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Freenove ESP32-WROVER CAM Board

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AZClay
(@azclay)
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Hi, I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with the Freenove ESP32 Wrover cam board.

Specifically, what I would like to do is interface it with an micro sd card module over SPI. I am a total newb to this hobby and as such find myself struggling to make sense of the spec sheet. If somebody would be kind enough to give me a hint of which pins I could assign to SPI on this board I would really appreciate it.


   
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DaveE
(@davee)
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Hi @azclay,

Sorry I haven't any experience with that card ... only the more common ESP32 CAM board.

I have just had a quick Google, and my initial impression is that you have picked a very tough challenge, if only because documentation on these boards tends to be confusing, due to the number of variants, etc.

I notice the Freenove card does have a small download pack at :

https://freenove.com/fnk0060/

but I think most/all beginners would struggle to make sense of it

.................

I am confused as to why you picked that particular board, given that the common ESP32 CAM comes complete with an SDCard socket already wired, so with a ubiquitous adapter card, you should be able to use micro SDCards with it.

You have probably already seen it, but just in case, I note Bill (AKA @dronebot-workshop) has done one of his excellent videos on this very subject.

https://forum.dronebotworkshop.com/2022-videos/esp32-cam-microsd-card-saving-images-with-the-esp32-cam/#post-28002

I hate to be defeatist, but my advice would be to get a card with SDCard adapter fitted, and follow Bill's video to get started, as you will have a much greater chance of success.

A small 'warning' .. the standard ESP32 CAM card does not have a USB interface ... I have followed Bill's earlier ESP32 cam, with a CH340 'gold' card ... and it worked first time. Some people have had problems with other USB cards ...

One suggestion is to get one the 'double decker' two card arrangements ... sorry I don't have any personal experience, but I'll add a reference. This only an illustration - not a recommendation - others may be able to offer their experience:

https://uk.banggood.com/ESP32-CAM-Development-Board-with-OV2640-Camera-Module-Receiver-WIFI+Digital-Bluetooth-Module-Kit-p-1924300.html

--------

And hopefully , you will find another project your existing board is better suited later.

Best wishes and good luck, Dave


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
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@azclay I agree with @davee above and most of what he says is bang on. The only real point of disagreement is you can get a MB board with USB on Amazon, just search on amazon with "esp32 cam-mb". Just pick the best deal given the quantity you want. Then it is a simple matter to use whatever sketch you want to get started, let's say the ESP32/Camera/CameraWebServer and then modify it with the part of Bill's sketch that adds microSD card support. Another great addition to that sketch is WiFiManager, again look for Bill's video and I think at the end he shows you how to modify almost any WiFi sketch to use WiFiManager. Good luck.

EDIT The CameraWebServer has a save button for the videos and pictures but they go to your download folder where the browser client is located not the uSD card. 

Screen Shot 2022 08 25 at 08.19.13

 

"Don't tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” - G.S. Patton, Gen. USA
"Never wrestle with a pig....the pig loves it and you end up covered in mud..." anon


   
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DaveE
(@davee)
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Hi @azclay and Ron @zander,

  I just did the Amazon search Ron suggested ... and up came a 'double-decker' board, which just looking at the photo, looks the same as the Banggood link I provided ... so we are not even disagreeing on this!

and in this case Amazon (in the UK) is offering a quicker and slightly cheaper deal ... but as I said, I only provided a link as an illustration ... NOT a recommendation.

 But do read all the small print, etc. before buying.

Best wishes my friends, Dave


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
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@azclay FYI @davee I just downloaded the Freenove software and it looks like it is basically a copy (legal?) of the IDE sample code BUT I think it is the version that doesn't compile. I would treat any software supplied by that company with great caution. 

Can you tell us what your project is, and if possible get the ESP32CAM-MB board(s) from Amazon. Now the IDE example code will work.

"Don't tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” - G.S. Patton, Gen. USA
"Never wrestle with a pig....the pig loves it and you end up covered in mud..." anon


   
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AZClay
(@azclay)
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@davee I appreciate the response and the time you spent to look up the board specs, i decided on that board because it does have a usb port and my project will run off batteries. The usb port provides a simple solution to that problem, i also assumed, probably incorrectly that because it has more gpio pins than the AI thinker board that i would have no problem adding something through an SPI connection. 


   
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AZClay
(@azclay)
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Thank you for the tip! the ESP32CAM-MB board is everything I need all in one, albeit slightly taller package. going to order one now. Once again, I appreciate your time guys.


   
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Ron
 Ron
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@azclay The AI thinker board is so dominant we forget there are others. The amazon part is a double decker board with the usb connector but it also has a uSD card holder although I never use it since when I save a picture it gets saved to my PC (I am connected to the camera with a browser) It sounds like you are an experienced developer, photographer, and ESP savvy so you know what you are getting into. I have over 50 years experience and a semi-pro photographer but wouldn't even think of writing thousands of lines of code when a library will get the job done. Keep us informed, I for one am very impressed.

Still waiting to hear what the project is.

"Don't tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” - G.S. Patton, Gen. USA
"Never wrestle with a pig....the pig loves it and you end up covered in mud..." anon


   
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DaveE
(@davee)
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Hi @azclay,

Thanks for the kind reply.

Note that the ESP32 can take a considerable current, especially when supporting WiFi ... wild guesses might be 200mA average, 500mA peak - you won't really know until your application is running and you can measure it.

But these current levels can drain small batteries in a few hours.

Best wishes, Dave


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
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@azclay Depending on your luck the MB part of the pkg may or may not have the boot button. I have some with it so have to press it during upload, but a new one I grabbed out of the box of 10 didn't so the upload just happened as if by magic! Both variants still have a Reset button though.

ADMINISTRIVIA - When replying to an individual, click the reply link at the bottom of their post to you so they get notified there is a response. You can specifiy additional respondents via the standard @userid format.

"Don't tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” - G.S. Patton, Gen. USA
"Never wrestle with a pig....the pig loves it and you end up covered in mud..." anon


   
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Ron
 Ron
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@davee @azclay Very true, my cameras feel quite warm when operating, but if the application warrants it you have a choice of several sleep modes you can use to reduce the current quite a bit. Depending on your project that may or may not be an option.

"Don't tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” - G.S. Patton, Gen. USA
"Never wrestle with a pig....the pig loves it and you end up covered in mud..." anon


   
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