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DVR 4100 has stopped recording on Motion settings


We have been operating a DVR 4100 with 4 cameras at a remote powerhouse site now for over 2 years without any serious issues. We control it remotely using SwannLink on Windows 10.

3 cameras monitor the perimeter of the building and a 4th is inside mostly operating on IR as there are no windows.

There is a schedule set for each camera with all squares marked to record motion 24/7 every day.

Sensitivity of each camera is set to around 5 or 6 for daytime use and around 20 for night-time.

Each camera has a mask enabled to cover areas where movement is likely and exclude those such as trees which might give false alerts.

The system has been working fairly well up until a few weeks ago when we adjusted some sensitivity settings to try and avoid it triggering in snow and heavy rain. However it now does not record human movement on the 3 external cameras, only on the internal one. This is so even though we have reverted to the usual settings. (as above).

One thing I have noted is that it often gives "Configuration Failed" when I go to change and save settings, and I often have to repeat pressing the OK button until it says "Configuration Saved". I'm wondering if the internal lithium battery needs replacing? Or can anyone suggest any other reason to cause this change in behaviour? Sometimes it needs a reboot to work at all (even though it is set to Auto-reboot weekly).

The system information screen shows it is a DVR4-4100, running Build 1224, H/W No TNMB01. Cfg Version is v1.0.0.1 and the F/w version shows up blank.

The HDD is set to Overwrite.

I'm happy to check and provide any other info required to help resolve this.

Regards
Andrew
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Best answer by andrewc 4 January 2018, 14:07

Just visited the site and local settings were all correct. So I changed the battery on the m/b and did a factory reset then reconfigured all the Motion settings.

Seems to be working OK now so must have been a software glitch.

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Hi Andrew,

Welcome to the community!

I understand that you can access the DVR through software but since we are now having some sort of issue after changing some settings using it, I highly recommend that you double check the settings from the unit itself. In addition, try to check the trigger camera on each channel. Go to Menu then Alarm and under Motion, choose channel 1 for example. You will set a Set button beside Action, try to check if it selected channel 1 (since you are on channel 1). If not, go ahead and only choose channel 1 then save the settings. After that, go back to Motion settings and choose channel 2 next, then do the same steps.

Basically, wherever channel you are at, make sure trigger camera is selecting the same channel.
Hi John - thanks for responding.

Looking at those settings remotely from SwannLink they all appear to be OK. Camera 1 is set to trigger 1 and so forth right through to Camera 4 - and still no recordings.

However i will do what you suggest and go up there today to look at the settings on the actual unit and then report back.

Regards
Andrew
Just visited the site and local settings were all correct. So I changed the battery on the m/b and did a factory reset then reconfigured all the Motion settings.

Seems to be working OK now so must have been a software glitch.
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Hi Andrew,

Well, restoring it to default and setting it up again will actually be our last resort so we can identify first the cause of the problem. I can't say changing the battery helped; my guess is if you restored it then set it up, you might get it still working.

There are lots of factor to consider when it comes to motion detection (article will be made on our http://support.swann.com/) but I started with something that is commonly missed by user. GLad you have it working still.
Hi John

I think you are right about the battery but it was easy to change while I was up there and a fresh one should last for years. The old one was down to 3.1v compared with 3.32v for the new one but that should still have been enough to keep the settings intact.

So my conclusion was that the software was somehow corrupted and not reflecting what we were seeing in the settings. Worth bearing in mind for the future that that can happen as after the factory reset the settings are now manually set back to what they were before and everything is working again as expected!

But thanks for your help anyway.

Regards
Andrew
I'm afraid the unit has failed again. Just not recording on any of the outdoor cameras (though OK on the indoor one on IR).

We currently have blinding snow, cobwebs on the cameras, and snow on the cobwebs yet it still isn't recording - even when increasing the night sensitivity from 20 to 11 as a test.

When I did the Factory reset previouslyI did it selectively just for the video functions. Do you think it will be necessary to completely reset everything now?

Regards
Andrew
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Try to compare settings between one channel that records to this channel that doesn't. Go to Menu > Alarm > Motion to do the comparison. Otherwise, completely restoring all settings to default will definitely be our last option.
Hi John.

The settings are effectively the same for night use for Camera 2 (working) and Cameras 1, 3 and 4 (no longer recording any motion at all). All are set to :-

Motion: Enable ticked
Sensitivity: 6
Schedule: Marked in red for all squares 24/7
Action: Relevant Channel ticked for each camera.

The only difference is that Camera 2 is indoors and therefore set for night settings all the time (windowless building) whereas the other 3 Cameras are set to 20 for the two nighttime blocks and 6 for the two daytime blocks.

It just seems that the system is no longer responding properly to these settings where it always worked with them before.

I can provide you privately with the UID if you wanted to login and take a look?

Regards
Andrew
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If that's fine with you, I guess I can take a look.
Hi John

Please send me an email address and I'll forward the UID to you privately. I am due to go up to the project tomorrow afternoon so can do any necessary resetting directly on the unit if required.

Regards
Andrew
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Hi @andrewc,

Apologies for the late reply, I am just having issue on sending/receiving direct messages lately. Can you try sending me a private message here instead regarding the details. Otherwise; if it's all fine now, there is no need to do so.
Hi John

We are still having problems with our DVR4-4100 not recording. As I hadn't had a response from you, over the weekend I did this:-

  1. Formatted the hard disk (even though it is set to overwrite and had 2GB free). No difference.
  2. Rebooted the machine manually. It is set to do so automatically every Sunday but I suspect that it is not doing so.
After that the 3 outdoor cameras burst into life again and are triggered by movement normally. So possibly the combination of these two interventions has started it again. However the unit is just not reliable now and we need to investigate further why that is. What I have done is taken screenshots of all the current device settings into a Word document which I am happy to send you to see if you can see anything wrong. But frankly I think the unit is failing and will need to be serviced.

How do I send you a private message on here?
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Hi Andrew,

I strongly think that the unit works the fact that it can record when detecting motion. I went back to your older post and noticed the sensitivity. It is tough for me to say what sensitivity you should be using for those 3 cameras because it really varies. Here's what you can do, take a picture of all your cameras on the live feed during night. Basically, I will try to at least gauge if there is even enough light for the cameras to see the movement, that could be the reason why it is having hard time detecting during night.

To send message, click my name then 'Send Message'.
Hi John

We are again having problems with our DVR. It won't record anything at all now on Motion settings, although it will record manually.

We have tried changing the HDD and the PSUs.

I think we either need to reinstall the software or send it back to Swann to get fixed.

Can you advise, please?

Regards
Andrew
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At this point, we need to ensure that the settings of the DVR is correct. Since by default, the DVR is set to motion recording, you can go to Menu > System > Maintenance then click on Restore. Afterwards, only choose Recording and Alarm (box should be white).
Hi John

We already restored the machine to factory settings - twice - and then set the sensitivity and detect masks again. It worked for a while then stopped recording again I am happy to send you login details privately if you want to take a look at our settings?

Regards
Andrew
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I have found the problem. All channels doesn't have the Schedule (when you access Menu > Alarm > Motion > Set beside Schedule) set properly. All of it were set to blank which means, even if it detects motion, it will really not record because it was not schedule to detect. Another thing I found out is on Action, you choose all channels. That is fine if you wish to have all cameras record even if one camera only detects movement.

Image 1 and 2 below was your setting while 3 and 4 are the changes I made (on the 4th image, the checked number will change depending on what camera I was, screenshot shows 1 because I was on ch1). Now if you check the 5th image (Window 1), that is your recordings last Sunday and it only recorded at 2-3pm, 4-5pm, and 6-7pm. That's true because when I checked your Record Schedule (6th image), those hours were on continuous recording. It didn't record any motion beyond those times because of the settings I mentioned earlier that was disabled. Hope this fixes the issue.
Hi John
Unfortunately the settings you checked were my colleague experimenting with them and not our usual settings (which I have captured previously by screenshots in a Word document stored on Google Drive at [link removed]). Sorry about that - it was bad timing on our part.

We have been up to the premises today at 1200 after you changed the settings and I can confirm that none of the cameras was operating on movement at all when we walked in front of them.

We have again restored the system to factory settings today and it immediately started recording on motion again. However our experience is that it will only operate for a while and then fail again to record on motion.

I'd be grateful if you could have a look at my document and see if you think there is anything wrong with our normal settings.

Regards
Andrew

Mod: Removed the link since file contains sensitive information
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I'm afraid that the screenshot on page 4 regarding Schedule is for ch1 but page 5 shows ch3 but assuming that ch3 has the same recording schedule, then ch3 should be able to capture motion on the selected motion area (lower right section; one with grids). I need you to do few things though:
  • Do you mind taking a photo of SMART which you can find when you access the Menu > Device (this needs to be done on the actual unit). This will give us information about the HDD and see if this has something to do with the issue.
  • Also, can you unplug the power adapter of the DVR and your cameras and get the output rating? Should be printed on the sticker attached to it. This means you need to give me (2) output ratings.
  • Lastly, when you experience the unit not recording anymore, does each channel shows a running man icon when detecting motion but not the camera icon? or no icon at all?
Hi John

The screenshot on Page 4 applies to all of them (it says "All Channels set thus" in my document) and we have a mask on each camera to identify just the detection area required and ignore moving water areas.

  • >Do you mind taking a photo of SMART which you can find when you access the Menu > Device (this needs to be done on the actual unit). This will give us information about the HDD and see if this has something to do with the issue.
I would have to go back up to the site to do that but you will recall that we have temporarily changed the HDD anyway and it made no difference so I don't think it would be of much value to do that. OK, it is a standard Seagate Barracuda PC disk not optimised for video recording but it works fine anyway.

  • Also, can you unplug the power adapter of the DVR and your cameras and get the output rating? Should be printed on the sticker attached to it. This means you need to give me (2) output ratings.
They are the original AC adaptors that came with the Swann DVR and I have tried swapping the camera one and the DVR one around. Again I would need to go up to site to get the ratings but bear in mind that it works perfectly for a while after a factory reset, then deteriorates over time as if there is a memory leakage in the software.

  • Lastly, when you experience the unit not recording anymore, does each channel shows a running man icon when detecting motion but not the camera icon? or no icon at all?
No, when the unit is misbehaving it does not show either the running man (detection) or the camera (recording) even when someone jumps up and down in front of a camera. After the reset these both show up fine, but, as I say, it does not last.

At present it is again recording OK after 2 days with the default factory settings but triggering too often so I have reset the masks just now to limit the recordings to movements in areas of interest.

Regards
Andrew
John

As a matter of interest how do you take a screenshot when on the main system? Surely it needs a PC connected to it for that - and if so what port is used for browser access?

As I have VPN access to the site I could do that from here.

Regards
Andrew
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At this case, based on everything that we have done and the information we had, it seems to be the DVR's causing the problem. You my need to buy a replacement DVR since the unit not longer detects movement based on how you wanted it to function.

I find this on our UK website and this is compatible with your cameras since this unit support Analog cameras.
https://www.swann.com/uk/sodvr-44550h
John

This is pretty much what we have concluded ourselves. We are now having to set the unit to reboot every day after which everything then springs into life again.

But is it not not possible/practicable to send the unit back to Swann for repair? The unit you recommend costs more than the complete package including 4 cameras that we purchased only 2 years ago.

Regards
Andrew
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It's always up to you if you'll take my recommendation or not. The said product is capable of using 720p and 1080p camera while still being able to use your existing analog cameras which could be why it's pricier. My point is for future proofing in case you wish to upgrade your cameras. We don't have a repair center in UK which is why I can't recommend one.
John

As a last resort could you make available for download the 4100 firmware and I will replace it completely?

Regards
Andrew

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