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Re: Rechargeable batteries for use with Arlo cameras

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RobertRosal
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

I am also leary on using unprotected batteries, though I know many use them and mostly are safe, I would like to find a protected battery that will work for our Arlo.  In saying all that, I did purchase the TangsFire an unprotected battery and may test it after my current test of a protected battery.  Since my tests are going quite well with the Protected batteries, I will test the TangsFire for comparison and most likely will not use them afterwards.

 

I have had unprotected trustfires overheat while in my Arlo but I caught it before it did any damage to my camera. So I will be watching the TangsFire closely. So far my results for the protected batteries i'm testing looks similar to Toms test of the TangsFire.  Only difference is that, my use is not at spec but more like 7 minutes a day and that's being conservative.  Some days hit 12 minutes.

 

I believe there are others on this forum using Nitecore's, hopefully they can get you the information you need.  I will be ordering the Nitecore's and the Olight's to test after the TangsFire.  Both Nitecore's and Olight's are protected and should fit in our Arlo.

-Robert
TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

Magic number for the Tangsfires... On Day 45, which is the normal avg for the other two brands... anything more is pure gravy !

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RobertRosal
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

TomMac wrote:

Magic number for the Tangsfires... On Day 45, which is the normal avg for the other two brands... anything more is pure gravy !


That's excellent!  I just purchased another camera and dropped in the TangsFire in it, I'm hoping to get good results like you with them!

 

The protected batteries I am testing are now on 34 days, best video at approximate use of 7 minutes day.  It looks like we may have another option for our cameras!

-Robert
Spiritzh
Aspirant
Aspirant

Hi Robert,

 

What brand  of proceed batteries you are using? I have been to a local shop and find two brands. One brand made in Japan can't fit in the camera,  with length 35.5mm.

 

The other brand Xtar is made in China, with length 34mm can fit perfectly into the camera. However it is 3.6V (not 3.7V) and 600mAh (not even 650mAh). Has anyone used this brand? Netgear official site says the rechargeable batteries must between 650 to 2000 mAh, but the shopkeeper said it should work as the camera would not detect the difference except voltage and current. Could anyone provide any comment on this?

 

Spiritzh

RobertRosal
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

The protected battery I am testing are from EagleTac.  They fit perfectly and so far I am very pleased with their performance.

 

Like the TangsFire, they have been tested to truly have approximately 700mah.  Though rated at 750mah, I can live with 50mah discrepency.

 

 

-Robert
Spiritzh
Aspirant
Aspirant

Have someone tested the Olight Rcr123A? This brand has original CR123A size so it should fit in the camera? 

RobertRosal
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Olight and the Nightcores are on my list to test.  Those two are protected batteries.

-Robert
jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

Small update - one camera with TangsFire batteries just went to 2 bars after 32 days and 173 minutes of recording. I've changed the schedule to only nighttime and the duration from 30 seconds to 60 in mid-stroke so it's not an exact apples-to-apples comparison but gives a glimpse of utility.  17 days on the old schedule with 155 minutes of recording.

TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

Day 46+  latest chart...  avg run time per day is about 3.4 mins.

 

Funny to note that cell 1 is running high and cell 2 is running low.... will have to change locations off cells in next run to see if batteries or location in cam.

Cells 3/4 also identical  ( location cam upside down, lens toward body, R to L /  ; 4-3  second row away from lens 2-1 )

 

click / view in full size.

 

day46.JPG

 

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Johnswirt
Initiate
Initiate

Dear TomMac:

 

First, thanks to all of you guys for testing these batteries.

 

Second, does this "solution" need to be updated since I have seen recent discussion regarding great results on the Tangsfire brand?

 

Third, I have noticed when searching for the Tangsfire brand some are listed as 880 mAh (See, http://www.amazon.com/TangsFire%C2%AE-16340-Rechargeable-Battery-battery/dp/B00GJM5GPM/ref=sr_1_1?ie... whereas some are listed as 1000 mAh (See, http://www.amazon.com/TangsFire%C2%AE-16340-Rechargeable-Protected-battery/dp/B00EZGFENI/ref=sr_1_5?....  I assume we should be buying the 1000's if we go with Tangsfire?

 

Fourth, on May 3, AnthonyArmato said he was trying these "On the Way" batteries (http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Q43RUXM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1and it seemed he was getting good results from the them, but I couldn't find a final word on them.

 

Fifth, I have seen discussion of "protected" vs. "unprotected" batteries and don't understand what you guys are referring to and if there is anything I need to be concerned about, e.g., is Tangsfire an unprotected brand whereas Ultrafire is a protected brand?

 

Finally, if I do want to go with the Tangsfire brand, assuming I am reading all of this correctly, where is the best place to buy them?

 

Thanks again for all your help.

 

John

 

RobertRosal
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hi John,

 

There are two reasons that I can think of on why I prefer protected batteries. 

 

1) If you read about unprotected rechargeable lithium batteries you'll find some instances where they have exploded.  I had a set that was overheating which I caught on time before damage was done to my camera.  After reading further, most say if you use unprotected batteries, it is best to get a very good charger.  I have now purchased a Nitecore D4 charger and feel comfortable charging the TangsFire with it and other unprotected brands.  Protected brands I feel are much more safer.

 

2) Protected batteries do not get undercharged or overcharged where the battery can become useless.  

-Robert
TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

 

First, thanks to all of you guys for testing these batteries

 

Welcome

 

Second, does this "solution" need to be updated since I have seen recent discussion regarding great results on the Tangsfire brand?

 

Can't say cause 1) test isn't over ; only 1 day over the avg of other two tested   2) even 5 days in my book , I 'd say go with whats cheapest and run the heck out of them

 

Third, I have noticed when searching for the Tangsfire brand some are listed as 880 mAh

 

There are a few different types of Tangsfire.... the ones I'm testing are 3.7v@1000mahr   ( btw, real world testing brings these in at about 700mahr )

((and, I'd guess the ones you looked at were same but a different wrapper ))

 

Fourth, on May 3, AnthonyArmato said he was trying these "On the Way" batteries and it seemed he was getting good results from the them, but I couldn't find a final word on them.

 

Send him a PM... if he doesn't post about them, I have no idea either

 

Fifth, I have seen discussion of "protected" vs. "unprotected" batteries and don't understand

 

a protected cell will have a (printed curcuit board) PBC in the cell to prevent over charge/over drain which can cause real problems under the "right" conditions.

Some cells are PCB  protected, some are not...   your choice which to use, I've used both and can say I haven't had a problem.  Biggest problem will likely occur if overcharged or charged in wrong device  which can case heating/poss fire/ explode  ( prob like you've heard of in some cell phones/laptops that caught on fire ) When charging you can estimate the aprox time it will take and should keep an eye on them

 

Finally, if I do want to go with the Tangsfire brand, assuming I am reading all of this correctly, where is the best place to buy them?

 

the cheapest place you find them 🙂

 

 

 

 

I will add this info , not requested and have posted it before;

 

1) I have not seen yet a rechargeable cell that exceeds the OEM cell by more than half in capacity ;  best cell will only come in at 700-750mahr, cheaper cells at the 300-500mahr range.

2) the 'china' made batteries seem to be the same batteries but with different wrappers all with excessive mahr ratings ;  like the GTLs in red, blue purple rated at 2300mahr ( which is really about 600 )

3) the LiFePO4 batteries don't seem to work in the Arlo cams, from two different people that bought and tried.

 

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TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

Good morning all... Tangsfire 3.7v/1000mahr test ,  Day 49. ( avg day usage about 3.5 mins @  highest quality )

 

Bad news is it's looking like cell #2 is going south quickly.  If it continues the trend, only a few more days before it pull down the others with low voltage.

Time will tell.

 

Latest chart ( click/view for full size );

 

Captureday49.JPG

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jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

While I haven't tracked voltage like Tom, I have noticed one battery finishing up noticeably lower than the others. Dunno why, perhaps one battery is somehow hooked up to the IR detection or IR illumination. It's easy to think they're all wired in series but without taking a camera apart (or Arlo engineers letting us in on the secret) we can only surmise.  Anyone wanna donate one? 😛

TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

jguerdat wrote:

While I haven't tracked voltage like Tom, I have noticed one battery finishing up noticeably lower than the others. Dunno why, perhaps one battery is somehow hooked up to the IR detection or IR illumination. It's easy to think they're all wired in series but without taking a camera apart


We know that the cams run on 6v  as I have run them from an ac supply and the cam will also run with just one set of ( front row / back row ) cells so the cell sets are in parallel.   What many don't know is that there was a Day camera ( no IR ) back at startup that runs on just two cells... it just wasn't $ smart to produce two types with the cost build difference low between the two.

 

I'm not sure why, but have seen like Jeff, it's usu one cell that runs really low compared to other.... thats why I'm keeping track of cells and location in the camera.

Next run I'll switch locations and see if it's just the cell or not.  Li-ion cells have a fast drop out once they start going so it may just be the cell.

 

Nothing new really, just interesting thoughts

 

PS Jeff... as a side note, if the cam is placed in the focus zone of a parabolic antenna, your transmit range is greatly increased !!  🙂

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jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

TomMac wrote:
PS Jeff... as a side note, if the cam is placed in the focus zone of a parabolic antenna, your transmit range is greatly increased !!  🙂

What if the base is directly behind the camera? The parabolic antenna would sorta block the view! 😛

Itbehook
Tutor
Tutor
Tom Mac what charger are you using and what color are the tangsfire batteries you're using? Are they white or grey?
TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

Itbehook wrote:
Tom Mac what charger are you using and what color are the tangsfire batteries you're using? Are they white or grey?

The Tangsfire cells are 3.7v rated at 1000mahr  ( white )

 

they look like ; http://www.amazon.com/TangsFire%C2%AE-1000MHA-rechargeable-battery-charger/dp/B00FWOJLGI/ref=sr_1_4?...

 

The chargers I use ( I have 4 ) are all similar 2 cell chargers made for 16340 type li-ion cells ( like travel chargers )

They are really no name from china, but I have not had any problems with them.  They all charge the cells to 4.21v after a few hours

(two of them came with the GTLs and Ultrafires from ebay )

 

PS.. someone else had a fit problem with 3.6v / 800mahr rated tangsfire so be careful with size as they can vary due to allowable spec sizes..make sure if you buy something it can be returned if the fit is ng

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TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

I will make a call even tho the test is still running.... Today is day 50, so I'm 5 days over the avg of the other units.

 

I call the Tangsfire 3.7v/1000mahr cells the winner !

 

Sad news is that I think it will only run two more days... seems like cell #2 is going quickly down and if the trend continues it won't be long. Drop out in past has been when voltage reaches 2.7v-2.8v .  It will be interesting if the other cells keep the total V up and and/or I will let the cell get low enough to cause damage to cell

 

graph; click/view for full size

 

 

50dayCapture.JPG

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RobertRosal
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

That's great Tom, I'll see how the TangsFire hold out, running them on spec, so hoping for good results like you.  

 

I am currently on the 40th day on EagleTac's.  Average daily runtimes are 7 minutes at best quality!  We may have another winner here, I'd say definitely a winner, if these EagleTac's can make it to 50 days, while running more than spec time!

-Robert
Itbehook
Tutor
Tutor
Those are both awesome results guys. Keep up the good work on the testing... I personally would like to see netgear do their own test and bundle the rechargable batteries with their cameras. I wouldn't mind paying a few dollars more for the system.

Anyone have a recommendation for a good quality charger for these batteries?
RobertRosal
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

If you're like me and don't want to baby sit the charger to make sure you don't overcharge the batteries, I'd say go with the Nitecore D4.  Can charge 4 batteries at once, tells you what each battery is at while charging and has all the safety requirements all built in.

 

That would be my recommendation.

-Robert
TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

I don't 'babysit' my chargers either... put them on in the am, a few hours later the red light goes green, cells are cooked to a perfect 4.2v

They came with the batteries.

 

But I wouldn't put and cells on charge over night reguardless of the charger... I've seen strange things happen with li-Ion cells.

Had a laptop go up in smoke once too. ( aftermarket battery )

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hb13
Guide
Guide
Netgear refuses responsibility for misinformation about rechargeable battery compatibility to their customers.

May 15, 2015 at 9:41am
"This is Ricardo from NETGEAR Support. I understand that the rechargeable batteries you got are showing low battery level on your cameras. We have done several tests with rechargeable batteries and we admit that we got different results from different battery brands and specs. The ones we found that work best are those 3.6 v and 3.7 v rechargeable CR123 batteries.

I also noticed that your Arlo base station has a misconfigured firmware. We would like to correct that problem as it may have bearing with the inaccurate battery reading issue that you are seeing on the cameras.

The best way to resolve the misconfigured firmware is to actually reset the base station. Please follow the steps below while in the same location as the base station. This process should only take a few minutes. Do a simple reset by using a paper clip to press the reset button on the base station for 10 seconds or until all the LEDs on the base station blinks amber.
Your base station will then perform the reset and reboot itself. Please wait until the Power and Internet LED turn solid green. Resync the cameras as instructed in the quick start guide (one at a time).

You can then log into your Arlo account where you should see the new default modes “All Motion On” and “All Motion Off”.

Regards,

Ricardo
Expert ID: 8315
NETGEAR L2 Support Expert"

May 15, 2015 at 6:03pm
"I would like to convey to you our sincere apologies for the inconvenience you have experienced. This issue has no doubt caused you some frustration and we want you to know that this is certainly not typical of our organization. The article you pointed out is the official statement from our engineering department. Link: https://community.netgear.com/t5/Arlo-Knowledge-Base/What-do-I-need-to-know-about-using-rechargeable...

If you want we can send you new set of disposable batteries.

Sincereley,

Ricardo
Expert ID: 8315
NETGEAR L2 Support Expert"

My response May 16, 2015
"It's not a mere inconvenience. Being told via phone the night of 5/14/15 by Arlo Support that someone would be CALLING me the next morning (5/15/15) and NOT getting a call... THAT'S an inconvenience. It's $145 WASTED on a product that I can't use AFTER buying the specifically compatible batteries that Netgear/Arlo/Support/Engineers said WOULD WORK in their official statement. If I had other uses for these batteries it'd be different, but I don't. Would Netgear like to buy these batteries from me? I would be happy to provide receipts.
Sending $30 worth of disposable batteries is the absoute LEAST Netgear can do. Something along the line of offering an additional camera for $0-$50 would be more reasonable.
How can Netgear, Support, Engineers and an official statement say that certain batteries will work, THEN say they won't work, THEN still refer to the official statement that says the batteries I bought will work??? Then relieve themselves of ANY misinformation or responsibility. AND still have the OFFICIAL STATEMENT posted for other customers to be misled and troubled? I was told via phone to NOT use LiFePO4 but the official statement says I can. What's the real answer? The official statement says a rechargeable Li-Ion or LiFePO4 with at least 650 mah will work. Why do my rechargeable Li-Ion 900 mah and LiFePO4 750 mah NOT work when the official statement says they will?
If I have a firmware that is not updating automatically when the Auto-Update option has been selected since installation, what is being done to fix this? Now I have to dismount all 4 cameras (again, since changing batteries didn't work and the person via phone didn't inform me of this so I re-mounted with old batteries), reset and re-sync.
Also, the Subject of this communication that says "Cust was having problems with the rechargeable batteries since he is not aware that it should be Li-Ion 3.6 V - 3.7 V" is a bit upsetting too. Again, passing the blame on the customer for 1) not having any information about rechargeable battery compatibility with the product when purchased. 2) having an official statement, that has to be sought out, say the batteries I got will work (but really don't) including stating the LiFePO4 work (but really don't and haven't removed it from the official statement) and stating that most rechargeable batteries are already 3.6 V - 4.2 V and just like the disposable batteries that are actually 3.2 V but are labeled as 3V, those higher volt rechargeable batteries can have more actual volts but only be labeled as 3V. 3) the official statement doesn't say you MUST purchase 3.6 V - 3.7 V rechargeable batteries if you wanted to use rechargeable batteries. It says rechargeable batteries generally have higher voltages of 3.6-4.2V. So if this is a MUST as I am being told... it looks as if the "official statement" needs to be updated for accuracy so as to not misinform any other customers about generalities or straight false advertisement (LiFePO4)."


My last Support response via email (still haven't gotten a callback since 5/14/15):

May 23, 2015 at 6:36pm
"Our statement about rechargeables is only a suggestion since we recommend regular disposable batteries. The rechargeable reference we provide is only meant as a gesture to provide certain information to assist customers in making a more educated decision on what to look for when considering the rechargeable battery route.

And for the official statement, we will be looking on updating it to avoid this kind of thing happening again.

Sincerely,

Allen
Expert ID: 8323
NETGEAR L2 Support"


Their official statement doesn't say they recommend regular disposable batteries.
Their official statement says they "cannot guarantee the performance of rechargeable batteries" but performance and compatibility are two different things.
Their official statement says that Li-Ion and LiFePO4 rechargeable batteries with at least 650 mAh will work/are compatible.

1) I haven't seen any disposable batteries they offered.
2) As of 7/9/15 6:30pm (more than a month after saying they would look into updating their misinformation, their Official Statement has not changed. See link or read below link.

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Arlo-Knowledge-Base/What-do-I-need-to-know-about-using-rechargeable...

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.
TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

Most of what was posted I can agree on except the LiFePO4 cells by several users seem not to work. ( have not tested myself )

 

I can understand Netgear NOT offically recommending rechargeables and sizes here DO MATTER here as there as variences in the allowable size of the manufactoring spec in the cells. But the data sheet from Netgear should be updated for sure.

 

There are (here) over 15 pages of notes on rechargeable cells and anyone thinking of using them should read all of them and be guided as such.

 

 

As to the latest testing on Tangsfire Li-ion 3.7v/1000mahr;

 

My first test run is completed at 51 days... As predicted , cell #2 was going down fast and I got an email this morning the cam was at 15%. Before I let the cell run to low ( which could possiblely damage life ) by running till dead , I decided to end the test.

 

In the cells tested by me, the GTLs, Ultrafires,  and Tangsfire... the Tangsfire lasted the longest.  

 

This was not really a big surprise as the Tangsfire have a real world rating of about 700mahr, which is higher the the other two ( at about 500-600).

 

 

Below is the last graph in the test showing each cell voltage life vs time

click/view for full size.

 

Captureday51end.JPG

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