Battery issues--camera warranty needed?

Hey all (especially @Tim),

I had my camera down for some time, but then charged it up and reinstalled at the front door. It’s been up for 12 days and now I’m getting the annoying battery warning indicators. If I understood Tim correctly, The 6 month battery life was based on 20 activations per day. Well, that would be roughly 3,600 activations, and I’m confident there were not 300 activations per day!

So, what do we do now?

I received the second camera and finally got it activated and installed out back, so I will have to compare the two. Is there an easy way to assess activity, like an activation counter?

Regardless, 11 days till the battery starts to fail is obviously unacceptable–it seems the battery is, indeed, failing. That’s actually why I removed the camera and installed another one. I know the camera lights are not an issue because it’s located directly next to my front porch light and the onboard lights never turn on.

What is the answer here? Is there testing I should do? My solar panel is not even plugged in because of the control oversight. 11 days and I’m at the 1 red bar-that sucks!

Thank you.

Hi @rcworship,
Haing discussed this case with our product manager, there is one more factor that may affect the battery usage: The WiFi signal strength.
When the signal strength become weak, the camera tends to increase transmitting power and proceed handshake protocol more frequently than expected.
It is not as obvious as the camera activation ( which could be measured by the frequency of user access, push notification, recordings length, and warm light activation), while it does consuming battery to some extent.
May I know if the camera works fine on the live view in most time you access it (which indicate the network status directly)?

Hello,

The cameras have always had terrible connectivity. As for the front camera, you can see in the attached photo that it shows an exterior wall. This is the room where one of the Google WiFi Mesh routers is—I would say a max of 15 feet away with one wall. There is also another router in the bedroom directly above.

The new camera in the back yard is about 25-30 away from the main router that is located just inside the large glass door on the bottom level. There is also another router in the bedroom upstairs.

I would say that most of the time I can select the live view and see the live feed in a few seconds. Every now and again it will give me a “time out” message. I have a smart switch that controls the light directly next to which the Vacos cam #1 inns mounted, and the signal strength in that app shows 100%. The camera is 6-7 feet away from that switch, just on the other side of the exterior wall. Is there a way to get the signal strength from the cameras?

Ryan

My new, 2nd Vacos just gave me the first low battery warning-1 week after set up! I counted 74 notifications…

If I remember correctly, you said the cameras would get a maximum of 6 month battery life—with 20 activations per day. 20 X 180 is 3600, right? So 74 is not cutting it…I figure I can count the notifications for both cameras to get a feel for the activity, right?

Either way, I’m getting about a week for either camera, which is tragic, at best. Let’s work together and get this figured out!

Thanks @rcworship for your feedback.
In this case, could you use the phone app to check the WiFi signal at the camera’s location?
The apps such as WiFi Analyzer, NetSpot, Wireshark may work for this purpose.
Plus, may I know how long per day will you access the camera on the app?
If possible, could you also tell us the device ID of your cameras via email, then we will review their activity from our server?

Would Speedtest work? Or, I’m using the google WiFi setup and app that gives network strength. If not, I will download one of those.

Let me know which works best.

Thanks,
Ryan

Here are two reports. The faster on is at the front door. The slower is in the backyard. The speed is still more than adequate.

Is this information what you need? Or did you need something with specific strength from the camera connection itself?

Thanks,
Ryan

Thanks @rcworship for the data :slight_smile: I will show these to our engineer for review at first.
May I still know how often did you access and how long did you watch the camera per day (roughly)? We will take these data into account when reviewing the battery usage. Thanks.

I would say no more than about 5-10 times per day. More in the beginning, less than 5 now. When I check, it’s more of a diagnostic check, making sure things are working.

For the rear (new) camera, it still doesn’t seem to record to the local storage. It seems very spotty when attempting to connect and view even from the cloud. When I attempt to view locally stored video, it shows nothing on the local storage. I did format the card a day or two ago, but that did not help. When I view cloud camera storage on the new cam, it starts of with “no video”, but after I move forward in the bar slider, it shows video. However, it will show a few seconds and then go to a screen that says “replay” and “watch more videos”. This is annoying because it doesn’t seem to let me watch the entire clips. The red marks in the bar show more, but it stops and goes to the “replay” screen, while there is much more red mark section in the bar. I can move the bar and get it to play more, but this is not a good experience.

I would very much like to see camera and video access via a web browser.

I fully recharged the new cam yesterday and put it back outside. We will see how long it lasts.

Ryan

I am so frustrated! My front door cam just went back to low battery irritation AGAIN!!! I just put it back up the other day! I set the camera back up 6 days ago, at 11:00 PM. It did not get a full 6 days! Wow, this is so frustrating! Please let me know if there is any development, or are any changes in the works (especially hardware upgrades). I’m here to help and provide feedback. I know others have experienced this frustration, but I’m not sure if mine is a unique case, or if this is pretty typical…

Hi @rcworship,
Thanks for the reply.
Regarding the record to local storage, could you check the recording schedule of that camera is set as 24/7?


Regarding the playback of cloud videos, I understand it’s not influent enough. This may happen if the video isn’t load completely due to network status. Does this happen every time when you playback? If not, how often is it?
I am sorry, but web access is still not a option in the near future.

I tried plugging the camera into the solar panel today, just to try it, and it didn’t do anything. I will try again-maybe it was an issue of the camera being too low…

Tell me about it! The last three days I’ve had nothing but problems (Tim are you listening). A fully charged camera battery at 10 AM shows 1 red bar by 5PM after being plugged into the replacement solar panel and charging all day. The next morning the camera showed 3 gree bars and charging when plugged into the solar panel No activities were recorded over night, which I know is wrong because cars aan people are always passing. The next day when I tried to look at device storage I received “Device does not have memory, Please restart device”… another falsehood! Restart failed had to take device down and readd device from scratch again. Again no activations overnight. Activations only are recorded during daylight hours. For two more days camera disconnected and I could not reconnect it. Recharged camera and still would not connect. Reset network and still could not connect. Found out camera was acting as a hotspot again. When your engineers are connected my camera will not connect for me! Finally, you guys stopped monkeying with my camera and I have it working again on its own power. IT WILL NOT RECONNECT WHEN SOLAR PANEL IS CONNECTED EVEN WHEN FULLY CHARGED!

Hi @robert.jones2939, sorry for the trouble arose. Currently, please try not using the Vacos camera with solar panel, as there’s an compatible issue between them. Would you wait for the new Vacos camera (expected to be released in November 2020) that has a fix on this issue? If you prefer to proceed warranty, could you notify us at support@vacos.com ?

Keep us up to date on the Vacos plan for existing customers regarding the new camera :+1:

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Tim, I will wait on the new Vacos camera. I have already disconnected the solar panel, because I was getting the same problems I had with the original solar panel. It has been working without the panel since the return to Standard Time on Sunday. It still showed three green bars this morning, but I am not getting any alert recordings, which does not make sense to me with all the passing people and cars.

Hi @robert.jones2939,
Regarding the camera won’t record, can I know if you have enabled PIR and set it to the highest level for testing?
Besides, I was wondering if you mean the recordings in the alarm list or in local storage (or both).

Okay, one of the two cameras is now starting to give me the low battery warning again. The new one-Number 2-is showing 2/3 yellow battery. The Front Entry kept getting triggered (trigger warning!) while my wife was outside talking for a while, during which time I thought it gave me the low battery warning. However, it shows 3/3 green battery and did not show low battery message in the message history, so I may have been mistaken. The rear definitely is low. Just keeping you posted…

I am not getting anything in the alarm list or local storage! In fact, this morning my app told me my device had no storage AGAIN!!! It decided I do have device storage tonight. I have not been using the solar panel and the camera is still showing 3 green bars after a full week. I just set PIR to max and will see what happens tonight.

@robert.jones2939 I see. It looks like the camera couldn’t always read the device storage. Is it possible to send the error message about no storage? Knowing the frequency of this issue, we will check if it’s a hardware problem.