RadioMaster TX12 review
It'S, a really small radio, so let's get rid of the other radio master. Let'S. Take a closer look at this thing, and here we are in my hands. You can see it is a very small radio and it's got pros and cons. You'Ve got big hands. You probably hate it, but if you're looking for a really compact small radio, you can throw in your backpack and you don't have a tango 2. Then you may find this to be a kick ass product. So how does it compare to the tango too? Well, obviously, it is a bit taller but it's about the same width. Maybe a little bit narrower than the tango, 2 and let's have a look at the depth. Shall we um it's a little bit deeper than a tango 2, so probably not as form factor efficient as the tango, but if you're looking for something that works on 2.4 gigahertz, then this may be and it's got the multi protocol module. I must remember to tell you multi protocol modules, that'll work with all the texas instrument compatible systems, not all the systems, but the texas system ones, which are basically. What have we got here does tell us on the box. It says corona who the hell uses corona. These days, high tech, futaba, fhss, uh, free sky, d8 and d16 radio link and group na hot, so it worked with a little asterisk. Why it's got an asterisk it's gone grabbing, a hot doesn't say anyway, um so yeah it'll work with quite a range of other receivers and of course it will work with radio masters own massive selection of receivers they're about to drop on the market, which is going To be great that's, the radio has there only nothing in its favor for me.
Is it got a monochrome lcd doesn't have one of these fancy. Color screens you can't read. Unless you've got um, you know shade uh, it comes with a usb c cable. I don't know if it has a charger we'll find out when we pair it when we tear it apart. I don't know if it's got built in charging or not, and it comes with a manual, and it comes with this look at this this black thing. Why do you think it has this black thing? I'Ll tell you because it also has a folding handle yay folding handle everyone loves folding handles and it has a regular module bay, so you can put if you've got a crossbar module or an r9 or anything like that. I suppose you can bung that in the back anything that's supported by open text, because, yes, it does run open tx, so you can run multi protocols and if you're only going to be using it on 900 megahertz or something, then you can just put this little Plastic, bang in the top here and water won't get in your transmitter and it looks like you: don't have two areas looks dorky when you have two aerials that it's that's that's, a small but really it's a thing that shows radiomaster are thinking when they build this Radio they they were there's a little thing like that. That just shows the attention to detail that makes a difference and they even have a warning.
Do not turn on the radio without the antenna installed, because otherwise you will have an expensive paperweight, not that expensive. I haven't seen a price on this, but i would not expect it to be an expensive radio because it's small, i tell my wife good things come with small packages. She disagrees, but i think well and unless it's jewelry. But in this case i think it is, has a 20 a 20 db output, which means it's, 100 milliwatts, so you'll expect full range from this thing. Just because it's small doesn't mean it doesn't have much range. It'S got the normal buttons down there. You expect the scroll wheel, these two buttons here and it's got three position. Three position, three position, three position and these bit like on the tango. Now the tango has these buttons up the top here that you can well they've got three positions, but it's got these buttons as well, so it's got buttons. This has got buttons, so you can obviously toggle backs and forwards with those there doesn't seem to be any illumination to tell you what's what but hey this is a small radio. Compromises must be made and he has one on off. Switch trim, levers, buddy box connection usb, and they say that it's easily upgradeable the firmware can be upgraded very easily. In fact, i think they sit on the box. Can you do it from the sd card as well? The upgrade method, usb or sd card and open tx companion software, so it's pretty pretty standard pretty stock stuff.
So i think we should stop looking at the outside. Have a look inside see well it's made first thing to note: is it takes 280 and 650 cells and i look at the wiring harness here with the three wires that's suitable for balance charging, so i have a feeling it may have the charger built in doesn't Say on the packet that i could see that battery slides up in there, but if you're not using 18650s there's, quite a bit of room in there for lipo pack, so yeah and the little connectors down here, your micro sd card. There is not one in this one at the moment goes in there, no micro sd, no there's, not no that's unusual. Usually they provide a micro sd, not in this case um, so let's take it apart and see what's inside little qr code warranty sticker here so that they know if you've broken in when you shouldn't have i'll get rid of that that's not going to last i'm. Breaking it open, so you don't have to so here we are we're deep inside the bells of it. There'S a single circuit board, with a little multi protocol module stacked on top here. These are not hall effect, sticks, they're, just pots, but they they look adequate for what the job is now a few other things tonight. The wires to the switches are soldered directly and there's, no heat shrink or anything there, um there's a reasonably good soldering job.
So i'm, not too worried about that. Remember this isn't, like probably going to be anyone's main radio it'll, be a backup radio or something that you take to the park um so yeah that that's that's it that's satisfactory it's, not as good as in the in the full blown uh radio link the pots. Here have got plenty of goo on them supporting the wires, but i noticed that it's not totally 100, because this wire here you can see the insulation doesn't go away. So that and remember this is a pre production. So i would certainly hope and expect that the the quality would be better in a production model, but it's acceptable, it's acceptable at this stage. I i think this is you know, uh perfectly fine down here: we've got the normal stm32 microcontroller, which is doing. This is pretty standard for all open, tx radios. We'Ll have this. We have a battery backup over here for all the non volatiles. Keep the clock running when it's turned off um micro sd card slot down here, there's a voltage regulator here and there's another one. Here now i can't tell from just looking at whether it's going to charge it does. Obviously it doesn't seem to have a charge circuit close to the battery connector, but it could be this. It could be that i don't know: we'll have i'll, look further and tell you whether it charges through the usb port uh, we will find out fairly shortly, it's, really there's, probably not a hell of a lot to say.
I like the fact that the ufl connector is glued down and also the the pigtail here is glued, so it's not going to flap around on the breeze um yeah it's got little sliders on the side here, and they do have a a detent which is better Than the actual the full size jumper, the detent on that is actually better, but it's still they're, not precision things, because you only get this much movement, that's that's it so you're not going to be able to do precise stuff. With these things, that's. The center position is the center i don't know yeah so from a technical perspective from a build quality it's. Certainly adequate i've seen a hell of a lot worse in brand name radios. Trust me i've seen some stuff that would shock you in some of the radios that people pay a fortune for so yeah that's acceptable, and i say remembering it is a pre production unit. One of the big bonuses is, you can remove the back. There'S no leads to the back so that's um it's, not like the jumper, where you've got that antenna mounted on the back and you've got a fly: cable, it's, a bit of a pain. If you want to take the back off so there you go, you don't have to take the back off yours, i've, taken the back off mine, okay, i've thrown a couple of 18650 cells in there. The moment of truth let's see if it will turn on ooh that's.
Looking better looking good, open, tx that's a very familiar sign on that lcd. Oh yeah, it's, fine! There we go tx12, well, hey um, so let's see system memory, system, menu, okay, it's um. These keys are different to what i'm used to again. Where are we? Where is the exit button return? So let's go to the model menu menu? There we go. Oh it's already got some in there. Look at that. These are basic templates um and which one is return, there's, not a lot of consistency. Actually, in some of these things um. What do we got here? So system menu a little bit page sd card ready. There we go radio setup, let's have a look um the date's not set on this one. Obviously yeah, it all looks pretty pretty standard. Let'S turn the beat pitch yeah. If you're familiar with open, tx, oops i'll get this into shot, there's, not a lot to see here. It'S just this is open tx. This is the way it works. So what i will do is obviously i will set up a model or two and do some flying. Okay looks like a pretty good day out here today and, of course i am testing the the radiomaster t12 tx12. I always get these numbers wrong. Tx12. There. It is and i'll show you the best thing about this radio best. Why i like these standard lcd displays, look at this. We got full sunlight and just look.
How readable this display is. Look, how readable that display is in full sunlight, that's, fantastic that's. Why i like them, i like flying in the sun, so that's, why i like regular monochrome lcd displays on transmitters now i've set up my fms super easy here. It'S got a x16 receiver in it bound really easily no problems at all. Um, just wired in a bit of expo haven't, seen any trims yet um and i'm going to give it a bit of a flight. Now this doesn't have an sd card and i haven't had time to make one up so i'm not going to get any voice telemetry, but it is providing um telemetry on the screen. If i want to look at it and one thing, i've noticed right from the get go, and this is perhaps because it's pre production, but this is terrible uh. It seems that, for some reason, the rotary encoders on the first versions of all these radios it's just awful this one skips and jumps and that you know it's really really hard to use i'm sure they'll fix that they fixed it in the radio master. Tx16S. I'M. Sure that this is just a quirk of the pre production model, at least i certainly hope so um they'll, probably let me know once they've – got that sorted i'll, be telling them about that, but other than that it was really simple to set up got a couple Of 18650 cells – and yes, it does charge from the usbc port.
This usbc port on the top here over here will charge your internal batteries, but you got to make sure you're using the three. What is it? The 4.2 volt per cell packs, not the 4.1 volt per cell packs, so let's have a bit of a fly. Let'S see what happens here. Um i'll get the old uh super easy in the air and we'll see if it works. Okay, so here we are we've got the transmitter. Um i've put a bit of right trim on because from our left trim, because i think from memory, this model required a bit of left, trim and yeah, because there's no trim set so we'll see how we go right left up down later on this all going. The right way throttle works, let's, see if it flies. Ah, beautiful have to worry about those planes a long way away and it doesn't i got ta say the smaller sticks – do make a difference if you're quite so confident in hurling it round. Maybe a bit more expo would make a difference, but maybe just getting used to it. I think it's just getting used to this sort of thing. These things are pretty subjective, but it seems to be working. I mean it's controlling the model, isn't that what we want. These things to do let's, let's, try a bit of distance and i'll try flight out a bit of a way and see if it falls out of the sky.
But yes, i have set the files up, excuse the radio noise, so yeah that's that's. As far as you want to fly line of sight, usually it's a fair distance just hold this up, so hopefully you can see the transmitter and my thumbs aren't too bad today i got ta say, but i do need a bit more expo on these tiny sticks. I think yeah let's do a turn, excuse my thumbs, it's terrible. They are good compared to normal. I did take extra medication so yeah it flies with this, but i might do some more flights with it. I think it just needs a bit of getting used to landing. Zero is the ultimate test. Don'T know let's try one of those see how that works out for us all right. That was okay, let's go around what about aerobatics yep it's i'm, feeling more comfortable at the moment. Probably the mobius doesn't give you a very good picture because it's wide angle, it's only 1080p, so i can't crop in on it, but it's the only camera i had available bit of thermal activity, get the dog out. Surely let's do a low pass if you're wondering whether it is hanging down below it's, a rubber band that i use for toilet drops the toilet, roll drops and things like that so there's, nothing wrong with the model yep starting to get a little more comfortable yeah. This transmitter is working perfectly fine. I wouldn't use it as my main transmitter for all my models, perhaps, but i don't think it's designed for that.
I think it's designed for park flies and stuff. You want to throw in your backpack because you want the small size. Can i hover with it yeah it hovers might have to put more elevator thrown though okay, here we go come for one more landing and we'll do a summary. Certainly the range is fine. That'S me my crappy thumbs, it's great it's great, so there we go that's my review of the radiomaster tx12 and in summary, it has a few floors but as they said to me, when they sent this, this is a pre production model and they wanted feedback. Any problems bugs whatever and i think this little scrolly wheel is not up to scratch. Uh. I noticed a couple of other little bugs with the software which i'll be reporting back it's open tx, so there shouldn't be any bugs, but it may just been related to the scroll wheel, because sometimes things didn't seem to work properly, but hey um bottom line is I'M sure that they will fix that as the as they have done with their other products. I mean the first release was a bit um shaky with the first radiomaster. There was a couple little things, scroll wheel and things, but they sorted this out really quickly and the fact that i've sent the pre release out is great because it means that the production model should ship without any problems. That'S. The theory fingers crossed i'm, pretty sure they've got a handle on this because they're very responsive to customer feedback.
When i was flying the fact that my hands were in a different place, didn't make a difference, and i think the fact that the sticks are smaller also made a difference. It didn't feel quite so positive. It was uh and i was having a few shakes, not too many, but it was like yeah. I didn't feel as in control as with a full size transmitter but hey within i don't know half a flight. I was feeling much more relaxed. It was getting much better towards the end, so it's one of those things you will adapt very quickly. Most people will adapt pretty quickly, and if this is your only transmitter, you won't notice it at all. This is probably not going to be most people's main transmitter, but it will be the one you throw in your backpack or you take to the park or you it's your backup transmitter, because it's just it does everything the big radios do, but it's smaller and presumably I don't have a price, presumably it is cheaper as well, and i do love the monochrome screen in the sun, no problem playing around with adjustments in full, bright, sunlight today, fantastic. It just reminded me how much better monochrome screens are than color screens. As i say, if radio master made a tx16s with a monochrome screen, i'd take it in favor of the color one. Every time just more practical yeah color schemes are flash and they look great inside when there's, not much lighting, but outdoors.
You just can't beat that monochrome screen it's brilliant anyway that's. My findings folks range no problem. Um perfect. There was no glitches. There was no unexpected happenings during the flight. Absolutely wonderful, perfect. Trims worked fine, happy camper, happy camper, so this will probably it's it's a bit of a quandary here because the – although that is this – that is a small transmitter and it feels small, which means. As i say, you got it, you've got to adapt to it um. The tango 2 is a small transmitter, but it feels much bigger and therefore this feels more like flying a full size transmitter and i think, if we look at the sticks, i don't know: if you get is it is it psychological? Do we actually get more more? Throw with that stick than with that stick, it probably may be psychological, maybe it's uh, and that you're not that much further apart. I don't know what it is. The sticks are slightly further apart, but not that much would make a difference. I think it may just be that it's small i don't know, but hey um, certainly depending on price. This could be an excellent value transmitter for a backup for your backpack, for whatever for a gift for someone who is just getting into the hobby. Doesn'T want to spend a fortune, but wants an open, tx transmitter that has all the bells and whistles you need there. You go um questions comments to the usual place down here in my private parts, and i'll certainly do my best to respond to the meantime.
Thank you to radiomaster for sending this out. I really appreciate it and i will be sending you an email with just a few things: i've noticed which and there's no deal killers there. I will continue to use this radio because it works perfectly in this pre production. One apart from the scroll wheel, which is just it's just a bit fiddly, it doesn't, always move every time it clicks, and sometimes it moves twice. The same problems we've had with these scroll wheels on earlier release products in the past, so there you go. I hope you enjoyed the review thanks to my patreon supporters.