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GPS signal lost - drone gone

Silky Fox

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Hi, after searching the forum I figured I could just copy/paste what other pilots experienced. Well, here is my story. After some short successful flights today, I chose new location, calibrated the compass and did some short distance/hight flights. No problems so far. About 3 min later I called back the drone, then the message came "GPS signal lost". Actually the drone was right above my head at launching position. The drone did not respond to the control unit at all, still the alert "GPS signal lost" was on, then all of the sudden with high speed it just flew away in a totally different direction and was out of sight when it landed/crashed. I had latest updates installed, weather was perfect: cloudless sky, hardly any wind, 20 degrees Celsius. Drone was set to fly with GPS, all good.
What was really frustrating was that I did not get any advise by support. They said in the chat "If GPS signal was lost, you cannot get the information of the last location". That is wrong! Once I figured out how to "find last location" in the forum (you find it in on the control in menu "Maps") I went back to the area, but I could not find the drone.
I am upset about this malfunctioning, since this was already the second total damage/loss. The drone was already a replacement core for my first one (less than one year old) which just crashed and totally broke right after launching (automatically) from a hight of 1 meter few months ago.
The product is so not fulfilling its promises, and support is disappointing. When you call, you just get a form sent and then you wait... Lets see what happens this time. For sure I will not recommend Karma to anyone. So frustrating!
 
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Shon

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I’m sorry for your loss! :(

Just curious, if you would be willing to attach a google map link of the area you were flying in? I’m curious about environmental factors that may have played a role in this unfortunate incident. It might not be helpful to you, but it could help the rest of us in avoiding a similar fate. There are a variety of environmental factors that could impact GPS performance. I’ve noticed this drone is especially sensitive around buildings and metal objects. I once lost GPS connection flying very close to a metal statue. The drone was within line of site and fairly close by, but it happens.

You say you “called back the drone”. Does this mean you presses the “return to home” button rather than manually attempting to land?

I suspect your drone lost GPS in route to RTH, and if so, your drone would not have known where to land. It could have taken off anywhere, and the “find last location” info would not be accurate. That might be at least one reason why you were not able to locate it.

If you need to cancel RTH you can press the “X” on the controller touch screen and get full control of your drone back. This is especially crritical with loss of GPS as your drone will be very difficult to control. When dealing with a critical incident, no doubt your focus was on the drone in the air, not the controller in your hand. I’ve been there myself!

I’ve never heard of someone losing GPS in route to the launch location, but I could definitely see how it would be possible. Usually folks lose GPS, have an “oh [email protected]!” moment and hit the RTH button, causing the drone to shoot off into the unknown, losing it forever.

I wish you the best in getting this situation resolved.
 

kenny nelson

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I had the same thing, good luck with it!! I feel the same, never will I say buy gopro!!
 

Silky Fox

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I’m sorry for your loss! :(

Just curious, if you would be willing to attach a google map link of the area you were flying in? I’m curious about environmental factors that may have played a role in this unfortunate incident. It might not be helpful to you, but it could help the rest of us in avoiding a similar fate. There are a variety of environmental factors that could impact GPS performance. I’ve noticed this drone is especially sensitive around buildings and metal objects. I once lost GPS connection flying very close to a metal statue. The drone was within line of site and fairly close by, but it happens.

You say you “called back the drone”. Does this mean you presses the “return to home” button rather than manually attempting to land?

I suspect your drone lost GPS in route to RTH, and if so, your drone would not have known where to land. It could have taken off anywhere, and the “find last location” info would not be accurate. That might be at least one reason why you were not able to locate it.

If you need to cancel RTH you can press the “X” on the controller touch screen and get full control of your drone back. This is especially crritical with loss of GPS as your drone will be very difficult to control. When dealing with a critical incident, no doubt your focus was on the drone in the air, not the controller in your hand. I’ve been there myself!

I’ve never heard of someone losing GPS in route to the launch location, but I could definitely see how it would be possible. Usually folks lose GPS, have an “oh [email protected]!” moment and hit the RTH button, causing the drone to shoot off into the unknown, losing it forever.

I wish you the best in getting this situation resolved.

Hi Shon,

thanks for your comments. I will wait with publishing more information/pics until I got an answer from GoPro Support. Lets give them a chance to evaluate the situation first. The case will be looked at within the next couple of days.

Regarding your question about the return: I did not hit the RTH button but navigated the drone manually after the message about lost GPS signal came up. When it was right above my head and I was just going to hit the landing button, the drone first drifted East for a couple of meters, then crossed back over my head in opposite direction and flew away at full speed.
 
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Ironspear

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@Silky Fox - When the drone was directly overhead how were you holding the controller?
I mean it has to be pointed at the drone to maintain the signal. If it was right above you it could have lost signal because you were not pointing the controller UP at the drone. I have lost GPS on 2 occasions when I have the drone directly above me. I then just tap the black cross on the screen and regain control (along with pointing the controller up at the drone).

Good luck with it all.
 

Steveatron

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I’m sorry for your loss. Did you find the drone? I had a similar issue on my second flight. The drone was over head but at max height (120 meters above me) and i loss signal. I watched it just hover there for the next 10 mins. Luckily with only two mins of battery life left and climbing onto the house’s roof i was able to connect and land it.


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Ironspear

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Hiya Steve, when you lost connection did you tap the black cross on the controller to reconnect?
You can do this and then you have control over the drone again (may not have to climb on your roof!)
 

Silky Fox

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I received an answer and decision from GoPro Support today.

In the flight log they could verify that there was a sudden loss of GPS signal during the flight. On the pictures they see that there were some houses and trees close by. "Due to the loss of GPS, the drone seems to drift because it is not guided by GPS satellites to hold the position. Losing GPS signal is not really a manufacturing fault, it is more dependent on environmental factors that have affected the signal." They propose to look for a better location far away from any houses, facilities, trees, large metal objects or areas with WiFi networks to avoid any interference.

Well, that limits the field of use drastically!

GoPro's decision is not to replace the drone as the manufacturer is not responsible for GPS signal; they claim it is a user's error. Furthermore they recommend a compass calibration. They are not willing to compensate.

I am very frustrated and disappointed - not only about the product but also about the support.

I did a compass calibration prior to the flight, which I had told them in the report. Maybe they are not responsible for GPS signal, but I was not able to regain control over the drone. The drone did not "drift" but shot away at racing speed.

I was able to find the drone a day later: a collateral damage, all parts broken and the camera was lost. They were scattered around a large area on a hill full of leaves, so hard to find the parts.

The location was 1km (!) away from the launching position. Meaning, during the whole flight there was not GPS signal? The drone did not run out of battery. There was still one bar left. So that was not the reason why it dropped out of the sky.

My question to you guys is how to approach GoPro that they reconsider the case and offer me compensation?

Attached you will find a picture of the launching/pilot's position.Startposition Karma GoPro Schuetzenstrasse Ecke Alte Poststrasse.jpg

Cheers
 

Shon

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I received an answer and decision from GoPro Support today.

In the flight log they could verify that there was a sudden loss of GPS signal during the flight. On the pictures they see that there were some houses and trees close by. "Due to the loss of GPS, the drone seems to drift because it is not guided by GPS satellites to hold the position. Losing GPS signal is not really a manufacturing fault, it is more dependent on environmental factors that have affected the signal." They propose to look for a better location far away from any houses, facilities, trees, large metal objects or areas with WiFi networks to avoid any interference.

Well, that limits the field of use drastically!

GoPro's decision is not to replace the drone as the manufacturer is not responsible for GPS signal; they claim it is a user's error. Furthermore they recommend a compass calibration. They are not willing to compensate.

I am very frustrated and disappointed - not only about the product but also about the support.

I did a compass calibration prior to the flight, which I had told them in the report. Maybe they are not responsible for GPS signal, but I was not able to regain control over the drone. The drone did not "drift" but shot away at racing speed.

I was able to find the drone a day later: a collateral damage, all parts broken and the camera was lost. They were scattered around a large area on a hill full of leaves, so hard to find the parts.

The location was 1km (!) away from the launching position. Meaning, during the whole flight there was not GPS signal? The drone did not run out of battery. There was still one bar left. So that was not the reason why it dropped out of the sky.

My question to you guys is how to approach GoPro that they reconsider the case and offer me compensation?

Attached you will find a picture of the launching/pilot's position.View attachment 292

Cheers
When I asked you for a picture or map, I expected I would see something like this. See my comments above. I wish I could say I wasn't anticipating this outcome. :( When I read stories like yours (and I have read many), of folks claiming their drone lost GPS and took off...it is usually in an environment like this. I personally think the Karma is much more sensitive to wifi interference than other more expensive drones, but other drones can also rely on positional sensors, so the loss of GPS doesn't have as dramatic an effect on the controls.

If I were to show you pictures I take with my drone, they would be of beaches, rivers, waterfalls, mountains and canyons...no houses or multi-unit properties anywhere nearby. When I have flown on a beach near condos or hotels (or standing near a large building while my drone was hovering over the ocean or a beach) , Signal strength connected to my drone has suffered greatly.

You could politely but firmly press your case with customer service and attempt to escalate your concerns to a supervisor. I would advise you not to concentrate on the GPS, but rather, what type of error cause the drone to fly away. Perhaps they could reconstruct a timeline based on your flight logs that could help you understand what "pilot error" might have caused this crash? Tell them that if you are going to buy another drone, you want to make sure you understand what happened so you don't crash again. If you need to, perhaps they can get you in touch with a senior engineer? If they are claiming compass calibration was an issue, do they show you calibrated the compass? When was the last compass calibration according to their records? What is their explanation for the flyaway? Again..a reconstructed timeline might help better understand things from their perspective, and help you better argue your case, assuming you have one to argue.

Unless further review discovers a defect, at best...Gopro might offer you partial compensation. Another recent poster with an almost identical issue was offered props, Karma Harness and 40% off a new camera. They were still on the hook for the body, the stabilizer, and the other 60% for a new camera. Basically...the price for all these items separately, is roughly the cost of a new drone all together... :( Based on all the comments I have read over the last year or two (I was lurking long before I joined this forum), I don't have high hopes that you will be offered much in compensation, but I've been surprised before.
 

thewalleye

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Your experience is almost exactly the same as mine (posted under “Karma drone disappears”).

I also received a similar response blaming everything but the drone. I was nowhere near houses, above the level of trees away from interference and the exact same thing happened. I am an experienced operator with five witnesses to the event.

Not only did they suggest it was all my fault, they are not providing me with the coordinates so I can retrieve the drone and now it has snowed. This is my information and they have the data - not sure why the flight data is not available to us but it’s totally wrong and suggests a cover up.

I’m hoping there is a class action lawsuit - it certainly seems like they have stopped replacing drones even though the accounts are the same.

My theory - they don’t want anymore of these products released to the public - they are basically self destructing until there are none left, no longer a danger to the public and GoPro can sweep it all under the carpet.

I’ve sent several request for follow up and called and was told it didn’t matter who I spoke to there would be no change to their decision.

Anyone know a good lawyer?
 
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SurfDog

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Well, this could be a problem (for me) as I use mine for Real Estate photos and video and MOST of the time there are buildings, trees and landscaping around :O).

So, my question would be; are any of the other, mid-level, drone manufactures producing a product that has better reliability?

Honestly, the only reason I chose GoPro was the camera but it seems like DJI's cameras are equal if not better at this point .


DroneLake1.jpg
 

Shon

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Well, this could be a problem (for me) as I use mine for Real Estate photos and video and MOST of the time there are buildings, trees and landscaping around :O).

So, my question would be; are any of the other, mid-level, drone manufactures producing a product that has better reliability?

Honestly, the only reason I chose GoPro was the camera but it seems like DJI's cameras are equal if not better at this point .


View attachment 305
Honestly, The DJI drones have better reliability.
 

JCLs

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You should not be pushing any limits with Karma doing what you need. Karma is VERY good platform with very good areal camera. Use good practices and the external antenna if you want a little more insurance but I have had no issues with mine including working in +20 mph winds.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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james shih

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Hi there,
I just jointed the forum yesterday, and also became a Karma pilot just this month, I flew in total 2 weeks time but never had a loss GPS connection happened, included I send a aerial photo which is in the city with some tall buildings surrounded by a riverside park, I took the photo when Karma was about 150 feet high in the air.
slide-22.jpgI think Gopro should posts every failure case and inform why they are happened, I don't think this will be difficult for them who can produce such a sophisticated device, I feel uncomfortable after reading those crashed examples (don't even know they are fake or real) and without knowing any reason, by the way, I live in Taiwan.
 

james shih

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Hi JCLs,
Can you inform how to install the external antenna, thank you!
 

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