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Compass Error - Use Joysticks and Land Immediately

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After a month of issue free flying (and learning), I went to fly yesterday from my front yard (same location as dozens of very happy flights) only to get a voice warning from the controller shortly after take off. I am not sure of the exact words (as I was fighting a very sick drone), but it was something close to "Compass Error, Use Joysticks to Land Immediately"

At this point, the drone was almost uncontrollable. Very sluggish and hardly responding to joystick inputs - I somehow managed a controlled crash onto grass and it seem to survive this. I immediately swapped batteries, performed a Compass Calibration (which passed the first time) and tried another flight.

This time I was smart and kept the drone at less than 10' up and away - within 30 seconds from takeoff, I got the same voice warning and I slammed the drone to the ground as fast as I could.

I called support last night (I have the extended warranty/insurance) and uploaded the flight logs and they will review and get back to me.

Has anyone else received this failure in flight? (I know that you can easily get compass interference errors on the ground - this is not that).

PS: Just read another thread where a pilot reported the messaging was ""Compass error, Karma unable to hold position" - that sounds right....

Thanks!

Don
 

Billybob

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Nope never heard that error. Let us know what happens!


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Got a call from Support last night. They reviewed the flight logs.

1. They determined I was flying in a residential neighborhood fraught with peril (true - but I have flown from this same spot almost daily for a month without issue).
2. They recommend I recac the compass before every flight (I did recalc between the two crazy uncontrollable flights).
3. They determined that my Karma was defective and they are replacing it. I am sending the core back today via Fedex (ground) and they will send me a new one upon receipt (ground - I bitched about this but to no avail).

I am grounded for a few weeks.
 
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Billybob

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Good to hear you are getting a new one.


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M

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I just got my replacement Karma and got this error about 4 minutes into the first flight. I had just calibrated before takeoff because it was required. That was terrifying! Haha

I’ve called support and uploaded my logs.

I’m curious- has anyone used the PolarPro cinema ND filters? That’s what I was using and I had read one review saying they gave compass issues but was hoping that was an anomaly...
 
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M

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PS- I was able to land it safely but in the meantime it had drifted about 300 ft west on me over a 4 lane road (I was flying at a park that I’ve flown at before with no issues).
 
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This is what concerns me. I had my first Karma for a month. Each flight instilled more and more confidence and I was really enjoying it. Now I have lost that. I know a good pilot should always be prepared for a system failure and plan flights accordingly, but on the other hand, these issues did take some of the fun out it. Such is life...
 
M

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I'd have to agree - it's pretty disconcerting. I know there's no way I could return this thing at this point (the original purchase was in early February) but if I could I think I would. When the Karma works, it's an absolute blast and the footage I can get is amazing. But after sinking over $1K into the thing just from the original purchase and subsequent warrant / warranty claim, I'm feeling quite a bit of buyer's remorse.
 

Billybob

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I'd have to agree - it's pretty disconcerting. I know there's no way I could return this thing at this point (the original purchase was in early February) but if I could I think I would. When the Karma works, it's an absolute blast and the footage I can get is amazing. But after sinking over $1K into the thing just from the original purchase and subsequent warrant / warranty claim, I'm feeling quite a bit of buyer's remorse.
Sounds like a defect. Might be your controller-Call them. They may replace after looking at the flight logs. It should not do that!


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M

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@Billybob , do you have any experience with those PolarPro cinema ND filters? I'm wondering if the metal frame might be causing the interference?
 

Shon

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Got a call from Support last night. They reviewed the flight logs.

1. They determined I was flying in a residential neighborhood fraught with peril (true - but I have flown from this same spot almost daily for a month without issue).
2. They recommend I recac the compass before every flight (I did recalc between the two crazy uncontrollable flights).
3. They determined that my Karma was defective and they are replacing it. I am sending the core back today via Fedex (ground) and they will send me a new one upon receipt (ground - I bitched about this but to no avail).

I am grounded for a few weeks.
It may take a VERY long time for your replacement. I waited a month for a defective part that cost 40 bucks on amazon, and available for next day shipping. Had customer service just been honest with me about the timeframe, I probably would have just bought the part. As it was, I wasn’t able to use the drone or the grip for a planned trip, due to the delay.

I don’t fly in residential areas. The Karma is very susceptible to GPS loss or controller loss when it is in an area with hi Wi-Fi use. I would also suggest folks avoid flying under overhanging objects ( like flying under a Car park shelter), flying in narrow areas ( like a slot canyon or in-between two buildings, or flying temporarily behind an object that obscures a direct line between the controller and the drone ( like a very large tree or rock formation).

Unlike other drones that have downward sensors, in my opinion, the Karma drone is more unstable and even more difficult to control. I could fly it multiple times under the above scenarios, but it only takes one crash to put my drone out of commission.

I really do like the drone for what it does, and quite frankly, while other drones might be more stable in the above scenarios, I’ve seen many, many crash videos on YouTube in these scenarios, regardless of the brand of drone.
 

Billybob

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@Billybob , do you have any experience with those PolarPro cinema ND filters? I'm wondering if the metal frame might be causing the interference?
Interesting never heard of that before, but anything is possible. I did fly one with an ND filter on it and didn’t have any problems. I just didn’t like the images from it.


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M

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I honestly don’t think this is the case. I’ve been emailing with Oliver from PolarPro and they’ve never had a report of this happening and the one instance of it on Amazon never resulted in a trouble ticket with them. Btw, PolarPro’s support is amazing and I can’t recommend them enough. They even have an app that will tell you the current and forecasted KP index.

As for me, I checked status with GoPro yesterday and the flight logs have yet to be reviewed but I’m supposed to be contacted Monday with the results.
 
M

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Finally received word today that my drone is being replaced. I'm pretty much at the end of my rope given how poorly I've been supported by GoPro and the quality control on their replacement drone. If anyone is in the market to purchase one in the Austin, Texas area, mine will likely be for sale soon.
 
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Well, as other predicted, my core arrived at the RMA center last week and I have yet to get a shipping notification for a new core. Checked in today and got the let me check on it and I'll get back to you by email. Start the 30 day clock.... Sigh.

Almost bought a really nice used Dji Phantom 4 that some guy was selling for half what he paid for it - looked brand new (just to get back into the air)...
 
M

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Well, as other predicted, my core arrived at the RMA center last week and I have yet to get a shipping notification for a new core.
Be prepared- last week when they attempted to send me my first replacement, they sent a bag of propellors only haha
 
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Recap: Issue happened last week, they analyzed the flight logs, called it a defect and I sent my core in for replacement. It arrived at their RMA last Friday. Followed up on Monday and Wednesday - they told me it was still being processed for replacement. Today, I got the big whammy:

Jane (8:51:09 AM): My name is Jane. How can I help you?

Me (8:51:15 AM): Checking on the status of the shipment of a replacement Karma core - was supposed to be shipped to me by 2-day rush but I have not seen any tracking information.

Me (8:51:29 AM): My old Karma arrived at the RMA center last Friday at 9am - FedEx Tracking Number: 932648611369668

Me (8:51:41 AM): RMA-344418

Jane (8:51:53 AM): Hi Don, I'm sorry to hear if you haven't received your replacement yet.

Jane (8:51:58 AM): No worries, I'd be glad to check that.

Me (8:52:03 AM): Thank you.

Jane (8:52:14 AM): Sure. One moment, please.

Jane (8:56:39 AM): Thanks for patiently waiting, Don.

Jane (8:57:18 AM): We have confirmed that the item that you returned has arrived the warehouse. I have submitted a case to our warehouse team to confirm the receipt.

Jane (8:57:35 AM): And you're correct, the replacement item was set up under FedEx 2 day.

Jane (8:57:45 AM): However, it is currently out of stock.

Jane (8:58:21 AM): We do not have a definite time/date yet when it will be available again. But rest assured that the package will be shipped out as soon as it gets back on stock.

Me (8:59:22 AM): I am REALLY not happy to hear this - how could you possibly be out of stock of the main component. Are we talking days, weeks, or what?

Jane (9:00:44 AM): I definitely hear you out and understand your frustrations. However, I do not have an exact information as to when it will be available again.

Jane (9:01:06 AM): One thing is for sure that, we'll send you an email for further updates and you will be receiving a tracking information as well.

Me (9:01:18 AM): Please have a supervisor contact me at 503-xxx-xxxx

Me (9:02:29 AM): I purchased Karma Care for $149 and should not have to wait for an undermined amount of time for a replacement - especially since this one was defective.

Jane (9:03:09 AM): I'm sorry, I couldn't set up a call back for you. You can contact us at (855) 635 3578 (Toll Free).

Jane (9:03:42 AM): As much as we'd like to expedite the process, we really can't tell when the item will be replenished.

Jane (9:04:03 AM): I took over your case instead and it's now under my bucket.

Jane (9:04:46 AM): I'll put it under in progress for the mean time while I am coordinating with our warehouse team and rest assured that I will send an email for updates.

Me (9:04:50 AM): How about shipping me a whole new unit then?

Me (9:05:00 AM): You HAVE to have those, right?

Me (9:05:46 AM): Sorry - I am a bit frustrated. I spent a LOT of money on this gear.

Jane (9:06:25 AM): I'm afraid that it would not work because we have a different inventory for replacement items and for new orders.

Jane (9:06:43 AM): I personally understand your frustrations, Don.

Me (9:07:46 AM): So, you are saying I am stuck - I can't return it for refund and you have no idea when my replacement will be available. I assume that calling and whining to a supervisor will be a wasted effort...?

Me (9:09:10 AM): And having the Karma Care insurance policy has no impact?

Jane (9:11:33 AM): I'm afraid to say so and I'm really sorry, Don. This is the most thing that I can do for now.

Me (9:11:47 AM): ok. I'll wait to hear from you.

Jane (9:12:30 AM): Yes, no worries. I'll send you an email after this that your case is under my ownership. So, you also don't have to contact and repeat yourself from time to time.

Jane (9:12:53 AM): I'm really sorry, Don. I hope I can do more than this. But I assure to keep you posted.

Me (9:13:08 AM): ok - thank you.

Jane (9:13:20 AM): Thanks too, Don.
 
M

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1) this sucks and I’m sorry to read it

2) you’ve posted your personal phone number on a public forum, you may want to edit the post.
 
M

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Also, the replacement I received last week had the EXACT same issue you experienced. I wonder if there's "something in the water" and they're reviewing all their stock.

I would take a $300 check from GoPro along with a pro-rated refund on the GoPro care if they just let me walk away without the core drone at this point haha.

I just shipped mine out today, I'll report back if I have more info.
 
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Update - after multiple followup emails and finally, last night a phone call to support, I am still no closer to getting my replacement Karma core. Last nights call resulted in an "I promise to provide status in the next 3-5 business days". He informed me that they are still out of stock on cores. I informed him that I fully expect that when he provides updated status it will be to again report that they were still out of stock. I

I asked to speak to a supervisor and of course, none were available. I asked that they have a supervisor contact me and left a phone number. I don't expect a call.

I did have an interesting exchange with the guy (from India, I think) - I explained that not only was this a warranted replacement (defective core), it could also be argued that a replacement could be provided under the "Karma Care" policy I purchased in addition to the Karma ($149) and under that not fulfilling the obligation to replace under a paid for insurance policy could be a breach of contract (I was reaching, I know...) That made him pause. "I understand you feelings, sir..."

The wait continues. (Luckily I have my Dji Spark to play with).
 

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