Released in May of 2022, the DJI Mini 3 Pro was one of the most anticipated drones to be released this year. And now that it’s finally out, it meets all the expectations regarding price, size, features, and ease of use.
Whether you already have it or are planning to get one soon, knowing how to connect it to the controller is paramount since it’s the only way you get to fly it.
So, how do you connect the DJI Mini 3 Pro to the controller?
The process is pretty similar to other DJI drones, both for the RC and RCN1 controllers. The app guides you through the process, which involves clicking “Pair” on the app and long-pressing the drone until there’s a beep.
Please keep reading to learn more about the binding process and how to troubleshoot in case it doesn’t work.
How to Connect DJI Mini 3 Pro to the Controller
Below is a step-by-step process of how to bind your drone with the controller.
- Download the DJI Fly App if you don’t already have it on your mobile device.
- Open the DJI Fly App. If there’s a firmware update, you will be prompted to update it.
- On the lower right section, you should see a button labeled “CONNECTION GUIDE.” Click on it.
- Several drones will appear on the screen. Scroll until you find the DJI Mini 3 Pro.
- Switch on the controller and switch on the drone by pressing their power buttons once and holding for about 2 seconds.
- Since you’re using the latest firmware version of the Fly App, you may be prompted to update the drone and the controller.
- Click on “Pair” on the screen
- Press the drone’s power button at the bottom of the drone and hold it for about 4 seconds until you hear a beep or frequency sound.
- You’ve successfully paired the drone and the controller if you can see the camera’s view on your device.
DJI Mini 3 Pro Not Pairing
There are cases where, even after successfully pairing the first time when activating, a second or third attempt to connect the drone to the controller when out flying may fail.
Below are some ways to troubleshoot and fix this issue.
- Always make sure both the controller and the drone are switched on.
- Remove the drone’s SD card and restart the drone. If the SD card is damaged, it may affect the drone’s performance.
- Set the frequency pairing to App pairing/combined key pairing
- Ensure you have the latest firmware version on both the controller and the drone. If you do, you can also try to refresh the firmware by connecting the drone to DJI Assistant 2. Also, if there’s a new firmware but you didn’t get the prompt to update, you can get the new version from the DJI Assistant 2. All you need to do is install a version of DJI Assistant 2 that’s compatible with the Mini 3 Pro on your PC, connect your controller or drone to the PC, and you should see any available firmware updates.
- If all these don’t work, try contacting DJI.
DJI Mini 3 Pro Lost Connection to the Controller
A loss of the connection between the drone and the controller happens even to the best of us.
You may have accidentally flown behind an obstacle, flown too far from the controller, or flown into an area with a lot of electromagnetic interference.
In case this happens, don’t worry, for the DJI Mini 3 Pro has a failsafe RTH that will automatically fly the drone to the home point or the last known location in case of a connection loss.
That’s why it’s vital that you set the home point correctly every time you take off, which is preceded by ensuring you have enough satellites and a strong GPS connection to ensure the home point registered is accurate.
As the drone is returning home, it might regain the connection with the controller, allowing you to take control of the drone.
If you’re not sure how to update the home point on the DJI Mini 3 Pro, below is how you do it.
- Click on the ellipsis ⋮ (three dots at the top right).
- Click on safety.
- Scroll down to “Update Home Point” and click on it.
- On the popup that appears, you will have the option to set the Home Point to the location of the drone, the location of the controller, or drag the Home Point “Pin” to the desired location.
- Once you are done, click “OK” to save the Home Point.
Auto RTH Altitude
You should also pay attention to the RTH altitude.
By default, once RTH kicks in, the drone will move to a higher pre-set altitude. If you’re flying in areas with lots of obstructions, the drone could end up crashing into them when going to a higher height.
Constantly adjust the altitude based on where you’ll be flying by going to Settings > Safety > Auto RTH Altitude.
As DJI states in the manual, if the connection is lost when the drone is 50 meters or less from the controller, the RTH will be initiated, and it will fly back home at the same altitude.
But if the connection is lost when the drone is more than 50 meters from the controller and it is at a higher altitude than the set altitude, it will not ascend or descend but will fly back home at that altitude.
But if the drone is more than 50 meters from the controller when losing the signal and at a lower altitude than the set altitude, it will ascend, then fly back to the recorded home point.
Obstacle Avoidance during RTH
Obstacle avoidance is another excellent addition that will keep your drone safe if it losses connection with the drone.
DJI has tri-directional obstacle detection. So, if during RTH it senses an obstacle at the front, it will fly backward until it’s sure there are no obstacles, then it will ascend.
The same thing will happen if it senses an obstacle behind it or below it.
Other Connection Loss Settings
The RTH is the most common setting in case the drone loses the connection to the controller.
However, there are two other settings that you can utilize; Descend and Hover.
Hover would be great if you are flying from a moving vehicle or boat, in which case the drone will hover at one location until it regains the connection.
There are rare cases where you could use Descend, such as if you are flying in very high altitudes and would want the drone to descend in case of very strong winds.
But the RTH seems to be the most appropriate setting for most use cases.
Note: Poor GPS or GNSS, No-Fly Zones, and extreme winds will interfere with the RTH, so make sure you check the weather, make sure you fly with a strong GPS connection, ensure the drone’s compass is correctly calibrated, and complete all other necessary pre-flight checks.
DJI Mini 3 Pro Range Issues
There have been several complaints on forums where some drone pilots are experiencing range issues even when flying in optimal conditions.
The Mini 3 Pro is supposed to be an upgrade to the Mini and Mini 2.
Still, for some reason, after conducting range tests, the Mini 3 Pro lost the connection to the controller after flying a few meters (some could only manage 200 meters before losing the connection).
This issue is confusing since, for some pilots, their Mini 3 Pros work just fine.
Besides trying the fixes I mentioned in the Lost Connection section, below are other workarounds that other drone users have suggested.
Regional Limitation Zones
As Air Photography suggests, your drone could be switching between FCC and CE transmission types.
We mentioned various regional limits when discussing DJI Mini 3 Pro’s Range in a previous post.
» MORE: DJI Mini 3 Pro Range
The FCC primarily applies in North America, Canada, Australia, and Colombia, among others.
Conversely, CE applies in the UK, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, UAE, France, and other parts of Europe. Other Regions include the MIC (Japan) and SRRC (China).
Air Photography suggests that for those in North America experiencing range issues, the drone could be switching to CE instead of sticking to FCC.
You can check this by going to Settings > Transmission. If there are 11 channels, your drone is set to FCC, and if there are 13 channels, then you are on CE.
His workaround is to cover the drone when it’s picking up GPS signals to make sure it picks up the signals more slowly, which seemed to work.
Check the Frequency
GAVINHR says that your drone could be switching between 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz.
According to him, 2.4 GHz works best for rural areas without many obstructions, while 5.8 GHz works best in urban areas with several interferences.
GAVINHR argues that the connection issues could result from the drone using 2.4 GHz when you are in an urban area and vice versa.
His workaround is to go to Settings > Transmission, scroll down to frequency, and make sure you are using the correct frequency based on the environment you are flying in.
Another issue could be the antennas are positioned incorrectly. Try to keep them perpendicular to the controller and not pointed towards the drone.
DJI has not given a clear directive about this issue, so we’ll wait to see if and how they’ll fix it. Worst case scenario, all drones with range issues may have to be recalled.
Although at this time it seems that the range issue may have been fixed by recent firmware updates, so make sure you’re all up to date and see if that fixes any issues you may be having.