Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras
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guzpro
Star
Star

I am honestly at my wits end and if I could return the set to amazon where I ordered it I would.  I have in the last month replaced the batteries on one camer 4 times and the other twice.  I have had the devices sleeping and they still show low battery levels.  I have gotten almost no usage out of this system because at every turn the cameras are offline or the batteries are dead.  Based on posts I have read it seems like I have the latest firmware.  I am starting to think I wasted 350 dollars in less than 2 months, plus 40 dollars in batteries.  I disabled the schedule I had setup to turn the cameras off during the day and for the last week had them "sleeping" and yet they still went from 100% to 6% in 4 days.  Any suggestions on what might be wrong?

49 REPLIES 49
Chasman
Aspirant
Aspirant

Having the same issue, purchased two cameras, relatively easy set up, set cameras to film and notify "on motion" detection.  First set of batteries lasted 6 mos....OK.   Batteries expensive, almost 50 bucks!  Second set installed, left for many months expecting the same service, batteries dead in 2 weeks, house unprotected for several months.  Visited the house two weeks ago for a week, replaced batteries (everready, good till 2024), checked operation, OK.  Left for several months, 2 weeks have passed and I'm getting low battery messages, one camera already offline the other has a Red battery symbol.  Very disappointed (the polite version).  Won't be back there for several months, a lot of money in cameras and batteries for nothing.  Don't recommend this product.

jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

Make sure Auto update is enabled in base station settings. Sounds like your cameras mag be on old firmware.

Nick_Brisbane
Tutor
Tutor
FYI I have found by lots of reading and testing you can ONLY use the standard batteries.

You CANNOT use rechargeable batteries.

I have both and the way the recharge batteries work in terms of current is slightly different to normal batteries. The current difference is enough to trick the unit into thinking your fully charged recharge batteries are flat when they are not.

The cameras will still function but the arlo base station will continue to report the batteries as flat.

The second you remove recharge batteries and put normal batteries back in the base station reports them as normal again.

Moral of the story: don't use rechargeable batteries with Arlo cameras.
jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

Sorry but that's simply not true.  I've been using ONLY rechargeables for many months with no problems.  The newer firmware correctly reports battery level as accurately as needed.  The major downside is that they don't last as long as the non-recharegable lithium batteries but will do a couple of months with reasonable recording levels. 

 

There are various threads, especially in the Buying Options and Tips forum detailing what batteries work well and which ones to stay away from.

Nick_Brisbane
Tutor
Tutor
What rechargeable batteries are you using please?

The last time I looked at this issue (several months ago) what I said was exactly true.

If that's since changed then that's great news.

I will try again with the ones I have but if they don't report properly again I'd very much like to buy the batteries you say are reporting properly.
Nick_Brisbane
Tutor
Tutor
This is the thread that explains in detail the issue of trying to use rechargeable batteries in Arlo

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Buying-Options-Tips/Rechargeable-batteries-for-use-with-Arlo-camera...
jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

Nick_Brisbane wrote:
What rechargeable batteries are you using please?

The last time I looked at this issue (several months ago) what I said was exactly true.

If that's since changed then that's great news.

I will try again with the ones I have but if they don't report properly again I'd very much like to buy the batteries you say are reporting properly.

I happen to have UltraFire and GTL (which I wouldn't bother with due to short life) as well as TangsFire 1000mAH which are working noticeably better in my situation.  There are others using EagleTac that are reporting even longer time between changes.  Read this thread for most currrent info (I'd skip at least half way through unless you want to see the whole history):

 

https://community.netgear.com/t5/Buying-Options-Tips/Rechargeable-batteries-for-use-with-Arlo-camera...

JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

We recently posted an article outlining best practices when it comes to batteries. For those involved in this discussion I encourage you to review the following article:

 

Remember these golden rules for your Arlo camera batteries

 

Thank you!

JamesC

Nick_Brisbane
Tutor
Tutor
So after being told on this thread about how wrong I was and that Netgear and fixed the rechargeable battery issue via firmware update (yes I checked my firmware is up to date)

My lithium's finally ran out.

I pulled out my LFP123A (3.2v 600mAh) and put them in my Arlo cams.

Walaa. Exact same issue. The batteries which are fully charged are showing as half flat.

Battery specs here
http://www.houseofbatteries.com/documents/LFP123A.pdf

So nothing has been fixed or changed at all. It's exactly the same.
jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

I suspect your problem is with the 3.2v batteries.  The ones we've been testing are all 3.7v.

Allentowngal
Guide
Guide

sorry to hear your frustration...  I am using regular batteries, but my first ones died quickly. I also did the update and the new batteries I got have been doing great. sorry I couldn't be of more help. I think my batteries were just old.

Nick_Brisbane
Tutor
Tutor
Actually I think the guy at the battery store ripped me off.

These recharge batteries are only 600 mah. I noticed the non recharge ones I had were 1400 mah......
jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

All of the rechargeables are in the 500-800mAH range - they can't stuff enough chemicals in to do better, regardless of the markings (some are as high as 2300 mAH - ha!).  However, there is still very likely to be a difference between brands.  The current favorites are EagleTac 750mAH and TangsFire 1000mAH batteries.  Others are being tested but these seem to have the best results for various users.

TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

Nick_Brisbane wrote:
Actually I think the guy at the battery store ripped me off.
These recharge batteries are only 600 mah. I noticed the non recharge ones I had were 1400 mah......

The guy didn't rip you off.... matter of fact your battery is one of the truely rated batteries.

OEM primary cells are 1500mahr, top of line rechargeables only come in at about half or a max of 750 mahr. This is a physical problem not really battery as they can't stuff enough chems in that size cell to last longer.

 

The problem you have is more of a s/w algorithm on the battery indicator. Originally the indicator was fauly with rechargeables tho the cameras would run. At that time we were testing both 3v and 3.7  rechargeable cells.  What happen , IMO, there was a problem with some of the 3v lifepo cells and/or netgear decided the 3.7v cell would be better.  So, the battery level indicators were optimized for the OEM/primary and 3.7 li-ion cells.  Any thing else should work if it supplies the correct amount of power, but may not read right. The only way to know would be actually run them and see what happens.

 

Of course if you have looked at all the thread, you would know the rechargeables require change out at about 45-50 days due to half of the OEM/primary cell rating.

 

 

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Morse is faster than texting!
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Nick_Brisbane
Tutor
Tutor
It's got nothing to do with me not reading anything. I've been following these battery threads since I got these cameras around 9 months ago.

Yes I did have a panic attack looking at my battery stats. No the guy didn't rip me off.

I put them in the camera last night. They were fully charged.

The Arlo reported them at half charge.

By the time I woke up in the morning I already had the low battery warning. I logged on and the battery indicator was red.

The problem there is once the Arlo reports them as low Arlo switches off all the movement sensors etc. Yes they still run but without the sensors they won't trigger to record and to me are then useless.

Therefore I cannot use these batteries. Cost me a small fortune too.

I've put in some more single use ones for now until I can get this sorted out.

I'm in Australia and most of the batteries talked about on this forum are not available here and cost a lot in shipping.

So I'm trying out a few ideas.

I've bought some rechargeable 123A's from a local electronic store here. I have no idea of the quality. All I can do is test and see how it goes.

They are Powertech LCR-123 (CR123A)

http://www.jaycar.com.au/Power-Products-Electrical/Storage-Batteries/Lithium-Rechargeable/Rechargeab...

Also I'm trying out a set of Blue NK 1600mAh 3.7v

Yes I know they are no name brand ones but they come with free shipping and I can't get Eagletak or anything without wasting $30 or $40 in shipping alone not including battery cost.

http://m.ebay.com.au/itm/181681580850?_mwBanner=1
Nick_Brisbane
Tutor
Tutor
The blue ones won't get here for a week. The Powertech I pick up tomorrow.
jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

One clue (besides the 3.7v one) is to check online forums for battery tests.  Just try a search for the batteries you're interested in.  I was originally using the UltraFire 2300mAH because others here were doing the same.  They didn't last nearly as long as others we've found but a warning was always present because online test results were less than flattering.  

 

If you can find them, try locating 3.7v, 750-ish mAH and check to see if anyone has tested them and what their conclusions were.

Nick_Brisbane
Tutor
Tutor
Oh the Powertech's in case you look say they are 3 volt. But there not they are 3.6v. The guy checked them with a multimeter while I was standing in the store. (I'm confused too as to why these cr123a's are advertised as 3.7v when they measure at 3.6v?)
jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

If you do a quick Google on "li-ion voltage", you'll find them to be nominally 3.7v.  However, freshly charged batteries are ~4.2v and discharge down to around 3.0 volts (depends on how far you take them - I've seen more like 2.7 or 2.8v).  So, the 3.6v you saw are in the range and likely reflect a partial charge.  When you get them, keep checking with a voltmeter from fully-charged and see how they actually perform.

Nick_Brisbane
Tutor
Tutor
Just for future reference (myself and other Australians).

The Powertech CR123A (LCR-123) are no good.
They say they are 3 volts.

The guy in the store told me they were in fact 3.6 and it was a printing error.

I just checked the JarCar website and the info on the site says that under load the battery intentionally drops the voltage from 3.6 to 3 !!

I'm taking these back tomorrow.

"Now there's a rechargeable option with this lithium-ion CR123A battery & matching charger. Normally, Li-ION batteries have a nominal voltage of 3.7V, which being higher than a normal CR123 battery can damage the sensitive circuitry of LED torches and cameras - but this battery is different! The battery features smart circuitry inside that drops the voltage to 3.0V under load, making it perfectly safe to use with sensitive electronics that normally use a 3.0V CR123 battery."

http://www.jaycar.com.au/Power-Products-Electrical/Charging/Li-Ion-Li-Po-Chargers/Lithium-Ion-CR123A...
jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

Dangnab it!!

TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

@Nick...

 

No was not saying you didn't read the threads, just was repeating the fact that they would have to be change every 40--50 days in case u did know.

 

The Powertech CR123A (LCR-123) are no good.
They say they are 3 volts.

The guy in the store told me they were in fact 3.6 and it was a printing error.

Re bold,

Glad to hear they're going back... and very expensive too. They must  be really special cells 🙂

 

The OEM cells/primary cells are rated at 3v, their new voltage is really 3.2V.

A 3v rechageable cell off of charge can easily come in at 3.6v as you found out. (Or a control limiter on a 3.6v cell )

A 3.6 - 3.7v rechargeable fully charged will come in at aprox 4.2v off charge

 

Of the batteries listed, prob the ebay version ( blue 3.7v ) will prob work the best for you with 3 notes...

1) they will prob have a rating of 500-600 mahr in real world and are overrated as to mahr capacity

2) they don't mention a protection circuit.  I use a set without, and you just have to be a bit more careful to not overcharge or drain to low... but FYI, there was a case of a melted camera from one without due to overheating form some type of damage

3) use the proper charger of course.

 

good luck, hope yr not going crazy re this yet.

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Morse is faster than texting!
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Kiserracing
Aspirant
Aspirant
I am having the same thing going on , but my son has the same set up and his do not I don't know what is wrong wish we could figure this out or I am returning them .
jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

You're not clear as to what the issue is or what you've done to troubleshoot.  If the batteries are wearing out fast, there's 2 likely reasons:

 

1) Too frequent live viewing/recording.

 

2) Cameras are too far from the base and/or have interference from other wireless devices.

JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

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.
 
Thank you for sharing! 
 
JamesC