Trouble Programing an ESP32S-CAM

Hello, I have recently started working with some ESP32S-CAMs. I can not get any code into them. As the boards do not have a programing port we are using a HW-417 serial adapter wired with ground going to ground on the ESP32, VCC going to 5v, Tx going to UnR, Rx going to UnT, and IO0 on the ESP32 CAM going to its own ground. The program is also set to 5 volts. The ESP32 CAM has a 32 gigabyte SD card in it, I know that this could cause issues.
We know the board has power as the light will light up when we press the reset button, but when I plug it into my computer, it will not show up in the Arduino IDE. However it will show up in the USB settings of the computer.
I currently believe our issue is we need to install a board driver to the computer, but I am not sure how to do that.
This is a link to the amazon page where I got them from.
ESP32 Cam Link
If anyone has any input on the situation, or if they have a link to a board driver download and advice on how to install board drivers, that will be appreciated.
Thank You.

Get a FTDI board for the ESP32CAM.

I know this one works, FTDI

Thank you Idahowalker, I was able to get my hands on an FTDI programmer and I wired it the same as before according to various sources. However it still gives me the same error leading me to think that is is an issue with the computer.

So the programmer is 5V device and you have it directly connected to the 3.3V logic ESP32CAM ?

Sorry for the confusion, the FTDI programmer can be set to either 5 volts or 3.3 volts. I have it set to 5 volts, and it is running to 5 volts on the ESP32 Cam

OK so your putting 5V logic levels onto the pins of the 3.3V logic level ESP32CAM ?

Can you confirm with 100% certainty the the 3.3V pins of the ESP32 are 5V tolerant ?

I have used an old phone cable i had laying around, by soldering three additional wires (GND, RX, TX) to its PCB. It has a “For ERI T68” sticker and is based on the PL-2303 chip. Guess i got lucky (until i accidentally shifted the three pins on the ESP once - no video since then).

My suggestion - disconnect the VCC/5V wire and use only GND, RX and TX from the programmer. Set your programmer for 3.3V logic levels.

Use a separate power source for the ESP - it could be a battery, an AC/DC adapter (phone charger), or just the GND+VCC wires of a spare USB cable.
Make sure you have the proper driver installed for your programmer.
The ESP-CAM don’t need a driver - it interacts with your PC through the programmer.

Okay, thank you. I will try that as soon as I can.
In the mean time, do you have a driver that you would recommend using for an FTDI programmer?

There is a FTDI driver in the “drivers” subfolder of the Arduino IDE, try that first.

Or search for support for your specific programmer model.

Okay, I will try that.

Thank you!

Remember, the ESP32-CAM does not work very well with 3.3V being supplied through the FTDI.

I have 3,ESP32 CAMs, running. I have tried numerous times to use 3.3V from the FTDI, it does not reliably work.

The FTDI that I liked to works.

Hook the FTDI to the ESP32-CAM, connect the Tx/Rx, 5V, and gnd from the FTDI.

Plug the ESP32 cam into the FTDI, with the other end plugged into a PC. Check on and select the com port. Open up the Monitor, press the rest button on the ESP32CAM. A message should be displayed about ready for upload. Now upload the sketch.

From the product description:

Chipset: FT232RL, not genuine FTDI chip, Working Voltage: 3.3V/5.5V
Support Win95/98/98se/ME/2000/XP/win7 32bit 64bit /Vsita/, do not Support Win8

Not genuine FTDI means that the chip could get bricked when exposed to some bad FTDI driver (FTDIgate).
Also, the picture clearly has FTDI markings, so it’s either wrong picture or counterfeit chip.

I don’t see OP telling anywhere their OS, but there may be trouble if it’s Win8 or newer.

This topic was automatically closed 120 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.