How To Almanac Home Page
How To 11/24/2018

How I fix no power and no WiFi connections on Phylink PLC-325 and PLC-335 cameras

I love these Phylink cameras. I have them everywhere. Indoor, outdoor, and covert spy cameras. They are very reliable and feature packed. Product support has been very good for me.

The only problem I have widely experienced, is if you have motion detection set too sensitive, or you have the IR LED's on and bugs fly in front of the lens, the motion detection will fire so often that it trashes the Micro SD card. The SD card can only be written to so many times. Writing video to and SD card every time it sees a bug will end of life an SD card in any camera. This is a user problem, not a problem with the camera. If the camera is in a high traffic area, use a good quality or industrial Micro SD card. If you gete strange results formattting the SD card or the D card does not come back to the "Ready" state after formatting, its write life is probably exhausted.

The second most common problem with the outdoor cameras has been the antennas rotting away from the sunlight. You can buy them from Phylink, or Amazon. Look for a Universal 2.4G 5dBi WiFi Antenna for Security Camera/Router with RP-SMA Female Connector. They are about $8.

The third most common problem is the wire harness breaking at the overmold junction. The wire insulation cracks in the sunlight after a couple years and the wires break. This is a No LED failure.

The fourth most common failure that I've had is the camera getting hit by lightning or nearby lightning. This causes the WiFi to stop working, but you can still connect to the camera via an Ethernet cable.

I will discuss how I repair these issues below.

Disassembling the camera

Phylink camera Standoff removal
Unscrew the front of the camera like you would to install or remove the Micro SD card. Remove the two Phillips screws holding the Infrared LED PCB board onto the camera. Next, remove the two brass standoffs that are diagonally mounting the camera.

Phylink camera Antenna connection removal
Use a pair of tweezers to pop the antenna connector off the WiFi module. It comes off vertical(Straight off, towards the camera taking the picture) from the WiFi module board.

Phylink camera Remove 1st screw Phylink camera Remove 2nd screw
Use a small screw Phillips screw driver to remove the two screws holding the camera's CPU board(Board with Micro SD card connector).

Phylink camera Pull boards out of housing
Carefully pull the CPU board outward from the housing with the Camera and the Infrared LED board attached.

Phylink camera POE Power Over Ethernet Module
Remove the screw holding the POE(Power Over Ethernet) module, then unplug the POE module from the CPU board. This board is not required if you are not using POE to power the camera over an Ethernet cable. If you ordered the camera without the POE option, this board will not be installed. The Third party POE module solders in right-angle to a daughter board that plugs into the CPU board.

Phylink camera POE Power Over Ethernet Module Pinout
I don't know the part # for the POE module. Something like a Silvertel AG9000-S(Ag9120-S) or Equiv. I've never measured the output of the POE module Phylink uses, so I don't know if it is the 12v, 5V, or 3.3v, but I would guess 12V so it can drive the IR LEDs. Ground is Pin #7 and V+ output is Pin #8, the inner two pins on the 4 pin header. There are two groups of 4 pins connecting the POE module to the daughter board that then plugs onto the CPU board. Some high end POE modules have two extras/optional pins, 5 & 6, next to pins 1 through 4 for setting the class of power. The Phylink daughter board does not use these two pins. Most of the POE modules that have these two extra pins have pull-up or pull-down resistors to default the POE module to the highest power class.

If your camera runs on 12V from wall transformer, but does not run from POE, this POE module is bad, or the camera harness is bad. You could use a multimeter and ohm out each of the eight RJ45 pins to the header on the CPU board. If they all make connection, then you should replace the POE module.

12VDC Transformer, No Power LED
Phylink camera checking 12V
Spread the boards apart so that none of them are touching each other or the metal housing. Connect 12V to the camera's DC power connector.

Phylink camera checking 12V
Use a digital Multimeter to check for 12VDC at the power connector on the CPU board. Check it right at the two surface mount pins next to the connector. It should be 12V +- 5%.

If you have 12V here, and the Green power LED does not light up at power up, the CPU board is bad. I haven't ever seen this yet. If I do, I'll dig further into it and post it here.

If you have 12V here, and the Green power LED lights up at power up, but then shuts off after more than 5 seconds, you either need to change the Power LED settings in the config, or reset the camera to factory settings. To reset the camera to factory settings, with the camera powered on, press and hold the reset button for 10-15 seconds. You'll see the Green status indicator LED go off for a few seconds. This indicates that the reset to factory settings is in progress. After 10-15 seconds, the camera should reset and turn back on. The username & password will be reset to "admin".

If you DO NOT have 12V here, you need to find the break in the cable. It normally fails near the White plastic overmold is over the junction of the Power cable and Ethernet cable. Carefully cut the cable insulation back on the DC cable near where it enters the "Y" of the plastic overmold. The wires are very fine. Do not cut them. Once the white cable insulation is removed, gently pull on the Red(Orangish) wire and White wire to see if it is broken at the "Y" plastic overmold.

Phylink 12V cut back and fix close up

Phylink 12V cut back and fix
When you find the broken wire, carefully strip the insulation back and solder on a new DC jack pigtail. On the Phylink harness, the White wire is the Negative/Ground, and the Red(Orangish) wire is the 12V. You can get a new Female pigtail connector by buying security camera DC "Y" or DC 1 to 2 jack splitter on Amazon or ebay, and cutting of the Female jack.

Phylink 12V cover repair with Epoxy
Since this will be outside the junction box, cover the repair and splice with epoxy.

Re-assemble the camera and test.
Ethernet, but no WiFi Connection

The Phylink outdoor cameras use a 3.3v 150mb RT3070 USB WiFi Module. You can find them on ebay, Amazon, along with many other Linux hardware websites. They cost about $5. The correct part# for the Phylink camera is M05-33. The Phylink camera does not use the optional JST header, it just solders on the 4 pin header of the camera's CPU board. If you remove the JST connector, the six holes for soldering it on the CPU board are under it. You will find that 90% of the modules available online are the M05-50 5V module with the JST connector installed and come with a USB cable and antenna. I have instructions below for converting a M05-50 module to an M05-33 module.
Phylink RT3070 M05-33 3.3v WiFi module Phylink camera RT3070 M05-50 5.0v WiFi module

Phylink camera WiFi module replacement
Make note of the WiFi board justification on the CPU board. There are six holes in the WiFi module and four pins on the CPU board. The four CPU board pins should be towards the hole on the WiFi module with a square pad. Pin #1(Hole with square pad) should be soldered on a pin from the CPU board. Un-solder the four pins connecting the WiFi module to the CPU board.

Install the new M05-33 3.3v WiFi board on the CPU board. Make sure all four of the connections are soldered correctly and making contact.

Phylink camera WiFi module Test
If your M05 RT3070 module came with an antenna, connect the antenna to the WiFi module. Spread the boards apart so that none of them are touching each other or the metal housing. Connect 12V to the camera's DC power connector. Test the camera's WiFi to see if it works. If your M05 WiFi module did not come with an antenna, you will have to re-assemble the camera to test it.

Converting M05-50 to M05-33


Phylink M05-33 WiFi module Side A

Phylink M05-33 WiFi module Side A
Side A Modifications:
1. Remove the JST connector(Circled in Orange) if installed.
2. Remove the Discrete component(Circled in Red)
3. You can optionally remove the Blue Activity LED(Circled in Yellow). You can see the Blue color flashing at night around the edges of the IR LED board if you are close to the camera. It does not affect the picture.

Phylink M05-33 WiFi module Side A
Phylink M05-33 WiFi module Side A
Side B Modifications:
1. Remove the Voltage Regulator(Circled in Red)
2. Install a Zero ohm Jumper on the two pads(Green Line) of the removed regulator

Final Thought - If you have problems with the lens fogging up on these cameras, install a desiccant bag under the CPU board when you put them back together. has the best price on all auto parts, and their service is great. I have been dealing with them for years and I've never had an issue. Give them a try. You won't be disappointed.
Rock Auto Parts