What happened to things I’ve REALLY forgotten?
Forum What happened to things I’ve REALLY forgotten?
Recently (by which I mean a period of some months), I had to quite a lot of tidying up.
Although I’ve managed to avoid becoming a hoarder (those TV programmes are scary), I’m still a dedicated collector, and seldom dispose of anything that ‘tidy’ or ‘NO CLUTTER!’ would toss out the door on the basis of not having used (or maybe even just touched) for three months or more – even if it was perfect and functioning as if it was brand new.
They even to that to stuff they might have bought and never used, still fresh its box – if not used… OUT! And its next stop is the bin or a skip.
Although I may not hoard, I do tend to hang on to stuff other folk class as ‘rubbish, on the basis I might need it to make or fix something, or for spare parts. It may not be hoarding, but it can build up if not kept in check, and last year triggered a ‘Tidy’ point – better known as “DAMN! I can’t find a spot on my loft floor to stand on!”
I fixed that last year – and the floor is now clear – clearer than it was ten years ago. Even I’m impressed.
But it came with some surprised and disappointments.
This was probably the last place I’ve tidied properly in decades, and means I have nothing that counts as hidden or lost, and that’s not good.
I thought I would have found some ancient electronic goodies that I had squirrelled away years ago, and forgotten where.
But now it seems they are gone, and I don’t remember dumping some of them – which is just about as bad as the ones I know I lost for various reasons.
This includes two vintage reel to reel tape recorders.
The first was owned by my grandparents, and must have been a 1950s device. I’ve no idea of the name/make (was too small) but recall it was covered in a deep red Rexine fabric, and used 5 or 7-inch reels (I still have some reels that were used with it). I thought I had been given it (as a kid interested in electronics), but now know for sure it is not hidden away somewhere in my house. I’ve no idea what happened to it, or how I came to have the tapes, but not the machine.
Although I’ve stared at a lot of vintage machines online, none look anything like the image I have in my head.
The second was ‘mine’ when I was tiny, and while I recall it, using it, and being fascinated by the ‘magic eye’ indicator used for setting the recording level, I have no idea what happened to it. I really had been expecting to come across it one day, at the back of a cupboard, or pile of goodies in the loft. Again, I have tapes it was used with, and they are one reason I discovered it had vanished. This recorder, from the 1960s, did not have a capstan or constant tape drive speed, but simply ran the tape from one reel to the other. This means the speed varied as the diameter of the tape on the take-up reel varied, since the reel was rotating at a constant speed. Years ago, I wanted to play one of the tapes – and found the recorder was nowhere to be found.
I managed to dig up one solitary image of a similar machine online… Vintage tape recorder
Finding this image was useless for any sort of info, as it was on (pointless) Pinterest. But I might be able to do some more hunting, based on what can be seen. I have NO idea what name was on mine –‘Belle’ does not ring any bells (sorry, unavoidable pun).
The (green) ‘magic eye’ level indicator, a valve, is on the left, while the control on the right is On/Off and volume.
There’s no capstan governing the tape speed – tape is taken up by the reel on the right, which rotates at a constant speed, so the tape starts of slow when the spool is empty, and gradually gets faster as the reel fills.
I only learned about this when I got a Grundig recorder and tried playing one of this machine’s tapes on it – not possible as the 1970s Grundig DID have constant tape speed.
Mine had a stick microphone.
The Grundig I DO still have, and used for many years.
Unfortunately, last time I dug it out to listen to a tape (and curious to hear how it might deal with those old tapes I mentioned above), the bad news was that while it still operated, there was no audio, not even some hiss. So, that suggests some fault-finding and repair effort before that idea might work, so shelved for another day. Irritatingly, all looked good to start with, since it has valve based electronics, and I did watch to see if they lit up, and they did, so I had expected it all to be OK since the mechanism was running. Grundig TK140 deluxe
This pic looks a lot better than mine!
The finish is not very durable, and mine got a fair amount of use, so anywhere on the panel that was subject to being rubbed in operation had the surface worn off it, down to the bare aluminium. But the mechanical bits never missed a beat, despite all being controlled by that single rotary selector on the right.
It was a 4-track mono machine, not stereo.
And, another ‘magic eye’ for setting level – this time the centre rectangle below the logo.
I have a few other recorders, one is an interesting miniature portable reel to reel from the 1960s.
And a few odd cassette players – since these were used for storing and loading programs on early computers.
There’s also a collection of varied micro-cassette recorders, from a little spying project I had to carry out once. That turned out to be intriguing as it needed sound/voice activation, and time/date stamping using ANALOGUE techniques years before we had digital recorders,
But, the tidy sadly confirmed that a lot (nearly all?) of the electronic ‘junk’ I used to have, and thought had been thrown in boxes and stuffed up into the loft… was all gone.
And, as with those tape recorders, I really have no memory of that stuff being disposed of.
More later, I think, as this has quickly grown rather longer than I intended. Advertisements