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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 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:00 pm

I have more information regarding the Foscam repair process. These are the steps I used to process my repair.

- For the repair I was directed specifically to Mona at Foscam.us. I do not want to post her actual email address, but it is easy to guess. Or, alternatively you can email support@foscam.us and ask to be directed to Mona. Send her an email and clearly state that you would like to repair your camera(s) by performing a DSP flash as recommended by Foscam support. Be clear that you would like to repair the camera and not simply have it exchanged. Also include the order number for your purchase, as she will need to verify the camera is eligible for repair through Foscam.us.

- She will provide an RMA number. The RMA repair number should look something like this, “Mona-### REPAIR”, to ensure that it is processed as a repair and not processed as a RMA replacement.

- Fill out the RMA form she will send you. Print a copy and place it in the package for shipment. On the shipping label include “ATTN: Mona” and the RMA number. The customer is typically responsible for shipping charges to Foscam and may also be responsible for return shipping charges.

- Foscam.us will “do our best” to repair the camera and then ship it back to you.

It is my strong opinion that consumers should NOT be responsible for shipping charges to repair a hardware defect on a new camera. I pushed this point hard, but Foscam.us has decided otherwise.

In my specific case, I originally received the camera on May 18th. On May 29th I first emailed support and I identified this as "a problem with the camera's encoding hardware.” The only reason it has taken 3+ months to process the repair was waiting on Foscam to arrive at the same conclusion and provide a solution. The RMA paperwork text is a little confusing (page 2, point 2), but I interpret the policy as covering shipping costs for operational problems reported within the first two weeks of purchase. My problem was reported within the first two weeks and I have 59 emails exchanged between that point and now documenting the process.

Foscam.us claims that shipping is not covered in this case because the camera was purchased “from an online promotion.” I was clear that my camera was purchased via a link sent from sales@foscam.us where they stated “Foscam has partnered with Groupon” to offer the 8906 camera. It was not mentioned in the email from sales that purchased cameras would be excluded from Foscam’s normal return/repair policies. The RMA paperwork also does not include any text exempting “online promotions” or anything similar. Foscam.us agrees that it was purchased through Foscam.us, but contends that “online promotions” are exempt from standard policies.

Ultimately, all of these details are beside the point because a manufacturing defect on a new camera should be corrected by the manufacturer free of charge. Additionaly, the above information assumes your camera was purchased from the reseller Foscam.us (like myself). Consumers who purchased from other resellers may be out of luck unless they pursue the DIY route. Fundamentally this is why the manufacturer should be handling the repair instead of the individual resellers.

At this point, I am choosing not to send the camera in for repair. Instead, I have filed a second complaint with the BBB to seek help in obtaining my shipping costs (and hopefully force change to Foscam’s current stance on shipping costs). If others see fit, I encourage them to file complaints as well. If others do elect to file complaints with the BBB, I recommend keeping the complaint concise and having a reasonably simple “desired resolution.” This will increase the likelihood of receiving BBB assistance and having the complaint tallied in the company’s official rating.

Shipping is not a large sum, so please feel free to follow the steps listed above to process a repair. For those who do choose to process a repair please follow up with your results.
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Re: 8910w hanging / rebooting based on image data?

Postby TheUberOverLord » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:49 pm

I agree with you about this Shipping issue. If this was me I would read this as well:

http://www.foscam.com/help3.aspx

I would send a complaint to the email address shown there:

complain@foscam.com

I can only say that generally. Foscam resellers don't do camera repairs. They simply send a replacement camera. There is not the technical staff at most Foscam resellers to take cameras apart and do component level testing or replacement.

For quicker turn around in getting your camera fixed, meaning the same camera returned after it has been upgraded, for this issue. I think having the reseller do it is best. But I do agree, that in this case that shipping both ways should be covered. If you contacted Foscam about this within the timeline. As you have.

The issue I personally see with having for example Foscam.com ("China") do this fix, for this issue, would be the turn-around time.

If somehow, Foscam.com simply decided to send extra cameras to every Foscam reseller to cover possible replacement cameras, that maybe returned for this issue. Even then, there might be a delay of 15-20 days before that stock of cameras was received by the Foscam reseller.

Every time that initial extra stock of cameras was depleted. There would be another 15-20 days of delay. Because it's a guesstimate, at best of how many cameras and what models, will be returned for this issue. Each and every time period. Which I would think would be every month. I mean it's not like Foscam.com would send 100 extra replacement cameras of each MJPEG camera model to every reseller and tell them "Hey, hold on to these and use these as replacement cameras for the MJPEG DSP firmware issue. We won't charge you for these as well".

Whereas when the Foscam reseller does this fix. It's to your original camera, no waiting on anything from Foscam.com and you don't get a replacement camera. You get the same camera back.

If you wanted your same camera fixed and sent back from Foscam.com, total turnaround time, most likely would be 30-40 days.

I assume that most Foscam resellers purchase cameras in bulk for the cameras they intend to sell over a given time and pay for them, before they are actually sold. I don't think Foscam.com ("Gives") cameras to Foscam resellers and then only charges them, when they are sold by the Foscam reseller.

If that's the case. That would mean that Foscam.com would need to send extra cameras of every MJPEG camera model, to every Foscam reseller, that are not really being sold or purchased by the Foscam reseller. How many of each camera model should they send to each Foscam reseller? This is where things would become very complicated.

This is why in this case. Since the same camera is being returned after the DSP firmware is being updated, that I think that this is the best and quickest way for camera owners to get back the camera and their original camera. For this specific issue.

I am not sure in any way on who pays normally for the return shipping for defective cameras. For example, does Foscam.com reimburse authorized Foscam resellers normally, for the return shipping? After all. The Foscam reseller thought they sold a good camera. Why should the authorized Foscam reseller eat any shipping cost for a camera that was defective?

Also and even more perplexing to me are these special circumstances. Where some Foscam reseller is listed as the contact. Are they really the seller. Maybe that's 9/10ths of the problem. Are there somehow situations where a Foscam Reseller offers technical support but yet you can't send a camera back to that Foscam reseller that was listed? How could a coupon deal come with a warranty that is less than normal?

What instructions can Foscam.com give everyone to know that by making a Foscam camera purchase this way or that way ("Besides not purchasing a Foscam camera from a non-authorized Foscam reseller") to avoid these things now and in the future?

More worrisome to me are people that may have purchased a camera from a seller, that for whatever reason, refuses to do this DSP firmware upgrade. Can you complain to Foscam. com and have it done by another authorized Foscam reseller? What if somehow you purchased your camera from a non-authorized Foscam reseller, but did not realize it at the time. Is there ANY reasonable price you can pay a authorized Foscam reseller to fix this issue? What if you did purchase your camera from an authorized Foscam reseller, months ago, but just now realized that your camera has this issue? What are your options?

Hopefully, if enough people complain, using the email address above who DID inform the Foscam authorized seller that their camera was defective, in the required time allowed. Foscam.com might tell the Foscam authorized reseller, that they will pick up the total shipping cost, in ALL those cases, for this issue. That seems fair, in this case.

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

Postby rhunsche » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:03 pm

I applied the fix to my FI8906W and remounted it outside looking down on my driveway. The driveway was shaded by the time I got the camera installed so I won't know until tomorrow if the sunny image problem has been taken care of.

The only hard part of the update was cobbling together a USB cable for the camera. After searching through a number of bins of connectors, cables and salvaged parts and coming up with nothing to fit that tiny (it's really small) connector on the camera sensor board, I came up with an alternative solution. The five conductor cable has the same connector at the opposite end. I had some stiff insulated wire about the same gauge as the connector pins, so I pulled the connector off the interface board in the back of the camera and made my USB connections at that end of the cable. You need about 1/8 inch of bare wire to insert into the connector. Just make sure to follow the wire from pin one at the sensor board to the correct pin on the connector at the other end of that cable.
Once the connection was made, Windows saw the camera and the update program ran without a hitch.

As for testing the 8910 alongside the 8906...

jreberry wrote:rhunsche, did you happen to test your functional 8910 in the same location that your faulty 8906 was located? Or were they both in different locations?

--Jon


My 8906 mounts about 11 feet up on the south corner of my garage pointing west. I put the 8910 on a porch roof at the north corner of my garage at about the same height and also looking down on the driveway. Both images had about the same amount of foliage and asphalt. The 8910 had no trouble even setting the brightness up to 10 and contrast 5. The 8906 failed if brightness was over 4.

Hope this helps.
--Dick H
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Re: 8910w hanging / rebooting based on image data?

Postby TheUberOverLord » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:15 pm

rhunsche wrote:I applied the fix to my FI8906W and remounted it outside looking down on my driveway. The driveway was shaded by the time I got the camera installed so I won't know until tomorrow if the sunny image problem has been taken care of.


Great!

Any suggestions to modifications of the detailed documentation?

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

Postby jreberry » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:25 pm

Thanks for the link and suggestions Don, I had not previously read the information on that page. According to the Foscam.com site it sounds like there should be a 1 year warranty from the ship date.

“FOSCAM provide 1-year limited warranty for naked product and 6-month limited warranty for accessories. … FOSCAM products are warranted to be free from manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship starting from the shipping date of FOSCAM.”

That is good because any camera under a year old should be covered. Regarding shipping costs, the Foscam.com site states that…

“If products are defective or damaged under normal use or operation in the replacement limit, distributors or resellers are responsible for the shipping cost the product back to customers, customers should assume the shipping cost send the product to the point-of-purchase.”

That sounds like Foscam.com’s policy is that the customer is responsible for shipping to the reseller even if the defect is found on day one. But, in my case Foscam.us will not cover shipping costs due to the “online promotion,” they did not argue that it was outiside of the two week shipping window.

I’m going to email complain@foscam.com as you had noted. Regardless of policy I still contend that shipping should be covered to repair this defect for all consumers within the warranty window.

Frustrations aside, I will say this, I’m glad that after 3+ months the problem has been identified (at least non-publicly), it sounds like a repair possibly exists (still need confirmation from rhunsche and Bob), and we are now left discussing wiring diagrams and shipping policy. At this point, cameras likely CAN be fixed, it is now simply a matter of trying to get them fixed in the proper way. Unfortunately, the problem will probably fester for a long time as faulty hardware continues to be discovered.
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Re: 8910w hanging / rebooting based on image data?

Postby mommeke » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:20 am

Here's another FI8904W reporting the DSP issue, located in Belgium.
Purchased last week from www.ipcameracenter.be (which is one of the many stores of the company Coolblue)

Initially I had it installed in my garage just for testing and learning to know the device. Yesterday I decided to mount the camera outside pointing to my front garden/front door. I noticed I lost the image, and started troubleshooting. It seemed when the wall of my house was partially (about 1/3 or more) in the image, or when I hold my hand in front of the camera, all worked fine, but when pointing completely to where I wanted it to, the problem occured.
The image is grass, trees, plants ,and a path made with little stones.

Ruled out network by connecting directly to the ISP router. Tried some resets and fiddled with the settings.
Then found this thread and confirmed the resolution of 320x240 is stable. Also 640x480 with dark brightness setting and low contrast, works stable (but obviously does not give a good image)
I'm quite tech savvy and not afraid to perform the flash, but I'm not willing to risk my warranty right now.

Contacted the seller and referred to this thread, they would discuss internally so now I'm awaiting response on how to proceed.
Usually they are very flexible with RMA and they never charge for shipping, but if all Foscams in their stock have the same problem an RMA would not help me, so I'm curious what they will come back with.
I'm planning to add one more ipcamera in the near future so that idea is on hold until this gets sorted.

While I was reading this thread last night (all 38 pages of it) The chat popup appeared so I explained the problem. Foscam chat responded: reset device and update firmware. One would think they should no longer come with such default answers for this worldwide wellknown issue right?
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Re: 8910w hanging / rebooting based on image data?

Postby spd2612 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:38 am

The directions say to use a 32 bit system has anyone tried it with a widows 7 64bit operating system ? also there has been some talk about the ground wire, am I to understand correctly that you only need to connect it to one of the last 2 pins and not both (4 or 5 )
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Re: 8910w hanging / rebooting based on image data?

Postby TheUberOverLord » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:59 am

spd2612 wrote:The directions say to use a 32 bit system has anyone tried it with a widows 7 64bit operating system ? also there has been some talk about the ground wire, am I to understand correctly that you only need to connect it to one of the last 2 pins and not both (4 or 5 )

Yes. According to what I have been told. Only one of the two GND pins on the actual cameras connector located on the cameras PCB ("Printed Circuit Board"), needs to be connected to the USB GND side.

There does not seem to be an issue with 64 bit based Windows systems. I have tried the Windows based application program to update the DSP firmware on one of my Windows 7 64 bit systems. It launches fine.

I know that Bob did his update using a Win 7 system. Not so sure if it was 64 bit based. I am still waiting on parts to formally do the upgrade with a test camera that I must return to a person here in the forum that sent their camera that has this issue, to me for testing. Since I did not have a camera with this issue in my camera inventory.

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

Postby TheUberOverLord » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:08 am

mommeke wrote:Contacted the seller and referred to this thread, they would discuss internally so now I'm awaiting response on how to proceed.
Usually they are very flexible with RMA and they never charge for shipping, but if all Foscams in their stock have the same problem an RMA would not help me, so I'm curious what they will come back with.
I'm planning to add one more ipcamera in the near future so that idea is on hold until this gets sorted.

To be on the safe side. The seller should do as Foscam.com has suggested Foscam resellers do. Which is, that when a camera is received via a RMA from a camera owner, with this issue. Flash that camera with the new DSP firmware and return the same camera vs. returning a replacement camera.

Maybe they are in the process of working with Foscam.com to get the information required to do this update and learn about the suggested procedure, to deal with returned cameras with this issue?

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

Postby jreberry » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:02 am

I sent a complaint regarding shipping costs to complain@foscam.us, their response is below...

"Pls contact [Mona, email address removed] directly for the RMA.
Here it is the factory in China,normally,for the RMA,customers need afford the shipping cost that send back the camera,
reseller afford the shipping cost for camera sending back to customers."

So, they stated this as standard policy and directed me to Mona.
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