If you live in an area with sub-zero temperatures, you may be concerned about how to ensure seamless security monitoring this winter. VOSKER’s cameras, solar panels, and accessories are designed to withstand high winds and temperatures as low as -20°C (-4°F). To ensure continuous connectivity when the skies are grey, you’ll need to be a bit more proactive than in the spring and summer. Let’s dive into how to set up and accessorize cold weather security cameras to ensure 24/7 surveillance.
#1 Charge Everything In Advance!
Keeping your outdoor feeds continuously connected begins with the simple act of ensuring everything is charged. Investing in 2 power sources, a primary and a backup, all but eliminates the likelihood of mid-winter manual charging. The less time spent outside on a ladder in the wind, rain, sleet, and snow the better!
This might include any combination of a:
- Built-in solar panel
- External solar panel
- Standard lithium battery (for V200)
- Internal rechargeable lithium battery (V150, V300 series)
VOSKER Camera & Built-In Solar Panel
Most VOSKER security cameras come with built-in solar panels. This panel will provide up to 4 months of power. However, in the case of video/streaming cameras like the V300, it is highly recommended to use it in conjunction with the Vosker Solar Power Bank, as is the case with the V300 Ultimate.
All VOSKER cameras come standard with a rechargeable lithium battery. The battery also needs a full charge before initial installation, or at the onset of winter.
Follow the tips below to charge your new camera or to recharge before the winter season:
- Remove the battery: Any time you need to charge your included V-Lit battery, you must remove it from the camera.
- Fully charge your lithium battery: It will take between 12 to 24 hours to charge a new battery.
- Use the accompanying cable: While the cable itself can be used in combination with standard phone chargers, it’s essential to use the accompanying cable (USB-A to USB-C cable) to charge your camera’s battery.
External Solar Panels
It may be cold and grey, but even low sunlight can keep your External Solar Power Bank charged. The key is ensuring a full charge of both the solar panel and the V-Lit battery prior to installation—or at the beginning of the winter season. With a full charge, your weatherproof security cameras will stay connected for up to 6 months.
Keep your external panel charged with the tips below:
- Use the accompanying cable: It is important while charging your External solar panel that you use the cable that is provided in the box.
- Disconnect your solar panel: Whether charging for the first time or at any time thereafter, ensure your panel is disconnected from your camera. If the panel isn’t disconnected before charging it may not properly charge, it may take longer to charge or it may cause problems with the device.
- Dedicate enough time to charge: It will take 4 to 6 hours to fully charge the solar panel. Once charged and mounted, the solar panel will store its excess power in the camera’s battery.
#2 Read Your Cold Weather Security Camera’s Installation Instructions
VOSKER products are easy and intuitive to install. Most people can install it themselves in a few minutes. Although installation is simple, there are some adjustments you should make when preparing your cameras for winter.
Installation best practices include:
- Orientation: It is recommended to mount your camera facing south for maximum exposure to low winter sunlight. You want to avoid mounting your camera facing the north, if possible. So, grab your compass or use a compass app on your smartphone to determine which way is north. North-facing orientation also has a higher likelihood of glare as the sun sets and rises. If your camera is currently north-facing, you could find an alternative position to maximize your power supply during winter. If north-facing is the only option, ensure you have a secondary power source and position your External Solar Power Bank so that it is facing south.
- Incline and tilt: Once you select the ideal mounting location, it’s time to consider the incline and tilt. Cold weather security cameras and external solar banks should be mounted at least 2 stories high, which is around 9 feet. When mounted lower to the ground, viewing range is minimized and the camera is more vulnerable to theft, vandalism, and contact with day-to-day projectiles. When possible, mount your surveillance
equipment a few inches underneath roof eaves, the gutter, a sturdy tree branch, or any surface that will keep snow buildup to a minimum. Or mount your camera within a Heavy-Duty Steel Box. In addition, tilt the power bank so that it receives maximum sunlight and is angled to allow rain and snow to run off.
- Windproof: VOSKER’s solar panels are weatherproof, shockproof, and dustproof. That said, they shouldn’t be mounted in areas of high wind. There’s no way to avoid the winter weather, but you can prioritize locations that have less contact with unobstructed wind. The external power bank still provides power in high winds, but protection from the cold winter winds will ensure maximum efficiency.
- Secure and strategic mounting: Ensure both your security cameras and accessories are properly attached to their mounting arm. Periodically check the solidity of the arm and the mounting surface, as wind, weather, snow, and ice can hinder stability. When possible, minimize the number of cameras you mount in low signal areas or if low signal areas are your only option, invest in a Long-Range Cellular Antenna to improve remote connectivity.
#3 Winter Season Security Camera Maintenance
Once strategically and securely installed, your VOSKER surveillance cameras and solar panels might require some maintenance to maximize their security coverage. During winter, you might need to be more proactive depending on the weather in your area. If fully charged at the beginning of the season, it’s unlikely you’ll need to charge again until spring or summer.
Keep your surveillance equipment maintained by:
- Monitoring snow buildup—Even after selecting a location that provides a bit of protection from wind and snow, you’ll need to take a quick look at your cameras during and after high winds and excessive snowfall. Gently wipe any snow buildup off with a broom. If needed, use a broom with a long-reach or extendable handle. Use the opposite end of the broom handle to gently tap the mounting arm to ensure it’s secure after high winds.
- Monitoring the charge: You may log in to your VOSKER app at any time to ensure your cameras are adequately charged by checking the battery level indicator. If you’re using an External Solar Power Bank, ensure the power supply is activated in the camera status interface. This will be indicated when the “External Power Source is “On”. For battery charge levels, it’s recommended that you charge your battery when it reaches 25%. In the case of the Solar Power Bank (external power source), the app will send an automated reminder when the charge is low recommending that you recharge.
Keeping your cold weather security cameras functioning at peak performance and connectivity during the winter months presents some unique challenges. VOSKER’s External Solar Power Bank is designed to work with all VOSKER’s camera models and to get you through the entire winter without the need to manually charge. In fact, you may be able to go a full year before manually charging your VOSKER devices!
You can also purchase an Extra Lithium Battery for each camera, enabling a quick battery swap if the power becomes low at any point during the winter. If your security cameras are installed in a remote area with low or unstable signal, the available External Antenna will help you optimize connectivity and autonomy.
Browse all VOSKER products and accessories to create your perfect winter-season surveillance plan!