Nomadic Research Labs

PACIFICON ’97 Amateur Radio Convention

I love hamfests… they are like going home, on some geek level, with a sort of relaxed camaraderie that takes me back to those formative teen years as a Novice (WN4KSW), the sounds of CW in the static, and the warm glow of transmitting tubes. Of course, this is a fast-growing field… so I was moved to comment in my Microship Status Report a week after this gig: “Finally, in the potential new toy category, I gave a talk last week at the Pacificon ham radio convention in Concord, CA (without the bike — just a slide show), and that gave me the opportunity to catch up on new developments in ham gear. I’ll keep you posted on details as they emerge, but we may have some excellent new HF and dual-band equipment coming, as well as both standard and custom antennas…”

PACIFICON ’97 Banquet Speaker

Steven K. Roberts, N4RVE
Concord, California
October 18, 1997

Our special guest this year is Steve Roberts, N4RVE. From 1983 to 1991, Steve pedaled 17,000 miles around the United States on a computerized ham shack. Steve has now retired the $1.2 million BEHEMOTH and is designing and building a pair of pedal/solar/sail micro-trimarans known as Microships. After PACIFICON ’97 the bicycle will be on loan to the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose and the ships will go as far as the imagination can conceive. (NOTE: This changed, and the bike actually went to the Computer History Museum where it resides to this day.)

Steve, prior to becoming a tech nomad, operated a consulting engineering business in the Midwest. He has published three books on microprocessor-based industrial control design. His technomadic machines represent the creative contribution of industry sponsors and hundreds of volunteers. His once-radical notion of “nomadic connectivity” has become a fast growing trend.