Before you can start using the ESP32-CAM board (or similar ESP32 boards) with the Arduino IDE, you need to install the board support package which will enable the Arduino IDE to compile the sketches and upload them to the ESP32-CAM board. Doing this is very simple and we will cover that in this post.
Step 1: Install the latest Arduino IDE for your system. I’ll be using v1.8.10 for this post.
Visit the following link to download the latest version: https://www.arduino.cc/en/main/software
Step 2: Add the ESP32 URL to the boards manager.
To do this, open up the preferences window from the Arduino menu:
Open up the additional URLs window by clicking the icon shown below:
Add the following URL to the window. If you already have an existing URL, then simply add this to a new line, like below:
Step 3: Install the ESP32 Package
To do this, you need to open up the boards manager from the Tools menu and then search for “ESP32”.
Click the install button and wait for it to complete.
Once completed, you can then close the window and move to the next step.
Step 4: Wire up the board
You will need an external USB to serial converter to download code to the ESP32-CAM board. Please make sure you supply a steady 5V supply to the board and it is recommended to use a separate USB breakout board to supply the power. Using power from the FTDI (or similar) USB breakout board is known to cause issues depending on the setup.
Step 5: Select the right board and settings
Use the following image as a reference. These are the options for the ESP32-CAM board and your port will vary depending on your computer system.
Step 6: Test the board
First, open up the WiFiScan example sketch which will simply scan available WiFi networks and display this on the serial port.
Make sure you have the boot jumper in place, then power up the board and press the reset button. This will put the board in the sketch upload mode. Hit the upload button and once this is complete, remove the jumper and press the reset button again. Finally, open up the serial monitor from the Tools menu. If everything works well, then you should be able to obtain an output similar to the one shown below. The WiFi network names will be different for you.
That’s it. You’ve successfully installed the ESP32 board and you can now start working with ESP32-CAM projects.