Webcam goes offline

I use a Logitech C525 webcam and everything appears to work for a few hours until the camera goes offline. I can only reactivate it again by stopping and restarting Netcam Studio. I have looked at error and critical sections of the logs and there is nothing in there.

I know others have had similar issues and it was suggested to try WebcamXP. However, WebcamXP is not an option for me because the email sending does not work (on everything I tried including my own email server) and I receive a Socket #10054 error when testing email in WebcamXP and besides, the download section of WebcamXP strongly suggests using Netcam Studio!

I have tried many settings in NCS and regularly experience the issue of the webcam going offline. I tried to start the service in Windows Service Manager but it does not start (although I can start and stop NCS from the tray icon). What is the point of the Netcam Service if it never starts?

Hi there,
That was a lot of problems :slight_smile: The C525 is usually not an issue … Netcam Studio Service is default set to Manual. So the first time you need to start it manually. You se change manual to automatic and it will start by itself. Are you using version 1.5.6?

Thanks for the speedy reply. My problem is that the service cannot be started from Windows Service Manager, yet it is possible to start it from the tray icon context menu (and stop it from tray icon). Once I start it from tray icon, the Logitech C525 camera works for a few hours and goes offline. Restarting from the tray icon context menu brings it back online again.

My gripe about the Windows Service Manager is that it seems to be inconsistent with starting and stopping from tray icon. Why is it that I cannot start the service in Windows Service Manager, yet I can start and stop NCS from the tray icon context menu.

So, there are 2 issues. The one that is a showstopper is the Logitech C525 webcam going offline after a few hours and the other issue, which is of lesser importance, is that I cannot start the Windows service (but can start NCS from tray icon’s context menu).

Yes, I am using Netcam Studio 1.5.6

Ah, I solved the problem of running it as a service from Windows Service Manager. I cannot have Netcam Studio Server GUI at the same time.

However, there is still the problem when I have the Netcam Studio Server GUI running (but the Windows Service is stopped) I get the disconnection of the webcam after a few hours.

First, for NCS; NCS X (Server) and NCS running as a Service cannot run at the same time since they use the same resources. Therefore, you have the NCS Client that can connect to both server and service respectively when they are running.

I am not quite sure of when the webcam stops running. Is it:
1.NCS running as a service ?
2.NCS X running with open GUI ?
3.NCS X running with closed GUI ?

When you say disconnect, what exactly do you mean. When you are using motion detection or continuously recording on the webcam it just stops after a few hours?

If you use WebcamXP does it work there apart from the email problem?

I am getting suspicious if the usb hub goes to sleep for some reason. In the driver of the usb hub you can quite often select if it should go to sleep or not to save energy.

Is this running on a desktop computer or a laptop?


Hi Henrik,

NCS X is running as closed GUI and the service has NOT been started. I am able to use all the functionality of NCS but after a period of time (maybe about 10 hours), the camera appears offline. By that,. I mean motion detection does not work and when I attempt to view the camera from the NCS client, I am not seeing a live stream but I see a picture that was taken many hours ago. The picture does not change and the timestamp with the frame rate on the bottom right of the image does not change.

Due to these issues, I installed WebcamXP and upon finding out there were issues with email, I uninstalled it immediately so I did not try my webcam with WebcamXP.

The NCS X Server is running on a desktop designed to be online 24/7, so most power saving features have been turned off but I have not turned off the power saving of the USB hubs. However, I have noticed that if I close down the NCS GUI and start the service from Windows Service Manager, I have had the webcam operating correctly! This is a good enough solution for me but it would be useful to find out why it does not work correctly if Windows Service is not started and NCS X is running with the closed GUI.

The situation you describe in the first paragraph with a frozen picture can happen when the power to the camera is lost and when the power returns the data communications don´t start again or a faulty camera. However, this is always shown in the event listing and the logs as a lost communication with the camera. But, you don´t see anything in the logs? If you run NCS as a service and have the NCS Client open do the same situation occur with a frozen picture?

OK thanks, I will do some tests when I have some time. I didn’t see anything in the logs but maybe I was looking at the wrong place because I had filtered the logs by error and critical. Perhaps the relevant log messages were not error or critical logs.

They are under Debug, Information or Warning. Use Information and you will have it all. They have orange icons.

Have been doing quite some tests with usb cameras recently and in NCS it seems to handle them pretty well, even if they go to sleep and wake-up on demand (as they should) and I have been doing so during days and days.

Anyway from your description the first thing I see that you have to get rid of is the USB hubs.

10 years ago people using usb cameras already had issues with webcamXP (often frozen image / dying driver because it looses connection to the camera) so the golden rule is:

  • no extender
  • no usb hub
  • connect usb cameras directly to usb ports on the mainboard (no extra pci card with more ports)
  • no arguments like i cannot because cameras are too far away (in this case it’s time to switch to network cameras)

At least to make a test, please try the above, i’m 90% sure it will solve your problems.

I ask the rhetorical question “why does this issue not occur with Yawcam?” Of course, NCS is by far, a superior product to Yawcam and therefore, I will persevere with NCS.

Network cameras are out of the question as far as I am concerned because the video is streamed via external servers (based on what I have seen from other network camera users). I would love to use the pan, tilt, zoom features of network cameras but they don’t require static IP addresses, which arouses my suspicions of the video stream being routed via external servers (of which many are based in China). I will try your suggestion of connecting my USB camera directly to a USB socket on the motherboard.

yawcam still uses totally outdated video for windows technology and therefore uses less usb bandwidth and it’s less subject to such problems as it’s pulling frame by frame.

i’m not saying that ncs is better just that there’s nothing wrong with it and it’s probably on your end that something is wrong.

OK, thanks for the info. I wasn’t expecting an explanation as to why using Yawcam doesn’t result in the webcam sleeping issues but your explanation is a bonus.

As I said, NCS is by far a superior product to Yawcam and I will test it with the USB camera connected directly to the motherboard USB socket. However, as I reported earlier, I ran NCS successfully for seversl days as a Windows service. It is only in GUI mode, that I experienced the USB camera going offline.

Just luck in my opinion. Then it really depends on how sensitive the webcam driver is.

Some don’t care and recover automatically quite well and some other do not recover. Again i’m not 100% sure it’s this but it quite looks like…

I just have the same issue with frozen frame from a webcam. I suggest that if developers know about this issue, it would be good to make some workaround and re-connect to the camera automatically if there is a frozen frame. It should be a standard option. I know it may be the webcam driver to blame, but if the driver cannot be fixed fo obvious reasons, the best solution is to make a workaround,

I forward this to see what we can do to make it better.

I know this is an old post, but I thought I’d share my experience. Yes, it is definitely an oversight that Webcam-XP, (and maybe NCS) do not have an option to automatically re-connect a camera that goes offline. I use several Logitech cameras and C525 is among them. I notice these cameras never seem to disconnect when using the manufacturer’s software, even running for days. So it likely is automatically reconnecting. But with Webcam-XP, the camera may disconnect (easily evidenced by the camera’s lens-side “on-light” going out) , and the software obviously doesn’t check. As you’ve seen, it just sends the same last available image in the live web broadcast, and any photo’s emailed or sent by FTP will be old as well. Of course you can re-connect with no problem, but it IS a problem if you’re not home, and the “administrator” screen won’t allow re-connecting the camera.

So anyway, while there is nothing we can do about the software not having an 'auto-reconnect" feature, I have noted that the problem NEVER happened (after 4 days of testing anyway) with the camera plugged directly into the PC. That led me to realize that even though the camera initially connects through a long 15-foot USB cord, the communication is likely very marginal, and the driver has limited ability to compensate. On the longer cord, eventually I would hear the familiar “windows” tones you hear when a USB device plug is pulled and replaced. So, since I needed to place the camera away from the machine, I tested with a much higher quality USB extension cable, and now the camera stays connected day after day.

Moral of the story, cheap USB cables look just like expensive ones, but there is a difference. Any USB device that needs to be reliable without the benefit of a human standing by needs better cables, and even more so as the length increases. At the very least if they aren’t shielded cables, they are probably junk.

Thanks for a good post and reminder.
Netcam Studio checks the connection to the camera and if it is lost it automatically tries to reconnect. You can set a Rule for lost connection and get an email or push notice if this happens. If it is temporary it goes back to normal, but if it is a bigger problem with camera or network it is good to have this warning.
As for cable length it is 1,5 meter for USB devices and especially for video/audio devices. If you need longer cable use very good quality cable or an USB extension as pointed out above!

Well USB 3 is supposed to be good to 3 meters (about 16 ft’), but like I said, it has to be a good shielded cable. As I’ve discovered, 16 foot extender cables that sell for $3 USD (typically made in China) might be good for a temporary connection, but definitly nothing critical. And now, they also have ACTIVE USB cables, also up to 3 meters, which actually have repeaters (buffer amplifiers) built into the connectors. (I’m still waiting for affordable wireless USB links, which will make USB cameras as versatile as wireless IP cameras!)

But that’s good to know that NS checks and will re-connect!! You said NS could not handle multiple USB cameras of the same kind, but because of the distances between areas I need to monitor, I ended up setting up Webcam-XP on multiple machines, each one getting just one USB camera. Since I’m doing most of my monitoring with FTP uploads now (server side PHP code still available on request), I don’t even need the password protected live web feed. So I’m able to use my old free version on two machines, and my licensed version on another. It is a way of having redundancy in case a whole machine crashes and I’m away. Even with UPS, anything can happen (Murphy’s law!). Many times for one of several reasons, I’ll lose the ability to monitor from one camera or computer, and its good that I have multiple views uploading FTP images.

But if NS can re-connect a camera that has intermittent connectivity, maybe I can give it a try. Does it have a working free trial like XP did? And if i choose to buy it is there any discount for previous registered XP owners?

Netcam Studio cannot handle multiple USB cams if they use the same driver. Can be solved if you use a generic driver for one cam and if it is possible to find an older driver for a camera. So maybe 3 cams can be squeezed in from the same brand and model in :slight_smile:
Netcam Studio is free for 2 sources. So download and test.
XP is today a very old program, but still working well, but generally no discount. If you have bought WebcamXP within a month or two it might be possible.