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Re: Rechargeable batteries for use with Arlo cameras

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Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

Rebooted, power-cycled and no updates this morning..

Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

jguerdat wrote:

Rebooted, power-cycled and no updates this morning..


from othr thread;

 

AnthonyArmato wrote:

Still no new camera firmware. Are you sure that version update was accurate ?


Capturesw.JPG


No image? Seems to happen a lot...


Ok... made a call for you guys ( and gals )... found out it is NOT a full release yet to the public.  They sent it out to some of the original beta testers to limit possible problems if the s/w didn't work right... it will prob be released in a week+

 

Sorry for the problems if you kept rebooting trying to get it.

currently then the version really is 1.2.2412

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Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

I'm happy to beta test pretty much anything!

hb13 Guide
Guide

Bought and set my Arlo 4 camera system 5/4/15 around 3-4pm. As soon as the provided Energizer batteries dropped 1 bar on the battery indicator, I ordered rechargeable batteries and chargers.

- (8) Tenergy Li-Ion 3V 900mah (blue/silver) with 4 dock charger, X 2

- (10) Tenergy LiFePO4 750mah (green/silver), X2

As soon as they arrived some of the blue 900mah needed a 3 hr charge. 

The green 750mah were charged on arrival.

 

5/14/15 I got a 1 red bar battery indicator / 10% email at 8:30pm. 

I changed out the old Energizer one-use batteries with the blue 900mah Tenergy, reset the camera in position, THEN noticed the battery indicator wasn't corrected to a full 3 green bars via iOS app but still 1 red bar (should've checked before mounting). I checked to see if the camera would work, it did but had a longer than usual delay with live streaming.

I tried the green 750mah Tenergy, in the other camera I wanted to change to rechargeable batteries even tho it had 2 green bars (both high traffic, best quality), and the battery indicator dropped to 1 red bar. I then tried the blue Tenergy in this same camera and got the same results.

I ended up putting the old Energizer batteries back into the cameras and now have both cameras at 1 red bar via iOS and website through computer.

 

Support said that the Engineers tested these batteries and found that they WILL NOT WORK. They said that I need to buy 3.6V-3.7V Li-Ion Rechargeable batteries and added that I should NOT use the green 750mah LiFePO4 Tenergy. They said that 3V is not enough to operate the camera.  I expressed my confusion since the provided Energizer batteries are 3V as well. So that doesn't make sense... rechargeable or one-use shouldn't make a difference, 3V is 3V.  They said thay there is a specific discussion referring to ONLY USE 3.6V or 3.7V Li-ION RECHARGEABLE batteries on here but I can't find where a Netgear/Arlo rep says this, just customer discussions about trial/error. Also, this is NOT indicated on the box, app, etc. as operating requirements. Now I'm stuck with a bunch of batteries I can't use?  I asked about a possible software problem and they said it was not a software problem.

Base Station - 1.3.2261 (have not restarted due to others saying it didn't fix their problem)

Cameras - 1.2.2412

 

I will see what they say if they call back tomorrow like they said they would.

 

Found this from Support that contradicts what they told me:

 

What do I need to know about using rechargeable batteries in my Arlo camera?
You can use rechargeable batteries with Arlo cameras; however, NETGEAR cannot guarantee the performance of rechargeable batteries.

If you use rechargeable batteries in Arlo cameras, look for batteries with these characteristics:

The rechargeable batteries must be either RCR123A or 16340 This number is typically stamped somewhere on the battery. If the battery has a type number other than RCR123A or 16340, it might not fit into an Arlo camera.
The battery capacity (measured in mAh) must be between 650 mAh and 2000 mAh. Batteries with higher capacity numbers work better.
Rechargeable batteries can be either Li-Ion or LiFePO4. Each type requires its own compatible charger. Both types of batteries work.
Rechargeable batteries generally have higher voltages, from 3.6V to 4.2V. Disposable batteries generally have voltages around 3.2V. Arlo cameras can absorb higher voltages.

Rechargeable batteries require quality battery charging units. Do plenty of research before purchasing a charging unit. Typically, rechargeable battery vendors recommend charging units to use.

Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

Given the work that's gone on so far as well as the Arlo-provided info, I'd strongly suggest sticking with the ones already being discussed.  If other models become available or additional information is found we can add those to the mix. 

 

I don't know how the chemistry works between the various batteries but one thing I'd point out is that we need to understand that using the batteries under Arlo's loading may be significantly different from usage in other devices.  That may explain why 3.0-3.2v rechargeables don't work in Arlo - or not.  If there's someone who has measured the load so we can get discharge rates and charts it would be useful to help identify the best batteries. 

Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

The only thing re the 3v rechargeables is that most of us have started with and/or moved over to the 16340/3.7v cells.

 

ED Guess here;

1) the voltage/battery indicator has been set or optimized for the higher voltage batteries ( that why there were so many false V readings prior to sw 1.2.2412 )

2) I don't believe the 3v cells won't work but may be close to the bottom end of optimized settings for the cells there by looking bad as my tests in past (old sw) showed a drop out in the upper 2v range

3) it's not the current draw... these can't be pulling more than 250mahr.... if they were; as the regular cells are only 1500mahr and thats equal to about 4hrs usage or 60days at spec level ( so draw should be less as I get 3 months )

 

I can do load testing on the cameras, but it wouldn't make much diff as the rechargeables are often falsed labeled as to rating... we'd have to actually set up a load test for the batteries with a set draw rate similar to the cameras and have everyone's batteries... that plus the load draw rate is going to be diff if used in day or night ( ir illuminators prob double draw which is why when the Day cameras were dropped ( 2 cells) the Night/Day camera always used 4 cells )

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Sigdriver Tutor
Tutor

I guess I will add to the discussion of rechargeable batteries. I currently have 10 cameras and obviously need rechargeable batteries so I pursued information from Netgear before purchasing any. I have included the response from them and proceed to purchase 48 TENERGY LifePo4 batteries and they only show 1 red bar after charging and installing into camera. They currently will run for a few days depending on usage and then need to be recharged. The voltage when shutting down is 3.42v on average. There is obviously a problem with this battery being used in the Arlo camera and they need to indicate this to the public when purchasing the camera and wanting to use rechargeable batteries. If they don't know if a specific battery is useable then they need to indicate that when asked. I am currently trying a set of Nitecor NL 166 RCR 123A batteries and so far they are working as they should and battery indications are normal. Hope this helps anyone thinking of using TENERGY LifePo4 batteries.

 

Response from Netgear. Always nice to hear from you. In response to your question, my hardware engineers tell me these rechargeable batteries will work with Arlo. They wish to remind you that rechargeables will have roughly half the life of primary (disposable) batteries. The LiFePo4 17335/RCR123A are listed as 750 milliampere hours, versus primaries, which are usually 1500mAh. So, the takeaway here is that they will work fine with our cameras, but you may find yourself charging them more frequently. Not sure if you're aware... But at this time, we've identified a problem on our camera and base station firmware in which batteries subject to very cold temperatures (<30 degrees F) have the potential to mis-report their battery level. This doesn't mean the batteries have drained--they are simply not reporting their level of charge correctly. You'll find that if you bring the cameras indoors, let them come up to room temperature, then open and close the battery door (effectively power-cycling the battery), the cameras should report accurately. Our development team is working on and testing a fix for this. Keep those questions coming! We're happy to help you. Daniel Netgear Arlo Customer Support

 

Here is the last response from Customer Support regarding this problem.

Update from NETGEAR:

Dear Douglas,

Thank you for your patience. As for now, we don't have any update if there will be a Firmware release that fixes the Tenergy Batteries.

For the batteries that you have, you might want to consider reselling them. Our statement about rechargeables is only a suggestion since, we recommend regular disposable batteries.

You may want to read some discussions in the community regarding rechargeable batteries. Please visit support.arlo.com or community.arlo.com.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you need further assistance.

Regards,

Darlin Jean
Expert ID: 46020
Netgear Arlo Support

EM2Ranch Aspirant
Aspirant
Hey TomMac,
I ordered the Purple GTLs with the charger and was notified he batch is defective. Which batteries would you recommend I get???? I need them FAST!

Below is the note from the seller:

Dear Customer,
How are you?
I email you just to tell you that the item you purchase from our store has some quality problems that it's damaged when we pretend to ship,so the post office return this back to us.Sorry for this happens,so we contact with our supplier to resolve this issue for the moment and can't ship the item,so how about we full refund you to cancel the order to release your worries?Really sorry for any trouble to you.Looking forward hearing from you.

Best regards!
Ankh

- hot-rc
Click the Respond button to reply through Messages, or go to your email to reply

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8x CR123A 16340 123A 3.7V 2300mAh Purple GTL Rechargeable Battery + GTL Charger
8x CR123A 16340 123A 3.7V 2300mAh Purple GTL Rechargeable Battery + GTL Charger
Item Id: 141284954516
End time: Jun-06-15 04:40:09 PDT
Seller:
hot-rc (61862)
99.5% Positive Feedback
Member since Jun-19-10 in Hong Kong
Listing Status: This message was sent while the listing was active.

Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

I've tested so far ( and believe Jeff has too ) the GTLs, UltraFires and just recently Tangsfire ... all 3.7v 16340 cells

 

At this point I still think its a crap shoot in these and really don't want to be the bad guy if they don't work, tho the Tangsfire seem also to be working out fine too, there's not enough data yet

.

Like you, I picked mine up on ebay and there is more than one supplier there all in the $3-5 per range.

And other than 1 doa cell I received, I'm getting a good 40 days average uasage from the GTLs and UltraFires.

 

Check the thread ; https://community.netgear.com/t5/Buying-Options-Tips/Rechargable-battery-usage-vs-time-by-type-post-...

 

 

I will stick to my original assessment with all these 16340 cells.  

1) Have not yet seen one ( from named company ) that is more than half of the non-rechargable cells ( 750mahr )

2) mis-labeling is common , esp from china made cells in that they are over-rated

3) most fall in the 400-700 mAhr range

4) changes will be more often than reg cells,  but Jeff and I have been seeing 35-55 days worth of use with the above

 

Whatever you do, try and buy from a more local store if able so they can be returned ( Wallmart, target, etc)

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Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

GTL batteries in my "normal" usage camera just went to 2 bars.  12 days, 172 minutes recorded.  They lasted more days than my heavy usage TangsFires but only about half the recording time. The TFs are at 19 days, still 2 bars and 736 minutes recording.

Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

TFs were changed yesterday - see the specific thread as well as the time thread. Semi-interestingly, my other camera died early this afternoon, using purple GTLs. Showed dead batteries. Opened and closed the battery door after taking two batteries out without noting their location (the ones closest to the lens). Decided to put them back in to get voltage readings as soon as possible after dying again and now the camera shows full battery with 3 bars. I could easily have switched the two batteries around but really now - full??

Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

Well, kinda screwed up but a bit interesting. The GTLs lasted 18 days with 211 minutes of video, best quality, 30 second duration. Popping the cover and possibly swapping two batteries resulted in full battery shown, 14% low warning after a couple of hours and finally dead (again) about 4 hours total. Batteries were read almost immediately and showed 2.67 fr, 2.80 fl, 2.77 rr, 2.75 rl with f=front (near lens), r=rear and left and right. Thus, although I screwed things up a bit, the batteries don't show nearly the spread as they do after a bit of recuperation when the camera shuts down due to low voltage.

 

I now have the TFs in this low usage camera so I can see what kind of data happens. I expect great things based on the heavy usage camera test just completed.

Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

jguerdat wrote:

TFs were changed yesterday - see the specific thread as well as the time thread. Semi-interestingly, my other camera died early this afternoon, using purple GTLs. Showed dead batteries. Opened and closed the battery door after taking two batteries out without noting their location (the ones closest to the lens). Decided to put them back in to get voltage readings as soon as possible after dying again and now the camera shows full battery with 3 bars. I could easily have switched the two batteries around but really now - full??


Yes... I could see that happening.

 

Remember the standard batteries run new at 3.2v ... NG rewrote the battery algorithms to take in and properly work with the 4.2v 16340 cells.

 

As an educated guess, the camera senses the batery voltage from start (when you close the door ) and thinks they may have been regular batteries... which at that voltage ( where the 16340s are doa) may be in the "full" range ... there by giving you the false reading. ( when the cam goes to sleep, the non-loaded batteries will recoup a bit too )

 

PS as to the other messg, I find your voltage just about where mine where at drop out ... about 2.8 v

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Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

Just posted latest results using gray UltraFires (3.7v, 2300 mAh).  Pretty much what I've experienced in the past.  Not going to use these or purple GTLs anymore - not worth it when the TangsFire work MUCH better and are the same price.  Looks like I'll be Craigslisting the GTL/UFs soon unless someone here wants them at half price plus shipping.

Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

Tangsfires running well, no problems at all... currently on day 27 with baterry indicator full.  Drain rate is consistant as is usage of camera in spec too.

(btw, small increase on day 9-10 is due to no usage, batteries recoup a small bit but went back to prior levels after first use )

 

day28.JPG

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Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

Tangsfire still running well... Day 28 completed.

 

Battery indicator went to 2 bars on late day 27... still i know there's normally about 20 days left. Time will tell.

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Spiritzh Aspirant
Aspirant

Hi,

 

 

For those who use the UltraFire 2300mAh rechargeable batteries, could you please advise what is the measurement of the batteries?

 

I am looking to buy locally, from another brand. I just need to know whether that will fit into the camera (I haven't bought the camera yet).

 

 

Thanks.

Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

I'll check later today and get back with the measurements

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Guru TomMac Guru
Guru


For those who use the UltraFire 2300mAh rechargeable batteries, could you please advise what is the measurement of the batteries?

 



lenght - 1.3365"

width - .646"

 

 

 notes;

1) make sure the charger is made for the batteries

2) most are using the 3.7v 16340 cells Li-ion

3) the 3.0v LiPo4 DON"T seem to work well

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Spiritzh Aspirant
Aspirant

Thank you TomMac.

 

Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

latest data on Tangsfires.... holding at 2 bars since the 26th+ day

Starting to notice a diff in cells based on location ( or cell for that matter )... time will tell if trend continues. (right click on jpeg/view image to see full size )

 

Capture.JPG

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gswood Aspirant
Aspirant
Yes, Dropcam or new released nest cam has better resolution, but cost on clouds, two way audio is outstanding. No doubt. Or corse it costs more. Only big problem is not outdoor weather proof.
Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

and what does that have to do with the current thread on batteries ?

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Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

Today is Day 40.... Tangsfires @ 1000mahr rating

Hoping to get past my avg of 45 days... If I hit 50 days, that would be great.

 

( right click/view to view full size )

 

Capture day40.JPG

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Spiritzh Aspirant
Aspirant

For those using Nitecore NL166 or any PCB protected batteries, could you please provide the exact measurement of the battery (Brand, length from bottom to the positive cap)? 

 

I tried to buy locally but the only types available is PCB protected - in different brands though. I don't feel comfortable to buy the UltraFire/GTL unprotected batteries because it can be extremely hot here - over 42 degrees during summer.

 

Thanks.