RATS adds 900mhz repeater

RATS has added a new repeater to the W4RAT stable. A new 900MHz Motorola Quantar repeater, built by Fred Towers, WB4KXS (a RATS Founding Member) and Dave Meier, N4MW, is on the air at our repeater site.
From Fred WB4KXS:
The second 900MHz Richmond repeater is on the air from southside right now. It is on 927.0250/902.0250MHz. It is a mixed mode repeater, that is, it can work in analog mode using 100Hz PL, or it will work in P25 digital mode using NAC $293.The repeater output (after the duplexer) is 60 watts. The antenna is fed by about 500 feet of 7/8 inch hardline. The antenna is one that was already mounted on the WCVE tower. However, it is NOT a 900MHz antenna. In fact we do not really know what the antenna is, but we suspect that it is a UHF (450MHz) antenna. We have a 900MHz Super StationMaster antenna ready to go, but are trying to find a way to cover the cost of having a commercial tower crew (required by WCVE) put the 900MHz antenna on the tower. When the Super StationMaster antenna is in place, this repeater’s range should improve greatly. Then again, even with the current antenna, it works surprisingly well.If you have one of the Kenwood TK-981 radios that N4MW and I have set up and distributed in Virginia, mainly in the Richmond metro area, this repeater is just two channels down from the downtown Richmond repeater you have been using. If you have one of the P25 EFJ 5100 handheld radios that were recently available on eBay, you are ready to go on analog. You will need to get the very latest version of the software configuration for it to work on P25. Any 5100 programmed at the last Tailgate Fest (or since then) is programmed for P25 on this repeater. If you need a 5100 update, let me know and we can fix you up with the newest configuration. Thanks to N4MW for the engineering, metalwork, duplexer, time, and sweat to put together this repeater, a Motorola Quantar.  Thanks to K3WRY for the Bird wattmeter panel we are using in this repeater.  Thanks to RATS for getting permission to put this repeater at the WCVE site, and thanks to WCVE for giving that permission. Fred WB4KXS

June Special Olympics a big deal, needs lots of hams

The Virginia Special Olympics summer games needs thirty two (32) hams on the field with officials plus a few more serving as net control. It is Friday, June 7 and Saturday June 8. Then there is set up Thursday night, June 6. You sign up for as much of any of the days as you want. So it may take 60 to 70 hams to cover it all for two days. You need an HT, a good hat, a water bottle, and a willingness to have some fun. The hams are organized by Matthew Kimball, K4MTK. See http://k4mtk.com. Here is how it works. We hams are assigned to a fixed location and/or to an official that we shadow. You could be running (literally) to incidents with the medical team, sitting pool-side during aquatic competitions, or following a staff member or official as he or she moves around the field. As the ham in a location you will be responding to information polls such as “have awards ceremonies started for tennis yet?” You will be asked to send an APB (all points bulletin) to find a specific individual. Your official may ask you to report that her sport is 30 minutes behind schedule. Although officials use cell phones for direct person-to-person communications, most information needs to be received by all the officials. Ham radio is how that gets done. You will be shocked at just how hard handicapped athletes work and how much they can accomplish.  It is wonderful to watch. And therefore you will pledge to increase your exercise regimen. You will have more QSOs is a day than most hams get in a month. You will feel like you are really accomplishing something important, because you are. It is difficult to see how they could run these games from the several locations without hams. Go to the K4MTK.com website and sign up.