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Ring Video Doorbell Cold Weather Charging Problem and Solution

Posted on January 23rd, by Shaun Merrigan in Ring Doorbell, Tech. Comments Off on Ring Video Doorbell Cold Weather Charging Problem and Solution

Ring Video Doorbell Cold Weather Charging Problem and Solution

I installed a Ring Video Doorbell (RVD) last spring (2015) and overall, I am quite happy with the utility and performance of the unit. Like any new IoT (Internet of Things) device there will be issues, growing pains and problems to be solved.  This post concerns the cold weather performance of the Ring Video Doorbell.

There are several relevant background points:

  • The Ring Video Doorbell is installed hardwired
  • The Ring Video Doorbell charges from the wiring above about -19C (-2F)
  • The Ring Video Doorbell is installed in a single family residence with the camera facing the street
  • The Ring Video Doorbell wireless signal has to penetrate wire mesh stucco and several walls to get to my router

Initially, I had my RVD motion settings to maximum sensitivity (30 ft radius) and “Standard” Alert frequency.  This meant I was getting upwards of 50 motion alerts per day. Recall that each motion alert requires that the RVD send 40 seconds of captured video to the router via the wireless connection and this uses power from the battery.  This worked fine while the ambient temperature allowed the battery to recharge properly.  However, once the temperature dropped below about -15C  (5F), the charging rate slowed down due to reduced chemical activity in the battery.  Thus the battery charged level kept dropping until the RVD simply stopped working.

My solution to this was to decrease the motion detection sensitivity to about 12ft radius and set the alert level to “Light”.  This reduced the demands on the battery as well as reducing the  number of needless alerts (for example vehicles passing in the street) .  Normal doorbell button presses (Calls) and people walking up to the front door are still detected properly while the number of needless alerts is reduced. Since the battery drain is reduced, it can recharge (even at a lower charging rate)  and thus maintain it overall voltage level.  The worst case scenario is where the outdoor temperature drops befow -21C (-5F) for several days.  At those temperatures, the chemical activity in the battery would slow down so much that no amount of recharging would be effective.  This has not happened yet,  but I will monitor the situation and update this post as events demand.


RVD Alert settings RVD Motion settings

So, for anyone who is having a cold weather charging problem with their Ring Video Doorbell, try adjusting the motion sensitivity and alert frequency.  This will reduce the battery drain and allow the RVD to recharge.


Shaun M

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