Welcome to Spot!
Here are the most frequently asked questions during our Technical Onboarding sessions. Please read through these items so that we can make the most use of our time together.
Why is my appliance showing as offline in the Dashboard?
This typically means one of three things:
- The appliance is currently powered off or is in a bad state. To correct this, reboot the appliance.
- While booting up, make sure the hard drive activity light next to the power button is lighting up.
- Bad/disconnected network cable from the switch to the appliance (replace the cable and also use a different port on the switch to rule out a bad port). You can also try connecting a different device using that port & cable to see if it is able to connect.
- There is a network-related issue tied to either upstream the firewall, or wherever the appliance is plugged into doesn't have access to the internet:
You can check whether you have access by using the Dashboard:
Configure -> Locations -> Edit your location -> Appliances -> Troubleshoot -> Connect to Remote Appliance
Here we see that the appliance has network access:
Firewall requirements are here:
Spot to confirm whether these firewall settings are correct.
If you have checked the above, then please contact Support for further assistance.
Support to try to ssh into the appliance, check mqtt credentials, etc.
Why am I seeing playback issues / cameras going offline?
The resolution of the camera may be set too high. Here are the Spot recommended camera specs for most cameras:
- Up to resolution 2880x1620 (1620p), although our recommendation is 1080p for optimal performance
- 15 frames per second
- h.264 or h.265 video encoding (we don’t support h.264+ or h.265+)
- Audio on with a mic input volume of over 50% (higher audio input level can help with better audio)
- G711U audio codec
- 2048 bitrate
- Variable Bit Rate (VBR)
- iframe (if available on the cameras) 15 (this should match whatever the FPS is)
- Network speeds may be too low.
- Rule of thumb recommended ISP speeds are:
Download 50 Mb/s
Upload 10 Mb/s
- We recommend using Gigabit ethernet connections for your internal network.
- Rule of thumb recommended ISP speeds are:
If the problems persist, provide the Basic Camera Details, mentioned earlier, to Support.
Also check for speed tests (packet loss, etc.)
What basic steps should I take for camera issues?
Examples of camera issues: moving/migrating cameras to a Spot appliance, camera detection in the Dashboard, and setup issues.
If the cameras aren't behaving properly (showing as disconnected, etc.), then reboot the cameras by unplugging them from the PoE switch or simply rebooting the switch. Make sure that the cameras are off for 20 seconds before restoring power to them.
If that doesn’t work, then reboot the appliance by pushing the power button on the front of the appliance. Wait about 20 seconds & power it on again.
If neither of those steps resolved it, provide these Basic Camera Details to Support:
- The problem statement or objective.
- The make & model number of your non-Spot equipment (include cameras and networking equipment like your switch).
- The name of the location.
- The expected number of cameras.
- The IP address of one of the cameras.
- Are the cameras connected to a DHCP server (e.g. on the same subnet as the router)?
- The login credentials for the cameras. If you don’t know the login credentials, check whether they are stored on the existing NVR.
- If the login credentials still aren’t known, we might be able to guess them once we know the make & model number of the cameras.
- We may need to reset the camera to factory default.
- If none of that is successful, we can provide Spot cameras. Note that the goal isn’t to delay giving them Spot cameras; we want customers to use Spot cameras. The goal is to avoid the customer facing the effort to replace their existing cameras.
- The DHCP range from your router.
- Provide a diagram of your network to show how the appliance, cameras, switch, and router are connected to each other.
Example 1 (flat network):
Example 2 (segmented/hierarchical network):
- Support to check if adjustments to the camera specs are needed to align with our system requirements.
- Are the cameras on the same subnet as the appliance? (e.g. get pcap to get the camera mac address).
- Check firmware.
Top 15 Knowledge Articles:
Getting Started with Spot AI
On-site Guide: Installing Spot AI NVR
Bullet and Turret Camera Installation Guide
Video Flow Overview
Installing Spot Appliances and Cameras
Adding a New Camera to the Appliance
Adding an Existing NVR to the Appliance
Upstream Firewall Configuration Information
Configuring a Static IP Address on the Appliance
Configure NTP on Spot AI Cameras
NTP Server on the Appliance
Changing Camera Resolutions, Rotation, and Audio and Video Settings
Accessing the Spot Appliance Local Troubleshooting Page
How to create alerts
What is the best way to contact Support?
Support can be contacted via:
- The Dashboard: There is a Support button in the bottom right corner of the screen.
- By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- The website: https://spotai.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new
There is no phone number specifically associated with the Support team. If a Support ticket has been created with the details of the problem, you can call your assigned CSM to reach Support by phone.
Support’s hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9 am to 9 pm Eastern Time.
Spot AI will respond to support requests within two (2) business days; resolution times will vary depending on the type and severity of the issue.
The Knowledge Base is available at https://spotai.zendesk.com/hc/en-us
If you're scheduling someone onsite, please provide the details to your assigned Customer Success Manager. This will help to ensure that we'll have someone available to assist.
Can your support team access my Dashboard to help me?
Yes, go to the Dashboard, click on Configure -> Settings. Ensure that “Spot Technical Support” is enabled. Spot recommends leaving this enabled to ensure the fastest service.
Can your support team access my equipment to help me?
Yes, our Support team can resolve most issues remotely. If you don't want Support accessing your equipment, please notify your Customer Success Manager.
Who calibrates the cameras?
Tuning cameras for optimal visibility is the responsibility of the end user. Spot can provide limited guidance on this subject.
Will Spot AI work with my existing NVR?
It depends on the NVR and the usage. Spot AI will provide best-effort support to use an existing NVR. If you want to minimize potential problems and get operational ASAP, the best practice would be to use a PoE switch as a replacement for any existing NVR and use IP cameras.
If the cameras are directly connected to an existing NVR, and not the network, then see here:
If the cameras are on the network, but also connected to an existing NVR, then see here:
Will Spot AI work with my LTE modem?
Spot can work with LTE cellular modems, but we do not recommend this. Users will experience poor performance due to limitations with the LTE technology, and data caps may be an issue.
Does Spot AI provide hardware recommendations?
We don’t have any official recommendations for specific network-related gear, but we can provide some degree of guidance:
- Network switch with these specs:
- Name brand (e.g. Netgear, TP-link, Linksys, Cisco, HPE, Ubiquiti, etc..)
- If in doubt about "name brand", check what BestBuy is selling.
- 802.3at compliant, also known as PoE+
- We recommend unmanaged switches for easy setup, but managed switches can be used for more granular control over the network
- Gigabit uplink
- At least two more ports than the number of cameras that will be connected (e.g. if you have 14 cameras, the switch should have 16 ports)
- This allows for a Spot appliance and another network connection to be added
- At least 12W per port that will support IP cameras
- 10 cameras on one switch would come out to 120 watts of power needed on that switch.
- Name brand (e.g. Netgear, TP-link, Linksys, Cisco, HPE, Ubiquiti, etc..)
- Here are some solid camera choices:
Or, use the free cameras that Spot provides.
Regardless of which is chosen, install the equipment in a clean, open area with a clutter-free space of at least a three feet radius to keep your equipment cool.
- Uninterruptible power supply:
Or at the very least, please use a name brand (e.g. Eaton, TrippLite, APC, CyberPower) surge protector rated at 4,000+ Joules: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079BPZ6PY/ref=twister_B084WCLQ8Y?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
- Ethernet cables:
- From time to time, the appliance and switch will need to be rebooted. If these are in a remote location, then we also recommend getting a remote power switch:
- Cable ties:
There are two NIC interfaces on the Spot appliance. Which one should I use?
It does not matter. You can use either NIC to connect to any network. There are two in case the camera network is physically isolated from the rest of the network, one appliance NIC can be used to talk to the internet, and the other appliance NIC can be used to talk to the cameras.
I’d like to configure my cameras on my own. Where can I find information about my cameras, like the default username/password & RTSP path?
First of all, high five for giving it a go!
This URL will be useful for this: https://www.ispyconnect.com/cameras
Information in this knowledge article may also be useful: https://spotai.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360059639892-Using-the-VLC-media-player-to-verify-RTSP-streams
If you’re using Spot cameras, the username/password is: admin/spot2330. If that doesn’t work, then try admin/admin.
Will Spot come out and deploy, perform cabling, and configure my network for me?
Spot has installers which can perform this function.
Is the footage data stored in the US?
The footage stays on the appliance and gets streamed to the cloud when viewing the live views. 100% of the data is stored in the US and all servers are in the US.
What is the expected wall latency?
Latency on a video wall of 5-7 sec is expected. If you're seeing lag greater than this, check your camera specs
How many cameras can be connected to the appliance?
If your appliance has a serial number starting with sn4, then it can support up to 16 cameras.
If your appliance has a serial number starting with snae, then it can support up to 32 cameras.
The serial number is printed on a white sticker on the appliance.
How are cameras detected by Spot?
This is accomplished by ARP discovery.
Can I preconfigure a static IP address on the Spot appliance interface before bringing the device online?
No, you will need to bring the Spot appliance online first, using DHCP. Once the appliance is online, you can configure a static IP address through the dashboard:
Check the following:
- That the appliance is connected to the switch, which is ultimately connected to the router.
- Try giving the appliance a static IP address.
- Upgrade the firmware.
- Restart the network-manager service with ‘sudo service network-manager restart’.
- Check the certificate in IOT core. If it has no expiration date set, set an expiration date and then reboot the appliance.
Send the customer an HDMI to DISPLAY Port cable.
- Get the IP Address pool from the router, set static a IP on camera network interface in case DHCP fails on that side.
- Set cameras to NTP.
- Load balance cameras if there are multiple appliances.
- Check for packet loss to the DNS (e.g. 184.108.40.206), to the camera IPs, & to the gateway.
- Check the port speed (the appliance should be using the 1000Mbps port to the cameras, but it can have 100Mbps to the Internet).
- Confirm that the cameras adhere to the “camera specs for most cameras” mentioned earlier.
It is also useful to know the symptoms associated with a bad customer network (e.g. frequent need to reboot the router, recommended internet speed, gigabit internal network, Spot AI network bandwidth requirement calculator, etc.).
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.