On a USB 3 port win 10 latest Arduino IDE 1.8.13
I try to compile the webcam server example of an ESP32-Cam.
I'm using an FTDI232 programmer as in the picture below.
I checked everything connection is properly wired.

And I checked with 5v and 3v wiring schemes).
For 5v i used top left pin in the picture below of the esp32

I followed this tutorial : https://dronebotworkshop.com/esp32-cam-intro/
And tried to resolve it with https://randomnerdtutorials.com/esp32-troubleshooting-guide/ (but its not for this board)

My wiring is like : enter image description here

The reset button lights up front led when i press it (i guess thats normal).
However i cannot upload code, it only has one reset button.
And i tried pressing it long and short from 1 sec to 20 sec (if that matters?).
However its not uploading when doing normal upload:

esptool.py v2.6  
Serial port COM3  

A fatal error occurred: Failed to connect to ESP32: Timed out waiting for packet header
A fatal error occurred: Failed to connect to ESP32: Timed out waiting for packet header

If i do "upload using programmer" (not sure if i have to do that, should I ?)
Then i get the error:

    at cc.arduino.packages.uploaders.SerialUploader.uploadUsingProgrammer(SerialUploader.java:295)
    at cc.arduino.packages.uploaders.SerialUploader.uploadUsingPreferences(SerialUploader.java:90)
    at cc.arduino.UploaderUtils.upload(UploaderUtils.java:77)
    at processing.app.SketchController.upload(SketchController.java:732)
    at processing.app.SketchController.exportApplet(SketchController.java:703)
    at processing.app.Editor$UploadHandler.run(Editor.java:2055)
    at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:748)

Any ideas ?

  • \$\begingroup\$ most likely the 3.3v LDO on the FTDI can't handle the high current of the ESP32. \$\endgroup\$
    – dandavis
    Commented Feb 17, 2021 at 20:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nah it seams the ' preferred ' FTDI for those devices (as i red on various sites who had problems with other FTDI's.. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peter
    Commented Feb 18, 2021 at 8:42

1 Answer 1


ESP32-cam SOLVED communication

Ok was a pretty troubling problem, the ESP32 cam wouldn't connect at all to the Arduino IDE. I didn't think the FTDI card required a driver, (as com protocol is already known to windows I just thought it serialized a data stream using the chip)...

Some more info to resolve it:

A kind of misleading here is that without the driver, it is already seen as a com port.
So the Arduino IDE uses it as a comport, and it just fails proper communication.

PS I won't rule out that on some PC's those devices work straight out of the box.
Because the hardware/software implementations of a COM port in a pc with windows is a little complex. Realtime ports, vs event-based operating system code vs various pc/laptop chipsets.
But if you get "Failed to connect to ESP32", then i hope my answer helped you.


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