Woke up to a dead Nest Cam

I live in a mixed use neighborhood essentially. 500 feet from my house is commercial on an intersecting road. After an event at 2am where a used car lot employees got into a firefight with some idiots trying to steal a used car outside firing 24 or so shots 511 feet from my child’s bedroom window, I did a few things.

The first was to move her bed where it wasn’t going to be in the direct line of fire of those idiots. Yeah, parenting fail as I don’t expect a used car lot to have armed response 8 hours after they close. The second was to get a camera that could actually watch that lot as why was there anyone there at 2am?

As I’m pretty far into the Nest ecosystem, and I really didn’t want to have to do much, I got a second generation Nest Cam indoor/outdoor battery. I planned to never use the battery option as I’m using Nest Aware streaming to monitor my yard and the comings and goings at that establishment. I plugged it in, mounted it, and bam… worked like a charm.

It functioned exactly as I wanted it to, minus that it didn’t work with the Nest App (yeah, that’s a whole ‘nother article about how their push to the Google Home app without supporting the features of the Nest App is stupid,) and continued streaming high quality video for 40 days. Until today.

I woke up with several notifications that the battery had died and it turned off. That was odd because it was plugged in. Not only was it plugged in, if it had been unplugged it should have switched to event-only and shot me a notification. I checked the video and it went to about 11:40 last night…

I went outside and inspected the camera thinking maybe it had rained so hard that the connectors got wet. Nope. Dry and perfectly sealed. Took the camera down and in and tested on a couple of chargers. Same issue. Popped a charger on a Killawatt to see if any electrical activity was going on… nope.

Got on with Google support. Had one of my first reasonable encounters with them, although fairly slow. I suspect the person was dealing with multiple events at once but she got me to finding the reset button and pressing it. Yeah, that was that. Camera had locked up somehow and was refusing to function in any capacity. You have no idea how much this instills confidence in me after the fiasco that was one of my Nest Cam IQs.

After finding the reset button and pushing it with a ball point pen, the unit cycled, LEDs came on, and it claimed it had 27% battery and was charging but had no video. Camera was off.

Here’s where Nest support didn’t seem to get what was happening.

There’s an option in the Google Home Nest Cam settings that has to do with what base it’s plugged into. On my Google Home app all I got was that the camera was off and it was suggested I remove the camera, factory reset, etc. The Google Home web preview actually had a useful bit of information that the camera was not in the right base or had become disconnected from the base.

What the solution was I figured out was to go and edit the base to a non-Nest base. My Nest base was outside screwed into the house.

When I left the house the camera said it has 27% battery and was slow charging. It’s plugged into all the equipment it came with. It said 14 hours to fully charged. When I got to work it was 11 or so hours to fully charged. At an hour into work it says it is infinitely charged so I’m not sure what’s up with that. Either faulty battery level indicators, software bug, or the thing charges in an hour which I’d expect it would be capable of.

This Nest Camera lockup at least thankfully is significantly less frequent (so far,) than the Nest Wifi.

Hopefully it’s just a one time glitch… I’ve actually liked this camera so far.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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