Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Re: Battery Life worse after changing batteries in Arlo Cameras

Reply
Discussion stats
  • 22 Replies
  • 4241 Views
  • 1 Like
  • 6 In Conversation
rjpod
Guide
Guide

I installed a 4 camera system in November 2015 and despite frequent fiddling/testing I got almost 6 months from the OEM batteries.  After replacing them, I am only getting 2-4 weeks from each camera.  I am only recording 20-40 seconds of video on each camera per day on the "Optimized" setting.  I have tried different various name-brand batteries including the same ones as used as OEM.  I added a second base station and 4 more cameras along with a Netgear AC1200 EX6150 Range Extender to ensure 4 bars of signal on each camera.  I live in Florida so cold temps aren't an issue.  A few cameras are exposed to Sunlight but most are shielded so no great heat either.  I have whole-house surge suppression and my computer's battery backup has not noticed any spikes or brownouts.  I am running on the optimal WiFi channel to reduce interference.  The cordless phones are DECT 6.0 (1.9 GHz) so they shouldn't interfere.  There were no changes in other WiFi devices in the home around the time of the onset of the problems. I occasionally find the cameras have lost connection to the base station and need to restart the base station to reconnect.  All cameras and base stations are on the latest firmware.  Since the problem started after changing the batteries (and presumably an update to the firmware), I question if there is a problem with the firmware.  Any ideas??

Model: VMC3030 | Arlo Wire-Free Camera
22 REPLIES 22
TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

I occasionally find the cameras have lost connection to the base station and need to restart the base station to reconnect...

 

 

Since most of the users have been running the same firmware and not having your problems.... I would tend to think something is more related to the above statement and maybe not the firmware.

 

I have been running the system since late 2015 qand have had only 5 times total where the cameras have lost contact to the base... 3 of them are due to outside power failures ( not of my control ), 1 from a firmware glitch ( beta firmware not released to public ) and 1x to dead batteries

 

 

When the cameras really loose connection to the base they require a re-sync to connect back... rebooting of the base will not fix the problem. ( btw, my modem,base,router are all on a  UPS to prevent camera fallout as if the base is active then the cameras do not drop out )

 

 

This leads me to think the problem is more base or battery related as to signal, interference, etc.

 

Power usage of the cameras does increase if connection is lost to the base as it tries to auto reconnect for a while. Also is there a possiblity of getting a bad batch or counterfit cells ( like from ebay where there are many )

--------------------------------------
Morse is faster than texting!
--------------------------------------
rjpod
Guide
Guide

Batteries have been supplied via Home Depot, Lowe's and Batteries Plus.

 

If the issue with cameras losing connection to the base station is not what causes it, what type of issue is corrected by rebooting the base station. Other than the battery time issue, rebooting the base station allows the cameras to reconnect.

 

TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

rjpod wrote:

Batteries have been supplied via Home Depot, Lowe's and Batteries Plus.

 

If the issue with cameras losing connection to the base station is not what causes it, what type of issue is corrected by rebooting the base station. Other than the battery time issue, rebooting the base station allows the cameras to reconnect.

 


So , we kick out the batteries as a problem..

 

Like I said, when the cameras really drop out from the base, a reboot of the base doesn't bring them back... it requires physical interaction / resync'ing.

 

The fact that the cameras come back up with a base reboot leads me to think more interference which is a temp loss of camera link, and a reboot allows the full connection stream to be reestablished...

 

Possible that it may be a weak base ( re sig output ), don't know.... But a test camera placed closer to the base may be a way of finding out the real cause.

 

If none of this solves the problem, I think I'd put in a trouble ticket to Netgear ( maybe they have a better idea )

1) try a diff browser just in case ( tho prob not the problem )

2) do a full reset of the base and set up again as new

--------------------------------------
Morse is faster than texting!
--------------------------------------
rjpod
Guide
Guide

What do you mean: "Try another browser". Access is via the Arlo app, email and notifications not a browser.

 

I have one of the cameras already about 5 feet from one of the base stations. No difference in battery life.  In fact, the Duracell batteries in this camera were installed two weeks ago and went from full charge indication yesterday to essentially dead today. App showed no image from the camera and I got notification that the battery was at "0". My multimeter showed each battery at 2.5V +/-  0.05V.  No loss of connectivity requiring a reboot of the base in the past 2'weeks on that base station.

 

BTW, one of the base stations is plugged into a network switch directly.  The other is plugged into a wireless range expander. No difference in battery or need to reboot the base station on occasion. 

 

I'm stumped.

 

How does one open a ticket with Netgear?

 

TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

What do you mean: "Try another browser". Access is via the Arlo app, email and notifications not a browser.

 

 

Was unaware you were running from an App ( didn't see that mentioned or missed it ) , I find it's easier to debug Arlo problems using the web access.

 

 

Since you say the system worked fine for the first six months and then a battery change out started the problems.... it's stumped me too..... And yes when the batteries hit below 2.7v or so they are dead ( new 123 cells are 3.2v )

 

 

I'd ( at this point ) do a removal of the devices from the app/prgm and then do a FULL factory reset of the base unit to wipe out any possible glitches in the stored settings... then bring the Arlo system back up as new.

( factory reset is to hold in the base reset button for about 10 sec till the leds on front flash )

 

As a PS... what are the versions your running on the Cams, Base ???

I think they are current at ; Cam = 1.2.5699, Base = 1.7.5.6178

 

PPS... are you saying the 2 bases, one on extender and one directly to router.... and only one of the two is dropping out??

 

 

To contact Netgear goto  http://www.arlo.com/en-us/support/contact.aspx

 

--------------------------------------
Morse is faster than texting!
--------------------------------------
jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

My production firmware levels are:

 

base - 1.7.3_5005

camera - 1.2.4941

TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

jguerdat wrote:

My production firmware levels are:

 

base - 1.7.3_5005

camera - 1.2.4941


Yes J... aren't you having problems with the updates due to using router?

 

Your cam version was dated 3/17/16 in my notes, changed on 5/4/16 to 1.2.5699

Your base date is from 3/18/16 and updated to 1.7.5.6178 about 5/1/16

 

--------------------------------------
Morse is faster than texting!
--------------------------------------
jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

The router has old firmware so I tried swapping the camera to the base so it would update. It did, to 1.2.4941 but as soon as I put it back on the router it reverted to 1.2.2688.  The production base and camera are as stated.

TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

jguerdat wrote:

My production firmware levels are:

 

base - 1.7.3_5005

camera - 1.2.4941


Yes..you are correct !   to many notes here  🙂

--------------------------------------
Morse is faster than texting!
--------------------------------------
rjpod
Guide
Guide

I hadn't tried using the web browser.  Thanks for the idea.  It is, indeed, nice to have the battery percentages available.

 

My camera firmware is: 1.2.4941 and the base stations are 1.7.3_5005

 

How do you update the firmware on both the base stations and cameras?  Do you have to re-sync each of the cameras?  At one point I had gotten a notice to update the firmware so I had done it and it worked ok but I have not received further notification of a need to update.

 

I have one base station in the back of the house plugged into an access point.  The other base station is in the front of the house in the garage plugged into a wireless range extender. Both of the base stations have needed to be rebooted at one time or another to reconnect to the cameras.  Didn't occur at the same time.

 

Today I installed a new Netgear 3200 wifi  router.  It boosted the signal strength in the garage from 13.1MBps on average to 35.  Hopefully this will help the range extender.  Also helped boost the signal at my front door for my Ring Video Doorbell significantly.

 

Another camera that had new batteries three weeks ago dropped today from essentially full charge to only 16% charge tonight!!

 

I can try to do a full factory reset on the base stations this weekend.

 

I will also put in a ticket with support.

jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

Firmware updates are done automatically.  The only thing you can try to do to "force" an update is to power cycle the device. Of course, right now you have the latest firmware so that won't do anything right now.

JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

rjpod,

 

After installing the new router are you still experiencing battery drain issues? What was the result of your support ticket?

 

Please let us know,

JamesC

rjpod
Guide
Guide

     Hard to say if the new Netgear Router AC3200 has had an effect.  I have only had it running a few days.  All of the cameras have had their batteries changed within the past two weeks.  Battery power is ranging between 80-100% on 7 out of the 8 cameras.  The one that gets motion the least is still at 100%.  The one that gets the most motion triggers dropped from 100% to 20% in 2-3 days but has crept down slowly to 15% today.  I got the notification today that the batteries are "tired' at 15% and need replacement soon.  Lately it gets 3-4 minutes of recording per day on the optimized setting.  ( A shift in the Sun's position is casting a shadow on a flag and triggering more frequent captures.)  That should still give several months of power, not two weeks.  In addition, the new WiFi router is only useful for the Netgear wireless range extender to help boost the signal on base station 2.  Base station 1 is wired directly to the network but still has the same battery issue.

     If it were interference related , I would expect one side of the house to be affected more than the others since the houses here are concrete block and would block some of the interference if coming from a neighbor.  My signal strength is not the issue since the concrete had no effect for the first six months when it worked great.

     Tech support has been sending me clarification questions every day.  I keep responding the same day.  They have now escalated the issue to a higher support group.

jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

Just out of curiosity, what type of batteries are you running (i.e. (non)rechargeables)? I have a slight feeling that the rechargeables seem to have a more linear power level display.  Haven't seen much out of the ordinary as to life expectancy between the two, though.

JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

rjpod,

 

Please send me the case number you have open with support in a private message. I would like to monitor your case and will help provide any additional feedback I may have.

 

JamesC

rjpod
Guide
Guide

Hi jguerdat:

 

I have tried the same batteries as OEM (Energizer), Duracell, Ray-o-vac, Silverlight, Panasonic and Nuon.  All non-rechargables.  From my understanding, non-rechargable Lithiums have longer life but then drop off quickly near the end of useful life.  Rechargables are likely to be more linear in their discharge rates but aren't as powerful to begin with and therefore, although cheaper, would require even more frequent battery changes.

Bob

 

jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

You're right, rechargeables don't last as long since they're roughly half the energy capacity of non-rechargeables.  However, I typically get about 2 month life per charge (+/-) using rechargeables with one camera getting above spec usage.  Yesterday I recorded 34 minutes on that camera and still have 55% battery life after a few weeks of usage on this charge (I don't recall the exact timing of the last battery exchange).  Obviously, this depends on many things and my experience won't necessarily reflect what you would experience.

jb525
Guide
Guide

What you are describing in this post is the exact same issue I've been having.  My initial batteries lasted 8 months, and after replacing them I can't get battieries to last more than a few weeks.  I've been working on this issue with netgear support for around 3 months.  They keep sending me more batteries and I'll tell them to send the logs to engineering when a camera goes from 90-100% to 10% in one day.  They have replaced my base station and I didn't see an improvement.  I also have moved my base station all over the house and moved the cameras within a foot and that doesn't help either.  

 

What I have noticed is that sometimes the batteries will just drain quickly and there doesn't seem to be a reason for it.  Other times, the base station will lose connection with all the cameras, if the system is set to record while the base doesn't have a connection it will trigger the camera to try and will lose batteries when trying to reach the base.

plasmo
Luminary
Luminary

I'm ALSO having the same issue as well.  Over the past 2 weeks, I have gone through 4 cameras with dead batteries after using them for about 4-6 days.  Prior to this I was getting several months until I had to change the batteries.  This is frustrating, since we are leaving for vacation in a couple weeks and don't want the batteries to die while we are away.  The only thing that is different is that it has been in the 90s temperature recently.  

jb525
Guide
Guide

So far from my testing it doesn't appear to be temp related.  I thought it was an issue with the base station but after that was replaced it still had the issue.  I have had all four cameras right next to the base station and still have the issue.  I've also used a wifi sniffer at each camera location and measured signal strength.  There are no other wifi networks running on the same channel as the base station.  Recently, they pushed a beta firmware upgrade to my cameras and that didn't help either.  I bet netgear has sent me around a dozen 4 pack of batteries.  I work in IT, and am pretty convinced that the issue may be related to when the base station loses communication to the cloud services.  So it could be that the camera is set to record and is triggered.  If it can't communicate with the arlo cloud services it keeps teying to connect until the battery is drained.  It may be becuase of interference but I doubt it.  It seems very unlikely that my network works well all around my house but the arlo cameras can't connect to the base station without interference.  Also, I just don't see any evidence of it on the sniffer app.

rjpod
Guide
Guide

Very interesting that others are having the same problem.  Just installed new batteries in all 8 cameras.  Have got them all set to armed and optimized.  Per ARLO, I have not allowed the cameras to be turned off (no disarming, scheduling, geofencing, etc.)  Just installed the fresh set yesterday.  Will have to await results.

 

jb525
Guide
Guide

So after complaining on Amazon.com about my experience for the last 3 months with Netgear support I did get a response from the company.  The lady I spoke to was very nice and apologetic.  She stated that in the local area (San Jose) they have some equipment installed in a users home to help determine the issue.  I also heard this same thing from support resource I've been working on my case with.  I saw once again my cameras all showed to be offline.  I decided to leave them that way for a week and three of them drained completely from around 90%.  All my cameras are now a couple feet away from the base station.  One of them keeps showing offline for no reason.  When I open the battery door to reset the camera it comes back online for a while.  Hopefully, they will find a solution for this soon.