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New karma owner : Advices

FenryrMKIII

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Hello everyone,

I just bought a new gopro karma since I managed to get a good deal on it. I bought it via Amazon and I am located in Europe.

Being cautious with my stuff, I spent some time readings the forums, ... And I thought it would be cautious to ask around advices before performing my first flight with the Karma. I have already updated all the material (grip, gopro, karma & controller) to the latest version available.

- Where should I perform my first flight ? I was planning to do it in a big garden of a friend's house but with everything I am reading (interferences, ...) I fear this might not be the best place. To give you an idea of the surroundings, please see below a googlemaps view of the area where I planned to fly my Karma

upload_2018-7-3_7-52-56.png

- Should I immediately learn to fly without GPS in case I experience a GPS loss so that I am able to return the drone to me ?

- Do you guys have any reference of an insurance company that would cover me for the loss/damage of my drone and associated equipment ? (Reminder : I am in Europe so no gopro care)

- I have not yet tried but is there a way on the controller to check for Radio signal Strength ? And GPS signal strength ? (on both the controller and the Karma ?)

- Should I perform recalibration (accel & compass) prior to each flight with the Karma ?

I hope that with all these precautions, I will not experience any issue :)
Thanks in advance for your precious help !
Fly safe
 

Shon

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Congratulations on your drone purchase! I have been flying my Karma for roughly a year wirhout any major mishaps. I’ve lost GPS, I’ve lost connection with the controller, I’ve had some close calls, but I have never crashed.

I bought my Karma drone on a whim while I was on vacation. I trusted the GoPro name, not bothering to research the product, and was quite dismayed to read the negative reviews. I was EXTREMELY cautious when I first learned to fly it, Fortunately I’ve learned that the vast majority of mishaps are due to user error and lack of understand in how the drone operates. The best advice I can give you, is to take things slow. Lean to crawl before you walk, learn to walk before you run and learn to run before you fly.

Start in a large open field or park. An open football field away from people would be ideal. You dont want to fly close to an area with too much Wi-Fi interference or near buildings or other objects that might obscure GPS signal. You don’t want trees, power lines, light poles, street signs, flocks of birds, etc. close to you, or between you and your drone. An open field is a boring place to fly, but boring means “predictable” and you are less likely to crash as you familiarize yourself with the drone.

Just start with taking off and landing. As a beginner, keep the Karma facing away from you when you fly. When the drone is facing you, the controls are opposite, left is right, right is left, etc, so it is easier to control the drone when it is facing away from you.

Note that if you activate “Return to Home” (RTH), or your drone loses connection with the controller,or the battery runs too low ( even if you see seconds away from landing) the drone is programmed to fly to a preprogrammed safe height, rotate to face you, and return directly to your location. Your drone will not automatically avoid obsticals. That’s your job. You might want to activate the RTH feature, just to see how it responds. You might want to practice how to doable the feature on the fly ( press the “X” on the touch screen when activated). I would also advise learning how to set the RTH height on your controller, as there may be times in the fiuture where you want it set to a higher or lower default. I would also suggest that you lean to land the drone on your own, without using this feature at all.

Once you learn how to take off and land, practice moving the drone away from you and back, keeping the drone facing away from you. When you are comfortable, try orientating the drone to face you and attempt to control it. You can practice flying the drone in figure 8s as a more advanced drill, reversing the figure 8 in the opposit direction, and these drills will make you a better pilot.

Note that GPS cannot be shut off. If you lose GPS, your drone will be much more prone to drift, and even the slightest breeze will have a significant effect on stability. Learning to fly, countering the effects of wind or a breeze, will help you maintain control during GPS loss.

I don’t have any advice regarding insurance.

I do recalibrate the compass before every flight at a new destination.

Best of luck!
 
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James Hatch

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Always calibrate your Karma before flying from a new location. Plan your flight and keep your drone within site and don't push the flight time envelope. Better make two or more flights rather than do it in one. Always fly with GPS. It is that which gives you stability of shots.
 
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Yas

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Hello everyone,

I just bought a new gopro karma since I managed to get a good deal on it. I bought it via Amazon and I am located in Europe.

Being cautious with my stuff, I spent some time readings the forums, ... And I thought it would be cautious to ask around advices before performing my first flight with the Karma. I have already updated all the material (grip, gopro, karma & controller) to the latest version available.

- Where should I perform my first flight ? I was planning to do it in a big garden of a friend's house but with everything I am reading (interferences, ...) I fear this might not be the best place. To give you an idea of the surroundings, please see below a googlemaps view of the area where I planned to fly my Karma

View attachment 224

- Should I immediately learn to fly without GPS in case I experience a GPS loss so that I am able to return the drone to me ?

- Do you guys have any reference of an insurance company that would cover me for the loss/damage of my drone and associated equipment ? (Reminder : I am in Europe so no gopro care)

- I have not yet tried but is there a way on the controller to check for Radio signal Strength ? And GPS signal strength ? (on both the controller and the Karma ?)

- Should I perform recalibration (accel & compass) prior to each flight with the Karma ?

I hope that with all these precautions, I will not experience any issue :)
Thanks in advance for your precious help !
Fly safe
First thing to do, would be to install a beacon gps tracking system and install it on your drone.
Better to pay an extra £50 or $50 rather than losing it all like I did :'(

I'll do that next time
 

James Hatch

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Yes always install a good strong GPS signal. Then learn to fly it close to you and you will find the controls are very sensitive. So try and make the moves as smooth as possible. Also don't rush things, as practice makes perfect. It is always good to buy Jordon Hetricks book on the drone, there is a lot of good information there.
 

Yas

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You may have as many hours using your drone as you want. When your drone goes rogue and you have no more control of it, it'll go where ever it wants to go. This is what happened to me. But for sure, at the end what remains to you is, your karma bag pack, your controller and your book. Actually, I don't have that book so it is one expanse I didn't make for nothing :)

Cheers
 

James Hatch

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You must have pushed it out of range of the controller. The other thing is that you should have made sure to keep a good charge on the battery controller. A weak controller signal could have been the reason for your loss of signal. As I have mentioned before. Do not push the limits. Before each flight make sure you have topped up your batteries.
 

Yas

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Controller fully charged, karma fully charged + spare battery fully charged, gopro fully charged
Is 20 metres (60 feet) from me out of range ? I don't think so...
Don't put the reasons on my side, It is well known karma has some bugs and especially with its gps losses.

so to recap: NO WIND, not out of range, batteries fully charged, brand new karma gopro hero6
Anyway, I sent flight logs to GoPro and i'll wait for their outcome

BTW, I should've buy that book :p
 
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JudoSurfer

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If you had bought the book, or done any research on drones, then you would know that GPS loss has absolutely nothing to do with how close, or far, the drone is to the controller.
 

JCLs

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You must have pushed it out of range of the controller. The other thing is that you should have made sure to keep a good charge on the battery controller. A weak controller signal could have been the reason for your loss of signal. As I have mentioned before. Do not push the limits. Before each flight make sure you have topped up your batteries.

I really don’t believe 20-30 meters is out of range UNLESS a huge level of WiFi interference. The transmitter output from the guad and from the controller does not decrease as the voltage in the battery drops. A steady regulated power is required for the electronics packages and unless the battery is near lowest limit there really is no difference. A good RF meter will confirm that. I fly up to four flights with no issues from the controller. Conservative is ok but being overly cautious is not really beneficial.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

masko

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I was flying my drone first time in the field - I was scared of landing on someone's head :) I think if you are a new pilot then you should fly your drone in remote places to not disturb anyone. Btw, here's a guide for new flyers.
 
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Mdeben

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Hello everyone,

I just bought a new gopro karma since I managed to get a good deal on it. I bought it via Amazon and I am located in Europe.

Being cautious with my stuff, I spent some time readings the forums, ... And I thought it would be cautious to ask around advices before performing my first flight with the Karma. I have already updated all the material (grip, gopro, karma & controller) to the latest version available.

- Where should I perform my first flight ? I was planning to do it in a big garden of a friend's house but with everything I am reading (interferences, ...) I fear this might not be the best place. To give you an idea of the surroundings, please see below a googlemaps view of the area where I planned to fly my Karma

View attachment 224

- Should I immediately learn to fly without GPS in case I experience a GPS loss so that I am able to return the drone to me ?

- Do you guys have any reference of an insurance company that would cover me for the loss/damage of my drone and associated equipment ? (Reminder : I am in Europe so no gopro care)

- I have not yet tried but is there a way on the controller to check for Radio signal Strength ? And GPS signal strength ? (on both the controller and the Karma ?)

- Should I perform recalibration (accel & compass) prior to each flight with the Karma ?

I hope that with all these precautions, I will not experience any issue :)
Thanks in advance for your precious help !
Fly safe


My advice is to RETURN IT IMMEDIATELY.

I’ve never been more infuriated and disappointed in a brand. Poor quality product and worst customer service team I have ever encountered!!! We purchased this drone bundle prior to our honeymoon in hopes to use it many more times as we began our family. After only having it for less than 6 months, that was cut short. We took every precaution in configuring it correctly before our last flight, got the green light to go and after only minutes of flying it, the device said it was losing wi-fi connection, which triggered its autopilot mode. During its auto-flight back to us it, it lost control and crashed into a pond below it (that it had autopiloted over). I didn't realize until after, but in reading and researching further, this is actually a common problem. Because it relies on wi-fi it's extremely unreliable and can fall from the sky or hit objects in its path during the autoflight back pretty regularly. And when it does, GoPro refuses to take any accountability so you will not get your money back, even if you have a warranty on it.

We spent hours trying to retrieve it, but could not and deemed it too dangerous to attempt again and near impossible to find any ways. We contacted customer service to see what our options were since we had a two year warranty on it and were only met with robotic responses, a refusal to take any accountability and blame towards us as their consumers, with no real reasonable logic. There was absolutely nothing we could have done differently given the resources that GoPro had provided to have avoided that outcome. When prying to ask to see the flight logs they said they were confidential and would not share them with me, yet used that as an excuse to say that they decided it was not their fault. The main thing they used to blame it on user error was by saying we didn’t properly avoid the possible “wi-fi interference objects” and then they provided a list of objectives you should avoid when flying. The ONLY applicable object in this case was water! Yes, water! So all those advertisements you see on this page and throughout their website and other marketing materials with water on it, turns out you can’t actually do what they are falsely advertising and we should have known that as consumers!!!! For goodness sake, their main video has a man literally launch the karma drone off of his kayak in the middle of the ocean!!! But I should have known to not fly nearby a cranberry bog reservoir!? After months of arguing and being pushed from one terrible customer service representative to another, they offered to replace the least expensive parts, still requiring us to invest $700 for those parts to even work, and spend more money with a brand we no longer could trust. After even more arguing they offered a jokeable 20% discount. And finally, I spoke with an extremely rude and condescending customer service “supervisor”, who by no means should be in this business, that basically sternly told me to give up, take the discount and that they wouldn’t do anything else even if we found it. For a brand that thrives off of human experiences and leverages happy life milestones, they certainly ruined our honeymoon (all our footage was lost) and our babymoon, which we had hoped to use this on as well and were still arguing with them about, and did not deliver the least bit enjoyable customer service experience. I would NOT RECOMMEND buying products from this company unless you are okay wasting your money when they prematurely break and do not anticipate any understanding from the manufacturer. I hope this saves someone months of frustration in dealing with this company and some money.
 

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