Drone Controller Keeps Beeping (Why & How to Fix it)


My Drone Controller Keeps Beeping (Why & How to Fix it)

Things seem to be going along well with learning the ins and outs of this whole drone thing when suddenly the remote controller starts up a constant beeping sound. The last thing you want is to ignore an alert, in case that might end up in an unfortunate malfunction of the drone, causing a crash or damage to the drone. So how can you figure out what the beeping means, and resolve the issue behind it?

In general, the most common reasons for a continual beeping sound coming from your controller is due to a low battery, joystick misalignment, or a firmware issue. To resolve these issues, check your battery charge level, calibrate your controller, or perform a firmware update or rollback. 

Let’s look in-depth at the most common causes of a continual beeping sound coming from your controller. In most cases, the beeping is an alert signaling an issue that needs to be fixed, so we’ll also look at how to resolve the issues behind the beeping.

1. Start-up or Shut-down Chime

Just to make sure there’s no confusion on this point, the controller will generally make a series of beeping sounds when it is initially turned on, and then again when it is turned off. These beeping sounds are not continuous or incessant, and can more accurately be described as a chime. The exact tone or pattern of the start-up and shut-down chime sequence will depend upon the drone model. 

This beeping sound is not an alert of an issue that needs to be resolved, so there’s no action required to fix it. 

2. Low battery alert

One of the most common reasons that the controller will emit a continuous beeping sound is due to a low battery. This low battery alert will most likely be telling you that the drone has a dangerously low battery level, but it could also be an alert that the controller battery itself is running out of charge. 

On most DJI drone controllers, the controller will beep continuously when the battery is at 20% charge or less. Other manufacturer models may have the controller start beeping at different low-charge levels. 

It’s a good idea not to drain the battery much lower than this, as you can risk damage to your LiPo or Lithium-Ion battery. 

While some drone controllers will allow you to silence the low battery alert, you run the risk of draining your battery too low, which can compromise the lifespan of your battery. Read more here for additional warnings and tips » 

How to fix it:

When you hear the controller beep the low battery warning, you are well-advised to hit the return to home button or bring the drone back to a safe landing manually. 

3. Return to Home activated

If you’ve ignored the initial low battery alerts, eventually your drone battery will get to a critically low level. If you have a DJI drone, at this point the drone will automatically initiate the Return to Home failsafe so that it doesn’t crash. 

Or perhaps you’ve pushed the Return to Home button for another reason altogether. Either way, while your drone is flying back on an automatic course to its initial take-off point (or other preset “home” location), the controller will beep continuously while the drone is in transit. This is to alert you that an automatic flight feature is in place and to be on the lookout for the returning drone.

How to fix it:

If the Return to Home features has been activated, it’s a good idea to head back to the starting take-off point, if you’re not already there. You want to be nearby to pick up your drone immediately after it lands, especially if it has a critically low battery. The controller will stop beeping once the drone has successfully landed. 

On DJI drones, if you accidentally hit the return to home button, and don’t actually want the drone to land yet, you can cancel the return to home by doing another quick press on the return to home button on the controller, or by cancelling it on the app screen. This will cancel the drone’s return to home, and allow you to resume control of the drone’s flight. 

4. Obstacle avoidance alert

If your drone is equipped with obstacle avoidance technology, the controller will generally emit a continuous beeping sound when the drone encounters an obstacle in its flight path. This is true of DJI drones, and many others as well. 

When the obstacle avoidance sensors detect an object or obstacle in the way of the drone, whether it be trees, buildings, people, etc. the drone will pause in its flight so as to avoid damage to the drone and the obstructing object. To alert the operator that the drone is not following the commanded flight path, but has stopped due to an obstacle, the controller will beep continuously in a fast beeping pattern.

How to fix it:

To get the controller to stop beeping if the alert is due to an obstacle, the simplest thing to do is simply fly the drone away from or around the obstacle in the drone’s flight path. Once the drone has moved away from the obstacle, the controller will stop beeping.

Another option here, if you think the obstacle avoidance sensor is being overly sensitive or you want to get closer to something than the sensors will allow you, you can often turn off the obstacle avoidance feature by switching into sport mode or manual mode. If you choose to do this, just remember that avoiding a crash is now entirely in your own hands. 

5. Dropped controller

Let’s be honest, this has happened to almost all of us! The controller just slips out of your hands and lands on the ground. If you’re lucky, it’s over grass, and no damage is sustained. But just because the controller is not damaged by a fall, doesn’t mean that things just go on as usual without a little TLC. 

A controller that has been dropped will almost always be thrown out of calibration in one area or another from the sudden jolt of landing on the ground. It could be that the joysticks are now miscalibrated, or the pairing connection with the drone was interrupted. If any of these types of errors have occurred with the controller, it will emit a continuous beeping sound until the issue is resolved. 

How to fix it:

If you’ve dropped your controller and it is now beeping incessantly, the first thing to try recalibrating it (see more on how to do this below). If that doesn’t stop the beeping, try reconnecting (re-pairing) the controller with the drone (more on this below also).

If neither of these fixes stops the controller from beeping, it’s either another reason altogether, or it’s also possible that the controller was damaged by the drop more than appearances seem to show. In this case, a new controller might be required. 

6. Joystick miscalibration

When you turn on your controller, you may hear a continuous beeping sound if the joysticks are not perfectly centered. When not engaged, each joystick should automatically return to center to allow the drone to hover steadily. If one or the other is off-center just a bit, the controller will beep to alert you that you need to recalibrate the joysticks. 

How to fix it: 

To calibrate a DJI remote controller (and many other brands as well), simply follow these steps:

  • Go to the settings section of your controller app
  • With your smartphone or tablet connected to your controller, power on the controller (make sure your drone is not powered on – the controller will not calibrate with the aircraft on)
  • Find and select the controller icon in the settings menu
  • Select the controller calibration option, then follow the instructions on-screen to complete the calibration

The entire process of calibrating your controller should take just a few minutes, and unless the joysticks are malfunctioning or obstructed by debris or grime, this should resolve the issue of misaligned or miscalibrated joysticks. This should also stop the beeping sound from your controller, if this was the cause. 

7. Pairing or connection issue

If you’ve just gotten a new drone or controller that were not previously paired, they may not automatically connect right away. An unpaired controller will beep to let you know that it is ready to connect and looking for an aircraft to connect to. In some cases a drone that has gone out of range with its controller will also have to be manually re-paired, although usually not with a DJI drone. 

Or the case may be that you’re mid-flight and your controller suddenly starts beeping continuously, which may indicate that the drone is nearing its range limit, or has in fact gone out of range and the connection is lost. 

How to fix it:

In the case of a drone and controller that need to be paired, you can do this by following these steps:

  • Power on the drone
  • Power on the controller
  • On your smartphone, turn off all other wifi networks, and connect to the drone’s signal
  • Open the flight app on your phone to complete any further setup steps.

Learn more about the reasons why your drone and controller might be having trouble pairing and how to fix the issues by reading our article on the topic »

If the controller is beeping while your drone is in flight, check to make sure your drone hasn’t gone out of range. If it has, a DJI drone will automatically return to home, so just stay put and wait for the drone to come back to you. 

If you have another drone model, you may have to head off in the direction the drone went in hopes that you can catch up with it and get back within range to regain your connection. When you do regain your connection with the drone, the controller will stop beeping. 

Sometimes the controller will drop the connection with the drone while in flight, even though the drone is still well within the range of the controller. For more ideas on why your drone keeps disconnecting from your controller, read our article here » 

8. Stuck button

Another reason your controller may be beeping continually is if one of the buttons on the controller is stuck. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but the most common cause is debris or dirt jamming the button down. This can happen if the controller has been dropped on the ground, or simply through continual use. 

How to fix it:

The best way to try to unstick a stuck button is to run a blunt object around the rim of the button to loosen the grime holding it down. Something like your fingernail or a ball point pen could work well. Or a set of tweezers. Just be careful not to get your object down too far down under the rim of the button. You don’t want to end up damaging the inner workings, or the button itself. 

If none of these methods loosen the button, you can try using a miniscule amount of rubbing alcohol to dissolve gooey grime. Put a dab on the end of a cotton swab, and run that around the edge of the button. Again, be very careful not to overdo it, because the last thing you want is the isopropyl dripping into the electrical components under the cover of the controller. 

In some cases the button may be broken or defective, and unfortunately in these cases, you’ll most likely have to get the controller professionally repaired, or else get a replacement. 

9. Firmware update issue

As I’m sure you know, your drone must have occassional firmware updates to continue operating at its best. If there is a critical update ready for your drone, your controller may beep continuously, letting you know that you must perform the update before you can continue with your flight. This may also be true of firmware updates that are ready for the controller itself. 

Firmware updates are meant to improve the flight experience and performance of the drone, but in some cases there are issues with a new firmware release that lead to the controller beeping an alert. If you’ve just performed an update and are suddenly faced with a controller that won’t stop beeping, you may need to roll back to your previous firmware version. 

How to fix it:

If your controller is beeping because it or the drone needs a firmware update, it should be fairly evident with a notice also popping up on the screen of the flight companion app or controller screen. Simply follow the instructions on screen to complete the update. 

If there is no alert on screen about a firmware update but you want to check if one is available, in your app go to check on the aircraft status. Here you should see an alert about any required controller or aircraft firmware updates. 

Note: You usually need to have a good internet connection to perform firmware updates, so you may have to go back to a wifi-connected location, or set up a mobile hotspot on your phone to complete the update. 

If the problem is with a newly updated firmware version and you want to revert back to the previous one, you can do this by tapping and holding on the settings icon. The current firmware version should be displayed, along with some buttons to either refresh or downgrade the firmware version. Select downgrade to revert to the previous version, and see if that stops the beeping.  

Why is my DJI Controller beeping while charging?

If you’re hearing a beeping noise from your controller while it is charging, things are not all as they should be.

One reason it may be beeping is if the controller was left on rather than powered down before charging. The controller should be turned off during charging. Or it could be that your controller is in bind mode. When it’s in bind mode, the controller will beep to indicate that it is ready to connect or pair with a drone. 

To put the controller in bind mode, with the controller on, you press and hold the power button for 5 seconds or more. The controller will start beeping to let you know it is ready to be paired with an aircraft. Be careful not to put the controller in bind mode instead of powering it down. 

To power down your DJI remote, quick press on the power button, then immediately press and hold the power button until the controller powers off. If you have accidentally put the controller in bind mode, you can simply power it down as normal, or wait for 20 seconds or more for the bind mode to time out. 

Once you have properly powered down your controller, it should no longer beep during charging. 

How do I reset my DJI controller? 

If you’ve tried everything and the controller just simply won’t quit beeping, a hard reset may be in order. This should absolutely be the last resort, as it wil reset all your data, and will also require that you reconnect your controller to your drone after the controller has been reset. 

If you’ve come to last resorts, you can reset your controller by using a paper clip or fine-tip pen to press the small, deeply recessed reset button. The exact location of the manual reset button will depend on your controller model, but will generally be located on the back or side of the remote. It could also possibly be near the power switch or the battery release port. Consult your user manual to locate the exact location of the reset button on your controller. 

Once your controller has successfully reset, power it on and follow the instructions above to re-connect it with your drone. 

Conclusion

Important to pay attention to the beeping sounds that come from your controller, as they are often an alert about an action you need to perform to keep your drone or controller operating properly. Whether it’s a DJI FPV controller, a Mavic 2, a DJI Mini 2 or any other DJI drone, or even if it’s another controller from a different manufacturer altogether, the fixes listed above should provide you with the information you need to understand why your controller is beeping, and how to deal with any issues that need to be resolved.  

Elizabeth Ciobanu

Editor-in-Chief. Elizabeth is a full-time (homeschooling!) mom of four, and serial entrepreneur in a variety of enterprises, one of which is producing content for Droneblog. If free time existed, she would love to spend more time on hobbies such as flying a drone.

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