Action Maps

Articles based on common support questions.
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varghesesa
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:52 pm

Action Maps

Post by varghesesa » Fri Sep 03, 2021 9:45 pm

Introduction

Not really sure what this article will become. Right now, I am using it as a placeholder for gotchas based on tickets associated with the action map and creating alerts.

Gotchas

Gotcha 3: Push notifications

Update to the latest version or the latest stable version of the BI server. Update to the latest version of the app.
Features/functionality on the mobile app are not guaranteed to run with older versions of the server.

Divide the problem into server vs mobile app.
Did the BI Server send the Push alert?
Confirm alerts are being sent from server.

Must understand the logs to know what is going on.
status log confirmation.png
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Furthermore, confirm the Alert is sent soon after BI senses Motion. The gap between the MOTION event and the Alert should not be more than 1-2s.

motion-alert-trace.png
motion-alert-trace.png (20.46 KiB) Viewed 2820 times

*** Logs state the Push notification was NOT sent. ***

You know something with the server (or server settings) is the issue.

Something is very likely broken between Cameras -> Trigger settings -> Alert settings.
Or your server settings are incorrect.

Cameras:
Are the cameras working? See Camera Stream Optimization article.


Permissions / Global Settings
If you have multiple users on phones and some users work on their phones but others do not, then you very probably have a permissions issue.
Check the below permissions for the user / phone that is not working.

Global settings -> Users tab.
Make sure the user is allowed remote access. LAN only is unchecked.
Make sure the user is allowed access to BI during the appropriate profiles.

users access.png
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If you are using camera groups, the user must have access to a group that contains the camera executing the Push.

alert map_camera groups.png
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Confirm Push notifications are active in the user's profile for the appropriate profiles.

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Global settings -> Mobile devices tab
Confirm Push notifications are enabled for the user's phone.

mobile push enabled.png
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Mobile Tags

If you are using tags make sure the mobile phone in question has the tag associated with the alert.
action map_tags1.png
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Make sure Legacy GCM is unselected.
mobile gotchas legacy GCM.png
mobile gotchas legacy GCM.png (2.18 KiB) Viewed 1251 times



Maybe your firewall is blocking ports for Push notifications?
Highly unlikely. Most firewalls never prevent outbound traffic.
mobile push ports.png
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Trigger settings:
Are you still receiving motion triggers? The Alerts tab in the Clips List will tell you! If not, there is a problem with the Trigger tab.

clip list_alert.PNG
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Alerts tab:
If the motion trigger is present, there is a problem with the Alerts tab.

I would look closely at my Push notification settings.
One common mistake is the Profiles for the alert are NOT active for the Profile you are testing.
Camera settings -> Alerts tab -> On Alert.

mobile gotchas action map profiles.png
mobile gotchas action map profiles.png (115.03 KiB) Viewed 2820 times

If you do not know how to debug alerts, watch the Triggers and Alerts webinar. The information is also available in the Alerts and Actions section of Help (Testing the Action Set).



Alerts are turned off (accidentally) on the camera.

Revisit the Camera settings -> Alerts tab.
A common mistake is you accidentally turned off Alerts.

mobile devices gotchas_recent alerts.png
mobile devices gotchas_recent alerts.png (50.67 KiB) Viewed 1251 times

One user accidentally switched Any to All. With all the Zones checked you are effectively telling BI the Motion had to cross ALL zones for an alert to trigger.
I have yet to see a use case where a user had all zones set. Basically, he turned all motion alerts from the motion sensor OFF.


*** Log states alerts are sent ***

Confirm Trigger settings are ok:
If all of the above permissions are set correctly, then create/test an Email / SMS alert.
If those alerts work, then you know the issue probably does NOT reside with your Server permissions or motion trigger settings.
This is a strong hint that something is wrong with mobile phone settings or the mobile app.

Mobile phone settings or BI app settings:
If the Push Alert is sent based on the logs, either the phone app has not been granted correct permissions from the phone to receive/accept notifications or your BI mobile app settings are not set correctly.
Revisit the Mobile devices article to confirm your camera is setup correctly.

It's very possible, the issue could reside with Apple Notification Servers, your iOS device (as stated above) or maybe even your cellular provider.
If you created an SMS alert as stated above and the SMS alert is responsive, you can assume BI sent the Push correctly as well.

Network settings:
The network setup is critical for push notifications. Debugging port forwarding and network issues is the responsibility of the user.
We recommend using NGROK or other DDNS service because the utility bypasses all the complexity associated with networking. The Networking section of the Mobile Devices article walks through setting up NGROK correctly.


If issue is still not resolved, we need to include mobile app info to the ticket for BI engineering to review. See Next steps / Submitting a ticket section in Mobile devices article.



Gotcha 2: Email/SMS alerts are not working

Check permissions

Global settings -> Users tab.
Make sure the user is allowed access to BI during the appropriate profiles.
users access.png
users access.png (12.47 KiB) Viewed 2814 times



Confirm alerts are being sent from the server

status log confirmation.png
status log confirmation.png (21.95 KiB) Viewed 2820 times

Furthermore, confirm the Alert is sent soon after BI senses motion. The gap between the MOTION event and the Alert should not be more than 1-2s.

motion-alert-trace.png
motion-alert-trace.png (20.46 KiB) Viewed 2820 times

Log states alerts are sent: Issue with Alert settings

If the logs state alerts are being sent, then you can be confident your global permissions and motion triggers are set correctly to generate an alert.
The issue must reside with your alert settings.

If you are only sending one type of alert, e.g. an email notification, create an SMS alert to try and isolate the issue. Does the other alert work?
If only the SMS notification is working, I would look very closely at my email alert settings.
If only the email notification is working, I would look very closely at my SMS alert settings.
If both alerts are not working, the issue is probably with the email server setup since both alerts rely on the email server.
Global settings -> Email servers.

Email process: BI Server -> Email server -> Email notification
SMS process: BI Server -> Email server -> Mobile provider email to text service -> SMS message

Easy to check if SMS and Email alerts are being processed correctly by your email server.
Simply login to your email server.
Go to the sent folder.
If you see sent emails to your cellular provider (for an SMS text) or to the email address specified in the Email alert settings, your mail server processed the alert correctly.
BI emails are easy to spot because the subject starts with Blue Iris.
If you do not see any BI sent emails, your email server is not setup correctly.

If your SMS messages are not being received or received after a long delay AND you confirmed your email server is responding in a timely manner, then you will need to inquire with your cellular service provider as to why their email to text service is slow or not responding.

Log states alerts are NOT sent: Issue with Server settings (Permissions or Trigger settings)

If the logs state NO alerts are being sent, then you can be confident there has to be an issue with permissions via the Global settings or your Motion triggers do not generate an alert.

One common mistake is the Profiles for the alert are NOT active for the Profile you are testing.
Camera settings -> Alerts tab -> On Alert.

mobile gotchas action map profiles.png
mobile gotchas action map profiles.png (115.03 KiB) Viewed 2820 times

Other checks:
  1. Are the cameras working? See Camera Stream Optimization article.
  2. Are you still receiving motion triggers? The Alerts tab in the Clips List will tell you! If not, there is a problem with the Trigger tab.
    clip list_alert.PNG
    clip list_alert.PNG (20.62 KiB) Viewed 2820 times
  3. If the motion trigger is present, there is a problem with the Alerts tab.
    If you do not know how to debug alerts, watch the Triggers and Alerts webinar. The information is also available in the Alerts and Actions section of Help (Testing the Action Set).


Gotcha 1: Alert images

Issue:
Alert images are the images that are associated with SMS and Email alerts.
Push notifications also provide Alert images.
The issue is often users want the Alert Image, i.e. the Trigger image to be in high resolution and sometimes it appears as a low resolution image.

Background info:
The thumbnail image which is actually stored in the database and associated with the Alert is 240px.
In earlier versions of 5.x, the thumbnail image was 480px, but the increased size really did not add much value, but did eat up database storage so was changed back to 240px.

The fix:
To get higher resolution main stream Alert images, select Hi-res JPEG files for Add to alerts list:. Camera settings -> Trigger tab.

alert image hi-res.png
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If your camera has dual streams and Hi-res JPEG is selected (as stated above), but the alert image is not the higher resolution, the issue is often the main stream does not have a key frame.
The fix is creating a pre-trigger buffer.
A 5s pre-trigger buffer is always a good practice. Camera settings -> Record tab.
A pre-trigger buffer assures at least one key frame exists for the main stream.
A 5s pre-trigger buffer assumes your kfps is at least greater the 0.2 (1/5).

If the above two fixes do not resolve the issue, right click on an alert -> Open containing folder.
Is the corresponding JPEG the correct resolution? 240p is what's in the database. However if there's a hi-res JPEG file, this should be served instead.

If the Open containing folder selection is greyed out, then there is an issue.
  • The most obvious cause is you did not set Add to alerts list = Hi-res JPEGfiles
  • OR There is an issue with the setup of the Alerts folder (image below), folder permissions or something else.
    Check the log for errors, in particular Storage errors.
alert image alerts folder.png
alert image alerts folder.png (66.92 KiB) Viewed 2869 times

Note on email alerts
Email alerts provide many more options.
The Motion leading-edge image will always come from the sub stream.
The Trigger leading-edge, aka the Alert image, will only be high-res if you select Hi-res JPEG (as stated above) AND the main stream has a key frame in the buffer (thus, the need for a pre-trigger buffer as stated above).
The Additional images will always be hi-res (if you have a main stream key frame in the buffer).
Finally, the Email alert dialog also provides quality controls (default is 50/50).
action map email quality.png
action map email quality.png (2.08 KiB) Viewed 2283 times
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