Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Arlo pro goes offline and battery drops

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I have an Arlo pro camera that is outside connected to a solar panel. The last couple of weeks the camera will stay charged to around 80% but then overnight it will go offline. The camera will then come back online during the day and recharge starting at 1%. Over a few days it gets back up to 80% and the cycle repeats. I am not sure it is really getting that low for battery. I did cycle the base station so I am not sure what it could be. The only thing that has changed is the weather is much colder here in New England.
Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera

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I wanted to close the loop on this issue.  After testing all my cameras with my solar panel and working with tech support it was determined that the camera had a hardware issue and Netgear did send out a refurbished unit that so far (knock on wood) has posed no issues and has been attached to the same solar panel through all sorts of weather and temperatures for a couple of weeks.  Just wanted to offer this information in case someone sees a problem similar to mine.  

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Community Manager
Community Manager

JPav80,

 

Do you have to resync the camera or does it start charging on it's own and resync with the base station? Does it go offline every night?

 

JamesC

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Hi JamesC,

 

I don't have to re-sync.  It will just come back online when the sun hits the solar panel and begins charging (starting at 1%).   For example, this past Friday the unit was reading 80% by end of day.  At some point during the night the unit went offline.  It was offline all Saturday since it was cloudy and snowing.  On Sunday the sun came out and the unit came back at less than 10% and charged during the day and read 35% by end of day.  Today the unit is now saying it is up to 70% and working.  If history repeats as it has before it will charge to around 80-90% and go back offline during the next couple of nights.  I don't believe it is charging as high as it is reporting.  This all started to occurr when the temps during the night starting getting below 32 Deg F.   I don't typically get more than 1 to 2 recordings at night so I don't believe the battery should be draining like it thinks it is.

 

Thanks,

 

Jason

 

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Community Manager

JPav80,

 

It sounds like this camera could be struggling to maintain a connection with your base station, which could drain the battery. If you're still experiencing this issue, you might try swapping the troubled camera with a different one to see if you experience the same behavior with a second camera. This will help isolate the issue to the location or the camera.

 

JamesC

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Hi JamesC,

 

Thanks for the information.  Would the outdoor temperature have an effect on the connection?  I feel like the battery is being mis-reported by the camera and not related to the connection since it always reports full WiFi strength on the app and online unless that is not correct.  The camera is only about 20 feet from the base which is right near a window. Today, the temperature is back up to 50 Deg F and the camera is now reporting 100% which was a 20% jump from yesterday.  I don't feel the solar panel is charging it this quickly.  It has been staying online in recent days, but we will see when the temperature drops again.  I was hoping this setup would be a little more robust.  If the camera drops out again I will attemp to swap with another camera.   

 

Thanks,

Jason

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I had one camera that kept going offline. When the connection is broken, the camera uses an inordinate amount of battery power trying to reconnect to the base and would drain the batteries completely in under 24 hours. That camera also struggled to sync sometimes no matter where it was positioned in relation to the base station. I eventually fixed it by moving the base station a few feet further away from my wifi router. I suspect there was some interference from it. Now I have no cameras going offline

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I'm having the EXACT same issue with my outdoor camera. It literally only started happening the last week or so. I think it may be cold related. Interestingly I have another one mounted out back, and it's been fine
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My camera has been working normally since the weather went back to being mild (40-50 Deg F).  Now reading 97% at night after charging to 100% yesterday afternoon.  I don't believe it is struggling to make a network connection and draining the battery at this point.  There is no way it is coming back online and charging that quickly after coming back online.  My understanding is the solar panel is a trickle charging so going from 1% back to 100% in less than a couple of days wouldn't seem possible.  Waiting to see what happens when the cold (<32 Deg F) returns.   

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Just an FYI - I don't see my batteries fluctuating like this at all. It might be worth removing the cameras from Settings, My Devices and resyncing an verifying that thye have the latest firmware.

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 Hi jguerdat,

 

How cold does your area get?  My cameras all appear to be on the latest firmware.  The only unit that was doing this is the one outside with the solar panel connected.  It isn't doing it now with the warmer temps but I will try some suggestions if it starts happening again in the next couple of days when the temps drop. 

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Battery level readings can definitely be affected by temperature. Weird it's only the one with the solar panel attached though. But by your own comment that it isn't happening at the moment where the temperature has been more mild, it must be temperature related

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I guess we see? Not supposed to be below 40 untill the middle of next week around here. (Maryland, Eastern Shore)  Have you tried removing and reinserting your batteries to see if they come back online immediately.  Mine do, but I'm getting tired of going up and down the ladder.

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I haven't taken the battery out to see if it comes back right away since I have the same issue of going up and down a ladder in the front of my house.  The camera would eventually come back on its own once the solar panel started powering it back up and begin at 1% but would quickly jump back to 40-50% and keep going up to quickly to be believable based on the solar panel's capabilities.   

 

If taking the battery out and putting it back in to get the unit to immediately come back is repeatable then it would sound more like a firmware/software issue.

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Guide
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My battery always shows as fine...like 80% or better...so I'm not exactly sure why it goes offline.

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How long do you wait before deciding to remove the battery and put it back in and having it read normally?  When it first happened to me I let it stay offline for an entire day (no sun for that day) and it has always come back on its own.  Maybe if it happens to me next time and I go and remove the battery it would come back right away and read correctly.  

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At first I would wait a day, the do it. Now I just wait till I notice it is down and I feel like climbing...lol


JPav80 wrote:

How long do you wait before deciding to remove the battery and put it back in and having it read normally?  When it first happened to me I let it stay offline for an entire day (no sun for that day) and it has always come back on its own.  Maybe if it happens to me next time and I go and remove the battery it would come back right away and read correctly.  


 

Model: VMC4030| Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
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Also found these links: perhaps they will help us? Looks like all I might need to do is:

 If your camera is offline after you switched to a new router or made changes to your internet network, follow these instructions:

  • If you are using an Arlo base station, press and release the Sync button on the base station.
  • If you are using an Arlo Pro base station, press and release the button on the top of the base station.
    The Internet LED blinks for 10 seconds, then your Arlo camera resumes normal operation.

https://kb.arlo.com/1133448/My-Arlo-Wire-Free-or-Arlo-Pro-Wire-Free-camera-is-offline-how-can-I-trou...

And 

Cold Issue: Topic is closed but they were also having cold weather problems

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Arlo-Pro/Arlo-Pro-has-connection-problems-in-cold-weather/td-p/1204...

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JPav80 wrote:

 Hi jguerdat,

 

How cold does your area get?  My cameras all appear to be on the latest firmware.  The only unit that was doing this is the one outside with the solar panel connected.  It isn't doing it now with the warmer temps but I will try some suggestions if it starts happening again in the next couple of days when the temps drop. 


I'm in Rochester, NY and temps have gotten as low as about 10F - it's 30F now.. Last winter got down to just below 0F. While I agree that battery voltage will drop in cold weather, huge swings shouldn't happen, just maybe a few percentage points.  I have both a Pro and a Pro 2 with solar panels attached with no such huge swings. I'll monitor more frequently to make sure my observations aren't too far apart and will report back if I can verify the huge swings folks seem to be having.

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glmccready wrote:

My battery always shows as fine...like 80% or better...so I'm not exactly sure why it goes offline.


I didn't scan the comments but did you try moving the base station further away from your wifi router?

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Yep,Steve.  I moved the hub about 12' closer to the camera, with a wifi extender.  It is now line of sight out the window, about 20" away.  Still went offline...very strange.  But now, after do it about every other day for 2 weeks, it hasn't done it in 4 days. (weather got warmer?)

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glmccready wrote:

Yep,Steve.  I moved the hub about 12' closer to the camera, with a wifi extender.  It is now line of sight out the window, about 20" away.  Still went offline...very strange.  But now, after do it about every other day for 2 weeks, it hasn't done it in 4 days. (weather got warmer?)


Hopefully it just keeps going. I doubt it's the weather. If it does go funny again, make sure you move the base station further away from the wifi extender and see how that goes. Being right next to the extender isn't much different to being right next to the router

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My base is not near my router and it was dropping out during the last cold snap. Today was still mild like the last couple of days and the unit's battery level makes more sense. It is charging to 100% and once it stops charging it remains around 98%. The signal strength is showing full bars. I am just going to see how things go when the temp gets back into the teens.
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So got colder tonight, 30....and..Offline again.

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Just checked mine and it is also offline and the temperature is now below 30.   I checked it an hour ago and it was reading 98% . 

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Very odd. Mine is plugged in, but I know it stops charging below 32 degrees.  It was fully charged when I looked this afternoon.  It also had 3 “bars” signal strength.