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FI8905 DC Power Requirements & Wifi issues

General discussion regarding Foscam IP Cameras

FI8905 DC Power Requirements & Wifi issues

Postby thespirit3 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:27 am

Hi All,

I have two FI8905's mounted on a pole on my garage at the end of my garden. The power requirements in the specs, state:-

Power Supply DC 5V/2.0A
Power Consumption 5 Watts (Max.)

So, the PSU is 2A but each camera should only draw a maximum of 1A.

First I tried running both cameras off a single PSU - this resulted in constant reboots. I then tried running a single camera - which works, but I seem to have difficulty connecting via wifi from anywhere other than directly below the camera.

I thought perhaps the cable run from PSU to camera was causing a voltage drop; measured at the PSU it's ~5V, measured at the camera it's ~4.5V.

My questions are:-
1) Is there a specification anywhere that states the usable DC input range of these cameras? I assumed they'd be tolerant of 4.5-5.5V at least?
2) Would a drop of 0.5V be enough to cause wifi issues?
3) Has anyone actually measured the max current draw?

I've found a cheap chinese 5V (adjustable 4.5 to 5.5V) 10A PSU on ebay (£10) which I'm hoping will make up for any voltage drops on the power cable. However, I'm not entirely confident this is the problem.

Others must have mounted these cameras further from a power source so I'm hoping someone else has already been here and solved this.

Any tech support from Foscam regarding actual tolerated DC input range would be great :)


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Re: FI8905 DC Power Requirements & Wifi issues

Postby kato1 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:44 am

good luck getting any help from them in regards to anything technical. i had to send my fi8905w back twice because it will not work wireless for me. they even couldnt figure it out. then charge me a restocking fee! for a cam that was no good to me...again good luck in trying to ge tech help from them!
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Re: FI8905 DC Power Requirements & Wifi issues

Postby thespirit3 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:08 am

Thanks for your comment.

I've since discovered the drop from 5v to 4.5v *was* enough to cause the wifi issues. I've temporarily connected up a bench PSU, set at 5.5V (to take account of voltage drop) which has worked fine all night.

However, this morning the camera appeared to crash. The image was just 'white', adjusting brightness/contrast just varied the white level, a soft 'reset' (via the web gui) caused the camera to completely lock up (at least, it dropped from the network and never reappeared) - I had to ask my gf to go out to the garage and turn the power off/on (which worked - but how long for?).

Did you stick with Foscam or did you move to another brand?

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Re: FI8905 DC Power Requirements & Wifi issues

Postby Zerone » Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:13 pm

Wow! That voltage drop is a bit worrying, as you really shouldn't get anywhare near that even pushing volts past 50M, and possibly about 2-3% drop when approaching 100M.

That's if you've got enough amps behind it and the appropriate cable to carry the stuff.

If you're losing volts it's probably the cable eating the stuff and turning it into heat. Fatter cables are much better at longer distances, plenty of room for the little electrons to flow without a hot traffic jam.

I have a camera in a nesting-box about 30-40M from a power source. I use 9dBi antennas on my router to connect wirelessly and car (auto) cable rated at 12V/10A to carry my 5V from a 5A power pack. It's been running for months without any problems.

I've now got another 9dBi antenna for the camera and hope to move the nesting-box another 20M away. I've no idea if it will work though.
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Re: FI8905 DC Power Requirements & Wifi issues

Postby ECP » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:33 am

There is a similar discussion here:
The main idea is that you have to measure the current the camera draws (using a multimeter) and also measure the voltage on the battery and see if it drops or not as the current intensity increases.
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Re: FI8905 DC Power Requirements & Wifi issues

Postby pomonabill221 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:48 pm

Also remember when the IR leds turn on, they draw an addtional (about) 1 amp! and this will pull the voltage down even further.
I gather that you are trying POE on a modified ethernet cable? If not, how heavy is the power cable (in AWG or wire size)?
I have a 20foot number 16 cable, and I still get dips when the IR turns on, so I upped the PS to 5.75v and the voltage at the camera, with IR on is about 5.1 volts and I do not have any reboot problems.
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Re: FI8905 DC Power Requirements & Wifi issues

Postby thespirit3 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:39 am

Hi All - thanks for the replies.

My cameras are not wired (although this may change due to ongoing problems with wifi) and I'm supplying power via 10-20m (guestimate) of 10A rated cable. I figured the resistance of this wouldn't be too high. The PSU is regulated and variable voltage, showing a peak of ~800mA (@5.5V) with wifi on and IR illuminated - I only currently have the one camera powered up.

At both PSU and camera ends I have screw-terminal blocks, with the original power connectors retained at the camera end for easy connect/disconnect. I'm wondering if the screw terminal blocks are resulting in some further losses - I may remove these and solder.

With the PSU voltage increased to 5.5V I seem to have a reasonably stable camera, although I'm still seeing occasional (typically 1 per day) disconnects/crashes. Yesterdays fault could only be rectified by restarting the wireless AP at the house though - so I perhaps can't blame the camera in this instance.

It is however very frustrating as a laptop used *in* the garage has no issues with wifi, yet cameras mounted on a pole in free space suffer regular packet loss (and occasionally still freeze requiring a reboot).

When the new 10A PSU arrives I'll power on both cameras and monitor the situation. If I continue to see wifi issues I guess I'll have no option but to run ethernet to the garage - with no guarantees this actually resolves the problems.

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Re: FI8905 DC Power Requirements & Wifi issues

Postby thespirit3 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:25 am

Hi All,

Just an update - a 10A 5V PSU resolved all my rebooting & wifi woes.

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Re: FI8905 DC Power Requirements & Wifi issues

Postby jefsea » Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:59 pm

Is it safe to have a power supply that offer more amps than are required?
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Re: FI8905 DC Power Requirements & Wifi issues

Postby derelicte » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:19 am

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