Portable Power Banks Worth Having

portable power banks

Portable Power Banks – No More “Doh!” Moments

portable power banks

Portable power banks have become my new best friends, here’s why. If you’re anything like me you love nothing more than being able to act on an idea for a new video immediately. You’ve assembled all the kit you need for most situations: Cameras, microphones, tripods, external audio recording hardware. You’ve got everything charged up, plenty of memory cards and back up batteries – you’re a pro!

But everyone makes mistakes. Here’s one life saving gadget that will come to the rescue time and time again. I’m talking about portable power banks – a rechargeable source of back up power for anything USB. Here’s why I got one.

I recently bought a Tascam DR60 MKII audio recorder to use with my Canon EOS7d. I’d knew they have a voracious appetite for AA batteries but forgot that when I had one of my video ideas. I chucked the Tascam in a shoulder bag, grabbed tripod, camera and tie-clip mic and headed out to shoot.

When AA’s Just Won’t Cut it

I wanted to shoot my video at a really beautiful little lake about a mile from the house so lugged everything there. I got set up and started recording. After a few takes I was happy and went to power the Tascam down. Guess what? It already had. When I got back to the house and checked it I found that the batteries had died pretty early on. I’d have to do it all again.

It’s one of those lessons that you should only need to learn once: Like not having a spare camera battery or memory card with you. Suffice to say I didn’t want to go there again. So I Googled Tascam power supplies. I could only find one that worked on a bigger bank of AA batteries until I came across a video by Curtis Judd. He talked about using USB compatible portable power banks for his DR60.

portable power banks

I couldn’t find the same one he recommended (He’s in the USA – I’m in the UK) but found plenty of similar products. I opted for one by EasyAcc on Amazon and got it in a couple of days.

What Exactly Are Portable Power Banks?

If you’re not familiar with these products they are really just high capacity rechargeable batteries. You charge them up and they’ll provide power via USB either to charge tablets and smart phones or to provide power for devices that take bus power. They are roughly smart phone size and shape and come in various capacities.

portable power banks

I went for a higher power than Curtis recommended – 20,000mha, which should give me over 50 hours of recording time on the Tascam – more than I’ll ever need in one sitting. I could also charge my iphone or ipad numerous times with it and it also has a handy built in torch.

This one has two charging inputs – so can be charged quicker than the 6 hours it took with one apple charger by using two. It has 4 USB outputs so could be providing power for and/or charging 4 devices at the same time. Obviously that would drain it much faster but still good to know.

portable power banks

I took my new power bank with me on my next hike and shot for a couple of hours with no noticeable loss of charge (it has a charge indicator) It’s a very cool solution. I just pop it on a side pocket of my shoulder bag and run the cable into the bag to power the DR60. Good to go!

Portable Power Banks – Keeping It Portable!

The only downside – and it’s a very minor one – with this particular power bank is that it’s a little too big and heavy to Velcro to the back of the DR60. Curtis Judd and other video makers do this but use slightly lower capacity and therefore lighter power banks. This won’t be a major issue for me though but it might be for you.

Providing power for battery hungry sound recorders might not be a problem you have. There are tons of other uses for a power bank that make them a good investment. It could mean not having to take several chargers on holiday with you or keep your phone charged on that epic wilderness hike. They’re great. Get one.

To check out EasyAcc portable power banks and others on Amazon click on any of the images in this post.

Dave Menzies