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.
  • 21 Feb 2023 9:00 PM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    Update:  This event has wrapped up and participants have departed Pony Pasture.

    RATS members and friends are invited to breakfast, 9 AM Sunday, February 26 at Golden Corral, 11 South Providence Rd in Chesterfield (next to Sheetz on Midlothian Turnpike between Chippenham and Powhite).

    After breakfast, weather-permitting, we'll move to Pony Pasture at James River Park to play with some radios and hunt POTA.  The park entrance is located at 7200 Riverside Dr in Richmond.  Park in the gravel lot.  Talk-in will be on 146.88/R, call for W4RAT.

    Those joining us for breakfast are responsible for the cost of their food and beverage at regular retail prices - this is not a "group rate" event.  There is no cost to participate in the activities at Pony Pasture.

    For more information or to let us know you're coming, contact Jeff Walton KN4SYE.

    RATS hopes to organize a social activity for the membership at least once a month, usually on the last Saturday.  We've QSY'd to Sunday this month to accommodate club members who are supporting a CERT activity in Colonial Heights on Saturday.

  • 11 Feb 2023 8:45 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    While RATS Frostfest is on hiatus, you might enjoy these other nearby hamfests.  If you're up for a little bit of a drive, please consider supporting one of these upcoming events:

    Vienna Wireless Society's 47th WINTERFEST is Sunday, March 19 at Oakton High School in Vienna, Virginia, around two hours north of Richmond.  Tailgating starts at 7 AM and the indoor portion of the show begins at 8 AM.  Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.  Talk-in on 146.91(-) repeater, PL 77.0. [WINTERFEST Web Site & Tickets, Flyer, Directions]

    The Third Annual Gloucester MPARC Hamfest will be held Saturday, April 8 from 9 AM to 4 PM at the Abingdon Ruritan Club, 8784 Guinea Rd in Hayes, Virginia.  That's just over an hour east of Richmond, or 30 minutes north of Newport News.  Indoor and outdoor vendor spaces are available.  Admission is $5.00, children 12 and under free.  Talk-in on 145.37(-) W4HZL/R.  [MPARC Web Site, Flyer, Directions]

    The Greene County Virginia Amateur Radio Club is hosting their first annual Thawfest ham radio show on Saturday, April 22 at the American Legion Post, 636 Madison Road in Standardsville, VA.  This is about 90 minutes northwest of Richmond, or 40 minutes north of Charlottesville.  Outdoor and indoor vendor spaces are available.  Admission is $5, children under 14 free.  Talk-in on 145.47(-) PL 151.4.  [Thawfest Web Site, Flyer, Directions]

  • 21 Jan 2023 10:00 PM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    RATS POTA/Winter Field Day 2023 will be located at the Appamatuck Cabins at Pocahontas State Park January 27-29.  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 event - there should be no charge for entry/parking.  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

    If you're planning to attend, don't forget to RSVP.  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 Jeff Walton KN4SYE.


    Updated 11:35a 2023-01-28

    RATS members:  Upload your event photos here.  We will feature the best ones in a public photo gallery on this web site following the conclusion of the event.

  • 11 Jan 2023 12:21 PM | Jeff Walton (Administrator)

    RATS Winter Field Day 2023

    Good evening members 

    Please click the event link at the top of the webpage and RSVP 

                    RATS Winter Field Day started as an idea after I saw that Powhatan Radio Club didn’t not have a Winter Field Day this year. I asked a few people what do you think of RATS doing a Winter Field Day and I got a few responses of, have we done anything for our members and let’s do this. I started calling around and looking for venues and I remembered that Pocahontas State Park had old rustic cabins with 28 beds and an old lodge with an open fireplace for us to stay warm and dry that you could rent. I spoke with the manager and assistant manager, went there to go look at spots to put up antennas. After several emails and phone calls and dealing with the health department and insurance stuff we have a great location and price break down and schedule of events as follows. I cannot thank the members and board members enough for their help in putting this together in such short notice and this is why I’m asking all Members to please join the, Zoom Meeting 1/12/23 @830pm so we can go over this event, see if any additional ideas and let membership know what their money is being spent on.

    Please, if you are able, bring a snack or dish to share with members and non-members, ALL ARE WELCOME

    As of Right now I already have Received a 100.00 dollar and a 150.00 donation to use only for this event paid online Thanks to Bill, Judi and David Kleinholz. I, Jeff Walton, will cover cost of firewood, for the 3-day event, for heat est. 50 to 100 dollars. There will be a donation bin for people to donate if they so choose to. Please don’t feel obligated but it is encouraged.

    Cost Breakdown:

    Lodge and cabins 175x2nights=350.00+tax

    S.B.Cox porta jon 170+tax this is mandatory due to health code because of no running water on site

    Food hot dogs and cheeseburgers 100.00+tax

    Water 20.00+tax due to health code

    350+170+100+20=640.00 total minus 250.00 in donations = 390 out of bank account

    1/27/23 Friday

    Arrive at campground by 4pm, if we can get in earlier, I will update, Set up antennas and radios and test them and get firewood, activate Pocahontas state park and also activate late shift on POTA, Play and test radios till whenever

    1/28/23 Saturday

    7 am POTA and the use of talk in on RATS repeater

    9am till 1130am KC4TS exam testing 15 fee

    12pm the start of Winter Field Day, you can use radio for 30 min at a time, we will use a sign-up sheet at the lodge, first come first serve and then we would ask you to allow other people use the radio until it’s your turn again

    6pm start cooking Dinner, if members would like to bring addition hot dogs or burgers or their own food to be cooked on grill feel free

    1/29/23 Sunday

    12pm End of Winter Field Day and time to pack up and clean buildings and dispose of trash.

    You are in the park and there will be a big parking lot if you want to stay and do POTA on your own.


    Jeff Walton


  • 5 Jan 2023 6:46 PM | Jeff Walton (Administrator)

    We will be having a Zoom meeting (it is under our meetings tab) to discuss Frostfest 24 on 1/12.23 @7pm to 8:30pm.   I have made a form for people to fill out to help us know where to put you if you're willing to help. 

    Link to the form

  • 2 Jan 2023 5:46 PM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    Update:  As of 7:35p 1/2/2023, the repeater is back in service.

    The W4RAT 146.88 repeater is temporarily off the air for emergency maintenance.  The 442.55 repeater remains on the air but may experience brief disruptions this evening.  Further updates will be posted to the Repeater Status page.  Thank you for your patience.

  • 25 Dec 2022 1:31 PM | Jeff Walton (Administrator)

    Everyone from RATS Board would like to wish everyone a happy holiday and New Year 

  • 9 Dec 2022 1:26 PM | Jeff Walton (Administrator)

    The Lease has been signed and paid for.  

    Thanks to everyone for their hard work and dedication in getting this resolved

    RATS will be staying at the current site for the foreseeable future.

  • 28 Oct 2022 4:25 PM | Jeff Walton (Administrator)

    I would like to thank all that have emailed asking about Frost Fest 2023.

    We will not be having a Frost Fest this year due to the rebuilding of RATS and getting our ducks in a row.  

    We are looking for Members that want to take a role in making Frost Fest 2024 a reality, it takes about 10 months of planning and organizing to make it happen.

    Please Email if you would like to help. 

    Without help I don't know if a Frost Fest 2024 will happen 

  • 22 Oct 2022 8:23 PM | Jeff Walton (Administrator)

    All please program your radio to do C4FM on the TX Freq.  The Repeater will TX back to everyone analog.    [More information]

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