Hams Aren’t the Only Nuts Who Restore Old Electronics

IEEE Spectrum is running a short article on a group of “vintage” engineers who are restoring a vintage IBM 1401 computer. The computer had been in storage, but there was extensive water damage, damage that took 10,000 man-hours to repair! Think about that next time you get your hands on an old Hallicrafters.

Make sure to check out the slide show at the end of the article.


  1. OK, I can get most restoration things – old steam locomotives, old cars, old radios are things of beauty at least to some and a nostalgic pleasure to use, but old IBM mainframes? I first learned to program on an ICL 1901 and I have not the slightest nostalgia for it at all.

  2. Larry W2LJ says:


    I’ve heard that there’s a whole branch of audiophiles who go crazy over restoring old tubed stereo equipment, also. I hear they claim that tubes make for “warmer and richer” sound.

    73 de Larry W2LJ

  3. Julian–
    Having never heard of the ICL 1901, your comment piqued my interest. Here is some information on the ICL 1900 series. You could even get it with a hardware floating point unit!

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