This is my first teardown article and it is on the VAVA Outdoor Home Wireless security camera. I had one die on me and I figured it would be cool to take it apart to see how it is made.
VAVA isn’t a name that many people know. I knew about VAVA from their bluetooth headsets and their customer service was outstanding. At the time I was looking for a wireless camera system.
I backed a two camera system through indiegogo back in what feels like two years ago. I don’t think there has been any kickstarter or indiegogo campaign that has shipped on time and this one was no different. This campaign was at or close to a year behind schedule. That part was a bit frustrating because I had planned to use these up North but in the end it worked out because this system would not have fit the project. I received my cameras I think at the end of November and I got them installed at the end of December. I had to get them shipped down to me on St Thomas.
When I first installed them they weren’t very useful. Lots of bugs. Suffice to say most of the bugs have been fixed. I still have a bug where I can’t always view my videos right away and it says my cameras are offline. I guess now I should say my camera since I am down to just one. The other big issue and I guess this one could be a deal breaker for many but VAVA and others always claim an unrealistic battery time. In this case VAVA said one year. Well, I think I get a month out of my camera. I continue to tweak the settings but it is what it is. Blink said the same thing and I have never gotten one camera to go a year.
This system is a battery powered outdoor camera system that uses it’s own hub. You can install your own sd card in the hub or you can use their cloud. The cloud storage was free. Then it wasn’t. Now I don’t know if they have it anymore or not. I never used it. Notifications are super fast and the picture is outstanding. There is a lot of potential here if they can clean up some of these issues.
I don’t know exactly what happened with the camera. The primary problem appears to be battery related. It got super hot trying to charge it and I would get notifications literally every second telling me the battery is low. This would go on for hours. I tried the usual troubleshooting from factory resetting it to trying different power outlets to different wires and chargers. Nothing worked.
I got 7 months out of this camera making it not a total loss. I decided to take it apart and either see if I can fix it or at the worst see what it is made out of.
Based on what I saw I assumed the cover was held on with glue. I took a heat gun to it to soften up the glue and then I would try to peel it off. It turns out that was a dumb idea. All I managed to do was melt the plastic and discolored it even further. You see, I only got one cover so this one didn’t have a cover. When you live in the Caribbean that sun is extra hot and the white had already started to discolor. I just accelerated it.
Since the heat gun didn’t work I decided to take a screw driver to it and try to pry it off. That actually worked. The camera consists of a few pieces. The covering which is split into two and a round plastic enclosure. Inside that enclosure is your battery, sensors and circuit board. To get into that enclosure it only required the removal of a few screws.
As you can see there is a circuit board (seen above) and a lithium ion battery (seen below). The battery you see below is what I think my problem is. If you look on the battery there is a model number and it is made by a company called AEC.
I was able to match that model number to a PDF list of inventory for AEC. The catch is this is a Chinese company. I just opened the camera today but I need to check a few more sources. I don’t speak Chinese and I’m unsure I can order just one battery.
I’d like to also post a video and an update to if I can get this fixed but I want to mention once again that I am pleased with VAVA and while this camera system needs some maturity it has a lot of potential. I’m also a huge fan of Wyze and will use their new wireless camera in place of this one that died. Currently I have been using my wireless Wyze camera for time lapses of the sunrise down here.