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Old February 3rd, 2013, 08:32 AM   #1
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GoPro Hero 3 Black edition lockup

I think my experience may be useful. I got my Hero 3 Black edition just before Christmas and did not have much time to play with it for real until a couple of weeks ago. I had read all the reports of lockup but I had not experienced myself playing at home. I went skiing with my grandsons a couple of weeks ago on a lovely sunny day and was the perfect chance to try out the Hero 3. Immediate lockup !! I was using the chest mount and the remote so thought I had not used properly. Went in for a break, removed and replaced the battery ... Still no luck and gave up on the day as it was more important to look after the kids !!!

Read some reports of charging with the PC or charger and decided to send for the GoPro charger. It arrived last week and I charged all batteries and remote using this charger. I have since stopped and started the GoPro many times both manually , with the remote, with my Sony Xperia T cell phone and with my Asus TF300 tablet and no lockups. I have also shut down the GoPro using a remote and then turn off the wireless link and for startup set wireless link then use the remote to power on the GoPro. Not sure if this sequence makes the difference but it appears to work so that is what I will do now !!! I don't think I will connect up the GoPro to the PC again unless I need to do a firmware update.

Ron Evans
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 03:59 PM   #2
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Re: GoPro Hero 3 Black edition lockup

I just picked up the Hero 3 White the other day and in the packaging it had a note saying a firmware update was required before using it. The date stamp on the latest firmware at GoPro's site is december 15th if I recall correctly. Did you already update the firmware on the camera? I've seen some other posts while doing my research on these cameras indicating other people facing similar problems, and you may even have to RMA the camera.
Canon XH-A1, Canon XL2, Nikon D3000, GoPro Hero4 Black
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 04:49 PM   #3
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Re: GoPro Hero 3 Black edition lockup

Yes the first thing I did was update the firmware as directed when I first got the Hero 3 Black Edition . When this lockup occurred I even followed the manual firmware update process and it turned out to be the same firmware anyway. I now have a small card with just this firmware on it in case the problem occurs again for some reason. There are several posts around that note the problems of using a PC USB to charge that is why I bought the charger to see if that made a difference. It appears to have from my experience. Could be a coincidence but now I have the charger I am not going to charge any other way. I think there may be two issues with using a USB from a PC the voltage/current may not be enough to fully charge the battery and the process of disconnecting the Hero from the PC could leave the Hero in some state that makes the issue of lockup appear.

Ron Evans
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Old February 5th, 2013, 03:29 PM   #4
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Re: GoPro Hero 3 Black edition lockup

Ron, for 5 years we have been preaching on our forum to never connect a GoPro to a Computer USB port to charge or to transfer files, but instead use a separate charger and a card reader with write lock engaged on the micro adapter or the SD card. It fixes most of the user issues with the cameras, but still there are those that aren't convinced because they are a handful who haven't experienced issues yet mostly because they run a clean PC and have late model USB ports.

You require 1000mA to charge a GoPro, USB cannot reliably supply this and all sorts of program's and even your own operating system will try to communicate with the camera confusing it.

File transfer with the camera connected to the PC/Mac via USB is probably the worst thing you can do apart from share your micro SD card with your smartphone, the later will give you endless problems when you next use the camera.

These issues escalated since GoPro made it compulsory to update FW via Cineform with a USB connection to the camera, you can however use a manual update method with the FW on the SD card and some button presses, but not to update BacPacs.

Guys, Ron is proof what we preach is real, it's just good practice to follow.

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Old February 27th, 2013, 03:46 PM   #5
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Re: GoPro Hero 3 Black edition lockup

Interesting. While I do charge my GoPro with the iPad adapter (my computer complains of voltage issues otherwise), I've yet to take the SD card out of the camera once. I exclusively use the GoPro connected via USB to my computer to transfer files. I have not had a single issue related to transfer rate, transfer stability, or transfer time. I've done this for months now and with countless hours of footage. I do agree that protecting the camera is essential but I would say that if you have higher end hardware in your computer, you'd probably be OK transferring files via USB cable.
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Old February 27th, 2013, 08:34 PM   #6
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Re: GoPro Hero 3 Black edition lockup

Apart from what I posted above, this research from one of our members will explain a few things if you have the time.

Here is my logic on the use USB charger while recording.
Blackie can suck battery within 1 hour ( 56 minutes usually ) if high bit rate choosen and has LCD BP or Wifi output on.
What does that tell you ? That means blackie sucks at least 1050 milli amps per hour if not more.

If you read the link on USB thingy, do notice they speak of how minute voltages difference is used as trigger to perform some task in a USB enviroment.

What will happen if a USB wall charger , assuming it is USB COMPLIANT 100%, and has output of 1000 mA, connected to a Blackie while Blackie is recording ?
1,000 mA input, with consumption at higher than 1,050 mA = deficit after XX minutes.
So for sometime the camera will record well, when battery in camera starts to go low, the real deficit begins. So what happen to the so called output of a USB wall charger when sucked beyond its rating ? Voltage drop will likely occur.
What does USB environment takes on voltage drop ? It MAY act upon it like an instruction , possibly a USB reset instruction.

Go to page 39 of the Paper PDF for the schematic too see the charging profile

4.4 Dedicated Charging Port
The following requirements apply to a DCP.
4.4.1 Required Operating Range
A DCP shall output a voltage of VCHG for all currents less than IDCP min. The voltage on VBUS is averaged
over a time of TVBUS_AVG.
A DCP shall not shut down if the load current is less than IDEV_CHG and the load voltage is greater than
VDCP_SHTDOWN. A DCP is allowed to shut down for load currents greater than IDEV_CHG max, or for load
voltages less than VDCP_SHTDWN. Once in shutdown, the requirements in Section 4.1.4 apply.
Figure 4-2 shows several example load curves. DCP load curves are required to cross the constant current
line at IDEV_CHG max, or the constant voltage line at VDCP_SHTDWN. A DCP is not allowed to shut down in
the Required Operating Range.

Just trying to DO a mere task of charging, USB needs to do various checks

Go to page 15 of the Paper PDF for the schematic

NOTE , PD = Portable Device aka the GoPro

During Primary Detection the PD shall turn on VDP_SRC and IDM_SINK. Since a DCP is required to short D+
to D- through a resistance of RDCP_DAT, the PD will detect a voltage on D- that is close to VDP_SRC.
A PD shall compare the voltage on D- with VDAT_REF. If D- is greater than VDAT_REF, then the PD is allowed
to detect that it is attached to either a DCP or CDP. A PD is optionally allowed to compare D- with VLGC as
well, and only determine that it is attached to a DCP or CDP if D- is greater than VDAT_REF, but less than
VLGC. The reason for this option is as follows.
PS2 ports pull D+/- high. If a PD is attached to a PS2 port, and the PD only checks for D- greater than
VDAT_REF, then a PD attached to a PS2 port would determine that it is attached to a DCP or CDP and
proceed to draw IDEV_CHG. This much current could potentially damage a PS2 port. By only determining it is
attached to DCP or CDP if D- is less than VLGC, the PD can avoid causing damage to a PS2 port.
On the other hand, some proprietary chargers also pull D+/- high. If a PD is attached to one of these
chargers, and it determined it was not attached to a charger because D- was greater than VLGC, then the PD
would determine that it was attached to an SDP, and only be able to draw ISUSP.
The choice of whether or not to compare D- to VLGC depends on whether the PD is more likely to be
attached to a PS2 port, or to a proprietary charger.

Wow, still the GoPro USB brain need to do some work even using wall USB charger

If anyone thinks a USB charging is a PASSIVE or DUMB like a laptop 19Volt power supply port.........good luck to you.

Do I have problem with my Blackie ? Rare.

I have 2 Blackie, one is 1st generation and one is newer.
Initially the 1st generation ( bought Dec 2012 in USA ) did have freeze problems, after 15th Dec 2012 firmware update is is much more stable.
I think the apology made by GoPro Bozz Nick was for the 1st generation Blackie.

My newer Blackie is stable.

But here is what I will follow ;
- All GoPro good practice as preached in this forum 1000s of times............AVOID USB, unless you need to firmware update and change WiFi password.
- Get stand alone charger like Wasabi

- RECENT as the link to my post on the USB thingy..... i will avoid USB wall charger too because of the USB protocol is just being pushed to be what is is NOT SUPPOSED TO BE AT INITIAL DESIGN STAGE ( USB 1.0 and early USB 2.0 ) , which is a charger. Why the hell I need a firmware or software involvement to do charging ?

USB 2.0 Time line
Universal Serial Bus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Hi-Speed USB Logo
USB 2.0: Released in April 2000. Added higher maximum signaling rate of 480 Mbit/s (effective throughput up to 35 MB/s or 280 Mbit/s) (now called "Hi-Speed"). Further modifications to the USB specification have been done via Engineering Change Notices (ECN). The most important of these ECNs are included into the USB 2.0 specification package available from[13]

Battery Charging Specification 1.1: Released in March 2007 (Updated 15 Apr 2009).
Adds support for dedicated chargers (power supplies with USB connectors), host chargers (USB hosts that can act as chargers) and the No Dead Battery provision which allows devices to temporarily draw 100 mA current after they have been attached. If a USB device is connected to dedicated charger, maximum current drawn by the device may be as high as 1.8 A. (Note that this document is not distributed with USB 2.0 specification package only USB 3.0 and USB On-The-Go.)

Battery Charging Specification 1.2:[14] Released in December 2010.
Several changes and increasing limits including allowing 1.5A on charging ports for unconfigured devices, allowing High Speed communication while having a current up to 1.5A and allowing a maximum current of 5A.

If March 2007 is when USB 2.0 can do charging, by early 2008 I suppose more device is ready.......MAYBE

USB 3.0 (Super Speed)
Main article: USB 3.0

The Super-Speed USB Logo
USB 3.0 was released in November 2008. The standard claims a theoretical "maximum" transmission speed of up to 5 Gbit/s (625 MB/s).

In 2010-2011 very rare one will see USB 3.0 unless in high end PC/Laptop.
See how slow things started to catch up between standard release till customer getting them in their IT stuff.

Even USB3.0 is not 100% backward compatible with USB2.0, becareful.

As to save the memory card slot in camera from wear and tear and one goes to the route of GoPro USB for data transfer, dont worry about it.
Those memory card slot mechanism will oulast your Blackie. I have HD1s that has gone to 1000s of memory plug in plug out. This mini SHDC slot by right should be better in reliability if not equal to full size SDHC.

To learn how USB can be tricky, we need to get another DIFFERENT camera which can be USB charged/powered while recording and must be sucking power to exceed or equal its battery rating milli amps hour. Then we shall see how it performs for its USB charging while recording.
If the camera is a 1+ hour battery life for record and with Wifi, it does not qualify for the comparison.

WIFI Apps making camera hang.
I am not suprised here.
What many users do not realize is Wifi is a two way handshake between camera and ipad/device. The more the distance or obstruction or inteference during the data transfer of both HD3 to device, the more difficult a task the GoPro must overcome not only in radio transmission but in packing the data and whatnot. Resolution also plays a part when the device is recording and have to transmit to Wifi at the same time..... a lot of bandwith is being used.

Just like my laptop when using my home wireless and I am in poor signal area of my house, the website I am visiting will hang and require reset.
Blackie now has stand-by mode, it can be at stand by longer than HD2 and its wifi surely has stand-by mode. Anything with stand-by mode means power savings thru killing off certain function when not needed, another set of problems because there must be some sort of time-out mechanism built in. I am not IT smart but I notice all this and simply by pure logic. Wifi if at close range it should not be a problem.
56 minutes of wifi transmission at close range

GoPro original idea of Wifi Apps is for framing , save you money without needing LCD. Its not meant for real broadcast like RC helicopters using special transmitter for FPV flying ( FPV is transmit only, so no complex handshake here). With such small battery what do we expect HD3 to pump out as video signal power ?

There are defective HD3s sure but what I see for January production is very stable, that is my Blackie no 2.
HD3 is many many fold increase in sold quantity over HD2 based on introduction to say 60 days time line.
Assuming same defective rate like HD2, I am not suprised there will be many reports in forum such as this one, aside from the facts the users with no problem wont try to find GoPro User Forums , the "sad owners" will hunt around for such forums.

Tempremental a Blackie.....yes in some ways but nothing major.
For me with FAT fingers my Blackie #1 will sometime hang if :

01. I pressed two commands via touchscreen by accident, due to my fat fingers
02. I plug in and out LCD BP while Blackie is powered ON and I do it often.
03. I choose menu/setting very fast on touchscreen.

Blackie is not for everyone I agree.
Those with 'dirty" computers generally have problem
Those who has not owned HD2 and learn of GoPro un-writen in Manual of GP good use practice
Those who thinks if there is a USB port, so it has to be 100% troublefree.......... my expensive original Sandisk 3.0 USH1 compliant card reader on my USB 3.0 port USH-1 compliant on my "clean" computer , still need to be re-booted ( its USB cable plug in-out-in ) at times to make it work.

ENUMERATION which makes USB so smart is also its problem source ... ration.pdf

Get a Wasabi Stand Alone charger

Follow all GoPro good practice as preached in this forum 1000s of times............AVOID USB, unless you need to firmware update and change WiFi password.

..........And you & your GOPRO cameras may happily live happy thereafter....AMIEN !!
- See more at: GoPro User Forum • View topic - Hero3 Black Edition: Temperamental at best...
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Old February 27th, 2013, 11:58 PM   #7
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Re: GoPro Hero 3 Black edition lockup

thanks Ian... I always learn from your posts!

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Old April 11th, 2013, 10:08 AM   #8
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Re: GoPro Hero 3 Black edition lockup

Question for the experts - my Hero3 black is frozen. I bought it five weeks ago to shoot a time lapse and haven't messed with it since. I did use the USB on my Macbook pro to charge the batteries, but I used the SD adapter that came with my card to download the images. Wifi has always been off. Now when I turn it on, it just shows the settings and does nothing else. The buttons don't do anything - I can't access the menus, get it to start shooting or turn it off - nothing.

I had it set to the one touch mode so I could place it overhead and just start recording after getting into position - it worked fine with no issues. I've tried taking the battery out and replacing (I have two) and every time I turn it on - nothing - outside of showing my settings. I'm supposed to shoot some water sports and a time lapse this weekend, without the H3 my shoot is toast. Any help is appreciated.

FYI - I'm using OSX 10.6.8.
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Old April 11th, 2013, 12:39 PM   #9
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Re: GoPro Hero 3 Black edition lockup

Do a manual firmware update and place the new files on a formatted SD card as per the instructions. Put that card in the GoPro and power up. It should now say it is updating firmware. At least that is what I did to solve a similar problem. The new firmware seems to be working fine. I would definitely get a USB charger so you don't have to use the PC for charging.

Ron Evans
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Old April 11th, 2013, 01:07 PM   #10
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Re: GoPro Hero 3 Black edition lockup

Hey Ron, thanks! That did the trick, its up and running again. Fingers crossed for no other issues. I have a USB charger for my phone that did most of the charging duties, but I did plug it into my mac as well so I thought I should mention it. I'll make sure to not charge through the computer going forward or find a dedicated charger for the GP batteries. Thanks again for the help.
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