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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:37 pm 
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Bought a wifi video doorbell (runs the App ToSee) since my wife has decided to keep our main gate closed most of the time. The crappy $20 product worked fine indoors while setting it up, but then when I installed it next to the gate, some 20 meters from indoors wifi, the shit show started. I have a repeater for one of my wifi networks about 7 meters from the door camera/bell, but the piece of doorbell crap does not usually work. Both the phone WiFi Speedtest results and WiFi analyzer App show that the network could do some 2 MB in the gate with that 2.4 GHz repeater, but based on the wifi speeds the camera software shows, it looks to me that the door camera would occasionally connect to the repeater (some 120 K/s) and then it works fine, but most of the time the speed is abysmal (near zero or 1 K/s, so no actual connection at all), and I'm just guessing the camera tries to connect directly to the main unit of the repeated wifi. Is this even possible? Can a device just choose the more remote base station instead of it's repeater unit? The vague instructions hint that the camera should start the connection, if it is lost, and that seems to be the case. If I press the doorbell, about 50% of the times it actually rings in my phone. So in practice it is however useless.

The icing on the cake is that after one week of being installed outside this unit does not recognize SD cards any more. Tested a couple of them, that originally worked with the unit. I did forget the doorbell camera to rain for one hour before the final assembly, and it then started to call our phones constantly because the rain water short circuited the push button. :bonk: Was 100 km away. So I may have caused a short circuit myself. Beware of the cheap doorbell camera models, in reality they can't take any rain. I had a cover for that for the final installation, but may have broken the unit before installing it. I now consider using it as an indoors surveillance camera, aimed at main entrance. Dunno if it is fast enough to capture anything useful there.

I just would like to know if this phenomena is related to the repeater, as the camera seems to work fine indoors, close to any of my main WiFi networks (I have currently 4 of them, no other WiFi traffic congestion in our rice field).

The 'Ring' model would probably be a safe bet, but again it is not available locally, and the postage would double it's price. I ordered this one because it seemed ok and was in a flash sale this evening, as if the wifi does not cut it, it at least has an Ethernet connection which should work in any case. Some 50 meters of cabling needed though (Did not buy it from this shop, but they have the best pictures of it):

https://www.gearbest.com/access-control/pp_603363.html

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:02 pm 
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60 meters, I'd say you need a directional antenna/concentrator, Swiss Miss cans are foil lined...

https://x704.net/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=17 ... 186#p83186


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:28 pm 
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It's entirely possible the unit is remembering the MAC address of the access point it connected to indoors as a security feature. This would prevent someone from mimicing your network and luring the camera connection away from your network to their own. It's possible.

I'd say the best option would be to either set it up in its intended location or to turn WiFi off on your main router so it only can connect to the repeater, then move it to its destination, verify it works, then turn the main router back on.

However given that it's not watertight and it was installed outdoors all bets are off on the existing unit at this point. You could try disconnecting the entire mess and let it dry out for a week or two. Or immerse it in 99% isopropyl alcohol.

There are a whole lot of crappy IoT devices out there, wish I had one to recommend for you but to my eyes each is crappier than the last.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:40 pm 
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Oh, how does your phone do connecting to it as a test?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:52 am 
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I changed the repeater device to yet another normal WiFi network (I now have 4 of them), and now the doorbell works as well as can be expected, except the SD card not being recognized. I'll keep it as long as it works at all. At this moment the cheap plastic product works decently, although one has to wait some 5-10 seconds for the connection to be established. Cancelled the new doorbell, lets see how long this lasts. Normal wireless doorbells last about one year here, before they corrode inside (ants nesting inside them does not help).

The distance from WiFi device to doorbell is now about 20 meters, twice more than when it was a repeater. So the doorbell video really did not like the repeater mode, when I paired the device with the base WiFi router. The building (shack) to which the repeater was attached is going to be demolished soon, so I had this change coming. I'll probably run an Ethernet cable from the gate after this doorbell breaks.

No point trying to dry the doorbell, as it is rainy season here at it's worst. Stuff lasts an year or two outside. Sun kills the plastics, rain and humidity kill the metal parts.

Phone did not usually connect to the doorbell via repeater at all, but pressing the doorbell made usually a connection to phone. Now without repeater I get connection every time both ways. So far.

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Last edited by miero on Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:02 pm 
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Good work, thanks for the report! :)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:46 am 
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Hey, nice to have a place to purge oneself after these kind of oddities! :D

By the way, the device itself did not get wet inside when I accidentally left it to the rain, just the ring push button that then short circuited and started to call to the connected phones. I have done the batteries off reset and reinstall several times, but no SD card is detected. Odd, but does not matter, as the video is also saved to the connected phones. Actually there is no sense to add a memory card to this device, as it makes just more stuff to steal from outside of the gate by criminals (about $7 for 32MB card). The camera has video surveillance feature for which there might be use for the SD card, but as one can not turn off separately the sound alarm of it detecting passing flys and cars, it is useless and must be turned off. :bonk: Otherwise it's constant ding dong time from the mobile phones. :upset: :roll: :!:

I will install the WiFi point outside the house this weekend, should double the speeds. I need this Wifi for both the front yard mobile device usage and this doorbell camera.

If someone does not remember, WiFi extender works wirelessly and can extend the WiFi network, but cuts the bandwidth to half. When using the device as normal WiFi connected by an Ethernet cable it goes up to full speed. It's an at least 5 year old 300 Mbs box, so it is also expendable. I'll install it to the outdoor wall inside a plastic box cut open from above and below, so it does not fry itself immediately. Should work Ok, some extreme thunderstorm might wet it, but I think frying it due to heat in a closed box would be more probable.

There are many places here where You step out from a shop smiling, as everything 'normal' costs next to nothing. Electricity box for outside use, 10 meters of 220 V wire, 3 different plugs $5. In Finland one had to pay that to get a plastic bag. :roll:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:10 am 
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:lol:


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