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Flying without GPS

gm82au

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I got a little brave yesterday, and thought I'd share my story.

My family and I took a hike to the bottom of a waterfall. Of course I carried my Karma kit so I could film the trek with the grip, and also took the drone "just in case". When we reached the bottom, I thought it would make a fantastic shot with the drone slowly rising up towards the top.

I powered up, but the most I could get was 20% GPS signal, even after a few minutes. This wasn't a total surprise - we had cliffs on two sides and dense canopy over everything else. I looked at my wife and said "I'm not sure I'll have any control over this; I've never flown without GPS", to which she nervously replied "your call".

Challenge accepted.

Karma asked me to verify that I understood the risks of flying without GPS by touching the screen, after which it took off fairly cleanly. It didn't take long for the drifting to start, and I was quite nervous at first, but I eventually got the hang of it. You have to constantly adjust the position of the drone or else it slowly drifts off into the trees/rocks/water, but otherwise it worked as well as I'd hoped in that situation. I decided to catch the drone rather than land it on the first attempt, and asked my wife to catch it on the second. No problem.

In the end, I'm not sure it was worth it - the footage is a little jittery owing to my constant adjustment of the drone's position to stop it from meeting an unfortunate end. There's a few seconds in there of "professional" grade smooth footage (if I may be so bold as to use that label), but the rest of it was pretty amateurish.

Anyway, in summary, the bird responds as you'd expect without GPS if you're brave and ensure it stays close so you can keep it well under control.
 
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Flying the drone without the gps allows you to climb about the set heigh of 400ft.. good good fun but you for sure recommend flying without gps in open fields.. fair play to you, you must have balls of steal hahahaha
 
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Wow... just thought was a set height you was allowed to fly....... In the uk, do you know what max height you can fly a drone
 

DND

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I got a little brave yesterday, and thought I'd share my story.

My family and I took a hike to the bottom of a waterfall. Of course I carried my Karma kit so I could film the trek with the grip, and also took the drone "just in case". When we reached the bottom, I thought it would make a fantastic shot with the drone slowly rising up towards the top.

I powered up, but the most I could get was 20% GPS signal, even after a few minutes. This wasn't a total surprise - we had cliffs on two sides and dense canopy over everything else. I looked at my wife and said "I'm not sure I'll have any control over this; I've never flown without GPS", to which she nervously replied "your call".

Challenge accepted.

Karma asked me to verify that I understood the risks of flying without GPS by touching the screen, after which it took off fairly cleanly. It didn't take long for the drifting to start, and I was quite nervous at first, but I eventually got the hang of it. You have to constantly adjust the position of the drone or else it slowly drifts off into the trees/rocks/water, but otherwise it worked as well as I'd hoped in that situation. I decided to catch the drone rather than land it on the first attempt, and asked my wife to catch it on the second. No problem.

In the end, I'm not sure it was worth it - the footage is a little jittery owing to my constant adjustment of the drone's position to stop it from meeting an unfortunate end. There's a few seconds in there of "professional" grade smooth footage (if I may be so bold as to use that label), but the rest of it was pretty amateurish.

Anyway, in summary, the bird responds as you'd expect without GPS if you're brave and ensure it stays close so you can keep it well under control.


I too have found that the Karma flying without GPS is crazy. Mine went all over the place. Very hard to control. Very disappointing. From what I've seen, the DJI products (Mavic Pro, etc.) are rock solid without GPS. I was hoping to get some great shots inside a Cathedral but would never chance it with a Karma. May have to also get a Mavic for those shots (assuming GoPro can't figure it out with a future firmware upgrade). BTW, I previously had a cheap IXERO quadcopter and it was rock solid without GPS so the software engineering can be done.
 

aliikamz

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Thats funny. Today I was out in whatcom falls in washington. Ive been hunting all over seattle for a place to fly but it seems like there are bans everywhere. I got to the waterfall section of whatcom park and really wanted an aerial shot. I thought nothing of it. Just a couple metres off the water should give me decent footage. Boy was I wrong. I never realized how crazy the karma gets without gps. And the area i was in didn't really have much room for that sort of loose control. Had to abort mission. Tomorrow Im heading to Leave for a couple nights. Hopefully find some spots out there.
 
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ansta1

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Wow... just thought was a set height you was allowed to fly....... In the uk, do you know what max height you can fly a drone

Current CAA regs for drone say.

400ft or less
visual contact at all times.
150 ft from people and properties
500ft from crowds and built up areas.
 

JCLs

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Thats funny. Today I was out in whatcom falls in washington. Ive been hunting all over seattle for a place to fly but it seems like there are bans everywhere. I got to the waterfall section of whatcom park and really wanted an aerial shot. I thought nothing of it. Just a couple metres off the water should give me decent footage. Boy was I wrong. I never realized how crazy the karma gets without gps. And the area i was in didn't really have much room for that sort of loose control. Had to abort mission. Tomorrow Im heading to Leave for a couple nights. Hopefully find some spots out there.

I am beginning to wonder how lots of 2.4 GHz interference affects Karma controller or properly control. Maybe GoPro should be looking at affects of interference to control system?


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Thats funny. Today I was out in whatcom falls in washington. Ive been hunting all over seattle for a place to fly but it seems like there are bans everywhere. I got to the waterfall section of whatcom park and really wanted an aerial shot. I thought nothing of it. Just a couple metres off the water should give me decent footage. Boy was I wrong. I never realized how crazy the karma gets without gps. And the area i was in didn't really have much room for that sort of loose control. Had to abort mission. Tomorrow Im heading to Leave for a couple nights. Hopefully find some spots out there.
Maybe you can find the area on the map downloads and download the map? Have you tried that? Let me know if it is a success
 
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Wow... just thought was a set height you was allowed to fly....... In the uk, do you know what max height you can fly a drone
Should always be 400ft AGL... but if I am in a very open area with no known manned aircraft activities I will go to 500-600ft to get the shots I need. I am also Part 107 and insured ;)
 

chitoman13

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How exactly do you put your Karma into the non-GPS mode? I have tried a couple times since getting my drone a few days ago and have been unable to figure it out. Thanks in advance!
 
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I dont know of the option to fly it without gps.. if you turn it on inside and take the drone out quickly at try to launch it before the gps kicks in..... I wouldn’t recommend it though..... as it drifts in the wind and is difficult for control...

Italy’s like one of them rubbish £40 drones
 

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