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Why does my Mobotix IP camera restart every day and how do I stop it?

If you’ve bought a Mobotix camera, you may have realized that once a day it restarts itself losing any unsaved changes in the configuration, but more importantly it stops recording any video for approximately 1 minute. It’s a short period of time but when using in a security setup it is less than ideal. In this post we investigate why this happens and what can be done to stop it.

The key reason for the restart is reliability. Very occasionally IP cameras, like any computer, need to be rebooted. It’s a fact of life. For most security systems this is not a problem, since if a camera stops responding, someone is on-hand to take action. However, Mobotix cameras are designed to be installed in remote or inaccessible areas, where getting someone to the camera’s location can be time-consuming or costly.

To combat this, Mobotix cameras have a restart command on their built-in scheduling system (cron – for techies) activated by default. Once a day at 3:36AM, regardless of whether the camera is operating correctly or not, it is restarted. The benefit of this is that the maximum length of time the camera will ever be offline is 24 hours.

However, there are some drawbacks from a security / surveillance point of view. If the camera is offline, it’s not recording. Additionally, if all cameras are set to go offline at the same time, there is the potential for a site-wide surveillance outage, albeit for only a minute or so. This opens up a vulnerability which can be exploited by those in the know.

The solution to this is to change or remove the restart script. Let’s see how.

From the live view page, click the “Admin” button then “Time tasks” near the bottom of the page.

The Time Tasks page on a Mobotix M24M IP camera

You’ll see the reboot command as the first entry on the list. If you want to delete it completely tick the box on the right marked “Delete” and click “Set”. Click “Close” next and the camera will ask you if you want to store the change permanently. Click yes to continue.

Alternatively, you can change the time to a random or non-essential time slot. To do this, change the numbers in the minutes and hours box. You could alternatively change it to only once a week by entering a number in the “Week Days”. For multiple times, enter more than one number in the box separated by a comma (* = every), for example to restart on the 1st and 15th of each month, you’d type in “1,15”. Once you’ve made your changes, click “Set” then “Close” to finish.

We’d love to hear any comments you have about this post or help with any Mobotix restart issues you have. Comment below…

Published on June 25th, 2012 by Kevin Bowyer

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