Club logo.  A red circle containing a green map of the state of Virginia, the ARRL logo, and the text "Richmond Amateur Telecommunications Society, Richmond, Virginia U.S.A."

Richmond Amateur
Telecommunications Society

W4RAT ยท Richmond, Virginia
Serving Central Virginia Since 1972



Upcoming Events

  • RATS Weekly Club Net: Wednesdays at 7 PM on the 146.88 repeater

Next Meeting

  • Third Friday of each month at 7:30 PM, via Zoom.
  • 18 Jan 2024 10:00 PM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    The monthly RATS Membership Meeting is this Friday, January 19 at 7:30 PM on Zoom.  All are invited to attend.  You do not need to be a RATS member to join our meeting.  The main topic of discussion this month will be our POTA+Winter Field Day event scheduled for January 26-28.

  • 11 Jan 2024 8:30 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    RATS will again host Winter Field Day 2024 at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield County.  Like last year, we'll operate a Parks on the Air (POTA) station Friday afternoon/evening, prior to the main Winter Field Day event.

    Winter Field Day is a great opportunity to meet and socialize with other club members and experience HF in a fun environment.  You do not need to be a RATS member or even a licensed ham to join us -- the general public is welcome!  There will be no charge for entry to the park for Winter Field Day participants.

    We will share more information during our January 19 membership meeting and we will post additional details here as they become available.  Watch for specifics on time, location, food, and what to bring with you.

    This is one of the club's two biggest, most popular activities each year.  Your membership and donations help support RATS activities.

  • 1 Jan 2024 9:00 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    The RATS Board will hold its monthly meeting this Wednesday night, January 3 at 6:30 PM via Zoom.  Club members are encouraged to attend and provide input on the club's upcoming Winter Field Day activity at Pocahontas State Park.  Volunteers are still needed to assist with the setup, operation, and tear-down of this event.

    Your active participation in the planning and execution is critical to keep these occasional club activities going.  The Board is here to run the club, not orchestrate and run every club activity.  If you want to see RATS continue to offer in-person ham radio activities beyond just our usual summer Field Day, please get in contact with the Board to offer your assistance.  And if you've got ideas for fun things we can do in future months, let us know.  Thank you.

  • 24 Dec 2023 10:05 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    DMRVA now has a formal partnership with the HEARS/N4HRS system, creating a network of 28 linked repeaters with more planned in 2024.  This has resulted in numerous changes to the talkgroup lineup on DMRVA and N4HRS repeaters.  DMRVA has published a new talk group list here:

    https://www.dmrva.org/talkgroups/

    The new lineup eliminates a bunch of older talkgroups that are no longer in use and refocuses on the Virginia regional talkgroups.

    For additional information, visit:

    https://www.dmrva.org/
    http://www.n4hrs.org/

    The RATS Codeplug page is back! Go to rats.net/codeplugs to download the latest updates.

  • 8 Dec 2023 8:48 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    Update:  This issue was resolved at 3:02 PM.

    Another Comcast Internet outage is impacting the RATS repeater site, taking down network connectivity for the DMR, Fusion, and AREDN tunnels.  Click here for more information and updates.

  • 30 Nov 2023 2:15 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    Update:  This issue resolved itself without Tech Committee intervention at around 12:30 PM 11/30/2023.  Total downtime was approximately 17.5 hours.

    An Internet service outage has taken down network connectivity for systems at the RATS repeater site.  This is preventing network access from the DMR and Fusion repeaters.  The RATS 146.88, 442.55, and 443.5875 repeaters continue to handle local traffic as usual.  Inbound and outbound AREDN tunnels are offline, though our site is still on the air and over-the-air access to services has not been impacted.   For additional information, see our RF Systems Status page.  We hope to have this resolved later today (11/30).

  • 14 Nov 2023 11:45 PM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    The monthly RATS Membership Meeting will be held this Friday night at 7:30 PM via Zoom.  All are welcome to attend.  Rob Marshall KI4MCW will be giving a presentation on HOA-friendly HF antennas.

    As discussed at last month's meeting, we will be reviewing and approving the membership meeting minutes from September and October 2022 which haven't yet made it into the club records.  Those draft minutes and the corresponding Zoom videos were posted around a month ago for member review.

    Last month's draft minutes are also now available for download.  Sorry about the delay.

  • 5 Nov 2023 10:35 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    Update:  This event has concluded and the RATS repeaters have been returned to normal operation.

    Please be aware of the following upcoming activities:

    • Wednesday, November 8 (7p) - The weekly RATS net will QSY to our 442.55 repeater for a one-week performance test.  WIRES-X network services will be disabled on the repeater from 6:45 PM to 8:00 PM Wednesday.

    • Thursday, November 9 (4p-7p) and Friday, November 10 (4p-8p) - Communications volunteers for the Richmond Marathon will be picking up their supplies in advance of Saturday's event.  There will be occasional talk-in traffic on the 146.88 and 145.43 repeaters.  These repeaters should remain available for regular use, but please keep transmissions short and leave some extra space to allow talk-in traffic to reach Net Control.
    Several local repeaters will be carrying moderate to heavy traffic supporting the Sports Backers Richmond Marathon on Saturday, November 11.  Repeater users not participating in this event should take note of the following information and plan to use other local systems during this event.
    • The RATS 442.55 repeater is a primary channel for the marathon.  This repeater is closed to non-event traffic on Saturday.  The WIRES-X system will be disabled to prevent conflicting digital traffic, and all C4FM input will come out as analog FM (like the 146.88 repeater).

    • The DMR "Richmond Metro" talkgroup (27500) is a primary channel for the marathon.  Users of the RATS DMR repeater and the directly-linked Petersburg DMR repeater are asked to limit use of timeslot 1 talkgroups to ensure the timeslot remains available for marathon traffic.  Virginia Statewide (3151 on timeslot 2) is a recommended alternative for short QSO's.  Richmond Metro traffic is carried on the Richmond, Beaverdam, Petersburg, Powhatan, and New Kent DMR repeaters.  Users of all five repeaters will notice increased activity on timeslot 1 due to traffic on Richmond Metro.
    • The MRA 145.43 repeater is also a primary channel for the marathon.  Stations not involved in the event should plan to keep clear of this repeater.

    • The RATS 146.88 repeater is a backup repeater.  It may handle occasional overflow traffic if the other three systems are too busy, and it would serve as a backup if one of the primary repeaters were to go off the air.  The 146.88 repeater will remain open for regular traffic unless needed for backup service.  All users are asked to keep transmissions short, leave extended pauses (5 seconds) between transmissions, and immediately yield to marathon radio traffic.
  • 4 Nov 2023 1:10 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    The next monthly RATS Membership meeting is Friday, November 17 at 7:30 PM via Zoom.  Rob Marshall KI4MCW will be giving a presentation on HOA-friendly HF antennas.  Please join us.

    The RATS Board traditionally skips its December meeting, but not this year.  There's enough going on to necessitate a December Board meeting, so that'll happen on the first Wednesday (Dec. 6) at 6:30 PM, as usual, via Zoom.  Club members are invited to join.

  • 4 Nov 2023 1:09 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    The RATS Technical Committee performs periodic inventories of the club's tangible assets at intervals established in agreement with the club's Board of Directors:  a full inventory of all items every five years, and an annual review of selected item categories all other years.  Inventories are timed to immediately follow the transition to a new Board in October of each year, and are intended to provide improved accountability for the whereabouts, condition, and proper disposal of the club's property.

    This year's inventory verification was submitted into the club records on November 1.  All expected assets were present and updated photos were captured, except for tower-mounted equipment.  Members may view current and historical inventory documentation here.

    The last full inventory was started October 2022.  The next inventory verification will take place in October 2024, with the next full inventory in October 2027.

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