This article will walk you through setting up the AI Thinker ESP32-CAM development board. We’ll go over the pinout, features, and specifications of the ESP32-CAM development board, as well as how to get started with it.

INTRODUCTION TO AL-CAM THINKER

For quite some time, the world has revolved around IoTs, or Internet of Things. Everyone is interested in Smart technology, from enthusiasts to innovators, in building various prototypes and goods, and launching them on the market. One of the most common clever modules for IoTs is the ESP32 Series processor. Espressif’s ESP32-CAM AI-Thinker is an enhanced version of the ESP8266-01 with numerous functionalities. Two high-performance 32-bit LX6 CPUs with a 7-stage pipeline architecture are included in the ultra-small, low-power module.

Applications

ESP32-CAM AI-Thinker module has a never-ending list of applications like home automation, intelligent devices, positioning systems, security systems and perfect for IoT applications.

ESP32 CAM PINOUT DIAGRAM

The following image shows the pinout diagram for the ESP32-CAM AI-Thinker.

ESP32-CAM AI Thinker module board Pinout diagram GPIOs name

SCHEMATIC DIAGRAM

POWER PINS

The ESP32-CAM has three GND pins (coloured black) and two power pins (coloured red): 3.3V and 5V, respectively.

The ESP32-CAM can be powered from the 3.3V or 5V pins. However, many individuals have noticed issues while using 3.3V to power the ESP32-CAM, thus we always recommend using the 5V pin.

POWER OUTPUT PIN

There’s also the VCC pin, which is labelled on the silkscreen (colored with a yellow rectangle). That pin should not be used to power the ESP32-CAM. That is a power output pin. It may produce either 5V or 3.3V.

Whether supplied with 5V or 3.3V, the ESP32-CAM outputs 3.3V in our situation. Two pads are located next to the VCC pin. One is labelled 3.3V and the other is labelled 5V.

SERIAL PIN

GPIO 1 and GPIO 3 are the serial pins (TX and RX, respectively). Because the ESP32-CAM doesn’t have a built-in programmer, you need to use these pins to communicate with the board and upload code.

You can use GPIO 1 and GPIO 3 to connect other peripherals like outputs or sensors after uploading the code. However, you won’t be able to open the Serial Monitor and see if everything is going well with your setup.

GPIO 0

GPIO 0 determines whether the ESP32 is in flashing mode or not. This GPIO is internally connected to a pull-up 10k Ohm resistor.

When GPIO 0 is connected to GND, the ESP32 goes into flashing mode and you can upload code to the board.

  • GPIO 0 connected to GND » ESP32-CAM in flashing mode

To make the ESP32 run “normally”, you just need to disconnect GPIO 0 from GND.

MICROSD CONNECTION

The following pins are used to interface with the microSD card when it is on operation.

Microsd cardESP32
CLKGPIO 14
CMDGPIO15
DATA0GPIO 2
DATA 1/flashlightGPIO 4
DATA2GPIO 12
DATA3GPIO13

FLASHLIGHT(GPIO4)

The ESP32-CAM has a very bright built-in LED that can work as a flash when taking

photos. That LED is internally connected to GPIO 4.

That GPIO is also connected to the microSD card slot, so you may have troubles when trying to use both at the same time – the flashlight will light up when using the microSD card.

GPIO 33 – BUILT- IN RED LIGHT

An on-board red LED is located next to the RST button. Internally, its LED is coupled to GPIO 33. This LED can be used to signal that something is happening. When Wi-Fi is enabled, for example, the LED turns red, and vice versa.

That LED uses inverted logic, thus to turn it on, send a LOW signal, and to turn it off, provide a HIGH signal.

void setup() {

  pinMode(33, OUTPUT);

}

void loop() {

  digitalWrite(33, LOW);

}

CAMERA CONNECTIONS

The connections between the camera and the ESP32-CAM AI-Thinker are shown in the following table.

OV2640 CAMERAESP32Variable name in code
DOGPIO 5Y2_GPIO_NUM
D1GPIO 18Y3_GPIO_NUM
D2GPIO 19Y4_GPIO_NUM
D3GPIO 21Y5_GPIO_NUM
D4GPIO 36Y6_GPIO_NUM
D5GPIO 39Y7_GPIO_NUM
D6GPIO 34Y8_GPIO_NUM
D7GPIO 35Y9_GPIO_NUM
XCLKGPIO 0XCLK_GPIO_NUM
PCLKGPIO 22PCLK_GPIO_NUM
VSYNCGPIO 25VSYNC_GPIO_NUM
HREFGPIO 23HREF_GPIO_NUM
SDAGPIO 26SIOD_GPIO_NUM
SCLGPIO 27SIOC_GPIO_NUM
POWERPINGPIO 32PWDN_GPIO_NUM

CONCLUSION

 ESP32 PINOUT diagrams and uses of various pins were explained.

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