WYZE cam for security - FAIL

Recently, a package was left at my door. Between the 5 minute alert cool down and the recorded 1 minute segments in Record on Event I was unable to determine when it was left and who left it.

Continuous Recording may have been helpful providing the SD card wasn’t ‘eaten’ or the video recorded over. Had it been something serious, poring over hours of video could be helpful, but in this case the effort is not worth it.

I may have to rethink my security strategy and add extra cameras to help capture and isolate events. An additional camera at the door with a small detection zone might be the solution assuming a fly doesn’t trigger the alert and the activity isn’t within the 5 minute window.

Just some food for thought for anyone else using indoor cameras for outside security.

Maybe 2 cameras side by side with different detection zones and sensitivities is a solution.

Anyone one make a small cable to daisy chain two cameras side by side?

I think I’m missing something here.

You should be able to move the SD card playback in large chunks of time using the app. Doing that, you should be able to see the package appear/disappear.

Then you should be able to expand the timeline and do finer adjustments of time until you see the package appear/disappear.

At that point you should be able to move in small increments until you see the delivery.

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The part you are missing, and maybe a shortcoming on my part, is the cameras are positioned to show the walkway up to the door but the location right in front of the door is not shown. The cameras are inside the house so it’s difficult to get that angle.

I understand your methodology and have used it to figure out some other events. :+1:

Thanks for your feedback.

Have you had a Wyze 32GB card “eaten”?
The video shouldn’t be recorded over for a day or so with a 32GB card.

I have one more possibility – You should have the times of each alert under the Events tab. Just dial up the times using playback in the app, and see what happened during each of those cooldowns.

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No I haven’t had a card ‘eaten’ yet. I try to be proactive and format the cards before they reach capacity to avoid a potential issue. That method works ok using Record on Event as it takes quite a while for the cards to fill up but might be an everyday task using Continuous Recording. Then the risk becomes losing the video for an event that may be important a few days earlier before realizing it.

Thanks Newshound, another good solution but I didn’t find the package for a couple of days so the amount of alert times to reference to Playback are quite large, Besides, most playback recordings are only 1 minute segments.

I could pull the card and view the recordings on my laptop but that might be cumbersome too.

More than likely the data is on the SD card somewhere, just hard to narrow down. I think the 5 minute cool down was the cause of not getting the Alert for the delivery.

A second camera, more focused on just the door area, is probably going to be my fix to help avoid this issue again.

You shouldn’t even notice 1-minute segments if you are using playback in the app. It should look like one continuous recording with a timeline below it.

With a 32 GB SD card you should be able to go back at least 2-3 days in HD mode, 7-8 days in SD mode.

I never reformat – the cards loop over again every 2-8 days and that would be a lot of effort. Never had an issue.

Good luck, sounds like getting a better camera angle may work.

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I have all 13 of my cameras set for continuous recording and never format them. They always have somewhere between three days and a week on the card. Some have 32GB cards and some have 64GB cards.

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Not in Record on Event, I mainly see 1 minute segments or sometimes 2 minutes if the activity spans two segments.

What you describe is what I see when using Continuous Recording but avoid that due to the card eating issue.

Thanks for the data on the recording times.

My curiosity is up so I pulled the card and am going through the data on my laptop right now, I find the file timestamp doesn’t match the recording time but at least the recordings are grouped together.

Brings me to another question, if I have 32 GB of data on my card and want to view it on my laptop, how difficult is that going to be? Hmmm I’ve tried using the app to view Continuous Recording with no success.

Thanks again for the input.

@K6CCC Thanks for that info too. Good to know the cards haven’t been ‘eaten’ with all of that continuous recording. What brand card? Have you ever searched for data on the card and found what you were looking for?

I’ve never accessed the recordings with a computer, always just using the app. I have searched for an event blindly on the card and found what I was looking for, using the process I posted above. In that instance the object I was looking for (a squirrel stealing some food I put out) was too small and far away to trip an alert. So I just looked on the continuous recording for when the food disappeared.

You weren’t asking me, but I use a Samsung and a Kingston in my current cameras, and I just ordered 2 more cameras with Wyze cards.

Personally, I’d just go to continuous recording and let it loop unattended. We don’t hear a lot about cards getting eaten because they weren’t periodically reformatted.

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Some of my uSD cards are the ones Wyze sells and most are SanDisk.

I regularly watch prior video via the app and once in while read them on a computer.

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I’m on an Android device and never had any luck using the app to view continuous playback. Too slow to access the video and when I try to slide the time scale nothing but issues. Freezes or goes black. I haven’t tried it recently so maybe I’ll experiment again.

Good news, not a complete FAIL. After pulling the card and viewing many of the files, I found when the package was delivered and who delivered it! It took some time but the activity was captured. (Thank goodness for a good media viewer with the ability to fast forward playback!) I also confirmed it happened in a 5 minute cool down period which explains why there was no alert.

Still planning on adding more cameras and isolating some critical areas.

Thanks for all the help.

If you take the card out of the camera and transfer the videos to a computer, you will see you have a folder for each day, inside of which is a folder for each hour, inside of which are 1-minute long videos for each minute. VLC Media Player, Windows Media Player or macOS Quicktime will let you play back an hour’s worth in sequence without having to concatenate the files. This includes the ability to fast forward.

You may want to hop over and vote for this topic (be sure to click the VOTE button at the top):

Here’s one example of short microUSB cables that are known to fit the camera power-i slot:

Thanks for the info and the link to the cables. VLC is what I used and I discovered how the files are stored. Worked out pretty good so in the end it’s not a total fail. Just requires some work around and access to the SD card.

Maybe I’m not seeing the whole picture, but I have a wyze cam in my front door that captures all deliveries I’ve had. If there was ever an event in between cool downs I’ll still be able to see the package in my SD card recording and determine what time was delivered. Plus I’ve never considered the wyze cams as a security device but more of a monitoring device, security doesn’t come cheap.

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All 12 of my Wyze cam’s having been using Samsung 32GB cards with the cams set to continuous recording. I’ve never had any issues with the cards and some of these cams go back to the first Wyze the first week it came out.

I regularly use the app on my iPhone, iPad Mini 4, or iPad Pro to review the continuous footage. Speed isn’t an issue. However, I do with it was easier to identify trigger events in the timeline.

I also use multiple camera in each location. Typically at least two with a crossover pattern to get a total wider range of coverage as well as to view events from a minimum of two angles.

The 12-second limit and 5-minute cool down period is the downfall of being able to use these to replace a “real” security camera system. I just don’t understand why Wyze still won’t let us pay them to store all video in the cloud. Who turns down an obvious profit center like that? And please don’t reply to me with a ‘but you can store it on a card’ argument. Having all of the archived recordings for events on an exposed and vulnerable device - which itself has a questionable history of eating SD cards - is simply not a workable security solution and these remain fun yet unreliable toys until that option becomes available.

That option is being researched. You can vote for it here:

Make sure to click the VOTE button at the top.

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You might try recording a Time Lapse for the “delivery” window. Set at 1 frame every second and you should be able to catch the approximate time there are people and then you can use the app to watch in full.

The shortest time lapse I’m able to set is 3 seconds.