Thanks, I'll give it a try a let you know.
Also please understand your clarification does move the probability of controller damage back to a high likelihood.
Do not start motors, especially with props on, until you have some good indication of solid bind.
The correct testing would be to turn on the drone and controller, and wait for the rear LED to go purple. Do not start motors. Just flip the Mode switch to verify the LED changes color. IF it does, then move further and further away, and repeat actuation of the Mode switch. And watch for the blue flashing LED. The general rule of thumb is that if the LED still responds at 90ft, it "passes the range test". But I usually go as far away as I can and still see the LED.
Some of what you describe could be interpreted as a very weak bind. The system is achieving bind, then losing it. Note the rear LED does not immediately start flashing blue when bind is lost. There is a time delay of about 6 or 7 seconds. It is possible to be losing bind for a few seconds at a time, and the rear LED would continue to look completely normal.