Not reaching it’s potential

It seems that I still have a problem with my hardware,  the led receive at maximum 8V…

I found that out after watching some videos online, my led strip was really very dim so I’ve searched the reason to that.

I’ve made some test, and if I provide 12V directly to the strip , it’s much brighter as you can (maybe) see on this picture:

Brightness comparaison

Something is definitively up here. I’ll continue my debug and keep you informed.

Edit: It might be the IRFZ44N MosFet that are not opening completely, their Gate Threshold Voltage is rated as being between 2 to 4V. The ESP8266 maximal output of 3,3V is maybe not enough for the one I got… I’ve ordered some IRLZ44N (Gate Threshold Voltage between 1 and 2V) and will install them in place of the IRFZ44N to see if it solve the problem.

Edit 2: After installing the IRLZ44N the problem is still there so I did some further investigation. Found out that I was the problem! The ESP8266 PWM value goes from 0 to 1023 and not 0 to 255… so my max value of 255 was the problem.

After modifying the max output for the LED control in the ESP software, they are now much brighter 🙂

Conclusion if you do something with the PWM output of the ESP pay attention to the fact that ESP use 10bit output whereas Arduino usually use 8bit output.