So you need to run a long USB power cord to power a camera or device. Here are some things you should be aware of.
First, the longer a cable gets, the lower the voltage that will be available at the end of the cable. At some point, the voltage will be too low for the device.
Also, the higher the current required at the device, the lower the voltage that will be available. So higher-current devices need shorter runs than their peers.
The USB spec asks that all voltages be at least 4.75V. Devices may still work below that, but at some point the lower voltages will affect them.
Here are some ways to compensate for the voltage drop over longer cables:
Find an AC wall outlet that is closer to the camera, or move the camera closer to the outlet. Yes, technically this doesn’t help you use a longer cable, but instead shortens the USB cable to avoid the problem. So it is worth mentioning, and preferred.
Choose your power adapter using a USB Load Tester (sample link below, discussion in post #8). I typically test my adapters with the load set to the capability of the adapter under test (usually 1A or 2A). Then I write on the adapter how much voltage it supplied, and at what current. Then if I have a situation like this where I need a higher-voltage adapter, I sort thru my old adapters and find the one that puts out the highest voltage for the required current. Typically you will see up to about 5.3V from the higher-end ‘normal’ adapters.
Buy a Wasserstein 25ft WOC power adapter kit. Yes, this kit is for the original Wyze Outdoor Battery-Powered Cameras, but all you want from the kit is the power adapter. As mentioned above, a normal power adapter with a good output may provide up to about 5.3 volts, but the Wasserstein adapters seem to be pre-tuned to put out around 5.65V to help compensate for the 25-foot cable in the kit. Using only the adapter out of the $11 kit may make it an expensive adapter, but it is a great help to longer cable runs.
There are also other more advanced solutions in the responses below.
Some links to items mentioned:
USB Load Tester
Wasserstein 25ft WOC power adapter kit (to get the higher-voltage adapter)
TL;DR: From the cables I sampled, 16ft and below should work reliably for most V3 installations, with Pan Cams dropping into a gray region when their motors are used. 25ft or longer cables start dipping into the gray for V3 cameras and is dark gray for Pans. Pans are mostly in some level of trouble with ALL the tested cable lengths (you may see the camera reboot when you use the motors), especially if you additionally have an old Sense V1 Bridge plugged into an older V1 Pan Cam. [TL;DR /off]
Here is some raw data from some cables I recently purchased to test. In it, we are looking for voltages at the camera that are 4.75V or above. The V3 draws about 0.4A, so I logged what voltage the camera would see there. The V2 Pan draws about 1A when the motors are running, so I logged that voltage too. Lastly I logged the maximum amount of current you could draw if you wanted to keep the voltage at the USB minimum spec of 4.75V or above.
This is a useful thread to link people to when they say they are using 3rd party cords.
I have found some problems are due to people using 3rd party cords or adapters.
I have even experienced this myself:
I recently had a V3 Pro that failed updating the firmware after more than a dozen attempts. It was on a 3rd party adapter and a long 25ft 3rd party cord. I finally moved it back to the cord it came with and tried the update again and this time it magically updated fine. Then I moved it back to the long 3rd party cord. Yes, I know I may continue to have some problems with it. I just barely bought a voltage/Amp tester that will do USB cords, and I plan to eventually fix the issue like Newshound has admirable organized here.
Point is, I can personally vouch for the fact that it does in fact matter and this is a really good resource we can refer people to in order to help them with similar struggles.
FYI. Using the link, Amazon says the Wasserstein is not available and they don’t know when it will be. Since it also says not compatible with V3, which I have, maybe it is not a good choice. They don’t say why it is not compatible. Would the idea be to use the power adapter and the cable that came with the V3 camera?
The Wasserstein kit was only provided as a source to get a higher-voltage power adapter, if that is the option you choose to pursue. The 25ft power cord supplied with the kit only fits the Wyze Outdoor Cameras, so you would use a long cord separately purchased for something like the V3.
Also, the Wasserstein power adapter has no value if you use the original-length Wyze power cord. There is nothing wrong with the original power adapter for that length of cord. The Wasserstein power adapters just have a voltage advantage to help with longer runs.
On them being out-of-stock, hopefully they will return!
You may notice the inline tester is showing only 0.23A, and I have the load set to 0.40A. Either will work. The 0.23A is how much the camera is drawing ATM, and the 0.40A is the maximum expected when the siren, IR lights, and recording to the SD card and cloud are all happening at once.
This is the same for my Pan Cam expected current of 1.00A. A Pan Cam draws similar to what a V3 does, except when it’s motors are running. So 1.00A is the expected maximum current.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter how much current you draw, so long as all power adapters are tested under the same load so they can be compared.
All you are looking for is which power adapter you own puts out the highest voltage to help with your long cable run.
This summer (2022) I had a propane tank installed and part of the plan was to monitor it with a Wyze V3. I used 3/4 PVC conduit along side the propane feed in the same ditch. With 50 foot of 14 Ga wire I only saw .05 VDC drop across the entire length.
I used USB breakout connectors to connect a standard Wyze power adapter to the conduit wire then back to micro USB for the camera.
It has been working perfect for several months. The camera was also adjusted for a different focus since it is only 9 inches from the gauge I want to read.
Procedure for adding an external antenna to the Wyze Cam V3:
1. If present remove SD card otherwise it is difficult to remove the case
2. Pry off bezel with square X-ACTO blade
3. Remove 3 screw covers
4. Pry out camera being careful not to damage red O-ring (it's easy to do)
5. Disconnect cables at connectors
6. Un solder 3 points on antenna
7. Drill & mount antenna
8. Connect lead to center pad of antenna (either side is ground if used on your antenna) NB: It is important to be sure the connector mates with the antenna including the internal pin, **see: Reference**
If you are adjusting the camera focus:
1. Measure the distance from the camera to the object that is out of focus
2. Perform steps 1 - 5 above
3. Remove the two outer screws on the PCB, the inner screws hold the image sensor and should not be removed
4. Disconnect the small cable so the two PCB parts can be separated
5. Firmly grip the lens and loosen it, it requires some force to overcome the glue holding it (the tiny Channel locks work great)
6. Clean off glue from lens threads as best as can be done
7. Using the distance from above, set up a test image and a mark at the distance needed
8. This is somewhat fussy, assemble the cables so the camera can be activated and move the lens in or out to achieve the best focus for the test image
The See reference refers to the SMA & RP-SMA style of antenna connection. I had used a mix of these and that will not work, both the socket for the antenna and the antenna connector must match.
These are my directions so you may want to use other tools & steps.
You could also consider using “Low Voltage Wiring” and burying the wire from an A.C. power outlet (indoors) power supply to the cameras. Then use a 12 volt to 5 volt micro-USB regulator adapter and install to camera.
The power Supply mounts indoors but the cable to camera can be longer as the 5 volts is regulated at the camera. And Voltage drop due to cable length is not an issue as the regulator will work with as low as 9 volts input.
I have ran over 180 feet of 2 conductor cable to camera with this setup, use low voltage lighting wiring it can be buried, it is weatherproof and UV resistant.
Connect the 12v to 5v micro-USB regulator adapter to cable matching polarity ( +red -black ) along cable where a camera is needed if more than 1 camera just get a 12 volt adapter with more current (Amps) The Adapter regulator is weatherproof except the micro-USB itself but the boot on the V3 takes care of that.
Links below to several power supplies, 1 Amp for 1 camera, 2 Amp for 2 cameras, or 5 amp for 5 cameras,
choose according to your needs. The cable run can have multiple connections for cameras along cable.
I’m surprised the best option for extended length powering hasn’t even been mentioned, and that would be POE. Wasserstein has been mentioned previously and makes a great little adapter precisely for this purpose. Think I paid $12 for mine some time ago. Does what it’s supposed to do. The Amazon link below is ridiculously over-priced, but provides a few reviews and the basic info. There are other similar solutions as well. All that’s needed is a power over ethernet source and a run of Cat-X and you’re good for a 300’ run.
Keep in mind this is only a powering solution over ethernet cable and not intended to be used for data transmission. That said, there are also POE adapters for USB/Ethernet that work for Wyze Cams running certain third party complimentary firmware from the SD card while also maintaining the OEM software functionality. That approach would require one of the following types of adapters – which btw can also be used just as simple power adapters as well without using the ethernet capability. There are two versions of the device and both work for both purposes just fine, though the original version received failure complaints in the WyzeCam application due to users failing to understand how to properly initialize the adapter for ethernet use – which definitely makes a WyzeCam a whole new (and better) device when successfully implemented.