Radio Review: Graupner mz-32 HoTT Color
The next-generation 32-channel radio is here!
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.
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
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.
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.