Chapter XI of the P. and G. Klopp Story – Part III

Tinkering with Radios – Early Learning in Electronics

One of the ‘little piglets’ from our schoolyard games was Hans. He belonged to the so-called Ancient Language branch of the high school program with ancient Greek and Hebrew in addition to Latin as part of the prescribed curriculum. He was one of my closest friends. He excelled in every subject and later on graduated with the highest average mark the school had not seen for many years. In contrast to the rest of us he did not have to work in order to achieve such fame and glory. Barely an hour after school while I was still laboring over a math problem or hastily finishing a Latin translation, Hans stood two stories below on the sidewalk and whistled our secret code tune by which we recognized each others’ presence. He held an electronic kit under his arm and waited to be let into the apartment building. By this arrangement he did not have to ring the bell and disturb Mother in her sacred afternoon nap.

Hans
Hans

We spread out all the electronic parts needed for the next experiment on the kitchen table, studied and discussed the instructions in the voluminous manual, and then went ahead with the experiment of the day. After several weeks we have come to the last and most demanding project in the kit, the building of our first radio. Unlike today’s kits with their ready-made plug-in parts, ours was primitive. We had to wind our own coils on cardboard spools, which we procured from the empty rolls of toilet paper. We scraped the lacquer off the copper wire to make the ends conductive. But most challenging of all was the endless tinkering with the crystal that served as a diode that even then would have been available in electronic hobby shops in the big cities for as little as a dime. To make a long story short, we never got the radio to work no matter how hard we tried. But what we gained instead was far more valuable, a meaningful friendship and companionship that lasted until we lost track of each other when I immigrated to Canada. As for me, I had just added another fascinating hobby that engendered a passion for the world of electronics, a field that on a number of occasions promoted personal and professional growth and almost became a life-long career and had certainly – no maybe in this case – an all important impact on the direction that the trail of my personal life would take me.

Hartmut on our Balcony
Hartmut on our Balcony

Quite early into my adolescent years Mother and Aunt Mieze decided to pay me a monthly allowance the equivalent of about ten dollars in today’s buying power. The purpose of this generous plan was to teach me to handle money in a responsible manner. Indeed I quickly learned to save money only for more valuable items rather than to spend them on candies and ice cream. Typically my first purchases were books on electronic circuits and theory. Then I spent a few marks on discarded unrepairable radios, which the local radio and TV stores wanted to get rid of. It did not take me very long to have in my possession one of the fancier American models, which even had a so-called magic eye indicating the strength of the tuned-in radio station. Aunt Mieze, always prim and proper with rules and regulations, promptly registered the radio, which with a little bit of tinkering was working very well. She paid the monthly fee at the Post Office, at the time in charge of licensing the use of radio and television reception. Unfortunately, only a few weeks later, she had to cancel the subscription, because of the ‘improvements’ I had made to the radio. After another debacle resulting from obsessive tinkering, Aunt Mieze had enough and bought a very fine Grundig radio with FM, which was placed safely out of my reach in her room. One day a promotional LP from a record company arrived in the mail. Of course, now I had to have a record player. I pestered the three electronic store owners in town, until one of them let me have an old broken-down record player without amplifier and loudspeaker. I played the record and listened to the faint, but quite audible sound of the Hallelujah Chorus from Händel’s Messiah. To make the music louder I took an empty open cocoa can, attached a record needle near the bottom and the entire contraption to the take-up arm of the record player. The sound of the classical music was now considerably louder, but also tinny and unpleasant to listen to. So this prompted me to build my own amplifier complete with volume control from the leftover parts of all my ‘improvement’ projects. My friend Hartmut was impressed, except that he did not like the Hallelujah Chorus, with which I greeted him each time he dropped in to borrow some money to go to the movies.

Autobiography Book Family Research Germany The P. and G. Klopp Story Writing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

witlessdatingafterfifty

Relationships reveal our hearts.

Wondering and Wandering

"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live! Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move my thoughts begin to flow..." --Henry David Thoreau, August 19, 1851

Frau Stich-Schlinge

handGemachtes & allerlei Tüddellütt

birgitdiestarkeblog

What you see is what you get

My Fragmented Narrative

rants and ramblings freshly served

rabbitpatchdiarycom

comfort and joy from my home to yours

mommermom

......one moms journey

Find Your Middle Ground

"Life is a series of highs and lows. Be grateful for the highs. Be graceful in the lows. Enjoy life fully and find contentment in your Middle Ground" Val Boyko

This Much I Know

Exploring life after raising a family

the creative life in between

cherishing the moments and exploring my passion for creativity... through art, photography, food, and writing

Retirementally Challenged

Navigating through my post-work world

Curious Steph

explorations on the journey of living

The Cedar Journal

The adventures of a cedar canoe

Under a Cornish Sky

inspired by the colours of the land, sea and sky of Cornwall

A Quiet Word

Looking for the Light- Reflections on the Everyday

priorhouse blog

Photos, art - and a little bit of LIT.

witlessdatingafterfifty

Relationships reveal our hearts.

Wondering and Wandering

"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live! Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move my thoughts begin to flow..." --Henry David Thoreau, August 19, 1851

Frau Stich-Schlinge

handGemachtes & allerlei Tüddellütt

birgitdiestarkeblog

What you see is what you get

My Fragmented Narrative

rants and ramblings freshly served

rabbitpatchdiarycom

comfort and joy from my home to yours

mommermom

......one moms journey

Find Your Middle Ground

"Life is a series of highs and lows. Be grateful for the highs. Be graceful in the lows. Enjoy life fully and find contentment in your Middle Ground" Val Boyko

This Much I Know

Exploring life after raising a family

the creative life in between

cherishing the moments and exploring my passion for creativity... through art, photography, food, and writing

Retirementally Challenged

Navigating through my post-work world

Curious Steph

explorations on the journey of living

The Cedar Journal

The adventures of a cedar canoe

Under a Cornish Sky

inspired by the colours of the land, sea and sky of Cornwall

A Quiet Word

Looking for the Light- Reflections on the Everyday

priorhouse blog

Photos, art - and a little bit of LIT.

valeriedavies

Author of The Sound of Water and other books

dunelight

Life in the dunes along Lake Michigan

Pit's Fritztown News

A German Expat's Life in Fredericksburg/Texas

My Life Lived Full

If you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up too much space

silkannthreades

about the little things in life

Schwedenlichter

Alltäglich(t) Leichtes, Knirpsbuchwelten

POINT BLANK

...come closer

A Teacher's Reflections

Thirty Years of Wonder

Theresa Barker - Lab Notes

sketches in fiction and poetry

WordsVisual

Mostly photographs with some words by this arty scientist...

Tish Farrell

Writer on the Edge

ruthfreter

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

pastpastoring

By a Pastor, for Pastors, for church leaders, and for all Christians who love their Church

Friendly Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales and Poetry Celebrating Magic and Nature for Kids of all Ages

photoartstuttgart

Präsentation by wordpress

A Suffolk Lane

A diary of my life in rural north Suffolk.

EUROGECKO

exploremore!

A Voice from Iran

Storytelling

Safira's Journey

Create Your Own Happiness

O' Canada

Reflections on Canadian Culture From Below the Border

Mrinalini Raj

I LEAVE YOUR ROAD TO WALK ON MY GRASS.

Tripambitions

It contains the world best places and things.

corneliaweberphotography.wordpress.com

This photography blog is about art, passion, people and places

Ultimatetravel

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.

Amazing Tangled Grace

A blog about my spiritual journey in the Lord Jesus Christ.

%d bloggers like this: