Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Re: Arlo pro battery drain issue since 5/14 update

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Guide
Guide

I also have been battling with going from 100% to 0% battery overnight, and it has only gotten more frequent with the latest FW releases. I have an H7 camera on a VMB4000 base, and I've performed the full factory reset / resync twice with no relief. I then swapped out my base station for an older VMB3000 and did the full factory setup & update to latest FW, but I'm still having my H7 go to 0% overnight. I have two batteries (one is very new) and have repeated with both, so it's not a battery age issue. I had tons of Offline-to-dead issues back in ~March which prompted me to buy a replacement battery (which was regretful/unnecessary), which seemed to be resolved in the April~May updates. Now from the June update onward it has been a complete nightmare trying to keep my camera online.

 

As others have noted, I've observed my camera at night essentially frozen w/ the IR lights lit up. I suspect the IR lights are getting engaged at some point in the middle of the night and presumably never shutting off. I can't recall the last time I've gone more than 2 nights in a row without my H7 being Offline in the morning due to a completely drained battery.

 

However, separate from this, my camera will still intermittently just go Offline throughout the day and when I cycle it (remove/insert the battery) it will resync fine. The problem is, there's zero indication that the camera is Offline until you either (A) manually open the app and try to stream a live feed and it fails or (B) you happen to walk by the base station and observe that the camera sync light is not lit. I don't understand why the app doesn't push a notification after a period of time (30~60 minutes?) of the base station not getting a "check-in" from the camera (but I really don't care, I just want the root cause of the Offline issue addressed...)

 

Base Station FW: 1.10.0.8_22190 (VMB3010r2)  // I've repeated the Offline-to-dead failure with this FW

Camera FW: 1.092.0.16_21159 (H7)  // I cannot say for certain I've repeated with this FW, as the release notes were just published yesterday and my last Offline-to-dead failure was also yesterday. I'll update with my next event.

Model: VMB3000 | Arlo Base Station, VMC4030 | Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
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Community Manager
Community Manager

The engineering team is continuing to investigate reports from users on increased battery drain. With each recently released firmware update we've seen feedback from many users that these firmware updates have been improving the issue for some. While I understand others continue to experience battery issues, I want to ensure you the engineering team is putting forth their best effort to identify and resolve any issues that may still remain. As I find out more information on this ongoing investigation, I will post an update.
 

JamesC

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Apprentice
Apprentice
@JamesC
That would be great. Thank you
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Star
Star

@JamesC wrote:

The engineering team is continuing to investigate reports from users on increased battery drain. With each recently released firmware update we've seen feedback from many users that these firmware updates have been improving the issue for some. While I understand others continue to experience battery issues, I want to ensure you the engineering team is putting forth their best effort to identify and resolve any issues that may still remain. As I find out more information on this ongoing investigation, I will post an update.
 

JamesC


Why can't we just revert back to whatever release it was before all this madness happened?

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Apprentice
Apprentice
@JamesC

Thank you for the update. Relevant and frequent communications when there are issues goes a long way to giving Arlo's customers confidence that this will be resolved.

Model: VMC3030 | Arlo Wire-Free Camera
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Hero

@paddos wrote:
I hear you. Just disagree. And, hope you are not involved writing software that critical hardware depends on to function like security systems, the fringe setting in your kitchen or the planes you fly on. 10% failure rate in any consumer durables which this is would never except that as ok.

I work for a international utility corporation, gas and electric is kind of critical, but I don't write software, I'm an engineer and part of my job is to re-package 3rd party software into a silent install and make sure the software works on our corporate windows image. Then I'll push that software out to the end users via a software deployment system. If I push software out to 100 people, 10 of those installs might fail (usually less). Maybe one guy has admin rights on his computer and he installed software we didn't account for causing a failure, or maybe one person has specilaized software on his laptop that conflicts with the install, etc, could be many reasons why a pushed software install will fail. If 10 or less fail out of those 100, that's acceptable. The end user with an issue then simply calls the Help desk and the help desk either fixes it or they escalate it to our level 2 techs for resolution. Usually I provide fixes for potential issues that may come up, so the level 1 and 2 techs are ready to fix any failures. Usually, within a few minutes, any end user with an issue is fixed up.

 

What I'm talkng about is a 10% failure rate on a software or firmware push. Not a failure rate on the software itself. Sometimes a push of software fails or simply doesn't install right. So in that context, what I'm saying is my guess is the firmware may be good, but the push and/or update of the firmware on some bases didn't go right. Unfortunately, the Arlo help desk doesn't seem to have those all important fixes for anyone who's firmware update didn't go right.

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Hero

@paddos wrote:
For folks who are seeing "normal" battery drain is that 1% or less per day which is the low side of spec? 

It all depends on how many videos you've recorded and how many minutes you recorded for. If I have zero videos on the camera one day the drain will be 0%. I record 1 minute long videos, so if I have 30 videos (30 minutes of recording) on the camera one day I'll see 2-4% drop. If I have 5 videos I might see a 0-1% drop.

 

I pretty sure when I bought my system Arlo website said batteries last 2-4 months with 5 minutes of use per day. Now it's 4-6 I think?? As far as I can tell now, I'll be getting 2-4 months out of each of my cameras. The busiest camera gets 2 months maybe a bit less, the least busy gets 3-4 months.

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Guide
Guide
Hi pc2k17, you mentioned that end user may have issues with firmware upgrade due to their system having programs that may cause conflicts during the push. However, I doubt anyone except Netgear Arlo is able to alter the firmware as nearly all of us consumers just bought Arlo products like a TV, fridge etc and rely on it to function as promised by the manufacturer. And to think this whole mess was actually caused by Arlo tweaking their firmware makes it the whole responsibility for Arlo to fix their defects so their patrons can regain confidence in what they bought.
Model: VMC4030 | Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
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Apprentice
Apprentice
@pc2k17

Interesting response. Just have a hard time believing anyone would try to justify the pityful performance of Arlo as NORMAL????? Or, that somehow the users could be creating the issue. Clearly you have different expectations than me and I would bet most anyone else who have put voice to this thread. I do hold them accountable for what they have done and expect much more.
Model: VMC3030 | Arlo Wire-Free Camera
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Hero



@paddos wrote:
@pc2k17

Interesting response. Just have a hard time believing anyone would try to justify the pityful performance of Arlo as NORMAL????? Or, that somehow the users could be creating the issue. Clearly you have different expectations than me and I would bet most anyone else who have put voice to this thread. I do hold them accountable for what they have done and expect much more.


I think your missing the point. All I'm saying is software/firmware updates sometimes fail, it's just the way it is. "Computers" aren't perfect. I'm not trying to justify anything. For me the performance is back to the way is was before the may update. If performance is pitiful for you then something probably went wrong with your update or maybe the firmware still has bugs that in a certain situation causes battery issues. My system is normal, yours may not be.

I never said the consumer is creating the issue. If you know anything about software/firmware or operating systems you know that when doing updates you can never account for every different setup or scenario out there. Somewhere someone will have a setup or combination of hardware that was accounted for and an issue could arise from that. That's not the end users fault, that's not the engineers or devs fault, it's just the nature of the beast.

 

All that said, as I have mentioned in this thread dozens of times, the Arlo engineers and devs are clearly having a hard time getting all these recent bugs fixed for everyone, and they might want to hire some experience. Clearly there are issues for some and Arlo needs to straighten those out.

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Guide
Guide
Hi @pc2k17, I think the issue is how long would it take for Arlo to resolve the issue they created themselves? The first time Arlo app kept going "session expired" it took them a while to come up with a fix but this time after 2-3 firmware updates, it's still unresolved. People bought a product that was working well until someone from Arlo decided to tweak something and now it is spoiled. Maybe your system is working perfectly but have a thought about the person who put his Arlo on a second floor roof that cannot work. So the saying still is true: "if it's ain't broken, why fix it?"
Model: VMC4030 | Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
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Hero
Hero

@BGPunggol wrote:
Hi pc2k17, you mentioned that end user may have issues with firmware upgrade due to their system having programs that may cause conflicts during the push. However, I doubt anyone except Netgear Arlo is able to alter the firmware as nearly all of us consumers just bought Arlo products like a TV, fridge etc and rely on it to function as promised by the manufacturer. And to think this whole mess was actually caused by Arlo tweaking their firmware makes it the whole responsibility for Arlo to fix their defects so their patrons can regain confidence in what they bought.

I think you misunderstood. I was giving an example that at my work, in a corporate environment, and end user might have a program on their computer that could interfer with a software update push. End users can't do anything to the arlo base, but this type of setup is different than a typical fridge that has no firmware or software. Non-smart fridges don't get updates. Eventually an update will go out to a smart fridge and the camera will stop working or the screen will stay on or something will go wrong, it's inevitable.

 

In this case it's possible that the arlo engineers didn't account for a particular setup and a bug in the code caused a failure for some people, so I agree, Arlo needs to figure out what went wrong for some people and fix it.

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Guide
Just following up on my earlier post today:

My fully charged Arlo Pro with the latest 7/24 firmware and current firmware on base station went Offline after 3 hours and 45 minutes.

This is ridiculous. Please rollback our firmware.
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Apprentice
Apprentice
@pc2k17

I am going to try and correct you one last time then I am done.

If you bothered to read my full note I mention being CTO for a major appliance company with 4000 Engrs with a masters degree in electronic engr Purdue. And yes the appliances in your home provided you have purchased in last three years has software and with some products push firmware that is far more sophisticated than the Arlo system. And, yes any good electronic engineer knows when you are pushing firmware than errors can happen. That is why good software engineers design in redundancy so that what can sometimes happen are checked and repeated via multiple techniques to insure the product continues to perform as expected. Arlo's capabilities are clearly sub par. And your continued effort to say these problems are just the nature of beast is well just amazing. For gods sake man how do we keep planes in the air if anything with software/firmware is just expected to fail one out of ten times. We do it everyday because good engineers anticipate what can go wrong and by design insure it does not. Glad your system is working well. This is the community support board. Would be great if you could offer some ....
I
Model: VMC3030 | Arlo Wire-Free Camera
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Tutor
Tutor
Arlo’s standard response is how far is your camera, what are the ISP speeds lol. They are trained monkeys or deliberately avoiding the issue
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Aspirant
Aspirant
25 new post notifications and most of them are you two pointlessly arguing.

Thanks!
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Guide
Guide

I also am running into the battery drain. @JamesC I charged all of my cameras yet again on Saunday night. One of them has recorded video once... Once.. And its down to 87% already. its not as bad as it was before but no where near as good as it used to be. 

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Virtuoso

I am wondering if, in this instance with the firmware fix, if removing cameras, cycling the base station, and then again sync'ing the cams might not be such a bad idea.  I know its Netgear's *fixall* for everything, but maybe that's what the hardware needs right now, a good kick in the butt.  I actually had good luck with the firmware fix... just the fact that IR lights no longer come on when I turn off my cams helped batterlife... so between that and making sure to replace cam batteries with ones charged in an Arlo charging station (which charge to 100% instead of 80% as they do when charged by plugging in the cams to charge), I'm not up and down on ladder any more... although today I had a cam decide it didn't feel like being sync'd anymore... but all I had to do was open battery compartment for the offending cam, pop out battery, wait a few seconds, then pop it back in.  Was ok after that, did not need to re resync'd...

Model: VMC4030 | Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
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Aspirant
Aspirant

I updated everything, cameras and base stations, then resynced and the issue SEEMS to have resolved itself. there is WAY less drop in battery than i saw before.  id reccomend that everyone give that a try.

Model: VMB3000 | Arlo Base Station, VMC4030 | Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
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Apprentice
Apprentice

As a place keeper, the morning after andother the new updated on the 24th July. 

 

v1.092.0.16_21159

 

The Arlo Pro camera that I'm having battery drain issues was again reset/resync/fully charged up, Night Vision(IR) and Video Quality are set to Active & Best Video in Video setting for that camera.

 

Checked in this moring via the app, the battery are down to 92% since, the camera is only 5 meters away from the base station, in beween there is a solid brick wall.

 

Still too early to tell..........

Model: VMC4030 | Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
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Guide
Guide

To me, the scariest aspect of the IR coming on and the camera producing a clicking sound as if it were recording, yet not producing a video file in the app, is the feeling that the system could have been hacked and there's a live feed going someplace despite the system being disarmed. This is a new behavior since a recent firmware update and it's 100% a bug. The system should absolutely NOT detect motion (and turn on the IR light inside a dark room) when it is disarmed. A side effect is apparently, and logically, an increased battery drain. If this issue is not being fixed promptly, I will have to disconnect the base station from the network since I really am not comfortable with having Arlo leak videos to the outside world when I am not expecting this to happen. Netgear support is apparently a joke.

Model: VMC3030 | Arlo Wire-Free Camera
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Community Manager
Community Manager

langrock,

 

Recent firmware updates have resolved an issue that caused IR Leds to engage when the camera is off or disarmed. Are you still experiencing this issue after these recent updates?

 

JamesC

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Guide

As of last night, the IR lights and the clicking sounds were still present. All cameras have the same firmware version, 1.2.21616. There's no update.

Model: VMC3030 | Arlo Wire-Free Camera
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Apprentice
Apprentice
All my 5 Pros running 6_21159. 3 based on 8_22190. Why different firmware.

Turned IR off in early June to try and help drain issue. May have helped but still only getting 3 weeks on batteries.
Model: VMC3030 | Arlo Wire-Free Camera
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Apprentice
Apprentice
@langrock
@JamesC

With regards to the click and the IR being on when the cameras are not actually recording anything.

Are you sure this is happening when the Arlo Pro is running ONLY on batteries and is not plugged in to the AC?

Or does it only happen when the Arlo Pro is plugged into the AC? The reason I ask that is I have Arlo HD, Arlo Pro and Arlo Q and my Arlo Q which runs off AC always clicks whenever I log into the Android app and the IR comes on, or if it is armed and it's dark. I can't remember exactly which scenario but I believe its because the detection is different and uses image pixel change rather than a PIR like on the Arlo HD & Pro plus it has 3 second pre record before the detection. If you are getting the click noise and the IR is on if its only doing it when the camera is plugged in, it might be normal behaviour.

I seem to remember the Arlo Pro 2 cameras act like the Arlo Q cameras when plugged in to the A.C. So maybe that is similar for the Arlo Pro too.

James will know the exact spec and if that is correct to say that and can correct me if I am wrong.