Initial quality issues with newer Wyze Pan V2 cameras, and long-term usage device failures

I am a long-term Wyze Cam customer with 26 cameras deployed at my four residences, two in Pennsylvania, one in New Jersey, and one in Florida. I have been very happy with their reliability and performance over the years. The cameras at my non-primary residence are all plugged into smart plugs, so I can remotely reboot them if they throw a random error 90 or are just not responsive.

I have had a few minor issues with the cameras as they have aged, including the images getting foggy on two cameras (one Wyze Cam V2 and one Wyze Cam Pan V1 ), the sensor failing on one resulting in purple blotches in the brightest part of the image (Wyze Cam V2), and one where the infrared LEDs failed resulting in the loss of night vision (Wyze Cam Pan V1).

About two years ago, I replaced the foggy one in Florida with another Wyze Cam V2 and kept the foggy one for parts.

The Wyze Cam V2 developed purple blotches just over a year ago I recently replaced it with a Wyze Cam V3 due to the sensor degrading to the point where the image was now becoming very grainy. This one was in use at one of my places in Pennsylvania.

The other camera that the image became foggy on is a Wyze Cam Pan V1, which was replaced with a Wyze Cam V2. This one was installed at the same places in Pennsylvania.

Lastly, the one that’s infrared LEDs failed is a Wyze Cam Pan V1, which was replaced with a Wyze Cam V2 and was also installed at the same places in Pennsylvania.

The initial Wyze Cam V2 that replaced the one with the failed infrared LEDs in less than two months of use started developing wifi connectivity issues and near-constant error 90s in the app. Rebooting would fix this for a few days initially, then it had to be rebooted a couple of times a day until the wifi connectivity completely failed. I suspect a defective wifi radio but have not yet done a post-mortum teardown on it.

Wyze sent me a replacement Wyze Cam Pan V2, which prompted me to make this post.

The replacement Wyze Cam Pan V2 right out of the box has a defective SD card slot and would not recognize any SD card placed into it. Including the SanDisk Ultra, which I took out of the one with wifi issues. That SD card was readable and writeable on a laptop. I reformatted that SD card on a laptop and put it back into the same camera, and it still did not recognize it, even when I tried to format it with the camera. I opened a brand new SanDisk Ultra SD card, and the camera did not recognize that SD card either. I also tried some random brand SD cards I had lying around before contacting Wyze support.

Wyze support is sending me a second replacement Wyze Cam V2. Hopefully, the third time is the charm.

I hope this is a one-off issue or just a bad batch of Wyze Cam Pan V2s, I am posting this here to raise awareness of the issues I have recently experienced. Hopefully, the new Roku-branded Wyze Cam customers don’t have this experience as their initial introduction to the brand.

Since the foggy Wyze Cam V2 and Wyze Cam Pan V1 were both years old and out of warranty, I opened them up recently and cleaned the dirty film off the little glass lens in front of the sensor, reassembled them, and they are useable now, It is a shame that Wyze or its manufacturing partner Xiaomi has not sealed the sensor/lens assembly to keep this from occurring,

Welcome back to the forum, and sorry your having issues with the devices!

My main questions is are these devices being used outdoors, even under a cover or a plastic case?

Also, have you ensured the SD cards didn’t have any partitions on them? But it does sound defective, glad your getting a replacement.

The one that got cloudy in Florida was indoors in a sunroom and may have been affected by the heat in south facing room it was in. The A/C is turned back to 85 F in the summer, and that room gets way warmer since the thermostat is in a room that does not get direct sunlight.

The ones in Pennsylvania are also indoors, but the ones with the cloudy lens and the failing sensor are both pointed east and get direct sunlight and the sun’s heat in the morning. The one with the failed infrared LEDs is pointed west.

These are all located near windows open in the spring, fall, and on cooler summer nights but not exposed to rain. It does get very humid here, especially at night, and it is rare not to have dew on the grass and vehicles every morning. I live less than 2 miles west of a major river, 0.5 miles east and north of a major tributary creek to that river, and 500 feet south of a pond that has a creek feeding into and out of it, which is a tributary to the creek that feeds into the river. I am not on an island but surrounded by waterways on all sides.

The source of the film on the lens is more than likely particulate matter from the five natural gas-fired cement kilns within 14 miles of my residence that operate 24/7/365 or from the dozen or so limestone quarries that feed those cement kilns mostly via open-air conveyor belts. Thus my comment about having better seals for the lens and sensor assembly.

Particulate matter is attracted to electrically charged circuits and can electrically bridge closely spaced features on printed circuit boards, especially in a humid environment, which can lead to electrical failure. This is why I disassemble and use compressed air annually to remove particulate matter from the circuit boards in the computers, servers, networking equipment, and other higher-end electronic devices that are actively cooled with fans that suck that particulate matter into themselves. It may be overkill. However, I make my living risk management and enterprise resiliency so as the ounce of prevention saying goes.

Side note my residence in New Jersey is also in a humid environment near the beach. However, that area has significantly less particulate emissions, especially since the coal-fired power plant 6 miles away ceased operation in 2019. Neither I nor my sister, whose house is a block from the beach and 100 ft from the bay, have not had any issues with Wyze cams in that environment.

SD cards only have one partition, and the one I formatted was via the mkfs.vfat command in linux.

I opened the first Wyze Cam Pan V2 that I suspected of having wifi issues and found a design/manufacturing defect was causing my issue.

I always turn off the status lights on my cameras, so I thought I had a wifi issue, not a power issue caused by a design/manufacturing defect.

Having taken apart both a Wyze Cam Pan V1 in the past and a V2 today, one of the changes in the V2 is the addition of ferrite chokes.

One ferrite choke is on the ribbon cable between the camera circuit board and the main circuit board.

The second ferrite choke is for the power cables running from the micro USB port to the main circuit board.

The ferrite choke for the power cables is attached to the motor with a zip tie, and the power cable is routed through the ferrite choke from the micro USB port to the primary circuit board.

The problem is the ferrite choke zip tied to the motor. The zip tie slid down the motor placing the ferrite choke very close to the gear that rotates the camera. When the camera turns, the ferrite choke now pulls on the power cable and, in doing so, makes the camera turn off. If the zip tie slides further down the motor, the ferrite choke would catch on a cut out on the gear and impede the camera’s ability to rotate.

I used a spudger to push the zip tie back up the motor casing, and the power cable is no longer binding on the choke or the gear. More importantly, the camera is now operating flawlessly. I am sure after two months of operation with the power cables being put under repeated stress, the strands of copper wire are now compromised inside the wire insulation since the camera was powering itself off when the wires were twisted and binding on the choke or the gear. This wire damage could cause arcing inside the wire insulation and be a fire hazard.

I contacted customer support about this issue and asked to be transferred to a product engineer at Wyze corporate, as I had done when the Wyze Wizards were based in the United States.

Unfortunately, now that the Wyze Wizards have been offshored to the Philippines, they are not empowered to transfer calls to corporate and directed me to post the information publicly on this forum instead of sharing this product defect and potential fire hazard privately with Wyze’s engineering team.

It makes absolutely no sense for Wyze to want me to post this information publicly. However, that is what their offshore third-party Wyze Wizards told me was the only option.

Anyway, I think I am either going to put a drop of glue from a hot glue gun on the zip tie to keep it from migrating down the motor casing again or forgo the glue and put this camera in a steel bucket and see if the zip tie migrates down the motor casing and shorts the power cables out again or catches on fire from the arcing due to the damaged copper wires inside the wire insulation.

Hopefully, I will be receiving the newly redesigned Wyze Cam Pan V# without this potentially dangerous defect.