This document is most helpful for IT staff and on-site installation personnel.
A typical class of problems is encountered when connecting and operating video camera systems. Below we have outlined a few of them and how to troubleshoot the issue.
Problems and Troubleshooting Solutions
How are you connected to the camera?
- The camera may be on a different IP address range compared to what their actual computer may have for an IP address.
- Connection is essential because if they are directly connected to the camera, we will want to know if they have their firewall enabled and if their wireless adapter is enabled on their computer. This is an issue because if the wireless adapter is enabled in Windows Vista or higher, it places priority on the wireless adapter. Therefore a wired connection could be overlooked.
- The camera could be connected to a managed switch with VLANs, and thus, you would want to know if their computer is connected to the same VLAN.
- The camera could be mounted on a pole and not terminated correctly.
- The camera could be at a remote site and not local to the user. ACM cannot find cameras on the internet.
Can you ping the IP address of the camera? What IP address are you pinging to? What is the IP address of your computer?
- Knowing the IP address of the customer’s computer is vital in determining if they are on the same logical network/subnet as the camera(s).
- Receiving a reply from the IP address means we have a connection to the camera. The next step should be accessing this IP address within a web browser (preferably Firefox).
- Receive Request Timed Out; you cannot communicate to the camera’s IP address, and more troubleshooting is needed.
- Receive Destination Host Unreachable. Microsoft Windows does not know where to route the ping or traffic to the camera(s) IP address. Thus a check of the IP settings on Windows and a reboot is necessary to resolve the issue. If it does not, the customer will need to speak to their IT networking staff to resolve the issue with their computer.
How is the camera powered?
- Make sure the camera can accept PoE or DC. Make sure only one power source is being used and not both. Using both can cause issues with connectivity and power failures.
- The camera may not be powered, or it might be receiving too little power. Make sure to use the correct PoE type or power source recommended by the manufacturers. Please see the PoE types chart below.
- If a switch provides power, ensure the peak wattage has not been exceeded.
- For some IUP camera manufacturers. Cisco PoE switches with CDP enabled may cause camera discovery to fail. CDP will need to be disabled. In some cases, as a solution, LLDP will need to be enabled on some Cisco switches.
Were you able to connect to the camera beforehand?
- If you could connect to a camera before an incident, determine if any changes had occurred to a network or local computer settings.
- New updates to Windows, Firewalls, or Anti-virus programs may interfere with the communication to IP cameras (such as no live video or camera discovery).
- Local versus Remote. Differences between the two are vastly different, as remote access relies on Port Forwarding, Internet Access, and Bandwidth. To verify ports are open, we suggest using websites such as ping.eu for external port check testing.
Is this a new installation or an existing installation?
- New versus existing installation will determine if the camera is either factory default or has an existing IP address and a custom password.
- A camera factory default will be necessary if a camera password is unknown. (Please check with the camera manufacturer for details).
- New installations require questions on the distance from the switch. Ethernet cables cannot exceed 100 meters or 326 feet; otherwise, PoE and data transfer will be heavily affected.
- New installations also require asking if a DHCP server exists on the network. If DHCP is available, each camera will automatically acquire an IP address. Otherwise, a manual IP configuration will be needed.
- For all existing installations where cameras can not be discovered or are no longer connecting, please ask yourself the following questions and have all the answers ready when creating a support ticket.
- Was there a power surge?
- Was there a lightning strike?
- Was there a rainstorm?
- Is the camera indoors or outdoors?
(Note: Lightning surge damage is a prevalent issue that most outdoor cameras face when poorly performed installations. Please follow all outdoor camera manufacturer's recommendations and use surge protectors as indicated.
Is your anti-virus/firewall software disabled?
- Anti-virus and firewalls have been known to cause issues with finding the cameras or blocking users.
- Specific versions of Kaspersky/NOD32/ McAfee software have been known to interfere with software products and network discovery; therefore, exceptions should be made so that SpotAi Dashboard can find all cameras.
We hope this article was useful to you, please leave us a comment or feedback as it will help us improve our customer support center.