Tag Archives: Steven Roberts

Datawake: Steven’s new “floating lab”


Photo: Steven K. Roberts

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Steven Roberts, who shares the following update:

Hi, Thomas!! Thought I’d send an update… I did in fact find a buyer for Nomadness, and have since gone to the Dark Side… for 8 months, I have been living aboard my Delta 50 named Datawake. The sale of Nomadness was via the geek grapevine… last Spring I built a power cart named Shacktopus, and West Mountain Radio used my story about it as their quarterly newsletter. A fellow on the East Coast read that, followed the links, recognized my bike, saw the Amazon 44, and bought it… and he is now preparing to head down the Pacific Coast.

Photo: Steven K. Roberts

Photo: Steven K. Roberts

Here’s the new ship, and the console now includes four HF rigs, D-Star, a few SDR devices, crosspoint audio routing with web interface, electronics lab, and networking goodies. Nice to be back on the air after a year without a proper skyhook!


Amazing, Steven! You have a super power in your ability to turn boats, bikes and pretty much anything into mobile techno-wonders! What craftsmanship!

I love Datawake and appreciate the tour with photos and details you’ve posted. I noticed the Icom IC-7300–perhaps we can have a QSO someday on the air? I’ll look forward to any report you may have about the IC-7300 as a maritime mobile station.

We look forward to future updates!

Buy a hi-tech sailboat, complete with shortwave radio

The Nomadness

The Nomadness

With all of the recent posts on maritime radio, I can’t help but jump slightly off-topic for a moment…

I just learned that SWLing Post reader, Steven Roberts, is selling his completely geeked-out sailboat: a 1987 Amazon 44 called the Nomadness. ( Steven knows “geeked-out” is a compliment!)

Steven has put a lot of time and engineering love into the Nomadness and has documented how he’s customized her on his popular blog, Nomadness.com. She’s a beauty.

You can read about the sale of the Nomadness on the boating blog Three Sheets Northwest. If you live in the Pacific NW, you might check her out.

Steven remembers his QSL collection

The Nomadness (Photo: Steven Roberts)

The Nomadness (Photo: Steven Roberts)

 recently sent me a message with photos of a QSL card collection he once had. You see, several years ago he started the process of living on his boat, The Nomadness, full-time. It required that he pare down his belongings to only the essentials; he made the decision to sell his QSL card collection.

Steve confesses:

“Kind of sorry I sold them now, but I have to let things go before I sail off, die, or otherwise render my tonnage irrelevant!”

Steve said that most of the card collections below are from around 1966-67; others from about 1980. Click on the images to see larger versions:




North America


South America


Broadcast Band


Christian Broadcasters





You can follow Steven’s adventures with The Nomadness on his blog: http://nomadness.com/blog

Steven Roberts cycled the US with a Sony ICF-2010

N4RVE working the world from BEHEMOTH, somewhere in Wisconsin. (Photo: Steven Roberts)

Steven (N4RVE) working the world from his bike BEHEMOTH, somewhere in Wisconsin. (Photo: S. Roberts)

One of the most fascinating responses I received after posting the story of my buddy Vlado’s incredible thrift store find (a Sony ICF-2010 for just $5) came from Steven Roberts, who told me that, in the 1980s, he cycled across the United States with the Sony ICF-2010 in tow.

Indeed, Steven carried much more than just the Sony on his memorable trip:  he had a custom designed computer (circa late 80s), a fully-functioning ham radio station, as well as all of his camping and living supplies, mounted on his custom-designed recumbent bike…Wow.

Talk about someone with vision!  I asked Steven if I could post this for SWLing Post readers, to which he replied:

Thanks! I have a pretty good summary of the whole crazy adventure at this link, and the bike is now in the Computer History Museum. Fast-Forward two decades, and I’m geeking-out a 44-foot steel sailboat (including a wrap-around rack console for audio, comms, and electronics lab). Here’s the bike: http://microship.com/resources/technomadic-tools.html

You’re most welcome, Steven–and many thanks, for the inspiring story! We look forward to hearing about your adventures on the water…

If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact me.