Solar panel technology for Flex

Serious question about the Flex.

Cant help but notice the device has a plethora of fancy sleeves,cases, and even a LTE radio device coming it’s way from Verizon, but does anyone at Canary ever considered developing a solar panel for it so it does not need to be moved every 3-4 months for a charge?

A certain serious competitor of yours ( rhymes with ‘sing’ ) has this technology for their camera in the form of a branded $50 USB Solar panel, and It’s been a crucial purchase decision of mines to purchase their camera over the Flex.

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@ryclar This is a really interesting idea! While I don’t have any plans to share, thanks for sharing the feedback.

Ring has it for their stick up cams so it would definitely be nice to have, especially with a 10ft cord. I have to get my ladder out everytime I need to charge my Flex and the battery life isn’t great for me with zero notifications or recordings. Would definitely love this feature, under $40 and i’m on it.

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Did you find an alternative solution to power your Flex device or do you still climb up to take them down? Also, what have been your connectivity experiences so far? Did you have to install a wireless repeater to help with any connectivity issues?

Well since a recent update my battery life has improved alot. I have not found an alternative power source and yes I still have to climb the ladder to get it down. It would be nice to be able to mount it upside down and rotate the view as mine is mounted under the deck and that hinders the night vision. Still waiting on Canary for both of those improvements.

This is a great idea. Does anyone have any recommendations for a solar based power source for the canary flex?

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I got an email for a survey a couple weeks ago and a solar option was mentioned.

I’m looking for a panel and there’s this one from Home Depot: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Renogy-The-Portable-Solar-Panel-with-USB-Port-RNG-CMP-EFL5/301691163. It has overcharge protection. Since it’s Home Depot, it’s returnable within 90 days. I would avoid chargers that are designed to recharge phones, unless they have overcharge protection.

Have you tried it out on your flex? Does it work very well?

I am conducting a test as I write this with an 8 watt solar panel with a USB port providing 5 volts
DC.

The camera is functioning nominally. I will let you know if the cell prolongs the battery life or actually
charges it.

It’s a cheap cell from Amazon. I will provide test results when I have them. I’m always creating tech or some form of geekery.

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The Flex needs a small solar panel that can be mounted and plugged into the Flex. Canary competitors like the ring have this technology and the Flex having it would make it a much more competitive option.

Right now my Flex works fine in the summer and spring when it’s warm but in the fall and especially the winter when it’s cold (it doesn’t even need to be that cold, think in the 40s or 30s) the Flex’s battery is awful. My Flex won’t even last 48 hours without needing another charge. This is crazy and requires a lot work to keep it charged all the time when battery only last this long.

I think a solar panel charger would be a simple and very effective way to combat this. I know the Flex FAQ mentions that the battery can’t charge below 32F but with a solar panel charger it should be able to start charging again, and turn back on automatically if the power dies, as soon as it became warm enough and the panel was in the sunlight. Ideally using a solar panel charger would also allow the Flex to use it’s “computer vision” to detect monition instead of the PIR sensor like when it’s plugged in, at least while the panel is in the sunlight.

I know there is already another post asking for this technology, but it is from 2016 and I haven’t been able to find any more information on this idea since that post. @Pete commented on the post saying

This is a really interesting idea! While I don’t have any plans to share, thanks for sharing the feedback.

so hopefully Canary has been secretly working on this the entire time!

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Hey @TSV,

I have merged your post with an existing topic similar to your post to keep things organized.

I guess this is a naive question but I thought I could plug a generic solar panel with internal battery via USB, why is this not supposed to work? Thanks.

If it supplied enough power it hypothetically could, but I am not aware of anyone doing such an experiment.

I did this with 2 of my Canary Flex devices. It was working well initially; however, I did have a few problems that forced me to just remove the solar panels:

  • I noticed that when the solar panel was no longer charging the Flex, the battery drain was faster than usual.
  • The connection between the device and the cable corroded after several days of rain, wind, and sun. I ended up having to purchase a new cable.

I was thinking of using a solar power with a battery to see if that was any different but using it on battery alone seems to be working well for me.