055 Graupner USA w/CEO Hannes Runknagel

by FliteTest | December 24, 2014 | (11) Posted in Podcasts

For the past few months we have been trying out a transmitter that is brand new to us from Graupner. We have been very impressed with the technology and I think you can expect to see a lot more of it from us in the future! Hannes Runknagel, the CEO of Graupner USA and OpenHobby.com was kind enough to let us ask him all kinds of questions about his company, product and future. 

Audio Link

Graupner MZ-12
Graupner MZ-18




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LightningNZ on January 1, 2015
Hi all, my first post here. But seeing a Graupner remote and the comments above mede me to jump in.
I'm originally from Germany and I have used Graupner Radios for more than 30 years now. I'm a big fan of tray radios (MC Series) as I mainly fly large scale helis, but for the foamies I got an Graupner MX-22 and lately a MZ-12. The mentioned issue with the Battery life are mainly a issue with the warning level setting, you can calibrate the battery leve and set the waring levels to a more accurate setting. Due to the price the radio is selling, they also installed a "cheap" 200mah NiMh, better choice is a 5000mAh LiPo, Graupner sells. I got hem in my radio and I have the old performance of the MX-22 one weekend flying without even thinking of charging, and that including constant telemetry voice over in the background.
So no issues with the battery life at all. The issues with the visibility of the display is true, but hey, you can't read your iPhone ind direct sunlight, too.
All thumbs up, keep testing the MZ ist a great product.

Cheers from the country, where the Airforce has a flightless bird as a mascott ;-)

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WarbirdFan66 on January 1, 2015
Hi Andreas, sorry but the battery issue we encountered had nothing to do with the warning level, the packs were just depleted. But you are right, a bigger pack would help for sure...and who knows, maybe Graupner allready adressed that issue, i dont know.
And about the display, why use a colordisplay which you cant read in sunlight while i have no problemes reading with the (black/white) lcd-display of my older mx-16.
I think that is a terrible way to "improve" something, at least in my understanding.
(And by the way i have no problems reading the display of my nokia 820, sunlight or not but if they use displays like that, graupner would certainly miss the price the were aiming for with this new transmitter.)
In my opinion the mz-18/12 are no alternatives to the mx-16/12, but thats just me.
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LightningNZ on January 2, 2015
I just pulled out my MZ and I stepped in the same trap, I ment the MZ-18, too. MZ-12 is the version with the black and green display version, the MZ-18 has the colour display. for the MZ-12 you need standard AA batteries / rechargables.
Since June there is an update for the MZ-18 that addresses the calibration, battery display, warning level issue.
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LightningNZ on January 2, 2015
I have to agree, colour is not always better. A rich in contrast black and greenish display is much better in circumstances with bright sunlight and the colour is purely eye candy and also the colour display adds to battery consumption for someting you hardly use in flight.
Most of it comes down to the question what you want to spend for the radio and as you said, an OLED display might be a bit over the top. For that price you can't expect everything to be high end. What I really like is the software, as Peter said, no manual needed, very intuitive compared to an dx6.
So up to Graupner to address the issue with putting in a bigger Battery as they now do with the MZ-24.
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WarbirdFan66 on December 24, 2014
Hi guys, first let me say happy holidays...love your show and your podcasts.
This is another great episode and also a very interesting topic. I use graupner since i got into the hobby wich was about 32 years ago (took a few breaks hear and there but i stayed with the hobby).
My first radio ever was graupner. Of course i updated my radios over time and im on 2.4 now, like most pilots these days . I mainly use two raidios now the Spektrum DX8 and my Graunper mx-16.
So of course i was very curious when a budy of mine baught one of these new mz-12 a little while back. But to be honest after a little while i found myself not that impressed with it because we had some major issues it. Dont get me wrong i love my Grauper mx-16 which is a great readio and the hott system graupner is using the super save, never ever had any issues with that plus the telemetry is super cool. Still the new transmitter at least the two once we tested here at the field, had some problems.
One was the new display which is almost unreadable in sunlight...big issue, and the batterylive of the transmitter was ridiculous because during the time my budy programmed his plane the battery was almost gone...and that was in like 20 minutes. It was even more surprising because with my mx-16 i can almost fly from here ot judgement day with one charge, at least thats what it feels like. But seriously, one charge is enough for several long flying weekends. So of course we sent it back because with thougth it was something wrong with it and got another one which, unfortunately, showed the same problems. Im very curious if graupner got these two problems fixed over the last couple of month....anyways great show...
best regards, Warbridfan66 (Thomas / Berlin, Germany)
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FliteTest on December 24, 2014
Thanks for your comment! Just out of curiosity, how long ago was it that your friend had trouble with the MZ-12?
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WarbirdFan66 on December 25, 2014
i actually thought about doing an episode about it on my youtube channel but then i dropped it, felt a bit like overkill. But your podcast reminded me about that, would be a cool idea to do a kind or pro and con video on transmitters...showing whats on the market and what is probably the best choice for this or that facet of the hobby...for planes, multirotor, chopers and such.
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WarbirdFan66 on December 25, 2014
that was in early may, this year...(and im sorry, i remembered it wrong, it was actually and mz-18, not a 12, my fault) he sold it a few weeks later because the shop were he baught it (internet) didnt wanted to take it back, im mean it wasnt realy defect so i can undertstand the guys from the shop...still the whole thing was kind of ...annoying
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WarbirdFan66 on December 24, 2014
And sorry for the bad typing and the germish/denglish guys :D
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ModellflugBub on December 29, 2014
The cool feature about the transmitters, is the telemetry, because the European fly more with telemetry than the American.

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0000 on February 2, 2015
No need for telemetry.....if the propeller thingy stops turning, either the battery is run down or it just needs a few more turns on the rubber band? Right? (Insert Duck Dynasty font)
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robertfcrocker on March 14, 2018
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Nevs RC on December 24, 2014
You guys should make one or two episodes on rc boats and rc cars, just to get people into other parts of the hobby :)
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KiwiRCFlyer on December 26, 2014
Hey FT legends - I want to thank you guys for the shout out last podcast!!! It was the most surprising christmas present I've ever had.
To answer the question by Rueben from New Zealand. Adam's Foam is sold in New Zealand at Uncle Bill's Wholesale for close to $3 per sheet. They have stores in main centre's but are often sold out. Google them and be aware that anybody interested should call and check in advance before making a trip from out of town to pick up any.
Can't wait to be able to order the laser cut planes from Australia for less.
Enjoy your Christmas with family guys - you've worked hard this year. Thank you for all you do.
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Drake600 on December 28, 2014
Laser cut planes from Australia? That'll make me a happy little vegemite ;)
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Psalmbody on February 21, 2015
these radios look great and good pricing, but i here the american models are no good due to restrictions that does not allow the same power output as germany. I reading stuff where people are getting major lock up and losing planes

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Psalmbody on February 21, 2015
that being said, I would throw away my dx9 and get one of these radios if they worked and worked well.
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WarbirdFan66 on January 11, 2015
just a little irony here...if you guys from europe follow the add of the graupner polaron charger on the main site you will end up on a site that tells you..."dear customer, this site is not available in you country, please visit www.graupner...." and that from a shop that is named "OPEN HOBBY", i dont know if its funny or sad...makes me think im back in the 70's were we still had a wall and an eastern bloc.
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T-Reu on March 21, 2015
Hey, I would really like to see FliteTest make an episode about the Taranis and the whole FrSky radio system. They have telemetry, too, and their ACCST is said to be really a great, reliable and stable 2.4 GHz system. Plus it is not very expensive and offers many possibilities to add features and components for some very special applications and programming options.
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055 Graupner USA w/CEO Hannes Runknagel