Smart Controller Won’t Charge or Turn on

A lot of people seem to have this problem where their DJI smart controller won’t charge and won’t turn on, nonetheless, DJI has not come up with any clear answer to why that is happening, so I thought I could curate some possible explanations why that is happening and how you can fix it.

So Why is Your smart controller not charging/not turning on and How do You Fix it?

If your smart controller doesn’t seem to charge or turn on it is recommended you give it at least 3-4 hours and try to use a charger rated 12 V/2 A, if that doesn’t seem to fix the problem connect the controller to a charger while holding the power button and the custom buttons underneath the antenna for 20 seconds.

However that does not always fix the issue because there are other possible software and hardware issues and it can be hard to ascertain which is causing the issue, Here are some things that might be causing it-

  • Using unsupported power cable or brick
  • Hibernation mode
  • Faulty battery
  • A faulty Hardware inside the drone, like a loose wire.
  • A software problem that can be fixed with a firmware refresh, which is not easy to do because you can’t turn the drone on in the first place

1. Running a beta firmware

One of the common thing with most smart controllers that are not turning on is they were running a beta firmware, so if that is your problem you have two choices the first is trying to leave the drone plugged in for a long period of time to get it out of hibernation mode to refresh the firmware which I will talk about in the next section or your second choice is to send it to DJI to get it professionally looked

2. Give it time to get out of hibernation mode

Generally, batteries can’t hold a charge if not used and that can decrease their life span, to avoid this problem, DJI introduced hibernation mode, So when your smart controller is not used for some time It will go to hibernation mode, or different components of the battery to “sleep” to protect the battery from the free flow of charge, which might be why your smart controller doesn’t seem like it is charging.

This is also quite common when the smart controller is still new and hasn’t been charged up yet they are most likely in hibernation mode and that makes people think they received a faulty battery.

Getting your battery out of hibernation mode doesn’t require much energy it just needs patience-

  1. press the power button.
  2. Plug it into your DJI charger.
  3. The battery will eventually come out of hibernation mode without you needing to do anything, it can take hours.

3. Change the charging brick

To get the battery out of hibernation mode you might need more power than usual so if you are not using the charger that came with the drone that can be the issue.

It is better if you use DJI approved charger for this because there is no guarantee that any third-party or phone charger can kick the battery out of hibernation. you can use your iPhone charging brick to charge your drone but to get it out of hibernation mode you might need more power than usual.

The DJI Smart Controller supports USB power adapters rated 12 V/2 A.

4. Faulty charger

If you are not successful with the previous steps you might have a faulty charger, so we need to check and see is if your charger is broken.

  • Plug the charger into a wall socket that you know is working, try plugging your phone to check it is working.
  • if the brick is working the smart controller should be flashing indicating it is getting power input.

Another great way to check if a charger is dead is by using a voltage tester. If there is no voltage, then you’re dealing with a dead battery.

5. Dead battery

Battery damage can be caused by age, physical damage, or poor battery maintenance and it might be time to buy another battery

There is no official way to check if your battery is dead except when you turn it on if it doesn’t flash red that means the battery is dead but even then you can be sure.

But if the battery has had a short life for the past weeks or if it discharges randomly it was a sign it is old and needs to be changed.

6. Refresh the batteries firmware

So if you can somehow get the battery out of hibernation and charge it to 30% you should defiantly do a firmware refresh to prevent this problem in the future

If DJI go tells you to update the battery’s firmware great if not connect the smart controller to DJI assistant and do a firmware refresh with every battery you own.

7. Factory reset the smart controller

If you were able to turn the controller on you defiantly should factory reset it

Factory resetting is really not important if you have already refreshed the firmware, but just in case there is still some error in the software that hasn’t been solved with a firmware refresh.

To reset your smart Controller

  1. Power up the controller
  2. Go to settings
  3. scroll down to factory data reset
  4. click and confirm

Note: After a factory reset you have to calibrate everything again

Final choice

If none of the methods fix it, you might have to send it to DJI, so if the controller is new and you bought it from DJI, they will send you a replacement without any cost.

After you hand it to DJI it can take up to 15 days till fix it and send it to you or send a replacement, and it can take longer if you don’t live in the United States

If you are located in Armenia, you may contact the local dealer or DJI’s support via email to start a case and send the unit back.

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