My father has obstructive sleep apnea, so it is dangerous for him to fall asleep in his recliner chair away from his respirator. And when he is sleeping in his bed, I need to be able to check on him without walking in the room and waking him up. So I have one Dropcam Pro by his bed and another one by his recliner in the living room.
After seeing Dad to bed, one of the last things I do before going to sleep is check on him with the Dropcam app on my iPhone. Last night the bedroom Dropcam reported it was disconnected. I stayed up another two hours doing unsuccessful troubleshooting: unplugging the USB cable from the Dropcam, unplugging the USB cable from the power outlet, turning off the router, unplugging the router, and using the settings in the iPhone app to connect to the camera and to my wifi network. Nothing worked.
This afternoon I called Dropcam’s tech support. The rep ran diagnostics, which checked out. My wifi signal was fine. Then she had me switch the USB cable. The Dropcam still would connect for a second, then disconnect. Finally she elevated me to a higher level of tech support, a nice young man who ran more diagnostics and found the problem: my ISP’s router changed channels automatically to get a better signal, but the Dropcam can’t connect with all the router’s channel options. I had to call my ISP to get them to set the router to the Dropcam’s preferred channel. This solution is not in any of Dropcam’s online tech support forum pages. This problem is something I hope Dropcam fixes immediately because seriously, when routers are built to change channels to get a better signal, why isn’t the Dropcam built to be compatible with that?
It was late in the afternoon by the time I’d gotten the Dropcam working again, but I’d promised my father ice cream at our favorite local dairy. I splurged and got us bowls of cream of crab soup and biscuits with butter, too, and I think they were the best I’ve ever tasted. We ate in the car, which is more comfortable and safe for Dad, and looked out over the farm fields and listened to “Prairie Home Companion” podcasts on a Bluetooth speaker. One of my end-of-life care secrets for getting my loved ones to live longer is to make their lives so happy they want to live. I’m glad to have the technology that helps me do it.