Which to switch on first? UAV or Controller

I have seen a few posts and video’s recently that have stated that you should turn on the controller before the drone, but this seems to me to be counter intuitive.
I find that turning the drone on first allows it to find satellites, while I am busy screwing in the sticks, connecting my phone, launching the app etc.

Am I doing it wrong?

Funny you mention this, I don’t know the sequence if there is one but, I always turn the controller on first, so when I power the drone up it has or gets a connection, I think my theory is for safety, that’s just me.

‘Controller first’ harks back to the pre-digital days when TX and RX weren’t bound to each other, and you simply relied on both TX and RX being on the same frequency, often displayed by a colour code assigned to each frequency.
Back then if you turned the RX on first it was liable to pick up any stray signal so the model could exhibit weird behaviour like taking off on its own.

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Whichever I get out of the case first, no real fixed way to be honest

Not my post / question but that’s what I thought along those lines, I used to do the same when I raced rc’s.

For me, always phone - wait for it to boot up, then controller - wait for app to register the controller is on, then drone.

Battery time on the drone is the only critical one. So last to save as much for flying as possible.


For me always the controller first, there may be an issue like it needs calibrating or the battery is low

Then the App to make sure everything is ok

And last the Drone

Same for me

Screen shot from my Typhoons quick start manual

Have always turned the transmitter on before the receiver on any “radio” controlled model boats / cars I have owned.

As that says above, I always turn the drone off first after flight.

Controller first then drone for me - also comes from pre digital RC car racing - just habit I guess :man_shrugging:

Ditto, especially if you turned your car on & someone had the same band as you :joy::red_car::dash:


Oh yes, been there :confused:


Same here and also reduces the time the drone is sat idle getting hot.

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I’m doing my GVC course at present and you are taught controller on first and off last.


Controller on first + the RC (screen) controller takes time to boot up, drone on next, whilst that’s sorting itself out screw sticks on, then connect phone hotspot to controller, been caught out a few times if it requires an access code to fly depending on area + also get live maps.

Turning off wise the controller first then connect Dji phone app to drone through album - quick transfer mode and download footage, then drone off.

Just my routine but not saying it’s correct.

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Some cheap RC devices require the model to be turned on first. This is because there is no bind memory so the model goes into bind mode when switched on. When I say cheap RC devices I’m talking about toy grade stuff.

In the case of hobby grade stuff, where the model is bound to the controller it should ALWAYS be controller first and then the model. This is because the failsafe on many models needs to be set up by the user, in most cases the user would set the failsafe condition whereby the throttle is set to zero. It has been known that when a model is powered up first it will go into a failsafe because there’s no valid control signal, and the motor(s) will immediately spool up to 50% or more because the user didn’t program the receiver with a throttle cut on failsafe.

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Ages ago with simple analogue links (and cheaper digital) there was no pairing - it just grabbed the first thing it could hear on powering up.

End result was if the RC vehicle was turned on before a controlled it could match up or be controlled (or even hijacked) by another transmitter on the same channel in the area.

As above some older devices also went into some strange failsafe modes if it couldn’t hear a control link.

Realistically with modern drones, DJIs etc its likely not an issue as they’re paired digitally with a unique key the first time and after that they sit patiently and do nothing unless that particular key is heard.

I still generally do RC first out of habit but not always. That said, there is a potential benefit to doing the drone first then RC/connect to phone - takes a while for the newer models to go through checks and get a GPS so while its doing that you can get the tablet mount, cable, app loaded and power up.

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