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Re: Batteries that last 4-6months? What kind of settings should i use to get this expectancy?

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JoeHarris
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Aspirant

Hi,

 

What kind of settings should i use to get 4-6month battery life expectancy? 

 

I have the 3 camera setup, i have only setup 1 camera for the meantime so i can test a few things out.   

 

So, it's been going for 6 days now and my batteries have 1 bar left, i have taken the batteries out swapped them around etc etc, leave for 10 secs, but still 1 bar left. 

 

I use schedule mode, 65% sensitivity, it's off for 6 hours a day as i only use it when we are at work and zzzzzzzzzz.

Record time is set to 15 secs a clips, on average there has been 5-6 clips a day.

 

Sat-Sun i use it for 18 hours in total, pretty much 1 day out of the two as we are home most of the time. 

Model: VMC3030 | Arlo Wire-Free Camera
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Schorschi
Prodigy
Prodigy

JoeHarris wrote:

Hi,

 

What kind of settings should i use to get 4-6month battery life expectancy? 

 

I have the 3 camera setup, i have only setup 1 camera for the meantime so i can test a few things out.   

 

So, it's been going for 6 days now and my batteries have 1 bar left, i have taken the batteries out swapped them around etc etc, leave for 10 secs, but still 1 bar left. 

 

I use schedule mode, 65% sensitivity, it's off for 6 hours a day as i only use it when we are at work and zzzzzzzzzz.

Record time is set to 15 secs a clips, on average there has been 5-6 clips a day.

 

Sat-Sun i use it for 18 hours in total, pretty much 1 day out of the two as we are home most of the time. 


Did you do a lot of Live Views on the side? If you really only have had 5-6 15-second clips per day over a 6-day period and your batteries are already on one bar, something seems off. If they are the original brand name from the box, the only other possibility I can think of is that you got someone else's returned box with batteries that were not fresh.

 

One other setting that does influence battery usage is the video quality that can be set on each camera's Settings page. The three options are:

 

  • Best Video,
  • Optimized and
  • Best Battery Life.

So, if your cameras are set to Best Video, try changing them to Optimized. Though, even if your Settings were on Best Video up to now, that still does not explain that rapid one-week drain of your batteries.

 

Also, when you say "Sat-Sun I use it for 18 hours", I supposed you mean, that they were armed during that time and otherwise idle? Although when armed the cameras use more power than when idle, it still wouldn't justify your accelerated battery drain.

 

It's the actual video recording that uses the most power.

 

JoeHarris
Aspirant
Aspirant

Yes your right i did a lot of live views but only for a few seconds here and there nothing overboard. 

 

SAT-SUN i also use schedule and my custom mode not armed.  

 

Yes im using optimized mode,

 

These came with factory batteries, they're CR123 Energizers. 

 

Also, the camera does nothing for 6 hours a day as that's the way i set my schedule up for MON-FRI, does this in fact use battery power as well? Or is it switched off.  

 

For SAT-SUN i've scheduled times for 9 hours a day using my custom mode, midnight - 6am, start recording again from 9pm - Midnight.

 

I'm honestly baffled as to why. 

 

 

Model: VMC3030 | Arlo Wire-Free Camera
Schorschi
Prodigy
Prodigy

JoeHarris wrote:

Yes your right i did a lot of live views but only for a few seconds here and there nothing overboard. 

 

SAT-SUN i also use schedule and my custom mode not armed.  

 

Yes im using optimized mode,

 

These came with factory batteries, they're CR123 Energizers. 

 

Also, the camera does nothing for 6 hours a day as that's the way i set my schedule up for MON-FRI, does this in fact use battery power as well? Or is it switched off.  

 

For SAT-SUN i've scheduled times for 9 hours a day using my custom mode, midnight - 6am, start recording again from 9pm - Midnight.

 

I'm honestly baffled as to why. 


None of what you described so far hints at why your cameras are already almost out of battery power after only a week. I have programmed similar armed mode time lengths per day and have several cameras that have now lasted since mid-December on the same battery set, still showing three bars.

 

When a camera is armed it needs to power the PIR sensor, when unarmed it just needs to ping the base station every once in a while, the former state using more power than the latter. I don't know the duty cycle differences though, so can't quantify this in absolute or relative units between armed and disarmed states.

 

However, based on experience with my own Arlo system I can assure you that battery life of several months is not unrealistic.

 

A couple of other possibilities for your excessive battery drain are:

 

  • Cameras mounted relatively far away from the base station, especially those that have a diminished signal strength reading, will use up more power and their batteries drain faster. Though, again, you would not typically see such drastic battery drain within just one week.
  • A couple of weeks ago, I came across a rather exotic behavior of one of my cameras, in that when Night Vision mode had been activated on it and it utilized that mode due to a motion event or a Live View (i.e. it was dark enough so that the infrared LEDs came on), the camera  would emit a clicking/ticking noise every second or so. I diagnosed this to be the IR-filter being moved back and forth in front of the camera lens in an endless loop. (The IR-filter is used for daylight recording, and cuts away from in front of the lens for night recording when using the built-in IR LEDs). This excessive filter-moving behavior caused a battery set to completely drain within a day or two. Luckily, since I use rechargeables, no great loss. I contacted Arlo support and was able to exchange the camera for a replacement. It's unlikely that any of your cameras are affected by the same bug, since typically they'd only last a day or two when this occurs, but it might be worth checking your cameras for a ticking noise, just in case.

So, if all of the above can be excluded, the only remaining plausible explanation I can think of is that the batteries that came in the box were not full.

 

I would therefore suggest you get at least one set of fresh batteries and place them in one of your cameras and observe. If they are again almost drained after a week's time, I'd say that that warrants a call to Arlo support, otherwise, if they survive the week (and longer), that would confirm my suspicion of less than full batteries and you'd have your answer.

 

Check online retailers like batteryjunction.com or possibly even Amazon to purchase brand name CR123A batteries. Local stores are typically quite expensive on this exotic battery type. Batteryjunction should charge no more than $2 per battery.

 

You could also contact Arlo support first. They actually sent me a fresh set of batteries for my misbehaving camera as described above requesting that I test the camera with new batteries. I didn't really need them, since I use rechargeables, but nevertheless, it was an appreciated gesture and for someone without rechargeables would be very welcome. If you explain your situation to them, they may just send you (at least) one set of fresh batteries too.

 

 

Arlo-Man
Luminary
Luminary

While what you're describing may not seem like a lot of activity, it's a good amount. You'll likely never see batteries last over a month or so.

TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

JoeHarris wrote:

For SAT-SUN i've scheduled times for 9 hours a day using my custom mode, midnight - 6am, start recording again from 9pm - Midnight.

 


I run some of my cameras about half of your usage ( on best video ), and just make 4 months.... a couple of very low use cams run 7 months ( never  really viewed, used when out only in detect mode)

 

Maybe something else is going on, or you under-estimate the live viewings.... spec is 4 mins per day on optimized ( recording or viewing is same battery drain, detect mode is < 1/5 of that and disarmed is practically null  )

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JoeHarris
Aspirant
Aspirant

I took the batteries out again for 5mins put them in different slots, Bingo batteries back to full bars.. 

 

Blaaaaardy Strange. 

TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

JoeHarris wrote:

I took the batteries out again for 5mins put them in different slots, Bingo batteries back to full bars.. 

 

Blaaaaardy Strange. 


Hope they stay that way.... the Arlo cam does read the "start" voltage in the algorithm to set the battery level ( which is why it works with 3.2(oem) and 4.2(li-ion) volt cells )

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