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SPOTLIGHT CAM BATTERY MOTION SETTINGS

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New Neighbor

SPOTLIGHT CAM BATTERY MOTION SETTINGS

I have recently installed a spotlight cam battery and have noticed that the motion settings are a little wonky.  For one, the blue cloud of coverage is just a graphic for show and not accurate.  I had the camera pointing down so that I could see close to my garage door and down the driveway, but I noticed that the motion would not be detected until you were about 2/3rds up the driveway.  This was with all motion zones on and the sensitivity at high.  I raised the cameran to detect farther out, but then I lose some viewing in front of my cars.  I figured this would be ok as long as it would detect motion coming up my driveway.  Well the detection head on with the camera didn't improve that much, but it is now detecting people on the side walk at the left and right edges of the camera view.    I understand that the camera is a litle fish-eyed, but why would it detect people 20 ft away (20 ft out and 20 ft left and right of the camera) on the sidewalk at the extreme left and right, but not detect someone 20 ft away right in front of the camera?  You need to recode your program so that the motion setting takes into account perspective.  RING.. YOU NEED TO FIX THIS.   Why can't you make the settings just like the doorbell or peephole camera?  A slider that increased and decreases the motion circle....

4 REPLIES 4
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Community Manager

Re: SPOTLIGHT CAM BATTERY MOTION SETTINGS

Hi @JAW1973. Motion detection concerns like what you're experiencing can typically be resolved through adjusting the settings and positioning of the Camera. First, I'd suggest looking over our Help Center Article on motion detection in Ring devices here. Your Spotlight Cam Battery has Adjustable Motion Zones, which work by identifying visitors based on a change in temperature. The optimal motion zone is right in the middle of your Spotlight Cam's field of view (FOV),  so you'll want to aim your Spotlight Cam so that the Optimal Motion Zone overlays the perimeter of your property or the area where you first want to be alerted about motion. You can read more about the proper positioning of your Spotlight Cam Battery in our Help Center Article here. I hope that information is helpful.

 

It may take some trial and error between adjusting the settings and the positioning of the Camera to find what works best for your home. Should this concern continue to persist, it may be best if you contact our support team directly to work with you one on one to find the optimal settings and positioning. You can give our support team a call at one of the numbers available here. We’re taking additional steps to protect our team and help reduce the spread of COVID-19, so this has resulted in longer than normal wait times. If you are outside of the US, please read our response to COVID-19 here to see how to contact support. Smiley Happy

 



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New Neighbor

Re: SPOTLIGHT CAM BATTERY MOTION SETTINGS


@JAW1973 wrote:

I have recently installed a spotlight cam battery and have noticed that the motion settings are a little wonky.  For one, the blue cloud of coverage is just a graphic for show and not accurate.  I had the camera pointing down so that I could see close to my garage door and down the driveway, but I noticed that the motion would not be detected until you were about 2/3rds up the driveway.  This was with all motion zones on and the sensitivity at high.  I raised the cameran to detect farther out, but then I lose some viewing in front of my cars.  I figured this would be ok as long as it would detect motion coming up my driveway.  Well the detection head on with the camera didn't improve that much, but it is now detecting people on the side walk at the left and right edges of the camera view.    I understand that the camera is a litle fish-eyed, but why would it detect people 20 ft away (20 ft out and 20 ft left and right of the camera) on the sidewalk at the extreme left and right, but not detect someone 20 ft away right in front of the camera?  You need to recode your program so that the motion setting takes into account perspective.  RING.. YOU NEED TO FIX THIS.   Why can't you make the settings just like the doorbell or peephole camera?  A slider that increased and decreases the motion circle....


Hey @JAW1973,

 

Thanks for your response in the other thread regarding this. Not berrating you about creating another thread (the more about this issue the better). But just wanted to say that I agree with you 100%. I too am, or was (I think), experiencing the exact issues you were. I got my camera on the 7th of Sept and let me tell you, its been frustrating up to this point. 

 

I spent the last 10 days, moving and mounting my spotlight cam battery over my driveway. I started off with a Wasserstein gutter mount, then moved to mounting to the brick, back to the gutter mount started to get it right, then after a mishap with me tightening the mounting screw after I got my solar panel, I broke the gutter mount screw..... so, back to the brick it was. I found that the gutter mount, at the "recommended" 9 foot height, I started to get it right where i was picking up people walking head on and less cars moving across the FOV.  I got my solar panel last week and when I was getting that hooked up to the cam is when I broke the mounting screw... it really sucked. 

 

I had to go through the whole process of tweaking and adjusting settings from the brick mounting point. I didn't like it there because its kind of low at 7.5 - 8 feet high, and the motion detection I just couldn't get right..... until yesterday. 

 

So far every afternoon and night since the 7th, I've spent scouring these forums, researching the internet, trying to find anything that would point me in the right direction. The only conclusion I could come to was, the motion detection in the battery models is substandard to that of the wired models. Doesn't seem fair in my opinion, as the battery model is the most convenient for most scenarios. I did test after test... you can see what I did in the other thread. After the adjustments I made last night, I can tell you this... I think I got it working how I want it to work. The admin is correct, in that it takes a lot of trial and error... and I mean A LOT. 

 

Since last night, and all day today, I got very minimal car traffic, and everything I captured were motions and events happening in my driveway. This includes actions where motion was coming to and from the camera. It rained most of the day today, so I'm not sure if it was the rain, lack of glare from the sun, or what. I learned our street is a lot busier than I thought, in all hours of the night. Every night, I would get at least 15 events for cars (I have it set to alert for people only, so I wouldn't hear them), every day I would get about 20-30 cars. However, last night after the adjustments I made, I got 1 car. Today, I only got 2 or 3 cars. I did capture any and all people that walked onto the driveway or cars pulling onto the driveway. The only cars I picked up were pickup's and SUV's if they were close enough to the motion zone. 

 

So, lol after all that for 10 days, it finally works how I want it to for the most part. I chalked it up to having to learn the personality of a finicky motion detector, tech thats not as robust as whats in the other devices, and the lack of adjustment. It all boiled down to trial and error. Here are my final findings and actions for the adjustments I did last night, as now I'm putting this whole thing behind me lol:

 

  • That non-adjustable blue area in the motion detection setup matters. You can't adjust it at all, except for moving the cam up or down. At 8 feet or so high, I have 80 to 85% of my driveway covered in the blue (its a short driveway, but haven't measured it). Seems to be good to detect people, head on or moving across the FOV, and minimizes the cars.
    • I initially had it set with the entire driveway covered in the blue, but I had to mount the camera lower and aim it up. When it was set like this, I would get motion detection for everything. Cars in the street moving across the FOV would even be picked up as people and send me a notification. I was picking up motion from the end of the driveway, but I had to put up with the stupid cars. This was also taxing my battery pretty hard, making a single pack last 5 days before I had to charge it (I charged it at 40% so it wouldn't take so long).
      • My mount on the brick was mounted how the manual shows, with the stem of the mount aimed down. Mounting "ball" on the back of the camera attached so the ball is at the top of the camera near the reset button.
      • Set like this, I had to put the camera at its lowest angle. I could only angle up, but I'd be monitoring the sky and not my driveway lol. Either way, I was picking up everything. 
      • I tried to adjust the sensitivity and frequency. But set to light and min, still resulted in 15 cars at night and 30 during the day, and no people in the driveway. 
    • So last night I flipped the mount so its upside down compared to the manual. Stem on the mount is pointing up. Ball on the back of the cam is positioned at the bottom so its close to the sensor. For me, this gave me the biggest range of adjustment but getting to the battery is a little bit of a challenge. No biggie since I have the solar panel, but just keep that in mind if you don't. 
    • I was able to "fine tune" manually, the blue zone to that 80 - 85%. I kept the settings on Frequent and MAX. Still picked up cars.
    •  I was at the end of my rope. I have the camera positioned at a height that I'm happy with, and I was sick of adjusting that stupid zone manually. So, before bed, I stuck the camera to Standard and the Sensitivity to 3/4 to Max.
      • To recap, camera is at 7.5 to 8 feet high, and sensitivity set to whats in the last bullet point. That seemed to do the trick!!
    • Results after those final adjustments: All motion captured that I want. No car traffic, even between 4pm and 7pm when everyone is coming home. I was starting to think people stopped driving. Only picking up trucks and SUV's now if that. 
      • My wife came home from her job, and I captured the motion event of her car pulling in (no notification), but got a person notification when she got out of the car and started walking in.
      • Same with me when I returned from an on-site appointment today.
      • Daughter played with her scooter and ran around in the rain today, and I picked all of that up.
      • All people events seemed to go off at 15-20 feet to the sensor, but it took it a bit to send a notification. People events that happened closer would get picked up on and recorded longer.
      • To offset that, at night when we're all in for the night, I'll park the cars closer to the house and camera, so they're in the sweet spot.
  • The last thing I'll mention here is taking a break between adjustments. I found I had to adjust and just let it go for a few hours. If I did too many adjustments in a short period of time, the camera would get confused and just work worse, further upsetting me lol. So, make adjustments, and let it ride. Then make small ones until its right.

So at this point I'm done adjusting this camera. I know its personality, and can say that the developers/firmware coders need to make some improvements. The issues I still have are:

 

  • Motion Verification needs to be tweaked. Its cutting off events too soon. I like that feature, but keeping it on makes the camera just record for 60s whenever it picks up on something.
  • Motion sensor is working for the most part. But I can definitely tell that it doesn't pick up on motion thats far away from it  very well. How I have it set for me, works for me. However anyone with a longer driveway or whatever may need to do more adjusting. 
  • I have a small deadspot under the camera which isn't so bad. Its not big enough to really be an issue, but its there. 
  • After what I went through, still hypersensitive to the camera not working. But after last night, all of today and this evening, I think I'm through the tweaking phase.

Comment to Ring, the battery cams should be adjustable from the app more than whats allowed. Put the advanced motion sensors that come in the wired versions in the battery versions, and you'll save many of us frustration. For a 200$ camera thats battery operated and has all this "advanced technology" in it, I felt like I was adjusting an older camera. The whole reason I bought it was because of the advertised ease of adjustment. Now I know thats with the wired version and not the battery. Was really looking forward to adjusting my motion zones, but when I found out that I had to move the camera manually and couldn't paint it or stretch a box over a zone, I knew I was in for an interesting experience (not in a good way). The camera is working now, but I wish me and many others didn't have to go through this level of frustration. It is what it is... lets see what the future brings.

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New Neighbor

Re: SPOTLIGHT CAM BATTERY MOTION SETTINGS

I saw a lot of similar things that you did. The first time I set it up the  system seemed great.. would miss people walking on the sidewalk, but I would get notifications of my neighbors at the bottom of their driveway parallel to mine on both sides...not a problem.. . but then I realized it would not read anything in my driveway until something was 2/3rd up the driveway. This is not useful at all considering someone could do something to our cars without the camera ever detecting them... It is almost like the motion detection area is concave verses the convex circle that is shown in blue.

 

I did see the same thing as you when I was trying to adjust.. eventually the camera just stopped recognizing any motion at all.

 

Also, I asked ring about it, but I do notice there is a standard motion light type sensor at the bottom.. I dont' know what this is for since Ring said that the camera is what detects the motion.. So I'm not sure if the bottom part is a light sensor so that it knows to turn the light on or not... 

 

Thank you for all of the detail. I will try some of the things that you said and see if they help, but we really shouldn't have to do all of these things.. I should be a simple set up and should work.  It really should be a simple fix for Ring..  

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New Neighbor

Re: SPOTLIGHT CAM BATTERY MOTION SETTINGS


@JAW1973 wrote:

I saw a lot of similar things that you did. The first time I set it up the  system seemed great.. would miss people walking on the sidewalk, but I would get notifications of my neighbors at the bottom of their driveway parallel to mine on both sides...not a problem.. . but then I realized it would not read anything in my driveway until something was 2/3rd up the driveway. This is not useful at all considering someone could do something to our cars without the camera ever detecting them... It is almost like the motion detection area is concave verses the convex circle that is shown in blue.

 

I did see the same thing as you when I was trying to adjust.. eventually the camera just stopped recognizing any motion at all.

 

Also, I asked ring about it, but I do notice there is a standard motion light type sensor at the bottom.. I dont' know what this is for since Ring said that the camera is what detects the motion.. So I'm not sure if the bottom part is a light sensor so that it knows to turn the light on or not... 

 

Thank you for all of the detail. I will try some of the things that you said and see if they help, but we really shouldn't have to do all of these things.. I should be a simple set up and should work.  It really should be a simple fix for Ring..  


Totally agree. Setup should not be a week long project of adjusting and testing. You should, in my opinion, be able to put the camera up, aim it to get the visual you want, and then use the app to fine tune it. With the battery cams, we have 40 - 50% of what the wired cams have if that, when it comes to customization/fine tuning from the app.

 

I had to do an awful lot to get my cam working the way I want it to work. Up and down the ladder for a week.... ugh. That sensor on the bottom of the camera is a PIR sensor (Passive Infrared Sensor), and its designed pick up on the heat of objects. Since humans have a higher temp, it supposed to pick up on them. Same for cars etc. 

 

Its those motion zones that we can't adjust that are the entire problem here. I can't imagine that the motion sensors are different in the battery cams. It wouldn't make much sense from a manufacturing standpoint. 

 

For me, I'm on my 4th day of "camera working almost perfectly". I'm still not picking up on every single car that passes by, and just the occasional one that happens to go into the motion zone. I'm picking people up in the driveway, but only when they get about 1/3 of the way in. Not ideal, but acceptable. 

 

No more camera adjustments have been done since Monday or Tuesday. Sensitivity still at 3/4 and Frequency still at Standard. For me, it was the height adjustment, flipping the mount, and making the blue zone on that motion detection setup just inside my driveway. That seemed to get it right. A lot of manual adjustments, for a camera thats supposed to have a robust app. True for some of their other models, but not true for the battery cams. I can only imagine the frustration of other users that have not been able to get their dialed in such as yourself. The only other issue I've noticed is when the camera "sleeps" between detections. It will detect me or my wife when we pull into the driveway. But, if get out at the right moment, we can walk up to the front door virtually undetected because the camera is in its sleep interval. Last thing I did to offset the motion zone weirdness, I move the cars closer to the house after the kids are done playing outside for the evening. This puts the cars right in the sweet spot pointed out by the admin, and person detection happens 99% of the time.

 

A friend of mine I've spoken to, said "well I had no problems". But, he has a property that has no busy traffic near it, and his work as intended for him. Those of us on busy streets will have motion issues. But for him, on his nice big property and long driveway, he just needs to watch whats close to the house for him. So its a set it and forget it kind of situation. Those of us on smaller properties, denser neighborhoods, and a lot of traffic.... welcome to the manual adjustment game. Hopefully they give more customization in the future through a firmware update or an app update. 

 

I have to install another cam on my back patio. I was going to go battery with it, but I might just replace the porch light and do a wired cam back there so I can have the customization options. 

 

Good luck with your cam! Like the admin said, trial and error is key but it sucks. Eventually you'll find the sweet spot. One more thing they were right about is the motion "sweet spot" being in the middle of the blue zones. That should help too, but you'll find the limitation might drive  you insane; you'll pick up every car that passes.