Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras
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Astroboy86
Star
Star

The goal here was to mount our front-of-the-house cameras in such a way as to cover the entire driveway & approach to the front door, but without having them trigger on every single flippin' car that drives past (we live on the main street through our neighborhood).

 

Disclaimer: This solution was not my idea—I totally ripped it off from StuBee, based on a post he made back in May.  Since he never followed-up regarding whether it worked or not, I figured I'd give it a try and report my results.

 

I started off with a 1.5" tube, as StuBee described, but I cut the end on a 45º miter so it wouldn't be visible in the camera's field of view.  This resulted in a very tightly focused motion detection range; it seemed like the "hot zone" was just a couple of square feet of driveway.  My final version wasn't so much a tube as an awning above the motion detector dome, with camera mounted upside-down so the lens is below the detector.  It might not be necessary, but since the cameras are upside-down and exposed, I covered the 1/4-20 threaded socket and the battery compartment release latch with a piece of clear packing tape for a little extra weather protection.  Cheap and easy to replace when batteries are swapped out.

 

2015-12-16 14.10.16-1.jpg2015-12-16 14.02.15-1.jpg

One cam is mounted 9-ft high on the left side of the garage by the front porch.  The other is at the same height on the opposite side of the garage, aimed higher to view the entire driveway and part of the street.

 

2015-12-16 14.03.53.jpg2015-12-16 14.12.21.jpg

The left-hand camera is hard to see in the first shot above, but is just visible against the brick of the next-door neighbor's house.  The second shot is a straight-on view to better show the shape of the shield.

 

Each shield is made from a piece of 3/4" PVC tubing that I cut on a miter saw and shaped with a file and emory paper.  Right now, they are just stuck on with a bit of adhesive putty, but that will lose its grip as soon as our East Coast December heat wave is over.  When I'm ready to attach them permanently, I'll use a small bit of outdoor-grade double-sided tape.

 

I knew right away that this solution was going to work, since it's trash day today and neither the garbage truck nor the recycling truck triggered motion when they emptied our cans.  Same with the mail truck, several school buses, and numerous cars.  Previously, every single passing vehicle going in either direction would trigger the cameras, so during the morning and afternoon drive times, the cameras were being triggered every couple of minutes.

 

I had mitigated this somewhat by turning the motion sensitivity all the way down on the camera furthest from the front porch and created a rule to make it record whenever the porch camera senses motion.  This is no longer needed, so I now have both cameras set at 100% percent sensitivity.  Each camera also has a rule to activate the other when motion is sensed, so I always get two recordings for every event on driveway & front porch.

 

Here is the view from the driveway camera...

Screen shot 2015-12-16 at 5.20.12 PM.jpg

 

...and from the front porch camera:

Screen shot 2015-12-16 at 5.22.33 PM.jpg

 

As a result of this little project I am much, much happier with our Arlo purchase and I hope someone else finds this to be helpful (Hula_Rock?).  When walking up our driveway, recording now starts about even with the sideview mirrors on our cars (most of the time).  If Netgear is able to shave a few seconds off the camera startup delay, I suspect our recordings will start when someone reaches the cars' rear bumper.  My only other complaint is that it's now painfully obvious how badly I need to go out and pressure wash the driveway!

 

Next project: Installing a duplex receptacle above our kitchen cabinets to power Arlo Q when we get one. 

43 REPLIES 43
Paul_FCCL
Prodigy
Prodigy

jguerdat wrote:

Tons of info in the Buying Options and Tips forum.


Thank you for the info......I'll have to check out the forum.

Paul

cruicky
Guide
Guide
What I am surprised at is that the hood is fitted around the optic lens but the PIR optics at the bottom of the unit remain uncovered, why is this working so well?
Most security PIR units have a lens that can be masked with electrical tape from inside the PIR.
The motion detection on the Arlo cameras is not from the camera lens itself. It is not watching for movement via the camera lens otherwise the batteries would be flat in a few days if that.
What i am disappointed about is that there seems no way to create a motion rule that results in a still image being taken or that the main camera screen does not have a take picture button unless you first turn on live video.
Have you seen how much better the night vision is on the still photos when done using the settings menu?
Hula_Rock
Prodigy Prodigy
Prodigy

My camera is inverted so the hood is on the PIR lense

Sunrise305
Aspirant
Aspirant

Extremely helpful, thanks! Astro, what if one were to very carefully paint the edge of the motion sensor lens with nail polish?  Do you think this would work?  In theory you could delicately scrape away the excess until just the right amount of the sensor is exposed or covered.  Might be easier than fashioning a hood and would eliminate the need to mount the cam unside down.  I would love to hear your thoughts before I try it!

Hula_Rock
Prodigy Prodigy
Prodigy

Without knowing the exact patern emmited, it would be a crap shoot.   I have an extra "Hood" if you are interested in using it..... 

sj_baltic
Guide
Guide

I've used a piece of blue painters tape to cover part of a motion sensor in our shower LED light. It keeps the light from turning on every time we enter the bath room, but turns on only when we take a shower. I think you could do the same thing on the Arlo.

 

Rather than cutting and gluing on a plastic hood or painting directly on the sensor, take some masking tape and cover part of the motion sensor. It'd be easy to remove and get adjusted. After that, maybe use some aluminum tape (painted black) for something a little more durable.

Paul_FCCL
Prodigy
Prodigy

sj_baltic:

 

have you you tried this with an Arlo camera yet......has anyone? I think it may turn into a lot of hit and miss due to the shape and size of the camera motion sensor. Might be pretty hard to adjust its sensitivity level.

 

Regards,

Paul

sj_baltic
Guide
Guide

I'm playing with this idea tonight. I had a little time right now to experiment a little. I'm using the motion detect mode for one of my Arlo wireless cameras and using the amber LED to see how wide the motion detector's field of view is. It's about 45 degrees from the camera axis, and maybe slightly less at the top and bottom of the camera view, which wouldn't surprise me with the wide screen resolution.

 

Later, I'll mask off a bit of the sensor and try to get a good feel on how the motion detector and camera view line up. It'll take a bit of trial and error, but once mapped, I can do this to my other cameras and get pretty close in theory.

 

I just noticed that the left "dot" next to the motion detector is the light sensor, which determines whether or not the camera should turn on the IR lights for night mode. Take care not to cover this up. The right one is just an LED.

sj_baltic
Guide
Guide

I managed to get an idea of how much of the sensor to cover. It's not a lot. If you want to block off one of the edges of view, all you need to do is tape over just a few millimeters (1/8") up the side you want to block from the base of the sensor sphere.

 

On my problem camera, I first colored a piece of masking tape black with a sharpie before putting the tape on the sensor (to avoid the risk of marking up the sensor). So far, it works! Motion sensitivity is cranked up to 100 and no false triggers by passing cars. 🙂 

Paul_FCCL
Prodigy
Prodigy

sj_baltic wrote:

I managed to get an idea of how much of the sensor to cover. It's not a lot. If you want to block off one of the edges of view, all you need to do is tape over just a few millimeters (1/8") up the side you want to block from the base of the sensor sphere.

 


Wow that sounds great! What about the top of the sensor sphere, no need to block any of it? How much of an angle does your camera have and how high is it located? Could you include a screen shot of camera and its location?

Thanks for sharing this with us 🙂

 

Regards,

Paul

sj_baltic
Guide
Guide

Here's a couple of pics. My camera is hung upside-down underneath a roof awning, so the top of the image is the bottom of the motion sensor. The first image is the view from the camera, pointed at my front entryway and driveway. I'm trying to mask off the road in the upper right. 

 

IMG_3240.PNG

 

So, after a full day with the initial try, my false triggers from passing cars went from about 25 to 8. Not perfect, but much better. In the second picture (painted my Arlo to help hide it in plain sight), I've moved the piece of masking tape further over the sensor than the first time. From 1/8" up to about 1/4" up from the bottom of the sphere. Almost to the crown. And the tape is just masking tape colored black with a sharpie.

 

I found that the easiest way to place the tape is to point the camera right at your face. Turn it on in Live mode. Point the camera right at one of your eyes so that your eye is in the area of the frame you want to mask. Then look straight at the motion sensor from there. The masking tape should be placed roughly where your view crosses the center of the motion sensor. But, remember that the sensor is more like a rectangle shape underneath, not a dot or point. So, give the sensor a bit of leeway. In other words, don't be agressive in covering up.

 

IMG_3239.JPG

 

I'll give it another day of testing and will let you all know how it goes.

Paul_FCCL
Prodigy
Prodigy

sj_baltic:

 

Sorry but the pics are not accessible.......cannot see them. Could you try that again?

 

Thanks,

Paul

Pforrey
Aspirant
Aspirant
Having the same problem with detection. Astroboy mentioned that he rotated th camera upsid down. How are you able to view the recording right side up?
sj_baltic
Guide
Guide

IMG_3240.PNGIMG_3239.png

Let's try this again. I did notice that when I wasn't logged in, the pictures wouldn't load either.

 

As for inverting the video, there is a device option that will flip it 180 degrees in Settings->Devices->Desired Camera.

sj_baltic
Guide
Guide

Here's an update post after a 1.5 days of testing.

 

The masking tape is working perfectly. It eliminated all false triggers from passing cars, but still triggers when someone pulls up into my driveway and come up to my front door.

 

I ended up setting my camera sensitivity is at 90, rather than 100, because I did get one trigger from a moving bush in the wind that wasn't masked off with the tape. Other than that, I'm super happy that this worked and hope it helps others having some issues with false triggers!

Paul_FCCL
Prodigy
Prodigy

sj_baltic:

 

That's great, glad to hear it's working well. I will try it on one of my cameras and see how it goes.... just wondering how long the tape will stay on.....with rain, extreme hot or cold temperature. Will soon find out.

 

Thanks for sharing this with us!

 

Paul

entilza
Star
Star

I've had a combination of these problems: the Arlo PIR sensor has an excessive field of view that is much wider than the camer'a actual field of view. For one camera, this meant it was being activated by street traffic even though the camera was angled down and traffic was outside the video's field of view. For the other camera, it was catching stray light from the afternoon sunset (even though the camera faces almost due south) and would activate repeatedly every 2-3 mins for a period of 2-3 hours each afternoon.

 

Both of these problems were solved by making a cowel to shield the PIR.

 

As I was experimenting, I opted for a temporary measure and use Gaffer tape as it weathers OK. With my camera mounted upside down (meaning the PIR is at the top), I simply taped around the outside of the top of the camera's exteriour shell (actually the bottom of the camera), bringing a "hat brim" of tape out in a semi circle over the front of the camera, and going no deeper than halfway down the PIR sensor. I did this in pretty much the same manner the OP did with his PVC pipe, except mine is much broader because it sits in line with (is taped onto) the top and sides of the shell of the camera, rather than being glued to the front face of the camera.

 

The road-facing camera is no longer activated by road traffic that is out of shot.

The "sunset" camera only activates a couple of times during each afternoon now.

 

A small amount of trimming of the tape (with scissors) was required after mounting, for optimal results.

 

Long term, I think Netgear could easily solve this problem by making a new add-on product: they could easily take their silicon colour shells they sell, and add a "hood" (called a Cutter or a French Flag in the camera trade) to the front of the shell in a similar manner the OP did, except a little broader like I did. Bonus points for establishing a method where the product owner would be able to trim the hood down to suit their need.

entilza
Star
Star

A picture of the "Gaffer tape" solution described in the post above. I have folded the tape over to stiffen the "flag" part, then trimmed it as appropriate to allow the PIR to still detect movement in specific areas.

arlo-flag.JPG

RobertRosal
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

No image visible.

-Robert