Connecting your controller to the drone is one of the first things you need to do before flying it. But what do you do if it doesn’t connect?
Here are the most common reasons why your drone won’t connect to the controller:
- The battery power might be too low on the drone or the controller.
- It could be an issue with the software on the remote controller.
- The problem could be with the application used to connect the drone.
- Sometimes a connection issue happens because of repairs made to the drone after an accident.
But how do you know what the issue is? and how do you fix it? I’ve laid out 5 different steps below that will walk you through a step-by-step troubleshooting process. So keep reading!
01. Check your drone and controller battery level
If the battery power of your drone or controller is low, this can stop the connection between them. So before you try to connect to your controller, make sure that both your drone and remote control are fully charged.
This fix is the easiest to solve. So before trying any fixes that are too drastic, try this first.
- Try making sure that your drone is fully charged, and it’s worth checking the battery charge level after it’s charged. Make sure it’s at least above 50%.
- Take out the old batteries in your controller and put in a fresh set of batteries. Do this even if your controller is new, they could have sent you a dud pair of batteries.
If this doesn’t work, it might be a problem with the application that you use to connect to your drone.
02. Try resetting your remote controller
After a drone crash or even during the setup process, the controller software could go a bit buggy on you. The fix here is to try and reset your remote controller by choosing an older firmware version and then allowing it to update to the new one. Here’s how:
*The example below was done on the DJI Go app.
- Open your drone application. For example, DJI Go app.
- The main screen, hold your finger on the hamburger menu. It usually sits on the top left corner for most apps.
- Hold down your finger for at least 10 seconds.
- A menu showing the different versions of firmware should pop up.
- Select an older firmware version.
- Restart your remote controller. Once it’s been restarted it should ask if you would like to update the app.
- Update the application. The problem should now be fixed.
- Go ahead and try to connect your drone to the controller again.
INSIDER TIP: When initially setting up your drone, make sure that you have followed the setup instructions that are in the user guide correctly. Not following the instructions could lead to issues affecting the connection between the drone and the controller.
That didn’t fix the issue? Here’s something else you can try.
03. Try reinstalling the application, for example, the Go App
I’ve seen this a few times where the application on a device, such as the Go app for the DJI, is not working properly. There’s not much explanation that goes into this fix.
- Simply delete the app off of your device, and reinstall it.
- After that’s done try to connect your drone to the controller again.
If it works, great! If not, keep reading…
04. Are you trying to connect to your controller properly?
I’m always surprised by how many people don’t know the steps to connect a drone to the controller. If you’re a new drone pilot, and it’s your first time using the drone, then it’s worth giving this a try.
- Turn on your drone and remote controller.
- If the status LED on your remote controller is red when you turn it on, that means the controller needs to be linked to the drone.
- Press the power button and hold it for 3 seconds, release the button when the drone beeps and the LEDs start to blink red.
- Using the controller, press and hold the flight pause button, function button and the customize button all at the same time.
- When the status LED on the remote controller turns green that means the connection is successful.
05. Drone not connecting to remote after a CRASH or recent repairs?
Have you crashed your drone lately? Or has it just been in for repairs? Both of these events could mess with the software, which could cause connection issues. If you’ve already tried all the steps above then it’s safe to say it’s not; a flat batter, buggy firmware on the controller, and a buggy application.
So there is a chance that the issue is a bit deeper. I’ve included extra troubleshooting scenarios for different drone types below. Find your drone type and try to work through them.
DJI Mavic Pro fix
The DJI Mavic drones are easily the most popular drones on the market at the moment. However, that does not mean that they are perfect. Unfortunately, people still experience issues. Here are some easy steps to follow to fix the connectivity issue.
- The first thing you have to do is connect the controller to a device(tablet or phone) using a cable.
- When you have done that proceed to double click the connection button.
- Now open the GO app on the device.
- The next step is to turn on the Mavic Pro drone by pressing and holding the button on the top of the drone.
- If the blinking light is yellow that means the aircraft is not connected yet.
- The next step is to locate the small door on the right side of the drone. This door is where you would usually put your SD card.
- Open the door revealing the SD card slot as well as a small button.
- Use a small screwdriver to press the button once. The indicator light on the propellers should turn red after doing this.
- Go back to the Go app now and click on the menu and click the mode button. scroll down to the remote control button at the end of the menu.
- Click primary remote control, it should give you 59 seconds to connect to the drone by pressing the button.
- The drone indicators should then be flashing green and the drone should be connected to the controller and be ready to fly again.
Ryze Tello fix
Here is a small list of steps to follow to fix the connectivity issues that you might come across with the Ryze Tello drone.
- Delete the Tello app and reinstall it again.
- Forget the Tello WiFi on your mobile device or tablet.
- Reset the WiFi. Turn the drone on, hold the button until its flashing yellow rapidly.
- Then press and hold the power button again for 5-8 seconds until the LEDs start flashing again.
- When you have done those steps reconnect after it has finished auto rebooting.
Phantom 4/ Phantom 4 Pro/ Phantom 4 Advanced fix
Here are some brief steps to follow to fix the connectivity issues you may have for any of the DJI Phantom drones.
- Select the 3 dots at the top of your device screen that represents the menu icon.
- You are then going to press the remote control icon.
- At the bottom, there is a button that says “linking RC.” You need to press this button.
- You will then hear a couple of beeps and when it is done beeping you will have to get a toothpick or pin and press the button by the LED down.
- Pressing that will help you sync to the drone.
Reset Phantom controllers fix
- Turn off the remote controller.
- Press the C1, C2, Record, and the Camera settings all at the same time.
- Hold these for about 2 seconds.
- When you have done that turn on the remote.
- When you turn the remote on you will see the LED turn blue.
- This means the controller has been reset.
Mavic Pro disconnecting mid flight
When your drone goes from flying high in the sky without a problem and then suddenly disconnecting from the remote controller or smartphone would definitely shock you when it happens the first time.
Here are some of the reasons why it may be disconnecting:
- The USB cable connecting your device to the remote control might not be connected properly and that causes the loss of vision.
- Not being logged on to the DJI GO app could cause the connection to cut out mid-flight.
- A damaged USB port on the phone or tablet could cause connection issues.
- Another reason why the visual cuts out during flight that a lot of pilots have come to experience is because of a faulty SD Card. A lot of pilots have started removing the SD card in order to get rid of this issue.
- On many occasions, the connection issues are caused by an issue with the phone or tablet being used to fly the drone.
- The cache files in the DJI GO 4 app can fill up quickly and they might even become corrupt. This can cause connection issues between the device and the drone.
- You may not be aware of it but the remote controller might be the issue. The ports and cables may be dirty or the antenna might be facing the wrong direction.
If your Mavic disconnects to the DJI GO app but you can still fly the drone using the RC controller you still need to know what to do so you can restore your video connection again.
But remember, when this happens, the Mavic has a ‘return to home’ feature that allows the drone to return to the point it took off from if it loses connection from the GO app or the controller.