Octoprint/OctoPi with ESP-CAM

Attempted to delete this post because it has been hijacked, was unsuccessful. - I’ll have to search later on how to delete a post.
If you have any info on using the ESP-CAM with OctoPi please pm me. Tnx, Mitch [HR][/HR]

If anyone has any insight to using the ESP-CAM please pm me.

Mitch [HR][/HR]

Anyone successfully using the ESP-CAM module with Octoprint/Octopi? If yes, please describe how you got it working.

Opelika, AL

Have you considered just setting up the ESP-CAM as a standalone? It seems to have WiFi, so maybe you could set it up and use a web browser to access the stream? Let the OctoPrint do it’s thing & the ESP-CAM do its.

Yes, that is exactly what I have done, just streaming the video from the ESP-CAM, viewing in a browser. The ESP-CAM has its own web page where you can stream the video and take snapshots. But I have not found a sketch that will take time lapse photos. As I am sure you know, Octoprint/OctoPi will do time lapse and move the print head out of the way for each time lapse photo, which is really neat! And the quality of the video is really good for a $5 module. And btw, for a couple of $ more, you can get a ‘carrier/programming’ board which has a usb to serial converter for super easy programming of the ESP-CAM.

Opelika, AL
ps WARNING, DO NOT use a regular usb cable to connect your OctoPi to your printer, some printers don’t like power from another device present on the usb input. Bad things can and DO happen! I am speaking from personal experience here! To prevent a problem, you can do surgery on a usb cable cutting the +5v wire, put a piece of tape over the +5v contact on the usb A end of the cable, or buy this +5v blocker on AZ: PortaPow USB Power Blocker - Only Data, No Power

, ,

2 days ago I taped the +5v line in the USB-A connector. I have not had any problems with it not taped, but I figured it might be wise anyway. Besides, I was getting tired of pulling the USB cable out of the printer to prevent the OP from powering the LCD.

Thanks for the tip about getting the printhead out of the way. I do make timelapses, but have not seen where I can set this option.

I had the problem with and Ender 3 (original) but with an upgrade BTT SKR Mini 3 v1.2 motherboard. Discovered all of my stepper motors were RED hot, too hot to touch. Fortunately only had to replace the Z axis stepper and extruder. The motor still worked, but made a terrible noise when stepping. I only discovered the problem when I noticed I was ‘air’ printing, no filament feed. I guess not, the filament had MELTED in the extruder exit. Extremely lucky I caught the problem when I did!!!


That’s a bit of a scary story actually. Glad you didn’t have a disaster.

Thanks to your prodding :wink: I just did a little more research about timelapses & discovered OctoLapse. So, now I can generate my own cool build videos.

Do you happen to know how to get rid of an OctoLapse printer profile. V 0.4 doesn’t seem to offer that feature. Seems odd to me.

UPDATE: found out that it’s possible to get rid of all printer profiles by choosing to Reset To Defaults. Seems like overkill.

Why using an ESP cam, when a 6€ raspberry pi camera is fully integrated into the web interface from OctoPrint, so you can even see what you are doing, when using the move command buttons in the UI? You can even use any standard usb webcam via plug an play in Octoprint. Using the bad ESP WiFi interface for video streaming in general sound like a bad idea.

This is as stupid as the displays using computers and need their own firmware.

Been there, done that…

The RPi camera has to be tethered to the RPi. With the ESP-CAM OctoPi can access the video and take snapshots from via wifi. I had both the video and snapshot mode working via wifi on OctoPi. BUT, I could not get both modes to work at the same time. I want to video monitor on OctoPi and time lapse prints with snapshots using Octolapse, I have not been successful in doing both at the same time.

I run all of my RPi’s headless using VNC. The RPi I have on OctoPi is the only one currently that has something plugged in to the RPi itself, the usb cable to the printer. Most of my RPi’s have single purpose hats and therefore are self contained, no cables except for power.

Last resort I can go back to a RPi camera and a tether, but I prefer not too if I can avoid it. Plus the ESP-CAM is a lot of fun to experiment with!


Why do you use VNC? This adds an additional layer of stuff to the RaspberryPi. Hosting VNC is not resource friendly as a web browser is doing the rendering on the Pi, then the video buffer needs to be read, compressed and transferred to the client. This is very inefficient and needs a fast pi, while while using the webserver, the pi just delivers predefined webpages along with the already hardware compressed video frame. All the work is done on the client.

VNC could even disrupt the usb transfer to the printer and cause failed prints as it slows down the entire system, while even a Pi1 can handle printing and streaming video just fine. If you wonder why you need a fast Pi, that’s it. VNC and everything required to run it.

In fact you don’t even use your Pi’s headless. You just did not connect a monitor to it. Headless would mean to not even have a graphics driver installed, which is required for VNC and the system needs to render the desktop or at least the application.

Beside that the Pi is in overdrive to do all the tasks you need and using a webcam connected to the RaspberriPi would increase the required CPU load by a lot, because the graphics chip on the Pi as well as the CPU are used to display and render, which slows down everything even more.

Not being able to take screenshots is a software problem and not a hardware problem. I tried OctoLaps in the past and AFAIR there was a screenshot button in the web interface as well.

You also need to install stuff to get HDMI output (at least it was that way unless you install a fully fledged Raspian, which I do not recommend) with OctoPrint, which you did to VNC into it. This makes only sense when using a local display to the Pi replacing/adding to the printers display. Even then from external systems you need to use the web browser to avoid additional load. VNC eats a lot of resources.

I guess your installation on the pi runs a fully operational webbrowser in full screen on the pi and connects to itself to render an output, compressed it and transfers it to the VNC client. You simply get the same result by blasting energy trough the roof.

Well, I can see that you got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, or maybe you haven’t gone to bed yet.

Have a nice day…

Because I state facts?

@w4oa, I have run into this situation before, not with @Geit, but with others. I think what we have here is a difference of cultures. Our friend @Geit is German & they have a particular way of interacting with each other that is different from Americans and, from what I’ve seen, even more so with Canadians. I wouldn’t take it to heart. As @Geit says, he’s simply stating facts as he sees them. I don’t believe any offence is intended.

I actually had a friend, years ago, who immigrated from Germany. She married an Austrian who immigrated at the end of WWII. Of course, they spoke German at home. So, in a sense, they kept the culture going. Despite this, when she went back to visit relatives in Germany 15 years later she was surprised to find the customs officials seemed very rude to her. She got quite frustrated. Later, she realized they hadn’t been rude at all, at least not by their standards. She realized that, over the years, she had adopted many of the North American cultural attitudes & ways in interacting. So, what had been normal to her at 1 time now seemed rude. But it wasn’t. It was just a different culture.

I went to a memorial service a couple of years ago. There were a number of people from England there. I found them to be somewhat rude, but I’m sure they would say they were simply being direct.

As far as your Pi’s are concerned, I suspect @Geit is concerned about efficiency. Perhaps you are not, at least not to the same level. So, take @Geit’s observations into account & then do what feels best to you.

So… ALL of my RPi’s probably use less energy than one monitor. :slight_smile: Especially the ones I have running DietPi and throttled back to 700 mhz. Unless you are a RPi heavy user, you wouldn’t know that.

Regardless, you do know that Irv has a troll blocker installed, you have to know how to use it, and I am now involk

Did you even read what I wrote? I never said to connect a display to the raspberry pi, but your setup would allow exactly that, because the desktop is there and the browser is running a web server connecting to the raspberrypi itself showing octo prints webinterface. OctoPrint has no Application UI. It is web driven.

OctoPrint is a web UI and there is notting VNC could connect to, unless you have a desktop running a browser.

I said the CPU/GPU is running nuts (wasting energy/cpu power) to renders a desktop and running a web browser, to compress and sent changes via VNC. Most of the CPU power is even wasted, when there is not even anyone watching.

I never talked about connecting a monitor beside the PiWhat ever displays used for printers. For remote you don’t need the HDMI and there you don’t need a running Desktop and a webbrowser. It was you who clained running headless, which was wrong as you just did not connect a display, which does not stop the raspi from rendering a screen all the time. Headless means to not use any display related resources. VNC is a display related application.

While the default webinterface basically does not need any CPU power as it just sends web pages to show the same on the client.

Your VNC solution needs a bigger RaspberryPi, as it needs way more CPU/GPU power, while the default web server basically runs fine on a Pi1.

@Geit, the way I read the post is that @w4oa was not talking about connecting a monitor to a Pi. I took it as saying the power used by all his Pi’s together is probably less than the power used by any regular old monitor connected to any computer. IOW, even with VNC, etc., the power consumed is still very low.

I know.

The real issue is not VNC. OctoPrint is basically just a mini Linux.

To use VNC you need a fully fletched desktop and a web browser running on the pi itself. This Webbrowser shows the web interface created on the pi, within the web browser on the pi. All the Java scripts and stuff, the css, the html get parsed on the pi. A video driver renders the output, so you •could• connect a display. But VNC is used to compress the video ram and transfer it to the client system. Beside the transfer part all this is done, even if no client is connected.

The real world solution is to hand over the octoprint web site over network and done. All processing done above is done on the computer that logs into the pi. The pi is just creating the website, but only if a client is connected.

Now compare both solutions. Which one do you think needs less pi processing power? Remember the pi also sends serial data to the printer without interruption.

This is the point I wanted to make.

I understand. I was simply saying that people have different values. Some aren’t that concerned about a little extra power for a Pi. If the Pi isn’t fast enough, get a better 1. No biggie. I myself am not that concerned. My Pi 3 B+ is working right now, with OctoLapse running, & it’s using half an amp. That’s 2.5W. My nightlight uses more power.

You are not running VNC, which would have a significant impact on the pi needed.

True, but even if I had to get a Pi 4 & it ended up using 5W, or even 10W, I wouldn’t really be concerned. It’s still very low power consumption, especially compared to the printer itself.