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RESOLVED: Signal Range Issue Cause Found - FCC drones in CE Mode
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4107 60 6-20 05:18
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Xtropy
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Issue now resolved as of 2022-07-15 after a firmware update for the RC controller


Workaround Found
: Put an object over the drone for 2-3 minutes to hinder GPS acquisition during the second reboot of the drone and it will stay in FCC mode. Issue appears related to how quickly it picks up satellites on the second reboot. Credit: HERE



I am not sure the scope of this issue but my FCC drone in Ontario Canada is starting in FCC mode and switching to CE mode just before take off as shown in this video.
Prior to the update last week to Aircraft v01.00.0150 and RC v01.00.0300, the solution was to power off the drone and power it on again and it would stay in FCC mode. By making this change, I went from signal drops at 500M to over 2000M so I can confirm from hands-on experience, FCC mode gave much further range. With the new firmware last week, I cannot get the drone out of CE mode. (Credit to the post here that got me onto this issue: https://forum.dji.com/forum.php? ... =265175&pid=2764394)

The scope of this issue is unknown. It maybe a RC controller issue only (not sure if RC-N1 has the same problem) or it maybe a North America (or Canada) issue.

Here is a YouTube video showing the issue in action (I am not a content creator so excuse the iPhone video, I just wanted to get the video out there and add exposure to the problem).




6-20 05:18
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Bashy
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Damn.... have you opened a ticket with support? if not, ya need to...
6-20 07:01
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Xtropy
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Bashy Posted at 6-20 07:01
Damn.... have you opened a ticket with support? if not, ya need to...

Not yet. To be honest, the workaround I used last week was fine. Every time I contact their support team I get screenshots from the owners manual so I don't think they take any support issues seriously enough to waste time on it.
6-20 07:06
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djiuser_ACytyCzh1k22
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I am in Canada and see the same thing.   But I only found out about this after I updated to the latest firmware.  But what I did find is that I can get it into FCC mode and fly it when in FCC mode.   And like you said, I get dropouts at 500m in CE mode to having full bars for signal strength at 2000m.  Have not tried it beyond 2000m yet.

To get it into FCC mode, I need to block GPS signals when power cycling the drone the second time.  Seems like it needs some time from having some GPS satellites when it switches to FCC mode, and staying in FCC mode when it gets a good GPS status and when it sets home point.  If it gets GPS too quick it switches back to CE.
6-20 07:38
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Xtropy
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djiuser_ACytyCzh1k22 Posted at 6-20 07:38
I am in Canada and see the same thing.   But I only found out about this after I updated to the latest firmware.  But what I did find is that I can get it into FCC mode and fly it when in FCC mode.   And like you said, I get dropouts at 500m in CE mode to having full bars for signal strength at 2000m.  Have not tried it beyond 2000m yet.

To get it into FCC mode, I need to block GPS signals when power cycling the drone the second time.  Seems like it needs some time from having some GPS satellites when it switches to FCC mode, and staying in FCC mode when it gets a good GPS status and when it sets home point.  If it gets GPS too quick it switches back to CE.

Interesting. How do you block the GPS? Tinfoil?
6-20 07:44
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djiuser_ACytyCzh1k22
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Xtropy Posted at 6-20 07:44
Interesting. How do you block the GPS? Tinfoil?
Yep, that actually would work.  You could cover it with anything to block its view of the sky, including using your hand or the controller.  I usually start it at my doorway of my house.   Be careful of where your home point gets set and make sure it updates from your take off point.
6-20 08:02
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Bigplumbs
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But CE Mode is fine in the EU and UK and has been for years. So how does this explain how many UK and EU pilots are getting good range in CE and others seem to not be
6-20 08:08
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djiuser_ACytyCzh1k22
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Bigplumbs Posted at 6-20 08:08
But CE Mode is fine in the EU and UK and has been for years. So how does this explain how many UK and EU pilots are getting good range in CE and others seem to not be

It doesn't explain that.  Only that FCC is better than CE and I prefer using FCC mode in an FCC region.   I assume there are still problems with both CE and FCC.    But this issue of using CE in an FCC region is adding to the problem people are seeing.
6-20 08:23
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Xtropy
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Bigplumbs Posted at 6-20 08:08
But CE Mode is fine in the EU and UK and has been for years. So how does this explain how many UK and EU pilots are getting good range in CE and others seem to not be

My post wasn't made as an all-encompassing "fix everyone's drone" post merely to help those in FCC regions with a possible solution and something to check. Maybe this post will give someone else information that may help them find solutions to the range issues in CE and help others that way (even though you are a staunch defender that there are no range issues with this drone in most of your posts). I obviously see the drastic difference between FCC and CE range with the exact same hardware which is also something to highlight.

Range with this drone is obviously a multifaceted issue that needs to be addressed from a number of different angles and if my post helps 10% of drone users, it's worth the effort and a place to start IMHO
6-20 09:11
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Xtropy
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djiuser_ACytyCzh1k22 Posted at 6-20 08:02
Yep, that actually would work.  You could cover it with anything to block its view of the sky, including using your hand or the controller.  I usually start it at my doorway of my house.   Be careful of where your home point gets set and make sure it updates from your take off point.

Thanks, you're right, I just put the controller over the drone and it delayed signal acquisition long enough to stay in FCC mode. I thought it needed to be a fully blocked signal but it looks like you just need to make it "struggle" to get coordinates during part of the second boot process. I noticed satellite acquisition is much faster in this firmware which I think just caused the issue to be more apparent.
6-20 09:15
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djiuser_ACytyCzh1k22 Posted at 6-20 08:23
It doesn't explain that.  Only that FCC is better than CE and I prefer using FCC mode in an FCC region.   I assume there are still problems with both CE and FCC.    But this issue of using CE in an FCC region is adding to the problem people are seeing.

Why do you think FCC is better than CE, only difference is range signal is not better.
6-20 09:40
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patrick51
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Bigplumbs Posted at 6-20 08:08
But CE Mode is fine in the EU and UK and has been for years. So how does this explain how many UK and EU pilots are getting good range in CE and others seem to not be

Man, how much do you get paid by DJI?
6-20 09:48
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djiuser_ACytyCzh1k22
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Xtropy Posted at 6-20 09:15
Thanks, you're right, I just put the controller over the drone and it delayed signal acquisition long enough to stay in FCC mode. I thought it needed to be a fully blocked signal but it looks like you just need to make it "struggle" to get coordinates during part of the second boot process. I noticed satellite acquisition is much faster in this firmware which I think just caused the issue to be more apparent.

Yeah, the trick is to let it get some GPS satellites and struggle like you say, to stretch out the time until it gets good GPS.
Good to hear that you got it to work!
6-20 09:53
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GLOBAL HAWK
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Well I am getting great range here in Australia. What would I have CE or FCC?
6-20 13:22
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fatsharkaunz
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In Australia we should be FCC not CE.
We don't have the power restrictions like Europe.
6-20 15:28
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Bashy
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hallmark007 Posted at 6-20 09:40
Why do you think FCC is better than CE, only difference is range signal is not better.

Youre kidding, right? if the range is better what do you think it does to the signal, actually, that should be the other way round but seen as you asked it that way...

FCC 4.0w = better (stronger) signal / better range
CE   0.4w = rubbish in compraison
6-20 18:47
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Bashy
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Bigplumbs Posted at 6-20 08:08
But CE Mode is fine in the EU and UK and has been for years. So how does this explain how many UK and EU pilots are getting good range in CE and others seem to not be

Because what you actually think is good range, really isn't and until you use a DJI drone in FCC mode, you will never know.

This thread is about a switching issue in an FCC country anyway not about how good you believe CE to be even though its really not, if it was that good then all countries would have adopted it.

FCC 4.0w = better (stronger) signal / better range
CE   0.4w = rubbish in compraison
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Disclaimer; seen as Bigplumbs does not want me posting in this section, i do not care, i do not own the Mini 3 Pro (yet, if ever the way its going), i am parting with my wisdom, knowledge and appreciation at times.
6-20 18:55
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Bigplumbs
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patrick51 Posted at 6-20 09:48
Man, how much do you get paid by DJI?

Nothing man
6-20 21:19
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Bigplumbs
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Bashy Posted at 6-20 18:55
Because what you actually think is good range, really isn't and until you use a DJI drone in FCC mode, you will never know.

This thread is about a switching issue in an FCC country anyway not about how good you believe CE to be even though its really not, if it was that good then all countries would have adopted it.

As ever you did not understand the question so 0/10
6-20 21:21
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Bashy
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Bigplumbs Posted at 6-20 21:21
As ever you did not understand the question so 0/10

Oh i understood well enough to ignore it actually, it made it easier as it sounded more of a hypothetical and seen as point of the thread is about a switching issue for folks in FCC it was redundant.
6-20 21:38
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GLOBAL HAWK
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Ok, I just got home from work and tried this test. My 1km and 4km markers are above the lines whilst acquiring satellites and they remain there once 20 or so sats have been detected. The 1km and 4km do not drop down for me. Tested in rural Australia.

6-20 22:04
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Bashy Posted at 6-20 18:55
Because what you actually think is good range, really isn't and until you use a DJI drone in FCC mode, you will never know.

This thread is about a switching issue in an FCC country anyway not about how good you believe CE to be even though its really not, if it was that good then all countries would have adopted it.

So...the real values for FCC and CE are:

FCC is 400mW on both 2.4 and 5.8GHz

CE is 100mW on 2.4 and 25mW on 5.8GHz
6-20 22:16
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Bashy
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Max_Px Posted at 6-20 22:16
So...the real values for FCC and CE are:

FCC is 400mW on both 2.4 and 5.8GHz

Thank you, not sure where i got w from, still a big difference, especially on 5.8
6-20 22:24
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GLOBAL HAWK
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I just went to spec list for Mini 3 Pro.

Looks like I really am FCC, I thought we were CE.


6. Data is tested under FCC standards in unobstructed environments of typical interference. Only to serve as a reference and provides no guarantee as to the actual flight distance.
Max one-way communication distance of DJI Mini 3 Pro in countries/regions of different standards:
FCC: United States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Chile, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and other regions. Max transmission range: 12 km
SRRC: Mainland China. Max transmission range: 8 km
CE: UK, Russia, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Macau, New Zealand, UAE, and other regions. Max transmission range: 8 km
MIC: Japan. Max transmission distance: 8 km
6-20 22:38
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Bashy Posted at 6-20 18:47
Youre kidding, right? if the range is better what do you think it does to the signal, actually, that should be the other way round but seen as you asked it that way...

FCC 4.0w = better (stronger) signal / better range

FCC 4 W? No, "only"  400 mW (both for 2,4  and 5,8 GHz.
CE mode : 100 mW on 2.4 and only 25mW on 5.8 (16 times less then FCC)
7-1 04:58
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Bashy
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otomek77 Posted at 7-1 04:58
FCC 4 W? No, "only"  400 mW (both for 2,4  and 5,8 GHz.
CE mode : 100 mW on 2.4 and only 25mW on 5.8 (16 times less then FCC)

Already been told, i got the figures wrong but i was part way there lol thanks anyway
7-1 10:05
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djiuser_A2WBNy4DVYon
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I have here both the Mini 2 and the Mini 3 the Mini two signal is unbelievably superior to the Mini 3 pro I have tested both same flight pattern same height but the distance the Mini 3 pro could push was close to 400 m before rth was activated the mini 2 however surpassed that by three to four times the distance at 2.5 km in the city.

I have here some pictures to prove my point I wonder if this will be fixed soon because as noted by other DJI users we used to be able to put a tin foil on top and trick the system into thinking FCC but now the new software update has made that impossible yes and DJI support team do not seem to be knowledgeable on any of their products I am going to open a ticket with one of the DJI technical support team on Monday due to the holidays I am stuck with this problem
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7-2 11:18
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Xtropy
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djiuser_A2WBNy4DVYon Posted at 7-2 11:18
I have here both the Mini 2 and the Mini 3 the Mini two signal is unbelievably superior to the Mini 3 pro I have tested both same flight pattern same height but the distance the Mini 3 pro could push was close to 400 m before rth was activated the mini 2 however surpassed that by three to four times the distance at 2.5 km in the city.

I have here some pictures to prove my point I wonder if this will be fixed soon because as noted by other DJI users we used to be able to put a tin foil on top and trick the system into thinking FCC but now the new software update has made that impossible yes and DJI support team do not seem to be knowledgeable on any of their products I am going to open a ticket with one of the DJI technical support team on Monday due to the holidays I am stuck with this problem[Image]

Blocking the GPS still works. Try putting the controller over the drone on the second power cycle, works for me every time and running the latest firmware.
7-2 12:36
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djiuser_zH4PYuHgtlW6
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I'm in Europe, and also have range issues. I don't think it has to do exclusively with CE and FCC modes.
7-2 14:59
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Bashy
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djiuser_A2WBNy4DVYon Posted at 7-2 11:18
I have here both the Mini 2 and the Mini 3 the Mini two signal is unbelievably superior to the Mini 3 pro I have tested both same flight pattern same height but the distance the Mini 3 pro could push was close to 400 m before rth was activated the mini 2 however surpassed that by three to four times the distance at 2.5 km in the city.

I have here some pictures to prove my point I wonder if this will be fixed soon because as noted by other DJI users we used to be able to put a tin foil on top and trick the system into thinking FCC but now the new software update has made that impossible yes and DJI support team do not seem to be knowledgeable on any of their products I am going to open a ticket with one of the DJI technical support team on Monday due to the holidays I am stuck with this problem

Erm, isnt the phone and N1 controller in FCC mode? Looking at the lines compared to the 1km mark, it sure looks like its in FCC mode, have a wee hack do we ;) You cannot compare the Mini 3 in CE to the Mini 2 when in FCC, FCC mode will beat the Mini 3 hands down...
7-2 15:08
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Bashy Posted at 7-2 15:08
Erm, isnt the phone and N1 controller in FCC mode? Looking at the lines compared to the 1km mark, it sure looks like its in FCC mode, have a wee hack do we ;) You cannot compare the Mini 3 in CE to the Mini 2 when in FCC, FCC mode will beat the Mini 3 hands down...

Hi I'm in Canada so it should be FCC the mini 2 with the phone and the rcn1 controller have no special updates or hacks.

I now even tried the rcn1 controller and seemed to be doing a better job then the RC but still had lots of signal issues.

One more thing I forgot to mention is that in the transmission tap the auto  / manual channel and frequency is not able to change it and it's grayed out unlike my Mini 2 I read somewhere on the forums that I have to turn the Mini 3 on with the rcn1 to reset this thing but that didn't work
7-2 20:27
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Xtropy Posted at 7-2 12:36
Blocking the GPS still works. Try putting the controller over the drone on the second power cycle, works for me every time and running the latest firmware.

Thanks but I have tried that numerous times
Maybe something is changed since couple hours ago and I will do it one last time and let you know.
7-2 20:28
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Also from Canada, i am still getting CE mode appear almost 70% of the time with the new 201 firmware update. The controller blocking trick doesn't really seem to work or its not as effective as it was led to believe. Even in FCC mode, its still not as strong, penetration wise as the mini 2 and mavic 2 zoom for me. Slightly disappointing me for me, but I still need to test it out further. The FCC signal strength as it stands in 201 is acceptable to me but I need it to ALWAYS show up in this mode in North American locations!!  DJI
7-2 22:10
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mkdp.photos
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DJI needs to address this or they're going to get lots of returns/refund requests
7-2 23:03
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Bashy
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djiuser_A2WBNy4DVYon Posted at 7-2 20:27
Hi I'm in Canada so it should be FCC the mini 2 with the phone and the rcn1 controller have no special updates or hacks.

I now even tried the rcn1 controller and seemed to be doing a better job then the RC but still had lots of signal issues.

Yes, i was just saying that you cannot compare the 2 as per the photos as they are on different outputs.

I have see this option greyed out before on my P4P but it was later resolved in a new FW, so it will be resolved i would have though, its just a case of how long that might take, anything like the issue with the Mavic 3 then you've got a long wait
7-2 23:05
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Bashy Posted at 7-2 23:05
Yes, i was just saying that you cannot compare the 2 as per the photos as they are on different outputs.

I have see this option greyed out before on my P4P but it was later resolved in a new FW, so it will be resolved i would have though, its just a case of how long that might take, anything like the issue with the Mavic 3 then you've got a long wait

I think hope the new FW would fix these issues but looks like another month of wait.
I'm thinking of returning product, waiting for a few months, reordering once all these bugs are fixed if they are fixed with no recalls...
Thoughts?
.
7-2 23:58
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mkdp.photos Posted at 7-2 23:03
DJI needs to address this or they're going to get lots of returns/refund requests

I think that would be the best option
Return and wait these updates our for a couple months and re order
7-2 23:59
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djiuser_A2WBNy4DVYon Posted at 7-2 23:58
I think hope the new FW would fix these issues but looks like another month of wait.
I'm thinking of returning product, waiting for a few months, reordering once all these bugs are fixed if they are fixed with no recalls...
Thoughts?

This is why i am holding off, too many issues, major and minor...
7-3 04:59
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MXss Posted at 7-2 22:10
Also from Canada, i am still getting CE mode appear almost 70% of the time with the new 201 firmware update. The controller blocking trick doesn't really seem to work or its not as effective as it was led to believe. Even in FCC mode, its still not as strong, penetration wise as the mini 2 and mavic 2 zoom for me. Slightly disappointing me for me, but I still need to test it out further. The FCC signal strength as it stands in 201 is acceptable to me but I need it to ALWAYS show up in this mode in North American locations!!  DJI

Hi I'm in Canada so it should be FCC

I now even tried the rcn1 controller and seemed to be doing a better job slightly almost not that noticible better than the RC but still had lots of signal issues after 300 to 400 feet I lose connection.

Also the transmission tap I only see he auto  / manual that is greyed out and can't choose. There is no frequency tab on my controller 1.6.8 v latest update

Is your transmission tab only showing auto/manual and no frequency selection as well?
7-3 12:01
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Bind the Drone to the N1 Controller then go back to the RC Controller and see if the options reappear
7-3 12:15
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