We are saddened to report that the Richmond Amateur community has lost another member this week.  Joseph G. Murphy (known to all of us as Tray), N4PAT, passed away on Wednesday September 2, 2015.

Tray has been a huge contributor to the local amateur community.  He is the main reason Frostfest has been so successful, was an active Board member at RATS, and taught classes for the RARC school.  Tray will be missed greatly.


N4PAT at Frostfest 2015

N4PAT at Frostfest 2015

There will be a memorial for Tray from 2 to 4 PM on Sunday Sept 6th from 2 to 4 PM at Bliley’s Funeral Home at 6900 Hull Street Road Richmond, VA 23224. There will be a remembrance at 3PM for anyone who would like to speak.


Edward “Buck” Vaughn – KR4NL SK

KR4NLIt is with great sadness that we hear that our treasurer, Buck Vaughn, passed away on Friday August 28, 2015.

Buck was an enthusiastic and beloved member of RATS.  His love of the hobby was infectious and he was always willing to help other hams whenever he could.  Not only was Buck an active club member, he was also on the Board of Directors and served as club Treasurer.

73 Buck, we will miss you.

Information about Buck’s service is below.


August 2015 RATS Update

The monthly RATS membership meeting will be held on Friday August 21 at the usual location.  Directions and information are here.

Ballots for the election of Officers have been sent out and should be returned before the meeting.  You can also bring the ballots to the meeting.  Ballots for the election of Officers as well as the proposed By-laws changes will be counted at the meeting.



W4WJJ (SK) Equipment Liquidation

Calling all hams!

Bill Gandel, WA4QPF, a longtime RATS member from Prince George County, has been asked by Everett Worrell’s, W4WJJ (SK), widow to help liquidate his Amateur Radio equipment. Typical ham, there’s a lot of it. Some Collins S-Line, some Heathkit, some Yaesu, Clegg 2M gear, too. Bill says there is too much to inventory. Also, operability is questionable. The Yaesu 757 has no display, but according to Ev’s report before he died, it still works.

Here is Bill’s quick synopsis:
“Several Heathkit units. Appears to be transmitters, receivers, 2 amps  all of unknown operability.
There are several older 2m rigs like Clegg etc.
Big Vintage Collins station with large transmitter, receiver, and power supply.”

There is a .ZIP file of the pictures Bill sent. Please contact him directly to inquire about purchasing any of this equipment. Please, also spread the word, I know there are hams out there who cherish vintage equipment, and would love to acquire this treasure trove of good old radios.
Also, if you are can, would you contact Bill about actually inventorying this station, and maybe assisting with assessing the operability and/or value? If I knew anything about the old stuff, I could help, but I am pretty much clueless. I remember meeting Ev many years ago when I lived in the Prince George area. He was an active ham, and his is a real loss to us!
Bill’s contact info:

WA4QFP Contact

W4WJJ Equipment Pictures (1 MB Zip file)

July 2015 RATS News

This month’s meeting will be held on July 17 at our usual meeting place.  The main presentation will be “Receiver Theory 101” and will cover some basic concepts that are used in modern superheterodyne receivers, including what a “heterodyne” is.

Other items to be discussed at the meeting include:

One of the four HF stations at Field Day 2015

One of the four HF stations at Field Day 2015

  • We will have a brief recap of Field Day
  • Proposed changes to the club’s by-laws have been posted.  Any questions regarding the changes can be discussed.  The vote on the amended by-laws is scheduled for the August meeting.
  • The club has been approached regarding this year’s JOTA event.  This will be a volunteer opportunity in October.  We should have more details before the meeting.

Proposed Amendments to RATS By Laws

The By-laws committee met on May 30th, 2015 and reviewed the current RATS by laws.  The committee came up with several changes.  Many of the changes are for consistency, and fixing typographical errors.  There are a few other changes that make the document more accurately reflect the way the club does business today.

The changes will be discussed at the July membership meeting and voting on the changes will take place at the August meeting.  The following is a link to a PDF of the changes.  The changes are highlighted in red, and there is an explanation for the changes at the end of the document.

20150616-RATS By-laws Proposed changes

June 2015 RATS New – Field Day!

The June 2015 RATS membership meeting will be held on Friday June 19 at 7:30 PM.  Directions are here.

This month’s meeting will be all about Field Day.  We will be going over the equipment that RATS owns and talking a little bit about operations for the day.  The May update has details about the Field Day event.

Also at the June meeting will be a report from the nominating committee about offices up for re-election this year.  A slate will be presented and nominations from the floor will be accepted.  Make sure the nominee is willing to run!

Also, we will have a short report from the By-Laws committee.  The committee met on May 30 for several hours and have come up with some proposed changes.

Anyone interested in Amateur Radio is welcome to attend our meetings.

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