Arlo Pro Battery Life w/Smartthings


(Miles) #1

I thought that I would post here first instead of the Arlo Pro Forum. The battery life on my Arlo Pro has lessened a lot recently. I have 3 cameras purchased early December 2017. I had the cameras integrated with Smartthings where all 3 cameras would go active with a door switch. During February I went on a 10 day trip away from home and all 3 cameras were active during that time. From the time of purchase to after the trip the camera percentage was at a minimum of 90 percent with all cameras. During the trip one outside camera would record from motion at least once a day. I considered this excellent battery life.

During April something happened. I went on a 2 month trip and overnight all the cameras went to about 50 percent battery life. Also, the settings with Smartthings would not retain. I had to keep messing with the settings. I decided to turn the cameras off and have them turn on only when there was motion from Smartthings sensors. By the time I got home the battery life was down to under 20 percent with the 2 most active cameras. The other one was about 30 percent.

Arrival at home, I charged all cameras up to 100 percent (first time charging since I got the cameras) and again have Smartthings turn the cameras on with a door switch. Two weeks later one camera (most active) is under 18 percent and the other 2 is under 50 percent. I was away for 3 days so the cameras were always on for those 3 days. The other days the cameras were hardly on, maybe 4 or 5 times.

I haven’t removed the cameras from Smartthings but that is my next step unless anyone else might have another suggestion. Does Smartthings drain the camera batteries even when the cameras are off? With the cameras off (not active) the history (Recently) for the camera shows “Rssi is 4” every hour so I would assume that there is some kind of battery drain from Smartthings.


(Brian Harding) #2

@mmwada
This seems to be a common complaint on the Arlo Community forum since the last couple of Arlo firmware updates. It seems they fixed a bug and introduced several more. I don’t think Smartthings is draining enough battery life from the cameras to worry about. One of the recent bugs is that when the cameras are disabled and the Night Vision is turned off, the IR LEDs come on when they detect motion at night, (although if your cameras stay on all the time, you should not notice any difference from previous battery drains). This bug had been fixed for a long time and just showed back up.
Secondly, it appears that their system has been hacked into a couple of times lately. and possibly, when their system was down, the cameras kept trying to connect and thus drained the batteries quicker than normal.
I am just guessing here, but you are not the only experiencing this. I hope the fix it soon.

Brian


(Slimshizn) #3

Happening to me and A TON of others. Netgear is “working” on a fix.


(Miles) #4

Thanks for the replies. You both saved me a lot of aggravation. I could just see myself trying to fix something I couldn’t, possibly making things worst and later having to fix things that I broke. Sometimes you have to wonder if all this technology makes things easier or harder for you.


(Slimshizn) #5

In this case harder. Seems like every so often Netgear throws another wrench in the mix. It would be nice if they just fixed the bugs and LEFT IT ALONE.


(John C) #6

It isn’t just Netgear! All tech companies do this because the are in such a hurry to get something out, have an inadequate or no quality testers or automated regression testing, or task a noob or someone unfamiliar with the product to fix it. Oh, did I say, “Ship it yesterday!”

Sigh :pensive:


(Slimshizn) #7

Posted this in the Netgear fourm. Thoughts?

Any of the smartthings guys here know of a way to kind of do a arlo mode “dance”? The work around sucks because if you have say an inside camera that you want to arm you have to go back into the app or on the web UI and change the mode because of the lack of custom rules. If you could make the mode change at a specific time or whenever you leave the house then that would be more of a perm solution. I’m checking out Stringify right now to see if there is a way to do that since there are actions to arm, disarm and record video. If there are any guys that are familiar with webCoRE please let me know if it’s possible.

Edit: I’m going to try this.

In smartthings I have taken out all of the “turn on” and “turn off” functions for each of the automations so the camera’s are staying on.
In stringify I added two new flows with a presence device from smartthings.
Presence detected —> Disarm
Presence not detected —> Arm
This way you can keep the cameras on to stop the battery drain from the “off IR bug” and have them enabled when you leave automatically. I’ll test it for a couple days and see if it works. If anyone has suggestions please let me know.

Edit 2: I’m going to speak with a Stringify dev and see if they can’t incorporate additional “custom” modes instead of just the arm and disarm. That way I could make an additional flow that goes like this for night time.

Presence detected & Time —> Custom arm ( Outdoor arm indoor disarm )
Presence detected & Time —> Disarm
Presence not detected —> Arm

Edit 3: I think that if the custom arm was added I would take the presence out of the equation and just add the same time that my smartthings automation happened and keep the other two flows.


(Tony Fleisher) #8

You might have a look at the arlopilot SmartApp


(Slimshizn) #9

I’ll give it a shot, stringify dev said it’s not possible. IMO he doesn’t want to deal with adding custom modes as ArloPilot has a work around to allow them.


(Carlo) #10

I have also had the sudden battery drain happen to my camera. When I had to recharge the battery, I power-cycled the base station and battery life seems to be back to normal now. I did change the video quality for my camera at the same time from “Best Video” to “Optimized”. I don’t know if that made a difference or not.

I do not use the Smartthings SHM integration with my Arlo camera though. Instead I use a WebCoRE piston with IFTTT integration to set my Arlo Mode based on my Smartthings mode. My camera is never turned off.