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Richmond Amateur
Telecommunications Society

W4RAT ยท Richmond, Virginia
Serving Central Virginia Since 1972



POTA+Winter Field Day 2024 - Information and Directions

20 Jan 2024 8:48 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

Updated 10:15 AM 1/28/2024:  The plan was to wrap up around 10 AM this morning, so unless a bunch of visitors showed up just before 10, they ought to be packing things up right about now.  Thank you to everyone who participated, and especially those who helped make this event possible through setup/tear-down assistance, donations, and other support.

Our next club activity will probably be the Virginia QSO Party in mid-March.  RATS is once again sponsoring one of the VHF plaques for that contest.  Gordon Miller NQ4K of the Sterling Park Amateur Radio Club (SPARC) will give a brief presentation on the VAQP at the February RATS membership meeting on 2/16/2024.  We hope to see you there.

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RATS POTA+Winter Field Day 2024 will be located at the Appamatuck Cabins at Pocahontas State Park January 26-28.  This is a great opportunity to visit with your fellow club members, eat some good food, and play on the radio.  We'll have at least two HF stations and several antennas to pick from.  We will be operating from the same cabin we used last year.  An approximate schedule of activities can be found below.

Follow this link on your desktop or mobile device for a map and directions to the site If the entry station is staffed, let them know you are there for the RATS Winter Field Day event - there is no entry/parking fee for Winter Field Day participants!  Look for the RATS banner.  Talk-in assistance will be available on our 146.88 repeater - call for W4RAT.

GPS coordinates:  37.377136, -77.566642

All are welcome to join us.  You do not need to be a member of RATS or even a licensed amateur to participate in this event.

Here's more information about Parks on the Air (POTA) and Winter Field Day.

Any questions about our event should be directed to info@rats.net.

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Photos taken at POTA/WFD can be e-mailed to kg4peq@rats.net or texted to 804-924-7287 (924-RATS).  The best photos will be saved to the club's photo albums, to be published on this web site.

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Approximate schedule of activities

  • Friday 1/26, 9 AM - Tech Committee and other volunteers arrive at the club's storage unit (near Chesterfield Town Center) to help transport equipment and supplies.  If you are available to assist, please contact Jeff Walton KN4SYE.
  • Friday by noon - Arrive at the park to begin POTA setup.
  • Friday by 2 PM - Finish setup and begin operating as a POTA station.
  • Overnight Friday to 2 PM Saturday 1/27 - POTA
  • Saturday 10 AM - VE testing begins.  Administered by CATS/KC4TS.  See their web site for paperwork/ID requirements and fees.
  • Saturday 2 PM - Winter Field Day operations begin.
  • Saturday - TBD/Tentative - Transmitter fox hunt, maybe?  We'll bring the club fox hunt transmitter, you bring the DF gear.
  • Saturday - 6:00-ish? - Dinner.  Hamburgers, hot dogs, water, soft drinks, coffee, and chips will be furnished by the club.
  • Overnight Saturday to 10 AM Sunday 1/28 - Winter Field Day
  • Sunday 10 AM - Tear-down begins.  Winter Field Day technically continues until 2 PM, so if we have a bunch of guests at 10 AM we may stay a little later.  It's unlikely we will still be operational when noon rolls around.  If you plan to visit Sunday, come early!
  • Sunday by 1 PM - Club radio equipment and supplies returned to the club storage unit.

Got an idea for a fun activity you'd like to see at Winter Field Day?  We'd love to hear your ideas.  Contact info@rats.net with your suggestions.

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FAQ

Can I operate Winter Field Day from home?  Yes.  Refer to the Winter Field Day rules for information.

What license class do I need?  None!  You may operate the POTA portion of this event under either your personal call sign and license privileges (General or higher), or under the club call sign using your control operator's privileges.  RATS control operators will be on site for the entire event to supervise unlicensed or under-licensed hams.  Winter Field Day activities will take place under the club's call sign and control op (General or Extra Class) privileges.

Do I have to operate a radio?  No!  You can listen, you help log contacts, you can stand off to the side and watch, or you can ignore the radios altogether while you socialize and graze on snacks.  No pressure!  Even if you just drop by for five minutes to say hello, we'd love to see you.

Can I visit other areas of the park?  Absolutely.  The cabin rental fee paid by RATS covers park admission/parking fees for all attendees.  Tell the folks at the entry station that you're here for the RATS Winter Field Day event and they'll wave you through.  Come see us for a bit, and the rest of the park is yours to enjoy for the day.

Can I stay overnight?  Yes.  There are several small cabins available to us within walking distance of the main POTA/WFD event.  These cabins are cold, a little drafty, and they're not designed to hold heat very well.  However, if you have a warm sleeping bag, maybe an electric blanket, small space heater, etc., you might be OK.  Contact info@rats.net for more information.

Is this a rain-or-shine event?  Yes.  We may suspend radio operations during any periods of severe weather (which are not expected at this time) but we will be indoors.  Rain or shine, we'll be there.

Are there restroom facilities?  The club has rented a portable toilet which will be available near the main POTA+WFD area.

How can I support this event?  Show up.  You can also help move equipment to/from storage, or make a donation to offset the club's expenses relating to this activity.  Our major expenses are cabin rental (around $370), the portable toilet ($175), and food/beverage.  You can drop a few bucks in our donation bucket, or donate online.

Richmond Amateur Telecommunications Society, Inc. (RATS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. PO Box 70613, Henrico VA, 23255
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