the brick - FPV 'tank' with esp32 cam

"tank chassis"

This was by far the most annoying "this will be quick!" ever.
It started when Santa dropped this:

I always wanted to build some track vehicle with first person view, but I also knew that my time for this fun is limited.
Hence that "tank chassis" (search term) from aliexpress for about 10$.
It features two dc motors and has a battery case for 4 AA batteries. There is no cover included.


"Two Voltage 18650 Lithium Battery Shield V8 Mobile Power Expansion Board Module 5V/3A 3V/1A Micro USB For Arduino ESP32 ESP8266".
I had to kill 2 units to realize that "turn off when removing battery" is more than a friendly suggestion.
That was a hard lesson.
If you don't destroy it, it provides 3,3 volt (for the esp) and 5 volt output (for the motors).

I can crimp!

I bought a dupont crimp set a while ago. The cheapest option that I could find. Together with the pliers from a letherman, I am now able to configure cables at a speed that is not too frustrating.
I used my new crimping skills to build the connection from the esp32 to the hg7881 motor driver.
If you toy with electronics and have resited buying such a set, I do not regret it at all. Highly useful to have and in my opinion good enough for hobby projects.


ESP32-Cam paired with a nice motor controller called hg7881. Somehow I managed to kill one of the two cannels. Probably my fault, but I have no idea what happened and why.
The 5v goes into the hg7881.
The 3,3v into the ESP32
They do share common ground.
The ESP32 has 4 wires to the hg7881 to control direction and speed for the two motors, which are conntected to the hg7881 output.

Award worthy cover

I call it 'brick' and this is art.
It fits more or less and I secure it either with tape or a rubber band.
Printed on a CR10, worst quality setting and fasted speed possible. Still a pretty good result.
It has a slot to push in the ESP32 and two holes for the camera and the 'flash-led'.
In case you care: tank_cover.stl


I took the fantastic ESP32-CAM-Arduino-IDE by Rui Santos as basis.
Then I destroyed its beauty by slapping random code into it until it had a minimal webinterface that allows for FPV and 'forward', 'backward', 'turn a bit left', 'turn a bit right'.
Everything is copy and pasted together and not suitable to be viewed by any sane person.

The result

Talk to me

IT-Dienstleistungen Sven Tantau
Drostestrasse 3
53819 Neunkirchen
USt-Id-Nr.: DE203610693

skype: sven2342
phone: +49 22 47 90 80 250
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