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MJPEG Cameras hanging/rebooting based on image data?

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Re: 8910w hanging / rebooting based on image data?

Postby jreberry » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:22 am

After nearly 3 months and 39 e-mails back and forth with Foscam, this morning they provided a response with some substance...

"For the issue that MJ cameras reboot when light is too bright and the environment is very exquisite, our engineers find the reason and provide the solution. The reason for this issue is that if the environment is special (light is very bright and has many grass and trees), the picture size may beyond the DSP buffer. It can solved by flash the the DSP driver of the sensor board. Please contact your reseller to have repair.

Have a nice day!"


I read this as confirmation from Foscam of the hardware problem. This is essentially what was proposed by raydude on the first page of this thread, what jojocat was testing with screenshot sizes, and in line with the details Avacomtech recently provided. To correct the problem the cameras need to be shipped back and the DSP must be flashed. I've asked some followup questions about the scope of the affected cameras (all MPJEG cameras?). It is also unclear if Foscam plans on continuing to manufacture the cameras with the DSP bug or if they will begin reflashing the DSP as a part of manufacturing. Based on their track record, if they do plan on making a change I doubt it will be any time soon. It took months for the sensor change to make it into the consumer pipeline. If Foscam decides to actually fix the DSP, then it will likely again take months before the functional hardware makes it into consumer's hands. Even then, there will probably be pockets of old hardware still trickling out to consumers. It is good that Foscam has confirmed the problem and can provide a fix for ambitious current camera owners. But, I think we are going to continue to have new users purchasing faulty hardware and identifying this problem for a significant amount of time. I'll update if I receive any additional information.
Last edited by jreberry on Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 8910w hanging / rebooting based on image data?

Postby centaur » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:33 pm

I am currently on my second 8910W - the first kept rebooting for no apparent reason so returned it and got a replacement - not too happy that I had to pay postage to return a faulty unit!

However this one seemed fine until the weather turned sunny and every time the camera was pointed outside and facing south west the image froze and the camera rebooted. reducing the image size to 320X240 improved the situation but not the image. This thread gave me the clues and I can confirm that bright sun (didn't know about trees and grass add to the problem!) Somewhere in the thread is a suggestion that the newer cameras have an inferior component(s) - I have a friend with a two year old camera which is absolutely fine with a clear picture, sharp focus and no rebooting issues at all - which is why I bought the Foscam.

Highly disappointed with camera, with Foscam and would never recommend the make to anyone - unless they can clean up their act and either pay the postage to return the goods - wish i had bought from Amazon - returns are not a problem, customer service is very good and I could have given the thing the zero rating it deserves
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Re: 8910w hanging / rebooting based on image data?

Postby springscave » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:18 pm

@centaur, Looks like it will be a problem to return it to amazon too, they recently added "This item is non-returnable" on the FI8910, a reviewer from August 7, 2013 couldn't return theirs. Probably tired of the steady returns.

I bought 2 FI8910's from amazon, one in February and another in April.
The first one I bought works flawless. I have it pointed out a window and it has never rebooted. (guess I got lucky with that one, I heard they made the hardware changes December of 2012) The second one has the rebooting problem, had it pointing out the same window at a different angle and it is unusable. I waited too long to try to return it.

I still want to get 2 more of these cameras, but unless I can get this one replaced or fixed at no cost to me, I'll be getting a different brand.
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Re: 8910w hanging / rebooting based on image data?

Postby blackcows » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:22 am

Same issue with my camera, posting so I can tag along and see if there is a fix.
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Re: 8910w hanging / rebooting based on image data?

Postby centaur » Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:17 pm

Springscave,

Interesting post reference Amazon's return policy with this camera - it would seem apparent that the problem is known in the wider arena - which calls into question why Amazon are still selling it?

I have decided to try and get a refund from Foscam and return the camera to them for another £8.50! However I also intend to speak to the UK Office of Fair Trading on the issue as it is now clear that the 8910W clearly in Not Fit for Purpose and therefore contravenes UK law under Sale of Goods act 1979 section 14 as I cannot find any text in any sales literature for this particular camera which states that the camera should not be pointed towards sunlight, or leaves or grass or anything 'complex'

Posted comment on Amazon Website against recommending the camera until the defects have been corrected - I have little confidence that the item will be withdrawn or any attention will be paid.

We shall see in due course
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Re: 8910w hanging / rebooting based on image data?

Postby bcswebco » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:06 am

I purchased 2 of these through Amazon and have been experiencing the reboot/hang when in 640 res. display.

Decided to call Foscam.us technical support for a resolution to the problem and reached "Allen". When I described the problem, he told me to do a factory reboot and call back if the issue was still present. I told him I already did this.

Allen then gave me directions on how to email for an RMA.

My reason for writing this was at the end of the conversation I asked him if this was a known problem with this model camera. He said no. When I mentioned the 25+ pages of posts on the foscam.us website regarding the issue, he said this was the first time he had every heard of a problem having the issue described.
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Re: 8910w hanging / rebooting based on image data?

Postby jojocat » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:01 pm

I was curious about how this was going - sorry to see it doesn't look great for a fix. I think I mentioned earlier, but I was able to appeal to amazon on the return 3 months after purchase, and they issued full credit when I explained and referred them to this thread.

If anyone's purchased there, I'd encourage you to contact amazon directly for refund consideration. FWIW, my seller was Foscam US, not amazon LLC.

Also, I asked amazon about the "This item is not returnable" mention in the product listing, and their CS confirmed that was incorrect and said they would "report the catalog error". I don't think it bodes well that whoever controls that description, likely foscam USA, added that mention even though that seems clearly not in line with Amazon's return guidelines and those it enforces from it's third party sellers.
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Re: 8910w hanging / rebooting based on image data?

Postby sparkgap » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:32 pm

I have 3 of the 8904W cameras. After struggling with getting these to work with wireless (cinder block houses don't seem to pass wi-fi signals too well), I changed the setup to PoE thinking the video signal would be rock-solid. Didn't turn out that way. One has been working without issue but the other two were exhibiting intermittent video drops.

Brought the cameras into the house and they worked flawlessly for hours on end.

Then I moved one of them back outside yesterday but by chance I didn't aim the camera the same way.....I had it pointed in more of a downward direction so that the camera could not see the tree in the background that it saw before. Now the camera, which dropped the video signal constantly, and in one instance started looking green & purple, suddenly started working properly. It's been on all day with no video drops.

That's when I came to the forum and discovered this thread. I'd have to say you guys are spot on.

Of course I'd like to get the cameras replaced or fixed but I don't want to send anything back until I'm sure the replacement product will be working.

In the meantime, I was wondering about a possible temporary fix, other than the reduction in resolution/contrast:

Since the leafy trees of concern only occupy part of the camera image (mainly the upper left corner of the image), would it be possible to put a small piece of opaque tape over the upper part of the lens shield to block out the offending trees from the image ?? That way I could keep the original resolution and contrast.

Doug
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Re: 8910w hanging / rebooting based on image data?

Postby jreberry » Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:05 pm

Doug,

That's when I came to the forum and discovered this thread. I'd have to say you guys are spot on.


There has been a tremendous amount of troubleshooting from users in this forum. In the absence of information from Foscam I'm glad you have found the user's information helpful, I know that I have too.

Of course I'd like to get the cameras replaced or fixed but I don't want to send anything back until I'm sure the replacement product will be working.


That is the exact same worry we have also had. I'm only aware of 2 RMA's that have been successful, and 14+ that have had the exact same problem. I suspect that the 2 successful RMA's were lucky and received old inventory from before the sensor change. But, I don't know that for sure, I'm only guessing. Since Foscam.com has finally identified the problem and stated that the solution is to flash the DSP, I'm much more hopeful of an actual fix now. I plan on sending my camera in for repair at Foscam.us (the re-seller). My biggest worry is that the information from Foscam.com will not be communicated properly to Foscam.us. I'm currently waiting for information on how to process the repair, and I'll update here once I have those details. I'm assuming Foscam will cover all costs since this is their hardware problem, but that has not yet been confirmed. To minimize downtime, I requested they proactively send me a functional camera and then I can return the faulty camera in the same box. But again, I am still waiting on their response.

I'm not sure why the end-user should be concerned about .com vs .us vs other re-sellers in the first place. It seems like a problem with a Foscam camera should simply be handled by Foscam. If I need a motherboard RMA I go to the manufacturer, not to Amazon or Best Buy. But, Foscam likes to distance themselves from the customer behind their "re-sellers." The .com and .us name similarity only confuses the situation more. It is not a customer friendly structure.

would it be possible to put a small piece of opaque tape over the upper part of the lens


That should work, but you may end up with sticky residue on your lens.
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Re: 8910w hanging / rebooting based on image data?

Postby sparkgap » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:16 am

By the way, my problem has been with video drops and not re-boots.
But after reading all the stuff on this thread I tried bumping up the contrast from 4 to 5 just to see what would happen.....it rebooted immediately !

Then it took me 5 more reboots until I could change the contrast back to 4 before the camera rebooted again. What a pain !

Doug
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