Richmond Amateur
Telecommunications Society

W4RAT · Richmond, Virginia

Celebrating 50 Years · 1972 - 2022 

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.
  • 31 Jul 2023 10:00 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    As previously advertised, this year's club election will be held online using the same service we used at our August 2022 Special Membership Meeting.

    The Nominating Committee has distributed links to an online ballot for all active club members with a working e-mail address on file.  Please look for an e-mail from our online voting service provider, Election Runner.  E-mails went out this morning (7/31) around 6 AM.  You can access candidate biographies by clicking on the "i" icon next to their name on the ballot.

    Voting will close on August 18.

    As a fully-electronic club, RATS asks all members to keep an up-to-date e-mail address on file at all times.  This will ensure you receive club announcements and other important communications.  Members can do this by logging in to their account on this web site.  If you are an active RATS member and did not receive a link to your ballot, please contact Ray Robins at

  • 27 Jul 2023 7:30 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    The Shenandoah Valley Amateur Radio Club is hosting its 72nd annual Berryville Hamfest at the usual spot, Clarke County Fairgrounds, 890 W Main St in Berryville, about 2.5 hours north of Richmond via I-95 and US-17.

    Gates open at 6:00 AM, country ham and egg breakfast served at 7:00, and vendor buildings open by 8:00 AM.  Admission is $10 (cash only), under 16 free.  Camping spaces are available Saturday night for $15 per vehicle.

    VE testing will be held at the nearby Clarke County High School beginning at 12:00 noon.

    For more information, see the Berryville Hamfest web site.

  • 24 Jul 2023 10:00 PM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    All area hams are invited to join the RVAHams Slack server, which hosts a variety of discussion channels on such topics as simplex, digital voice & data, HF, direction finding, and more.  There's also a beginners channel which is an excellent source of information for newcomers in the hobby, a market channel for buy/sell/trade posts, and a general-purpose ragchew channel for stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else.

    This Slack server was started several years ago and is hosted by Reid Barden N1VCU.  There is no cost to participate.  It has a well established user base of numerous local hams and we'd love to have you join us.

    Click here to access the RVAHams Slack server

  • 20 Jul 2023 8:30 PM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    The monthly RATS Membership Meeting will be held on Friday, July 21 at 7:30 PM via Zoom.  This month we have a returning guest speaker.  Axel Fisser K8AXX will be giving a presentation on lithium batteries.  All are welcome to join us.

    The business portion of this month's meeting will follow Axel's presentation.

  • 16 Jul 2023 10:20 PM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    Our DMR repeater went back on the air last weekend with the same configuration we were using in 2022.  If you are happy with your current DMR codeplug there's probably no need to change it.  But if you'd like to start fresh, we have pre-built starter codeplugs for 35 popular DMR radios.  Most include the entire DMRVA network.

    We can let you know whenever we post updated codeplugs with our special e-mail list.

    Find them on our DMR Codeplugs page.

    We also have a helpful Getting Started guide and a DMR FAQ.

  • 8 Jul 2023 2:00 PM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    The Technical Committee has completed installation of a donated Motorola XPR8300 repeater and duplexer, restoring our previous DMR digital offering on 443.5875 MHz.  This repeater is now in service, transmitting  20  25 (!!) watts from an antenna at around 580 feet, and is part of the statewide DMRVA network.  We're using the same configuration as before, on the same frequency, so your "old" W4RAT codeplugs will work without modification.  [More information]

    Additionally, our 442.55 MHz analog/C4FM repeater has returned to its pre-2020 position at 680 feet on our tower (same height as the 146.88 machine).

    Questions and comments may be directed to the RATS Technical Committee.

  • 7 Jul 2023 4:30 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    RATS members are encouraged to review their member profile information for accuracy.  Confirm your e-mail address, call sign, mailing address, ARRL membership status, and other details are current.  Changes can be submitted directly through this web site.  Club election information and ballot links will be going out soon to members' registered e-mail addresses.

    If you are experiencing difficulty accessing your account contact us for help.

  • 20 May 2023 9:15 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    UPDATE:  As expected, this event wrapped up just before 10 AM this morning (Sunday) and participants have left Laurel Park.  See the ARRL Field Day Locator for other Field Day events in our region that may be continuing as late as 2 PM today.  THANK YOU to the many people who came out for Field Day this year.  Great turnout!  Special thanks to Allan Johnson and the WA3J VE Team, and to the RATS members and guests who helped with planning, setup, and tear-down.  We'll share the club's score, attendance information, and other details at the July Membership Meeting.

    RATS will be hosting our annual Summer Field Day at our usual spot: Laurel Recreation Area, 10301 Hungary Spring Rd in northern Henrico County.  We'll be gathering at 10 AM local time Saturday, June 24 to begin setup, and we will go on the air at 2 PM, operating from generator power as a class 2A (or maybe 3A?) station.  Field Day activity is expected to conclude at Laurel Park by around 9-10 AM Sunday morning.  View map of parking and facilities.

    RATS control operators will be on site to assist and supervise operation.  Anyone who is interested in amateur radio (particularly HF) is welcome and encouraged to join us.  No amateur radio license is required to operate at the RATS Field Day.

    A license test session will be provided by Allan Johnson WA3J beginning at 2 PM Saturday.

    For general information about Field Day, visit the ARRL Field Day web site.

    For additional information about the RATS Field Day, see Activities > Summer Field Day.

    For other local Field Day events, visit the ARRL Field Day Locator.

  • 18 May 2023 8:00 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    On May 3, 2023 the RATS Board approved an increase in membership dues.

    Dues for the membership year October 1, 2023 through September 30, 2024 will be as follows:

    • Individual Membership - $35.00
    • Family Membership - $55.00

    This rate increase will be effective for all new applications and renewals submitted on or after October 1, 2023.

  • 3 May 2023 1:00 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    From the ARRL:

    As detailed in a May 2023 QST article by Greg Lapin, N9GL, the rules which took effect on May 3, 2021 now require amateur radio operators to perform station evaluations.  The Amateur Radio Service is no longer categorically excluded from certain aspects of the RF exposure rules, and licensees can no longer avoid performing an exposure assessment simply because they are transmitting below a given power level.  

    A two year transition period was implemented to allow existing stations to make any necessary changes, but as of May 3, 2023, the transition period ends and all transmitters operating in the US are expected to comply with the exposure rules.  The ARRL has on its website an RF Exposure Calculator to assist amateurs in performing station assessments.

    To continue reading and for an assortment of helpful RF exposure calculation resources, visit

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