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Richmond Amateur Telecommunications Society
W4RAT · Richmond, Virginia

An ARRL Affiliated Club Serving Central Virginia Since 1972

W4RAT UHF Repeater

NEW:  Listen online

The W4RAT 442.55 MHz repeater first signed on in 1996.  With antenna positioned 680 feet above Chesterfield Town Center, this Yaesu DR-2X repeater operates in digital C4FM modes in and out.  When not carrying digital traffic, it also supports legacy analog FM for local communications only.  74.4 Hz PL tone is required for FM access.  The repeater operates with 50 watts of output power.

This is primarily a digital repeater.  Digital traffic takes precedence.  It stays linked 24/7 to a network of other repeaters.  Only digital traffic passes over this link.  As a result, stations on linked repeaters will not hear our local analog traffic and may start a digital QSO at any time.  Analog stations must yield.

Because this repeater may transmit in either analog or digital mode - as determined by the incoming signal - users of analog-only radios should ensure their radio is set to utilize a 74.4 Hz receive PL tone.  This will prevent the squelch from opening for the "noise" of digital signals.  However, it will be necessary to look at the signal meter or receive activity light on your radio before transmitting in analog mode to ensure you are not colliding with existing digital traffic.  Only one mode may be active at a time.

To avoid conflicts with digital traffic, WIRES-X services will usually be disabled when public service events are using our repeater.  The repeater's CW identification can be used to determine which mode the repeater is operating in:

When the 442.55 repeater identifies as "W4RAT" it is in normal operating mode.  C4FM in=C4FM out, analog in=analog out, and WIRES-X is enabled on C4FM.

When the 442.55 repeater identifies as "W4RAT/R" it is in special event mode.  C4FM in=analog out, analog in=analog out, and WIRES-X is disabled.

Club member Mike Friedman W4MAF put together an excellent presentation on the capabilities of this repeater in March 2022.  We have a copy of it here.  New users of the W4RAT 442.55 WIRES-X system should review this to become familiar with local operating practices and the characteristics of our particular system.

The repeater is open to all licensed amateurs.  You do not need to be a member of the club to use our repeater.  Please take a moment to become familiar with our Repeater Rules and basic repeater etiquette before going on the air.  RATS members needing help accessing the repeater may reach out to their Technical Committee.

Regional Linking via the Virginia Room

Unless a user has temporarily connected the repeater elsewhere, the 442.55 machine stays linked to the Virginia Room (#21625) along with several other repeaters in the region.  A weekly net is held on Saturday nights at 8:00 PM.

WIRES-X traffic from these systems will be carried on the digital portion of the repeater and will not be heard by analog users.

Questions about the WIRES-X system on the UHF repeater may be directed to the Technical Committee generally or Mike Friedman W4MAF specifically.

Frequency: 442.550 MHz, +5.0 MHz offset; Call Sign: W4RAT/R; Mode: Wideband FM or C4FM (in/out); Configuration: PL 74.4 Hz

Coverage Map

Above:  Maps showing projected coverage of the W4RAT 442.55 MHz repeater, generated using Radio Mobile Online by Roger Coud√© VE2DBE.

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