Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

VMC 3030 Cameras on VMB 3500 Base Station Not Picking Up Motion When Armed

Reply
Discussion stats
  • 10 Replies
  • 136 Views
  • 1 Like
  • 3 In Conversation
Embeeous
Guide
Guide

I've had a setup of (5) VMC3030 cameras running off of a VMB3500 base station for years.  Over the last year or so, I've noticed a regular issue where the cameras will all be functional, online and able to go into a live view, but they will not detect motion.  I've made no changes to the cameras, the base station or my network in years.  I first started swapping out cameras but the problem persisted, so I decided to upgrade the base station from a VMB3500 to a VMB4540.  I was somehow able to get an Arlo rep on chat to confirm that my VMC3030 cameras would work with the newer VMB4540 base station before I purchased a used unit on eBay.  And of course, it didn't work and I'm now out that money.  In any case, I was able to set my original Arlo network up from scratch, and within a day of operation, the same thing happened - several cameras not detecting motion.  In all cases, all of them, a simple restart of the base station fixes the problem, temporarily, until the next time that it happens, and then I have to restart again, and so on.  Not to mention that we don't know when it's not working, so it kind of defeats the purpose in terms of a security camera system.  My latest plan is to purchase a refurbished replacement VMB3500 from Amazon with a good return policy, and swap out the current base station with the exact same model.  After that, I'm out of ideas.  Does anyone out there have any ideas? Has anyone run into the same issues with cameras suddenly deciding to stop detecting motion that resolves with a base station restart? How did you fix your issues?  Thanks in advance for your time, consideration, and assistance on this. 

 

P.S. I find it completely unacceptable that Arlo does not offer any support options besides a community forum to get answers to these questions.  

Model: VMB3500 | Arlo Base Station, VMC3030 | Arlo Wire-Free Camera
10 REPLIES 10
Dannybear
Master
Master
One reason for the new base station not working is that it has not been removed from the previous owners account.

Regards the motion detection failure, if power cycling the base station resolves this then suggest you install a smart plug on the base power to schedule a 2 min power recycling each day so the system reliability is maintained.

Arlo support outside of the forum is via the App and only if you have subscription.
Embeeous
Guide
Guide
Thank you for the prompt and excellent response. I was able to get the new base station up and running and connected to the network, it was running just fine. I just couldn’t connect any of my cameras to that new base station. I keep reading and hearing how the newer base stations are backwards compatible with the older cameras but that was not the case for me. Maybe you’re right and I was able to connect the station to the network, but not the cameras to the station because the previous owner didn’t completely wipe out their account etc. on that station. In any case, I love the smart plug idea, already have one on order thank you. And I still cannot accept that I have to pay Arlo money to get support, I can’t think of any other technology company that I deal with that does that. I mean even Apple who is notorious for charging for everything gives me a route to chat with an agent. eBay, Amazon, HP, Google, the list goes on. Lots of times the support is outsourced and terrible, but it’s still there and available, and free. Arlo is officially the first tech company that I’ve ever purchased products and services from that does not provide support unless you pay for it. I worked for one of those big tech companies for 25 years plus, it’s mind boggling to me the “support” that they are providing these days. Hope that other companies don’t start doing the same, sorry but that is just unacceptable to me.
Dannybear
Master
Master
Regards the new base station, I would have to ask if you tried removing the cameras from your account and reinstalled them to the new base else you suffer the same issue with the cameras not being released.

Regards the smart plugs. I have them on my two base stations and externally powered cameras so I can power cycle them on schedule and remotely. I had to schedule the base stations to recycle daily for at least 12 months before they settled down to be reliable. Suspect that the flash memory within was dodgy and power cycling eventually weeded out the buggy memory bits.
I still need to reset the externally powered cameras about once a week because of bad pixelation which is not to annoying.

Regards the support deficiency, not in the know regards the business model change, I suggest they pulled the plug on the overseas call centres as they were not technical enough and covid was the last nail.
Embeeous
Guide
Guide

Funny you should say that...the first thing that I did was just remove the old base station (mistake) then added the new base station and then tried to add the cameras (mistake).  Realizing my mistake, I then removed everything, added back the old base station, then added back the cameras one by one, then removed the camera one by one, then removed the old base station, THEN started all over again first with the new base station, then attempted to add the first camera (didn't work), switched to another camera to make sure that it didn't work (it didn't), then gave up, removed everything again, then reinstalled the old base station and then all of the cameras, and that's where I'm currently at.  Works fine until it stops detecting motion, at which point the base station gets reset, and we're back in business. 

 

Really good additional info on the reset strategy, thank you. 

 

And sorry about my support soap box, seems to me that there should be some other option besides this forum for getting technical issues resolved but thankfully you responded so thanks again. 

 

Dannybear
Master
Master
Compatibility link suggests vmb4540 should be ok to use.

https://kb.arlo.com/000062284/Arlo-SmartHub-and-Base-Station-Compatibility

It is a shame since it would have given you mobile App access to the local storage. Shame it has no inbuilt siren.

If inclined you could add the new base as a second base to the network and try porting the camera’s across to the new base. At least you would have proven that it’s the arlo end causing the issue.

The moderators and superusers here have a good knowledge base available and have seen it all I guess.
StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@Embeeous wrote:

I was somehow able to get an Arlo rep on chat to confirm that my VMC3030 cameras would work with the newer VMB4540 base station before I purchased a used unit on eBay.  And of course, it didn't work and I'm now out that money. 


The VMB4540 is definitely compatible with the VMC3030 camera - called the Arlo WireFree camera here: https://kb.arlo.com/000062284/Arlo-SmartHub-and-Base-Station-Compatibility

 

So maybe you purchased a defective base???  

 

FWIW, although you should be able to sync the cameras to the VMB3500 by just using the sync buttons on the camera and base, I think the setup process for the VMB4540 would require using "add device" in the app or browser. 

 


@Embeeous wrote:

Does anyone out there have any ideas?


If I am understanding you correctly, the loss of recording always happens on all cameras simultaneously - is that correct?

 

Does changing the mode to disarmed and then back to armed also restore normal operation?

Also, can you livestream the cameras when they are not recording?

Embeeous
Guide
Guide

Response to DannyBear….I was more than happy with the “limited” functionality that I had with my original setup. Whatever upsides I might get from ruling out the new base station by trying to get the cameras to attach themselves to it would be more than overshadowed by whatever potential snafus I might run into trying to set that up. It’s working now, I’d just assume setup the smart plug, see if that works, return the replacement VMB 3500 en route if the smart plug solves it, and call it a day.

 

Either I got lucky or this is the norm but I am impressed by the responsiveness that I’m getting on short notice in this forum. Hopefully it’s the norm but I’m hoping not to be spending a lot of time here. I’ve had this system in place for many years, and I count on one hand how many blips I’ve run into. Of course, when they happen, they’re big blips, so, it’s good to know that people are responsive here.

 

Thank you again. 

Embeeous
Guide
Guide

Response to StevenB…I bought the base station based on that document and a follow up chat with Arlo that verified that the base and cameras were compatible. As discussed in my chat with DannyBear, we think that either the base is defective or was never fully unassigned from its previous account. In any case, my biggest mistake was waiting while my Arlo network suddenly behaved correctly for weeks, and missing the return window on the base. That’s all me.

 

On to your other questions…

 

Of the five cameras, two or three really get the regular use day in and day out. Two of those three cameras will regularly stop sending motion detection alerts until the base station is rebooted. I have never tried just disarming then rearming the network as a potential solution. In all cases, I can still connect live to those cameras and record/take a photo if I needed to. Here’s the best part…if I move cameras around, or replace them outright with spares, and rename them for their new positions, which I’ve done, the two positions that stop giving alerts continue to be those same two positions. Granted, those positions get the most activity, but that has me definitely thinking that it’s not the cameras but something else - the base station, the Arlo iOS app, my account, some recent update, or some interplay between one or more of those things and the cameras. FYI, my network has been stable and fast for years, I haven’t really added or removed any other devices of significance in years, everything including Arlo has run great for years. It’s just my Arlo system that has decided to stop sending me motion detection alerts on two cameras after years of solid performance.

 

My favorite kind of technical issues - sudden, unexplained, and intermittent 🙂

 

Hope this helps, thanks for any additional insights that you can offer.

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@Embeeous wrote:

Here’s the best part…if I move cameras around, or replace them outright with spares, and rename them for their new positions, which I’ve done, the two positions that stop giving alerts continue to be those same two positions. Granted, those positions get the most activity, but that has me definitely thinking that it’s not the cameras but something else - the base station, the Arlo iOS app, my account, some recent update, or some interplay between one or more of those things and the cameras.

 

My favorite kind of technical issues - sudden, unexplained, and intermittent 🙂

 


Yeah, I get the "favorite kind" bit.

 

Is it possible that there is some new interference source (for instance, a neighbor upgrading their wifi to a mesh, or some other external source)? 

 

I guess it is possible that the base's wifi radio is failing.  Have you tested your home wifi's performance at those two locations?  If the base is near your router, the base's network performance should be the same as your home wifi.  If you can measure signal strength on your phone (RSI), then maybe compare the RSI of the Arlo network and your home wifi in those locations (and maybe some other spots too).

 

 

 

 

Embeeous
Guide
Guide

Interesting…we have an Eero mesh system with four nodes. A little over a year ago, I had to switch the main (gateway) node from one location to another based on some configuration issues that we were having. Both the old and new gateway nodes were and still are wired connections. In any case, the old gateway node location had (and still has) the Arlo base station literally inches away.  The new gateway node is an entire level away. The old gateway node location is literally a few feet away and above the two cameras in question. The new node location is even closer to those cameras and on the same level or slightly below, but again, the base station is now an entire level away. I wonder if that is what is causing our issues. Easy enough, I can just move the base station downstairs near the new gateway node. First I’m going to try the smart plug daily power reboot, if that doesn’t work, then this is a good plan B. Thank you!