ESP32 OTA using PlatformIO


Over-the-Air (OTA) programming allows for updating the ESP32 microcontroller wirelessly, eliminating the need for a USB connection. OTA updates are particularly useful when physical access to the ESP32 module is limited, reducing maintenance time and effort. This guide focuses on using the OTA features of the ESP32 with PlatformIO, providing step-by-step instructions and configuration details.


ESP32 OTA Update Process

Before diving into the OTA implementation, it's important to understand the underlying process. The ESP32 utilizes a dual partition table scheme, with two identical application partitions labeled "OTA app slot 0" and "OTA app slot 1". Only one partition is active at a time, while the other remains inactive. When performing an OTA update, the new firmware is uploaded to the inactive partition, and then the active partition is switched to the updated firmware.


PlatformIO Configuration


In PlatformIO, both the main.cpp file and the platformio.ini file need to be configured for OTA updates. In the main.cpp file, you'll include the ArduinoOTA.h header and add the necessary code in the setup() and loop() functions. This includes initializing OTA with ArduinoOTA.begin() and setting a password for OTA authentication using ArduinoOTA.setPassword(). Additionally, you'll add ArduinoOTA.handle() in the loop() function to handle OTA updates.


To enable OTA updates in PlatformIO, you'll need to set up two environments in the platformio.ini file: one for normal USB Serial upload and another for OTA updates. These environments will have different configurations, including the upload protocol and settings specific to OTA updates.

Uploading New Sketch Over-The-Air

When performing OTA updates, it's crucial to include the OTA code in every sketch you upload. Failure to include the OTA code will result in the loss of OTA capability for subsequent updates. In the Visual Studio Code (VS Code) platform, select the PlatformIO icon on the left sidebar. Under project tasks, you'll find the "esp32" environment for standard USB Serial upload and the "esp32_ota" environment for OTA upload.


In conclusion, OTA updates offer a convenient way to wirelessly update ESP32 devices, and PlatformIO provides a seamless development environment for implementing these updates. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can configure PlatformIO for ESP32 OTA updates, understand the OTA process, and successfully perform OTA updates with ease. Embrace the benefits of OTA updates to streamline maintenance and enhance the functionality of your ESP32-based projects.

Remember to include code snippets, examples, and screenshots in your blog to illustrate the implementation steps and make it easier for readers to follow along.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published