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

Join the Mesh

If you are within range of our Chesterfield site, all you need to do is install the AREDN firmware on some supported hardware and then aim it at our tower behind Chesterfield Town Center.  There is plenty of great documentation on the AREDN web site and the RATS Technical Committee may also be able to assist.

At minimum, you'll need:

  • A supported 5.8 GHz AREDN data radio and matching high-gain directional antenna.
  • An adequately guyed mast, tower, or other structure as needed to achieve unobstructed line-of-sight to the nearest AREDN node.  You may also consider a rooftop or chimney mount.
  • Shielded, UV-safe CAT5 (or better) cable.
  • PoE injector and power supply and/or PoE switch, matching the voltage requirements of your chosen AREDN radio.
  • Inline Ethernet surge protection and related grounding apparatus.

The Ubiquiti ISP Design Center is a great tool for modeling projected node coverage and checking for an unobstructed path to the AREDN backbone.  You can get a general idea of expected coverage regardless of brand, make, or model of data radio and antenna you select, but you may need to experiment a bit if you're not using Ubiquiti equipment.  The Technical Committee can assist with performing a link calculation given some parameters for your station.  If you'd like to run your own, use these values for our Chesterfield node.  This tool will help you determine how high you need to place your antenna to establish a reliable link to Chesterfield.

  • Location:  37.51289994338549, -77.60118757839464
  • Radio:  Rocket M5
  • TX Power:  27 dBm
  • Antenna:  custom, 19 dB gain, 360 deg, 60.96 meters/690 feet

If you are able to contribute vertical resources to the mesh backbone, we want to talk to you!  We're looking for locations to install 5.8/2.4 GHz AREDN equipment to expand the backbone and local service footprint throughout the metro Richmond area.  If you've got a tower at home or have a good lead on a facility that may be able to provide some rooftop or tower space for a 501(c)(3), please contact the Technical Committee.

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