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RadioMaster TX16S Revelations

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:29 pm
by DoverSail
Well fellas, after a thousand years resting in Mississauga, My TX16S has arrived in East Dover!


This is a large radio and quite heavily built. The sticks feel almost fluid dampened. Very nice.

I popped two $4 18650 LiIon cells into the provided tray and got right to work on setting up a model.

I started with my new Lemon RX 0052 7ch receiver with integrated variometer.

Binding was simple. The transmitter has a built in OpenTX Wizard that provides you with a great starting point.

Within a few hours I has it set up mostly as I wanted:

Left slider controls the throttle, with a switch providing throttle lockout. The transmitter will not arm until that switch is in the correct position. Rudder is, as with most gliders, on the right stick that you might call “Aileron”. The throttle stick controls my flaps (1 servo per channel in my case). The elevator stick controls the elevator with some small modifications depending on flight mode, which I’ll get to shortly.


The transmitter has up to 8 flight modes, but I have 3 set up as follows.

Cruise: the computer lady tells me in a calming alto that I’m in cruise mode. The flaps are centred when the throttle stick is all the way down for neutral flight.

Thermal: the flaps add a bit of down offset (I did this using a Global Variable) to provide a bit more lift. In thermal mode, in addition to the 100% elevator throw provided at all times by the elevator stick, the right slider provides me with 20% throw and buzzes when I hit neutral in the middle. This way I can set the elevator when I’m in a thermal without adjusting my global trim. I expect this to be very helpful. The right slider ONLY takes effect when I’m in thermal mode.

Speed: the flaps crank up for a little bit of reflex. Note that the throttle stick still gives me full flap control in all flight modes just in case.

That describes the flight modes.


By setting the flap offsets using a flight-mode dependant global variable, I never need to mess with trims for that purpose and I can easily make changes to each flight mode’s offset.

I also set up a 3 position switch to control my variometer. Down is “HEFA MODE” in full silence. Only the screaming of tiny props to be heard, no beeping.

Middle is “altitude announce” every ten seconds.

Top is FULL NOOB MODE with constant variometer beeping indicating lift and sink and an altitude announce every 30 seconds.

Finally, I have a few logical variables and special functions set.

For one, if I ever put the throttle slider above zero but have the throttle interlock active, the radio will tell me I’m disarmed so I don’t get any wrong ideas.

Secondly, a timer will count down only while the throttle is above 0%. Another timer counts up for the entire flight duration and can be reset with a momentary switch.

Finally there are a few low voltage alarms based on telemetry from the receiver.


I had been worrying that this would be a nightmare to set up, but understanding a few very general principles of how openTX works, mainly around mapping physical interfaces to software IDs. , followed by mixing, followed by mapping mixed channels to outputs, really makes it a joy to set up. You can do anything your bored, winter-locked, sun-deprived mind can imagine with those logical functions. You could make this thing play “Stairway to Heaven” any time the vertical acceleration exceeds 5m/s.

Next steps are to get John to record a bunch of voice clips of him announcing flight modes to replace the stock voice, and then we should be off to the races.

This thing cost $180 shipped and so far has entertained me at least $90 worth so we’re halfway there.

Re: RadioMaster TX16S Revelations

Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:48 pm
by Ivan
nice to see your enjoying man looks like you could watch a movie off that screen

Re: RadioMaster TX16S Revelations

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:25 am
by wildblue30
Hi DoverSail,

Thanks for the interesting write-up. I have a RadioMaster TX16S on the way from Banggood. I ordered it on Dec.31 so hopefully I will receive it sometime before Easter. I fly cp helicopters using two different transmitters, one DSMX-based and the other Futaba-based. The switches for some critical functions are placed in opposite locations which has resulted in some harrowing incidents. I am looking to the multi-protocol TX16S to solve this problem.

After reading one of your other posts, I have been setting up an .otx file using OpenTX Companion. I plan to start with my ultra micro models first. As you said, the key to learning OpenTX seems to lie in understanding the relationship between inputs, mixes, and outputs. In addition to the many helpful videos on YouTube, I also find the very active RadioMaster TX16S TX User Group on Facebook to be a good resource.


Re: RadioMaster TX16S Revelations

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:14 am
by DoverSail
Absolutely, the youtube series from @RC Video Reviews@ was very helpful to me. He has a playlist on his channel that is full of @beginner TX16s OpenTX@ tutorials that covers setting up a model and using Companion. I watched through those videos before I got to work myself. Some of his more specific videos, for instance on Global Variables etc, were especially helpful!

I expect we will see a few of these TX16s radios at HEFA. Imagine what this sort of thing would have cost five years ago? It is really incredible. It will be really cool when OpenTX 2.4 comes out and we can use the touchscreens on our radios too!

Re: RadioMaster TX16S Revelations

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:32 pm
by bdg
Are these 100% compatible (as near as 100% as we can expect!) with Spektrum?

Looking sharp for sure!


Re: RadioMaster TX16S Revelations

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:46 pm
by DoverSail
bdg wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:32 pm
Are these 100% compatible (as near as 100% as we can expect!) with Spektrum?

Looking sharp for sure!


It is 100% compatible with Spektrum gear, which runs on the DSM2/DSMX protocol. I am actually not sure if forward programming works. I know that’s something that the modern Spektrum gear does. I’m also not sure how it works with SMART telemetry data. If the receiver makes that data available in the same manner as it would an external or internal vario then it should work fine.

If anyone wants me to try binding to any specific gear they have I would be happy to participate in some experiments!

Re: RadioMaster TX16S Revelations

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:50 pm
by bdg
Thanks Josh.... another question... the single antenna is obvious. But is there a second antenna for diversity?


Re: RadioMaster TX16S Revelations

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:01 pm
by JohnOSullivan
Well, my TX16S arrived yesterday and I must say that it is a well constructed and professional piece of gear.
The video display is clear and easy to navigate, a vast improvement on the Taranis. How they can get the versatility of this radio into a $200 CAN package delivered is amazing. I'm sure that with a little help I'll have this on all my models.

Re: RadioMaster TX16S Revelations

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:39 am
by AndrewS
I am actually not sure if forward programming works. I know that’s something that the modern Spektrum gear does
I am tempted to say Forward Programming of Spektrum rxs wouldn't work as FP is a part of the Spektrum Airware software (version 2.05 and newer)( and currently only works with certain rxs) not the DSMX protocol.