Elektron is a Swedish brand of very popular electronic musical instruments, such as drum machines, samplers, and synthesizers. Most of their devices run on 12-Volt DC and they come with a power supply unit that is connected to a socket. The question is: Is it possible to power Elektron devices grid-independently?
The short answer is yes, there are various ways to accomplish this. The most practical and affordable way is to use portable smartphone chargers, also called USB power banks or USB portable batteries. Thanks to the huge smartphone market and the USB charging standard you can get good USB power banks for little money.
How to power Elektron devices from portable USB power banks?
As you might know, the output voltage of these portable USB batteries is 5-Volt, but Elektron devices need to be supplied with 12-Volt. That’s where my 12V-Birdcord comes into play. It’s basically a voltage converter that converts 5-Volt from USB-ports to 12-Volt for audio devices, but it’s actually much more: The Birdcord’s built-in soft-start circuit prevents power banks from shutting down due to the high start-up currents of some audio devices. This makes it the only voltage converter that can power bigger audio devices like Elektron devices from USB power banks. Also, Birdcords work completely noise-free. Many musicians love to use it in the studio for this reason.
Important additional info:
- You will also need a 2.5mm adapter to run your 12V Elektron device with a 12V-Birdcord.
- The maximum output power of the Birdcord is 9 Watts. For permanent use, I recommend not exceeding 7 Watts to still have some margin and to not overheat the Birdcord and the USB power bank.
- These Elektron devices can be powered via Birdcord: Elektron Digitakt, Elektron Digitone, Elektron Octatrack MKII, Elektron Analog Drive
- These Elektron devices can’t be powered via Birdcord (yet): Elektron Digitone Keys, Elektron Model:Samples, Elektron Analog Rytm MKII, Elektron Analog Four MKII, Elektron Analog Heat MKII
- The rated output current of your portable USB battery should be 2.1A or higher.
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