May 2015 RATS News

It’s May and Amateur Radio Field Day will be here soon!  This year it is June 27-28.  We have confirmed that we will be using the same location as last year.  It has worked well for us, it’s the Laurel Park Recreation Area located at 10301 Hungry Spring Road.  Once again we will be cooperating with other clubs in the area to put on Field Day. The Richmond Amateur Radio Club and DDXG, along with RATS are all participating this year.  If you are interested in Amateur radio or haven’t been on the air in a while, Field Day is a great opportunity to come and watch, learn more, or just get on the air.  Here are some pictures and a write-up of last year’s Field Day event.

  • Setup will begin around 11:00 AM Saturday and on air operations begin at 2:00 PM.
  • Operation will continue overnight and will wrap up around noon on Sunday.
  • VE testing will happen Saturday afternoon, beginning at 2:00 PM.
  • Four HF stations will be on the air, including one with VHF/UHF capability.
  • Club picnic and cookout starting Saturday afternoon around 5 PM.

Coming up at the membership meeting on May 15 we will have a show and tell session.  Several members have agreed to show and discuss things that the have put together at home.  Among the items to be discussed are a mobile bicycle radio setup and a home-brew dummy load.  Feel free to bring along anything that you have made so others can see and learn from your experience.

April 2015 RATS Update

Lots of volunteer opportunities coming up.  Here’s a list of upcoming events.  Please consider helping out if you can.

4/18      Ashland Railroad Run      Jerry Williams   KJ4IT       kj4it.jw@gmail.com
4/26      Powhatan Historic Bike   Mike Hackett    AC5PT    ac5pt@yahoo.com
5/17      March for Babies              Roy Schultz      KI4MCX   ki4mcx@arrl.net
6/6,7     MS Bike                             Mike Hackett   AC5PT     ac5pt@yahoo.com
6/12,13 Special Olympics             Matt Kimball     K4MTK    http://www.hamvaso.net/
Coming up at the meeting this month will be a presentation on dB by W4BNO.  We will also get an update on Frostfest 2015.  The meeting will be held April 17 at 7:30 PM.
The April presentation is now available: What’s a dB
For those of you that missed the March meeting, Bubba was kind enough to allow RATS to put his presentation on the web site, so here it is: GROUND

March 2015 RATS News

Coming up at this month’s membership meeting, Bubba, WW4GW, will be talking about Ground.  Bubba’s presentations are always informative and thought provoking, so come check it out, Friday March 20 at the Richmond Volunteer Rescue Squad Building.

Also this month, on Saturday March 21, the amateur community will be supporting the Instant Classic Marathon.  Contact Brad Price, KI4BWJ, to sign up to volunteer.

Other activities coming soon include:

A nominating committee will be needed soon to select the slate of officers up for re-election this year.

February 2015 RATS News

Frostfest was a big success!  We sold out of tables, administered a lot of tests that resulted in 25 upgrades and 22 new hams.  As soon as we have good attendance numbers, we’ll post them here as well.

Frostfest 2015

The crowd of hams at Frostfest 2015

We would like to give a big thanks to everyone that made this year’s Frostfest the big success that it was, including, but not limited to:

  • All the volunteers.
  • All who participated on the Frostfest committee
  • Outgoing Chairman Tray Murphy, N4PAT, and incoming Chairman Tim Farrell, KJ4NPB.
  • Rob Marshall, KI4MCW, who put together a fantastic forum schedule.
  • All the vendors and patrons.

Frostfest is THE fundraising activity for RATS and it allows us to run all the club repeaters.  Thanks again to everyone for a great show!

Coming up on March 21 is the Instant Classic Marathon at Pocohantas State Park.  This race raises money for the Fisher House.  Amateur radio operators are needed to provide communications for this event.  If you would like to help, please contact Brad Price, KI4BWJ.

Coming up at this month’s meeting, on Friday February 20, we will have Jay Lovelady talking about DMR and he will be available to program radios during the meeting as well.

January 2015 RATS News

Happy New Year!  Frostfest is fast approaching – get ready for the biggest hamfest around on February 7, 2015 at the Richmond Raceway Complex.

This month’s membership meeting will be held Friday January 16 at 7:30 PM.  This month we will have Bruce, W4BRU, talk to us about activities for the 100th anniversary of Ham Radio in the Richmond Area.

We will also be talking about our preparations for Frostfest.  If you haven’t volunteered to help, this would be a great time to sign up.  In addition to helping us put on a great show, you also get free admission and you get entered for a chance to win any of the prizes that are being given away during the show.

December 2014 RATS News

December is here already and that means it’s time for the annual RATS Christmas party.  There will be a short business meeting to vote on new member applications, and then it will be time to eat and socialize.  We will have a selection of finger foods available, similar to what we’ve had the past few years.

Come join us on Friday December 19 at 7:30 PM.

Click here for directions to our meeting place.

November 2014 RATS News

The RATS monthly membership meeting will be held Friday November 21 at the Richmond Volunteer Rescue Squad building.  Details on getting to the meeting are available here.

This month’s main presentation will be on Ballooning and Amateur radio presented by Rob Marshall, KI4MCW.

In other RATS news

  • Frostfest preparation is moving ahead.  The Frostfest web site is up and taking orders, and we have more room than before with the new layout.  We are always looking for volunteers to help out with planning and preparation, as well as staffing for the show itself.
  • We are still in the planning stages for the December meeting social event, but it will also be held at the Richmond Volunteer Rescue Squad building.
  • The By-laws review has been postponed until after Frostfest.  We are still looking for volunteers to serve on this committee.

October 2014 RATS News

The October RATS general membership meeting will be held on October 17 at the Richmond Volunteer Rescue Squad Building.  The meetings page has more information and directions to our location.

  • Welcome to Tim Farrell, KJ4NPB, the newest member of the RATS Board of Directors.  Tim was appointed to the Board at the October Board meeting. Tim takes the place of Bryan Walker.  We would like to thank Bryan for his service to RATS.
  • RATS is looking for a few member volunteers to serve on a committee to review the RATS By-Laws.  We think it’s a good idea to periodically examine our bylaws to make sure that they are a good fit with the current state of the club.  Ideally we would like to have board members and club members participate in this review.  The committee will also accept comments from the general membership.
  • Membership renewal season is still active.  If you haven’t renewed you RATS membership this year, then you can do it online, or at a meeting.  A PDF of our membership application is available.
  • At the October member meeting we will have a brief review of the Simulated Emergency test that occurred in September, as well as updates on other club activities, including Frostfest.  The main program will be an introduction to, and discussion about, Ham Radio Deluxe software.

 

September 2014 RATS News

The September 2014 membership meeting will be held on Friday, September 19, 2014 at the Richmond Volunteer Rescue Squad Building (formerly known as West End Volunteer Rescue Squad).  The meeting begins at 7:30 PM.  Directions and meeting information are here.

For the Membership meeting, Robert Orndorff, W4BNO, will give a presentation that identifies various things you might see on electrical poles, as well as a brief overview of how the grid works.

Frostfest – The planning meeting will be held Saturday September 13 starting at 9 AM at the Richmond Volunteer Rescue Squad building.  Anyone wishing to help with the planning of Frostfest 2015 is encouraged to attend.  This kickoff meeting generally lasts until around noon or 1 PM.

Member renewal time is upon us again, so if you haven’t renewed for 2014-2015 yet, now is the time to do so.  The link to renew online is here.

We have recently added a page that gives a history of the club, check it out here.

Another ham related event is the MakerFest being held at the Science Museum of Virginia on Saturday September 27.  The Richmond Amateur Radio Club is hosting a table at this event and help is always appreciated from any Hams in the community.

The local six meter net (50215.net) is holding their semi-annual Tailgate Fest at the Scottish Rite Temple on Saturday September 27 from 8:00 AM – noon.
The Scottish Rite Temple is located at 4204 Hermitage Road.

Saturday September 27 is Survivor Day, taking place at several localities in the area.  This event is from 9 AM until noon.  Check out the Survivor Day web site for more information.