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Sun, Oct 3, 2021 12:27 PM

Outdoor camera notifications

I have the new wireless outdoor camera.  When stepping in front the the camera it's detects motion (blue light shows streaming), and the app timeline records motion on the camera.  However, I'm not getting any notification on the app.  I've tried reinstalling the camera, checking my firmware is up to date, and have reinstalled the app.  In the app Notifications are switched on, both in the camera settings and Alerts and Notification settings.  We have another mobile device with the app, and it's not working on that either.

I called tech support but no joy and they are looking into it. I wondered if anyone else is having issues with outdoor camera notifications?

Captain

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4.7K Messages

10 m ago

@6153712159 just to clarify, are you talking about push alerts or sms text message? If its SMS, suggest you use the push alerts as they are more stable and quicker.

4 Messages

Push notifications from the app.

Captain

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4.7K Messages

In an attempt to provide a reference point to SS support,  mine work as they should, Google WIFI, Android Pixel 4a, Android 11 on Verizon. Please post your outcome once resolved. Thanks.

10 Messages

10 m ago

I am also experiencing this issue. I installed two outdoor cameras two weeks ago and the app notifications have been unreliable on Android. It seems to happen most often when other notifications occur around the same time, such as notifications from my doorbell camera. The doorbell camera will send notifications every time without fail, but some notifications for the outdoor cameras are missed even though the events are captured in the timeline.

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

10 m ago

Hi vistaronn,

Are you also on Android like email_6153712159? I'd like to gather more info from both of you, like the model of your phone, what version of the operating system, etc., and anything you might have set up outside of the regular defaults.

For example, Android has a feature called Focus Mode that controls notification behavior. Do you have it enabled? And I know some Developer Mode settings might interact strangely with our app too.

- Johnny M.
SimpliSafe Home Security

4 Messages

10 m ago

Hi, I'm using an iPhone 12 Pro with the latest SimpliSafe app version.  My partner has an iPhone 12 and experiences the same issue.  Other push notification work fine, such as when the system is armed or disarmed.

10 Messages

10 m ago

Johnny M,

Yes, I am using Android, version 9 4.4. No focus mode settings.

10 Messages

10 m ago

I am having similar issues with Android 11, sometimes I get the push notifications, sometimes not, but one thing I notice is that when I do get notifications, they have no audible notification sound. Motion detection is mediocre even on high sensitivity. Unimpressed with the system, considering returning before the month is out and cancelling the service.

Captain

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4.7K Messages

10 m ago

@ robsp32 both my outdoor cameras (one in the front and one in the back) are working fine, however did have one night when it was raining and the back camera was sending me motion alerts every few minutes. This is obviosuly a problem but so far a one off. Can you describe the environment you have your camera operating in? (Lighting, approx height mounted, angle, what its facing (trees, street light) night vision or led light etc.)

10 Messages

Mine are all mounted 8 to 10 feet off the ground, some under the soffit of the house some are mounted on my shed. I have only had issues with the ones facing the street with false alerts, which strangely enough even with those zones disabled it is still picking up motion and sending an alert for it in the disabled zone. My big problem is i could have 20 alerts on my phone, none of which gave an audible notification sound like you would get with a text or email notification. When I contacted support about it, they sent me to the FAQ's page on the simplisafe website. That basically spun me into a whole new dimension of angry as they were basically calling me an idiot.

Captain

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4.7K Messages

@ robsp32 the good news: SS has dramitcally increased the number of agents. The bad news: they haven't had enough training or experience yet.  There is a known issue on the zone feature and Simplisafe is working on a firmware update to address it.  No excuse for SS on this one.  I suggest you wait until this coming week so Johnny M can respond to this thread and provide a better explanation and status.

10 Messages

I'll give it another week, earlier today I was in the backyard getting ready to leave so I figured id test the motion detection again, not a single notification the entire time I walked our pretty small yard from either of the cameras looking over the yard. Mind you thats max sensitivity and all motion alerts enabled. Pretty poor performance.

Advocate

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417 Messages

10 m ago

@captain11,

both my outdoor cameras (one in the front and one in the back) are working fine


Just curious, what are you basing this on? I'm asking because I also thought my cameras "worked fine" until I installed a camera from a different vendor and lo and behold, it was catching people, cars, etc. that either none of or only some of my SimpliSafe cameras caught.

So how can you know that your SimpliSafe camera (or any other camera from any other vendor) is catching everything it should unless you have something else to compare it to?

Captain

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4.7K Messages

Worthing, I test everything on my SS system, and at regular intervals. For example,, admittedly an odd one, a customer in the forums claimed an Invisible Fence blocked their signals on their system.  Yeah, I installed my base on my neighbor's property, add a few snesors and, gee, the signals got through.  Glassbreaks not working if you have shades on the windows? Shades down and a hammer on a neighbor's old windows that were replaced.on my back patio just outside the window covered (on a drop cloth of course.)

Camera notifications for movement? Turn on spot for night testing, you and a neighbor are at opposite ends of the property beyond range and start walking. Light on camera comes on, you write down the time,measure distance.  Get together with neighbor assistant, review timeline with adlult beverages.  Repeat for back camera, again with adult beverages and phone app timeline.  Repeat during daytime on sunny and cloudy days.

Before you think I spend too much time on this, my wife will agree with you but I actually enjoy this type of activity with my system. Of course, my choice.  That all said, I also reported to SS, and in a sperate thread, my back camera a few nights ago during a heavy thunderstorm was sending notifications every mintue while my front camera sent only one.  That is an unexplained issue.

So.....yes, my cameras are working fine recording my wife when she was in the back yesterday trimming back the rose bushes and recording my neighbor bringing me a beer  on the front camera on my driveway.  Nice way to spend a Saturday. :-)

10 Messages

10 m ago

@robsp32 - Are your cameras still recording motion events in the timeline even if no notifications are sent? My notifications are also inconsistently sent, but my two outdoor cameras are doing a pretty good job capturing most activity. One is set to all motion, high sensitivity, and picks up everything cat size and larger. The other is set to people only, high sensitivity and has never missed me walking in front of it.

But I agree that the performance of the outdoor cameras have been underwhelming so far. For me, the main issues are:

- Inconsistent notifications
- Delay in starting recordings, likely caused by having to "wake up" the camera. Not nearly as fast as my doorbell camera.
- Choppiness/brief skipping in the recordings of both outdoor cameras. Not as smooth as the doorbell camera, which works fine.
- Activity zones don't work

I'm hoping that most of these issues will be improved with future software/firmware updates to make the investment worth it.

10 Messages

They will do that yes. I will notice that there are a ton of events in the timeline that I never got notifications for. But motion detection is also inconsistent as well, there are times where it will pick up a fly going past and there are other times where a car will be pulling in the driveway and it wont even notice it. I am not sure what to make of it, sometimes I question whether it actually is detecting motion and its just having trouble communicating to the base station to send the alert.

Captain

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4.7K Messages

@robsp32 strength and quality of the signal can be at play here. Unfotunately, SS has not yet put in the same signal diagnostic tool in the outside cam that it put in for the doorbell pro or the simplicam.  A good substitute is Speedtest Pro.  I had issues with my front outdoor cam staying connected and the soltuion was to add another Google WIFI point in our master bedroom.  I used speed test to see the signal was almost non existent. The neiw point did the trick and made the 2nd outdoor cam for the back yard go in without a hitch.

Just to add at this time I have the Google WIFI router and 3 remote points in our 2500 sq feet 2 story house.

10 Messages

I thought that as well, however our house is a 1000 sq ft rancher that is basically a rectangle, with a TPLINK Archer AX90 smack in the middle. The range on that router is beyond where the cameras are at. I can get 700mbps down on wifi standing next to one camera but that is on 5ghz, and the system only uses 2.4ghz which could be contributing to the interference issues. I do however live in a rural town where interference issues should be at a minimum, but the range of 2.4ghz is actually much farther than 5ghz bands, and when measuring 2.4ghz speeds, it is still over 200mbps down at the camera positions on all 4 corners of the house.

If there is a communication issue, which it seems like there is judging by the lag, I think it is with the base station. Which was either not designed for this much bandwidth or the firmware has a bug. I tend to think that the base station is just not designed well enough to handle multiple 1080p cameras simultaneously feeding info to the base station.

Advocate

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417 Messages

I tend to think that the base station is just not designed well enough to handle multiple 1080p cameras simultaneously feeding info to the base station.


FYI, this is not how any of their cameras work. Per Johnny M. relatively recently on these forums, all of the cameras communicate directly to the internet rather than to the base station and then to the internet.

10 Messages

So there is zero communication with the base?

Captain

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4.7K Messages

10 m ago

@robsp32 with that large of pipe I too doubt it is anything to do with signal strength.  If you read my response to Worthing, while I am happy with the performance of my cameras, there is the issue of the frequent notifications on my back camaera while the front camera was fine.  I certainly won't disagree there are bugs to squash and overtime SS will address them. The Simplicam installation process when released was very sporadic on performance and really not good. Installing two of them at my daughter's last month made me realize how smooth and improved it had become.

One last suggestion: does dropping the resolution provide any difference?

Advocate

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417 Messages

10 m ago

@Captain11,

First, I don't think you spend too much time on it. You won't believe the time I spent coming up with test scenarios and then testing multiple cameras. Or how much time I've spent designing, 3d printing and testing parts to turn an entry sensor into a reliable "the mailbox was opened" sensor. (More on that coming in the future, btw.)

Second, your response didn't fully address my question. You can confirm that all of your tests are successful because you're actively involved and aware of the tests and observing. What about when you're not actively involved and observing? How do you know that something that should have triggered the camera didn't trigger it when no one was watching?  The camera doesn't put something in your timeline that says, "hey, i failed to detect motion I should have". So again, without a second source to corroborate what your timeline tells you is accurate, how can you KNOW that it's accurate?

Captain

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4.7K Messages

10 m ago

@Worthing, notifications come in routinely on both, when you tap them you are taken directly to the corresponding video (with  the fingerprint authentication in the middle of the process, of course) and I can view the person or persons that tripped it. Beyond that, all I can say is I am mostly happy with the cameras and have tested to the best of my ability. Note, IMO the AC adapter is a must, as shown by my front being connected on AC, and my back camera at 58% after only 2 weeks.  I will be installing the AC adapter on the back camara once the battery dies (which I estimate to be in about 7-10 days.

Advocate

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417 Messages

@Worthing, notifications come in routinely on both, when you tap them you are taken directly to the corresponding video (with the fingerprint authentication in the middle of the process, of course) and I can view the person or persons that tripped it.


Yes, all of that is true IF EVERYTHING WORKS AS IT SHOULD. That is not what I am asking about.

What I am asking is, how can you know they always work correctly? How would you know if someone walked into your yard, directly in front of your camera and for some reason the camera didn't detect their motion and therefore didn't tell you they were? How do you know that doesn't happen at least a few times a week or even daily unless you test for exactly that scenario with a second camera pointed at the same target area.

Edit: Just to be clear, I'm not saying your camera isn't working perfectly. I'm saying you can't know for sure one way or another until you have a second source to compare it to.

1.3K Messages

10 m ago

FWIW, you also have to consider upload speed/link. Granted, if you are getting 200-700 down chances are you have a decent upload pipe. But, again, testing 200 down I think is not fully representative because the cameras have to send it "up" first. Eg., we have 200Mbps down but "up" is only 10Mbps.