I recently purchased and setup four Stick-Up Cam Battery cameras for my home, but after placement they are all close enough to an outlet to use that instead. Am I better off returning the battery cameras and getting the plug in ones w/ an extra battery for each, or just getting the power adapter for the existing cameras? Is there any difference between the two models if both of them have batteries and are powered externally?
Hello @WattGoodman ,
Those are two good questions!
Most people do not realize that when you purchase the "Stick Up Cam Battery" and the "Stick Up Cam Plug-in" that they are indeed the same Ring device! Both communicate their video data to your Wi-Fi router at 2.4 GHz. What initially makes them different is what comes in the purchased box.
But whenever you can use "plug-in" power, YES, you definitely should use the "Stick Up Cam Plug-in" version! Because the externally powered camera will then have better features with less drawbacks! These Stick Up Cams (Battery & Plug In) devices come from the factory with the same factory software firmware hard-loaded on them. But during your setup, depending if you designate that it will be powered by a battery or a power-cord, it will then download different firmware to provide different options and capabilities. Several features will be different. So now, after the setup procedures, the "Battery" and "Plug-in" cameras are different in what they can do!
Without battery-life issues to worry about, the "Stick Up Cam Plug-in" will have many more feature options that are "high-energy-draining." These include improved adaptive Motion-zones that can be tailored in pretty precise area-coverage, and quicker "Snapshot" intervals (as fast as a recorded Shapshot every 30-seconds). Both the "Battery" and "Plug-in" cameras have video options of recording for a maximum of 120-seconds per motion-triggered-event to increase the chances of filming a critical activity.
The "Stick Up Cam Battery" will only download firmware that is simpler (that uses less "power-draining" computing algorithms) with limited option features, in order to extend battery-life. And then, if you couple that with using the long 120-second recording-length and the quickest Snapshot interval (lowest time-interval is only once every 5-minutes), you would deplete your battery even quicker resulting in recharging your battery even that much more frequently. If you want to avoid frequent battery recharging, then you will probably need to 'dial-back' from the longest recording-length and increase the time between Snapshots.
Concerning "Snapshots" that are the 'still photographs' maintained on the Ring "Cloud" for up to 7-days. When activity is beyond the motion-detection 'triggering range', these Snapshots have the potential to photograph important activity. The more frequent, faster, shorter-interval setting with the "plug-in" cam will increase your chances of catching a critical image. Also the Battery-power camera can only store a maximum of 2.5 MB, and Plug-in powered camera has the increased 30 MB worth of snapshots storage. Once the 7-day limit and/or the storage limit has been reached, the oldest snapshots will be overwritten by newer ones. So remember to download important Shapshots before they are overwritten.
That's a personal choice, but here are some things to consider:
1. Yes, you can do both, have it "Plugged-in" and put a battery in the empty battery compartment. You should definitely want to configured it to download the "Plug-in" firmware to take advantage of the extra options.
2. If you want the battery to be used as a 'back-up' power source in case the house outlet power goes off, well, if the house is 'blacked-out' then your Wi-Fi router is out too, so it's not really a back-up at all because the camera needs an operating Wi-Fi to record anything. I guess you could have a battery back-up (like an UPS unit) for your Wi-Fi router, but will the Internet Service Provider's signal still be available during a power-outage if it is a city-wide outage? I dunno. But now, if you "Plugged-in" to an outdoor house outlet, where a potential 'bad guy' could have access and simply 'unplug' your cord, then yeah, I guess having the battery would be a good thing (or hopefully you catch a video of him just before he kills the camera power). With my outdoor Stick Up cams, I routed my power cord high, through the wall for it to be plugged into an inside house outlet, and I do not have any batteries in my cams.
3. The cost of having both Batteries and Cords for your 4 Stick Up Cameras.
If you decide to go "Plugged-In" (and I think you should!) but decided to keep your current cameras and just purchase electrical cords for them, then you probably already have completed the setup and downloaded 'battery version' firmware. Then I would recommend you perform a "Factory Reset" by holding the reset button for 20-30 seconds and complete the setup procedures again. A Factory Reset wipes out any previously downloaded firmware, so you'll wipe out any 'battery version' firmware and start over 'clean.' If you elected to return your 4 cameras entirely, you should release "Ownership" by utilizing the "Remove this device" in the App. Otherwise you'll be shipping back cameras that can't be used by anyone else (unless Ring has some technical way of overriding this feature . . . again, I dunno).
Lastly, if you are curious about what I meant by, "it has a two electrical power cords that can be used as a single 8-foot long cord or combined to form a 22.9-foot long cord" you can click this link and see what I wrote, with pictures, in another post (be sure to read the entire post, because I had to make a correction in the actual measured lengths):
Well, sorry if I rambled on a bit, but I hope that this information is helpful to you!