Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

"your camera needs to warm up before you use it" in Minnesota Winters?

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ERoi50 Aspirant
Aspirant

We just bought the Pro3 2 Cameras and A base station and were loving the whole thing until winter kicked in. Now, of course I didn't find out until we had it all home and set up that the camera temp range only goes down to -4F. However, it didn't even go past -1F when we get the message, "your camera needs to warm up before you use it".  If anyone here is vaguely familiar with Minnesota winters, we OFTEN get way colder than -4F, but Arlo was the top recommended sec-cam brand! Its only December 10th and its -4 as I write this. We haven't even reached the coldest month! We will commonly see overnight temperatures of -15 to -20F in January.  So, is this system going to be utterly useless the rest of the winter? The batteries themselves are still reporting 80% charge a piece, just FYI. Has anyone discovered a 3rd party solution to keep the housing and/or batteries warm? Is that something Arlo can work on? I don't know if I should return this system now if we don't have a better answer/solution. 

Pro3
Sensei michaelkenward Sensei
Sensei

It is a battery thing and chemistry. Anything battery powered will struggle at sub-zero temperatures.

 

One option is to find a way to run permanent power to the cameras.


Just another user
Arlo hardware: Q Plus, Pro 2 (X2), Pro 3 (X3), Security Light (X2), Ultra (X2), Doorbell, Chime
ERoi50 Aspirant
Aspirant

From the Arlo FB documents, you aren't supposed to charge a cold battery again, due to chemistry, so running a charging cord to it would not work. Plus, I mention in my post above, that the batteries are still reporting being %80 charged. There's got to be a way to keep the cameras warmer by an insulated housing or a charging cable which also brought some heat to the housing. I can't be the only one in the Northern US who has bought and uses Arlo! What are other people doing? 

Pro3
Sensei michaelkenward Sensei
Sensei

@ERoi50 wrote:

From the Arlo FB documents, you aren't supposed to charge a cold battery again, due to chemistry, so running a charging cord to it would not work.


It is not a "charging cord". It is "mains power". You can remove the batteries.

 

It does work.

 

 

 

 


Just another user
Arlo hardware: Q Plus, Pro 2 (X2), Pro 3 (X3), Security Light (X2), Ultra (X2), Doorbell, Chime
ERoi50 Aspirant
Aspirant
is this an Arlo solution or a hack or a 3rd party solution that you can buy?
Pro3
Sensei michaelkenward Sensei
Sensei

Arlo sells chargers. Not only do the outdoor versions work at low temperatures, they enable features that do not work on battery power.

 

Security Cameras and Systems | Wireless & Wire-Free | Arlo

 

As with many things Arlo, you may have a hard time buying these accessories.

 

But there are third party suppliers.

 

 

 


Just another user
Arlo hardware: Q Plus, Pro 2 (X2), Pro 3 (X3), Security Light (X2), Ultra (X2), Doorbell, Chime
ERoi50 Aspirant
Aspirant

Well, I searched online and I only found "chargers" for the Arlo Pro3 which doesn't sound to me like what you are describing. I purchased an outdoor cable from Best Buy, but it says it only goes down to 32F/0C.  If you know of a solution that directs the power directly to the camera NOT through the battery, I would love to hear about it. If you or ANYONE could give me some specifics as to how to find this option, that would be great. Otherwise I may just have to return the whole system as I say in my headline, a Security cam system that refuses to work below -4F is useless in a Minnesota winter. 

Pro3
Sensei michaelkenward Sensei
Sensei

@ERoi50 wrote:

Well, I searched online and I only found "chargers" for the Arlo Pro3 which doesn't sound to me like what you are describing. I purchased an outdoor cable from Best Buy, but it says it only goes down to 32F/0C.  If you know of a solution that directs the power directly to the camera NOT through the battery, I would love to hear about it.


You don't say where you looked, but you clearly missed the Arlo product.

 

Look for part  number VMA5600C.

 

Amazon.com: Arlo VMA5600C Accessory 25 ft Outdoor Magnetic Charging Cable Compatible with Arlo Ultra...

 

It says "charging cable" but it also replaces the battery. As the catalogue days "Keep your camera charged at all times". Note that, camera not battery

 

I really can't say much more than that. I have explained what you can do three or four times  now. Buy a power supply to connect your cameras to the mains.


Just another user
Arlo hardware: Q Plus, Pro 2 (X2), Pro 3 (X3), Security Light (X2), Ultra (X2), Doorbell, Chime
Bigcitynl Star
Star
Its 28 F here in Wisconsin and all my cameras have an error message that says "charging paused. Battery temperature is too low". My argument with Arlo is that if they say the "operating range" of their Ultra batteries is -4 F they should "operate" at that temperature which also means they should recharge at -4 F.

I cant bring the camerasinside because 3 of my cameras I need a ladder to reach and using a ladder in a snow bank isn't safe. That's why I've got a 25 ft outdoor "charging" cable.

I have a ticket open with Arlo on this which has been elevated to Level 2 but as we all know Arlos tech support sucks.
ERoi50 Aspirant
Aspirant
I also bought the VMA5600C outdoor power adapter/charging cable. The box says that ITS operating range only goes down to 32F. It has been at least a couple of weeks since we saw a temp of 32 or higher. When I plugged the cable in, it showed 79% then charged to 80% but hasn't changed since. My big problem so far is that the cameras didn't even work (display video) below -1F. Its going to be that cold tonight, so we'll see if the power adapter will allow the camera to work in the single digits. Its not clear from Arlo if this power adapter simply powers the camera directly (as a previous replier in this thread would suggest) or if its just for keeping the battery charged. We will see.
Pro3
Guru StephenB Guru
Guru

@ERoi50 wrote:
 Its not clear from Arlo if this power adapter simply powers the camera directly (as a previous replier in this thread would suggest) or if its just for keeping the battery charged. We will see.

The outdoor charger does power the camera (as you can easily see for yourself by simply removing the battery).

 

The charger itself will work below 32F (and power the camera), but the battery in the camera won't charge below that temperature.

 

Some here have found that the camera will run at lower temperatures with the battery removed.  I'm not sure if that is true for the ultra or not.

 

Sensei michaelkenward Sensei
Sensei

@ERoi50 wrote:
Its not clear from Arlo if this power adapter simply powers the camera directly (as a previous replier in this thread would suggest) or if its just for keeping the battery charged. We will see.

I don't know which Arlo documentation you were reading, or which messages have led you astray, but, as @StephenB says, the adapter is not simply a battery charger.

 

Think of it like this, Arlo says that you need permanent power to enable some of the features of your Pro 3 cameras. (Check the manual.) This would not be possible if the adapter was no more than a battery charger.

 

As @StephenB says, there is a simple test. Just remove the battery and reel back in amazement as your cameras continue to do their thing.

 

The same is not true of solar chargers: they really do just top up batteries. Solar panels do not enable those "permanent power" features.

 

 


Just another user
Arlo hardware: Q Plus, Pro 2 (X2), Pro 3 (X3), Security Light (X2), Ultra (X2), Doorbell, Chime
ERoi50 Aspirant
Aspirant

I did go back to the outdoor power adapter description and it does say it acts as both a battery charger and power adapter. But it also does say, right on the box that the range only goes down to 32ºF. As I write this, our fair city has not gone below -2 again, so I can't say for sure that the Pro3 camera has worked with the power adapter in temperatures below -4. I will report back the results later when we do. Usually it happens in January.  

Pro3
ERoi50 Aspirant
Aspirant

Well, its official. One of our cameras is plugged in and it went offline along with the battery-only camera when it went below zero...again.  I don't know why Arlo can't develop a cold weather housing. There have got to me a lot of users in the north like myself. 

Pro3
Guru StephenB Guru
Guru

@ERoi50 wrote:

Well, its official. One of our cameras is plugged in and it went offline along with the battery-only camera when it went below zero...again.  


Try removing the battery on the camera that is plugged in.

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