Travelling musicians have lots of conveniences these days, from portable rigs all the way to stuff like the Birdcords cables – charging cables that let you power devices of up to 18-Volt DC power through USB power banks.
So, boom! If there’s no power outlet where you practice or perform, your USB power bank and Birdcord cables are here to save the day. And since you are running from a battery, operation is noise-free.
Birdcord cables are available in four variants corresponding to the different AC power levels: 6, 9, 12 and 18 Volts. The 9V cable has an optional adapter for KORG and Casio gear, so it’s capable of powering synths like the Minilogue or CTK-1500. Nifty!
Although these cables have been around for a while, the line-up has recently been refreshed adding a lot of useful changes to this interesting bit of kit. Cable lengths are extended, soft start curcuits are integrated to start devices without overloading the power bank, max. output current was increased (1000mA@9V), and the whole thing is now available in new packaging (an elegant drawstring pouch).
Priced at around EUR 17 per cable (incl. 20% European VAT), the different cables can be seen and shopped at Songbird FX’s website. Optional accessories include DC Splitter Cable, Polarity Inverter Cable, Daisy Chain Cable and 2.5mm Adapter. This is an accomplished product line and I’m rather fond of this small shop’s output. However, you are not allowed to skimp on the power banks themselves. You must get a really good one from a reputable manufacturer and make sure its power output is at least 2A for it to work properly with the Birdie cables. You also need a fair bit of capacity for longer sessions, so yeah – when shopping for a power bank, read reviews like crazy or ask someone competent before you cash out. You don’t want to fry your gear or yourself, do you?