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3373inLine's profile

Tuesday, August 30th, 2022 7:57 PM

Solar panel not charging

I’m on my second panel and they don’t seem to be charging the camera. The only thing I haven’t tested is unplugging from the solar panel end which seems like a bad idea:

  1. Secure the connection between the Solar Panel's power cord and Camera by unplugging and reinserting both ends of the cable—the end connected to the Solar Panel and the end connected to the camera

Can you really pull the cable from the end connected to the solar panel? It feels pretty secure.

Official Solution

Community Admin

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5.2K Messages

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80 Points

2 years ago

Hi @3373inLine ,

You are correct, the Solar Panel's power cable is indeed not removable from the unit itself. Please don't attempt to try and pry it off!

As for the original issue - have you already tried doing a firmware reset on the camera? You can do so by pressing and holding the pairing button on the back of the camera for 16 seconds. When you release, it should reboot into setup mode, and you can set it up again through the SimpliSafe app.

If the issue is with the firmware or programming of the camera, that might resolve it.

14 Messages

@davey_d​ Thanks, Davey! I updated just now, but still not getting a clear indication (or charging icon within the battery icon) to tell me that the solar panel is working and charging the battery.


However, yesterday when I posted this I’m pretty sure the battery was at 95% and an hour later I saw the batter was at 97%. So I think it is working, but I don’t know definitively, which is a bummer.

Community Admin

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5.2K Messages

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80 Points

Hm, yes. You should be seeing the charging icon when the unit is actively charging - could it be possible that it just wasn't at the time that you checked? But at least you're able to check that the charge is going up.

14 Messages

Hi Davey, on Friday I moved my solar panel to a sunnier location. Since then it has started to get at least six hours of sun. However there is no charging icon appearing in the camera settings in the app or on the website. And it does not appear to be charging from what I can tell, or it is just losing its charge at a much slower rate but not charging back up. It leads me to believe that either the solar panel is faulty or the charging port on the camera is faulty. It would be saddening that the solar panel is faulty as this is solar panel number two and I was having the same issue with the first one. What do you think?

5 Messages

@3373inLine​ I know this is off topic of the post here but how did you install that on your vinyl siding? I'm concerned the the supplied screws/anchor with the unit won't support the weight. Thanks in advance!

14 Messages

@davey_d Just an update: I am now seeing the charging icon finally. I recharged the battery to 100% and now it’s happening. Not sure why it wasn’t happening before. But good news!

5 Messages

1 year ago

As FYI, I have been having a similar outdoor charge issue via solar panel. The solar panel just does not keep up. I have attempted to have a settings profile that tries to minimize the use, but still having issues. I have no firmware updates, the panel location is in the sun, the cables are well seated. Also, the solar panel is about 18 months old and wonder if there is a failure rate? 

14 Messages

@mikemalloy0​ I found, if helpful, that I had to make sure the battery was 100% when plugging in. Once I did that it charged normally and keeps up. 

honestly I doubted that part at first, but now it works.

3 Messages

1 year ago

I am having an issue with four of these Simply Safe Solar panels.  I ditched 3rd party solar panels for these, but they atleast showed "charging icon" when the sun was up... What's with these not autorecognizing?

The camera has a computer chip, on it's power input, it's just sensing IV (current and Voltage) so whether it's a solar panel or a microusb wired to the wall outlet - they should recognize the solar instantly.

I work on large scale utility solar power plants, these are properly mounted (ok well not perfect.. kids running around the ladder, but sure should work) in the sun and I put in fresh batteries all properly charged too - what gives? 

Simplisafe brand name solar panels should be better than the 3rd party ones I'm now regretting throwing away too soon for these at 2x the cost.  The other ones didn't charge fast, but atleast showed the voltage icon of charging during rhe day.

I'll be pretty mad if I have to rebuy / reladder hang 3rd party panels and return $500 worth of 6x Simplisafe solar panels (I've hung 4x today) cause they don't have enough juice to even show charing on the cams like the 3rd party panels did even when cloudy. 

Dont' worry about the camera light shading part of the module on the right, it was early morning when I took these (sun at low angle)

(edited)

Community Admin

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2.4K Messages

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10 Points

Hi @foremanjf​, 

Your Solar Panels seem to be mounted in a nice, sunny spot - they should certainly be charging your Outdoor Cameras.

Have you tried doing a firmware reset on your cameras? This can be done by pressing and holding the pairing button on the back of your cameras for 16 seconds. Once you release, they should each reboot into setup mode, and you can set them up again in the SimpliSafe app.

If you have already tried a firmware reset, I would secure the connection between your Solar Panels and Outdoor Cameras by unplugging and reinserting the cable connected to your Outdoor Cameras.

(edited)

3 Messages

@emily_s​ - I assure you all 4x solar panels have a.) proper micro USB connections made already double checked reading on advice above.  and b.) since the 3rd party solar panels were able to show charge lightning-icon... without a firmware reset... and since all 6x of my outdoor cams are running well on the Omada mesh network... I didn't see the reason to do be up on ladder firmware resetting all of these??  

I mean if the camera can detect the voltage of the 3rd party solar panels, without any firmware resets... Surely your own brand solar panel should do the same without issue?  I'd rather not waste an hour (back on the ladder) going doing that...

I mean the solar module IV detection is electronic, why would a firmware reset gate help (especially in light of the fact it auto-detected IV of 3rd party solar module just the week before).? Granted those showed a charging icon, but didn't seem to actually improve battery levels.

I love the simlisafe overall alarm system way more than Ring... but their solar panels work without issue and charge sufficiently.

I guess I can return all $500 of the 6x simplisafe solar panels to Amazon (I did like the aesthetics and type of mounting hardware more) but c'mon guys it's not me leaving all 4x loose micro USB connections (I get that it's the first troubleshooting tree they give you).

I really would rather keep the simplisafe panels for noted aesthetic/mount reasons, but if I go firmware reset all of these cameras... mount the last 2x solar panels for all 6x cams... and it still doesn't detect, you'll owe me first batch of the new improved (large enough, to push enough voltage, current) panels for so much ladder time (and it better use the SAME circle mount, so I'm not drilling more holes into the new home).  

The only saving grace is the hole-spacing of the Simplisafe circle 2-hole mount, is the same distance as the 3-hole mounts used on the Aluminum ball joint mounts via 3rd party solar panels... So I at least I'm not drilling extra useless holes into my new house facia.

Alright... I'll bite, I'll try the firmware reset - but you're talking to a long time solar industry professional (experienced PV module product manager/designer).  See note above, y'all owe me legit higher wattage brand name panels, that friggin autodetect IV, if I'm upon the ladder again these 6x still don't detect with charging icon after firmware resets too.  I mean a new improved model, not the same stuff.

(edited)

9 Messages

@emily_s​ Why are you saying to unplug and reinsert “both ends” of the cable? @davey_d wrote earlier in the thread that the cable doesn’t detach at the panel end.

Also, will Simplisafe correct the support page that has the same misinformation ?

(edited)

Community Admin

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2.4K Messages

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10 Points

Hi @ewilen​, 

Thank you for calling my error out! I was looking at conflicting resources when writing my response. Davey is correct, the cable that is connected to the Solar Panel cannot be unplugged. We're working on getting the page in our Help Center that says it can be unplugged corrected. 

2 Messages

@foremanjf​ Did this work for you? 

1 Message

6 months ago

I tried everything mentioned in the other posts....what worked for me was checking the connection with the charging plug, You really have to press hard on the plug.....the weatherproofing makes it hard to get a good connection.

I also did a hard reset on my iPhone, just in case that was affecting the Simplisafe app.

1 Message

thanks for typing this. i was SURE mine was plugged in correctly but after reading your reply, just to make sure, i unplugged and plugged it back in HARD and low and behold it started charging! so thank you again for calling that out!

2 Messages

5 months ago

Does anyone have slightly cloudy days and their camera dies? How is someone supposed to keep their cameras charged in the winter when the sun is not always direct?!

1 Message

5 months ago

The app was telling me with the icons that my solar panel was working and charging the camera. But when I would arm and disarm my system, the home base would say the camera was low on battery. Well today the camera is disconnected and not working at all. Not sure how I would end up conflicting issues like this. I'm going to try and reset the camera and hopefully that will work. 

Community Admin

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2.4K Messages

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10 Points

@OperJunge​ Yes, I would first try to reset the Outdoor Camera by pressing and holding on the pairing button on the back of the camera for 16 seconds to see if that resolves this.

When you said that the camera was disconnected today, was its battery dead? If it was, I would also charge the camera's battery for at least 5 hours using the charging cable that it came with. The Solar Panel is designed to keep the Outdoor Camera's battery charged, not charge it from 0 to 100, so fully charging the camera's battery before connecting it to the Solar Panel is recommended.

1 Message

@emily_s​ I am also having this issue and have reset the camera, updated firmware, and checked that the connection to the panel is secure (and it definitely gets enough sun) and I am STILL not seeing a charging icon. My camera battery has gone from 100% to 96% in less than a day because I have a busy street so it is very disappointing that this isn’t working. Are there any other suggestions? I am outside of the return window for the panel.

Community Admin

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2.4K Messages

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10 Points

@jlonchar​ If the Solar Panel isn't charging your camera despite taking all of these troubleshooting steps, there may be a hardware issue with the camera itself. If you contact our Support team, they can send you a replacement.

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