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



Get Connected

Meet new people and experience new things when you join local clubs and online communities.

Join a Net

Your radio is your best tool for access to the active hams in this area.  You'll find them gathered around the repeater or on some popular simplex frequencies for various recurring nets.  You'll find a list of some of the most popular nets in our area here.

Looking for more?  HamNetList.blogspot.com has net listings for HF and various digital modes.

Join a Club

Of course we'd love to have you as a member here at RATS!  If the information on this web site, the content of our meetings, our in-person events, or our repeater systems are of value to you, a membership is an excellent way to show your support.

There are several other excellent clubs in our area that are worthy of your consideration as well.  Some are general-interest clubs, some target more specific aspects of the hobby.  All of them are welcome to newcomers dropping by to see what's up, so please feel free to attend a meeting or two before you commit.

The two major clubs in the Richmond metro area are RATS and RARC, and there is a lot of overlap in membership.  Both clubs have a lot to offer their membership.

  • Richmond Amateur Telecommunications Society (RATS) - That's us!  Established in 1972 as a general-interest club with a focus on "the higher frequencies" (VHF/UHF) our membership is a mix of new and experienced hams with interests as varied as the hobby itself, and we do plenty of HF stuff, too.  RATS holds monthly membership meetings online-only, with in-person activities several times throughout the year.

  • Richmond Amateur Radio Club (RARC) - Established in 1916, RARC is another general-interest club with a large and diverse membership.  Compared to RATS, RARC puts more emphasis on the art and science of amateur radio, and they offer a number of high quality educational programs each year through their RARC Radio School.  Monthly membership meetings are in Bon Air and on Zoom.

A few of the smaller clubs in our area:

  • Catastrophic Amateur Tactical Squad (CATS) - Several years ago RATS got distracted by some operational challenges.  A few RATS members wanted to keep having fun so they set off to do their own thing, and CATS was born.  Many are still RATS members and the two clubs happily coexist.  CATS provides VE testing services at the RATS Winter Field Day.  You'll find CATS doing cool stuff like tracking APRS balloons, HF and VHF digital data modes like VARA and FT8, and satellite work.  Many CATS members are part of the "Windy Hill Gang" and can be found at the west end of the parking lot at the Windy Hill Sports Complex in Midlothian, every Monday night from around 7 to 10 PM.  That's mostly a social event where they join a few local nets, snack, and occasionally do some HF or satellite work.  All are welcome.  Monthly membership meetings are in Powhatan County.

  • Central Virginia Contest Club (CVCC) - The Central Virginia Contest Club dates back to 1972.  Their members generally have an interest in DX and contesting, both HF and VHF/UHF.  Most CVCC members are experienced, highly active contest operators, though everyone is welcome to join one of their meetings to learn a little more about this aspect of the hobby from some of the best in town.

  • Dominion DX Group (DDXG) - This club is focused on the art, science, and sport of DX radio, primarily on the HF bands.  DDXG puts an emphasis on Elmering, and with this in mind hams of all experience levels with a demonstrated desire to further amateur radio, expand their horizons by striving for personal accomplishment, and further the mission of the club, are eligible to join.
  • Powhatan Amateur Radio Club (PARC) - PARC is a general-interest club with an emphasis on preparedness, emergency communications, and service to Powhatan County and surrounding areas.  There is a monthly club breakfast and also various club activities.  Monthly meetings are at the Powhatan County Public Library and on Zoom.

  • Honorable mention:  hack.RVA - Okay, not a ham radio club, but definitely in-scope for a lot of our members.  They have a lot of interesting classes and workshops relating to computers, technology, electronics, etc.

Connect Online

The primary online community for hams in our area is the RVAHams Slack server.  Several other great online communities exist as well.

  • RVAHams.com - RVAHams exists in the form of a web site, Slack server, and a loosely-affiliated group of local hams active in public service.  RVAHams was established to provide a centralized online presence and social media outlets for Richmond-area ham radio clubs and organizations such as ARES/RACES, and to showcase the capabilities of amateur radio in service to our community.  RVAHams connects events that need amateur radio support with the equipment and people who can make things happen.  They operate a free Slack service that provides discussion channels on a number of topics ranging from beginner questions to the latest digital modes.

  • QRZ.com Forums - Everyone uses QRZ to look up call sign information.  The web site also features a very active online community with a wide range of discussion topics.

  • eHam.net Forums - This is another very popular online community focused on amateur radio.

  • groups.io - Once upon a time and for a good many years, Yahoo! operated a popular collection of online message forums.  When Yahoo! discontinued the service in 2020, many of those groups were migrated to groups.io.  This service isn't limited to amateur radio, but a number of long-established ham radio related groups are very active here.


Learn about and find an "Elmer" (an experienced ham who mentors people new to the hobby) by checking out our Elmers Homepage.

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