I just bought esp8266 and ftdi usb driver, I want to power the esp8266 with Arduino's 3.3 V output, is that possible?

I saw some tutorial on youtube in that they are suggesting us to use 3.3v regulator ic instead of directly power 3.3 V of Arduino or ftdi driver's 3.3 V output.

If I connect my ftdi or Arduino output directly into esp8266 is there a chance to damage the esp8266?


3 Answers 3


You should search for this data yourself, but since you are saying you are a newbie I'll tell you how to find this.

First of all you should search for a document called "datasheet". On a datasheet the producer writes all the relevant data about his product.

In your case, you should search for the electrical characteristics of the ESP8266. For instance here you have one of the datasheets. On page 13, there is the "Power consumption" chart, which says that the worst case has a typical current of 170mA. I suggest you to raise it a bit; let's say you need 250mA for the ESP.

Now, the arduino. You should search for the schematic of the board or read the part number of the 3.3V regulator. Since it's easier from the schematic and they released it on the web, you can see that the part number of the 3.3V regulator is LP2985. Searching for it on google will lead you to the texas instruments webpage, with the datasheet. Here you can see that the maximum output current is 150mA, so below the required current. Answer: you can't with arduino.

As for the FT232 cable, you should search for it because there are different models. Search on google and pick the first link pointing to the ftdi website.

As an example, the TTL-232RG has this datasheet. On page 9 they say that the TTL-232RG-VSW3V3-WE has an output current of 50mA, so you can't use it. The TTL-232RG-VREG3V3-WE, on the other side, has a maximum output current of 250mA, so you can use it.

If you have further questions, just ask here ;)


The specs for the Uno say that it does not provide as much current on the 3.3V line as the specs for the ESP8266 requires. You will need to provide another regulator that can supply enough current.

  • Im also have a ftdi usb driver in that there is a 5v and 3.3v out ,is that possible to get that amount of current from ftdi or arduino's 5v (using a voltage devider).Im a software developer im new to arduino and esp so if i say something wrong please forgive me May 3, 2016 at 8:17
  • Voltage dividers are not voltage regulators. May 3, 2016 at 8:44
  • Sorry, is it possible to that by using lm1117 ic and 9v battery ? May 3, 2016 at 8:46
  • Check this for the lm1117: i.imgur.com/bD1ZDU2.png May 3, 2016 at 11:19
  • And on a side note, you can also use the lm1117 to the 5v of the Arduino like so: 3.bp.blogspot.com/--C-w5vILMi0/VTAvOct-fKI/AAAAAAAAO5w/… May 3, 2016 at 11:21

i know It's a delayed reply .but it might help some one else.The answer is yes. I powered up esp8266 with ardino 3.3V directly and it works fine for me.


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