For flexibility, your OtO device's battery can be charged wirelessly, using the on-board solar panel entirely, or via the provided wall plug with 50 ft. cable.
Will the built-in solar panel work for me?
OtO is designed to operate on solar power and the vast majority of OtO owners do NOT need to use the wall charger. The OtO device's on-board solar panel just requires a minimum of 3 hours of direct sunlight per day in order to operate without issue.
- The amount of times the unit runs will affect how much charge is needed. For example, if it is only scheduled to run once per week, it will consume a lot less battery than if it is scheduled to run every day.
- Clouds affect the panel's ability to charge the battery. If you live in a rainy area that sees frequent cloud cover, OtO may not receive enough sunlight.
- If you have a lot of trees or are surrounded by tall buildings, using the provided wall cable may work better for you.
- If you plan on using your device from October to March, most users need to plug-in their device as the solar rays are not as strong.
How to use Solar Panel Effectively
The OtO solar panel needs direct sunlight exposure and can't get power from indirect light such as LED lights or the moonlight. To optimize the effectiveness of your OtO on-board solar panel, please consider the following:
- Choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight (minimum 3 hours per day) - avoid the shadows of trees, buildings or other obstacles.
- The entire panel must be in direct sunlight in order to charge. It will not charge in ambient light or if it is partially obstructed.
- Wipe the surface of the solar panel with a damp cloth regularly.
- The optimal location for your device may change throughout the season. It may not get enough solar power in the late fall vs when it was in the same location in the summer.
You can see if your device is getting enough charge by viewing your Battery History from the Device Overview.
Battery Troubleshooting Guide
How do I know if my battery is dead?
If you turn the switch (or press the button, depending on your hardware) and the status light does not light up, the battery is dead. Charge the device for a minimum of 24 hours using the provided wall adapter before trying again. Ensure the status light is red while plugged it to be sure it is receiving charge. NOTE: If the battery is completely dead, OtO cannot be brought back online using solar power alone. If the light indicates solid red but does not blink blue or green, it may not have enough power to operate properly and you should still charge it using the wall charger.
My battery drains too quickly?
If you see in the Battery History page that your device's battery health is declining, or you find you need to charge it frequently, consider moving your device to a sunnier location (see above for How to Use the Solar Panel Effectively) or using the wall adapter.
Remember that solar strength changes over the year. The place you put OtO in the summer may not work as well in the winter due to longer shadows and the sun's weaker rays. Consider plugging in your unit if you plan on using it from October - March.
How do I know if I am getting sufficient power?
Refer to your Battery History page. If the battery charge is increasing or is stable over the period of at least a week, you are getting enough power.
If you are seeing a general decline over a period of at least a week, consider plugging the device into a wall outlet or changing it's location. Note that the device may have difficulty performing if it remains at a very low charge.
Charging Using the Wall Adapter
Each OtO device comes with a 12V and 0.5A wall adapter with 50-foot cable.
- Use with a waterproof outdoor outlet box OR carefully thread the cable through an opening into your house such as a window or door.
Check that the two pins in the power plug of the unit are not damaged.
Triple check that the outlet you are using is operational. You'd be surprised how often customers find their outlet is not operational.
Ensure the power adapter collar is screwed on tight.
- When the OtO device is charging, the LED status light will indicate solid red. Note that if the battery is fully charged but still plugged in, the status light will turn off (excludes 6014-F units which do NOT turn off when fully charged)
🤔 Can't find your power cable? Open OtO's lid and check inside. The power cable will be rolled up and nestled inside the middle (blue) solution bay.
How to Plug in OtO
There is a plug on the bottom of the device that is protected by a waterproof cap.
If required, use a screwdriver or a key to leverage the plug out from under the device.
6014-F units do not come with a cosmetic bottom. Do not remove the plug on the left.
Once it has been plugged into the power cable or external solar panel, you can tuck it back into the groove.
🚨 Important: Remember to keep OtO's power plug (the red part) capped and tucked away when not in use! This will reduce the likelihood of it being damaged.
Putting OtO away for the Winter
If you are not going to be using OtO for a long period, preserve the battery charge by putting the device in Winter Mode from the Device Overview page.