Re: Poor Battery Life new Wire-Free Doorbell
Installed new wire free doorbell. Running on battery power.
First 24 hours installed battery discharged from 99% to 77%. After making some adjustments to the settings I recharged the battery on the second day.
Once the battery light turned green, I re-installed into camera. Battery read 98% when fully charged, 10 hours later the batter is at 93% with no activations or video recording.
Is this to be expected? Reason for replacing my ring video doorbell was due to very poor battery life.
Do not see how this doorbell will make it three months between charges with its current discharge rate.
Is there any other power saving options I am missing here?
Did the doorbell update firmware when installed? Battery life should be measured in weeks or months, depending on the amount of recording/live viewing as well as the network connection. What's the house construction? Distance to the router? WIreless devices near the doorbell?
Standard wood construction/vinyl siding.
No wireless devices nearby. Router is on second floor near window in front of house, doorbell is below that window.
I do not know what a mesh network or synced to a satellite means...
I have four Arlo Pro 2 cameras on a base station, I set my doorbell up on my router/wifi. I can view my doorbell cam in the Arlo App along with the other cameras.
For reference, I recharged the battery to 98% last night. Today, less then 24 hours later with no live viewing or recording, the battery is at 81% already. At this rate it will not last 5 days before a recharge.
A new doorbell gets the trial subscription which always records but won't show them in the library depending on the Smart settings so you may have had many more recordings, just not displayed in the library.
What is the WiFi icon showing for signal strength? How far away is the router? It might be worth connecting the doorbell to your base as a test to see if that makes a difference. Bringing the doorbell closer to the router for a day would be useful to see if that helps. Otherwise, you may have a faulty device that swapping at the store would resolve.
You have touched on something I need to figure out. I too have a new wire free video doorbell, and I have been unable to connect it to my VMB4000 base station. I have 5 other Arlo cameras, a chime and a wired video doorbell connected to the base station, but the base station could not locate the new wire free video doorbell. The mobile app does not have a place for me to enter the user name for my local network (it uses Enterprise type security, which requires a user name and password. The mobile app allows me to select an SSID and the network password, but not a user name). I could pick the Arlo base station network SSID, but the password is unknown to me. So I have connected my video doorbell to a low-security wifi network directly on my cable company's router. It's outside my firewall, which bothers me. This allows my doorbell to send video and audio to my phone (with some lag time), but the doorbell cannot find my chime.
How did you manage to connect your wire free video doorbell to your base station?
I have some other issues with my wire free doorbell, discussed elsewhere in this forum, but on. the point of high battery usage I have a question: Was your wire free doorbell installed on an outside wall when you noticed the battery drain? The reason I ask is that after seeing this thread I let my wire free doorbell run while it was resting on a table overnight, and noticed similar high usage as you did. I then noticed that I had placed it camera-side down on a glass coffee table to avoid extra motion events while we moved around the living room, and I could see (from underneath) that the camera was repeatedly triggering. The LED on the front of the camera was RED, the ring of lights on white and the camera was making a clicking sound every 10 seconds or so. When I placed the camera lens-side up, but shielded with a book, the battery usage was much more reasonable - maybe 1-2% per day. Obviously the number of motion events and doorbell presses will affect battery life, but it appears that static reflections from nearby reflective objects might play a part too.
My doorbell has just received a firmware upgrade to version 184.108.40.206_421, and the iOS app was also updated yesterday, so perhaps things will be different?
Yes, the drain was noticeable as soon as it was installed outside. I have an activity zone set up that is focused mostly on the concrete front porch and nothing else. I am not sure if this would increase/decrease battery life. I also only have the camera set up to notice people and animals.
My WIFI signal strength is a full three bars. I am down to 50% charge now after only a few days. Similar to my ring, which is why I replaced it with the Arlo doorbell stating three to six months on a single charge.
I have it set to geofence with my other Arlo Pro 2 cameras, so it has been disarmed for much of the time when the battery has been draining as well. Only 1 instance where the doorbell was activated and that was by me to test it out.
Firmware is up to date.
Arlo support emailed me back and gave me instructions for battery life troubleshooting on my cameras and not video doorbell. Is anyone from Arlo watching here? This is nonsense.
I've sent the details you've provided here to the dev team and they are currently investigating the issue. I don't have any new information currently but will provide an update as soon as I know more.
Thank you James,
In speaking to tech support via phone, it is very hard to find someone who has any knowledge of this doorbell. I have been transferred three times.
Please keep me updated.
While activity zones will limit the number of recordings in your library, the doorbell will still detect motion that occurs outside the zone. For activity zones to work, motion must be detected and analyzed by the cloud to determine whether it occurred within the zone. If the motion was outside the zone, the recording is then discarded. If your doorbell is constantly detecting motion, this would explain the battery drain.
Been thinking about your situation for a few days, and I have two thoughts.
The first is that, as JamesC has pointed out, the doorbell is frequently detecting motion, sending the recording up to the cloud to see if the motion is inside your activity zones, and only keeping that in your library if the activity is there. I think this is happening much more often than the recordings in the library would indicate. The installation instructions in the mobile app indicate that the detection area is already focused down towards the ground below the doorbell, so I suspect the activity zones might not be needed. Could you, as an experiment, disable the activity zones and then perhaps reduce the motion sensitivity to reduce the number of nusinance alarms? Worst case is that you get the same number of events, but at least they would be recorded in your library and we would have a better chance of determining what causes the event (tree branches, neighbors dog, etc). Arlo included the angled mounting plate in the kit, so perhaps that might reduce the number of events to depending on what causes the event. There might be a need for another angle plate that aims the camera down. And we might discover that limiting the field of view in firmware could do the trick.
The second thing that occurs to me is that your router might not be capable of supporting "low power mode." Wi-Fi networks typically maintain a link to devices by means of a keepalive signal. That's a simple packet that goes back and forth between the router and the Wi-Fi device that basically says "are you still out there?" and the reply is "yes I'm still here." Low Power Mode is useful if the remote device is moving around (like a cell phone or an iPad) but last time I looked doorbells are pretty stable 🙂 . In low-power mode the router does not send the keep alive signal as often, but it does not tear down the connection either. (There's a discussion of this in the setup instructions for a Nest Protect smoke detector, which is where I learned about it. Nest Protect is a battery operated device that claims several years of battery life but it only needs to use the Wi-Fi network for a monthly test and in the event of a (hopefully VERY rare!) fire.) In Power Save Mode the router builds the connection and is always listening for a signal, but it doesn't send the keepalives. If the router and the remote device don't both support this low power mode, then they will fall back to sending frequent keepalive signals, and they might do this every 10 seconds to every few minutes. You'd spend more battery power turning the doorbell's wi-fi on and then off every minute for the keepalive than you would if the system negotiates the connection and then goes to sleep until someone presses the doorbell button.
You mentioned you have an Apple router, and those are not made anymore. (I have a very old AirPort Extreme, and two AirPort base stations which I have retired). Take a look at the Airport setup and look for something labeled "low power mode" or "power save mode" or "PSM" and enable it if you can. Google "Wi-Fi Power Saving Mode" and read some better description than I have used here. PSM is part of the original 802.11 spec, but it's got to be supported at both ends of the connection to work.
Let us know how it goes....
I have two nest protect Smoke/CO Alarms attached to my Airport Extreme, their batteries last the prescribed time and I never have had an issue with drain.
The angled mount as no effect as I have tried it. If anything, Arlo needed to include a mount that angles downward and not side to side for certain applications.
When I disable the activity zones and lower the sensitivity I get many false alerts. I live on a busy street. Even If I select people and animals.....I still get alerts saying a person or animal was detected even if it was headlights of a passing car. Interesting thing is, I have one activity zone still active with sensitivity at 75%, yesterday it started triggering false alerts for people and animals.
I apologize, I missed your reply just now. Arlo needs to fix the issue then. This is a doorbell that is installed on the front of a house. Is Arlo insisting it has to be installed where there is limited motion trigger events? This seems ridiculous and poorly thought out.
This is concerning; I'm currently installing one for my parents for Christmas and am reading through these forums while the battery takes an extraordinary amount of time to charge. I'm beginning to think I'm going to return this product and just pay to have a Nest hardwired into their house, since that's what I use in my own home and have never once had an issue. Even the Ring has a battery life that lasts six months and an app that actually works and doesn't kick you out for trying to use it on a Chromebook and a phone at the same time. What an absurd app.
Is there any movement on this? I'm in town for three more days and installed this for my parents but I'm about two seconds away after reading through these forums from returning the Arlo product at Best Buy and just paying to have a Nest installed, since I have never had a single issue with any of my Nest products.