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Mavic Mini controller not charging
288 9 1-13 19:29
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SuperEngie
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So I recently got my Mavic Mini and its been really good, up until the controller stopped working. I cannot charge it or connect it to my phone. I tried 3 different chargers including the one provided by DJI. When I plug the controller into my computer I get a USB error warning. As of now I am sending it in for repair. That said, I have not seen any other people with this kind of problem, So I felt like I should make a post about it to see if others have had this problem and/or how they solved it plus give a warning to other people thinking of buying a Mavic Mini.
1-13 19:29
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Sigmo
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Something I've learned from 40+ years of electronics troubleshooting is that 95 or more percent of all so-called "electronic" problems are actually bad connections.  This is true even inside of integrated circuits where we've found that when an IC fails, and there was no external source of the damage, the failure is often a failed lead-bond at one of the bond wire welds connecting the die to the lead frame.  Honestly, always suspect connections and connectors first when you're dealing with any electrical/electronic problems.

Anyhow, it's possible that the USB connector on your remote control has a bit of dirt or grit lodged in it, preventing it from mating properly.  Or the contacts are not completely clean.

First, try a few different cables.

My RC doesn't connect well to one my many cables.  I have to hold or prop that cable at the correct angle with respect to the RC's connector to get it to make contact.  Clearly, the contact pins in that cable are recessed somewhat and do not make good contact on their own.

The connector on the RC is a "type A" micro connector.  It's a type A because the RC is a "host" device.  When you look carefully at this connector, you can see that it's not shaped like the usual micro USB connector.  And that makes it a bit tricky to know which orientation to use when mating it with a typical Type B micro USB connector (the usual cable end).  If you have tried to mate it too forcefully in the wrong orientation, that may have damaged the connector on the RC.

Check carefully inside of the RC's connector.  A tiny bit of grit or dirt can get stuck inside and prevent the contacts from being able to mate correctly.  I've had tiny pieces of sand get into the USB connector on my phone on several occasions that prevented me from being able to fully mate the connectors.  It's always hard to get the bit out of the connector.  Heck, it's hard to even see them because everything is so tiny.  But with a very fine piece of piano wire, I've been able to pick the small stones out.  Always be careful mating these tiny connectors.  If it seems like it's taking too much force, there's probably a reason.

And finally, there is a product I've used in one form or another for many years that is extremely good for treating and preserving contacts, and I recommend it over anything else.  This is NOT a contact cleaner in the usual sense.  Most contact cleaners are nothing more than solvents.

This is a contact cleaner and conditioner.  It helps dissolve oxides and it leaves an oily residue behind that coats and protects the contacts.  But it is not a conductor.  It won't create leakage paths across insulators, so you can use it even on high voltage connections.  I've used it on thousands of high voltage connectors, circuit boards, switches, potentiometers, etc., even in photomultiplier tube circuits operating at voltages up to 2000V, and it has never caused any leakage.  And believe me, you'd notice even a minute amount of leakage current in a PMT circuit!

Anyhow, this stuff is amazing.  And I use a TINY amount of it to treat all manner of connectors and contacts.  Use it SPARINGLY.  I use tiny paintbrushes or cotton swabs, etc., to apply it.  But I've also just sprayed it into contacts that I can't reach easily.  If you can, try a bit of this on the suspect connectors.

The main version of this that you can now get easily is called "DeoxIT D5".  It's made by Caig Laboratories.  Read and follow the directions.  This is an offshoot of the original product called "Cramolin Red" that we began using back in the 1970s.  Give it a try.

Your RC might be bad and need to be repaired.  But you may well just have a bad connector that will work if cleaned.

1-13 23:11
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SuperEngie
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Sigmo Posted at 1-13 23:11
Something I've learned from 40+ years of electronics troubleshooting is that 95 or more percent of all so-called "electronic" problems are actually bad connections.  This is true even inside of integrated circuits where we've found that when an IC fails, and there was no external source of the damage, the failure is often a failed lead-bond at one of the bond wire welds connecting the die to the lead frame.  Honestly, always suspect connections and connectors first when you're dealing with any electrical/electronic problems.

Anyhow, it's possible that the USB connector on your remote control has a bit of dirt or grit lodged in it, preventing it from mating properly.  Or the contacts are not completely clean.

So I have tried several different cables on it, but I don’t believe it’s dirt because 2 of the chargers I used have status lights on them. When I plugged in the controller, the status lights turned off and anything else plugged in stopped charging most likely indicating that the charger went into a “safe mode” because it detected a short. Same thing with my computer, it gives me a USB error. If it was dirt then it would just “open the circuit” resulting in the charger doing nothing.
1-14 04:45
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DJI Stephen
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Hello and good day SuperEngie. I am sorry to know that you are having issues with the remote controller of your DJI Mavic Mini and thank you for reaching out. It is good to know that you are now sending the said remote controller in for assessment and repair. Please keep us post on the said issue for further assistance. Thank you.
1-14 09:34
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Sigmo
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SuperEngie Posted at 1-14 04:45
So I have tried several different cables on it, but I don’t believe it’s dirt because 2 of the chargers I used have status lights on them. When I plugged in the controller, the status lights turned off and anything else plugged in stopped charging most likely indicating that the charger went into a “safe mode” because it detected a short. Same thing with my computer, it gives me a USB error. If it was dirt then it would just “open the circuit” resulting in the charger doing nothing.

That does sound as if the remote is drawing too much current.  Hopefully DJI will get it fixed or provide a replacement soon to get you back up and running.
1-14 13:25
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lannes
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I think the connecting tab inside the usb micro-A port must have snapped off
1-14 15:59
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SuperEngie
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Sigmo Posted at 1-14 13:25
That does sound as if the remote is drawing too much current.  Hopefully DJI will get it fixed or provide a replacement soon to get you back up and running.

So I decided to look back at some pictures i took of the port to find problems with it and didn't see anything at first. But at a closer look recently, on of the pins looks like its bent back possibly resulting in the short.
1-14 17:13
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MXss
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my mavic mini controller had a different issue, the power button stopped working but could still charge. Forum post is here https://forum.dji.com/forum.php? ... d=203676#pid2024062
1-15 00:23
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Sigmo
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SuperEngie Posted at 1-14 17:13
So I decided to look back at some pictures i took of the port to find problems with it and didn't see anything at first. But at a closer look recently, on of the pins looks like its bent back possibly resulting in the short.[view_image]

That does look odd.  I wish I could examine it myself, but I'm sure DJI will check it out.  They may just replace the USB jack.

These little connectors are pretty delicate, and you really have to be careful about the orientation of the cable as you're mating them.

A bad thing about the USB-A jacks is that it's hard to know which orientation is required.  Even the full-size ones are a pain in the behind!

I remember when USB was first being discussed as a standard, and then they formalized the specs.  Everyone I know was hoping that the connectors would either allow mating in either orientation OR they'd have a very positive shape that would prevent them from being mated incorrectly.  People were sick of the old DB9, DB15, and DB25, etc. connectors because you had to be able to see the receptacle clearly to know which way to hold the plug while mating it into the jack.

That meant you'd need to pull a piece of equipment out away from a wall, maybe have a flashlight, etc., to connect things.  So a connector that you could mate while "blind" was what we all wanted.

Imagine our disgust when the USB connector specs were finalized, and they were even worse than the old DB connectors!  Sheesh!

I've plugged a USB A cable into a USB A socket the wrong way, and had the housing of the cable plug short out the pins of the receptacle, and fry a motherboard!  Yes, it can be done!  So now I always get a flashlight and examine the receptacle carefully to see which side has the contact fingers and which side has the insulating part that holds the fingers before I insert the cable.  They're worse than the ancient connectors they replaced.

Only with USB-C have the standards organizations finally gotten their collective heads out of... Well, you know!

How can we have the amazing advances in technology that we've seen over the last 40 years, and it's taken this long to finally get a serial connector that you can plug in either way?  This is not rocket science.  But they're still small and delicate.

Don't get me started on the disappointment that was and still is the RJ family of connectors.  Seriously?

Sorry to digress!  But really, we shouldn't be living with connectors that are so easy to damage in 2020.  And why did DJI not go with USB-C?  Things that make us go Hmmmmm!
1-17 02:50
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lannes
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Sigmo Posted at 1-17 02:50
That does look odd.  I wish I could examine it myself, but I'm sure DJI will check it out.  They may just replace the USB jack.

These little connectors are pretty delicate, and you really have to be careful about the orientation of the cable as you're mating them.

DJI must have bought a 10 million of the micro usb-a ports by mistake
Never known any other company to have used them

1-17 03:56
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