Below you find the frequently asked questions. In case you have any other questions, feel free to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
Which payment methods do you offer?
You can pay with Paypal or credit card.
What is a Birdcord?
A Birdcord is a voltage converter cable that converts the voltage of a USB outlet to fit your audio device.
There are 2 different types of Birdcords:
Birdcord (USB to …V Converter Cable)
- the “original” Birdcord
- works with any USB outlet (preferably charging outlets)
- four different voltage options available: 6V, 9V, 12V and 18V
- 9W peak power (that’s 0.5A-1.5A of output current, depending on the voltage version)
Birdcord PD (PD→…V – USB PD Voltage Converter)
- much more powerful than the original Birdcord
- only works with dedicated USB-C Power Delivery (PD) outlets (PD is a new fast-charging standard)
- four different voltage options available: 9V, 12V, 15V and 20V
- 3A maximum output current (that’s 27W-60W of output power, depending on the voltage version)
Can the Birdcord (USB to …V) power my device?
Birdcords can power most guitar pedals and many other DC devices like keyboards, battery amplifiers, loop stations and more. More specifically it depends on the supply voltage (V) of your device, the current draw (mA), the plug dimension (for example 5.5×2.1mm) and the polarity (center positive or center negative). I usually get these specifications from forums, operating manuals, the power list, or by measuring. Get in touch if you have any questions (email@example.com).
Supply Voltage: The supply voltage (V) of your device and the Birdcord output voltage (V) must be identical. (Slight differences are okay: It’s possible to power 5.7V devices with a 6V Birdcord)
Current Draw: The permanent current draw of your device shouldn’t exceed 80% of the maximum current draw of the Birdcord. Current is measured in Milliampere (mA). Instead of current draw manufacturers often rate the power consumption (W or mW) of their device. You can divide the mW-rating by the supply voltage (V) to get back to the mA-rating (mA=mW/V).
Plug Dimension: The plug dimensions of all four Birdcords is DC 5.5×2.1mm. It’s the most common plug dimension. If your device has a different plug (jack) dimension I probably offer the correct adapter.
Polarity: The polarity rating tells you if the positive (+) or negative (-) electrical pole is in the center or on the sleeve of the DC plug or jack. The Birdcord’s polarity has to match the polarity of your device. In case it doesn’t, you can easily change it with a polarity inverter.
The USB power bank shuts down when I try to power my device with a Birdcord (USB to …V). What can I do?
The startup current is too high for your USB power bank. To limit the startup current the Birdcord has an integrated soft start circuit. Make use of the soft start circuit by following the chronological startup order:
- switch on your device
- plug the Birdcord into your device
- plug the Birdcord into the USB power bank
What separates the Birdcord (USB to …V) series from other voltage converters?
Birdcords are designed for audio applications (noise-free!) and for the use with USB power banks. This means that they avoid the power bank from shutting down at high startup currents of big devices (portable amps, keyboards, big digital pedals) as well as avoiding the low-current shutdown of power banks for smaller devices (like analog guitar pedals). The use of high-quality components ensures longevity and market-leading output power.
Which USB power bank should I get?
For the Birdcord (USB to …V) :
For best results choose a USB power bank with an output current of at least 2A. Even better would be 2.1A or higher. I have good experiences with power banks from Anker, but other manufacturers will work too.
For the Birdcord PD (PD→…V):
Choose a power bank that is capable of Power Delivery (PD). Also, make sure that your desired output voltage is listed in the specifications and that it has enough power for your application.
– Baseus 65W 20000mAh PD portable charger, 1x 65W USB-C PD output: 5V=3A / 9V=3A / 12V=3A / 15V=3A / 20V=3.25A; 2x 30W USB-A PD output: 5V=3A / 9V=3A / 12V=2.5A
This power bank is capable of all four voltage options (9V, 12V, 15V, 20V) at full power (3A). In addition, the two USB-A ports can also be used for 9V and 12V applications. It is widely available (via Amazon or Aliexpress).
– INIU 45W 15.000mAh PD portable charger: 1x 45W USB-C PD output: 5V=3A / 9V=3A / 12V=2.5A / 20V=2.25A
This is a very inexpensive PD power bank, but it works well for many applications. 15V is not supported.
How long can my device be powered from one charge?
TIME [h] = POWERBANK CAPACITY [mAh] * 3.7 * 0.8 / (CURRENT DRAW [mA] * SUPPLY VOLTAGE [V])
Example: The Boss RC-1 loop pedal draws approximately 100mA of current at a supply voltage of 9V. My power bank has a capacity of 10.000mAh.
=> TIME = 10.000 * 3.7 * 0.8 / (100 * 9) = 33 hours
Can I use a USB power bank with two outputs to use two Birdcords (USB to …V) at the same time?
Yes, with reservations. Usually, it works perfectly fine. Technically, you are creating a ground loop by doing this and this could cause noise, but usually, it just works. By using a 5-way daisy chain adapter or a 2-way dc splitter you can power more devices from only one Birdcord.
By using a second power bank you can create an isolated power supply, in case you need it.
Can I use a USB extension cable between Birdcord (USB to …V) and USB outlet?
No, don’t do this! It puts a huge impedance between the USB outlet and the Birdcord. This will eventually damage the Birdcord. It’s better to use an extension on the output side of the Birdcord. A 5-way daisy chain adapter or a 2-way dc splitter can act as a suitable extension.
Can I use a USB meter between Birdcord (USB to …V) and USB outlet to measure the current draw?
No, don’t do this! It puts a huge impedance between the USB outlet and the Birdcord. This will eventually damage the Birdcord. Besides, the current you are measuring in this spot is not the same as on the Birdcord output due to different voltages.
Can I use the Birdcord (USB to …V) outside?
Yes, in combination with a USB power bank the Birdcord allows you to use your audio devices anywhere you like. Keep in mind though, that direct sunlight on a hot day can lead to overheating of the Birdcord and the power bank, especially when you draw a lot of current.
Do you ship to my country?
Yes, I ship worldwide. Find more information here.
Have you already shipped my order?
Currently, I ship orders twice a week. You will receive a confirmation email on the day of shipment.
Can I get a tracking number for my order?
In most countries I offer priority shipping without tracking number, to keep the shipping cost low. Your order will arrive in your mailbox just like a letter. In some countries, I offer registered priority shipping with a tracking number. In case your order says “Registered Priority” you can contact me for your tracking number.
Where is Songbird FX based?
Songbird FX is based in the heart of Europe, in Molln, Austria.