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Radiomaster MT12

Old 11-02-2023, 06:32 AM
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Default Radiomaster MT12

Radiomaster has just announced the worlds first EdgeTx based surface radio. available with ELRS or a 4 in 1 RF module. This is the perfect radio for anyone doing anything that requires long range, low latency, unlimited programmability. everything is open source and extremely powerful. you can mix any button or function with any other button or function. opentx/edgetx has basically dominated the air world especially the drone market for the last decade. finally someone has brought it to the surface market. The radio even sports a removable nano module bay for adding on external TX modules such as 900mhz TBS crossfire for even longer range. IE several MILES

The radio has 10 physical controls, and hall effect gimbals so no potentiometers to wear out. Comes with a dual 18650 battery tray and also takes Radiomasters optional 21700 battery. quick charges either with QC at up to 2A

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Last edited by slappomatt; 11-02-2023 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 11-02-2023, 07:53 AM
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I've seen this radio posted around social media this morning and it seems to have some pretty grand claims surrounding it - I've seen it called "game changing" and claims that it will end companies like Sanwa, Futaba, etc. But, nobody explains WHY they are making those claims and it's hard for someone not already familiar with whatever ELRS and EdgeTX are to understand the hype.

Mind explaining it for the rest of us? Also, at the end of the day nothing else matters if it doesn't have the latency/response time to compete with something like an M17.

EDIT 1
okay, so this ExpressLRS and EdgeTX stuff sounds pretty impressive the more I learn about it. RazorRC this sounds right up your alley. Any chance you'll get your hands on one to review?

EDIT 2
Okay, been doing some digging and I've got some background info to share for everyone else who was as confused as I was about this radio and the hype behind it.

ExpressLRS - Basically an actively maintained open source tx/rx system with some pretty impressive specs. The main focus is on range - ELRS has range in the MILES. But apparently it is also capable of some very fast response times - see the chart below showing the latencies of its various operating modes (sourced from the ELRS discord). By the looks of it, their fastest operating mode should easily be competitive with TOTL radios from major manufacturers. That kind of performance from a $130 radio is absurd (that is, if it can actually do it).



EdgeTX - This is another actively maintained open source project. Apparently its an operating system for radio transmitters with tons of really powerful features and it's supported by several different manufactures.

So yeah, I'm starting to understand the hype. It seems the tech in the drone/flying radio scene is on a whole different level than what we're used to with cars and this is the first instance of that next level tech entering our realm. I think the idea that this radio could lead to the end of companies like Sanwa or Futaba is complete hyperbole, but I do think this could make a real impact in the surface rc market.

EDIT 3
The radio has been out for a few weeks now and it is in the hands of independent reviewers/testers. One such individual is Youtuber Jacob Scherer who used an oscilloscope to measure total transmitter to PWM output latency. In his video, he takes 11 latency measurements with the radio set up in its F1000 mode and the receiver set to a 333Hz PWM update rate with the following results:
Min Latency: 3.3ms
Max Latency: 6.9ms
Average Latency: 5.4ms
Std. Dev: 1.02ms

For comparison, in this RCTech thread, user condac uses an Arduino to measure the total transmitter to PWM output latency of several radios including the Sanwa M12. His results for the M12 are as follows:
Min Latency: 2.2ms
Max Latency: 6.1ms
Average Latency: 4.1ms
Std. Dev: 0.73ms

Important caveats for comparing the two results: 1) These are two different people with two different test methods and two different sets of measuring equipment. 2) The MT12 latency was measured using 333Hz servo refresh rate while the MT12 was measured using a 384Hz servo refresh rate. That is a roughly 50Hz difference which is not insignificant. 3) The MT12's latency was measured with only 11 samples. The M12's latency was measured with 200 samples.

My opinion on the test results: Despite differences in test setups and operating conditions, I think it is safe to say that the MT12 offers excellent latency that can easily be considered to rival, if not match, other top of the line radios.
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Last edited by RC10Nick; 01-15-2024 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 11-02-2023, 01:18 PM
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Potentiometers - lets be honest, who has had a pot wear out in a quality radio? It's a non-issue, but the Radiolink shills have been filling the internet with that claim today.

EdgeTX - I just don't see a need for these software-intensive solutions for 2-channel surface vehicles. The air hobbyists have all kind of complicated mixes and movement curves to make their craft easy to fly. They have the same software-intensive solutions for their motors and ESCs - actually car racers are much more demanding of "feel" than an air hobbyist but we make do with off-the-shelf ESCs.

Racers just want a reliable radio that feels good in the hand and has intuitive adjustments that you make a repeatable difference. Response speed is another bit of hype, no quality radio is "slow".

Now maybe someone that is into scale haulage models might like the extra control it gives over additional channels but that is a niche.

So yeah, I don't see this revolutionising anything but maybe it is an option that makes sense for someone out there.
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Old 11-02-2023, 05:38 PM
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If you race 2 channel RC then EdgeTX really doesn't do anything for you and in fact it has a decent learning curve to it. a $130 radio with $16 RX with class leading latency does do something for you though. If you do other surface things besides race. like any kind of crawler or scale off road stuff, boats, subs warships tanks ETC then 10 buttons 16 channels and unlimited mixing power is something you need and the market really sucks at that. My Sanwa MT-4 has 4 inputs and a button or two and like 6 mixes available. you can mix anything you want with EdgeTx. the power in unheard of in the surface world. I have been begging for a opentx ( now edgetx) surface radio for years. This radio competes with literally ANY surface radio on the market right now and beats most of them. and at an entry level price.

And yes as RC10Nick above is discovering the Drone world tech moves at a blinding pace. your drone is obsolete in 6 months. these radios are so actively maintained there is monthly firmware updates if you want to stay on the bleeding edge of software.

Edit: I have always used TBS's Crossfire for long range in a openTX radio for air stuff, I havent used any of the multi mode modules before. they are compatable with 70+ radio protocols but most are Chinese brand air stuff. it looks like the only surface RX its compatible with that I recognized is a older futaba format before FAST or whatever they are using now. but you really want the ELRS version.

keep in mind ELRS and EDGETX being open source are both quite advanced. For example ELRS RX have wifi and can be setup to connect to your homes wifi network automatically. you can update the firmware on all your RX over your wifi network without even connecting to them. To bind the RX you setup a bind "phrase" (basically a password) that you set in your TX and all your RX. then they will all be bound all the time. you can get a new TX and just put your password in it and all your old stuff will be instantly bound to the new tx without having to rebind it all to your new radio. this is NOT for the tech unsavy. you will have a bad time. Joshua Bardwell one of the biggest drone youtubers has several 30-45 videos just on binding ELRS.

In most Surface radios you have a bind and setup for every model. In EdgeTx you have everything bound to your TX module and they are all always active. you basically have settings presets instead of binding presets. you can have one setup for all models that are the same, and they all just work. no model change required. this is more useful in the drone world where basically all drones use the same basic radio setup and individual tuning is done on the drone hardware.

Last edited by slappomatt; 11-02-2023 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 11-03-2023, 12:01 AM
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It looks cool, but honestly pretty far out of my league and I wouldn't know what to do with 99% of the stuff for 2-channel RC cars.
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Old 11-03-2023, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by RazorRC
It looks cool, but honestly pretty far out of my league and I wouldn't know what to do with 99% of the stuff for 2-channel RC cars.
Honestly if you just approached it as a basic 2ch surface radio and evaluated it's performance the way you normally would with other radios I think that would be enough. You're probably the only youtube reviewer I'd trust to evaluate whether this radio is track worthy.
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Old 11-03-2023, 09:52 AM
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ELRS and EdgeTX are legit. There is a reason a bunch of the really competitive racequad guys run this stuff. It's because it's the fastest and most consistent RC link around. It does this while being cheaper than anything around. Win win for the consumer.

Though I will admit EdgeTX isn't the most beginner friendly programming experience. If you know what RC channels are and kind of understand that much then it's pretty intuitive to program but if not it's the most confusing. Also all the intercompatibility it can do makes setting up a model to work with whatever receiver you have confusing also. You really have to do your homework to have a smooth experience with it.
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Old 11-03-2023, 10:12 AM
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As a former pro drone racer turned surface rc racer / basher / crawler I have been waiting for this for years. As a competitive ebuggy racer I wanted the fastest possible link and buying an m17 was painful. Only because I knew from experience that we have much better performing radios in FPV for sub $150.

Now all I need to do is pull my sanwa receivers so I can list my m17 for sale.

I will add that this radio offers 2 other things that people aren't thinking of. The receivers come with voltage telemetry and you can setup throttle based timers (like spektrum but much more in depth).
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Old 11-03-2023, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by RC10Nick

So yeah, I'm starting to understand the hype. It seems the tech in the drone/flying radio scene is on a whole different level than what we're used to with cars and this is the first instance of that next level tech entering our realm. I think the idea that this radio could lead to the end of companies like Sanwa or Futaba is complete hyperbole, but I do think this could make a real impact in the surface rc market.
This is hitting the nail on the head. We're seeing it in the crawling community with blheli32 escs flashed with am32. These are escs you can buy for $15 that out perform every castle esc on the market for crawling.

The frustrating part is that surface rc people are used to things being expensive so the folks reselling these cheap drone escs are getting away with robbery selling them for up to $150.
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Old 11-03-2023, 11:33 AM
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I've never raced surface before but this winter decided to jump into 2wd buggy. I was left with the decision of what radio system to use and decided to just use my airplane/drone radio, a radiomaster Boxer. I figured I'd get used to the stick radio and get to take advantage of the finer throttle control it offers while being able to use the best radio link at the same time, Express LRS. I'm running no centering throttle stick and it's surprisingly just fine. Those 3D heli pilots don't need to know where center pitch is to give appropriate negative and positive collective pitch so why should I need it for braking and throttle? Turns out I don't.

The stick radio isn't what's slowing me down I don't think but now I can keep ELRS and go pistol grip if I want to. I think I'll stay with the stick radio I'm actually doing pretty well with it and mainly just getting out-mphed on the straights. What I'm losing in the corners is mainly just line choice and precision and I'm sure that'll come with experience. I've only been to two meets so far.

But yeah real excited about seeing EdgeTX and ELRS come to a surface radio. It's great to see. Those in the know with the techy drone stuff understand how disruptive this should be. The hype is justified.
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Old 11-03-2023, 12:10 PM
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Im still rocking my trusty M12 because i thought the poorly implemented touch panel of the M17 is more complicated than the scroll wheel on my M12. Also after using my friends M17 for some time my opinion hasn't changed a bit. This MT12 is the first radio i'm interested in buying since a very long time.
The Hall effect sensors are also a nice improvement over potentiometers. Surely there aren't many Radios out there with faulty potentiometers but i've seen a few where the signal is very jittery. It depends where the radio is used, in dusty environments like on an 1:8th buggy track it's more likely to happen than indoors racing TC or 1:10.

The dealbreaker for me is the the absence of a drop down steering wheel option. Maybe there will be an additional plastic part to buy in the future or its possible to 3d print an adapter.
The Trigger on the other hand seems to be quite adjustable with the forward/backward position, angle and trigger size. (at least thats what the photos suggest)

Regarding the latency between Sanwa and ELRS, i found an old thread. "Radio Benchmark program and results" (I'm not allowed to post links yet ^^)
There are some latency testing results neatly displayed for the Sanwa M12 ans M17.
You can find there also a github repo to test latency with an arduino. Maybe there is someone willing to test the MT12 out when it`s available.

Last edited by Tomillia; 11-03-2023 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 11-03-2023, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by sosidge
Potentiometers - lets be honest, who has had a pot wear out in a quality radio? It's a non-issue, but the Radiolink shills have been filling the internet with that claim today.
I know a fair amount of people who have had to replace their steering pot in a Sanwa M17. It's not a non-issue.
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Old 11-03-2023, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by slappomatt
If you race 2 channel RC then EdgeTX really doesn't do anything for you and in fact it has a decent learning curve to it. a $130 radio with $16 RX with class leading latency does do something for you though. If you do other surface things besides race. like any kind of crawler or scale off road stuff, boats, subs warships tanks ETC then 10 buttons 16 channels and unlimited mixing power is something you need and the market really sucks at that. My Sanwa MT-4 has 4 inputs and a button or two and like 6 mixes available. you can mix anything you want with EdgeTx. the power in unheard of in the surface world. I have been begging for a opentx ( now edgetx) surface radio for years. This radio competes with literally ANY surface radio on the market right now and beats most of them. and at an entry level price.

And yes as RC10Nick above is discovering the Drone world tech moves at a blinding pace. your drone is obsolete in 6 months. these radios are so actively maintained there is monthly firmware updates if you want to stay on the bleeding edge of software.

Edit: I have always used TBS's Crossfire for long range in a openTX radio for air stuff, I havent used any of the multi mode modules before. they are compatable with 70+ radio protocols but most are Chinese brand air stuff. it looks like the only surface RX its compatible with that I recognized is a older futaba format before FAST or whatever they are using now. but you really want the ELRS version.

keep in mind ELRS and EDGETX being open source are both quite advanced. For example ELRS RX have wifi and can be setup to connect to your homes wifi network automatically. you can update the firmware on all your RX over your wifi network without even connecting to them. To bind the RX you setup a bind "phrase" (basically a password) that you set in your TX and all your RX. then they will all be bound all the time. you can get a new TX and just put your password in it and all your old stuff will be instantly bound to the new tx without having to rebind it all to your new radio. this is NOT for the tech unsavy. you will have a bad time. Joshua Bardwell one of the biggest drone youtubers has several 30-45 videos just on binding ELRS.

In most Surface radios you have a bind and setup for every model. In EdgeTx you have everything bound to your TX module and they are all always active. you basically have settings presets instead of binding presets. you can have one setup for all models that are the same, and they all just work. no model change required. this is more useful in the drone world where basically all drones use the same basic radio setup and individual tuning is done on the drone hardware.
Some of that binding stuff sounds horrible. What happens if two radios happen to have the same password at the same time? What if you're running 2 classes and change model to the second car while the first one is still turned on? I'd want a guarantee that there will be no conflicts and that the other car won't start responding while I'm racing one of them.
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Old 11-03-2023, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by 2000drz400e
ELRS and EdgeTX are legit. There is a reason a bunch of the really competitive racequad guys run this stuff. It's because it's the fastest and most consistent RC link around. It does this while being cheaper than anything around. Win win for the consumer.

Though I will admit EdgeTX isn't the most beginner friendly programming experience. If you know what RC channels are and kind of understand that much then it's pretty intuitive to program but if not it's the most confusing. Also all the intercompatibility it can do makes setting up a model to work with whatever receiver you have confusing also. You really have to do your homework to have a smooth experience with it.
Sorry, the following is not directed against you personally, more of a general observation, but when a new, freshly created account, with zero prior posts drops into a thread like this in such a manner, I always think it just feels kinda odd. Especially given the experiences with very thinly disguised marketing by some brands we've seen here over the years...
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Old 11-03-2023, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by gigaplex
Some of that binding stuff sounds horrible. What happens if two radios happen to have the same password at the same time? What if you're running 2 classes and change model to the second car while the first one is still turned on? I'd want a guarantee that there will be no conflicts and that the other car won't start responding while I'm racing one of them.
I understand vague responses are frustrating but I'll say this... anything you view as remotely complicated in regards to radio function (like binding multiple models) is simply done better in edgeTX (openTX). Any radio function you can think of period is handled better and more efficiently in openTX.

As an example, it's insane to me that I can't setup a simple throttle based start/stop timer in my m17. (or a futaba or nb4 for that matter) Something I've been doing with my FPV drones since I started flying in 2014.

That's what happens when the driving factor in development is the community and not money.
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