DJI Inspire 2 remote control wont charge: Fixed!
DJI Inspire 2 remote control wont charge: fixed!
I let my DJI Inspire 2 remote control for 6 months without using it. That was the biggest mistake ever! When I turned back on; only the last white led was rapidly blinking with the alert beep asking for a full charge. The status LED was on. It was a bit a surprise cause all the other batteries for my DJI Inspire 2 were only half depleted.
It got worst when I plugged the DJI charger. I discover a new embarrassing problem; my DJI Inspire 2 remote control wont charge anymore. When powered off, the first white LED is blinking at fast pace for a while and turn off. The DJI Inspire 2 remote control charger is not even warm.
One day prior to my assignment, that’s a big problem. And I guess another warning that you need to to not trust so much these DJI toys.
Open your DJI Inspire 2 remote control.
First, remove the HDMI cover protected by 4 screw. You will need to unplug the 3 connections. Take a picture step by step if you are not so sure how to put all back. The 2 little ribbon on the side can be removed easily with a tweezers as there is a extra ribbon to hold on. Remove the 3 screws and move a bit the full HDMI board to access the last large ribbon on the bottom. This ribbon is a bit long, so you can lift it for about 2 extra cm.
When you will put back, make sure the white line is parallel to the connector.
The 4 next screws are under the rubber feet and handle. You still have a top and bottom clip, but super easy to get inside. To click it back later, you just push the plastic on top of it until the click.
The internal battery did look wrong but I unplug and plug it again to check connectivity problem.
Checking why my DJI Inspire 2 remote control wont charge: charger or battery?
As you would imagine, when a something wont charge, you could suspect the charger or the battery at first.
The charger was quickly put off the possibles as it was able to charge the other DJI Inspire 2 battery and CrystalSky. I check how to open the DJI Inspire 2 RC and it’s quite easy with a bit of attention.
When I measure the battery, I was surprise to see that it was supposed to be half full and not empty.
So, as the voltage is the same as most of my camera batteries, I did a simple test to plug it directly to a Sony battery charger, kept it this way for one hour.
I measured again and could see it was actually able to charge. I put back the battery in the DJI Inspire 2 remote control and got the same wont charge stressful situation.
In case this was not working, you could easy order a similar one by just using the reference number on it: LC 1650120. It’s about 15 USD without shipping. I actually ordered a new one as backup and so got a brand new one in my DJI Inspire 2 RC for now.
DJI Inspire 2 remote control wont charge: The Internet.
With all the basic test done, It was time to look for help. Either a firmware issue or a way to reset this charging sequence.
When I searched online if this issue was common and I was stunned to see so many DJI customers experimenting the same problem. All the links I found were with the Phantom or Inspire 1, so I couldn’t verify the accuracy of my issue. Also, I could assume that DJI would have fixed this as the Phantom and DJI Inspire 2 remote control are based in a complete different board. Wrong!
There are so many posts all over internet about a DJI remote control wont charge that it was even hard to find a clear way to fix it.
Just wait and see?
Some people suggested that a long time without use could have put the battery to a too low level and the battery was sleeping. It may needed few hours to resume charging. That did not make too much sense, but I decided to give a try. Usually, when a DJI Inspire 2 remote control wont charge, the first white LED is blinking for 10 seconds and turn off to let you know that something was wrong. But in my case; the first white LED kept blinking forever. I let this situation for 2 hours and finally the LED turned off. I’m not sure what happens during these 2 hours, but the sleep idea did not worked.
After that, each time I was to plug again the charger, the led blinked for 10 seconds before turning off. So it was a no go.
DJI Inspire 2 remote control wont charge: Firmware issue.
As it was a weird situation where charger and battery where just doing fine but still the DJI Inspire 2 remote control wont charge, I have to assume the board was either fried or a firmware was doing something funny with my investment. But how update a firmware without battery full?
I found something interesting about a sequence of button to let you start the DJI Inspire 2 remote control even without battery. With the DJI Inspire 2 remote control charger plugged, and the DJI Inspire 2 remote control turned off and no led on; press the C2 button and keep it pressed. Press the shutter button and keep it pressed and try to turn on the DJI Inspire 2 remote control. You may need to do this many time until it turn on. With surprised, the remote start up perfectly. The status LED is cyan this time. You can connect your CrystalSky and do firmware update. Do not disconnect the DJI Inspire 2 remote control charger, of course. I turned the full thing off and restart this sequence again and the firmware update resume from 85%. I neede to do this 3 time before I could see the nice welcome message telling me all went well.
On another tentative, it was C1 instead of C2. (it may depends on the firmware version you have)
But my DJI Inspire 2 remote control still wont charge. So it was not a firmware issue.
The final answer: Soldering reflow.
This is one of the craziest DIY idea I could read online. With so many DJI angry customers claiming that it worked; I have to give a try. Clearly, this is the last thing to do when all others ways are not working. You can clearly do something wrong there, so I would let you read more about the proper way to do so.
Here are the screw and connectors to be removed.
Basically, it suggests that some components are not properly solder on the main board at DJI production line. You need to reheat the solder flux to get this fixed. This idea is actually quite simple to do with the right tool. Here are the area that worked for me this time.
Tools to soldering reflow the DJI Inspire 2 remote board.
Without the right tool, there is no way to make it happen. You will need some precision screwdriver and a real heat gun. You don’t need to go for the most expensive one, but the one claiming they make it happened with a simple hair dryer are not to be trusted. Mine is a Yihua 8858 with a maybe 6mm diameter buses.
The temperature I pick up was 300 degrees Celsius; hovering 1 cm in top of some components and staying not more than one second at the same place. Of course, you will need to remove all plastic component, so you will have to remove all connection and put the board on a surface far from any inflammable product. It’s always easy to go one step at the time instead of burning the board cause you stay too long at one location. You will need a bit of time at the end to let it cool down before plugin all back together.
As I was not able to find any help on the DJI Inspire 2 remote board, I have looked for the similar component that put trouble on the DJI phantom or Inspire 1. There is a little square IC that you should pick up first and give him a bit of heat.
How long the DJI remote fix will last?
I actually have serious doubt about this re-flow technique. After 6 months of storage; even if the battery was not depleted, my DJI Inspire 2 remote started again to act the same way.
Only one LED rapidly blinking and the DJI Inspire 2 crying that it don’t have enough power. Plugin the charge will just do nothing.
I run the basic testing to check and battery is about 60%.
I have tried to do firmware update one more time with new version. The firmware update worked as I plugged the charger and use the C2 + Shutter button to start it up. But the remote was back to last year bricked. I have opened again, reheat again the same chip and it charge perfectly now.
This second reflow let me think it’s more complicated than just a soldering issue. How come this chip need heat to work?
So it maybe a heat protection that pop up time to time and the re-flow process is resetting something.
DJI as a brand for professional work? just no!
DJI have been leading the drone industry on the past years despite a really annoying business mode. They release products at a very fast pace that are not ready for the market. They don’t do the test part on their side, but ask customers to provide a complete log of each of your moves, so they can trace later the possible mistakes on their own design.
Their clients are the beta testers, but still pay full price when buying a product. They designed a “care” service which basically cover everything that can happen to your DJI drone without too many questions asked. So when their software fail and you loose your drone; you will have a new one for free. It may seems fine at first as you will not loose you complete investment, but it’s also a very weak product that can fail in so many ways cause there is no reliability needed on the sale part. This is acceptable for hobbyist but clearly not in a professional environment. I could not imaging my camera unable to start because the main board needed a soldering reflow. This is ridiculous situation. Of course, I could buy a new controller, but it’s 10 time or more the price of a solder air gun.
Also, it do not include the money you lost on the spot or the people you endanger with a failing UAV. So, when flying a DJI drone; the maximum security around your flight path should be respected. DJI drone are not reliable: period. DJI care plan is great during the time it’s active; after that, your repair cost exceed the brand new price.
Here is also a way to add a crystal sky AND a preview monitor on your DJI Remote controller.