Jumper T16: FrSky Is Worried, And Rightly So

The Jumper T16 is the first new radio in a long time to tempt me away from the FrSky Taranis X9D. FrSky is worried about this radio, and rightly so.

What has the T16 got going for it? The shell of the T16 “borrows heavily” from the shape of a Futaba radio. So it’s got excellent ergonomics. It’s got the huge LCD screen of the Horus X10S, but without the extra bulk. It’s based on OpenTX, which means it can do basically anything you ask of it, and there are tons of tutorials for making it hum. It’s got more than enough switches and potentiometers to keep you happy. It has a multiprotocol module that can bind with FrSky, FlySky, Spektrum, and nearly every other type of receiver in existence. It supports Crossfire without any mods (looking at you QX7). It’s powered using either 18650 cells or a 2S LiPo. IT EVEN BALANCES CORRECTLY ON THE NECK-STRAP LUG.

What’s to dislike? The radio doesn’t have internal charging, so you always have to take the batteries out to charge it. Because of the large screen, batteries won’t last as long as some other radios. It is not available with high-quality Hall-Effect gimbals. It doesn’t have a built-in RF module, so you’ll have to take the multiprotocol module out of the bay in order to put a Crossfire or other module in.

The title of this review is not just click-bait. FrSky does NOT like this radio. In fact, dealers report that FrSky has been emailing them with an ultimatum: stop selling Jumper, or FrSky will cut you off. The OpenTX devs have also taken a stance against Jumper, and refuse to support the Jumper radio directly. Thankfully, OpenTX is open source, and Jumper can, and has, forked OpenTx and is maintaining it themselves. However you’ll have to get firmware releases directly from Jumper, rather than downloading them from the OpenTX site, or from within OpenTX Companion.

If you want to know my position on this situation, watch this video.

At a price of about $160, the Jumper T16 slots in nicely between the QX7 ($110) and the X9D ($200). The QX7 has been around long enough to know it’s durable and reliable. The T16 still has to prove itself in that respect. It’s also worth mentioning that you can buy the Jumper multiprotocol module separately for about $40, so if that’s the big appeal of the T16 to you, a QX7 could still work. The biggest disadvantage of the QX7 is that it needs modification to run Crossfire, its ergonomics aren’t as good (in my opinion anyway), and its screen is much smaller.

Personally, I would LOVE to see a slightly higher-end version of the T16, with improved switches/buttons, built in charging, internal multiprotocol module, and high-quality gimbals. I think this radio, at a price in the mid-$200’s, would compete very well with the Taranis X9D Special Edition.

In the mean time, if you are in the market for a starter radio in the $100’s, the T16 should be on your short list.

Purchase the Jumper T16 MultiProtocol Radio Transmitter at: