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Re: Arlo Go, Solar Panels & Charging Errors

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Here is a timeline of my experiences with Arlo Go and a solar panel. 

 

  1. Purchased a home Arlo Pro 2 system, including a solar panel.
  2. Purchased an Arlo Go with solar panel. Installed in a remote, rural location, far away.
  3. Solar panel on Arlo Go did not charge even though the app icon showed a lightning bolt. Verified by swapping with the one from home. Bad panel caused Arlo Pro 2 camera at home to go offline. Panel from home functioned properly with Arlo Go. Charged up to 10% a day. Returned the defective panel to place of purchase. 
  4. Purchased a second Arlo Go and solar panel. The same day I installed this, I put a fresh battery in the first camera. Both cameras showed lightning bolts in the apps when the panels were in sunlight.
  5. The next day, I got a charging error message on the first camera. The battery would not charge. I returned to the cameras and switched the solar panels as well as the cables. I was still getting charging error messages on the first unit; the second unit was functioning normally. When I plugged the suspect unit into a USB charger, it showed to be charging normally. So, I determined that the camera was defective. Customer support agreed with me, and the RMA began.
  6. They sent me a new camera. I went back out there and couldn’t get it to work. It had the wrong sim card. It took about an hour on the phone with support to get them to resolve this.
  7. They sent me another new camera. I went back out there. I had no trouble getting the camera to work. But I could never get the lightning bolt icon to show up. I checked the connections multiple times. I gave up hoping it would happen the next day. (I ran out of sunlight, and had to return home.) As of now, this camera is not showing a lightning bolt, so it's not charging. No error messages, but not charging either.
  8. I intended to put a fresh battery in the second unit, but decided that since it was working fine, I wasn’t going to mess with it. I had faith the solar panel would keep it going as it had doing been for weeks.
  9. Today, the second unit is showing me charging error messages. So, neither one of my cameras are charging.

We have had a ton of rain recently, and I suspect that is related to the second unit suddenly throwing error messages. The charging error message directs you to the Arlo Knowledgebase. There are way more questions than answers there. Hopefully I can resolve this by reconnecting the panel, and rebooting the camera.  I have read a lot about this subject, and I'm aware of the need to seat the connections. And that still does not explain why the brand new unit I just got won't charge. FYI, the new unit was installed after the rainfall event. It has never been exposed to moisture. 

 

I love the technology, I'm frustrated with the solar panels not working. Customer support experiences were good. It takes a lot of patience, but it is what it is. The sim card thing, well, we all make mistakes. I just want the products to work. 

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Follow up: The second unit started charging again the day after it was suddenly showing charging errors. 

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My suspicion is that it's moisture in one or more connections. I've had to dry things out when that happened to me before it would start working so it sounds like maybe just a touch of moisture caused it. Reseating the connectors may or may not help - if not, open a case with support here.

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Follow up.

Don't unplug the cord from the solar panel. That's what was causing my issues I think.

I have two Arlo Go units, and one Arlo Pro 2 on solar panels. They have been hands free for months. They work perfectly. I am going through about 6 gigs of data a month, they are actived on a daily basis. During cloudy weather, I have had battery power as low as 40 percent, and after several days of sunshine it charged to 100 percent. 

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I just recieved a replacement solar panel from Arlo because I was having similiar issues. I opened the box up and there are these new "wind brackets" that attach the cable in a much more snug fit to the camera AND the new panel has a warning sticker on the bottom of the panel next to the cable that says to not disconnect the cable "or damage may occur". 

 

Unbelievable.. Basically, we all have defective units... and I have 5 more panels that are all acting up after the first rains. Thanks Arlo! Maybe you guys should issue a recall now and stop trying to charge us $ to ship you guys back these defective products and putting all of your dedicated customers in a horrible situation of dealing with your overseas customer support that are totally clueless. 

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