Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Re: Trouble using rechargable batteries

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beachbumdb Star
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These cameras are supposed to be able to use rechargeable batteries.

I purchased 8 for my 2 cameras.

 

The charger indicates that they have a full charge but when put in the cameras

the battery indicator shows red and empty.

 

I couldnt get the cameras to work correctly when you click on the camera icon.

Instead of the normal camera view with the top icons,

All I get is a message that say view live streaming on new camera

 

I did have 8 new non-rechargeable batteries and put them in,

the cameras now operate correctly.

 

Has anyone else had a problem using rechargables.

The way this system eats batteries, rechargables are needed.

 

I paid $20 for 4 batteries at walmart and $30 for 4 batteries at rite aid. (all non-rechargeables)

They only lasted for about 3 weeks.  Without rechargables I will be spending

about $40 a month on batteries.  

 

For that I can have adt install outdoor cameras on their pulse system.

 


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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

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4vrnvr Apprentice
Apprentice

Can't help you with the rechargable problem, but my initial batteries have been in my cameras 6 weeks and are still showing a full charge. The battery life will depend on how much use the camera is getting. Mine on average is between 5 to 10 minutes a day.

 

Here is a great deal on batteries from surefire.

 

http://www.surefire.com/batteries/12-pack-batteries.html

 

Greg

beachbumdb Star
Star

We get more useage. 

We seem to have a lot of activity from family/friends here so

they get triggered frequently sometimes.

 

I knew we would use more batteries than maybe most

that was the purpose of using rechargeables.

 

We had a vandalism issue and the police suggested cameras outside.

That was our purpose in getting these.

 

Im checking the charge again on the rechargeables and will

try them again.  Hope to resolve this.

 

 

DaveC6 Tutor
Tutor
I'm having a similar issue. New rechargeable batteries have the red symbol and low battery warning. But I left them in and the camera is functioning fine. I measured the voltage and the regular non-rechargeables had voltage of 2.8 to 2.9v. The rechargeables were in the 3.8 to 3.9v range.

I'm guessing that the rechargeables are out of range by being over 3v and therefore are measuring low. So far that camera is functioning fine.
Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

beachbumdb wrote:

These cameras are supposed to be able to use rechargeable batteries.

snip

The charger indicates that they have a full charge but when put in the cameras

the battery indicator shows red and empty.

snip

Has anyone else had a problem using rechargables.

The way this system eats batteries, rechargables are needed.

 .  

 


First I'd ask , what type , name of batteries at what voltage level ? Many rechargeables have less than half the mahr rating of a primary cell. This will equal less run time.

 

I recently tested some rechargeables ...

They are 2300mAh 16340 CR123A 3.7v Li-ion Rechargeable Batteries gotten on the web.
( IMO generous rate, prob more like 1200+ ).

 

Tested them and yes the battery indicator will not be proper as the voltage levels are higher than the normal primary cell ( at 3.2v each).

 

I ran them hard for 3 days , as much as 2 hrs per day.. in varied min record sessions.  Ended up with 290 mins record time. If the specs are followed @ 5 mins per day or so thats almost 2 months normal use.

 

The power display was off to the point of on the third day it was empty ( RED) but still manage to record 120 mins more.

 

So, they do work, imo well, have less a runtime over the primary non-rechargeables, but for long term if the cameras are easily reachable they may be a better option for some if concerned with cost.

 

One down side... rechargeables die quickly and since the power indicator is off you should try them out a few times to get the feel for how long they really last in your usage.

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beachbumdb Star
Star

I have had my rechargeables in and the system is working normally.

The battery indicator is red and empty so the cameras just dont read the battery levels with

the rechargeables.

 

I am home 90% of the time so I normally test to see all is well with the system each day.

I normally put the readings for 100% and 2 mins for night and 70% and 30 seconds for day.

 

I can live with that. I just ordered some more rechargeables so I can have a set ready to go when

ever these die. Will just alternate the two sets. 

 

I bought the batteries online from a company CR123Batteries.com

They were 2.95 each

Tenergy LiFePO4 RCR123A  3v (3.2V) rechargeable lithium-ion Battery 750mAh

 

I got the charger they recommend for 16.95 but unfortunately it only charges 2 batteries at a time.

Since these batteries are used in cameras most folks would probably only charge one or two at a time.

 

But with two sets of rechargeables I can take the time to charge the second set while first set being used.

Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

Just as a side note..you may want to look for 16340 size rechargable batteries....

They will tend to have a slightly higher voltage and ratings so you should get more life out of them. netgear said it would not be a problem with the 3.7v cells ( other than meter off )

 

Mine cost about $2 eash... one was bad but the other 9 are just fine ...not worth it to ship back.

 

**** Mind that the 16340s are supposed to be a replacement for 123s there is a variance in the sizes that some may not fit before you buy many.

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DaveC6 Tutor
Tutor
So after about 1 week with the rechargeables (Tenergy 900 mah) the cameras had dead batteries today. When I put them in they all were around 3.8 to 3.9v. I tested them tonight and they were all 3.6v. That should be more than enough. I think it's a bug and hopefully can be fixed. I replaced the original batteries and I'm back in business.
Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

DaveC6 wrote:
So after about 1 week with the rechargeables (Tenergy 900 mah) the cameras had dead batteries today. When I put them in they all were around 3.8 to 3.9v. I tested them tonight and they were all 3.6v. That should be more than enough. I think it's a bug and hopefully can be fixed. I replaced the original batteries and I'm back in business.

Hi Dave...

It is known ( and not a bug ) that the 3.7v rechargeables will NOT be accurate with the battery indicator. This is because the battery levels are set for primary non-rechargable 3v cells ( really 3.2 when new). They do make 3v rechargeables and I would venture to guess these would be more accurate.

Down side is the 3v rechargeables have half or less the mahr rating of the primary cells.

I would look at 16340 cells ( just watch the size variance )

 

I've tested a couple sets of rechargeables ( see thread above ) and manage to get 290mins of record time, recording as much as 2 hours a day, over a 3 day period.... it actullay worked out to aprox 58 days of normal use ( spec of 5 mins per day)

 

You will see 2 things with rechargeables,... 1) they do recup the voltage well after resting, and 2) they have a very fast voltage drop out. So even tho the battery read 3.6v the useful life may have been at the end of cycle with a good voltage read but a fast drop out (not allowing the camera to operate ).

 

One other note, you said the batteries were dead, but was the camera still running?

 

In my tests,  the power display was off to the point of on the third day it was empty ( RED) but the camera still manage to record 120 mins more.

 

Interesting info either way re the rechargables

 

 

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DaveC6 Tutor
Tutor
Hi TomMac,
The rechargeables started out with the Red zero level but the cameras worked for about a week. When I referred to them as dead, the app indicated that the batteries were dead. The camera view showed those two cameras with a message across the screen. Something like "Batteries are dead and need to be replaced". No recordings after that. Sounds like #2, even though they had 3.6v remaining that it wasn't enough useful life. So for me they lasted about a week with maybe 10-15 minutes of video per day. Not near long enough to fool with. I have 3 cameras now and was hoping the rechargeables would at least go one month.
Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

snip.. So for me they lasted about a week with maybe 10-15 minutes of video per day. Not near long enough to fool with. I have 3 cameras now and was hoping the rechargeables would at least go one month.

Tks Dave...

I'm currently running another test of rechargeables using 3.7v  2300mahr with the 16340 cells... so far two sets I've tested fit and tho I don't believe the high rating ( prob very low rate of drain to get high results.. batteries seem about 1200mahr ) they last longer than the R123s I had.

 

I've noticed the since the SW update battery readings are diff from my last set of tests ( change in battery Algorhythm/read method ).

 

Mind that 15 mins a day are aprox 3 days re the specs.... I do find you start to use them less as you have them longer ( less play, more useage as designed )

 

I'll post more info as I run my rechargables more.

 

 

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pudeshi Tutor
Tutor

 I am seeing the same issue with rechargable ones.  The camera does not seem to recognize how much battery life is left.  Seems like it should be an easy software fix to recalibrate them.  Annoying because i've had these cameras for about a month and the batteries have already died.  I use them for much more recording then designed, so I accept the reduced life, but the recharable batteries are the obvious choice for a high-use case, so they need to report battery levels correctly.

Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

Would you be willing to post the specific batteries you're using? I'm not familiar with any of the brands or vendors I'm finding. Since there's a size issue, duplicating what you have would be useful.

Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

 vendor info was gothic- house?  , but picked up from Ebay , about $13+

 

4x 2300mAh 16340 / CR123A 3.7v Li-ion Rechargeable Battery + Smart Charger B442

 

 

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Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru
Thanks. I'll check that out.
Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

Got around to checking this out and these were ones I had seen (gothic_household).  Some searches showed a result of gray GTL batteries that seemed to suck but haven't seen anything on the purple ones.  Your usage would seem to show an improvement so I'll be checking them out soon.

 

Thanks.

Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

The above batteries seem to be working well now for 3+ weeks...

 

What many forget it that because the cameras are new, they tend to use/learn/play with them alot in the beginning...  Spec calls for about 4 mins a day for normal use of video... not out of the realm of use once learned.

 

(in my old vuezone system, I had low use cams go over 9 months of a set of batteries )

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Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

jguerdat wrote:

Got around to checking this out and these were ones I had seen (gothic_household).  Some searches showed a result of gray GTL batteries that seemed to suck but haven't seen anything on the purple ones.  Your usage would seem to show an improvement so I'll be checking them out soon.


The gray GTL batteries are the ones I'm using...  ( I went and checked ). All of mine have been good after a full charge/drain cycle.

 

Yes, these batteries are 1) going to be a hit or miss at times ( you may get a bad one ) 2) the rated 2300mahr is in question by me... I estimate its closer to 1200.  It's all about the current drain used to test for the rating and at what pulse rate.

 

Good thing is that they aren't expensive @ $2+ per cell ( almost what a regular cell runs ), and tho they don't last as long as a non-rechargable cells, they seem to be working well for me.

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Alpo Star
Star

As of today, one of my cameras upgraded itself (happened to watch the process--camera LED will flash blue and the camera status page shows an 'upgrading' message), and the issue with LiFePO4 batteries has been resolved.  Now shows full charge instead of the empty red.  Can't figure out how to force the other camera to upgrade, but I imagine it will happen at some point.  Or probably power cycling the battery may force the upgrade, as I think I had just removed the batteries momentarily from the camera before upgrading started.  Also, the status page was showing that the battery needed to be charged before upgrading, but am not sure if that message was attributable to a pending upgrade or the fact that I was testing a new camera position that was potentially out of range.

 

These are the Tenergy batteries available from amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EYHO9G/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=1944687782&pf_rd_s=lpo-to...

Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

As of today, one of my cameras upgraded itself (happened to watch the process--camera LED will flash blue and the camera status page shows an 'upgrading' message), and the issue with LiFePO4 batteries has been resolved. .  Can't figure out how to force the other camera to upgrade, but I imagine it will happen at some point.  Or probably power cycling the battery may force the upgrade, ...snipped

good to hear... Yes the camera can be forced to upgrade by opening the battery box door AND make sure the auto-update  toggle in the base is on. Or you can restart the base and it should update.

 

The batteries I was testing ( 3.7v 2300mahr 16340 cells ) finally gave up the ghost today ( prob during the upgrade as that cam has the old sw info )

they made it almost 4 weeks with normal use with video quality on Best. 

 

Will be running a new test to see how long they last with optimized video setting.

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Alpo Star
Star

Optimism may have been premature.  Even though it showed a full charge at first, in one day I received an 8% remaining notice on one camera.  The other is showing red again.  For the first, I brought them in and recharged them, just in case I had inadvertently left the video running all day.  A few hours later and it is showing red again, in temperatures over 50 degrees.  So while they clearly made some change, it seems more work is required to get this working correctly.

Alpo Star
Star

And now I got the 8% email for the other camera...

Guru TomMac Guru
Guru

Alpo wrote:snip     just in case I had inadvertently left the video running all day. snip..

I guess you meant just viewing the stream... cause i know the record feature auto shuts down after 30 mins to prevent battery loss.

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Alpo Star
Star

Thanks.  I meant on the camera status page, where you click the arrow to view, rather than record.  Sometimes I click it and never see a stream start, so it looks like maybe it is streaming but not transmitting to me because my phone's connection to the wifi is weaker than the connection between the base station and camera.  I assume that by clicking one of the other tabs it would stop.  Hopefully, the real time viewing times out too.  

 

But now that two cameras have reported low batteries, I know the problem is with the firmware reporting the battery capacity, unless it now happens to be draining the batteries rapidly due to a newly introduced bug, in which case I will find out shortly if the cameras go dark.

Alpo Star
Star

Definitely recommend that NO ONE using rechargeables upgrade the base station to 1.3.2261. 

 

The problem is that although it shows an initial charge of full, once it thinks the batteries are depleted (after just a few hours or a day), all functionality is lost on the camera, as though the batteries are actually drained, when in fact they have hardly been used.  This differs from the former behavior, where it would begin showing no charge, but you retained all functionality.  Now, I can't record motion, and can't access the cameras via the app or web interface.  I would say the problem lies in the battery firmware, but I still have one camera of three on the older 1.2.2222 firmware, and now it is dead, and it had been working well before on rechargeables.  The other cameras got "upgraded" to 1.1.2074.  Yes, the upgrade downgraded them.  Don't know what the former base station firmware was.  Looks like I need to insert regular batteries until they get this figured out.

 

Furthermore, I would be hesitant to use the auto-update feature given the bugginess and questionable QA testing in the future.