Intermittent Network Challenge, Cameras Go Offline
  • Hello, all. I'm hoping those with network experience might be able to assist. We've had SecuritySpy in place for 10+ years. We have a dozen cameras, eleven hardwired with ethernet. The router is an Apple Time Capsule. In general, the installation has been very predictable and reliable.

    About four months ago an intermittent problem emerged. After the holiday break and seemingly without a revision or addition to the network, eight or nine cameras occasionally go offline. When the cameras go off-line in SS, you cannot reach the cameras by IP address on the network, nor do they show up in Network Device Finder. We restart the router, restart the SS computer, all cameras appear again for a period of time. All cameras might work for ten minutes or for two weeks. Then the problem starts again.

    We tried replacing the router with a different Apple Time Capsule- no change. In SS>Preferences>Cameras>Device>Auto-Discovered Devices dropdown menu, we sometimes see two cameras with self-assigned IP addresses and, even so, those cameras are sometimes visible in SS.

    The network was expanded over years with a number of ethernet switches. I suspect a networking fault, a miswired connector, or a backlooped ethernet connection. It's odd how the problem comes and goes. When we're having "camera troubles" we also experience general network troubles, such as remote connections to the SecuritySpy server Mac Pro connects, drops, and reconnects.

    My thought is to disassemble all network ethernet connections and extensions and add them back one at a time. Below a couple screen shots.

    Time Out error: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gge7doz68gl4taq/time_out.png?dl=0
    Subnets: https://www.dropbox.com/s/094dbovi7g32s2p/subnet.png?dl=0

    Given what I've described, any feedback as to what might be the cause? Thanks so much for your attention. Stay well.

  • I think you have to suspect one of the switches, or the cables connecting the switches together or to the Mac or router (probably not just a cable running from a switch to the camera, as that would affect only one camera rather than the whole network). If your network is complicated the the fault may be difficult to find, but your suggestion of disassembling all Ethernet connectors and adding them back gradually may be the way to go here. Or, if possible, rationalise the network so that you have a single central switch that everything (cameras, Time Capsule, Mac) all connect into.

    From your screenshot I see that two of the camera have addresses starting 169.254 - these are self-assigned IP addresses, which happens when the camera can't find a DHCP server to obtain a proper IP (i.e. it can't access the Time Capsule). This indicates a network problem between these specific cameras (the P1344 and the P3304) and the Time Capsule, so this may help to narrow down the location of the fault.

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