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How to Troubleshoot a Security Camera

The simplicity of network based security cameras offered by CCTV Camera World makes troubleshooting a relatively easy process. Our IP cameras, network cameras, and PoE cameras feature plug and play technology that allows them to intelligently talk to our PoE NVRs. When you purchase a NVR with a built-in PoE switch, and our PoE Cameras, you are purchasing components that are designed to recognize each other as friendly devices. Connecting them together simply requires a working network cable. If for some reason your security camera is not working, it is easy to figure out whether it is the camera, your cable or something else that is the culprit.

This guide will show you how to easily do the proper troubleshooting steps to determine if the camera is still in working order or not. Further investigation may still be needed on your part to determine whether it is your cable by using a proper cable tester.

There are several things to do to determine if IP cameras are working, or need to be replaced.

comparison of good RJ45 connector vs corroded connector
The front and back view of an 8 channel NVR

Issues with PoE security cameras usually boil down to either of the following: improperly crimped cabling or password errors. Very rarely IP cameras may require factory servicing.

What you need to follow this guide

  • IP Camera
    • The camera has to be one from CCTV Camera World
    • The pins on the RJ45 connector have to be without any corrosion
  • PoE NVR
    • The NVR with built-in PoE ports on the back has to be from CCTV Camera World
  • Network Cable that is known to be in good working order, preferably one that you did not crimp
  • Monitor connected to the NVR to display whether the NVR is connecting to the camera or not

Before you start

  1. Make sure that you disconnect all cameras from the NVR that are working. Also delete any cameras that are showing in the Device Registration screen.
  2. Focusing on one camera will help you determine if that camera is powering on.
  3. Check the pins on the RJ45 PoE connector. If they are bent, corroded, or out of place then the camera’s pigtail is damaged and will no longer work.
  4. If the camera was not purchased from us then it may not be compatible with the system purchased from us. Compatibility varies from vendor to vendor and there is no guarantee that cameras from other brands will work on an NVR from another brand. To learn more about compatibility and IP cameras check out our article on ONVIF compatibility.

Understanding ONVIF and its limitations

If you would rather watch this guide in video form we've got an easy to follow video below.

How to Troubleshoot IP Security Cameras






Otherwise please continue reading the section below.

How to determine if a PoE camera is powering-on

In order for an IP PoE security camera to send video data it needs to power on. Most cameras, as long as they are not damaged, should at least power on. Try the methods below to determine if the camera is powering on.

Note, to carry out the steps below we suggest making sure you are using a good network cable that you didn't crimp just to be sure.

  1. The easiest way to determine if the camera is powering on is to disconnect and reconnect the camera. After some time it should appear on the Camera Registration screen.
  2. If after 5-10 minutes the camera does not show up then the camera is likely not powering on. If the camera does power on but shows a red status scroll down to the Advanced Troubleshooting section of this article

  3. Disconnect and reconnect the camera. Listen for a click after 30 seconds to a few minutes. This is the IR cut filter engaging as in daylight. If there is no click then the camera may not be powering on or booting up. Some newer cameras do not have this click so it may not apply to your IP security camera.
  4. Another way is by cupping your hands over the lens of the camera, or turning the lights off in the room. The camera's IR lights should have a red glow. It’s a good indication that the camera is not powering on if the IR lights never turn on.

If the camera appears to not be powering on then the camera may need to be replaced or RMA serviced if within the warranty period. You would want to submit a support ticket here with our tech team for items purchased from CCTV Camera World at this point.

What to do if the camera is powering on

Red Status on the Camera Registration screen - Password Error

A common problem, and solution is the password in the Camera Registration screen. This error will show on the camera grid screen as a "Username/Password error."

incorrect username or password error on an NVR

This issue is usually caused by the user changing the Admin user password. When our camera systems are shipped, the cameras may be tested and configured with a default password that is the same for the NVR. PoE cameras and IP cameras authenticate the user from the NVR that is attempting to login.

If the password for the Admin user is changed on the NVR, the NVR tries to use the new password to access cameras and locks itself out of the cameras because of using an incorrect password.

Manually set the correct password in the camera registration screen by clicking the pencil icon for the camera and keying in the correct password. Updating the password will allow the NVR to login to the camera and fetch the video stream.

Below is a video that shows you how to do that.

How to Troubleshoot IP Cameras Using an NVR - G1 + G2






Matt Rossi is a Technical Support Manager at CCTV Camera World, a leading CCTV Camera distributor located in Buffalo, NY. He is a technical support expert for everything video surveillance related.

 

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