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How to Pair the DJI RC Pro Controller with DJI Drone (Step-by-Step Guide)

7 mins
Drone Blog
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The DJI RC Pro Controller is everything you could hope to find in a controller right now. From the built-in screen to the increased video transmission range and improved processor, the RC Pro Controller really does have it all. Well, almost, as there’s always room for improvement.

The 1000 nit screen is of course the RC pro’s best feature and one that drone pilots are starting to see more and more of – built-in screens and high NIT counts.

Hold on, what is a NIT?

A NIT is a unit of measurement that describes the brightness of a display. The higher the number the brighter the screen.

Either way, we asked for it and we’re getting it. It would seem these manufacturers have heard us and are doing what they can to meet our needs.

No longer do you have to worry about updating your phone or tablet just to find it won’t work with your drone system and have to await a new firmware update at some point that includes your new device.

With a built-in screen, those worries are over.

The RC Pro’s nicest improvement is in the control sticks. It’s easy to overlook the control sticks on any controller, although without them you wouldn’t be flying.

The DJI RC Pro uses the same control stick design as the DJI FPV system, allowing for more precise maneuvering, and fluid operation, giving you better shot composition. The moment you get into the air, you will notice this difference.

Being able to use third-party apps out of the box is also a major improvement. Flyers who use Litchi, Pix4D, Drone Deploy, or any third-party flying app can tell you that compatibility isn’t always there right away with a new product.

Sometimes you have to wait months for such compatibility to become available. After all the Fly App is good. It can’t, however, do some things that you’re going to want or need to do and only a third-party app like those mentioned above are necessary for some of the work you may be performing.

As to compatibility, the RC Pro can be difficult to pair or link sometimes and is currently limited to only the Mavic 3 and the Air 2S.

Below you will find the method to use for pairing or linking your aircraft to the RC Pro controller.

There are two methods that you can use to go about linking or pairing your craft to the RC Pro.

One is for pairing the aircraft without the use of an app and the other is for pairing or linking the aircraft to the controller through the DJI Fly App.

Pairing/Linking Aircraft to RC Pro Controller #

Without the Fly App: #

  1. Power on the remote controller and the aircraft.
  2. Press the C1, C2, and record buttons simultaneously until the status LED blinks blue and the remote controller beeps.
  3. Press and hold the power button of the aircraft for more than four seconds. The aircraft beeps once to indicate it is ready to link. The aircraft beeps twice to indicate linking is successful. The battery level LEDs of the remote controller will glow solid.

With the Fly App #

  1. Power on the remote controller and the aircraft.
  2. Launch the DJI Fly app.
  3. In camera view, tap the control setting ellipsis (…) and select Control and Pair to Aircraft (Link).
  4. Press and hold the power button of the aircraft for more than four seconds. The aircraft beeps once indicating it is ready to link. The aircraft beeps twice indicating linking is successful. The battery level LEDs of the remote controller will glow solid.

Troubleshooting #

One of the reasons you may be having difficulty in pairing or linking your aircraft and controller together could be that the two devices (aircraft and controller) need to be within 1.6ft. (0.5m) from one another when linking or pairing.

When linking the drone and controller, try to make sure they are sitting right beside each other.

Another reason for difficulties could be that you are not logged in to your DJI account or perhaps you do not have an active internet source.

You will need to be signed in and online when pairing/linking the aircraft and the RC Pro controller together.

DJI Drone System Compatibility #

If you’re thinking of picking the RC Pro Controller up, you should be aware of its current limited capacity. The RC Pro is currently only compatible with the New DJI Mavic 3 systems and the DJI Air 2S.

I reached out to DJI on this issue, as most of us might be flying something other than the two above systems, and well, who wouldn’t want to have this controller?

After waiting a while, (they’re always really busy) I was able to speak to someone who really didn’t commit to anything solid. They just stated that more models will be made available through firmware updates.

Pretty much the standard line listed on their website. Nothing as to when or what models that may be. Upcoming Inspire 3 perhaps? So, we’re left in a bit of a holding pattern on that question.

It is very possible that the RC Pro will only ever be able to operate on the newest DJI systems that are using the new 03+ Video Transmission system.

This could mean that the brand new Mini 3 will work at some point very soon but does not currently. Older Mavic 2s and such will not. It’s one of those wait-and-see sorts of things.

But the writing is all over the wall – the RC Pro will probably only work with systems having the 03+. There will be no backward compatibility.

Smart Controller VS. RC Pro #

If you just read the above and are like – why, why DJI, I would gladly drop the Robert De Niros on that controller if it worked for my current drone system!?

Well, before the RC Pro was introduced, we were provided a controller that works with systems equipped with OccuSync 2.0.

DJI’s Smart Controller #

The Smart Controller is compatible with those older systems such as the:

  • DJI Mini 2
  • DJI Air
  • Mavic 2 Zoom
  • Mavic 2 Pro
  • Mavic 2 Enterprise Series
  • Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced
  • Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

These systems are all compatible with the Smart Controller. With that in mind, it makes the above easier to understand.

Different transmission systems require different controllers. If you want to have a similar experience and the ease of having a built-in screen, the Smart Controller, although not the same as the RC Pro, will be as close as you are able to get.

The DJI Smart Controller will be the controller you’re interested in if you’re flying these older systems.

As stated above, there will most likely never be any backward compatibility in these controllers, as they are both running different transmission systems.

Are you bummed out about that? Yeah me too! The DJI smart controller however is a quality controller and offers many of the functions and features found in the RC Pro Controller, being an earlier version of it.

The RC Pro is more refined than the Smart Controller sure, however, the smart controller is well worth its cost, and the benefits of upgrading from the stock controller will leave you impressed.

Being roughly in the same price range, it would seem that DJI knew all along that they would not be making the RC Pro available for older systems which is the reason for having both controllers available at pretty much the same price.

Recommendations #

Would I recommend the RC Pro controller? Well, yes! If you have the Air 2S or any of the Mavic 3s, you will not only want this controller but will have a better flying experience with it.

Many of us use large screen tablets when flying. The RC Pro controller is limited in its screen size sure, at only 5.5″.

Having that 1000 NIT screen though equals out the screen size difference nicely. The ability to see the screen even in bright sunshine is just something a tablet or phone wasn’t designed to do.

That alone is a good reason for having this controller. The increased range and better video transmission system are just an added bonus.

Would I recommend the DJI Smart Controller? Once again, yes, and for many of the same reasons that I would recommend the DJI RC Pro.

If you’re flying any of the systems that it is compatible with, you will improve your flying experience with either of these controllers.

Just keep in mind the compatibility of the controller you’re looking for so you don’t make a costly mistake in ordering the wrong one for your drone system.

Fly Safe, Fly Always, Always Fly Safe!


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