Live View on Spotlight Cam times out [ACTIVATING DEVICE...]

I have four Spotlight Cameras and one of them was acting up today. Live View worked a couple of times earlier in the day. But shortly after, Live View stopped working and would never connect. It would get stuck at the “ACTIVATING DEVICE…” screen and time out. The other three Spotlight Cameras have no issues turning on the Live View.

My connection speed, etc is all up to speed. And it’s worked fine in the past up till earlier this afternoon. Any advice?!

@sfnotary wrote:

I have four Spotlight Cameras and one of them was acting up today. Live View worked a couple of times earlier in the day. But shortly after, Live View stopped working and would never connect. It would get stuck at the “ACTIVATING DEVICE…” screen and time out. The other three Spotlight Cameras have no issues turning on the Live View.

My connection speed, etc is all up to speed. And it’s worked fine in the past up till earlier this afternoon. Any advice?!

@sfnotary ,

You didn’t mention if your Spotlight is battery or plugged-in version. I also don’t know if this is the first time you’ve had “Live View” issues or not. So, I’ll try to cover several possible solutions that might help you, depending on what device you have and possible causes/solutions.

Start by checking if you device is even recording any events (which will tell you if your device is ‘awake’). If you had previously enabled the “Snap Shot” function, go to the 'Timeline" bar for your device and see if the “Snap Shots” have been continuously recording at the proper intervals throughout the day. If you see that the Snapshots ceased, then you can see when your device ceased functioning properly. Sometimes the devices occasionally ‘just stop’ due to possible slightly-corrupted firmware from an update. If this is your case, (if your device is Plug-In electrical power), sometimes simply unplug the device from the outlet, wait about 30 seconds, and plug it back in. If it is a battery-powered device with a “Quick Release Battery Pack”, you can remove the battery for about 30 seconds to achieve the same effect.

It should start working again, but if it ‘just stops’ working again in the future, I would suspect corrupted firmware and I would recommend you do a Hard Factory Reset** (press & hold the reset button for 30 seconds)**, instead of completing just a standard “setup”. A Hard reset will start you at a clean fresh starting setup, wiping out any possibly corrupted downloaded Firmware (other than what it had from the factory).

For Hard Factory Resets, it’s best that you Remove your camera from your phone app, prior to any Hard Reset (Main Menu > Devices > select your cam > Device Settings (Gear Icon) > General Settings > Remove This Device.

During the hard setup, do not click “Skip” when you get to the part when it is downloading new, fresh “Glitch-free” Firmware (could take 5 or 6 minutes). If possible, temporarily move either the cam or router closer, so a good clean firmware download can happen.

Secondly, when you said, “It would get stuck at the "ACTIVATING DEVICE . . . on the Live View”, it is most likely a Wi-Fi related issue. Ring Video requires a much higher Wi-Fi data-stream connection, and if not, you may encounter problems (Slow or No “Live View” connections, Black-screen videos, etc.). A strong signal connection doesn’t necessarily mean a good data connection. I too was having intermittent/delayed Live View connection and occasional Black-Videos issues with one of my cameras. Now, both my Live View connection and Black Videos not longer occur and Live View is established rapidly every time! In my case, even with a good RSSI (a low value of 48) signal strength number (displayed on “Device Health”), my issue was the Wi-Fi path of the Video data-stream between the router and my camera (was passing through a double-brick fireplace with a metal chain grating in front of it). This path degraded my data-stream. Since I couldn’t move my router nor camera (to improve Wi-Fi reception or path), a Wi-Fi ‘repeater’ type-device enabled me to have the signal path “go around” the brick/metal grate. Any good 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi repeater, placed about half the distance between your Router and cam should help both with your poor RSSI strength and choosing a low-density-obstruction path (or the Ring Chime Pro, which I did purchase which solved my signal-path interference issues).

Check your Wi-Fi router. If you have two SSIDs, you will need to find out which one is 2.4GHz and which one is 5GHz, and then you will connect your Ring device to the SSID for the 2.4Ghz network. In my experience, Ring high-data-stream video does NOT do well competing with other Wi-Fi devices for bandwidth of 2.4GHz. Since my router is both Wi-Fi 2.4GHZ and 5Ghz, I moved as many of my other devices (that were 5GHz capable) to only use the 5GHz band, thereby reducing the competition for the Ring Cams. I reconfigured my dual-band router’s into two separate SSID log-in names. I named the 2.4GHz band to “2WireXXX” and named the 5GHZ band “2WireXXX 5G” leaving both with the same password. Then my other Wi-Fi devices that could use 5GHz, I used “forget this network” and then logged them onto only the “2WireXXX 5G”.

You might want to look into modifying your 2.4GHz Channel Selection too, to minimize interference issues created by neighbor’s routers or signal-generating devices in your home (microwaves, electric motors, etc.). In the router’s default “Auto” mode, routers often pick a mainly from commonly-used channels in Auto Mode (Ch 1, Ch 6, Ch 11). But accessing my router’s configuration through my PC browser and using a downloaded App on my Window’s PC (Wifi Analyzer and Scanner), I configure my router not to use its Auto Channel Selection Mode, and rather stay on the 2.4GHz channel of my choice . There are 11 channels (1 thru 11) to choose from. In my case, I found that Ch 4, which is in between the typically used channels, gave me the strongest signal and lowest interference, according to the Analyzer App. This channel did reduce the Wi-Fi interference I was getting from my neighbor’s routers. I also did noticed an improvement on my Ring cameras connection speed too.

If you still have issues, re-post here (someone might have another solution), or try searching through the Ring On-line Support, such as: https://support.ring.com/ and then select “Product Support” for your device.

Or you can call Ring Support by telephone:

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360036196372-Get-in-Touch

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360041597471-Ring-s-Response-to-COVID-19

I hope this helps you

I have exactly the same problem with my Spotlight Battery Camera. It’s brand new and only 1 meter away from my Wi-Fi router.

I have a Floodlight Camera much further away which doesn’t have issues, so I highly doubt it’s Wi-Fi related.

Very disappointing.

@mrcone wrote:

I have exactly the same problem with my Spotlight Battery Camera. It’s brand new and only 1 meter away from my Wi-Fi router.

I have a Floodlight Camera much further away which doesn’t have issues, so I highly doubt it’s Wi-Fi related. Very disappointing.

@mrcone , Distance is not what matters. Strength isn’t what really matters either. It’s that is has a good data-stream that matters. Obstructions that the signal passes through, or surrounding Wi-Fi interference from other routers, Wi-Fi devices, or other interference by signal producing devices (motors, compressor, microwave, etc) can all and do impact the data-stream.

My closest camera was the one that I was having all the issues with. My other cameras that were further away were fine. Distance is not what matters.

Thanks but both cameras are behind the same type of wall (brick), one is just further away from the router than the other.

There are no other ‘Wi-Fi interference’ or ‘Wi-Fi devices’ anywhere near these devices or between them and the router. In fact I’ve tried turning off all other Wi-Fi devices and it made no difference. Hence my fustration.

If what you’re suggesting is true then Ring have used the cheapest Wi-Fi chipsets on the market because I’ve never experienced such poor connectivity from any device.

@Boone wrote:

@mrcone wrote:

I have exactly the same problem with my Spotlight Battery Camera. It’s brand new and only 1 meter away from my Wi-Fi router.

I have a Floodlight Camera much further away which doesn’t have issues, so I highly doubt it’s Wi-Fi related. Very disappointing.

@mrcone , Distance is not what matters. Strength isn’t what really matters either. It’s that is has a good data-stream that matters. Obstructions that the signal passes through, or surrounding Wi-Fi interference from other routers, Wi-Fi devices, or other interference by signal producing devices (motors, compressor, microwave, etc) can all and do impact the data-stream.

My closest camera was the one that I was having all the issues with. My other cameras that were further away were fine. Distance is not what matters.

Hi @mrcone! Video connection concerns are often related to wifi, mobile device, or Ring app communication variables. The best first thing to check is your wifi signal strength, or RSSI, which can be found in the Device Health section of your Ring app. Check out our Community post about RSSI for tips on optimizing this signal strength.

If you are unsure about RSSI, or RSSI is showing as adequate, a distance test can help! If possible, please bring the Camera in question inside your home and in the same room as the router. Once the Camera is online and reconnected to your nearby router, test a live view to see if video connection concerns persist.

Removing and reinstalling the Ring app is a quick way to ensure it is up to date and optimally integrated with your mobile device. On your mobile device, try testing video on wifi only, and then on data only, to see if either connection is more efficient. Please also ensure bluetooth and VPN is disabled. I hope this helps! :slight_smile:

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@mrcone wrote:

I have exactly the same problem with my Spotlight Battery Camera. It’s brand new and only 1 meter away from my Wi-Fi router. I have a Floodlight Camera much further away which doesn’t have issues, so I highly doubt it’s Wi-Fi related. Very disappointing.

@mrcone also wrote:

Thanks but both cameras are behind the same type of wall (brick), one is just further away from the router than the other. There are no other ‘Wi-Fi interference’ or ‘Wi-Fi devices’ anywhere near these devices or between them and the router. In fact I’ve tried turning off all other Wi-Fi devices and it made no difference. Hence my frustration.

If what you’re suggesting is true then Ring have used the cheapest Wi-Fi chipsets on the market because I’ve never experienced such poor connectivity from any device.


@mrcone , Well mrcone, it is doubtful that, _“Ring have used the cheapest Wi-Fi chipsets on the market.” _It still is a good bet that it is something else Wi-Fi related that is causing your Spotlight Video Camera having poor Wi-Fi symptoms.

As I stated in my previous post, my issue was the Wi-Fi path of the Video data-stream between the router and my camera (was passing through a double-brick fireplace with a metal chain-grating in front of it). This path degraded my Wi-Fi data-stream, even though this camera was closer than my other cameras.

Although you tried turning off all other Wi-Fi devices and it made no difference, that doesn’t fully account for other reasons as to why something could be degrading your Wi-Fi data-stream. It is already degraded and weakened, because it is passing through a brick wall. What about other stuff in or around that wall where your Spotlight camera is mounted? House electrical wires, plumbing, interior nails, metal Rebar, wooden cabinets, glass & wood from wall-hanging framed pictures, a TV on the interior side of the wall opposite of the camera . . . and the list goes on and on. Also, Wi-Fi devices are not the only things that can create and interfere with Wi-Fi signals, such as electronic & electrical devices, such as televisions, radios, stereo equipment, DVD players, TV cable box, microwave ovens, electric motors and compressors, and etc. It doesn’t have to be just interference from your neighbor’s router or other Wi-Fi devices. Is your Spotlight camera near any of these? Is your router near any of these? Are any of these things in the path or vicinity between your router and camera?

Router placement location also impacts your Wi-Fi. Generally, Wi-Fi signals are designed to radiate out from your router in a horizontal pattern, and increasingly fanning out & expanding (like a cone-shaped pattern) as you get further away from the router. As an example, if you mounted your camera vertically right above or below of your router, that camera would in a Wi-Fi “Dead-zone” and only receive a weak reflected signal bouncing off other objects.

Some routers have their Wi-Fi antennas built-in and are non-adjustable, so in vertical “dead-zone” issues you have limited options, such as moving the router horizontally further away to get the Wi-Fi receiving device more into the router’s horizontal Wi-Fi radiation cone, or using a Wi-Fi repeater to reduce the vertical issue. Some Wi-Fi routers do have external adjustable “rabbit-ear” type antennas (about the size of a pencil). Generally there are at least two of these external antennas. Do not position both of these antennas vertically straight up. These pencil-shaped antennas have their “dead-zone” at the tip ends. The best signals radiate out the sides like a big cylinder where that height-increases in size (fans out) the further away from the antenna you get. So adjust these antennas in a wide “V” shape-pattern, or you can point one antenna horizontal and the other one vertical. For example, if you aimed & pointed the antenna tip right at a Wi-Fi device, you would be aiming the weak “Dead-Zone” directly right at it! So, is the angle between your Router and Spotlight very vertical right now, in a dead-zone, or just barely in the horizontal fan-cone coverage??

In my case, my Wi-Fi signal now goes way across the room to a Chime Pro (Wi-Fi repeater) and this repeater is well within the horizontal Wi-Fi pattern of the router. And then the signal goes all the way back toward the Video camera. Even though in this configuration I’ve almost doubled the total distance (compared to the original direct Wi-Fi path) I was able to ensure the new path avoided the double-bricked fireplace with it’s metal chain-grating in front of it. Thus, I greatly improved my Wi-Fi data-stream! That’s why I still think your Spotlight Wi-Fi symptoms are indeed Wi-Fi related to weak/poor Wi-Fi data-stream.

Just to emphasize:

  • A strong RSSI signal connection doesn’t necessarily mean a good data connection.

  • Ring Video requires a much higher Wi-Fi data-stream connection.

  • Distance or signal strength is not what really matters. Good data-stream matters.

  • Obstructions, interference, or anything that degrades the data-stream have an impact.

  • Factor in your router’s antenna pattern and placement.

I do hope you find this information useful.

I started having this problem yesterday with my spotlight cam that is hard wired. It’s recording snaps but not motion. When I try to look at live view it just says activating device and then times out. It was recording yesterday morning fine … but then stopped at about 8 am. The device health says its online. I tried to do the switch to the chime pro option but the light never flashed. I can’t do the reset button because the light is installed about 15 feet up on the side of our barn and I don’t have a ladder long enough to reach it. (it was installed by an electrician). I have 2 other cams that are all acting normal, so I’m unclear why this one suddenly stopped working. It’s also not an app thing because I get the “activiating device” message on both my android phone and tablet.

@tyre_42 wrote:

I started having this problem yesterday with my spotlight cam that is hard wired. It’s recording snaps but not motion. When I try to look at live view it just says activating device and then times out. It was recording yesterday morning fine … but then stopped at about 8 am. The device health says its online. I tried to do the switch to the chime pro option but the light never flashed. I can’t do the reset button because the light is installed about 15 feet up on the side of our barn and I don’t have a ladder long enough to reach it. (it was installed by an electrician). I have 2 other cams that are all acting normal, so I’m unclear why this one suddenly stopped working. It’s also not an app thing because I get the “activiating device” message on both my android phone and tablet.

Hello @tyre_42 ,

Since your wired Spotlight is that high up, this is worth a shot . . . trying disconnecting the power for one minute by pull the electrical power plug from the outlet or flip the circuit-breaker off (if your electrician configured it this way). Then after a minute, restore the electrical power to the camera and let it start back up again for a few. Then see if it starts acting normally again. It’s rare, but sometimes the firmware program develops a ‘glitch’ and rebooting it like this can clear it up.

Fingers crossed :slight_smile:

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I had to open/allow ports on my router. I opened tcp ports 15063 - 15064, and live view started working again

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