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Digital Wireless Camera Troubleshooting Guide

Follow the steps below to troubleshoot issues with digital wireless security cameras.


1. No Picture/Signal

You may not see a picture from your wireless camera for one of the following reasons:


A. Power/Video Cables not Connected

  • Ensure the camera power and receiver power adapters are plugged in and that the outlets are receiving power. If the camera or receiver is plugged into a surge protector, ensure the surge protector is on.
  • Ensure receiver video cables are properly connected to the DVR or TV.


B. Incorrect Channel Selected on DVR or TV

  • Change the channel or input selected on your DVR or TV. See the instruction manual for your DVR or TV for details.


C. Signal out of Range or Obstructed

  • Move the camera and receiver within 10 feet of each other to determine that signal strength is causing the issue. If you can view the camera, then you will need to relocate the camera/receiver or remove any obstructions that may be impacting signal strength. Check the following:
    • How far apart are the camera and receiver? A typical wireless camera has a range between 250 to 500 feet in an open field (with line of sight). In a closed environment—such as an interior of a house—the wireless camera range is between 100 to 165 feet or less depending if there are walls or obstructions between the camera and receiver. Move the camera and receiver closer together.
    • Are there brick, concrete, or metal walls between the camera and receiver? These materials significantly affect signal strength. Avoid installing the camera and receiver where the signal will need to travel through these materials. If possible, place the receiver where it can get line of sight to the camera through a window (you may need extension BNC or RCA video cables to move it further away from your DVR or TV). If is it not possible to avoid these obstructions, you may need to consider purchasing wired cameras instead.
    • Are there obstructions between the camera and receiver? You should maintain line-of-sight between the camera and the receiver if possible or limit the amount of obstructions (e.g. walls or tree branches) between the camera and the receiver.
      Line of sight between camera and receiver
    • Are any other wireless devices located near the receiver and/or camera? Wireless devices such as cordless phones or wireless routers may reduce the signal strength of your camera, especially if they are located within a few feet of the camera or receiver. Place as much space as possible between the camera/receiver and any other wireless devices.
    • Do you have more than 4 wireless cameras installed? It is not recommended to install more than 4 wireless cameras in a given installation to avoid signal strength issues.
    • For more information on wireless signal strength, see Digital Wireless Cameras: Frequently Asked Questions.


D. Camera and Receiver not Paired to each Other

  • The wireless cameras and receivers are pre-paired. Try to re-pair the camera and receiver (see the instruction manual for details). If you have purchased additional accessory cameras, they will need to be paired to the receiver.


E. Incorrect Camera Selected on Receiver

  • Some wireless receivers support multiple cameras. For example, the receiver for LW2201 supports up to 4 cameras. To change between camera channels/views using LW2201, press the PAIR button on the receiver. For other models, check the instruction manual for details.


2. Low Signal

  • Camera signal may drop if there are obstructions or if the signal is approaching the limits of its range.
    • Try the steps above under Signal out of range or obstructed to see if you can improve the signal.
    • If the signal in your installation was previously acceptable, this could be caused by leaves growing out in the spring. Leaves have a high water content that affects wireless signals. If necessary, trim the trees in your yard to clear the line-of-sight between the camera and receiver.
    • You can also purchase accessory range extender antennas to increase the range of your wireless signal. See the Wireless Range Extender Antennas Compatibility Chart to determine which antennas are compatible with your model.


3. Low Frame Rate / Image is Choppy

  • Frame rate drops when signal strength is low. This may cause the image to appear choppy. Try the steps above under Signal out of range or obstructed to see if you can improve the signal.
  • On some cameras, the frame rate is lower when VGA resolution is selected. You can change the resolution of the camera to QVGA, but this will significantly decrease the quality of the image. Press the Resolution button to change the resolution of the camera to QVGA (or see the instruction manual for details). Alternatively, you can use a high-performance wireless camera, such as the LW2220 or LW2281, which provides VGA resolution at a higher frame rate.

NOTE: Supported resolutions vary between cameras.


4. Bright Spot in Video when Viewing Camera at Night

  • This occurs when a camera is pointed at a window to see outside, because the night vision LED's produce Infrared light that reflects off the glass. If you need to look outside, install the camera outdoors.

NOTE: Always check the weatherproof rating of your camera before installing outdoors. It is recommended to install cameras under outdoor shelter, such as eaves.

camera pointed through a window during the day Night vision reflected off window
Camera pointed out of a window (daytime) Camera pointed out of a window (nighttime)


5. Night Vision is not Working

  • The night vision activates when light levels drop below a certain preset point. The area may have too much light.


6. Video is Permanently Black and White (Even During Day Time)

  • The camera may not be getting enough light. Change the camera position or move the camera to a different location.


7. Issues with Camera Picture (Not Clear, Too Bright, etc.)


Related Articles


Wireless Security Cameras

Last Updated: 9/28/2012

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