Camera Troubleshooting Steps

  • First what type of camera are you working with?
  • What trouble is the camera having?
  • Checking status and setting in Alarm.com.
  • Here is the link on how to add a camera to Alarm.com.
  • Once you know what is going on you can then start to narrow the possible solutions down. Below are some common things I have run across. To view the answer please go the number of the corresponding question.
  1. The status LED will not turn green when you plug the camera into the router?
  2. What do the LED’s mean on the camera?
  3. Cannot find camera on the network when you press “Find Camera” when initially adding the camera in?
  4. How does the WPS button setup work?
  5. You can see the New Camera when you hit “Find Camera” but it will not let you select it?
  6. You cannot view live video once the camera has been added successfully?
  7. The camera will not connect to the wireless router?
  8. How do we find the Wireless Network Key?
  9. The camera is online and then drops offline and it does this all the time?
  10. What internet speed to the need for the cameras video to stream properly?
  11. Routers that you should not mess with and the recommended solution?
  12. What to do if the wireless setup is for a business and you run into problems?
  13. How do you change the the Encryption Type on the Router?
  14. Customer wants to avoid 3 minute timeout while viewing live video remotely?
  15. How do you reset a camera?
  16. The camera will not record video clips?
  17. System Triggered Events Setup
  18. Motion Triggered Events Setup
  19. What are the VMD settings?
  20. The camera is not picking up motion when someone walks in front of it?
  21. The camera is recording too many clips?
  22. What is Target Size in the VMD settings?
  23. FAQ for cameras?
  24. The pan/tilt camera automatically returns to the home position after you move it to a different preset?
  25. How far away can the cameras detect motion?
  26. The "Status LED" shuts off and you cannot get it to come back on?

1. The status LED will not turn green when you plug the camera into the router?

If you are getting this it means that the camera is unable to connect to the network.

If the camera is plugged into the router directly, it is a problem with the internet or the ethernet cable is bad. If those are both fine replace the camera.

If you are trying to get it to connect wirelessly there are a lot more possibilities. It might be too close to the router. You want it to be at least 15 feet away. It could be that wireless network password was entered incorrectly. If so you will have to reconnect the camera to the router and re-enter the password. Worst case is the router has to be set to a specific encryption type for it to work with the camera’s. If that is the case you will most likely have to call Alarm.com to get the type it needs to be set at. At that point the customer will have to change the setting on the router.

2. What do the LED’s mean on the camera?

Here is the link for the guide in Alarm.com.

3. Cannot find camera on the network when you press “Find Camera” when initially adding the camera in?

If you cannot find the camera on the network, check to see what color the LED is on the camera. If it is not green refer to question 1. If it is green get the MAC address off the camera and manually enter it into the search box and try to find it that way.

4. How does the WPS button setup work?

Here is the link for the guide in Alarm.com.

5. You can see the New Camera when you hit “Find Camera” but it will not let you select it?

If you can see the camera after you hit “Find Cameras” but you cannot select it copy and paste the MAC into the search box and search that way. You should be able to select once you do this.

6. You cannot view live video once the camera has been added successfully?

If you cannot view live video and the camera LED is Green and it is added into Alarm.com it is probably a plug in issue. You can have them go to www.java.com and download the Java plugin. Close all browsers and then log back in and you should be good to go.

7. The camera will not connect to the wireless router?

Once you have the camera working when it is plugged into internet you are halfway there. If you cannot get the camera to connect wirelessly here is what you need to check.

  • Make sure the customer powered the camera down and moved it to a location more than 15 feet away from the router. Powering it up without an ethernet cable tells the camera to connect wirelessly and there is also a field around the router that interferes with devices trying to connect to its network.
  • Make sure it is not too far away from the router. Distance will vary depending on the router. If you think this might be the problem move it closer and try it and if it works you know it was mounted too far away.
  • Make sure they used the correct “Network Key” or password for their internet. I run into this a lot. If they are not 100% sure or you think they have the wrong one try doing a JoinMe and log them into their router and check under “Wireless Security”. See the screen-cast for instruction on how to log into a router.
  • If all this fails check to see if the router they have needs to be set to a specific Encryption Type. You will probably need to call Alarm.com for this information. If it does need to be set to a different encryption type you will need to set the expectation that they will have to change the settings in the router. This will meas all other wireless devices will have to be reconfigured to connect to the router. If they do not want to do this the only other option is to buy a router specifically for the cameras.

8. How do we find the Wireless Network Key?

Screencast

9. The camera is online and then drops offline and it does this all the time?

When the camera keeps dropping offline but comes back online on  its own or by power cycling here is what you need to check for.

  • Make sure the Wireless Network Key or password is correct. I have seen it work with the wrong password and then the next time the router asks the camera for the security info it kicks it off because it has the wrong info.
  • Make sure the DHCP is not set really low. This will make it have to change IP addresses a lot which will knock it offline while it finds a new address. Try setting it to several hours instead.
  • If his internet speed is too slow to handle all the cameras it can knock a camera offline. You need 256 kilobytes per camera.

10. What internet speed to the need for the cameras video to stream properly?

You need 256 kilobytes per camera.

11. Routers that you should not mess with and the recommended solution?

The only routers on this list for now are any Apple routers. If you run into one of these it will not work and they will need to purchase another router for the cameras.

12. What to do if the wireless setup is for a business and you run into problems?

A lot of times the setup for businesses is pretty complex and you do not want to mess any of their settings up. They will normally have IT people that can work on them. So you can tell the customer what you need to be set and then have their IT guys do it for you. That is the cleanest way.

13. How do you change the the Encryption Type on the Router?

Screencast

14. Customer wants to avoid 3 minute timeout while viewing live video remotely?

  • Alarm.com’s EZinstall™ feature allows remote access to cameras regardless of network configuration, but the remote video streams time out after 3 minutes, if the networks are not configured for port forwarding.
  • If the customer wants to eliminate the 3 minute timeout, his/her LAN administrator must configure the cameras and network for port forwarding.  
  • - To do this, go to the Camera Status page under the Camera Settings tab, and click the Advanced
  • Network Setup and Testing link.
  • - This will bring up a page that allows the cameras to be configured with a fixed IP address, which is required before configuration of the router for port forwarding.

15. How do you reset a camera?

Cycling power to the camera should never fix a problem, but it is always worth a try. If all else fails, delete the camera from the account, factory reset the camera (by holding in the reset button for 50 seconds), and add the camera back to the account.

16. The camera will not record video clips?

First you will need to get a little familiar with the Recording Schedules. Click here to see Alarm.com’s help article. So you need to make sure they have at least one recording schedule set. By default “Any Sensor Alarm” is already set. If that is the only one it is only going to record in the event of an alarm. To have if go off any other time requires more schedules to be set. See “System Triggered Events” and Motion Triggered Events.

17. System Triggered Events Setup

System Triggered Events - Here is a video on how to set them up.

18. Motion Triggered Events Setup

Motion Triggered Events - Here is a video on how to set them up.

19. What are the VMD settings?

Video Motion Detection aka VMD Settings - Here is a video on how to set them up.

20. The camera is not picking up motion when someone walks in front of it?

If the camera is having trouble picking up motion here is what you need to check.

  • Is the motion more than 15 feet away from the camera. The camera’s motion detection is only good to around 15 feet.
  • Is there a Motion Triggered Event setup?
  • What is the target size. If it is set too high whatever is walking in front of the camera might not be filling up enough of the VMD window. Either make the VMD window smaller of move the target size setting lower.

21. The camera is recording too many clips?

This is basically the opposite of answer 10. The only other thing I would ask is if the camera is in a high traffic location. If it is you might have them edit the Motion Triggered Event so that is only records during times they are not there. They can also “Pause” the Motion Triggered Event schedule anytime. So if they are home they can turn it off so it does not record any unnecessary clips.

22. What is Target Size in the VMD settings?

See the video in answer 9.

23. FAQ for cameras?

Here is the FAQ Alarm.com has for the cameras. It has some good information in it.

24. The pan/tilt camera automatically returns to the home position after you move it to a different preset?

 Kelly ran into an issue yesterday that we might start seeing more often....basically the customer he was working with had 3 preset views for his camera, whenever he would click on one of those views the camera would swing to it and stay there until he chose a different view. That's how it was suppose to work up until recently, not to long ago alarm.com sent through a camera firmware upgrade and it seems that it has affected camera presets. (A.C wouldn't tell me exactly how long ago they sent through this update but when I looked at the Audit changes on the customer record I could see that a ''Camera Firmware Upgrade'' was sent through on 2/2/2013 and 2/3/2013)
 Now, when you click on one of the views it will swing to that view, stay there for 10mins and then go back to the ''home'' view. One of the views is named ''home'' and that can not be changed. So make sure customers are setting that as the default view that they would generally want to see when they login to their account. Any other view they setup as a ''preset'' can be named as whatever they like but remember, when they click on it to view it, it will swing to that other view, stay there for 10mins and then return to the ''home'' view.
Per Alex at alarm.com this is something that can be disable so if you have an old customer who is used to the old way and wants you to fix it then call alarm.com and they can take care of it from their end.

25. How far away can the cameras detect motion?

The cameras that have the ability to detect motion are good out to 15 feet away.

26. The "Status LED" shuts off and you cannot get it to come back on?

If the "Status LED" on your camera will not come on then your camera my be "Bricked". Another indication of this is the infrared LED's will be on. This means that your camera is in an unusable condition. Please follow the instructions below to fix the camera.

  1. Power down the camera for 30 seconds
  2. Power the camera back up while holding down the reset button. Keep pressing the reset button for 20 seconds (no more)
  3. Let the camera sit for 3 minutes.
  4. If the "Status LED" does not come back on then repeat steps 1 thru 3.
  5. At this point replace.
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