vindic8r's profile

Sat, May 14, 2022 4:24 AM

Cannot connect and/or display live video from outdoor cameras only

I am at my wit's end and probably a few days away from returning my entire Simplisafe system to get something else instead.   

 

And it's a shame too. The sensors and the single indoor camera unit I purchased all work just fine and were a breeze to set up. But no matter what I do, I can't get outdoor camera units to connect to my system. In the few cases I have gotten them connected, they never display a live video feed. 

 

To date, I've spent over 2 hours on two separate phone calls with technical support and even had 2 new outdoor camera units sent to me. They are scratching their heads and blaming my Internet Service Provider, AT&T (I have AT&T fiber). But all four of the units I've tried all exhibit the same symptoms:

  1. The first time I try to connect the camera, it will connect to the system. But at the end of the setup, it will be unable to load a live feed, giving the error: "Camera Disconnected". 

  2. What is odd is that when there is movement in front of the camera, there is a moment alert sent to the app and added to the home screen feed, along with a still photo capture. So it seems the camera is capturing a signal, it's just incapable of sending it to the app for some reason. 

  3. I've tried the above from both an iPhone (9) and an Android (OnePlus 5T running Android 10). No dice.

  4. I experimented with two different 2.4 GHz WiFi networks I have setup here as well. I made sure my phone was on the same network each time. Neither worked. The 2nd network I tried was being broadcast directly from my fiber gateway, whereas the first was via my primary router. Its perhaps worth noting that I have an Asus ZenWiFi AX (AT8) mesh router and an AT&T BGW210-700 fiber gateway/router. I've configured the BGW210-700 for IP passthrough, so that the Asus is getting a WAN IP address. This allows my Asus (a much more configurable and powerful router) to do its job without the redundancy of the BGW210-700 in the way. Details on the configuration I used can be found here.     

  5. Should I decide to remove a camera from the system and re-add it, I'm unable to do so, as the camera is unable to connect once I get to the point in the setup where it tries to connect to WiFi. It's almost as though the previous camera installation has left some sort of imprint behind that is somehow buggering things up. 

If anyone here has any ideas on things I might try, I am all ears. I have to think there is some peculiarity with how my fiber gateway or router are configured that are to blame here, I just have no idea where to start. The fact that the system provides almost nothing in the way of log files or detailed error reporting makes it nearly impossible for me to try and identify the root cause here. This is exacerbated by the fact that the two support representatives I've spoken with are equally blind on their end, with little to no logging to work from.  

 

I really hope we can solve this. I don't want to walk away and throw away the hours I've spent thus far. But at this point, I'm out of ideas.

Accepted Solution

3 Messages

Il y a 17 d

@captain11 , @davey_d  and anyone else following along here - after many months of diligent troubleshooting, I have some good news. My problems are solved!

In the end, it seems the wireless cameras are somewhat incompatible with my Asus ZenWiFi AX mesh routers. After attempting numerous other fixes (including adjustments to the Asus routers that Asus recommended), we connected a TP-Link RE220 repeater to my network and connected the cameras to it. The thinking was that this repeater provided a known good 2.4GHz network for the cameras to connect to. This device is one that they often will recommend to customers when troubleshooting signal quality issues and they know the cameras connect well to it. To be clear, I had great signal quality where the cameras were located, but something with the network/connectivity specs related to the Asus routers was at the root cause of my issues.

So in the end, it was a simple fix, but one that it took us quite some time (nearly two months) to land on.

While the process was frustrating, my Technical Escalations Specialist, William A., was absolutely amazing throughout. William is knowledgable, thorough and seems to have a never ending wellspring of patience. I'm very grateful for him and for SimpliSafe's customer service, overall!

Case CLOSED. 

This comment was created from this reply

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

@vindic8r​ happy to hear it! Yes, the TP-Link RE220 Extender is the model that we use, so we can confirm that it works. There might still be some sort of setting that we could configure for your mesh router setup, but playing around might impact the rest of your devices connected to that network. This way, with the Extender, you get a dedicated access point just for the SimpliSafe system! 

Captain

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4.7K Messages

Il y a 3 m

@vindic8r by reading your post it appears you are no novice on networking, and I will not even attempt to say I am. A very good friend of mine, a former coworker, is a Senior Security Network engineer with a very large, well known IT services company. He contacted me after going through 2 doorpro video cams and suggested he call SS support back and arrange a call from one of their tech specialists. To get to the end quickly, he went out and bout a new bell unit and presto, his 3rd replacement unit worked perfectly.

To confirm, the SS outdoor cam, like the others, will only work on 2.4 networks.  As far as port forwarding, don't know about that but can say my two outdoor units, and about a dozen others owned by my daughter and other family members, work fine too. Suggest you call support today and, off the bat, ask for a senior tech to call you back as I believe the person answering the phone will not have the answer(s) you are seeking. If you get a chance, please post your outcome here.

3 Messages

Il y a 3 m

Thank you for the suggest, @captain11 . I appreciate it. I'll call back support soon and request a call back from a senior technician.

It's interesting to find out that this is even an option, because the 2nd technician I spoke with told me that they were the only technical team they had and that she had no one to escalate me to. I highly doubted this, but wasn't interested in putting her to question, as she was pleasant enough on the call.

And I will definitely keep you and the community updated as this progresses. 

Captain

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4.7K Messages

@vindic8r​ Simplisafe is a great company, but with any organization, it does have its gaps but, if given a chance, will go the extra mile like they did with my friend. Usually, it's something basic, or in my case, stupid that is the issue for something not working. 

An example:

When I had SS2, I had a "random" issue with the system alarming sporadically when we would enter through the door from our garage to the kitchen, even though the door sensor was on a 30 second delay. The kitchen keypad was literally 3 feet away and 99% of the time we would just enter our PIN and hit off.

Three calls later and emailing a layout of my house with sensor and type by location, heating vents, windows and location of my heating vents, a tech finally nailed it.  A motion sensor about 20 feet away set on high sensitivity on the other side of the kitchen would sometimes catch our movement and communicate it to the base before the entry sensor, not on instant trigger, would communicate it was open and start the countdown. Solution? Change the sensitivity of the motion sensor from high to medium. Yeah, looks stupidly simple now with hindsight but not so much at the time.

Have a good weekend and good luck on that call.

(edited)

3 Messages

@captain11 , @davey_d  and anyone else following along here - after many months of diligent troubleshooting, I have some good news. My problems are solved!

In the end, it seems the wireless cameras are somewhat incompatible with my Asus ZenWiFi AX mesh routers. After attempting numerous other fixes (including adjustments to the Asus routers that Asus recommended), we connected a TP-Link RE220 repeater to my network and connected the cameras to it. The thinking was that this repeater provided a known good 2.4GHz network for the cameras to connect to. This device is one that they often will recommend to customers when troubleshooting signal quality issues and they know the cameras connect well to it. To be clear, I had great signal quality where the cameras were located, but something with the network/connectivity specs related to the Asus routers was at the root cause of my issues.

So in the end, it was a simple fix, but one that it took us quite some time (nearly two months) to land on.

While the process was frustrating, my Technical Escalations Specialist, William A., was absolutely amazing throughout. William is knowledgable, thorough and seems to have a never ending wellspring of patience. I'm very grateful for him and for SimpliSafe's customer service, overall!

Case CLOSED. 

(edited)

This reply has been converted into a comment

1 Message

Hello everyone. I had this exact same problem. I have the Asus ZenWifi ET8 router and AI Mesh system as well. Have about 6 hours of personal troubleshooting combined with hours on the phone with Simplisafe tech support. I have a background as a software engineer so high technical as well. Simplisafe shipped me two new Outdoor cameras to try, but it had the exact same problem. The issue is the Outdoor cameras are NOT compatible with these ASUS routers. For reference, everything else on the Simplisafe system I have is compatible with the ASUS router including the video doorbell.

The Simplisafe tech support folks were polite and professional, but no amount of info they had was able to solve the problem. I ended up getting the TP-Link RE220 as recommended above to connect the camera to, and that worked as a functioning workaround for the problem. I have two recommendations for Simplisafe:

1) Add this Asus Router incompatibility as a known issue in your knowledge base. It will save the customer and your tech support hours on the phone, and save on shipping costs of sending out cameras that will have the same issue again. Add the TP-Link RE220 or other range extender as a possible workaround to recommend to customers.

2) Please fix the compatibility issues with these ASUS routers. They are high quality and popular routers and this will be a common issue. As a software engineer I'd be happy to volunteer my time for free to help test out fixes to this issue. I have done that many times in the past in my career assisting in troubleshooting software fixes for in development hardware.

Thanks,

John

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

Il y a 3 m

So sorry to hear about your experience, @vindic8r !

But I'm glad to hear that one of our Specialists has already reached out. Hopefully we'll get your cameras working soon.