Arlo camera smart hub VMB5000 and solar panel review

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Arlo camera smart hub VMB5000 and solar panel review

Post by embleton » Sun Mar 14, 2021 8:25 pm

The Arlo 1080P HD camera essential is a wall mounting indoor & outdoor security camera and operates on the 2.4Ghz wireless band directly or with a VMB5000 smart hub, which needs the supplied ethernet wire to the router. The camera is best powered by a solar panel VMA3600 in our case that Arlo has for the purpose of charging the battery. The camera connects to the VMB5000 smart hub that uses the 2.4Ghz & 5Ghz wireless band with ArloRF wireless system that saves power and is quicker off the mark in providing notification to a smartphone or smart device, eg: Google Hub, etc... in about 1-2 seconds from movement in the activity zone that is adjustable inside the Arlo app for viewable coverage.

The camera comes with a small plastic wall bracket that gives some adjustment in angle (20 or so degrees) and height (90 degrees). It comes with screws and wall plugs for mounting and is tightly fitting and sturdy. The solar panel comes with a long wall bracket which is metal and has slightly more angle adjustment. The solar panel should be mounted on a south-facing wall when possible, but that wasn't the direction we pointed our solar panel. We faced the panel pointing southwest for afternoon sun and this at this time of the year gives us about 6 hours of charge time during the day and is charging the camera battery about 5% per day in pretty poor weather during the last 4 days, overcast with approximately an hour of direct sun. I'd say that without the solar panel the battery on the camera would last about a month with this amount of activity on the highest resolution recording for best video production.

The VMB5000 smart hub has a slot for a microSD card and we installed a 128GB microSD card for local storage, and also have the Arlo cloud facility with smart notifications, eg: people, vehicle, animal's and other motion which kicks in and notifies by the Apple push notification and records those events to the cloud and local storage for later viewing. With our system, we are getting approximately one hundred to one hundred twenty recordings a day and this uses about 4% of the battery capacity a day average. The video can be viewed locally with an iPad from the smart hub and saved from the cloud to computer storage. Fortunately, our VMA3600 solar panel is sufficiently charging the camera.

The system with the smart hub integrates nicely with the Apple ecosystem but does not support homekit secure video but is viewable on Apple TV, macOS, iPhone and iPad via their homekit video viewing integration system with live feed locally.

System requirements:

Arlo camera 1080P HD essential.
Arlo VMB5000 smart hub mains power.
Arlo VMA3600 solar panel.

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