Imagine a chilly morning, where the morning fog is slowly dissipating. You insert the key into your car’s ignition, but it stubbornly refuses to start. The ensuing silence is heavy with uncertainty, and the issue could stem from anything. A similar feeling overcomes you when you attempt to pair your GoPro KARMA, but the drone fails to establish a connection with its remote control.
The KARMA’s design, although visually appealing, does not provide much insight into the nature of the problem. Its LED lights, while operational, do not provide useful information. The internal architecture of the KARMA, a complex mix of controllers and processors, is secured by encrypted communication, making the diagnosis even more difficult. Imagine that the drone’s motherboard suffers major physical damage. Even in this scenario, the first processor manages to light up the LEDs. But this action gives no indication about the real state of the drone. It merely confirms that the battery is operational, but the actual cause of the problem remains elusive.
Our experience, most issues come from the saturation of the NAND flash memory. When this memory reaches its maximum capacity, it can no longer correctly perform recordings, which results in a series of malfunctions, such as incorrect GPS calibrations and inaccurate compass data. This can lead to unpredictable drone behavior in flight and, inevitably, to a crash.
The solution to this issue is to replace the NAND flash memory with a newer model. Thanks to our agreement with GoPro, the assessment of this problem and the labor are covered. Thus, the only cost for you, as a beneficiary, is that of the components, which amounts to €20 (excluding VAT). This offer also includes a warranty.
ValorConseilCalvados and Pricing Equity: (VCC-PEI) the equity index for engineering services rates based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP).
Following an accounting reorganization and an internal vote, we have developed this index to adjust our prices according to the cost of living in each country. Our goal is to provide superior services to our beneficiaries, ensuring fairer pricing, especially for GoPro KARMA equipment. We use PPP and reliable data from organizations such as the IMF or the World Bank to determine an adjustment factor per country. This guarantees equitable pricing, regardless of the beneficiary’s location, reinforcing our reputation as a socially responsible and ethical company. Our VCC-PEI is transparently displayed on our quotes and is automatically updated in case of administrative changes. At ValorConseilCalvados, we take pride in our commitment to pricing equity and social responsibility.
Here are some examples of our VCC-PEI:
Paris, France: VCC-PEI 1.00 (reference point) ; Tokyo, Japan: VCC-PEI = 0.55 ;
Texas, United States: VCC-PEI: 0.65 ; California, United States: VCC-PEI: 1.26
For large quantities such as 100 units or more, our geographic reference point is Taiwan.
When you receive a quote for engineering services, the VCC-PEI adjustment factor is applied based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) and the distance between our geographic reference point and your country. The VCC-PEI is displayed transparently on our quotes to ensure a clear understanding of how prices are calculated. We are also able to automatically update our VCC-PEI in case of administrative updates.
“ValorConseilCalvados makes pricing equity a concrete reality!”
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding our ValorConseilCalvados Pricing Equity Index (VCC-PEI) or for any other information requests.
During our meeting with our largest partners in the United States (Intel Corp® & Boston Dynamics®), the creation of our agency in the United States in New York, planned for mid-2023, has been postponed for one year due to the reorganization of our clients due to the conflicting European situation which creates an unpredictable international financial flow. Our agency in the United States in New York was to be a direct link with our laboratory in Paris, GoPro KARMA. This link, intended to facilitate exchanges, will therefore not be available for the moment. So let’s continue with the current process that works very well for exchanges between the United States and us without change for this year. Don’t forget to ask us for the correct procedure for shipping outside Europe at the email address [email protected].
To answer some frequently asked questions:
- For shipping price inquiries, the average shipping costs within Europe are 35€ including taxes. For international shipping, the highest cost we have recorded is 70€ including taxes, following the proper procedure we provide for tax clearance.
- As for repair price inquiries, the pairing issue is a common occurrence and happens when the remote controller is unable to communicate with the KARMA drone. This can be caused by any faulty component. Additionally, the drone’s architecture does not allow the LEDs that light up to provide useful information on the cause of this problem.
Since the KARMA drone has a multi-bus and multi-processor architecture, it contains multiple controllers and processors. The different lighting on the drone (rear and feet) is controlled by the first processor to allow for micro software injection in case of a micro software crash (for example, after a bad update). Even if the motherboard is broken in two, the first processor will turn on the LEDs, but this does not provide any functional information about the state of the drone, only that the battery is providing power. The 6 PCB circuits of the KARMA body contain multiple processors and are protected by encrypted internal communication and a UID (Unique Identifier) with the serial numbers of the components. This architecture is necessary to prevent any hacking of the flight system and to meet the safety requirements of the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and the DGCA (Civil Aviation Authority).
Small preamble: Every flash memory has a limited number of writes because each write degrades a space (fuse cell) in the memory. This is the basic principle of flash memory. Encrypted NAND UID flash memory is even more sensitive because continuous defragmentation is not possible due to the encryption property, which is imposed by the FAA. To explain: encrypted NAND flash memory has a limited number of writes, and a software update requires many batch writes in the NAND memory. So, all KARMAs with end-of-life memory are damaged by an update, and the others will later reach end-of-life because the system continually writes to the memory, but much less than an update. The writing size: a system update requires a minimum of 9.872e+12 cycles, a KARMA drone flight in journal writing in memory requires a minimum of 1.008e+6 writing cycles, which is 10,000 times less. Therefore: • Normal flight usage writes 10,000 times less in NAND memory than a system update. • A full calibration request writes 200 times less in NAND memory than a system update. • A pairing request with the remote control writes 10 times less in NAND memory than a system update.
And an update when the KARMA drone is not in perfect working order leads to many journal writes in NAND memory, which is very destructive to the memory.
In conclusion, the problem is both software and hardware. The end-of-life of any equipment containing flash memory is defined and generally very close to the end of the manufacturer’s warranty (USB key, SSD, Smartphone, all equipment today…). This is the biggest end-of-life programming problem. Our advice for active understanding is to research “programmed defined end-of-life” for the uninformed buyer. A well-known example is the end-of-life of a USB key. Before the end, no warning and at the end, no more reading possible and no more writing possible, direction trash. We have already written several posts in different forums about the specifications of encrypted UID NAND memory and the powerful KARMA system encryption architecture.
We solve the problem definitively because we replace the encrypted UID NAND flash memory with a new generation with 10 times more cluster depth, and we guarantee this new memory for an additional 10-year lifespan for the GoPro KARMA drone.
Our procedure is to take in your equipment at no cost and provide a quote. If your equipment requires a reset of the NAND flash memory and reprogramming, the cost will be 20€ before taxes. In the case where the NAND flash memory needs to be replaced (because it is saturated by too many log writes and becomes unusable), the cost will be 32€ before taxes.
- To answer a question we often receive, “why do you need the complete set to repair the pairing?” The answer is simple: at the end of the repair process, we need to serialize and encrypt the KARMA set. For this, we need a unique set with an RSA SPI ID and a unique NAND flash pairing serial number. It is therefore simpler and safer to take yours, which is necessarily unique, rather than risk creating a duplicate, which is completely forbidden. This is exactly the same process that was carried out at the end of the production line at GoPro.
We recently added a validation step by a referent in our equipment reception process. If you don’t frequent the GoPro forums, we can put you in touch with ValorConseilCalvados clients near you who could be your mentor. To do so, please send us your mentorship request to [email protected]. Don’t forget to mention your mentor on the package when shipping.
Our current workload is very high and we expect a minimum delay of 3 weeks to perform an intervention. We are truly sorry, but we receive several tens of GoPro KARMA equipment to repair from all corners of the world every week.
Our procedure provides for the establishment of a quote within 72 hours of receiving your equipment. If the problem is related to the GPS or NAND memory, the repair cost will be between 20 and 32 € HT or depending on the diagnosis carried out and any parts that may be necessary for the repair. However, you will always receive a quote before any repair and it is up to you to decide whether or not you want to proceed with the repair. If you choose not to repair, the quote will be free but you will have to pay the return costs of the equipment.
For this, we need to receive the minimum set (drone, gimbal, camera, remote control, battery) in order to be able to reseal and encrypt the micro software at the end of the process. As for your Karma drone, you need to send us (if possible in its original bag for better protection during transport) the drone, gimbal, camera, remote control, and a battery, but no need for accessories or charger. Don’t forget to attach a UN3481 PI 966 LIBA label to the package to comply with the LiPo battery transport standards and don’t forget to write “for repair, not for sale” on all sides of the package to avoid paying unnecessary tax (the equipment has no market value).
- We often receive the following question: “Why do we send our equipment to a temporary private address instead of sending it directly to your GoPro Karma laboratory near Paris?”
The reason is simple: you are sending the equipment to a temporary private address, that of Mr. Luis NOBRE, for dispatch in order to avoid the very high company tax on international entry into France, which represents customs administrative fees of 35 USD + 20% of the reference merchandise value. For example, if the customs officer checks that the reference price in their catalog is 1500 USD, this represents 300 USD only for the entry tax for a repair of 20 € HT, which is absurd. Unfortunately, the international shipping system handles temporary repair shipments with return to sender very poorly, which forces us to opt for this administrative solution in agreement with the French customs which legitimately avoids this 335 USD tax.
Therefore, for any shipment from Europe, please send the equipment in the name of the company ValorConseilCalvados to the following address: 22, avenue des Coteaux 14790 Verson, France. For any shipment from a country other than Europe, please send the equipment in the name of Mr. Luis NOBRE to the following address: 22, avenue des Coteaux 14790 Verson, France. We will route your equipment to our GoPro Karma laboratories near Paris.
For the shipment, please send your equipment, with tracking, to this routing address:
22, avenue des coteaux
14790 Verson France
We will route your equipment to our GoPro Karma laboratories located near Paris.
Once your drone has been taken in charge, we will perform an analysis and send you a quote within 72 business hours, offering you two repair options available:
- Repair with renewal by erasing all logs (essential for reselling as new)
- Optimal repair by repairing each defective component, but in this case, the lead time will be longer (repairing electronic boards is more difficult than replacing them with new ones).
Our team includes engineers from the former GoPro drone team and we are able to definitively solve the pairing problem between the Karma® drone and the GoP
ro® controller, which GoPro® cannot solve without returning the Karma® equipment to the factory to recover the motherboard on the nail board production. However, GoPro® sold its drone production chain and, without wanting to defend them, they cannot positively respond to this subject due to this sale. We use the tools that were used on the Karma® production line with all their programming for the production of the Karma®, the most important being to have one of the parametric controllers of the former Karma® production factory used at the end of the chain, allowing for parametric tests, operational tests and dynamic tests on all controllers and to validate the entire product through dynamic points.
It is impossible to electronically reprogram the NAND flash memory due to its design which includes encryption with a unique identification key. In this case, we can replace the NAND with a latest generation memory with a 10 times deeper writing depth. After the repair, there will be no more problems as the cause of the problem will be definitively eliminated.
We can also use TestStand to remotely control a parametric tester such as Keithley Parametric Test Systems, which allows us to assist you remotely.
Due to the high demand for the generic pairing problem repair of the GoPro Karma drone, we have also set up a repair line for this problem in our agency in Taiwan. The repair cost is $5 per unit, for a minimum quantity of 100 units. If you have less than 100 units, the repair will be handled in France 20 € HT.
We hope to have been as transparent as possible in our response.
Here is a short list of the latest customer reviews collected from 42 discussion forums on the subject that we follow:
- “Marty Buckel – Author: I want to bring this message back to what it’s meant to be – a sort of celebration. The repairs on my drone are very successful, and I am extremely satisfied with the results!”
- “Arne van Enkhuizen – Author- For those still in doubt… A follow-up video of my previous post, here is the drone taking off, flying, and landing! This is after the repair done by ValorConseilCalvados; before sending it to France, it wouldn’t even turn on. Very happy!”
- “Shaun Graham – Author- I received my Karma from France, and everything is working as it should. I couldn’t be happier. Sending the Karma to ValorConseilCalvados. I wish everyone the best on their journey.”
- Jeroen Degrieck – Author « You guys have repaired my drone that is now fully functional. Thanks again. Keep up the good work! »