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Ring Stick Up Cam and Solar Panel
Author: Bill Lepse
Manufacturer: Ring
Source: Ring
Purchase: Newegg
Comment or Question: Post Here
Page: 6 of 7 [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ]
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December 16, 2016

Performance:

Mounting:

The included tools and mount are actually quite nice and well thought out. With the three mounting points on the back of the camera you can easily find the right position to get the angle needed to get your required subject area in view. I also appreciate the built in levels to ensure you maintain the horizon and don't end up with a tilted image. The quick release mount is particularly useful if you don't have the solar panel and need to remove the camera to charge it periodically. One concern I have is with the quick release operation in cold climates. Time will tell but plastic tends to get brittle over time and cold temps exacerbate this. So removal in the winter could end up breaking a tab. Another concern are with the rubber caps; I would much prefer to see a sealed screw on connection especially for the USB side. While the mounts appear to be rigid enough to maintain the positions of the panel and camera in windy conditions I am concerned about the wire. In my application the panel is very close to the camera so the excess wire is bundled with the included Velcro strap. Since the camera doesn't have a strain relief any motion of this bundle could partially disconnect the cable exposing the connection to moisture. Also please make sure you install this with a drip loop so water doesn't just travel down the cable to the connection on the camera. Overall the mount design and function appears to be quite good.

WiFi:

I was hoping to mount this in my pool area which is about 100 feet from the router but the WiFi connection has proven to be a little sketchy. But I can't blame the Stick Up Cam for that, as the recent router testing showed this is a tough spot to cover. But what has me somewhat concerned is what appears to be decreasing WiFi performance. The next location I tried was on my shed facing the pool, initially the signal strength was listed as Okay with an RSSI in the mid 60's. A few days later it dropped to Poor and was in the low 70's, and then it eventually dropped off the network. So I tried moving the device closer. This last location is about 25 feet from the router and one floor up, mounted on the deck looking at my son's playset. Again the signal strength was listed as Okay in the mid 60's, then today just dropped to Poor in the low 70's. The battery is currently reporting 55% capacity so I doubt the device is pulling power to the radios but honestly I have no explanation as to why this device keeps losing the signal when other devices in the area do not. The only other thing I can think of is the weather has been getting progressively colder. Maybe the battery can't deliver enough current when the temps drop below freezing. If that is the case it makes me question the -5F rating.

Video:

This resolution on this camera is 720p, so while you will get a fairly clear image of what is going on around the camera but the subject would have to be very close for you to get a good image of their face making placement a challenge, hence the zip tie suggestion. This is further complicated by the fairly narrow 80 degree FOV. Because of this I see this camera as your first line of defense. Maybe set to monitor your yard for uninvited guests and rely on your Ring Video Doorbell to get the clear facial image when they get close. Other than that the camera does provide a pretty good image with good color as can be seen below. The (6) IR LEDs will work best if you have it located in an area that can get some reflection off nearby objects. If you locate it in such an area the IR performance is pretty good. But if you try to use this in a large open area the performance is not nearly as a good and you need the subject to be within 10 feet to get an image.

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Audio:

Audio on recordings and live view is very good. I didn't notice any background hiss you sometimes get on some devices. The 2-way audio does work but the speaker on the Stick Up Cam is a bit anemic. At times it was a bit distorted, but much of this seems to come from the host device. I found how I spoke and how close I was to the phone made a difference. There was some lag at times, but nothing too extreme. Overall the functionality of the mic and speaker were good.

Motion Sensing:

First let me say the motion sensing works well, which is probably due to the PIR sensor used. This is my preferred method to detect motion because I find it gives the least amount of false alarms. In fact the only false alarms I got were when it was facing directly at the sun rising over the mountain. Again this is another reason to take your time finding the right position and use temporary fasteners. What is extra cool about the use of the PIR sensors is the wide angle they can scan. Since the cameras FOV is 80 degrees but the sensor can see out 180; you can detect intruders before they appear in the cameras FOV. Let's face it, if someone is up to no good they are usually trying to be quick. So being able to turn the camera on before they get into the frame means you are more likely to catch a good image of them. I also like the simplicity of the three level approach to alerts. Most people don't need the granularity of a slide bar from 0 to 100. One area of improvement would be with the motion scheduling. It does allow you to quite easily turn off the alerts during preset days and times but it would be nice if this could also be linked to other Ring + devices. For instance; I would prefer to have the alerts disabled at night only if my presence at the property was confirmed by say a Wink device. But at least you have some option to control this and luckily I didn't see many false alarms. When motion is sensed the push notification is almost instant and reviewing the video clips is easily done through the app.

Battery Life:

While the battery claims 6-12 months of normal use I have a hard time believing that based on what I saw. But with that said, if you purchase the optional solar panel this issue pretty much goes away. My location gets a few hours a day of full sun and this seems to be enough to keep the device sufficiently charged. Though I haven't had an extended period of cloudy days to see how long it takes to recover a full charge. Overall I think this solar panel is a game changer for a truly wireless camera. It really allows you to place a camera where you need it and not have to constantly worry about recharging it. It also allows you to mount it in difficult to access locations which would have been difficult if monthly you had to pull out the ladder to charge it. On a sunny day I saw anywhere from 10-15% added capacity and about 5% on an overcast day with live view off. With live view on I found the battery level remained more or less constant providing there wasn't a ton of activity in the cameras FOV.

Integration:

Another cool feature of the Stick Up Cam is the integration with other Ring products and Ring + partners. For instance you can set a Ring Chime to go off if motion is detected. Or you could have it automatically lock doors if it sees motion. The integration with IFTTT is a powerful tool that allows you to set several recipes like turning on lights when motion is detected. Sure you could have a motion sensing light outside that may deter an intruder but if you could also set it to turn on interior lights; that intruder is far less likely to proceed if they think someone is home.

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