Another Bad Gig, Breeze says "Camera Not Connected"

Gotcha
Last week was busy around here with one job Wednesday, two on Friday, and one on Saturday. The first three went great. The last one, however... YIKES!
I found this forum by Googling a problem we were having. Someone else had asked the same question and I was hoping the answer they were given would help us out too. At first, it seemed to solve the problem. We keep getting an error message that reads "Camera Not Connected." It never happened at first but seemed to get worse with every job. We have a Mojo photo booth running Breeze software with a Canon Rebel T3.
Someone suggested checking the auto shut-off feature on the camera. We did that, set it to "Never," and the problem seemed to go away. On Saturday, we got that error message so often, I almost shut down the booth, offered a refund, and left. I just can't figure out what the deal is. I rebooted the computer numerous times, shut all the equipment off, uplugged everything, and tried every trick I could possibly imagine. Finally, we got several good shots in a row and I began breathing again.
We can't go on like this. When we have a really bad job, my blood pressure goes through the roof and I feel like I'm going to either vomit or cry. My husband, who went on the last job with me, felt like he was going to have a heart attack. We are demonstrating really poor business and have lost money by giving away freebies and partial refunds.
Toward the end of the night, a thought hit my husband. We were connected to an extention cord rather than plugging directly into an outlet. Do you think this is the cause of my problem? When I thought back to our very worst jobs, it seems like we were using extention cords at many of the events. In our contract, it is stated that we must be within ten feet of a power outlet. So I worked that point to the customer and blamed it on the extention cord (even though I wasn't fully confident that was the problem). Luckily, she was quite understanding and said she should have thought that out in advance.
Does anyone have any thoughts regarding this matter to save my husband future heart trauma???
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Comments

  • 43 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • LorneChesal
    I assume you mean the extension cord for the electrical power. Unless that extension cord is defective and not delivering the needed amps/watts etc., I can't see that as your issue. Most extension cords failures are binary. Off or On. Not to mention everything plugged into it would fail, not just the camera to PC communication.

    I don't use that version or a DSLR. I use the webcam product. Partly to avoid connectivity problems and partly because webcams have no moving parts to wear out.

    You mention "tricks" you tried, but didn't detail them. Did you replace the camera-to-PC USB cable at any point? I travel with 6 USB cables at all times. They are the weakest link in any system, yet the most important.

    How old is the PC? Are you 100% confident its USB ports are running at least v2?

    The Camera Not Connected error message is the clue. It is either a flaw in the program, not likely, or a hardware issue. This means the port on the camera, the cable or the port on the PC. You can't change the port on the camera, but you can swap out cables and PC ports, assuming the PC has several.

    On the PC end, are you plugging into USB ports oin the back or on the front? The front USB ports are NOT hard wired to the motherboard and use yet another cable to run from the front of the PC to the back. Another potential fail point.

    Last, try getting a USB active repeater cable. It has a little box gizmo on it that boosts the USB signal. Might help.
  • Gotcha
    Thanks, Lorne. Yes, I mean an extension cord for the electrical power. I'm just grasping for understanding here and this is the only thing we can think of.Yes, we've replaced the USB cable and saw no change. The PC was purchased in the Spring and only began being used in the Summer (this year). I don't know much about USB ports, but my brother guaranteed me that they are not the issue. (He is an electrical engineer/computer tech guy.)My gut is that it's a flaw in the program or hardware too. Mojo doesn't agree. Yes, I've also swapped PC ports. We are currently using every port on the PC (camera, printer, arcade buttons).I have never heard of a USB active repeater cable, but I'll c heck it out. Thanks.
  • cowboybooth
    I don't use Breeze, but have you contacted them directly?
    What about uninstalling the program and re installing Breeze, and the Cannon connect software?
  • Mike
    @Gotcha how frequent is the connectivity issue occurring? How long does it take to first manifest?
    Do you see the camera come and go inside Windows? Open Windows Explorer, connect the camera and monitor it for a period of time.
    What is the make and model of your PC? Have you checked the manufacturer for USB issues? Also inspect the mini-USB plug on the camera for loose fit. It should be nice and snug.
  • LorneChesal
    Not to discourage you, but Breeze will likely give you the same response we are... it's not him, it's your hardware.

    And he's essentially right. He has 1000s of installs ongoing and it always ends up being a bad "____"

    Don't overlook the camera itself. It has a port and it can be flaky.

    What model of T3? How old? Is it a refurb? Truth is, very few camera owners are even aware of the USB port much less use it. Know anybody with a similar Canon camera you can test with? Can you "rent" one from Best Buy for a weekend to test with?

    Chasing your tail on this sort of thing is exasperating.

    Not sure which retailers are near you... but here's a listing of active USB cables from Newegg.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&N=-1&isNodeId=1&Description=active+usb+extension+cable

    And heed this... don't get your cables "too" cheap. It's false economy.
  • BackinTime
    Hi Gotcha,I run breeze and a Canon T3 and had the same issues. I had purchased an AC adapter for the T3 from Ebay. Come to find out it was a knock off from china. I struggled with this for a few weeks and went to the local camera store and purchased an adapter from Canon. Costs around $80 but well worth it. no issuses since. Hope that helpsTerry
  • Mike
    Awesome tip @BackinTime I was wondering if the supply might be over heating and cutting out intermittently. I have heard of this before, maybe it was even from you.
  • Blacktieevents
    I had the same issue and traced it to a bad power adaptor, if the power dips the camera sees it as a dead battery and shuts the camera downRichard
  • carlrez
    My knock-off Canon power adapter had me worried the first few times I used it but it has actually been pretty reliable. I will most likely be investing in a genuine Canon made power adapter soon just to be on the safe side.
  • carlrez
    just a thought, have you tried using a fully charged battery instead of the power adapter to see if that eliminates the not-connected issue?
  • boothpix
    It is 100% a bad connection!

    This as others have posted is caused by camera power or a faulty usb point - for what they cost I carry around 4 new usb cables (ive had new ones out of the box be sufficiently faulty to not work with the camera but work on avery other USB device I have). I use the same USB cable in the camera each time too. If it's not the cable then its the point on PC. These in time wear, as Lorne has mentioned the best ports to use are the ones at the back, leave the front ones for you pen drives, mouse & keyboards.
  • B_Sharp
    Change out the power supply to the camera. After last weekend, I will no longer overlook the possibility of power issues wreaking havoc with my Photobooth.
    The short story: I was hired to provide a Photobooth for a high-end Bar Mitzvah at one of Providence's best hotels. Unbeknownst to me (but apparently known to every hotel employee), the outlets in the foyer where we were instructed to set up were all wired to the lighting dimmers. Although my booth was still able to power up, my printer (DS-RX1) had a solid error light. Not a paper problem, not a ribbon problem. Just a general error. After troubleshooting, we figured the printer was faulty and quickly brought in a second printer. The second printer gave us the same error. After swapping every cable in the booth for a new one and still not being able to print, we opted to run the booth without any printer attached.

    I wrote a $700 refund check to the client on Monday morning, and went back to the hotel on Tuesday morning with a voltage meter. We were getting no more than 80 volts from the wall on Saturday night.

    Lesson learned: Bring a voltage meter and test the outlet before starting the job. We had no way of knowing that the outlets in the hotel were bad (unless someone had clued us in). Having bad power will mess with your Photobooth. Using knock-off power supplies for your camera will also cause trouble.
  • vultee
    I use Canon 550D (T2i) and 40D. I bought AC adapters for both: cheap "made in china" for T2i and genuine Canon for 40D. The Canon for which I paid ca. 100$ fails during almost every gig. Camera disconnects for no obvious reason. When it happens I just switch to batteries (again: about 1 hour on genuine Canon, 20 or 30 minutes more using the ones from China). I'm not sure if it's overheating, I have one or two fans in each booth. Next time I'll bring two extension cords and plug the camera to a different outlet. And try the voltage meter thing, seems reasonable.
  • Mike
    @B_Sharp do you not have a UPS/Line conditioner in your booths? If not save yourself some headache and go get one today. Amazon has them for cheap. I run APC 550W units (you can see it here) and they have saved my butt more than a few times. I run the PC, camera and flash off battery backup and printer through the surge protection.
    On a couple occasions I have had to run the printer on the battery side also because of crappy power. Also ALWAYS put a cheap spike bar between your electronics and the venue's power. On 2 occasions I have had spike bars blow to pieces because the outlet was wired for 208 VAC.
  • Gotcha
    Wow, everyone! I am overwhelmed by your kind suggestions and comments! I will look into each one of these suggestions, even though a couple of them sound like Greek to me! @Mike, when it's at it's worst, we will get the error message after every photo. That's when I send guests away, cry a little, and reboot the system hoping to get at least 3 shots in a row. This past weekend, the problems started with the second set of shots. I don't feel like it's an overheating issue.I set up the booth in my living room on two separate occasions and ran it for several straight hours. Not one issue. That's why I wondered if it was the extension cord.Just to clarify, all the equipment is brand new, not refurbished. We bought and tried new cables, but they were a Best Buy brand, not Canon. Yes, @carlrez, we've tried running on battery rather than power. I personally own a Rebel XSi and my next step was to try swapping cameras.Like @LorneChesal said, I totally feel like I'm chasing my tail. @Blacktieevents, this was another thought I had. With the extension cord use Saturday, I think the power supply was coming in and out. Just a gut feeling. @B_sharp, that's a horrible story! You totally know how I feel then. I can't believe you lost your entire payment! The reason we were using an extension cord in the first place is because the outlets were bad in the room we set up in!Thanks again! I have some homework now!!!
  • skyhawk
    My attendants were out at one event outside in a gazebo, and the power supply was 1 extension cord dragged across the park, and also lighting a bunch of lanterns around the gazebo. The computer shut down when the printer started up to print. The had to unscrew a few bulbs out of the lanterns to get more amps. (Despite them saying the gazebo had it's own power...)
  • Soundsations
    Interesting about the China power supplies. I have three of them currently in my personal booths and paid less than $20 shipped from Ebay. Hundreds of events and never a failure of what I read about here. Running only 1000D's in them, however recently switched over to T3i's since it has the mic port. I also ordered three Canon brand power supplies at about $75 each for current booth builds for my customers. All my booths sell with Canon products and so far so good! Interesting thread, especially when the power supply questioning began.
  • Gotcha
    Last Saturday, we had another gig. I was worried out of my mind, since the gig the week before went so badly. We decided to try one suggestion at a time. We ran the camera on battery instead of power suppy. NO PROBLEMS!!! I could not believe it! Not one! My brother/partner (the technical one of the group) said that says a lot, that there's a power issue somewhere. The scary thing was that it was a surprise birthday party. We were set up in these people's living room, in the dark, waiting on the birthday guy to arrive. They were almost 45 minutes late, so we were just sitting there. It gave time for the nerves to act up! I ended up shutting off the camera since we were running on battery. When he arrived, we powered the camera back up, but didn't have time to take a test shot again. When the first picture took successfully, I gave my husband a "look." Second shot, an even better "look." When all 3 shots took successfully, I let out a huge sigh of relief!Thanks again for all your help in this matter. Now, if we can just figure out what caused the initial problem...
  • Mike
    Very glad to hear you have nailed down the issue and had a successful follow up event! Congrats
  • Unknown
    This is one post that makes forums like this invaluable ! I would of never thought of voltage or dimmers causing the issue. We have backup cables and usually assume its something of ours when there are issues. Needless to say we have added voltage meters to every booth.
  • Unknown
    Thanks for posting the solution that worked :-)
  • LorneChesal
    Tail caught!

    (for now... Murphy is never far off...)
  • Minh
    I've use this and never had an issue. (Below) My camera is always on when the Photobooth is on. I do have a t3i though. I'm not a fan of the canons without the "i".



    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006K5HGBA/ref=oh_details_o09_s00_i00



    You should always carry the USB cord to canon camera, like Lorne says, it's the weakest link.



    O your extension cord, just get a 100 footer with one of those extension cord roller upper. Get a good and big gauge. Too



    I also carry around 4 batteries just in case for the camera.



    But that power adapter for my camera is greattttt ☺. I bought two just incase!
  • KEH
    We have a Mojo Booth and had the same problem with it (thankfully this happened during us testing it out and not at an event). We called Mojo and after several calls we finally got to speak with a manager and he agreed there was either something wrong with our camera, camera connection cord, or the usb cord that connects the computer with the camera. So they replaced all 3. It is now working fine (knock on wood). I have noticed the cord easily gives a "disconnect" signal if there is any movement with the cord. To stop this from happening we just tape the cord to the inside of the booth along side the camera so it keeps it still.
    Also, if you minimize the Breeze program, and then double click on the breeze icon on the desktop instead of re-opening on the toolbar, the program will think you are trying to open it again and will show not connected. You have to make sure only one Breeze window is open.
    Hope this helps!
  • fauzone
    What voltage meter do you remommend?
  • Gotcha
    Thanks, @KEH. We called too but they didn't make any such offers for us. We did have all the cords taped down before this ever happened. I think we'll invest in a voltage meter too.
  • Unknown
    I'm having the same problem BUT I'm confident that it's my camera "Canon 40D" causing the "Camera Not Connected". I can say this because, my other 40D (same firmware, setting and lens) works flawlessly in that booth. So I agree that be very suspicious of your camera, swap it with your spare - you do own a spare - right?



    The ironic thing is I can not get the camera to fail in normal photography use. I've used this 40D for years as a photographer and never experienced any malfunction. For my problem, I plan to contact canon service to ask about reloading the firmware. Until/unless I resolve the problem, I use my 60D.
  • Gotcha
    I do not believe it's a problem with my camera at all. We've switched from using the dummy battery plugged into an outlet to running completely on battery. Since we made that switch, we haven't had one problem. I travel with 2 genuine Canon batteries, fully charged. When the first dies, I get a "Camera Not Connected" message, so I know to swap. I ask my guests to hold tight for a moment while I switch. It takes just a moment (as we modified the camera support for this very purpose) and I'm running again in no time.



    I have a T1 and a a 60D, but have never used either in the booth. Running on battery has fixed the problem for me. Thanks for your comment.
  • Unknown
    This is a very good thread. I have been using a Canon T1i for the last 3 years with batteries for my green screen. I heeded the warnings not only here but on Amazon as well. I ordered a power supply directly from Canon, 79 bucks.



    I do not want to have any issues with hardware so I am using all Canon Original and not compatibles.



    This thread will save a lot of people that frustrating what can it be problem.



    Cheers
  • goodtimestx
    Hi!



    We have a MOJO photo booth and we have had the "camera not connecting" issue also. We learned during a free event (whew!) that it was the battery/power problem. We purchased a canon ac adapter and haven't had any problems but we still bring batteries and cords to every event. We also learned the hard way to always bring a backup camera- we got an error 30 which is a shutter problem that can't be reset in the middle of an event.



    We have a MOJO photo booth also, so if you ever want to talk give me a holler.
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