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Lost GPS signal on my Karma

JRodAviator

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I lost GPS signal on my Karma yesterday evening resulting in an uncontrollable, rapid fly away and the disappearance of my drone! My wife and I searched and searched with no luck. I've contacted GoPro and a case was opened I was told. I filled out the questionnaire that was emailed to me. Sadly, the main feature that attracted me to the Karma is the one that failed me! My understanding is that the drone was suppose to fly back to me in the event of GPS signal loss. NOT the case!!! My heart is shattered as I really enjoyed flying my Karma, not to mention the potential loss of my hard earned money for the purchase of it. Any ideas on how long the resolution process may take?
 

McToddy

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I lost GPS signal on my Karma yesterday evening resulting in an uncontrollable, rapid fly away and the disappearance of my drone! My wife and I searched and searched with no luck. I've contacted GoPro and a case was opened I was told. I filled out the questionnaire that was emailed to me. Sadly, the main feature that attracted me to the Karma is the one that failed me! My understanding is that the drone was suppose to fly back to me in the event of GPS signal loss. NOT the case!!! My heart is shattered as I really enjoyed flying my Karma, not to mention the potential loss of my hard earned money for the purchase of it. Any ideas on how long the resolution process may take?
Sorry to hear about your situation. I'm still waiting to get my issue (from Memorial Day) resolved with GoPro .

Did you try and use the Find My Drone / Last Location on the controller?
 

JRodAviator

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Sorry to hear about your situation. I'm still waiting to get my issue (from Memorial Day) resolved with GoPro .

Did you try and use the Find My Drone / Last Location on the controller?
Hey! Thanks. I actually did attempt to track it down with the "last known location" feature. It led me to a back yard in my neighborhood. The folks living there were nice enough to allow us to look around, but we couldn't find anything. Did your Karma also fly away due to a GPS issue?
 

JudoSurfer

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Sorry to hear about the loss. Just to clarify something you mentioned in your first post, no the drone does not return to you if it loses GPS. When GPS is lost the drone no longer knows where it, or you, are located. The slightest breeze or any stick input can cause the drone to fly away. Manually flying a drone without GPS is possible, but it requires you to know the orientation of the drone and a lot more finesse with the controls.
 

McToddy

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Hey! Thanks. I actually did attempt to track it down with the "last known location" feature. It led me to a back yard in my neighborhood. The folks living there were nice enough to allow us to look around, but we couldn't find anything. Did your Karma also fly away due to a GPS issue?
@JRodAviator FYI The Find-my-Drone isn't a precise tool. It helps give you the general area. (Someone posted a while back that the actual location vs the FMD location was a good distance off -- I think like on the scale of 100s of yards).

You might want to post "missing drone w/reward" posters in the area, or on Craigslist. (Some other people on this site have done that, but I don't recall off hand what the final outcome was)

I had a flyaway event back on Memorial day ...


Im still working with GoPro Support getting my issue resolved (i.e., equipment replaced)
 

Wizard-btr

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I lost GPS signal on my Karma yesterday evening resulting in an uncontrollable, rapid fly away and the disappearance of my drone! My wife and I searched and searched with no luck. I've contacted GoPro and a case was opened I was told. I filled out the questionnaire that was emailed to me. Sadly, the main feature that attracted me to the Karma is the one that failed me! My understanding is that the drone was suppose to fly back to me in the event of GPS signal loss. NOT the case!!! My heart is shattered as I really enjoyed flying my Karma, not to mention the potential loss of my hard earned money for the purchase of it. Any ideas on how long the resolution process may take?
True said I had the same issue a month ago with the Karma Drone. GoPro is not concerned about it, telling me it was an environmental issues for reasons the device loss GPS connection. Losing GPS controls make the Karma very hard to control manually with the remote. I when the the consumer reports website and filed a complaint explaining how dangerous this lose of control could be to commercial aircraft and others since the Karma does not have front facing radar like the DJI drone have to avoid things that might be in the flight path.
 

JudoSurfer

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Yes, this is what we need, more reason for the government to put restrictions on drone pilots. Most drones do not have obstacle avoidance. Only a few DJI drones have it and all but one only have it only on the front of the drone. Also, the drones that do have it do not utilize it in all modes.

All drones, that have satellite assisted flying (which is a small minority of drones), lose GPS (even DJI). Understanding how the drone works (like knowing that Return to Landing doesn't work when GPS is lost) and utilizing the drone in a safe environment and within the ability of the user are the pilot's responsibility. There are plenty of cases of DJI drones experiencing "fly aways". And, just like with Karma, it was usually (not all) avoidable if the pilot knew what they were doing.

McToddy's case is unique and different and seems to be related to an IMU or Wi-Fi interference issue. I've lost GPS on the Karma and it behaved exactly as described. The difference for me is I know how to fly manually. I didn't panic, I was in an open area clear of obstructions, and I had taken my time to learn how to fly for a few months before venturing the drone out any considerable distance.

You are correct, losing control of a drone can be dangerous. Flying irresponsibly while in control is equally dangerous. Being a pilot of a drone requires time, patience, practice, and due diligence in researching how to fly safely and knowing what environmental factors can effect the performance of the drone.
 
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McToddy

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McToddy's case is unique and different and seems to be related to an IMU or Wi-Fi interference issue. I've lost GPS on the Karma and it behaved exactly as described.
To elaborate a bit more on @JudoSurfer 's comment: I've lost GPS and/or Controller links before and the RTH / LIP function as needed. In one situation (I was under a cliff, the drone was above the cliff and went behind the edge -- this is when I learned RF is really line of sight and doesn't bend/refract around hard obstacles) when the Drone/Controller link was lost the drone started it's RTH. When the drone got back in sight and the connection reestablished, I was able to regain control and continue flying. (The RTH didn't actually land). The point: I regained control.

During my beach flyway, several things occurred that appear unique to other flyaways:

1) the drone did a runway (literally and figuratively) where I lost control. In fact, the drone breached 3 built in safeguards (Failed RTH, LIP and exceeded max speed)

2) I did get partial control (I was able to regain yaw/rotation control, but not speed, elevation, or direction), but I didn't get enough control to prevent a collision

The fact that the 3 safeguards were breached suggests that the flight controller got corrupt. The cause of the corruption is still up to debate. GoPro says it's due to "environmental factors" (WiFi interference), but I find that argument extremely week. Safeguards that fail are not "safeguards" -- and that is an issues of the flight system, not environmental factors. Stall warnings in modern jet planes should still work if it's raining or not, right? (Frankly, I think the flight controller had a buffer overflow situation, corrupting the flight control parameters.)

Unfortunately, I can verify any of this specifically without getting a copy of the flight log for myself. (And GoPro won't release that)

GoPro uses "environmental factors" as a scapegoat to release them of all responsibilities of a mishap. What I object to is that all of the examples of "environmental factors" that may contribute to WiFi / GPS interference that they have used in my ticket (WiFi hotspots, peoples cellphones, parking lots) are not mentioned anywhere in their documentation or web site.

NOTE: GoPro indicates that that the drone/controller operate on 2.4GHz frequency range. They don't elaborate if it's within the "WiFi" range.

The only mention of anything is this vague comment in the Karma Warranty doc (Karma_Warranty-MainSKU_REVC_Web.pdf)

upload_2017-7-30_14-26-53.png

(Sorry, didn't mean to rant so long)

You are correct, losing control of a drone can be dangerous. Flying irresponsibly while in control is equally dangerous. Being a pilot of a drone requires time, patience, practice, and due diligence in researching how to fly safely and knowing what environmental factors can effect the performance of the drone.
Separate and independent to my situation, I am total agreement to this
 
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JudoSurfer

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GoPro needs to move that information to front and center of the manual. Additionally, it's ridiculous that they wont release the flight logs to the users. 3DR pilots have had access to this information and as such, important modifications and changes have been developed that now makes the Solo a very stable drone. Unfortunately, there will not be a newer Solo model released as the company has discontinued consumer drones, but GoPro could certainly benefit from the communities input.
 
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CRXPanda

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NOTE: GoPro indicates that that the drone/controller operate on 2.4GHz frequency range. They don't elaborate if it's within the "WiFi" range.
as one of my posts show, it *is* wifi range, and my particular controller uses channel 11 to communicate adhoc and wpa2 to the drone.
I looked at the big picture and the GPS seems to piggyback on the wifi, meaning controller GPS is communicated wifi to the drone.
I will do more testing as I found a place with no wifi (nor cell service) in 5 miles! It's an 8 acre lot in the middle of nowhere- formerly a plant nursery. I will be testing without props again, as there are unfortunately many trees.

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
 

gm82au

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@McToddy do you know what firmware versions your drone and controller were running at the time of your flyaway?
 

Adelfs

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Hi everybody, I have lost my Karma drone about a month ago for the same reason a number of people have cited here: a loss of the GPS signal during flight. After a completely normal launch, my karma lost the signal after about 2 minutes and started to fly uncontrollably. All attempts to land it manually failed and it finally disappeared in the fields of the German countryside. My son and I looked for it for about three hours until sunset, but never found a trace. There was also nothing at the last known location which the controller gave us.
What really upsets me about this case is the fact that Gopro does not take any responsibility. I have been arguing with them for the past two weeks, after they initially promised to look into the case and reimburse me. Meanhwile they have come to the conclusion that it was all my fault and that the karma is just working great. Here is the last response I got:

Hi Arne,

My name is Paul Domanski, as the Karma Manager within the EMEA Region of the GoPro Support Network your case has been assigned to me for further evaluation.

After reviewing your flight logs I can ascertain that the drone lost GPS signal multiple times. The flight took place within a neighbourhood area where it could potentially lose GPS due to the nearby wifi/GPS interference.

It looks like the karma may have continued along it's path towards farm land. At this point there was still a controller connection with the drone, however it looks like you had difficulty manually flying Karma.

With any GPS loss, it is still under the user's responsibility on knowing where to launch and how to handle the drone if GPS signal is lost. Loss of GPS is not a manufacturing defect it is due to launch locations and environmental conditions. During the whole flight until connection was lost the Karma would have been controllable manually.

Apologies but in this instance I have to agree with my colleague that we cannot replace your lost Karma or Camera.

Hopefully this clarifies our positioning, please let me know if you require any further information.

Regards,

Paul D. - Team Manager EMEA Karma Support.
www.gopro.com/support


ref:_00Do0HJuF._5001JRkirb:ref
 

JRodAviator

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Hey guys! I wanted to post and give everyone an update on my case. I received a new Karma and a new Hero5 camera in the mail yesterday. It took exactly two weeks from the time I contacted GoPro to receive my replacements. I will say this however, in the beginning they tried to say it was my fault and I shouldn't have been flying it in the area that I did. I firmly argued with them and demanded either a complete replacement or my purchase money back. The next day I received an email saying my Karma and Hero5 were approved for replacement. My strong recommendation is to not take "no" for an answer. I hope this helps you guys out who are going through the same thing right now. I now how crappy it feels to have lost your drone. Good luck to everyone. On a side note, my wife was able to recover my Karma with the help of a social media neighborhood app called "Next Door". It was completely destroyed when it crashed into a home. Here's the video of the crash;
 

Jnazario

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I find it a tad reassuring GoPro made good on replacing your Karma and camera. I hope they do the same for my loss. And I couldn't agree more with your reluctance to fly again...safety reasons alone for that matter! So, did you go to that big open area and do a test flight? What version of software did your replacement come with? My GPS loss and flyaway was the first flight after 1.51 release.
 

Adelfs

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After GoPro has denied any kind of reimbursement, I have talked to the German consumer protection agency. They strongly advised me to file a law suit against GoPro, which is exactly what I will do now. They even raised the possibility of a class action lawsuit because they have also heard that there have been a number of cases like this. Who would be interested in joining?
 

CRXPanda

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@CRXPanda have you done any testing?
Yes, still testing without props. One thing I noticed before the 1.5 update, it found GPS to 100% pretty quick, but lost GPS a couple times (no props-on table, controller on counter) during DRONIE and CABLE CAM and although return initiated, once gps regained - it continued to "fly" with motors changing tone (meaning it was speeding up and changing directions-- who knows what directions it thought it was flying). Plus it kept showing I was flying at 3-10 feet fluctuating (remember, it has no props, so it wasn't going anywhere).
I also set the maximum distances at 100'. Walked away from the drone and "maximum distance reached" alerted at 86 feet, then I continued to walk until 110' was on the screen. I stood there waiting for any return to home or landing notification to happen--it did not. I walked back, the maximum distance warning finally went away at 66 feet. The drone continued to spin its motors.

I updated all last night so next wave of testing will be today or tomorrow.

My testing was done in and around a Grand Design Imagine camper at a campground with multiple wifi, Saddlebunch Key, FL.


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Whites1187

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I purchased a karma Sunday. 2 hours later on the first flight it ran away. Would not respond to my
Commands and would not return home when lost signal or when battery died. Last thing the controller told me was battery dead karma landing in place. Well it hauled the mail south wide open. They sent me the flight log and have searched high and low with no luck. So been on the phone with GoPro everyday since then. They told me it did not malfunction. BS. Today they told me if I bought the care plan and paid the deductible they would send me a new one. But I found that unacceptable asking me to pay 300 bucks when it wasn't my fault. Any advice from you guys that have been threw this? Also they guy I spoke with is resending a statement back in to the "karma team". Oh and also my screen froze when I could still the drone and this was after is was supposed to be landing in place. I have attached the flight log they sent me. Thanks for advice.
 
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Rickc77

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To elaborate a bit more on @JudoSurfer 's comment: I've lost GPS and/or Controller links before and the RTH / LIP function as needed. In one situation (I was under a cliff, the drone was above the cliff and went behind the edge -- this is when I learned RF is really line of sight and doesn't bend/refract around hard obstacles) when the Drone/Controller link was lost the drone started it's RTH. When the drone got back in sight and the connection reestablished, I was able to regain control and continue flying. (The RTH didn't actually land). The point: I regained control.

During my beach flyway, several things occurred that appear unique to other flyaways:

1) the drone did a runway (literally and figuratively) where I lost control. In fact, the drone breached 3 built in safeguards (Failed RTH, LIP and exceeded max speed)

2) I did get partial control (I was able to regain yaw/rotation control, but not speed, elevation, or direction), but I didn't get enough control to prevent a collision

The fact that the 3 safeguards were breached suggests that the flight controller got corrupt. The cause of the corruption is still up to debate. GoPro says it's due to "environmental factors" (WiFi interference), but I find that argument extremely week. Safeguards that fail are not "safeguards" -- and that is an issues of the flight system, not environmental factors. Stall warnings in modern jet planes should still work if it's raining or not, right? (Frankly, I think the flight controller had a buffer overflow situation, corrupting the flight control parameters.)

Unfortunately, I can verify any of this specifically without getting a copy of the flight log for myself. (And GoPro won't release that)

GoPro uses "environmental factors" as a scapegoat to release them of all responsibilities of a mishap. What I object to is that all of the examples of "environmental factors" that may contribute to WiFi / GPS interference that they have used in my ticket (WiFi hotspots, peoples cellphones, parking lots) are not mentioned anywhere in their documentation or web site.

NOTE: GoPro indicates that that the drone/controller operate on 2.4GHz frequency range. They don't elaborate if it's within the "WiFi" range.

The only mention of anything is this vague comment in the Karma Warranty doc (Karma_Warranty-MainSKU_REVC_Web.pdf)

View attachment 52

(Sorry, didn't mean to rant so long)



Separate and independent to my situation, I am total agreement to this
McToddy, did you finally get an answer? I have been reading your posts on this thread and I am anxious to find out what happened. Did a supervisor finally call you?
 
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