Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Rechargeable batteries for use with Arlo cameras

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Coltsbro84 Star
Star

I am looking for the best rechargeable CR123 batteries that I can find, for use with my Netgear Arlo four cam system. I bought the green stripe Tenergy that claim to have 750mah power. Six batteries with a charger run about $25. I'm not happy with these batteries, because when fully charged (only takes about an hour to charge with a 500mah charger, from what I understand, it exerts as much energy as it stores, so I'm thinking that these batteries are more like 200mah) but back to the story, when fully charged, these batteries only show the camera as being half charged, with a day's use putting it into the low battery icon, and only lasting about a week.

I have since then ordered four Nitecore batteries, rated at 3.7 volts and 650mah. Now the volts are 0.5 higher than what's to be used with the camera, I'm hoping that this does not affect the camera. 650mah is probably true from the reviews and the steep price tag they are asking of around $10 per battery. I'm hoping that they are quality batteries and worth it, and I purchased a Nitecore charger to go with it. I'll be able to test them out here in a few days and get back with everyone on performance.

I just want to know, has anyone tried the rechargeable batteries that I have mentioned? Or do you have other suggestions?


Tenergy (link here: http://www.amazon.com/Kits-RCR123A-LiFePO4-Rechargeable-Batteries/dp/B001EYHO9G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&a...

Nitecore (link here: : http://www.amazon.com/Nitecore-RCR123A-Protected-Rechargeable-Battery-Black/dp/B00D2OCQB2/ref=pd_sim...

Nitecore charger here http://www.amazon.com/Nitecore-IntelliCharger-i4-Battery-Charger/dp/B005UAI372/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&am...


Accepted Solutions
ChristineT
Arlo Employee Retired

I would like to thank you for your posts and contributions! I want to make sure you take a look at an article outlining best practices when it comes to batteries. For those involved in this discussion I encourage you to review Remember these golden rules for your Arlo camera batteries along with BATTERY WARNINGS AND SAFETY.

 

We strongly recommend using one of the following types of batteries:

  • The non-rechargeable batteries supplied with your Arlo Wire-Free cameras
  • Tenergy Li-Ion RCR123A 3.7V 650mAh rechargeable batteries specifically marked “Works with Arlo”
  • Non-rechargeable batteries from other high quality, established, well-known manufacturers such as Panasonic®, Energizer®, or Duracell®

 

NEVER try to recharge the C123A batteries that came with your Arlo camera as they are non-rechargeable.


Thank you for sharing! 
 
ChristineT


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Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

Coltsbro84 wrote;
I have since then ordered four Nitecore batteries, rated at 3.7 volts and 650mah. Now the volts are 0.5 higher than what's to be used with the camera, I'm hoping that this does not affect the camera. 650mah is probably true from the reviews and the steep price tag they are asking of around $10 per battery. I'm hoping that they are quality batteries and worth it, and I purchased a Nitecore charger to go with it. I'll be able to test them out here in a few days and get back with everyone on performance.
I just want to know, has anyone tried the rechargeable batteries that I have mentioned? Or do you have other suggestions?


Hi Coltsbro...

I'll try to answer as best I can. 

Try and read thru this thread;  https://community.netgear.com/t5/Troubleshooting/Trouble-using-rechargable-batteries/m-p/1046#M326

 

You have to remember the primary CR123 cells ( non-rechargeable ) are rated at 1500mahr and their unused voltage about 3.2v (called 3v cells).

They have a fairly level drain rate without a sudden drop out. These should last about 4+ months with usage in specs( specs calling for 4 mins per day )and camera set for Optimized quality.

 

This being said, any cell with a lower rating of currrent basicly will last the percentage of same. .So, 750mahr cells will last 1/2 or less compared to the normal cells.

 

First, The problem with rechargeables is that most will have a lower rating compared to the primary cells AND they have a fast V drop at the end of use life.

The higher voltage of the 3.7v cells does't give the batteries more life per say re voltage because the rechargeables are considered end of use life after about a 1v drop anyway... so even tho the voltage may be near the non-rechargeable cell of 3v, it is in effect is depleted. What matters is the mahr rating, higher mahr rating equals longer run time based on current draw.

**( btw, the 3.7v cells will not harm the cameras )**

 

Second, if is known at this point in time the rechargeables do not show an accurate power reading in the camera. At my last test, the battery indicator was red/empty but the camera functioned for more than 3 weeks.

 

So far I've tested 2 different rechargeables cells ( another person or two on site is/are also testing 3v rechargeables) in the 3.7v rated at 2300 mahr. (The ratings tho are inflated and I believe them to be closer to 1000 mahr ) The higher rated cells are called 16340 cells and they have size specs similar to 123 cells but variences may cause some brands not to fit so be careful in choice. Take a look at Ebay to get some ideas of what I mean... most are called 16340/123 cells. One called ultrafire, another gtl. (Still, be careful in purchase as one of my cells was doa )

 

As to your original rechargeables, it does sound like something was wrong.. to my knowledge, it take aprox 110% -120% of the rating in charge time in a slow charger...so you 500ma charger should take more than 1.5 hours to full charge.

 

 

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Coltsbro84 Star
Star
Run some test with me if you can. My green lable Tenergy cells rated at 750mah lasted 1 1/2 hours on a constant stream with night vision on. What I did was just place an Arlo camera in my spare bedroom and turn the lights off.

Those blue lable Ultrafire have mixed reviews like the green Tenergy. No reports on Ultra Fire yet.

I'll run a test on the black and yellow lable Nitecore here in a few days.

GTL looks like a good quality, and I see red, purple, and black lable batteries, but I don't see any reviews on them at all.

If I could find a solid battery, weather it's 650mah or 1000mah, something that would last a month or two, I would be happy. I understand lithium are 1500mah, and that's four months, but I have four cameras, and don't want to spend $200 a year on batteries.
Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

Coltsbro84 wrote:
Run some test with me if you can. My green lable Tenergy cells rated at 750mah lasted 1 1/2 hours on a constant stream with night vision on. What I did was just place an Arlo camera in my spare bedroom and turn the lights off.
snip....but I have four cameras, and don't want to spend $200 a year on batteries.

If you streamed for 1.5 hrs , that's equal to 22.5 days in spec use.

I just finished a run with the gtl (gray, don't think the color matters) and got 26 days+ normal use. That's ok with me as I can swap out a few sets.

 

But even with 4 cameras changed 4x per year its only about $16  a change for total of $64  ( there are some good bulk buys that sell for under $1 each )

http://www.cr123batteries.com/cr123-batteries/

 

Most of what I see is cause the cameras are new, many overuse them causing a shorter life on batteries.

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R_Lowe Luminary
Luminary

TomMac wrote:


But even with 4 cameras changed 4x per year its only about $16  a change for total of $64  ( there are some good bulk buys that sell for under $1 each )

http://www.cr123batteries.com/cr123-batteries/

 

 


I don't want to, but w/my 4-cam system, I wouldn't mind swapping out 16 batteries every 4 months IF I could keep it at around $20 each time ($80/yr.) or slightly more.  The batteries shown for "as low as $0.89" at the link you provided above do not give you the option to actually place them in your cart.  However, near them is a shrink-wrapped "10-Pack of Tenergy CR123A Propel Batteries" rated at 1400 mAh for $11.  Shipping adds another $4 however for $15 to you (curiously, if you buy two 10-packs at the same time shipping is more than doubled at $11/order...). 

Alternatively, THIS place:  http://www.fenix-store.com/10-pack-of-tenergy-cr123a-propel-batteries/

has what appear to be the exact same shrink-wrapped 10-Pack of Tenergy CR123A Propel Batteries" as I mention but at $13.  However, shipping is FREE.  $15 or $13 --- either case is acceptable to me.  I would just like to hear anybody's opinion about them and really want to know at that price and brand, are they actually any good?!?!

 

My four Arlo cams just arrived this afternoon; but if I can't settle on a viable option to spend less than $100/yr. on single-use or rechargeable batteries, I may consider returning my Arlo cams to Best Buy, and perhaps consider fleshing out my Dropcam setup for more reliable recording w/out the hassle of battery purchasing and buying (for their archive prices of course).  Or maybe I'll return the Arlo 4-cam system for just a 2-cam system instead.  This all is quite an Achilles Heel for Arlo.

4vrnvr Apprentice
Apprentice

I wouldn't consider the batteries an Achilles Heel for Arlo, for most of us it's the reason we bought this camera. The flexibility of moving these cameras anywhere you want, including outside,  without having to worry about a power source is one of the benefits. Shoot, you spend more on the Dropcam cloud fees than you would on the batteries. Also, for me the real issue with the Dropcam was their rule of only one alert notification per 30 minutes. That was a deal breaker for me.

 

As I have previously said, everyone should purchase the system that works best for them, but again I wouldn't call the batteries used in a battery camera an Achilles Heel.

 

Greg

Coltsbro84 Star
Star
The reason that having batteries are nice on a security camera, is because I have a detached garage from my house. I have one Arlo pointed at the front door and one pointed at the street. The one aimed at the street, I installed higher up and behind my bush. It's a pain getting up there, moving branches out of the way. I almost want to just use Lithium batteries in that one, as I only hope to climb up there 4 to 5 times a year. The other camera is less hassle, and with rechargables, I wouldn't mind once a month. If it comes down to every other week, that's quite the hassle.

Anyone with an Arlo camera in a hard to reach area, do you use rechargeables or lithium for that camera? How often do you change them?
R_Lowe Luminary
Luminary

4vrnvr wrote:

I wouldn't consider the batteries an Achilles Heel for Arlo, for most of us it's the reason we bought this camera. The flexibility of moving these cameras anywhere you want, including outside.


I appreciate that Greg.  Their untethered independence for inside or (especially) outside placement is also why I purchased them; it's an amazing feature!  However, I wasn't saying that per se was their Achilles Heel.  It is the battery usage. 

 

I realize this is a new product but from how I'm reading people are using them and the cost of name-brand (e.g., pricey) CR123 batteries many will purchase, folks (a) won't be getting the uppermost limit of the advertised "4 to 6 months" of battery life Netgear claims is available per camera, and (b) will likely be paying $10-$30 per camera every 4 months.  If they have 4 cams, @$20/cam, that may very well translate to $240/yr. in batteries!  Four cameras on a Dropcam system will cost exactly $250/yr. ($100 for 1st cam and $50 each for the next three).  Yes each has benefits (Arlo:  outside placement, Dropcam: constant never-off recording) and each has detractions (Arlo: compromising quantity of recording due to, and constant changing of, batteries, Dropcam: use only via electrical outlet).  So it really comes down to what you are willing to put up with.  That said, and in respectful disagreement, I'm still convinced that Arlo's shaky battery situation is unequivocally their Archilles Heel.  Now if only there were a little piece of kryptonite to power each camera indefinitely, THEN you've got something!  😉  Anyway, I'm researching further, but not opening my box just yet.

 

 

 


Coltsbro84 wrote:

Anyone with an Arlo camera in a hard to reach area, do you use rechargeables or lithium for that camera? How often do you change them?

This is the problem, Coltsbro84, for all of us Lewis & Clarkers first explorers here:  I believe this camera only came out in January, so nobody has any real track record time-wise with batteries to provide any good or useful data on that yet...

Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

One thing I just noticed with my 16340 cells...

I charged up 4 sets of batteries and let them sit over night off charge, then I took voltage resdings.  Some of the cells were .1v lower.

(4.25, 4.24 ,4.15 ,4.17  for one set)

 

So if your going to use rechargeables and can take voltage readings, try and go through all the cells you have to make closely matched sets. 

You want to match the cells for longest run time and to avoid the possiblity of one cell being low ( or a bad cell)  and causing a cell reversal. Remeber that the cells come off charge about 4.3v or so and settle to values like above... but their useful run is like about 1v+ and they are considered dead at about 2.9v+/-.

 

So far I'm seeing at least 2+ weeks of use average, ( one test of heavy use over 3 days got close to 60 days equivalent in record time )

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demo58 Initiate
Initiate

Coltsbro84,

 

Did you get a chance to try out the Nitecore cells?

I am also thinking about going for Nitecore cells and a Nitecore D4 charger, or there are also protected Olight cells I am considering.

 

Olight 650mAh

https://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10008968/1794704-olight-orb-163p06-rcr123a-3-7v-650mah

 

Nitecore at good price, 650mAh:

https://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10001848/1134001-nitecore-nl166-rcr123a-650mah-3-7v-rechargeable

 

Or these EWA cells, also protected ones, 2 pcs/package, 700mAh:

https://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10009735/1855100-evva-rcr123a-16340-3-7v-700mah-rechargeable

Coltsbro84 Star
Star
I tried out the nitecores last night. I charged them with the second generation D4 nitecore charger. They took about 2 1/2 hours to charge, output I believe is at 0.375/hr on the charger while charging four. They are a little bit taller because of the added circut board, but still fit nice in the Arlo camera. It displayed full battery to my surprise, where tenergy batteries show low battery when charged all the way. I don't know if this is because of the higher voltage, or possibly higher mah. Speaking of mah, I have an electric battery meter, and was testing one of the 200 settings (I think it's maybe the mah option, who knows) the nitecore must be more like 850mah instead of 650mah, and the tenergy are more like 500 mah instead of 750mah. The nitecore have a more dense feel to them, heavier but not much, compared to the tenergy green label. I did a test last night for as long as I could, streaming the nitecore camera for over 2 hours. This morning, the battery level still reads full, where the tenergy batteries fully charged displayed low battery power and died right before an hour and a 1/2 of streaming.

I really like the nitecore. Probably going to Send back the 16 tenergy batteries I got and exchange them for 4 more nitecores next week. Save me some, as Amazon is low on stock. lol

Edit: just saw you link a site selling them for $7 each. Great price, I want someone to try the light blue labeled batteries rated similarly for $5 each.
Coltsbro84 Star
Star

Thank you for the previous link to all the batteries. I ordered some EVVA branded batteries, the ones rated at 4.2 volts and 700mah. The fit well be interesting, as they are a millimeter taller than the nitecore, and the nitecore already fit snug.

 

Another update on the Nitecore 3.7v 650mah rechargeable lithium batteries. I am really testing them out, at 45 sec videos with motion set to 90% on a semi busy street. They probably record about 25 minutes a day on optimal video settings. Today is the fifth day, and the battery icon has dropped from full three bars to now two full bars. So far, way better than the Tenergy green lable batteries which would be dead by now.

Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

snip..They probably record about 25 minutes a day on optimal video settings. Today is the fifth day, and the battery icon has dropped from full three bars to now two full bars. snip

125 mins total... good.  At spec rate your above 31 days usage.

I manage to get close to 55+ days on a set of 16340s ( but that was a day camera only, no ir , using 2 cells ) later running the cells in a regular camera the best I saw was 32 days.

Seems like the s/w is getting tweeked a bit which is good... I'll throw another set in this week.

 

BTW as a side note, when new cells go in, I add the date to the end of the name, this way I can remember when they actually were placed in each camera.

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davidphresh Initiate
Initiate

Any updates on the recharbable batteries you've been using? I'm considering either the Nitecore or GTL, but am quite curious about EVVA as well.

Coltsbro84 Star
Star
ill share some information on the EVVA batteries found here. https://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10009735/1855100-evva-rcr123a-16340-3-7v-700mah-rechargeable

Just got my EVVA batteries in the mail. They are almost 2mm taller than the Nitecore, and the Nitecore are already 1mm taller than a standard size CR123. The EVVA pack the most mah at 700 where most others are 650mah or lower,, and pack the most volts at a max of 4.2 volts/3.7 volts compared to most others at 3.7 volts. Charged mine with my Nitecore Ver2 charger, and maxed out at 4.0 volts. I bought eight batteries, but I might plan on returning four of them, here's why.

Right off the bat, the EVVA RCR123 batteries are too long for use in the Netgear Arlo camera. The battery door won't close or latch without any modifications. I modified the batteries to make them fit, which may or may not be a good or bad idea. What I did was cut the plastic that wraps around the bottom of the battery with a razor blade, and also cut out the paper filler on the top of the battery. This allows me to close the battery door on the Arlo Camera. The door is flexed just a bit, and may hinder the water resistant or water proof feature useless. Battery life so far has been amazing, and they defiantly have the same heft to them like the Nitecore. I would only recommend the EVVA rechargeable batteries for the Netgear Arlo if you want a little bit more battery life than the competition (not sure how much more battery life, hard to say as of right now) and plan on modifying the battery to make it fit. then, plan on only using the camera for indoor use only as it might render the water resistant feature useless, as water could potentially get inside the battery door from it being a really tight fit and flexing the battery door.

http://i.imgur.com/8osMQTc.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/nqTGvxJ.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/VEw75LI.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/FSE6M8n.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/gRvF7Ig.jpg

I want to try the Olight 650mah as they are the original CR123 size of batteries found here https://www.fasttech.com/product/1794704-olight-orb-163p06-rcr123a-3-7v-650mah
Might be a couple weeks until I can get back to you all on the Olights with shipping taking around two weeks with fast tech.
Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

Yes... this is one time where size does matter .   🙂

 

There are such build variances in the battery set sizes that some just don't fit ( as I had mentioned in an earlier post ) Esp if your picking the 123/16340 type cells.

 

I'm still running the GTL and ULTRAFIRE versions of 3.7v @ 2300mahr  ( very generous spec, more like 1200 ) but they are the closest I've found near the normal cells of 1500mahr. I took a chance with the larger cells cause most rechargeables in 123 format are near 650 mahr.

 

Still test are to early to tell, but running a week + now ( in 9th day) , all well and looks like the new sw for the cam is working too.

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Coltsbro84 Star
Star
TomMac, do you have the link of the GTL or Ultrafire batteries that you suggest? Thank you in advance
Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

Coltsbro84 wrote:
TomMac, do you have the link of the GTL or Ultrafire batteries that you suggest? Thank you in advance

I picked them up on ebay... there are many brands but if you search for the ones of voltage / capacity / name you should find them.

 

Be warned, some 16340/123 cells DO NOT fit as there are variances allowed in manufactor's sizes

 

If your looking for rechargeables, first read ALL the notes on this site, then look for those with the highest maHr capacity ( run time )

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Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

^ +1

 

Here's the link for what TomMac and I are using:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/251452806142?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

They have a much higher mAh rating than many (most/all?) of the others.  Even if the camera is a heavy draw, leading to a lesser projected runtime, these are ~3x the rating of the others so one can reasonably expect longer battery change intervals.  My initial installs didn't last long but then I was still trying to adjust video lengths, positions and sensitivities, not to mention very cold temps.  Also, the has been a camera firmware update.  The combination of the firmware, moderating temps, and less putzing around has led to seemingly great battery life although it's still too early to report actual results.

Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

Rechargable update.....

 

So far the new sw on the cameras is making me believe the 'battery bug' has been swatted.

 

So far, as of today, it's 19 days on the batteries and all is running good.  Battery level is full and I use the camera a couple of mins+ a day recording time ( within spec ). 

 

So, nothing else to report as there's no problems.

 

 

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EM2Ranch Aspirant
Aspirant

Hi Tom Mac,

Are you still using the GTL 2300mAh 16340 CR123A 3.7v Li-ion Rechargeables?  I just purchased the 4 pack Arlo system and need to get rechargable batteries.  


TomMac wrote:

Rechargable update.....

 

So far the new sw on the cameras is making me believe the 'battery bug' has been swatted.

 

So far, as of today, it's 19 days on the batteries and all is running good.  Battery level is full and I use the camera a couple of mins+ a day recording time ( within spec ). 

 

So, nothing else to report as there's no problems.

 

 


 

Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

Yes those are the ones both he and I are using. I just installed a fresh set in both cameras so don't have a report yet but its looking promising.

EM2Ranch Aspirant
Aspirant

Thanks!

 

By the way.... can you reccomend a charger?  if I have 4 cameras i need to have 16 batteries,  

 

The charger that was on the ebay link for the GTL batteries only charges 2 at a time.  I would like to get one that does more.

 

I saw a Tenergy TN162 8-Bay Smart AA/AAA NiMH/NiCd Battery Charger. at this link: http://www.all-battery.com/TN-162-8bay-charger-01162.aspx?utm_source=GoogleShopping&utm_medium=GDF&g...

 

Any Reccomendations?

Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

EM2Ranch wrote:

Thanks!

 

By the way.... can you reccomend a charger?  if I have 4 cameras i need to have 16 batteries,  

 

The charger that was on the ebay link for the GTL batteries only charges 2 at a time.  I


No , I have several of those chargers that do 2 batteries at a time... I just charge them all up and store them till needed. Remember tho all rechargeables have a little bit of self-discharge over time.

 

BUT, a side note is that it is also best to match batteries as best as possible.... charge up the batteries and then then next day test them for voltage. Match sets that have the closest voltage in sets of 4... it helps them run better ( but not necess if your can't )

Also I found the batteries seemed to get more life after a couple of charge recharge cycles... YMMV on this.

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Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

EM2Ranch wrote:

I saw a Tenergy TN162 8-Bay Smart AA/AAA NiMH/NiCd Battery Charger. at this link:

Any Reccomendations?


Not that one ... specs says;

 

Supported Battery Type: 1.2V AA/AAA NiMH/NiCd Rechargeable Battery

 

(those gtl batteries are li-ion )

Also the 123 batteries are not the same size as AAs ( and 16340s can be larger as manf specs vary )

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