This is my first electronics project, I'm really new at this and struggling to understand everything, just learned so solder a few days ago.. :)
I'm using this circuit as my starting point
I'm using a 12V power supply, and a 12V LED strip. Instead of TIP31 I have TIP35 (guys at my local electronics shop said that in my case they don't really make a difference..)
I hooked up the schematic but I had problems with audio output splitting, not enough was passed to the TIP35, so I added an amp circuit with LM386 something like this
Having read that powering the LM386 with 12V results in heat and stuff, I wanted to be safe(er) and I'm passing 5V to it with a TO220 regulator that drops 12v to 5v. I'm not using the Gain pins, because I noticed that it doesn't influence brightness, only the "sensitivity", and the LEDs would flash to the smallest sounds (which is not what I want). So I'm passing ~70% volume and amplifying that, so my LEDs react to more lower sounds.
The problem I am facing is that the LEDs do not blink at full brightness. That was the problem I had without having the amp in, I though that might help but it doesn't. The LEDs I believe never reach ~60-70% of brightness compared to just passing 12v and having them on. I thought it might have to do with the length of the strip (5 meters), I cut it down to just a 9 LED length strip - same result with low brightness.
I've stumbled across this pdf that shows different pins for input/ground/output. I've hooked up in this order: input/output/ground while this pdf ground/input/output. Could that have anything to do with it?..
I'm sorry for the newb questions - I am one..
Edit: Here is how I've connected everything (sorry if it's messy..)
Oops I messed up the colors of the output to the LEDs, they should be switched (blue-red, red-blue)