Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Re: Poor Battery Life new Wire-Free Doorbell

Reply
Discussion stats
  • 45 Replies
  • 2284 Views
  • 7 Likes
  • 12 In Conversation
dougblair
Star
Star

SueJ,

 

Don't lose hope! I think Mick12's experience is likely to be a special case, and best solution may turn out to be a wired doorbell, or perhaps configuring the doorbell to function. mostly as a doorbell and less like a motion detector (those are two separate functions, after all). If a camera its positioned so that its triggered by every person or car on the adjacent sidewalk or street or corridor then the same problem will exist regardless of what brand it is. Arlo can be configured to just trigger video when the doorbell button is pressed, which I think would address Mick12's issue and result in reasonable battery life. I have a wire free video doorbell too, but it's on my back door and I am in a suburban neighborhood, so the use cases are different.

 

Ive suggested that Mick12 pretty much turn off the motion detection on his doorbell, and JamesC has pointed out that as long as the activity zones are enabled for the doorbell then it will process every video event and send it up to the cloud for processing, and that in turn results in the poor battery life. Mick12 clearly doesn't want all the extra nuisance videos, and I hope he'll try turning off all the stuff except video-when-pressed and see if that makes things work the way he expects. (That would mimic the default Ring configuration, I think)

 

I do agree with your point about the app only allowing one session for your account, but that's supposedly a security feature. What's goofy is that it disconnects your phone session when you try to log into the web page, and then does two factor authentication by going back into the same phone to authorize the web session. They'll work that out eventually. (Besides, you can always create a second account for each device to avoid this. In my case the phone is an admin account and the web page and tablet are just watchers).

dougblair
Star
Star

Mick12,

 

I don't think Arlo is insisting that, and by the way Merry Christmas if that's appropriate in your busy house!

 

We just had a night of strong winds here in the midwest, and I noticed that my front yard camera recorded a LOT of videos overnight, even though there was very little discernible movement. When I looked at the MODE that was active last night I noticed that this camera was responding to AUDIO events as well as motion, so it was just picking up wind noise. Could that be the cause of so many nuisance events from your doorbell camera?

 

Triggering doorbell when someone moves in front of it would be useful, but one can hardly expect that a burglar or a UPS delivery would walk up to your doorbell intentionally making at lot of noise (the mail carrier might have AirPods), so you might not need to monitor for audio events.

 

Just a thought....

 

 

Mick12
Apprentice
Apprentice

No.  

 

My camera specifically records video only.

 

At 40% sensitivity it is picking up trucks driving by and activating the motion sensor regardless of activity zones.

 

Not sure where Arlo thought I was going to use but the front of my house was obviously not considered........

Mick12
Apprentice
Apprentice
I’m down to 30% sensitivity and the motion sensor is still being activated by tall vehicles and trucks in the street. Problem is becoming only catching the end of people walking away from my front door because the sensitivity is set so low.
dougblair
Star
Star

Mick12,

 

Been thinking about your installation over the weekend (HNY! Let's hope 2021 is better!).

 

You've mentioned that your video doorbell is on a porch, I think. As I recall the video doorbell installation manual shows an illustration of the motion detection area angled down toward the ground from mid-door height. I think that's because Arlo uses this image for package detection, but on a porch that means the motion sensor could be looking straight down the porch steps to the sidewalk and to the street. If the approach to the front door is flat (e.g. at the end of a front lawn suburban sidewalk or driveway) then the motion detection field might stop on the grounds 10 or 15 feet from the door. If it's looking all the way down the front stairs then you would get a lot more alerts.  Could that be the cause of your nuisance alerts?

 

I dont know anything about where you live but if you imagine a classic Brooklyn brownstone home with a 5 foot landing at the top of a 6-10 foot flight of stairs, your camera might be looking for packages on every step :-).

 

I think there is a way to test this case. Mount the doorbell upside down for a couple of days. That would mean the motion detection field is angled up, of course. It would still get people walking to the door once they had ascended to the porch because the motion area is horizontal at the top edge.  You should, however, get fewer alerts.

 

If we can determine the cause of the nuisance alerts them perhaps we can ask Arlo to make that more configurable in firmware for the next release.

 

Doug

shifrissa
Aspirant
Aspirant

Hello - As described, I live with two short flights of stairs leading down to the sidewalk in front of my front door. I'm having similar battery draining issues to those described. I've tried activity zones and reducing motion sensitivity and it doesn't work. I agree if Arlo added a feature where I could limit the view to just my porch/yard, it might not be triggering these motion events all the time and draining the battery. I'm looking for a solar panel or extra battery on Arlo's website and not seeing it. Arlo needs to fix this.

Jezper
Aspirant
Aspirant

This thread syncs well with my experience. Sure, it's cold in Sweden right now. But the Doorbell kept charge for 11 days first cycle, and 7 days in second cycle. And it's only a dozen events over those cycles. Tried experimenting with zones, scheduling and sensitivity. Didn't make any different, if any it got a little worse.

 

I was hoping to run this product wireless for a while before I could hook it up this sprint. This might expedite my need to wire it.

winz
Tutor
Tutor

My battery only lasts somewhere between 1-2 weeks. This is a serious issue because I purchased this to be used purely wire-free as I do not have electricity to the front of the house for traditional doorbell. On top of not being able to connect to base station (a separate issue) the low battery life pretty much makes it impractical for use. Advertised as having 6 months battery life is very misleading. All my cameras have been set up with similar settings and have no battery issues, only the doorbell.

Caroline7
Aspirant
Aspirant
My battery lasted 3 weeks before getting the low battery warning... I think Arlo need to either increase the battery size or provide a more accurate description of expected battery life. Not a happy customer!
JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

winz, Caroline7

 

How often is the doorbell being triggered?

 

JamesC

Caroline7
Aspirant
Aspirant
I reduced the activity zones a week in so only about 3-8 times a day
winz
Tutor
Tutor

Mine is set to activity zone on front porch and on a schedule. I would say triggered less than 5 times per day.

JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

Caroline7, winz

 

As mentioned earlier in this thread, adding activity zones will not improve battery life. The camera is still triggered and recording activity outside the zones, that content is just discarded from your library after the cloud analysis determines it occurred outside the zone. You may need to reduce the motion detection sensitivity to completely prevent the camera from triggering and to improve battery life.

 

JamesC

Caroline7
Aspirant
Aspirant
I will try playing with the sensitivity but this does defeat the main reason I chose this product which was security - I have a gate next to my door that was accessed by an intruder so have setup the zones so they only capture motion near the gate. Even as a doorbell it’s not that great as there’s a 3-5 second delay between between the the button press and the notification on my phone. My dogs make a much more accurate and reliable doorbell!
cobyandbees
Tutor
Tutor

I've lasted under 5 days in San Francisco since install and down to 6% at the moment from a full charge. Not particularly happy with that performance considering I've just drilled the stucco to put this on the home beside my iron gate. 

 

Like others, I mistakenly thought I could use an activity zone to reduce battery usage. Now understanding it doesn't actually work that way, what are some of the other things I can try? What's a reasonable sensitivity level to use? Does HDR impact the battery and/or quality of capture? Anything else I can try? 

 

I am on a mesh network and have full strength to the unit near the window where this is installed. Please let me know if there any other external factors to consider.  

 

I could possibly try to route LV wiring behind the unit, but it would be a huge PITA and I'm not convinced the trickle charge would be fast enough to counter the speed of the drain we're experiencing

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@cobyandbees wrote:

 

Like others, I mistakenly thought I could use an activity zone to reduce battery usage. Now understanding it doesn't actually work that way, what are some of the other things I can try? What's a reasonable sensitivity level to use? Does HDR impact the battery and/or quality of capture? Anything else I can try? 

 


Disabling HDR will make it harder to see details in poorly lit areas of the image.  I don't know how if affects power use, you'd have to try it and see.  Reducing the resolution might also have some affect on power use.

 

Though reducing motion sensitivity is the place to start.  Basically reduce it as much as you can, and still get detection from people walking up to the gate.

 


@cobyandbees wrote:

I could possibly try to route LV wiring behind the unit, but it would be a huge PITA and I'm not convinced the trickle charge would be fast enough to counter the speed of the drain we're experiencing


It should help quite a bit (though I understand it might not be very practical).

 

cobyandbees
Tutor
Tutor

@StephenB wrote:


Disabling HDR will make it harder to see details in poorly lit areas of the image.  I don't know how if affects power use, you'd have to try it and see.  Reducing the resolution might also have some affect on power use.

 

Though reducing motion sensitivity is the place to start.  Basically reduce it as much as you can, and still get detection from people walking up to the gate.

 



It should help quite a bit (though I understand it might not be very practical).

 


Thanks so much for the response and your suggestions.

 

Based on other information in the thread. I wanted to see how much motion was being captured and set the activity zone to fill the entire frame in order to see how many videos were being sent to the cloud for analysis. 

 

At the default setting of 80 motion sensitivity, I captured 168 videos from 1 PM to 8 PM. The battery reduced from 100% to 84% in that time. 

 

I've now reduced the motion sensitivity to 9 to test with for the next day or so. It took me a while to find the setting as it wasn't under the device. I thought I was setting it through Device Utilities > Motion Detection Test. I didn't realize the full setting was under Mode

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@cobyandbees wrote:

I've now reduced the motion sensitivity to 9 to test with for the next day or so. It took me a while to find the setting as it wasn't under the device. I thought I was setting it through Device Utilities > Motion Detection Test. I didn't realize the full setting was under Mode


That is confusing, and a lot of people make that mistake.  

 

It sounds like you are on the right track to get the battery usage down.

cobyandbees
Tutor
Tutor

@StephenB wrote:


That is confusing, and a lot of people make that mistake.  

 

It sounds like you are on the right track to get the battery usage down.


Agreed! I wanted to spell it out here just in case anyone who needs it stumbles upon this thread in a Google search like I had 

Fhmfhmfhm
Aspirant
Aspirant
Hello

I've stumbled across your comment from Google! I can't find Mode in order to reduce sensitivity?

I'm having terrible battery life and want to give it a go.
JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

Fhmfhmfhm,

 

Take a look here for more information on how to change sensitivity in your modes/rules: How do I change the motion sensitivity on my Arlo camera?

 

JamesC

Discussion stats
  • 45 Replies
  • 2284 Views
  • 7 Likes
  • 12 In Conversation