Foscam FI8918W – not re-establishing wirless link after scheduled wireless stop/start

My problem.

Teenager staying up all night playing online games.

Scheduled blocking of IP/MAC addresses using DD-WRT worked fine for awhile, but after a few weeks the schedule seems to go a drift, even though DD-WRT still shows the correct time and is synced over NTP, I tried this solution several times over a 18 months period, and it does this consistently.

So I configured a daily scheduled job  to switch off the RF transmitter (WiFi) at 01:00hrs and turn it on again at 06:00hrs, this worked great as it turns off the WiFi, but leaving the router/firewall still doing its job, and saves a bit of energy.

What I hadn’t figured on was the way the Foscam FI8908W IP camera handles this, when the WiFi comes back on the Foscam fails to reconnect, which I believe in not how it should work and is sloppy implementation of the WiFi standards.  The only way to make camera start is to unplug and re-plug the power cord.

So, I start getting my hands dirty, and try out a few things.

First I set a static IP within the camera GUI config page, and had the aforementioned issues – I read somewhere about using static IP assigned from the router so I next did this.I assigned a static IP using its MAC address within the DHCP lease range, in effect, I set a reservation up for it, turned off DHCP within the camera GUI, it worked, but still got issues with camera not reconnecting. As a side note, you don’t have to set static IP’s outside your DHCP scope, it is neater to do so, but just saying, you don’t have too.

I can safely say, that if your router can reserve and IP via MAC address, you CAN assigned a static IP WITHIN your DHCP scope and the Foscam camera will play along with this.

However, all of this did not fix the camera reconnecting issue.  But I have found a fix and this it.

Basically, the Foscam doesn’t play nicely when using AES, it works fine until you lose WiFi connectivity, so I changed it to TKIP, configured DD-WRT to play with TKIP, and it now works without issue, the WiFi turns off & on at night and the camera is reconnecting without issue.

Previously I was using WPA2/AES for everything, and yes, I’m aware that this is a retro-grade step from security view, but there is nothing that sensitive on my home network, and TKIP will suffice for now.

So, my advice for using a  Foscam FI8908W over WiFi, with scheduled job of turning the WiFi on & off, using DD-WRT is:

  • Assign the camera a static IP using a reservation on your router
  • Turn off DHCP on the camera, configure networking manually
  • Set camera to use WPA/Personal, TKIP
  • Set router to use TKIP
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About hedscratchers

A UK ex-pat now living in the USA.
This entry was posted in Home surveillance and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Foscam FI8918W – not re-establishing wirless link after scheduled wireless stop/start

  1. Jim says:

    Works like a charm!
    Thanks for your efforts and great write-up!

    • Glad it worked for you! I only have a single camera working on WiFi now, I ended up wiring much of the house with CAT5E, and the cameras have been rock solid ever since.

  2. Rodrigo says:

    Thank you. Im from Brazil and i was crazy trying to make this work. With TKIP the cameras works fine, but with the other kind of wi-fi it was not reconnecting after power outage or router reboot!

  3. PhV says:

    My 8904 Foscam camera was working fine with WPA2(TKIP+AES) …until I recentely upgraded my browser to the new Linksys WRT 1900 AC. Since then, the camera is indeed loosing the ability to reconnect after any router change-of-configuration/reboot. Very ennoying.

    I am going to give a try to the “TKIP” trick but it is rather worrying because if it fails …I will have to take a ladder, a swredriver with a notebook and a physical Ethernet cable in order to reestablish proper settings. Seomthing I would prefer to avoid…

  4. PhV says:

    It worked 🙂

    • Yep, these Foscam cameras can be tricky, and the weird thing is, which I discovered researching the various issues, is that AES is more resilient to weaker signal and interference, so you would think it would be the other way around.

      I feel for you I have spent many hours up a ladder, with a smartphone/laptop.

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