USB power - no recording or live view

My Blink was working fine when I was using batteries. Once I switched over to USB power it stopped recording and wouldn’t display live view.

Tech support though it might be the sync module and sent me a new one. Swapped it out and still the same issue.

If I put batteries in the camera everything works. If I plug the camera in (with or without batteries in) then it doesn’t work; the live view or capturing motion.

I tried two different USB cables and two different power plugs; one of them being the plug from the replacement sync module. No luck with either of them.

Looking through amazon for a possible cord/plug option and I noticed many reviewers saying that they too had issue with the camera working with USB power.

So it would seem this is a known issue? I have an XT camera as well that is plugged in and that one works like a champ,

Any ideas/thoughts/suggestions etc. on this issue?


Hi perryf

Just a quick thought. If it’s not too inconvenient, take the lead that you have for the existing successful powered BlinkXT installation, and connect the new camera there. If it works, you know you have a supply issue. As a result of having used a new power supply, from the replacement sync unit, you would then have, most likely, narrowed it down to the lead itself.

All USB leads are not created equal, and it’s worth spending a few dollars more to get a good one, but better to have been able to prove it to the lead first, if you can.

Good luck with it, and let us know if you can try the camera in the existing working spot.

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Hello Suttyblink,

Thanks for the suggestion.

I hooked up my blink to the XT cable & power plug and it did not work on there either. So it would seem it is an issue with the camera itself.

Before hooking up my camera to the XT set up I tried yet another cable/power plug combo just purchased from amazon that indicated it would work with blink. Same thing. No motion capture or live view.

All in all I’ve tried 3 different USB cables with 3 different power plugs, one of the power plugs from a sync module all with no luck.

Where do we go from here?


I would get back with tech support. You may have a defective camera. Good luck!

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Hi Ronsec,

That’s what I thought also. I just received a response from tech support where it sounds like they’re saying we shouldn’t be using USB to power our devices. They wrote me:

_I understand that you want to know why your camera will not work using micor USB cord. No need to worry I will do my very best to help you with this. _

Normally our camera will function using the battery. Thats the reason why when we send a camera it includes the battery which is AA 1.5v Energizer non-rechargeable battery. The only use of micro USB port of at the back of the is only to isolate the power issue incase that the camera will malfunction. We also discourage our customer to use micro USB cord to power the camera because it carries a higher voltage and it may damage the camera.

Hope that this will address your concern.

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Ron is spot on that you need to reopen the support ticket, but from reading what they’ve just put, you’re going to need some help from someone more senior. I’ll tag in the head of customer services, @Bob_at_Blink , so he can take a look at your case.

I can hardly believe that advice.

Many thanks suttyblink. I also thought their response was somewhat bogus.

I have never read anywhere that the cameras will only work on batteries alone. In fact the opposite. The support page specifically says:

"Why is there a USB port on the camera?
_ Avatar _
Blink Support

10 months ago Updated
The USB port on the back of the camera can be used with a MicroUSB cable and power adapter (not included with your camera) to power your cameras rather than using batteries. The benefit of this is heavy users and cameras with a high number of motion clips will not drain batteries and require frequent replacements."


I sent you a PM. We’ll replace camera for you. It’'s broken.



That seems to be the way all my XT2 cameras work. I hooked them up to a 5v output via usb port and they seem to limit functions when running off 5v instead of batteries. Wish I would have known this before wasting so much time wiring up the system.

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There is no difference when powered correctly from USB, versus battery. Two of my seven cameras are permanently powered, and they perform perfectly. What’s the specification of your power supply, and how many cameras are you trying to power from it?

I understand that there shouldn’t be a difference, but with my cameras there is. I tried many 5v power supply options including a very expensive desktop PSU that is for sure calibrated well beyond the voltage variance typical USB adapters give you.

I just ended up lowering the voltage to 3.6v (about 2 lithium primary cells in series at full capacity) and wired up to battery terminals and not using the usb port at all. Everything works as expected this way.