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Apr 7, 2019
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Hello all, I just wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Harrison. I go by "Doc." I am retired USN. I own EFI Alchemy, High Performance Automotive Tuning. One of my employees has an older GoPro camera that we setup in the shop to film customer's cars on our chassis dynonometer. Pretty quickly I got bitten by the GoPro bug and bought a Hero7 Black to up the ante.

My background in the Navy was Avionics on the F-18, EA-6B, S-3, H60, F-14 and C-130. Flight control, weapon systems, navigation. I started efialchemy as biz adventure that grew out of modifying electronic fuel injected vehicles.

I expect my first drone, a Karma (refurb from GoPro) to arrive tomorrow. I have found the Karma phenom interesting in my Go Pro journey. I have poured over countless bashing videos on Youtube, etc. Underneath the thin veil of ignorance there appears to be some genuine truth to the shortcomings of the Karma.

Despite that, I could not ignore the refurb deal GoPro is offering with the idea that with some modifications to the Karma, it could be a real great platform that could suit my needs.

As with automobiles, made by the hand of man, they all have their intended purpose and are subject to limitations of the laws of physics and MONEY. I think the Karma project was a genuine fluke in the modern age of tech for the masses. Even at the initial MSRP, the features that you got right out of the box were, are pretty impressive considering most of the modern tech world is composed of two distinct fields. Cheap crap that promises the world and does not deliver and the uber expensive, very distinct top dollar niche market.

I think GoPro had their hearts in the right place by attempting to offer a drone that would complement / integrate with their awesome cameras. This is/was a great engineering / marketing / monetary endevour that in the court of public opinion, as fickle and impatient as it is, has failed.

Modern humans inhabiting the free world take a lot for granted and are easily disturbed by actually having to think about what and how they want to expend and express their wealth and when they don't get what they want, they throw a temper tantrum. It's never their fault.

I was really moved to find this forum with active participants still interested in the Karma platform.

After having blown through what limited information I could find I ordered an ITELITE antenna kit last night. I want to do baseline testing on the Karma totally stock first but, already see the shortcomings of the setup that can be addressed.

I saw a post linking a Silent Bob video where an individual was showing his internal antenna mods. They appear to be Silver core with directional twists. Makes sense as the main complaints about the Karma platform were mainly about connectivity so, upgrading the antennas on the controller and aircraft seem paramount.

After lurking in the high end drone forums observing what they are doing for modifications it is not surprising that for most of the general target market audience for the Karma platform doing these mods themselves is way beyond what they would consider doing. This leaves a possible huge gap in market share. Possible revival of the Karma platform by a third party entity to sell modified systems? I don't know but, I want to find out for myself. I am willing to share a long the way.


G'day mate. Welcome.
Hey Doc, I am new to this this as well. My name is Ross and go by the username 4BladesHigh. I am a 58yr old Texan stuck in Va, and we own a roofing business. My main job is estimating. I have been wanting to purchase a drone for the purpose of getting video and photos of roofs, for a long time.
I also have been amused by all the negative videos and postings regarding the Karma, and yes I'm sure they have good reason. Most of these guys own several, and all of different manufacturers, I guess they're still searching for the right one. I guess that's why I have so many guitars, Ha! The only thing is, I have a friend who owns a Karma, and has never encountered problems. Connectivity issues are problems that exist in just about everything, and patience is a dying virtue. This product, for me, is a good fit. So far, when my Karma does lose connection, it returns to launch and as long as it does not fall out of the sky, I am ok with that.
I look forward to seeing any upgrades that come available. I am not too tech savvy , but I get by. Saw a video on the controller antenna mod, that sounded pretty interesting. I may take part in upgrading this. I did buy propellers thru Airscrew, and they do seem a bit quieter.
I have had the Karma for two weeks now, and I guess my next post will be complaints and aggravation (hahaha). I think we should always keep the glass half full, and as long as everyone takes their whiny pills in the morning, everything will be just fine.
Anyway," if all else fails, just pick up a guitar and play", is my motto?
Bye Now!!!
Well, the Karma arrived at the house this afternoon and I am installing Longtube headers on a 2018 Camaro ZL1. Baselined on the dyno at 560rwhp totally stock. Headers + Cold Air Intake + Custom Performance Tune in the works. Went a little nuts last night on Amazon and Ebay...

1 of these

2019 REXUAV - *PURE SILVER* DJI, 3DR Solo 2.4GHz CP Long Range Antenna V4 | eBay

2 of these

Amazon.com: Sunhans eSunRC 3000mW 2.4Ghz 35dBm WiFi Signal Booster compatible with DJI, Yuneec, 3DR, XIRO,Parrot, JTT and Blade Drones: Computers & Accessories

1 of these

Amazon.com: DC 12480 4800mAh DC 12V Super Lithium Polymer Dual Lead Battery Pack: Computers & Accessories

I still want to do plenty of stock right out of the box testing for baseline purposes. Going on the idea of connectivity being the biggest need for improvement.
Going to do the IELITE antenna mod first and then go bonkers with the REXUAV antenna by itself and then finally with the signal amps. In between, might consider doing the internal aircraft antenna mods. I just want to test and document all of this for shits and grins. More to come...
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Busy day, got all the updates and registrations done for the Karma, controller and grip. Slammed at the shop today. Attached is a Boresight Reference Adapter on a F-18. I used to calibrate and use these kits to perform alignments. Notice the smaller yellow fixture on the port side of the aircraft that station (that got cut off in the picture!) is for the Inertial Navigation Unit. It's basically a platform to accept the INS computer. Getting that shelf properly aligned is critical for the pilot and everybody else in the air to know where they are. GPS alignment is pretty tight. In the early days the Navy used a laser and receiver on the corresponding stations to perform the boresight alignment. Later, the Navy switched to a collimated light / tilt sensor setup.

In doing all the setup procedures and familiarization with the Karma I noticed / played around with the whole calibration process. I believe as others have stated in this forum that I will be performing the calibration prior to every flight with my Karma.Boresight hornet.jpg
Welcome to the group. Two things calibrate, and that you have a strong GPS. Plus stay clear of any metals and hover after take off to ensure stability.

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