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New guy from Wisconsin


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Jul 12, 2017
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Hello! I have the Karma Drone w/ Hero 5 black shipping as I type. Should have it on the 14th of July. Been reading quite a bit here for the last few days before placing my order with GoPro. VERY......very nervous about this whole drone taking off from you when GPS is lost. Almost thought about canceling my order. Anyhow, thought I'd get registered and introduce myself. I'm sure I'll have lots of questions along the way!
There are many factors that go into a GPS loss / flyaway. Run all of your updates, take it easy at first, fly in large open fields, stay away from metal (including reinforced concrete), buildings, tall trees, cliffs, and cell/radio towers. There is a GPS module in the drone and controller so what applies to the drone, applies to you.

Flying while looking at the screen is fine, but you need to be able to fly the drone comfortably and instinctively from any orientation while looking at it. Left is right and right is left when the drone is facing you.

Manually land the drone. You can bring it in much softer than the auto landing.

Be prepared to hit the (X) cancel button on the screen if the drone goes into auto landing.

Don't fly the battery down to less than 8-10 minutes remaining unless you're bringing it in for landing or have it close. Again, be prepared to cancel the auto landing if need be and know your return altitude.

Wait a couple minutes after getting the, "Ready to fly" command to let the drone lock onto a few more satellites before taking off.

Although it shouldn't happen, hitting record before you take off will help prevent EMI. Mostly it's just a good idea so you don't forget. I've flown my drone before and thought I had captured some great moments only to realize I got so caught up in the moment I forgot to hit record. Not a good feeling.

Get a couple apps for your phone. Magnetology and UAV forecast are good. If the kp index is 4+ your chances of communication loss/error are much higher. Fly with clear skies and low kp and you should be fine.

For making videos, try to use Karma as intended. Be sure to use the Grip and get some hand held/body mounted shots. The drone is meant to supplement these shots and will make your videos better and much more enjoyable to watch.

Go to GoPro Official Website - Capture + share your world - Karma and learn as much as you can by watching videos and reading the FAQs.

Finally, make sure you use a recommended SD card. https://gopro.com/help/articles/Block/microSD-Card-Considerations

I purchased Karma when it first came out and again after the recall. I've lost GPS once and the drone behaved as expected. If you do the simulator and follow the above advice and what others have posted, you should be fine. This isn't advice that is solely for Karma, but all drones. You want to have at least 12-20 flights before you start pushing the limits of the drone, and even then, know your limitations as well as the drone.

Happy flying and congratulations!

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Thanks for the great reply and info! I took to the skies the first time this morning. Last night I updated everything and charged all. Practiced w/ the simulator last night and this morning before heading out to large open football fields. All went GREAT!!! Flew for about 8min total. Worked on landings. Went as high as 260'. Took some video. Fun stuff. I'm not going to push this thing at all!

I do have a question I noticed. The icon on bottom of screen that shows orientation w/ a circle. I noticed it changed orange a time or two. I assumed it was a range issue? I flew it back closer to me. I didn't fly it too far away from me distance wise. Any advice?
Awesome, great to hear you're enjoying the drone!

The icon on the bottom left is drone orientation and communication strength. The colors are green, orange, red. You always want to make sure the back of the controller is facing the drone. If the color changes to show a weaker connection, sometimes just stopping the drone and letting it hover for a few seconds will re-establish a stronger connection. I personally try to keep the drone/controller out of the red at all times (I hate the feeling of not being in full control of the drone), however if you do lose connection the drone will auto RTL (return to launch). There are many factors that come into play when it comes to signal strength and the ones you can't see are the ones that exert the most influence like cell signals or other sources of strong RF noise. I'm not sure of all the reasons for varying signal strengths as I've flown Karma and other drones from the same locations and gotten different results on different days. Geomagnetic disturbances seem to be the greatest influence so I always check the kp and never fly above 4 and try to limit my flights to days that are 3 or lower. The thing to be most aware of is the video feed. When it starts flickering you're getting close to the max distance.

Keep the controller pointed at the drone and you should be fine. One last thing, if the connection does seem to be getting weak, you don't have to turn the drone to bring it back. The drone can fly forward, backward, sideways, and diagonally all at the same speed and stability. If you practice flying in each of these orientation you will be a much better pilot and MUCH more prepared in the event of a loss of GPS necessitating manual flight.
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