help with esp-cam

hi guys i bought a esp32-cam board and i have 2 question .1: if i program board with arduino then if i unplug it and power it up with a battery will it work?
second: im beginner and the board didnt arrived yet if i want to connect a 18650 li io battery that 3.7 volt which wire should i connect to the which pin
thx.

If you power the board externally then if you have, for instance, uploaded the demo web server sketch then you should still be able to connect to the webserver with a browser. How exactly do you intend to program it ? I assume that you realise that it has no USB interface so cannot be plugged directly into a PC USB port to program it

It is probably safe to connect the 18650 to the 3V3 pin of the board but don't blame me if something horrible happens. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Personally I would use a boost converter to convert the battery voltage to 5V then feed that to a 5V pin on the board

A 18650 could be as much as 4.2V freshly charged, not sure I would be keen to use that to power my ESP32CAMs which are built on mainly 3.3V parts.

The easiest way to power it would be a usb power bank as this will give you 5v which you can put in to the esp32cam via the ‘5v’ pin and the power bank already has re-charging circuit etc… (in the U.K. Poundland is a good place to pick up a basic one)
Yes, once programmed all you need to do is give it power and it will work.

I have not had chance to try myself yet but it looks like a lot of places on eBay are now selling a motherboard for these cameras with usb built in which should make programming them much easier. (search eBay for hk-esp32)
see: HK-ESP32-CAM-MB — Hong Ke Technology documentation

BTW - You may like to have a look at my esp32cam sketch to get an idea of how to program it and what you can do with it etc.?
see: GitHub - alanesq/esp32cam-demo: esp32cam module demo / project starting point sketch using Arduino ide

a lot of places on eBay are now selling a motherboard for these cameras with usb built in which should make programming them much easier.

Do the motherboards do away with the tedious business of needing to short 2 pins in order to upload a sketch, remove it afterwards and reset the board ?

UKHeliBob:
Do the motherboards do away with the tedious business of needing to short 2 pins in order to upload a sketch, remove it afterwards and reset the board ?

I am hoping so, I have ordered one to find out for sure but still waiting for delivery
They look like the esp32cam plugs in to it and it then behaves just like a standard development board :slight_smile:

It will be interesting to see how they have worked round them if they have

The one I found seems to have a side mounted reset button which is interesting as the ESP32 reset pin is not broken out on the CAM module as far as I know

hey hope you have good day . i found this code in web but i when i uploading it and enter the ip car is working but the camera isnt i will give you error and code please help thanks.

serveillance_robot_esp32_cam.ino (4.01 KB)

It arrived this morning but it doesn't seem to work :frowning:
I will look in to exactly what it is later but not what I had hoped for

it doesn't seem to work

What did you try ?
What did you use to program it ?
What did it do ?
Did you remember to short IO0 to GND whilst uploading the sketch ?
Did you remember to remove the short and reset the board after uploading ?
What have you got the camera model set to ?

UKHeliBob:
Do the motherboards do away with the tedious business of needing to short 2 pins in order to upload a sketch, remove it afterwards and reset the board ?

I have done a board for the ESP32CAM, its for use as a LoRa Balloon tracker with GPS and LoRa device that can take pictures. All up weight without battery 13g. Its meant to be easy to assemble and you can use it as a board without the LoRa device or GPS.

There is a switch to push for the BOOT and a strategically placed hole to push a drill\trimtool through and activate reset. Another hole to view the pin33 LED. If you remove the AMS1117 regulator you can put a proper LDO in place such as MCP1700\HC7833 which drops the Vin requirement from about 4.7v to 3.5v, handy for use with Lithiums. Pins for a program header, or just use clips in the holes. Resistor network for reading battery volts.

You can see more details of the board here;

Easy ESP32CAM LoRa Tracker Add On Board

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UKHeliBob:
What did you try ?
What did you use to program it ?
What did it do ?
Did you remember to short IO0 to GND whilst uploading the sketch ?
Did you remember to remove the short and reset the board after uploading ?
What have you got the camera model set to ?

The serial port on it clearly works ok and I can see there is some kind of sketch running on the supplied esp32cam.
When I hold the program button and press reset it seems to reset and be waiting for upload as I would normally expect but when I try to upload code using the Arduino IDE it just errors out as soon as it tries to upload the sketch.
The odd thing is that when I try a different esp32cam module with it the reset button does nothing....
(BTW - I already use a similar board I made myself for programming them so I am familiar with the required technique)

If you have the programming port open in the Arduino you should see some messages, when boot is held down and reset is pressed.

Try slowing the upload speed down to 115000 baud if no upload occurs.

Try removing the SD card and camera.

Interesting developments:

I had a close inspection of the motherboard and the reset button just links together the gnd pin next to 5v and the gnd pin next to the tx rx pins on the esp32cam module.
I tried lowering the speed to 115000 as suggested by srnet and this does work - I thought I had already tried this but guess I didn't try the lowest speed?

On the esp32cam which came with it the rest button does reset it but on my other esp32cam modules it has no effect, so I am guessing this is a new/different hardware version with this feature?

So the upshot of this is that with the esp32cam which came with it, apart from having to upload at slow speed it works as I had hoped, for my other esp32cam modules I have to plug them in with the program button pressed to upload a sketch. So I think for the price these motherboards are well worth having as they will make using the esp32cam much more convenient :slight_smile:

The wifi signal seems to be struggling a bit when power by this motherboard but I know these boards seem to really struggle with anything near their wifi antenna. Interestingly, if I rest my thumb on the esp32cam board above the antenna the wifi then works great whilst in this motherboard.

btw - I wonder if a smoothing capacitor will fix the serial speed issue?

the reset button just links together the gnd pin next to 5v and the gnd pin next to the tx rx pins on the esp32cam module.

Much as expected as the ESP32 reset pin is not broken out on the ESP32-CAM boards

UKHeliBob:
Much as expected as the ESP32 reset pin is not broken out on the ESP32-CAM boards

I assumed they would have just had the reset button cut the power to the esp32cam but it looks like newer boards have a reset feature when you link the gnd pins?

Reset when you link the GND pins ?

In order to do that the GND pins would need not to be connected to a common point already so which of them do you use as a GND pin under normal circumstances ?

UKHeliBob:
Reset when you link the GND pins ?

In order to do that the GND pins would need not to be connected to a common point already so which of them do you use as a GND pin under normal circumstances ?

Yes, I was surprised when checking with my multimeter that there is no connection between them on the esp32cam module. Either a new design or these are created specifically to use with the motherboards?
Could catch you out if you are plugging the esp32cam in to something which has them linked is it will just reset the board.
I have just checked my other esp32cam modules (several from different sellers) and there is a link between the grounds on all of them apart from the one which came with this motherboard

btw - it looks like the gnd next to the 5v pin is still ground but the other has been made in to a reset pin?