What is it for?
The cam-prog is a simple ESP32-Cam programmer that adds the missing USB programming capabilities to the wide spread EPS32 based camera micro controller. It implements also the boot mode selection overcoming the missing reset pin by cutting off power to the micro controller.
This simplifies the programming of the cam module significantly since no manual reset and boot mode selection is needed when using with a common USB to serial interface.
Where to get it!
You can purchase the programmer from my Tindie store
If you can’t get the ESP32-Cam from me due to limited stock it’s also available on Aliexpress (affiliate link)
If you need to solder the pin headers yourself the headers should be on the side of the components
You can use the ESP32-Cam to help align the the headers. Since any plugged in pins makes the soldering more difficult you can tag to pins of each side, remove the cam and complete the soldering.
Plug in the camera the SD-Card slot facing the same direction as the USB port. The board should be detected as a common serial adapter.
The long pin option can be used on a breadboard in a sandwich configuration.
Break out pins
At the bottom edge of the programmer are several pins broken out. On version 0.2 of the board Vss and 5V are added. Vss is the switched ground. The left most pin is the regular ground (directly connected to USB). On version 0.2 the silkscreen of the GND pin is not readable since the PCB manufacturer put an additional localization hole there.
The CH340 drivers are usually included with the Arduino IDE. If not you can download them from the slow manufacturers page or basically anywhere else but the chances are good that you don’t need to install anything.
If you didn’t work with the ESP32 before you also need to install the ESP32 Arduino integration.
Since power is cut off the serial connection will cut off too. The Arduino serial terminal from the newest version however, reconnects automatically.
Although, I tested every single programmer with a cam at 921600 baud I received a report from a user about the programmer timing out on his Apple computer. Setting the baud rate to 230400 fixed the problem with a trade-off in upload speed. The same programmer worked on his PC fine at full speed.