and your gimbal will light up :)

The gimbals are now lowered by the plastic piece by 3.5mm (the thickness of the piece), so you might want to adjust your stick length to compensate.

Like the stick ends? They are the Lotus stickends: http://bit.ly/2BoTQo1. Basically any M4 stickends would work on the TX16S, including those for the Frsky X9D.

What Can Be Improved

  • Wires are too short, they should provide longer wires so we don’t have to solder extra
  • It should come with heatshrinks
  • Even better, why not solder all the resistors, wires and LED in factory for us?
  • A little light leak into the flight mode buttons, you can probably prevent that by using some electrical tape around the buttons. I don’t really care because I don’t use the flight mode buttons anyway
  • I wish there’s a way to turn the LED off whenever we want, preferably an option in the radio settings. I guess I could add an on/off switch in the 5V wire, but having to take the radio apart just to turn it off is a little bit too much LOL

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7 comments

CHOPPERGIRL 15th April 2021 - 9:46 pm

I feel like there’s too much going on around the gimbals already.

I’m going to experiment with positioning my light strips on the inside back cover to light up the buttons, scroll wheel, and gimbals through any open holes.

Be sure to check out my SoundPack for Open-TX for some free bling bling for your radio…soundpack.air-war.org

Reply
SHORTCIRCUITZ 7th April 2021 - 5:08 pm

I used the extra switch pads ( one top left labeled “L”, one right top labeled “R” has +_S_- wrote on circuit board. didn’t need to extend wires or solder to a chip on the board…. Comes on with radio power. Hope this helps someone!!!!!

Reply
Oscar 7th April 2021 - 6:47 pm

that’s an interesting idea :) thanks for sharing!

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Sam 14th March 2021 - 7:36 pm

Would this be possible with the x9d+ 2019?

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Voss 13th March 2021 - 7:10 pm

The TX16S has two extra UART ports, doesn’t it? Would it be possible to hook up some WS2812B led’s and control them via a LUA script?

Reply
Lynn 11th March 2021 - 1:12 pm

I want to upgrade to my Jumper T16 Pro . This RadioMaster upgrade kits are compatiable for my T16?

Reply
Oscar 11th March 2021 - 1:59 pm

product page says it’s compatible with T16, but i can’t confirm.

Reply