It’s a breathtaking moment when the drone keeps disconnecting from the controller during the flight and sometimes it can go horribly wrong. So if you are facing or you suspect that your drone might have this issue, you better give your attention to the problem. I was also wondering about this issue and sought reasons for the drone to keep disconnecting from the controller and how to fix it and decided to write an article about the issue on thedronestop. I hope this article will help to solve your issue.
Why drone keeps disconnecting from the controller?
In most cases, the drone keeps disconnecting from the controller due to crowded signals and lack of GPS signals. Also having outdated firmware or firmware glitches would lead the drone to keep disconnecting from the drone.
Reason 1: Exceeding drone’s flight range.
Drones these days have impressive flight ranges like 700ft. So pilots are courageous to exceed their limits and fly drones far. If you are facing this issue when you are flying the drone far from the controller, this would be why the drone keeps disconnecting from the controller.
When you are flying a drone away from the drone it becomes challenging for the drone to receive radio signals. Also, you risk the chance of losing the connection. It’s always ok to fly and experiment in the mid-range of its range. So have fun while staying in the recommended drone range every time.
Reason 2: High level of electromagnetic interference.
Electromagnetic environments can cause loosing the connection between the drone and the controller. Especially near the power lines and power towers. You can expect this kind of situation when flying in urban areas where the many power lines are carried through. That’s why you are always advised to fly the drone in open wide areas.
Reason 3: Crowded or poor signals.
These days, radio signals are used for many communication purposes. Also, we are surrounded by electronics that require radio signals to work properly. So we are always surrounded by different frequencies of radio signals. The drone is another electronic device we use to communicate with radio signals.
As I mentioned before there are many electronics that works with radio signals and also there are many frequencies of radio signals. So if you are using crowded or poor frequency radio signals you may expect this kind of situation.
Reason 4: Lack of GPS signals.
If you are flying in beginners mode you need to have sufficient GPS signals to connect and take off the drone. I have written an article about why drones won’t connect to GPS. If you are having that issue read it and fix it. If you are in situations or places where the drone can’t receive sufficient GPS signals the drone won’t take off. Actually, that’s ok. But when the drone loses GPS signals during the flight, it would disconnect from the drone or some drones would change its flight mode. So if you are a beginner and fly in GPS mode, you better focus on whether the drone is receiving better GPS signals.
Reason 5: Outdated firmware or firmware glitches.
The firmware of the drone as a software, manages many drone’s actions. Those firmwares keep updating day to day with fixing previous bugs and unlocking latest features. So if you have an old version of firmware in your drone it might not be valid with present updates. So if you have outdated firmware update your controllers and drones firmware to the latest version. Also, be sure to update the firmware whenever you are informed new firmware is released.
Reason 6: Damaged connectors and cables.
Modern drones require a phone or tablet for access to live view and experience and control of important features. So you have to use a USB cable to connect the smartphone to the controller. So the cable transmits vital software information that would enable the communication between the controller and the phone, and from the phone to the drone. If that USB cable is damaged in some way, it won’t be able to connect securely to the phone. So the software may make the mistake of losing connection for weak signals.
Reason 7: Folded Antennas or they are facing the wrong direction.
I’m sure you are not keeping the controllers’ antennas folded but it’s worth mentioning. If you do, unfold them. The next thing I’m going to tell you is also quite mind-blowing. I also did not know about it.
Radio signals coming out from the side of the antenna, not from the end of it. Have you ever heard of it? I didn’t. So if you are pointing the antennas to the drone face the sides of the antennas towards the drone.
Reason 8: Low battery level in the drone or the controller.
A sufficient battery level is essential for communicating radio signals between the drone and the controller. The controller needs to be sufficiently charged to send radio signals. Also, the drone needs to receive those signals. That’s why drones are forced to land at low battery levels and won’t take off.
Fixes to drone keeps disconnecting from the controller during flight
Biggest Success: Change the frequency of radio signals.
Going through many ways to fix the issue, this one is the most successful way of solving the issue. Many pilots were able to solve the issue by changing the frequency of the radio signals between the drone and controller and they recommended it.
As I mentioned before, because of many uses of radio signals, many radio channels become so crowded. Especially channels like 2.4 GHz which most drones use by default. So you can solve the issue by switching the Wifi networks from 2.4 GHz to upper channels. Those upper channels are less crowded and transfer data fast. But the range is a little bit lower than 2.4 GHz.
How to change Drone’s Wifi Frequency.
- Turn on the controller and the drone.
- Connect the controller to the phone.
- Open the Drone’s app (DJI GO, FreeFlight).
- Go to the “Wifi Settings” section of the app.
- Change channel mode 2.4 GHz to desired channel mode.
Charge batteries fully before the flight.
This would look like not helping the issue, but it does. Charging both drone’s and the controller’s will definitely certify a stronger connection. At least charge them above 50% before flying the drone. Also keep your phone battery levels sufficient. I have heard some stories where the phone connects to the controller, instead of connecting it the phone starts to charge from the controller.
Update firmware of the drone and controller.
As I mentioned before, if you have outdated firmware of your drone, update the drone and the controller’s firmware to the latest version. When you are updating firmware, besure to update both controller and drone’s firmware to the same version of firmware.
If you are facing this issue after updating, the current firmware might be the issue. Refresh the firmware again and try again. If it’s still disconnecting, revert the firmware to the previous version.
Factory reset the controller and drone.
Because the current controller or drone settings could cause this issue, it’s better to reset the controller and drone setting to the default settings by factory resetting the controller and drone.
Update mobile application.
Having an older version of mobile application would not be capable of updated operations. So if there is a new update released uninstall the existing app, and download and install the app from the manufacturer’s site.
Try connecting with another phone or tablet.
I have heard some stories that switching the phone or tab can fix the issue. I think some devices are not compatible with those operations. If you have another phone or tablet, install the app to the device and try connecting to the controller again.
Face sides of antennas toward the drone.
If you keep trying to control the drone by pointing the ends of antennas at the drone, try the fact I said before. Instead of pointing, the ends of the antenna face the sides of the antenna toward the drone.
Replace the USB cable.
USB cables can be fragile, and it’s hard to tell if they are working or not without trying them on different devices. If your USB cable is not working properly you would have to replace it. When buying a new USB cable be sure to buy a data+charge type cable because there are charge-only cables.