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 · 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.
  • 4 Apr 2023 7:00 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    The RATS Board will meet Wednesday, April 5 at 6:30 PM via Zoom.  All members are always welcome to attend, ask questions, and provide feedback to the Board.

    In addition to a number of general operational items, the Board is expected to vote to accept an equipment donation which will restore the club's previous offering of DMR voice services on 443.5875 MHz from an antenna located at 460 feet on our tower.  This proposal has been under review for a couple of months and was approved by the Technical Committee on March 10.  Following a Board vote and acceptance of the donation, we anticipate a restoration of service under the W4RAT call sign within 90 days.  More details will be provided at the Membership Meeting on April 21.

  • 21 Mar 2023 6:56 PM | Jeff Walton (Administrator)

    Date: Monday, April 24, 2023 - 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

    Location: North Courthouse Road Library, Community Room 325 Courthouse Rd, Richmond, VA 23236

    The library has wifi, bathrooms, a climate controlled meeting room and is wheelchair accessible.

    this is the link to the flyer where you can RSVP here.

  • 17 Mar 2023 11:45 PM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    RATS members are encouraged to participate in the Virginia QSO Party this weekend.  See the Virginia QSO Party 2023 web site for contest rules and log submission guidelines.  There have been several important changes to VAQP rules and station categories for 2023.

    Operate from your home, mobile, or portable station, using your call sign and license privileges -- nearly all bands (except WARC) can be utilized for VAQP.  When you submit your log, indicate "W4RAT" for your club affiliation.

    RATS won't be meeting in-person for VAQP, but several members will be hanging out in our Zoom meeting room during the event.  All are welcome to pop in.  We'll be getting together for breakfast and radio next weekend, March 26 -- details to come.

  • 10 Mar 2023 8:45 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)
    Communications volunteers are needed to support the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k on Saturday, April 22.  Participation is open to anyone with reliable radio equipment and a Technician class license or higher.  For more details or to volunteer please contact Jim Rubin W4PKR via e-mail.

    New to public service events?  Generally, ham operators may be in a moving vehicle or stationary at strategic points along the course, or may shadow key event officials, staying right next to them as they buzz around the event all day.  We become part of their official communications plan, moving important logistics, security, and medical traffic with the aid of net control.  These may include requests for additional water or supplies at rest stops, the location of the first or last participants on the course, and calls for emergency medical assistance.

  • 7 Mar 2023 8:00 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    Our March membership meeting will be held via Zoom on Friday, March 17, 7:30 PM.  All are welcome to join us.  For more information and for links to the meeting, see our Meetings page.

    The Virginia QSO Party is the weekend of March 18 and 19.  RATS has again sponsored the Single Operator VHF plaque this year.  We'll be participating as a club activity.  Location and other details are still being worked out, so please keep an eye on the front page of our web site for updates and be sure to join us at our membership meeting the night before.

  • 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

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