Ra­dio Re­view: Graup­ner mz-32 HoTT Color

The next-gen­er­a­tion 32-chan­nel ra­dio is here!

Model Airplane News - - CONTENTS - By Rick Bell

Sev­eral years ago, the folks at Graup­ner de­cided to raise the bar in the hotly con­tested ra­dio sys­tem arena. Its ra­dios tend to be loaded with easy-to-use fea­tures and have easy-on-the-pock­et­book price points. Nowhere is this more ev­i­dent than with its new mz-32 HoTT (Hop­ping Teleme­try Trans­mis­sion) Color TFT 32-chan­nel ra­dio sys­tem. This is Graup­ner’s third gen­er­a­tion of HoTT com­puter teleme­try ra­dio, and with its brightly col­ored dis­play screens, voice an­nounce­ments, and TFT touch­screen, it truly is one of the most ver­sa­tile trans­mit­ters on the market. The mz-32 packs a host of fea­tures that $3,000 sys­tems boast but at a frac­tion of the cost. Graup­ner’s mz-32 uses its HoTT pro­to­col, has 32 pro­por­tional chan­nels, a whop­ping 999 model mem­ory, a mas­sive-ca­pac­ity 9000mAh LiHV bat­tery, Blue­tooth and Wi-Fi con­nec­tiv­ity, dual 2.4GHz mod­ules, and a mul­ti­tude of ad­di­tional fea­tures. And talk about voice com­mands (pun in­tended)! The mz-32 has more than 600 in­stalled com­mands, and by us­ing Graup­ner’s textto-talk editor, you’ll have un­lim­ited voice com­bi­na­tions, so you’ll al­ways have some­thing to talk about! The Hall-sen­sored, quad-bear­ing, 4096-res­o­lu­tion gim­bals are amaz­ing, mak­ing the mz-32 one smooth and pre­cise ra­dio.

UNIQUE FEA­TURES

The mz-32 comes in its own hard case. The in­side of the case has foam in­serts for the ra­dio, re­ceiver, neck strap, trans­mit­ter stand, and USB charg­ing cord and has room for other small items. The in­cluded re­ceiver is the pop­u­lar GR-24 12-chan­nel re­ceiver that mon­i­tors re­ceiver voltage, re­ceiver tem­per­a­ture, and sig­nal strength, which are all trans­mit­ted back to the trans­mit­ter with­out the need for ad­di­tional sen­sors. Also in­cluded is a USB adapter so that you can keep abreast of any sys­tem up­dates; even cooler is that you can wire­lessly up­date your sys­tem via Wi-Fi.

The mz-32 has a ton of built-in fea­tures, and to be hon­est, there are many more fea­tures than we can go into here. What I will do is cover some of the main fea­tures. The mz-32 fea­tures 32 fully pro­por­tional chan­nels, all of which can be ad­justed for dif­fer­ent speeds and as­signed to the mul­ti­tude of switches, slid­ers, and di­als on the fronts, top, and back of the trans­mit­ter. The 4.3-inch touch­screen is truly awe­some, and you can ac­tu­ally see it in sun­light. Plus, it is cus­tom­iz­a­ble to suit your info needs for each model. It’s easy to de­sign your own screen lay­outs to dis­play in­for­ma­tion or cre­ate menu short­cuts, which can be done on the fly by sim­ply tap­ping on the screen. You can cre­ate, in to­tal, six screens that bet­ter fit your needs and per­sonal style us­ing just the tip of your fin­ger. If you fly elec­tric he­li­copters, for ex­am­ple, you can place the most com­monly used fea­tures you use right on the home screen so that you don’t need to dig through the lay­ers of sub­menus. This is made pos­si­ble with the pow­er­ful and ver­sa­tile Wid­gets fea­ture.

Want to hear what is go­ing on? The trans­mit­ter pro­vides op­tions to gen­er­ate al­most any type of sys­tem or teleme­try voice no­ti­fi­ca­tion for items such as switch po­si­tions, flight-mode names, warn­ings, teleme­try in­for­ma­tion, and end­less other points of info. The mz-32 starts com­mu­ni­cat­ing with you from the mo­ment you turn it on, let­ting you know if a switch or con­trol is in the wrong po­si­tion for your model. You’ll no longer get the dreaded col­lapse of the re­tractable land­ing gear when you turn on the ra­dio. The mz-32 has the ca­pa­bil­ity to alert you to ex­tend your land­ing gear or if you are about to run out of range or bat­tery. This ra­dio also fea­tures 12 as­sign­a­ble com­bi­na­tion switches, 12 as­sign­a­ble log­i­cal switches, and 12 as­sign­a­ble con­trol switches, which can be con­fig­ured any way you like right at your fin­ger­tips. Unique to the mz-32 is the Auto Trim fea­ture, which is just splen­did. As­sign it to any switch you like, fly the model (say, on its maiden flight, in a level at­ti­tude), and flip the switch. Presto! All your con­trol sur­faces are now cen­tered in­stan­ta­neously.

Teleme­try has be­come more of a stan­dard than an ex­trav­a­gance these days, and the mz-32 is no ex­cep­tion. There are a num­ber of dif­fer­ent sen­sors with which you can equip your model, and you can de­cide ex­actly how and at what pa­ram­e­ters those data points are called out. What’s re­ally cool is that you can bind up to four re­ceivers to­gether for re­dun­dancy or to con­trol more fea­tures, such as se­quenc­ing land­ing-gear doors, open­ing/clos­ing the canopy, and ac­ti­vat­ing the bomb drop. The uses are

lim­ited only by your imag­i­na­tion.

It’s al­ways good to have op­tions and the mz-32 has loads of them. There are set­tings spe­cific for air­planes, he­lis, glid­ers, drones, and even for sur­face ve­hi­cles, such as cars and boats. The mon­strous 9000mAh LiPo trans­mit­ter bat­tery means more fly­ing time and less charg­ing time, and it is charged through the sup­plied USB cord and the

USB port on your com­puter or a cell-phone charg­ing brick. Phys­i­cally, the mz-32 feels good in your hands. It’s well bal­anced and all the switches are eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble. I re­ally like that Graup­ner has in­creased the space be­tween the switches on the top of the trans­mit­ter. Graup­ner also in­cludes a bal­ance han­dle for the neck strap, so you can pick and choose what ori­en­ta­tion best suits your grip while fly­ing. Stan­dard on many trans­mit­ters to­day are loads of switches and di­als on the top of each side as well as di­als front and cen­ter of the trans­mit­ter, and the mz-32 fol­lows this trend. The back also fea­tures two slid­ers that are eas­ily reached with your in­dex fin­gers. All the switches, di­als, and slid­ers can eas­ily be as­signed to any func­tion you de­sire. Here’s a list of just some of the mz-32 fea­tures:

32 pro­por­tional chan­nels

999 model mem­ory

Four-re­ceiver-bind­ing 10ms or 20ms frame rate

Model, group, or global bind­ing modes Model types: air­plane, he­li­copter, mul­ti­ro­tor, ve­hi­cle, boat

12 se­lectable flight modes

Eight wing types, six delta wing types, three tail types

Multi engine con­trol (four)

Six user-des­ignable wid­gets dash­boards (model spe­cific or global)

Con­text-sen­si­tive help text

Air­plane auto-trim mode

Text-to-speech with VDF editor

PRO­GRAM­MING

The Graup­ner mz-32 pro­gram­ming is dif­fer­ent than any other sys­tem out there, but that’s where the ease of the touch­screen on the trans­mit­ter comes in. There aren’t any di­als, but­tons to hold, or com­pli­cated menus­e­lec­tion pro­cesses. Ba­si­cally, if you can use a smart­phone, you can set up this ra­dio. Right on the main screen, there are icons that will di­rect you to all the pro­gram­ming and teleme­try menus. Within those menus, you’ll find pretty much any fea­ture you’d ever need for nearly any type of RC model. There are three but­tons on each side of the touch­screen that will help you scroll through the menus, and de­pend­ing on what you’re try­ing to do, these but­tons will make get­ting around faster than the touch­screen. There are lots of wing and tail con­fig­u­ra­tions to choose from, pre­set mixes, servo and mo­tor testers, song lists via the built-in MP3 player, and pretty much any other func­tion imag­in­able. For com­pre­hen­sive pro­gram­ming in­struc­tions, you can view Graup­ner’s videos on its web­site. How’s that for a help­ing hand? Speak­ing of help, on each screen in the up­per right cor­ner is a ques­tion mark; touch it and you get in­stant help for the func­tion you want to use. This is an awe­some fea­ture.

BOT­TOM LINE

I’ve done a fair amount of ra­dio re­views in the past, but none have come close to the fea­tures that the Graup­ner mz-32 packs in, and with its low price point, it’s quite a bar­gain. The pro­gram­ming is com­pre­hen­sive and lacks noth­ing. The large user-in­ter­face color touch­screen is eas­ily seen in sun­light and is easy to scroll through to ac­cess the menus. This ra­dio is a true 32-chan­nel sys­tem and has a re­mark­able 999 model mem­ory—just un­heard of. The mz-32 is a pro­fes­sional-grade trans­mit­ter ra­dio that’s easy to use.

On the mz-32, Graup­ner has widened the space be­tween the switches on the top cor­ners of the trans­mit­ter—a much­needed change. Also note the dig­i­tal switch DT7 right be­low the dial; it’s as­sign­a­ble to use as needed.

The Graup­ner mz-32 comes with a hard case for proper stor­age and trans­port.

Af­ter nam­ing your model, you de­ter­mine model type (air­craft, heli, etc.), wing type, and tail type. As you scroll through the menus, you’ll see that there are many op­tions for just about any con­fig­u­ra­tion.

Model op­tions? The mz-32 has you cov­ered! From fixed wings, to he­lis, to drones and even sur­face ve­hi­cles, the mz-32 has the ver­sa­til­ity to han­dle all types.

The trans­mit­ter bat­tery is a hefty 9000mAh LiPo for power and lots of ca­pac­ity for a full week­end of fly­ing. The charge port is at the lower right; you use the sup­plied USB cord and charge it us­ing your com­puter or a cell-phone brick charger.

I re­ally like the fold­ing dual 2.4GHz re­dun­dant an­tenna; it’s sturdy and, with its short pro­file, less likely to be dam­aged.

A needed ac­ces­sory that comes with the ra­dio is this fold­ing trans­mit­ter stand.

Above left: There’s a lot go­ing on with this info screen. You can see in the lower left the per­cent­age of bat­tery charge re­main­ing; the ac­tual voltage is in the up­per-right cor­ner. The ra­dio fre­quency is the sig­nal strength; again, no re­ceiver is bound to the trans­mit­ter, so no val­ues are given. The time used, date, and ac­tual time is also dis­played. In the lower right, you can ac­cess the Trim menu or re­turn to all the menus with just a touch of the screen. Above right: What you see here is the de­fault Home screen, and you can cus­tom­ize it for what info you’d like to see. The but­tons on the bot­tom pro­vide ac­cess to in­di­vid­ual menus, or you can bring up all the sub­menus by tap­ping the icon on the bot­tom right. If you need help, just tap the ques­tion mark in the up­per-right cor­ner and a text screen opens with ver­biage that is re­lated to that func­tion. Vir­tu­ally all screens have a Help screen.

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