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I am new to the ESP32 series of boards.I powered up my ESP32 Cam board using the Vcc pin supplying about 7.4V using two 18650 batteries only to find out later that was a completely incorrect way to power up the board.

Now I cannot get my board to flash. I am guessing that the SPI SRAM on my board is burnt because when I measure the Vcc at the SPI SRAM chip it doesn't read 3.3V as its supposed to.

Also there is continuity between the ground and Vcc of the SPI SRAM chip. And it heats up excessively when powered up using 5V.

However I read in the documents that the ESP32 has a few bytes of internal RAM in it.

I was planning to use the ESP32 Cam as an IP Camera for one of my projects. I want to know if its possible to desolder the SPI SRAM chip (IPS1704) and somehow use the internal ram to get my job done or else if I have to buy a new board.

Thanks in advance

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    It's dead. You killed it. Well done. The ESP32 has lots of internal RAM. However it has no internal flash, and requires external flash to operate. External PSRAM is optional. If you toasted the flash chip you will have to replace it (it's inside the metal can). If you toasted the PSRAM chip you can remove it. If you toasted the ESP32 itself then you will have to replace that too. If you toasted all three then all three will have to be replaced. By the time you've done all that you will be asking yourself "was it worth it?" - just get a new one.
    – Majenko
    Sep 28 '20 at 10:03
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If there is continuity between 3.3V and GND your board is dead. Most likely (from my experience) the ESD protection diode on the ESP module is fried which leaves you no chance to repair it. Even if you could remove the shielding to change the diode, you have no chance to find out which components are damaged. Considering the cost of the whole device, repairing it doesn't seem to be worth the effort.

For your understanding:

  • reading less than 3.3V on the external RAM means you would also read the same voltage at the ESP's Vcc. It's not an indicator for the RAM being dead
  • the ESP32 has plenty of internal ram (some hundreds of kB remain for use of your sketch after subtracting what the RTOS uses)
  • the ESP32 (chip) has no internal flash, so there is always an external flash on the ESP module
  • the ESPcam has an additional SPI RAM assembled externaly to the module. The internal RAM is by far too small to do any useful image processing at any desired resolution, so using only the internal RAM does not work
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It appears you have some paper weights. I would suggest before you make more read the instructions and be sure you understand them. It is much less costly that way. There may be some light at the end of the tunnel, if the ESP32 and it is mounted on another board, and it possibly has a voltage regulator, you might be OK, but I have two neighbors chances, Slim and None. Read the data or as they say RTFM.

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