Steve Roberts – N4RVE And The Nomadic Research Labs

As a young man in the early 60’s Steve Roberts was a Ham Radio operator known as WN4KSW. Steve talks about himself as a “prisoner of school isolated in the cultural drought of the Midwest”. He was labeled as a kid with high test scores hampered by “attitude problems” and he was told he was not “working up to his potential”. Steve did not seem to mind because he had a “secret life” as he goes on to explain.

For example, at just 8 years old he was obsessed with electronics. He “fancied a girl” up the street and gave her a walkie-talk so they could both “lie under the covers and giggle to each other”. Steve goes on to mention a high-voltage “Tickle Stick” which he connected to a squirt gun filled with salt water. This “device” was used to counteract the neighborhood “rednecks-in-training” while getting harassed. A rather ingenious invention for an 8 year old I would say.

In Steve’s words, “I spent years gazing through this electronic window and building my tools; like the railroad tracks that passed near my house, radio became deeply symbolic of escape and movement”. So, at this point you may ask yourself, why am I writing about this guy? What makes him so special? Where did all of this lead? What is all the interest in N4RVE? This is best answered by visiting Nomadic Research Labs, his blogs, and most of all his elaborate projects.

I can only summarize this brief introduction by saying that (in my opinion) he is a genius of sorts and an individual who has taken his love for electronics, radio and adventure to the extreme.

Why not visit his Web site(s) and see his accomplishments and read his story in his words. I think you will be rather amazed. With a bit of imagination thrown in, you may find yourself immersed in his work for a time or perhaps subscribe to one of his blog(s). I followed Steve’s adventures rather closely during the years he peddled the Winnebiko & BEHEMOTH across America.

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