I'm a little over my head here and I'm hoping someone might be able to help. I'm trying to control this Heating Pad using Raspberry Pi GPIO pins, turning it on and off via GPIO. It takes 5V DC and seems to draw around 0.5A of current, though slightly less may be fine as well (I don't need it to get THAT hot – just comfortably warm. It's for a wearable)
The Raspberry Pi isn't turning the heating pad on – I've been doing research and it seems like I need to do something with transistors, but I'm confused exactly what. Also I thought the RPi outputted 5V from GPIO, but it may output 3.3V? I can remedy this by sticking a coin battery in series with the GPIO which is no big deal, but I'd like to get 5V if I can. Any help would be VERY appreciated!
I've seen a lot of vague answers online such as "use a MOSFET" and I have those, but I have no idea how to wire them up or how to decide exactly what to do.