Why 2 Dead Cams?

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by G-Man, Sep 10, 2018.

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  1. G-Man

    G-Man n3wb

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    I’ve been using a 4-pack of cheap generic indoor pan/tilt IP cameras that I chased the MAC ID to L-Series, Shenzhen Smarteye Digital Electronics Co., Ltd. I’ve used them over internal Ethernet LAN for about 4 years connected to Blue Iris for PC with no issues, when suddenly 2 of them stopped working in the same week.

    The 2 cameras in question are located in separate areas of the house and have nothing to do with one another circuit wise, so I don’t suspect any power surge would have occurred to cause an issue; especially give the other 2 IP cams in the set are fine.

    The 2 problem cams have power because after I power-cycle (unplug/re-plug 5V DC adaptor) I can see the IR LEDs glow red on both. However, neither cam initializes by moving up/down/left/right after a normal power cycle as expected. Simply no movement at all in either cam.

    Furthermore, neither camera feed appears in my Blue Iris software anymore. Interestingly however, when I scan for the cameras using their provided “LSearch” discovery software, the cams do appear in the list, so something must still be active in each cam’s chipset. But I can no longer access the individual cam using the web GUI (via IP/Port) anymore.

    I tried doing the prescribed “reset” which fails and seems to maintain the IPs I assigned 4 years ago rather than reset to factory settings.

    Thereafter, I opened each camera and thoroughly inspected each circuit board for possible signs of burnt components. All appears clean.

    Bottom line, the cameras worked fine for years and suddenly 2 stopped for no apparent reason and present the same exact symptoms. So other than some embedded Chinese kill-code hidden deep in the firmware to force me to buy new cameras after 4 years.

    I know these are cheap to replace, but also seems a waste if they can be fixed. Any support would be appreciated.
     
  2. alastairstevenson

    alastairstevenson Known around here

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    Have you configured any remote access to the cameras, maybe 'port forwarding', or UPnP enabled on the router?
     
  3. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee Getting the hang of it

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    Can you ping the cameras ?
    Can you log into the cameras using internet explorer or pale moon browser 32 ?
    Does your router have the correct IP address for all cameras ?
     
  4. TonyR

    TonyR Known around here

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    I would still swap the 5 VDC power supply with a known working one anyway just to eliminate the possibility. Some of those are linear, not switching, and if they drop more than 10% the IR may work and not the cam.
     
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  5. G-Man

    G-Man n3wb

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    Thank you for responding. I've never set a port to forward directly to either of these bad cams IPs. Instead, I run Blue Iris on a Windows Home Server 2011 box and use standard Windows Remote Desktop into that box to view/control Blue Iris. However, my remote sessions are usually done from within my home network and thus do not require any type of port forwarding setup. Now then, I do from time-to-time "temporarily" set up port forwarding so I can access from outside the home (WAN) into my WHS 2011 box - but it's rare and only when I know I'll be away for extended periods. However, I remove the port forwarding in the router once I return home (very security conscious). But again, no direct port forwards to the cams themselves, and I've never used the native Chinese software for any kind of remote access either. I have no apps that directly access the cams even. I don't even run Blue Iris in server mode.

    As for UPnP, it's currently enabled. However, to the best of my knowledge i believe "enabled" is the default setting and has always been on. Why would it affect things suddenly? Regardless, since your post I've tried it both with no change.

    Thank you for your reply and any feedback to my answers above.
     
  6. G-Man

    G-Man n3wb

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    T
    Thank you for your reply. I forgot to mention in my original post that I had tested and swapped power supplies without any change. However, you bringing it up again helps me realize I did a hasty swap-test and could stand to put these power adapters on the bench for more thorough voltage/amperage stress testing. Thanks, and I will provide you feedback with the results.
     
  7. G-Man

    G-Man n3wb

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    Thank you for your reply. Yes good ping:

    C:\WINDOWS\system32>ping XXX.XXX.X.XX
    Pinging XXX.XXX.X.XX: with 32 bytes of data:
    Reply from XXX.XXX.X.XX: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
    Reply from XXX.XXX.X.XX: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
    Reply from XXX.XXX.X.XX: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
    Reply from XXX.XXX.X.XX: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64

    As for being able to log in using a browser or pale moon - I know my original post was long-winded so you may have missed a part that relates to some of your suggestions. I wrote:

    “Furthermore, neither camera feed appears in my Blue Iris software anymore. Interestingly however, when I scan for the cameras using their provided “LSearch” discovery software, the cams do appear in the list, so something must still be active in each cam’s chipset. But I can no longer access the individual cam using the web GUI (via IP/Port) anymore.”

    So the final answers are is “yes” to good ping, and “no” to web GUI access.

    I am not certain I understand your 3rd question – “Does your router have the correct IP address for all cameras ?”

    My IP assignments for each camera are static and were set by me 4 years ago within each camera, and done manually using their native software on the first run. My router reports those IPs correctly in its diagnostics reports, but does not assign them itself. Could you elaborate on this question? Could I have an IP conflict somewhere? Should I have my router control IP assignment rather than set it within the IP Cam itself? Thanks.
     
  8. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee Getting the hang of it

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    I believe that you problem can be an IP address conflect or a sub net problem.
    Answer all quesrques.
    1 what is the IP address of your router ?
    2 what is the IP address of your BI PC whs2011?
    3 how many network cards / physically connections to the bi machine ?
    4 what are the IP address of all of your cameras ?
    5 is the bi PC connected to a router, or a switch/hub
    6 are the cameras connected to the router or switch/ hub.
    7 are all cameras connected to the same router, switch,hub ?

    Even if you have static IP address they will be listed in most routers.
    There is no need to do the xxx.xxx thing on internal IP address,
     
  9. G-Man

    G-Man n3wb

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    I’ll answer your questions, but must iterate that this has run fine for 4 years until suddenly in a single week 2 cams decide to act up. To the best of my knowledge nothing has change in regard to hardware, software, or network infrastructure that would create a sudden IP issue.

    I am not an IT expert, but have worked in a support role long enough to know this should not randomly happen. While at the same time I know enough that this could easily randomly happen (IT joke).

    Any help is appreciated. See answers below. Thanks.

    1 what is the IP address of your router ? 192.168.1.1
    2 what is the IP address of your BI PC whs2011? 192.168.1.7
    3 how many network cards / physically connections to the bi machine ? 1
    4 what are the IP address of all of your cameras ? 192.168.1.67/68/69/70
    5 is the bi PC connected to a router, or a switch/hub? Unmanaged 16-port switch (TrendNet TEG-S16Dg)
    6 are the cameras connected to the router or switch/ hub? 3 unmanaged 5-port switches (TrendNet TEG-S50g) throughout the home feed into 3 ports on the main unmanaged 16-port switch (TrendNet TEG-S16Dg).
    7 are all cameras connected to the same router, switch,hub ? Yes.
     
  10. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee Getting the hang of it

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    A power failure, can cause a camera reset. And change the ip address. Just checking that the Ip address are all on the same subnet.
    I you have not already done so, reboot everything, power it down, wait, power it back up.
    I would recommend changing the ports the cameras are plug into and see if they are still pingable.
    Check the connectors on the Ethernet cables, look for corrosion.
    A suggested change the power supplies to the cameras.
     
  11. looney2ns

    looney2ns Known around here

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    Always turn off UPNP everywhere you find it, cams, routers, Tvs, etc. It's a huge security hole. It automatically opens holes in your router.
    Only use a VPN for remote access when away from home. VPN Primer for Noobs
    How to Secure Your Network (Don't Get Hacked!) | IP Cam Talk
    Everything that is attached to your network, including switchs, routers, modems, tvs, etc unplug power from the wall. Leave everything unplugged for 30 minutes.

    After thirty minutes, plug things back in starting with the modem.
    I would take one of the offending cameras, at a time and with a known good short cable, test it with a computer and a known good switch.
    Short cable from computer to switch as well.

    It's also possible the Ethernet cables you originally used were not pure copper conductors, but rather CCA, copper clad aluminum, and that is starting to rear it's problematic head.