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Author Topic: Dead Camera  (Read 4781 times)

FloatingGreenThing

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Dead Camera
« on: May 06, 2014, 09:31:23 PM »

I have a DCS-2132L setup in a carport, which worked great for a year then it just suddenly died!

I set the camera up on a workbench and tried logging into it with a spare computer that never goes online, but no IP address works. Then I tried resetting the camera but still nothing.

Everytime I power up the camera, I get a different result depending on how long it was off. If it's been a day or more then the status light comes on and stays on, the IR LED will light up if the light sensor is covered. Then after a minute the status light starts blinking and the IR LED stops working. The status light blinks for a short time then goes off and stays off.

So, if I unplug the power for one second then plug it back in the status lights up for a second then shuts off with nothing further.

If I wait longer before plugging the power back in, the status light stays on longer then blinks. The number of blinks seem to change depending on how long the power was off.

I'm wondering if the problem could be a faulty electronic component on the circuit board? The camera was outside, but always inside a carport where rain couldn't get to it. I did however notice some insects crawling around inside the camera housing. I think they got in through the cooling vents in the camera housing.

Is this thing a brick now? Or is there something more I can try to get it going again?
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JavaLawyer

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Re: Dead Camera
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2014, 05:35:34 AM »

Try resetting the DCS-2132L to the factory defaults and reconfigure:

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RYAT3

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Re: Dead Camera
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2014, 05:47:46 AM »

I have a DCS-2132L setup in a carport, which

I'm wondering if the problem could be a faulty electronic component on the circuit board? The camera was outside, but always inside a carport where rain couldn't get to it. I did however notice some insects crawling around inside the camera housing. I think they got in through the cooling vents in the camera housing.


Humidity ,condensation, dirt ,dust, bugs looking for a warm spot. .. hmm. Probably a brick now.


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JavaLawyer

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Re: Dead Camera
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2014, 05:50:16 AM »

Humidity ,condensation, dirt ,dust, bugs looking for a warm spot. .. hmm. Probably a brick now.

My thoughts as well as the DCS-2132L is not rated for outdoor use, although many DCS-932L owners have stated that they've successfully mounted their camera outdoors for over a year without failure. A factory reset is worth a try.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 05:56:35 AM by JavaLawyer »
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FloatingGreenThing

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Re: Dead Camera
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2014, 02:34:34 PM »

I did try the reset procedure, powered on/ press & hold the button hiding inside the tiny hole above the word 'reset'/ waited until the status light started blinking then released the button. Still not working.

I replaced this camera with an IP66 rated outdoor IP camera and it's been sitting in a parts box for a while now. I only just remembered it as I could use the IR LED for an auxiliary light to cover a dark area. But this camera wasn't that cheap and I'd like to give a good honest effort to get it going before I scrap it out!

Now I did notice that if it sits long enough powered off, that before plugging the power back in - if I first plug in an ethernet cable connected to a router so the camera is part of a network the moment it gets power - then the status light will turn green for the few seconds it stays lit steady.

So I decided to try an experiment last night. I left the camera off so it could sit a while in order to get it powered up the longest possible time before getting the blinking condition. Then I logged into the router and went to the list of currently active devices on the LAN. Then I powered up the camera with the ethernet cable still connected, and I saw the camera come up on the list. The address was a bit different than the default, I got 192.168.1.3

So then I pulled the power plug on the camera to let it sit a while longer. Again, so as to get it to stay on as long as possible without the blinking, as I suspect that's some form of malfunction or error code? Whatever.

Next I set my web browser to a blank tab and entered that IP without hitting the enter key. This so I can attempt accessing the camera with a minimum of delay the moment the status light turns green.

Then I powered up the camera and waited, and the light turned green again. So I hit the enter key on my computer and hey! I got a log-in prompt from the camera!

I had to repeat this experiment as I couldn't remember the correct default and my notebook that has the login details for this camera was hiding under some other stuff so I didn't find it until after the camera started blinking.

By the way, my router shows the camera as 'off-line' when the status light blinks. The light goes from a steady green to a red blinking and I guess that's the end of that session.

So, I wait a half hour and redo the experiment, this time entering the default login without delay. This camera requires user name = 'admin', password is left blank. A lot of my other cameras the default is 'admin'/'admin', I keep forgetting this one isn't like that.

Anyways, the web page loads showing the video feed. I got a live feed of my ceiling above the workbench and the camera appears to have everything functioning just fine. But after 10 or 15 seconds the camera dies! Not much time to test any of the other features in the web interface, but now I'm thinking the problem may have something to do with the power section inside the camera.

The variable results I'm getting might be because the problem is being affected by a capacitor that is discharging slowly? I suspect that if it's a cap I'm waiting on to fully discharge, maybe there's a faulty voltage regulator inside this camera? I'm thinking I might take the camera apart and look for hot spots with a non-contact thermometer.
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JavaLawyer

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Re: Dead Camera
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2014, 06:20:21 AM »

From what your describing I have little doubt that this is some sort of hardware failure. Whether it stems from a manufacturing defect or outdoor use is impossible to say. Since the camera is out-of-warranty (greater than a year old?), self help is the only recourse at this point.  :(
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FloatingGreenThing

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Re: Dead Camera
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2014, 11:22:12 AM »

Today I cracked the case on this camera. Easy enough using a thin bladed screwdriver, just pop a few tabs along the edges and it comes right apart. Then removed the small screw under the camera lens and pulled the board off of the case back.

I plugged in the ethernet cable and power, logged into the cameras live view, even clicked into a settings menu before the camera died yet again.

So now while the camera was still powered, I went over the board and found a chip was warmer than it should be and some small components next to it are way too hot!

Any idea what the small parts in red are for?


If the small parts are the driver circuit to the IR LED, and if those are causing the chip to get warm, then I might try removing those from the board to see if that fixes the problem.

I don't really need that IR LED to be right next to the camera, as that causes backlighting issues from the IR light hitting any dust in the air or other debris that might be close to the front of the camera. So it's not a big deal to kill the onboard LED. But, it would be nice to know beforehand if those components are not absolutely required to run the camera?
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