Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Re: Battery drain after change

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Guide
Guide

After I changed batteries in both my cameras with new ones, Both of them showing " replace batteries " after less than 10h operation, and motion detection is not activated. Battery percentage was 90 after installing new batteries, and after 10minutes it was 11%

I checked the voltage and it is 2.9 - 3.1 in all batteries. I tried to do a reset, bought new batteries but the problem persists.Also tried to remove and insert the batteries several times, but still the problem with low battery level.

As for now I cant use any of the cameras, they are not recording and I have to try several times to get a successful connect to them, and if I manage to connect I more or less get "buffering" all the time when trying to see live video. Distance to the cameras is less then 5meter in an open area.

Never had this problem before the battry change, And I have tried different brands of batteries, like Duracell, Philips, GP and Energizer.
At the moment I have spent 140$ on batteries to come to the conclusion that the cameras are unusable

Model: VMC3030 | Arlo Wire-Free Camera
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Guru Guru
Guru
It can be due to various things including WiFi strength or interference. What do the WiFi indicators show? Also, how much live view and recording has gone on in minutes?
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Apprentice
Apprentice

Where is your camera mounted? Keep in mind cold weather takes a great toll on your batteries. Here it's freezing outside at the moment. When I put fresh batteries in my cams and bring them outside, more then half of the capacity is gone in a matter of half an hour. That capacity isn't really gone, but because the batteries are so cold there is a lot of capacity that cannot be used.

 

If your batteries show 2.9 V or less in the beginning, they are not full. Perhaps you are buying from an old stock somewhere. New batteries should be at least 3.0, actually more to 3.1 V when they are room temperature.

 

I run my cams with rechargable batteries. Those have a lower voltage to begin with, so I always get the warning my batteries are low the moment I put them in the camera. They last for 2 or 3 months indoors and the one on the front porch (which triggers a lot because people walk there) lasts about a month. When the temperature outside drops a lot, I get a lot of warnings about the batteries being (almost) empty. I just keep a freshly charged pack ready and put them in when one runs out.

 

Another great way of draining your batteries is using the camera obviously. The Arlo system (with exception of the Q which is powered by cable) is designed to be on standby. So watching out for any motion, but not actually recording or live viewing. In this standby mode they can last for months, while they can only run for about an hour when in active live view or recording mode.

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Guide
Guide

Thank you for the suggestions.

These are the conditions for my cameras

Before replacing the batteries.
WIFI strength = 100%
Battery voltage 2.85v

Battery status = 10%
Batteries in both cameras was used for almost 6 months.
Montion detection with recording activated 20h/day

After replacing batteries

WIFI strength = 100%
Battery voltage when inserted = 3.11

Battery status = 90%
Battery status after 10h = 11%
Actual battery voltage after 10h = 2.9v

Both cameras in idle, eg. deactivted, no montion detection or recording
Temp outside +8c

As I said, never had this problem before. And yesterday I canged batteries once again, Actual voltage 3.12, Battery status yesterday night was 85% and now it is 60% I will check the actual voltage later today

Something is obviously draining the batteries, Cameras are only connected to the basestation, No streaming, monitoring and no motion detection


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Guru Guru
Guru

Maybe something is wrong with the batteries...

OEM cells when new are 3.2 volts ;   the cutoff or dead voltage is about 2.75-2.8v

 

 

Also make sure the tabs inside the cameras aren't bent to much it can happen

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Guru Guru
Guru

tinokremer wrote:

Where is your camera mounted? Keep in mind cold weather takes a great toll on your batteries. Here it's freezing outside at the moment. When I put fresh batteries in my cams and bring them outside, more then half of the capacity is gone in a matter of half an hour. That capacity isn't really gone, but because the batteries are so cold there is a lot of capacity that cannot be used.


Maybe you have REALLY cold weather but I've never seen them drop by half in half an hour in cold weather. This is for both OEM and rechargeable batteries in temps down to -5F.  I can't tell you exactly but I'd say no more than 10%.


tinokremer wrote:

I run my cams with rechargable batteries. Those have a lower voltage to begin with, so I always get the warning my batteries are low the moment I put them in the camera.


You may be running the wrong rechargeable batteries.  The recommended ones, such as the Tenergy ones Netgear now sells, are 3.7v which will read ~4.2v when fresh off the charger.  There are some other batteries (Li-PO?) that are 3.0v and are usually an issue - those that have reported here to have used them seem to always have issues.

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Apprentice
Apprentice

I'm in The Netherlands. When the temperature goes from +20 degrees Celcius to -5 degrees Celcius, the Arlo battery display goes from 20% to less then 10% (usually actually to 0%, which it can hold for weeks, operating normally). 20% in the batterymeter is FULL for my rechargeable batteries. They last for over 2 months in normal weather during the summer. The last less then 1 month in the cold winter.

 

The reason the batterymeter is off a lot is because it expects normal batteries which have a higher voltage then my rechargeable batteries. There is nothing wrong with it.

 

If you want to know more about battery capacity in colder temperatures, read this nice article: http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/discharging_at_high_and_low_temperatures

 

I quote a little bit of that article:

 

"A battery that provides 100 percent capacity at 27°C (80°F) will typically deliver only 50 percent at –18°C (0°F). The momentary capacity-decrease differs with battery chemistry."

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Apprentice
Apprentice

It seems like the camera is busy even though it shouldn't be. Did you try restarting the base as well? I have had one issue a long time ago where none of my camera's were armed (I set it to disarmed manually), but my camera's IR LEDs came on when I passed the camera. Rebooting the camera by opening the battery door did not help, rebooting the whole base station did help. They were truly disarmed and no longer active.

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Guide
Guide

+8 is not cold, unless you live in Sahara 😉

I am not using rechargable batteries, I'v tested this with, CR123a Lithium different brands like Duracell, Philips, GP and Energizer
Regarding half the capacity lost in minutes, I havent verified the actual voltage today, this is what the indicator showed before. And I have removed and reinserted the batteries several times.

In short, what Ive done.
Tried with different brands of batteries,
Checked actual voltage before inserting the new ones, > 3.1volt
Temperature outside +8 celsius, and +19 celsius inside.

I will check the actual voltage in the cameras batteries this evening. Before I changed them it was 3.12v When I check the Arlo indicator it shows 60% now.
Cameras are deactivaded, eg. not detecting or recording.

Model: VMC3030 | Arlo Wire-Free Camera
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Guide
Guide

I have tried to reboot the base and cameras several times without any success. Next step is to do a complete reset.

 

Model: VMC3030 | Arlo Wire-Free Camera