How you know if your solar panel is connected. A quick check...

So, there’s been a lot of questions pertaining to the solar panel about if it’s attached (and being seen by the device) and working. In my case, this simple test was with my (new) stickup cam. Also, this test doesn’t particularly address whether it’s actually working/charging; only that it is connected. Under “device health”, I only see that the Power Source specifies “Power Outlet”. You would think it should say “solar panel”. Nope.

So here’s the simple test I did to see what happens when I disconnect the solar panel from the cam:

1.) Select your respective cam device under Settings then your device. You will see a tiny icon resembling a battery at the far upper right corner. Inside that battery icon I see a lightening bolt symbol. Hmmmmm! Usually that symbol indicates a/the battery is being charged.

2.) [actual test]…First I disarmed my cam (didn’t want notifications and/or recording to be initiated). I unplugged the solar panel’s connector from the cam. I exited the Ring app then opened it back up, went back to that device and observed the battery icon again. The lightening bolt symbol is not there. (see attachment)

3.) I plugged the panel’s cable connection back into the cam and repeated the sequence. It took several seconds but the lightening bolt charging symbol in the battery icon reappeared. (see the other attachment)

Conclusion: the solar panel is indeed charging the battery even if it’s Power Sourse says “Power Outlet”. Also, this would indicate that you should set your cam up in “battery” mode. …not “wired” mode. The main problem is that the cheap solar panel is so anemic in it’s output (5volts, 2 watts) that, unless it gets a full day of intense direct sun, it won’t charge the device hardly at all (and the jury is still out on THAT!). And due to the cheap bracket it comes with, positioning it to expose it to long hours of direct sunlight is potentially impossible especially if you plan on mounting it on an eastwardly side of a building (even if it’s on the roofline fascia).

Hope this helps.


Since I can’t edit my previous post, I’ll add a caveat:

At night or periods where there is no sunlight striking the solar panel, the lightening bolt in the center of the battery icon will disappear.