Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras|NETGEAR
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Innacurate Battery Life

I have a wireless Arlo Camera system with 2 cameras. I was away from home and I had an alert saying that camera 1 was down to 2% charge and I verified this with my app.  I cheked the other camera and it showed it was at 25%.  When I returned home I checked the power output of the 4 batteries in the camera showing 2%.  They were all showing 2.7 volts,  I re-inserted the batteries and no change.  I tried once more and the charge was zero and the camera was off-line. As a temporary fix, I switched 2 batteries from camera 1 to camera 2 and vice versa with amazing effect. The 2% camera is showing 70% charge and the 25% camera is showing 84% charge.  These readings are holding up, 5 days later.  Can anyone offer an explanation please? 

Model: VMS3230|Arlo Smart Home
Message 1 of 11

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Re: Innacurate Battery Life


@Batterylife wrote:

  When I returned home I checked the power output of the 4 batteries in the camera showing 2%.  They were all showing 2.7 volts,  I re-inserted the batteries and no change.  I tried once more and the charge was zero and the camera was off-line


 

First, A brand new 123 cell ( OEM not rechargeable ) will be 3.2v on a voltmeter....

The cutoff ( when camera dies ) for the Arlo cameras is just about 2.75v. So when the batteries sent an email they were depleted, they prob were.

As to the batteries, they must/should be change out ALL 4 at the same time. Reason is the camera can run on 2 cells. The way the camera operates is that there are 2 sets of  2 cells that flip-flop back and forth to maximize the usage of the total 4.... so when you changed out 2, you sort of reset the battery meter so it may read higher.

( also some times 1 of the 2 pairs may not flip-flop correctly leaving a pair with a higher charge )...( once again, reset of the camera occurs whn the batteries are pulled and replaced )

 

I would check them again on a volt meter and see their voltage... running them under load of recording or viewing would show quickly if they are low

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Morse is faster than texting!
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Message 4 of 11

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Re: Innacurate Battery Life


@Batterylife wrote:

I have a wireless Arlo Camera system with 2 cameras. I was away from home and I had an alert saying that camera 1 was down to 2% charge and I verified this with my app.  I cheked the other camera and it showed it was at 25%.  When I returned home I checked the power output of the 4 batteries in the camera showing 2%.  They were all showing 2.7 volts,  I re-inserted the batteries and no change.  I tried once more and the charge was zero and the camera was off-line. As a temporary fix, I switched 2 batteries from camera 1 to camera 2 and vice versa with amazing effect. The 2% camera is showing 70% charge and the 25% camera is showing 84% charge.  These readings are holding up, 5 days later.  Can anyone offer an explanation please? 


I can’t explain the difference, but as I recall, the CR123 batteries don’t behave the same as other batteries on a voltmeter or standard battery tester.  I have always found my depleted CR123 batteries test fine on a battery tester and volt meter.  I spent some time looking for a battery tester that would test them correctly and even thought about building a load tester, but I decided it was too much work.  Then they came out with recarchable batteries for the original Arlo camera, so I switched over to those.

 

This doesn’t explain your “in camera” experience, of course.  If you are certain the batteries and camera battery contacts were all clean and dry, that remains a mystery.

Message 2 of 11
Guru

Re: Innacurate Battery Life

There are actually 2 sets of 2 batteries in these cameras - front and rear. The camera will run off one set and automatically switch to the other to even out depletion, sorta like rotating tires on a car. Putting a pair of good batteries in the camera will show the increased battery level as a result. As a test, if you want to fool around with it, is to only put one set of batteries in a camera. If fresh, the camera will show ~50% charge and will work fine.

Message 3 of 11
Guru

Re: Innacurate Battery Life


@Batterylife wrote:

  When I returned home I checked the power output of the 4 batteries in the camera showing 2%.  They were all showing 2.7 volts,  I re-inserted the batteries and no change.  I tried once more and the charge was zero and the camera was off-line


 

First, A brand new 123 cell ( OEM not rechargeable ) will be 3.2v on a voltmeter....

The cutoff ( when camera dies ) for the Arlo cameras is just about 2.75v. So when the batteries sent an email they were depleted, they prob were.

As to the batteries, they must/should be change out ALL 4 at the same time. Reason is the camera can run on 2 cells. The way the camera operates is that there are 2 sets of  2 cells that flip-flop back and forth to maximize the usage of the total 4.... so when you changed out 2, you sort of reset the battery meter so it may read higher.

( also some times 1 of the 2 pairs may not flip-flop correctly leaving a pair with a higher charge )...( once again, reset of the camera occurs whn the batteries are pulled and replaced )

 

I would check them again on a volt meter and see their voltage... running them under load of recording or viewing would show quickly if they are low

--------------------------------------
Morse is faster than texting!
--------------------------------------
Message 4 of 11
Mentor

Re: Innacurate Battery Life


@jguerdat wrote:

There are actually 2 sets of 2 batteries in these cameras - front and rear. The camera will run off one set and automatically switch to the other to even out depletion, sorta like rotating tires on a car. Putting a pair of good batteries in the camera will show the increased battery level as a result. As a test, if you want to fool around with it, is to only put one set of batteries in a camera. If fresh, the camera will show ~50% charge and will work fine.


I frequently learn something very interesting from your posted responses to others.  Thank you for sharing your expertise.

Message 5 of 11
Guru

Re: Innacurate Battery Life

It's just an artifact of spending WAY too much time here...  Smiley Tongue

Message 6 of 11
Mentor

Re: Innacurate Battery Life

I’m starting to empathize with that feeling.

Message 7 of 11
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Re: Innacurate Battery Life

Thanks to everyone for responding so quickly.  I'm really impressed (and grateful).

 

Wishing you all a joy-filled Christmas.

Message 8 of 11
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Re: Innacurate Battery Life

Ditch the batteries!

Message 9 of 11
Guru

Re: Innacurate Battery Life


@Billsled wrote:

Ditch the batteries!

 


 

FYI... that usb port has been a know factor since the Arlo HDs came out...

From speaking to the techs at Arlo ( and my own testing with other here ) be very careful using the usb port. It was intended only for programing use in the camera and does not really support the current needed to run the camera.

Yes, some times it will work, but then again, some times the chips in the circuit will fry ( given the +/- variables of the actual chips used ). Sometimes the camera just acts weird too.

If you are going to run it via an external power, it is better and safer to wire same to the actual battery contacts.

( then agian in my usage , I find the 123 rechargarables work just fine, in a low usage area they last about 4-5 months )

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Morse is faster than texting!
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Message 10 of 11
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Re: Innacurate Battery Life

I’ve been using rechargeable batteries in the original Arlo for over a year and agree they are a very good solution.

Message 11 of 11