Solar Charger for Video Doorbell 3 Plus - Fail?

Hi. After installing the Doorbell 3 Plus with the Solar Charger where I had my 2nd Gen Doorbell a few months ago, it seemed that the Solar Charger had no effect since the battery drained completely. So I moved the doorbell awkwardly to the edge of the porch wall to get the full blast of the sun. Note I have a Spotlight Cam connected to a Solar Panel in the same area (to get both views of the door area) which stays between 92 to 100 percent charged (i.e., I never have to take out the battery to charge it). I now get the “Established” Solar Status instead of the message to add a Solar Charger. But the battery drains just as fast as before (about 5-8% a day). I have other Spotlight Cams and Stick-up Cams connected to Solar Panels around the house and they stay fully charged. Has anyone had any success with the 3 Plus Solar Charger? How can I tell if it’s working at all or completely defective? Again, note that the Spotlight Solar Cam in the same doorway (about 3 feet apart) has the same settings & daily events, but stays fully charged. Any help is appreciated.

Hey there, @ChillB. Thank you for sharing your experience in great detail! As you have another Ring device and Solar Panel nearby, the comparison has ruled out many variables.

The “Established” indicator was a recent change that we made to the app, as we look to refine how the solar panel shows it’s connected in the Device Health page. If you see “Established,” this is the same as the “Connected” status, and therefore should not be a cause for a concern. If you see Not Connected, Not Charging or Not Established is when the Doorbell is not detecting the solar charger and should be looked into.

As you mentioned the number of events and hours of direct sunlight match that of your Spotlight Camera. Some other things to consider here:

  • Did the Video Doorbell battery start at 100% charge? This is important for truly monitoring battery usage/ Solar charge.
  • Although the number of events are the same, answering events or frequently triggering live view can also drain battery quicker.
  • Wifi signal can also drain battery in the event there is signal interference, and one of your Ring devices has to work harder to remain connected and communicate events. The RSSI in your Device Health will show this best.

Additionally, there are differences in the power rating for each. The Spotlight Cam Solar Panel is rated for 2.2W 5.2VDC, and the Super Solar Panel is rated for 5W 5VDC. In comparison to the Solar Panels, the Doorbell Solar Chargers are rated for 0.52W 5.2V DC. Thus, if activity is the same between the Video Doorbell and the Spotlight Camera, the charge it receives back can differ. Feel free to check out our help center article about the Solar Charger for more information. I hope this helps! :slight_smile:

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Hi Marley:

Thank you very much for the detailed response. I would appreciate if you could review my comments here.

Please note that I see the “Established” indicator as a Positive compared to the’ Add a Solar Charger’ type indicator, not as a cause for concern. I was finally happy to see a ‘connection’ to the Solar Charger - as I thought the Solar Charger was totally dead.

To your bullet points -

  1. 100% Charge: Since I installed the 3 Plus a couple of months ago, I have had to repeatedly recharge the battery manually to 100 % - since it seems the Solar Charger has no impact.

  2. Usage: There is very little difference between how often I answer and trigger live views between the 3 Plus and the Spotlight Camera over the course of a week or two. I usually try to get both views (front and back) of the event. [Most are false notifications of moving plants - even though they are identified as ‘Person Detected’.]

  3. Wifi: I just looked at the RSSI and both are the same strength (53). This is expected since they are so close to each other.

Your last point is what I believe is the most salient in my case. It seems that the Solar Charger’s power rating design is extremely inadequate for the new, feature-heavy 3 Plus Doorbell. I feel I wasted my $50 and installation efforts on the Solar Charger.

Since the 3 Plus already has the 2 connection terminals on its back, is there any Way or Plan to be able to connect a Solar Panel to the 3 Plus? Does the Super Solar Panel connect to the 3 Plus - or is there a converter cable/adapter?

Of course, @ChillB! As each environment and use case varies from neighbor to neighbor, we try to provide as many solutions as possible. After looking over each of your concerns, one suggestion that can be made is to improve RSSI. A -53 RSSI is an indicator of some interference. This does not seem too impacting, but when paired with number of events, and noting the Solar Charger supplying a different rate of power compared to the Solar Charger, this may be why battery is draining.

As it sounds like you’ve covered many bases to optimize this charge and Solar Charger operation, have you looked into different power options? Our Video Doorbells can also be supplied a charge through wiring, if that option is available at your location.

Your desire to operate more advanced features without it impacting battery life or the charge received is understandable, and I appreciate you sharing this experience in great detail. I’ll certainly pass this feedback to our teams here.

As we value our neighbors’ feedback, we’ve created a Feature Request Board. Feel free to add this and any future feature requests there. This will help us to organize and share your requests with our teams here, as well as allow other neighbors to comment and add interest, all in one place. :slight_smile:

I have the same issue except my ring doorbell 3 and new solar panel show not established. I have disconnected and reconnected the wire from the solar panel to the camera but nothing changed.

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I believe it took about 2 weeks for the connection to be establsihed. That’s how long it took for enough current to accumulate. This was another indicator to me that the charger is a useless $50 eyesore that made me move my doorbell to an awkward location on the far edge of my doorway.

I agree This is just a huge waste of money. I have had mine installed since Mid-Sept and it still doesn’t work.

Calling support is like fingers nails on chalk board. They skip the basic steps, have a lack of the English lanugage etc.

Having to constantaly reset, disconnect to WiFi, re-install etc. is the sign of a product failure.

Now when I try to return the device, I get no support at all.

Ring this solar unit is s sham.

My solar charger connected to my Doorbell 3 shows as connected but that is as far as it goes. It does not charge the unit. Yes, it is installed correctly. Come on Ring! You are selling something that does not work.

my solar charger failed none stop!
been working with tech throw e mail and he stopped answering, guess he has no clue!

it has been replaced once before and worked for about a month

says not connected, pulled ring and reconneted solar charged, showed connected

a few day later it says sun wasn’t bright enough, lolol you could have gotten a sun tan it was so bright,

tech had me pull the ring down fully charge the bat, reconnted the solar charger, and hit intsall button

now it says buy a solar charger lolololool

whar junk a waste of money!!!