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michele5389
Guide
Guide

I saw a couple threads about high battery drain with solar panels and the threads have been closed, so I am opening a new one. 

I am having the same problem with one of my cameras and had an additional question/comment. I thought the drain might be battery related so I went on Best Buy’s website to look into ordering a new one.

 

I started looking around and noticed the solar panels I have are being discontinued by Best Buy (https://www.bestbuy.com/site/solar-panel-charger-for-arlo-ultra-pro-3-security-cameras-white-black/6...) and being replaced with this panel https://www.bestbuy.com/site/solar-panel-charger-for-arlo-ultra-ultra-2-pro-3-pro-4-and-pro-3-floodl...

Does anyone think this is relevant? Possibly a known problem with these panels?  I have two of the first panel and one camera works fine on that panel, but the other does not. 

Any thoughts would be appreciated. 

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StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@michele5389 wrote:

 

I started looking around and noticed the solar panels I have are being discontinued by Best Buy (https://www.bestbuy.com/site/solar-panel-charger-for-arlo-ultra-pro-3-security-cameras-white-black/6...) and being replaced with this panel https://www.bestbuy.com/site/solar-panel-charger-for-arlo-ultra-ultra-2-pro-3-pro-4-and-pro-3-floodl...

Does anyone think this is relevant?


I doubt it.  If the panel was improved, I'd have expected some press about it.  More likely it is a component change (perhaps linked to supply chain issues), and the -2000 panel meets the same specs as the original -1000.

 


@michele5389 wrote:

I saw a couple threads about high battery drain with solar panels and the threads have been closed, so I am opening a new one. 


Maybe take this from the top.

  • How much activity is the camera seeing?  (you need to disable cloud activity zones to estimate this)
  • How much sun is reaching the panel?

I have the -1000 panel connected to my ultra.  I still do have to charge it sometimes.  Wind/Shadows will trigger a lot of video recordings sometimes, and panel is often somewhat shaded (mounted on a tree, and the leaves will shade it much of the day).  Still, it does significantly increase the time between charges.

michele5389
Guide
Guide

I am seeing a full battery drain in ~3 days. Yesterday, I charged the camera to 77% (late afternoon) and this morning the camera was already down to 64%. There have been 3, 15 second recordings since I charged the camera. 

As I am talking to you, the battery went from 64% to 63% and nothing recorded. 

michele5389
Guide
Guide

One other comment. This camera had been up and using solar power since late 2019. The drain just started within the last two weeks. 

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

To be clear - the panel can't actually drain your battery.  It sounds like your camera is using a lot more power than it was before - so the panel isn't able to charge it enough. It is worth checking the connector - making sure it is clean, and properly seated.

 

But there are several recent posts saying that the charge level shown in the app and web ui is inconsistent, so it looks like there is something going on with the way the charge level is being reported.

 

jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

It sounds like too much recording/live viewing for the trickle charge from the panel to keep up. However, first try disconnecting the panel from the camera to see if there's a difference.

michele5389
Guide
Guide

So I did notice something else. When I randomly open the app, the camera is showing “yellow” as if it is recording, but no recording shows up. I finally had to turn the camera off for a few minutes to stop the camera from recording absolutely nothing. 

Edinburgh_lad1
Virtuoso
Virtuoso
Hi StephenB (@StephenB)

I've posted on these fora a request that Arlo publish detailed specs of their components (see my submission as a new idea), but I don't think anyone is interested.

So, after doing my own research, the newer solar panel is worse than the older one in terms of power output. How it translates into charging batteries, I don't know, but overcharging batteries can be an issue unless there are specific ways of dealing with that. Not sure either what happens with surplus energy in the case of old Arlo panels - hence maybe the reason why they've changed the specs.
The other aspect that has changed is obviously the shape and the price.

I've managed to get an older one at half price on Amazon UK, but I'm wondering whether to send it back and wait for the new release, even though it rains more over here (Scotland) than the sun shines...


StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@Edinburgh_lad1 wrote:
How it translates into charging batteries, I don't know, but overcharging batteries can be an issue unless there are specific ways of dealing with that. 


The cameras can be run on AC with the batteries inserted, so they already have overcharge circuitry. 

 

FWIW, I have a single power circuit at a location with a Pro3 and a Pro2, and alternate charging (whenever the camera that is on battery gets low I shift to the other one).  I've been doing for quite a long time now, and haven't seen any evidence of battery degradation due to overcharging.

 


@Edinburgh_lad1 wrote:
So, after doing my own research, the newer solar panel is worse than the older one in terms of power output. 

What difference are you seeing?

Edinburgh_lad1
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

5600-1000s is 2.2W 0.303 A 6.6V

5600-2000s is 1.86W 0.281 A 6V

 

The other differences are obvious: shape, size etc.  

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