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

An ARRL Affiliated Club Serving Central Virginia Since 1972



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  • 1 May 2024 8:30 PM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    At its May 1 meeting, the RATS Board of Directors voted to approve dues for the upcoming membership year.  There will be no changes to pricing for Full memberships:  Individual memberships will remain $35, and Family memberships will remain $55.  The next RATS membership year begins October 1 and renewals will be accepted beginning July 1.

    The club will re-introduce Associate Memberships in 2024.  These memberships are available to non-hams, as well as licensed hams residing outside Virginia.  (This membership level exists in our bylaws but is not actively offered at this time.)  Beginning October 1, Associate Memberships will be available for $20 per year.  Associate members are ineligible to vote on club business or in our elections and cannot hold an office.

    The Board also approved a reduced first-year membership rate for certain newly-licensed hams to compliment the club's enhanced new ham outreach efforts.  Starting October 1, a special first-year membership price will be available to new hams who apply for RATS membership within 180 days of their initial FCC license grant date.

    The club's ability to keep dues reasonable is made possible by the generosity of its members and others in the community who make donations to the club throughout the year.  We appreciate your support!

  • 20 Apr 2024 8:45 PM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    The weekly C4FM net meets Saturday nights at 8 PM on the RATS 442.55 repeater and other Virginia Room member repeaters around the state.  They're looking for some additional net controls to insert into the rotation.  If you have a C4FM radio, a reliable link to one of the Virginia Room repeaters, and some interest in helping with this net, get in touch with Don DeLesDernier KQ4LEX.  You'll find his contact info on QRZ.

    This is not a RATS-affiliated net and you do not need to be a RATS member to volunteer.

  • 20 Apr 2024 8:00 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    The RATS repeater site near Chesterfield Town Center experienced two brief power outages mid-day Thursday, April 18 due to utility work in the area.  Our backup power systems functioned as intended and none of the club's equipment missed a beat.

    The club's repeaters, AREDN radios, network hardware, and other equipment are protected by dual 3 kVA uninterruptible power supplies, and since January 2018 we've been connected to our host TV station's large diesel generator.  The RATS systems are equipped to provide reliable service, and we were pleased to find this setup worked correctly when needed.  There were no disruptions to any RATS systems or services.  (Photo by W4MAF)

  • 20 Apr 2024 8:00 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    We are looking for additional Net Controls to help with the weekly RATS net, Wednesday nights at 8 PM on the 146.88 repeater.  If you're able to serve once or twice a month, or if you'd just like to try it out once and see how it goes, send a note to Robert Czyzewski KB2OYI via board@rats.net.  We'll provide a script.

  • 14 Apr 2024 9:00 PM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    The South Boston DMR repeater is being relocated and it's getting a new frequency and color code.  The RATS Master codeplugs for CS750, CS800D, and DJ-MD5 series radios have been updated to reflect this change in the SBO South Boston zone.

    Get more details in this announcement from DMRVA.

    Updated codeplugs are now available from https://rats.net/codeplugs.  These new files are dated 4/14/2024 and support 34 popular DMR radios either directly or though free conversion software.  Since this is a minor update, users of these radios who have made significant additions to their codeplug may find it easier to make a mass update to their existing SBO zone using the N0GSG Contact Manager software, or by manual updates to the 14 impacted channels using their CPS.

    This change does not impact the Limited (LTD) series codeplugs on our web site, so those will not be re-generated.

  • 7 Apr 2024 9:30 PM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    RATS members can now easily find upcoming club activities from their mobile device using the Wild Apricot for Members app.  Download the app and sign in with an active RATS.net web login.  Members can also access a directory of Board and Committee member contact information while on the go.

    Download from the Apple App Store
    Download from the Google Play Store

  • 7 Apr 2024 2:00 PM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    A large number of volunteers are needed for the Virginia Special Olympics Summer Games, Friday and Saturday June 7 and 8 at the University of Richmond.

    The only equipment needed should be an analog UHF HT, a battery in good shape (and perhaps a spare), and an external audio accessory that allows you to hear and be heard in a high noise environment.

    Please note that most positions will be outside or potentially strenuous.

    If you're available for a few hours either day, or if you have any questions, please contact Darren Faulkner KG4INW via email.
  • 3 Apr 2024 8:00 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    The monthly meeting of the RATS Board of Directors will happen tonight at 6:30 PM on Zoom.  All RATS members are invited to attend and participate.  Minutes and video from last month's meeting can be found at rats.net/minutes.  You'll find links to the Board meeting on our Meetings page.

  • 29 Mar 2024 8:00 PM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    Received from the folks at the Keeble Observatory at RMC:

    On Monday April 8th, from 2:00 - 4:30 PM, there will be a partial solar eclipse in Richmond.  Watch it with us at Randolph-Macon College!

    Coverage of the Sun will peak at about 3:15 PM with 83% coverage of the Sun, but you'll be able to see the Moon cutting across the Sun the whole time. We will be set up at the Randolph-Macon College soccer field with solar glasses, a telescope with a solar filter (you can see sunspots plus the eclipse, it's a nice telescope), demonstrations for creating a pinhole camera to see the Sun (you will need to bring your own cardboard box, like a cereal box), and some "eclipse" cookies and drinks (while supplies last!). Feel free to bring a lawn chair and camp out on the field for the eclipse.

    We will be set up at the soccer field on the North end of campus, not at the observatory. There is parking nearby. Parking can be accessed via W Patrick Street. A Google Maps view is here: https://imgur.com/eo8lchy

    We will post any updates or cancellations (if it's cloudy/rainy) on our Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/keebleobservatory/.

    Note that this is only a partial eclipse and not a total eclipse, so the Sun will still be too bright to look at without proper eyewear! More information on the eclipse can be found here: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/richmond?iso=20240408

    Randolph-Macon College is located in the town of Ashland, one mile west of I-95 on VA-54/England Street, I-95 exit 92B.  That's about 20 minutes north of Richmond.  The college, observatory, and soccer field are also an easy walk from the Ashland Amtrak station (ASD).

  • 17 Mar 2024 11:00 AM | Steven Crow (Administrator)

    Intermittently over the last couple of years, several club members have let us know they aren't receiving email communications from the club, or that those messages were being redirected to their spam folder.  Some of these complaints have re-surfaced in recent weeks.

    RATS has implemented all currently available technologies to ensure our outbound emails are correctly classified by spam filters.  Notably, Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM), and Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) are three widely supported standards supported on the RATS domains.  These were confirmed working as of 3/17/2024 on rats.net and members.rats.net (test results here and here) but messages coming out of our Wild Apricot membership management system may still be problematic due to continued defects in their email functions (test result here).  For our part, we've done what we can to ensure proper delivery.

    RATS respects member email opt-out requests submitted through the club's Wild Apricot membership portal.  Please do not mark club messages as spam.

    Members should check their spam folders for recent club messages and mark those messages as "not spam" where supported.  The proper marking of messages helps train many of the common spam filtering systems.

    Consider setting up filters to ensure messages from the club are always delivered to your email Inbox.  Here is a list of RATS email domains:

    • rats.net
    • members.rats.net
    • tech.rats.net
    • frostfest.com
    • rats.wildapricot.org

    Here are general email filter setup instructions for several popular email service providers used by our members:

    Club newsletters currently go out two to three times a month with meeting information and other topics of interest to the membership.  If you are a current RATS member and you have not been receiving these emails, check your email settings by signing in to your member profile.  Confirm that you have the right email address on file and that you have not opted out.

    Setting up filters now will ensure you receive renewal notices, payment and donation receipts, and a link to your ballot in the upcoming elections.

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