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Wifi extender/repeater for Karma.

Discussion in 'Karma Discussion' started by emm, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. emm

    emm New Member

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    I had a fly away due to lost connection.
    Has anybody tried a wifi extender/repeater for the karma drone and the controller?
     
  2. BPRescue

    BPRescue Member

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    What do you mean by "fly away". The Karma will not fly away due to a lost connection; it will either return to launch, return to you, or even land in place if you also drain the battery. You should have no issues with lost connection as long as you are within FAA restrictions, meaning line of sight being able to see the drone and not flying behind objects. Another reason is flying in congested areas such as buildings or other populated areas where interference can occur from radio towers, cell towers, power systems, etc. This Karma range is about 2 miles and you should be nowhere near to that. I have never had a lost connection in flight, well, other than when I purposely shut the controller off to confirm how the Karma would react so if I had this in a real world situation, I would be confident in what was happening...
     
  3. emm

    emm New Member

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    Glad that it did not happen to you. But apparently I'm not the only having these issues. I know it shouldn't fly away but it did.
     
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  4. McToddy

    McToddy Well-Known Member

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    @BPRescue I appreciate your input. It verifies my understanding of what is supposed to happen during a lost connection. But, as discussed in the Disappears ... and Runaway... threads, that is not what has been happening.

    @emm I don't think a wifi repeater will work. If I recall correctly (my drone is currently in KIA status, so I cant verify this), the link between the drone and the controller is WPA (i.e., can't intercept or remote into the network) and there's no access (UI pathway) to tell either device to use a 3rd party (the extender) device as a go between. (Note: you can tell the controller what WiFi AP to use, but that's just to get to the internet for downloading of maps, uploading of flight logs, connecting to your gopro acct -- this is not the connection the drone uses to communicate with the controller)
     
  5. McToddy

    McToddy Well-Known Member

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    @BPRescue -- So, what did happen when you did that test and turned off the controller? Did you get a Return to Launch or Land in Place?
     
  6. BPRescue

    BPRescue Member

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    Maybe, but you need to understand it won't "fly away" because it loses connection; instead it will hover a moment while it tries to re-establish connection, then return either to you, or to launch as I stated (unless battery is drained, then wherever it is in flight). Interference is another issue altogether that will cause issues with ALL drones and that could potentially cause it to fly in a random direction. But it sounds like yours landed itself otherwise you would likely be talking about a crash, so again, I think it was a pre programmed return mode rather than a fly away.


    Providing more detail would help. Where were you flying, how far, what were the conditions and what precisely happened? Seeing the video would also help in seeing the environment and help me recognize what the drone was doing at the time.


    If you watch most of the videos on what people call "fly aways" or "rogue drones" or "lost control", you almost always see that most don't understand the problem, or even define the term the same as others and the error was theirs, not the Karma. In fact, I have only seen one where the guy had zero control and it flew away into a cliff; but it also exuded many other issues before that happened which clearly proved a defect in the drone. All other videos I have seen, has shown flight being an auto return mode, or battery drain issue. Who knows; maybe this did happen to you, but you would likely get more accurate assistance and spend less money if you provided details of the flight.


    Either way, not trying to be argumentative here, but instead help. The fact is if you are within FAA restrictions of line of sight, you should never lose connection unless interference takes place. In that regard, I am sure I am not the only person out there with that magical Karma that is not effected by a weak signal. Again, with a range of 2 miles, if you lose connection, and are not flying in a city, near a population or other locations with interference, then you need to have this unit replaced; not purchase a range extender.
     
  7. BPRescue

    BPRescue Member

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    Multiple tests for lost connection as I also test after updates. Powering the controller off has the Karma hover a few moments, then return to my launch area. In testing this, I have also tried to bury the controller in my vehicle, in ditches out of line of sight, and even in an underground water utility connection and could not get it to lose connection until I powered it off.


    Similar with battery drain testing I have ignored the first low battery warning as to let the Karma take control, and like losing connection, it would return to launch. I have taken it a step further and walked 50 yards from the launch site as to simulate what would happen with battery drain if I was in my boat, and it did return to me, rather than launch.


    As I said, I also tested this after new updates which BTW reflect the change from return altitude of 100' vs. the original 66'. This is where you also saw many people making claims of losing control and smacking into a building or mountain, when the reality was they made multiple mistakes, one being not setting the appropriate return altitude, so they ran into the building or mountain they flew behind.


    I really started this testing because there were so many complaints on YouTube or other forums on the Karma losing control, but since I already had and loved the GoPro products, I wanted to try and stick with it for the best value. So, I purchased the Karma, and the additional protection, then started to get familiar with it and begin these tests so I knew what it would do in given situations. At first it was tough because it is just wrong to toss a $1000 camera in air and shut off the controller, but I felt better to crash now than while I was on vacation, and again why I purchased the GoPro Care. It was then I started to get more confident in the Karma and also test other limits such as wind, distance, etc. BTW, at 2000', the Karma is a dot and you cannot tell the direction unless looking at the video, so I think that is effectively what the FAA deems "line of sight", and the limit.


    Either way, closing in on 6 months now flying just about every weekend and not one loss of connection, or loss of control. Whatever the reason it seems people are quick to assume, or attack the Karma but from experience, once you know how it reacts to a given situation, you can immediately tell in video or explanation and most I have seen are user error, or just a lack of understanding what is happening. Also keep in mind that prior to the most recent update, you could not control the Karma once it forced auto return and could only cancel the flight, and at the time many did not even understand the Karma was returninging home hence claiming they lost control. They didnt even know you could cancel the return and take full control. With the new update you can now steer it around obstacles while in return mode, but it still forces the landing unless you cancel it.


    But here It also seems like in this instance to be honest, people are falling in line when the reality is the OP has provided no detail of the flight other than he had a "fly away due to a lost connection", so we are attacking the symptom rather than the sickness. Again, I say "maybe" it did fly away, but nobody can make that assessment without having details of the flight. I also said it is possible given a hardware failure, or interference, but at this point I don't think so.
     
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  8. emm

    emm New Member

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    @McToddy Thanks for the enlightenment.
     
  9. JBee333

    JBee333 Member

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    Ok 100% had one of these today. New here do bear with me.

    I have an idea as to what's up or going on here. So the drone and controller have GPS right?

    Where it happened to me today was an old running haunt of mine. From gps experience on my phone and running watches I know the GPS is less than reliable and can give readings that have resulted in me breaking several Olympic records, including a sub 2 minute mile.

    So here's my theory. If the controller picks up a bad gps from the controller and then loses connection then fly to me may give the impression of being miles away. And off it goes as fast as it can.

    My phone seems to be much better now as I think it averages out these GPS wobbles but if that's what's happening here it could explain why some are seeing it and others not. And if you get a dodgy launch site GPS wise the same could happen there.

    Just a theory and I have sent details to the GoPro support guys today. Who knows.
     
  10. Hamish

    Hamish Member

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    Hey JBee, super interesting theory! I've seen other people having issues where their distance indicator tells them they're quite far away from the drone when they're actually standing next to it. If you're flying normally under full control, that shouldn't change how the drone flies. However, if you manually hit the return to home button, or the drone goes into that mode because it hits the geofence, battery runs low, etc, then it's going to fly immediately to where it thinks you are - which in this case is wrong.

    I haven't paid attention to the distance indicator and never hit the return to home button, so I don't know if I've been getting erroneous GPS locations for either the controller or the drone which might cause this problem.

    Your theory is also consistent with the fact that most of these problem flights happen when GPS connectivity is having issues either before or during flight. It's also consistent with the fact that the Controller is always close to the ground and may be shielded from satellites or otherwise interacting with WiFi and other radiation ... unlike the drone which is typically high in the sky with less obstructions and interference.

    I hope GoPro listens to you and looks for this when people send them flight logs from problem flights when the drone "loses GPS connectivity" and then goes flying off with a purpose (that makes no sense) and won't listen to the sticks.

    All best,

    Hamish
     
  11. Timmy

    Timmy New Member

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    I get range
     

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  12. Rambler358

    Rambler358 Active Member

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    The best extender is wrapping tin foil around your controller. A side benefit is that aliens won't be able to control it.
     
  13. JCLs

    JCLs Well-Known Member

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    I simply do not believe that the Karma can do 2 Miles. I know that is not line of sight, but I have never been able to get to 3/4 mike much less 2. A week ago at a huge Fun Fly out in the country I went to take video/pics. Was at about 300-ft and 2000 feet away when everything froze up on controller screen. I could still barely see the Karma. I got pop up saying signal lost and Karma was landing in place. I kept pushing return button and did get the pop up for returning to me or launch site. Came back to launch site but was exciting. I have had othe instances of loss of or freeze up of video at short range. I have all software updates in place.

    Is anybody aware of anybody doing longrange mods to the Karma.
     
  14. Timmy

    Timmy New Member

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    I have done about 1.5 miles in the desert you would definitely not get that range in the city or any where near
     
  15. JCLs

    JCLs Well-Known Member

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    This was out in country, but a lot of RC planes opposite direction from where I was headed and they were racing drones, 4 at a time is all, in direction I was headed to.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  16. Timmy

    Timmy New Member

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    When ever I’m out in the desert I usually have no issues hard to say what was going on or if the high frequency from the RC drones were drowning out your signal. Either way the GoPro definitely doesn’t have the reception that a DJI does but I still love it. I would try again in an open area no power lines
     
  17. JCLs

    JCLs Well-Known Member

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    There were no power lines anywhere close.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  18. deanrobi

    deanrobi Active Member

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    #18 deanrobi, Oct 7, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  19. Jake Gleim

    Jake Gleim Member

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    The Karma doesn't "fly away" persay. It loses GPS signal or loses video feed while you are continuing to fly in a set direction. Never fly out of the line of sight and learn the differences between GPS flight and no GPS flight. Makes a large difference.
     
  20. Fpeople

    Fpeople New Member

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    Thanks for such a good post about Karma tests.
    Let me please double check with you couple things what I'm worried about:
    1) If I lost signal, drone will start move back to launch location and when signal is back you can control it again right?
    2) What if Karma lost GPS and lost control, how will it come back? Does it have kind of autopilot and saved route to come back to launch place? That's more scared things and heart stopped beating when I see this.
    3) Today I found that indicator on the left bottom corner is not a distance radar, it is showing facing to karma for the best signal.
    What if I launch Karma just vertical up over head and it starting showing red signal but the height is not extremely high, so what will be if I continue flying in red zone, what can happen and what drone will do?
    4) I'm leaving in the 25 floor building and there are some roof repairing works going on, so I wanted to check progress on it, and when I reached the 15-20th floor it was already red on the left corner, is it red of possibility to lose wifi signal and control ? or it is red that drone is vertical and controller not facing to the drone? Also I saw how video signal became intermittent.
    I will appreciate so much for your reply!
     

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