Radiomaster T8 Lite Review
The Radiomaster T8 Lite is a great opening price point multirotor transmitter that can do double duty as a simulator controller as well. It's easy to use, easy to bind, and has enough options to get you flying quickly without the hassle of dealing with a complex operating system like OpenTX. Whether you’re flying foamies, Tiny Whoops, or the new Guardian Gremlin, it just works. Let’s take a look at some of the details, and you’ll start to see why the Radiomaster T8 Lite might shine for your project!
Specs and Features
- Type: T8 Lite Radio Controller
- Size: 160mm x 130mm x 45mm
- Weight: 218g
- Frequency: 2.400GHZ-2.480GHZ
- RF Module: CC2500
- Protocol Options: D8/D16
- Transmission power: 20dbm
- Antenna gain: 2db
- Range: > 1km @ 20dbm (Depending on the Receiver)
- Battery: Built in 3.7v 1000mah Lithium Battery
- Charging: Built in USB-C Charging
- Firmware: Independent Development System
- Channels: Up to 8 channels (Depending on the Model/Receiver)
- Gimbal: High-Precision Quad Bearing Potentiometer Sensor Gimbal
- Simulator Ready: Yes
- Trainer Port: Yes (Sold Separately)
Fit and Finish
The Radiomaster T8 Lite isn’t the most complicated transmitter on the market. It’s really not the prettiest either. However, that’s not really the focus that Radiomaster went after when creating it. It does the basics, and it does the basics really well.
It’s a gamepad style transmitter, which is great for those whose hands are already accustomed to that style of ergonomics. The entire transmitter is ABS plastic, and that’s okay, because it’s durable, lightweight, and easy to hold. The backs of the “wings” have a grippy texture. It’s not rubberized, but it gives a better positive engagement. Overall, it’s small enough for small hands to fit on, but large enough to be comfortable for larger hands. The back of the unit also has two finger rests that can be flipped out to help with grip.
The gimbals are potentiometer style, which may shorten the lifespan of them a bit, but at this price point, that’s not a dealbreaker. The stick movements feel smooth, and the stick end height is adjustable to suit thumbers or pinchers alike. The gimbal springs are just enough to center the sticks quickly, but not tire your hands out trying to keep the sticks in motion.
There are ample switches, enough to give control over several different functions of a plane or a multirotor. There are two 2-positon switches and two 3-position switches. More than enough for a lot of applications.
To turn the Radiomaster T8 Lite on, just press and hold the ginormous power button in the middle center of the unit until all the status LEDs turn on. Those status LEDs will also give you an indication of your battery level. Cool thing here is that the battery is built into the unit, so nothing extra to buy. The USB-C charging port is up at the top of the unit, under the rubber cover. The USB-C port also doubles as a data connection to your PC so you can use the Radiomaster T8 Lite as a simulator controller! There’s also a trainer port if you need it under that cover.
The antenna for the unit is internal, so nothing to snag or break off.
Binding to a Receiver
The Radiomaster T8 Lite is super simple to bind, and is compatible with both D8 and D16 style receivers (FrSky protocols). That means it should work with most non-ACCESS FrSky receivers and definitely works with Radiomaster receivers.
To enter binding mode, flip the transmitter over and you'll have a backpack looking part with a hole in the middle. Down in that hole is the bind button. To make it easier to access, you can slip the backpack off by pushing up toward the top of the transmitter. To enter binding mode, press and hold the bind button until the Radiomaster T8 Lite starts beeping.
Now, the beeps are going to give you an indication of what binding mode the transmitter is in. If the beeps are in a pattern of “beep – pause – beep – pause – beep” or one beep per cycle, the transmitter is in D8 mode. If it’s “beep beep – pause – beep beep – pause – beep beep” or two beeps per cycle, then the transmitter is in D16 mode. To change mode, just press the bind button again until you get the beep cycle that matches the type of receiver you’re attaching it to. Keep in mind, the transmitter doesn’t stay in bind mode for a long time, really just about 5 seconds, so you’ll need to be ready.
A standard bind procedure would work like this:
Make sure the Radiomaster T8 Lite is in the correct binding mode (D8 or D16) as needed by your receiver. Enter binding mode on the transmitter to get it in the right mode, then let the bind attempt expire. Ensure your throttle is at the lowest position on the transmitter. Ready the receiver by pressing the bind button while powering it on as the receiver typically will stay in bind more for a longer time or indefinitely until it binds. Once the receiver is ready, go ahead and enter binding mode on the Radiomaster T8 Lite and ensure the bind takes. That’s all there is to it!
Unlike transmitters with an operating system, the channels of the Radiomaster T8 Lite are set to a specific mapping. That means that each control axis from the gimbals and the switches will automatically be enabled and ready to go on a specific channel, below is how the controls are mapped.
Knowing how the channels and switches are setup are critical for ensuring the right axis is being controlled correctly. This is also critical for ensuring your switches are controlling the correct auxiliary function.
The Radiomaster T8 Lite makes for a great, low cost, starter radio for beginners that doesn’t bring a lot of complications to the table. It’s multifunctional, giving the option for both a flight transmitter as well as a simulator controller. This makes it great for STEM programs, where getting the most bang for the buck is necessary. For a personal transmitter, it can get you started in the hobby without a significant investment, and can transition to a desktop simulator controller. It’s small, portable, durable, and has enough channels to get you going on multirotors without a whole lot of hassle. If you’re looking for something easy and basic, give the Radiomaster T8 Lite a go!