Richmond Amateur Telecommunications Society

Upcoming events

Help Wanted for Bike MS - June 1 and 2

RATS is assisting with the Bike MS event on June 1 and 2.  This bike ride runs from Richmond to Williamsburg on Saturday, and from Williamsburg to Richmond on Sunday.  There is an opportunity for some volunteers to stay overnight in Williamsburg if assisting both days.  All volunteers are welcome to attend the dinner at the Williamsburg start/finish on Saturday.

We need operators who can fill stationary positions at start/finish areas, rest stops, and other key locations along the route.  These operators will want a full-power (50-watt or better) mobile radio and good mobile antenna (a limited number of positions closer to start/finish lines may be suitable for HT use).  We will help you determine your equipment needs.  These positions relay observations, supply orders, and support requests from fixed locations back to Net Control.

Additionally, we need mobile operators for SAG vehicles.  These operators will place a full-power mobile radio and antenna on a vehicle provided by Bike MS.  These vehicles will be driven by a SAG driver, patrolling the course to keep track of last riders, recover lost riders, tend to basic medical needs, address missing/incorrect track markings, and transport exhausted riders or those with disabled bikes.

To volunteer or for additional information, please e-mail the RATS Board,  Loaner equipment may be available.

Repeater Service Alert Active

A Service Alert is active for intermittent degraded reception on the analog VHF repeater.  Our UHF analog and DMR repeaters are not impacted.  For more information please visit the Repeater Status page.  Inquiries may be directed to the repeater trustee or to the Technical Committee via e-mail.

Work is underway to overhaul much of the RATS equipment located on the WCVE tower, including replacement of antennas, jumpers, combiner, mounting hardware, and other parts.  The RATS Board has approved the expenditure and the Technical Committee continues to work with our RF service vendor to identify components for replacement.  Hardware orders are being placed.  Tower work will require one or two days and will result in an extended service outage on the VHF analog, UHF analog, and UHF DMR repeaters, along with the W4RAT-1 digipeater.  Dates and additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

Membership Dues Increase effective May 1st, 2019

Individual Member dues will increase to $25/year and Family Member dues (covering all licensed amateurs in one household) will increase to $40/year.

Repeater and Digipeater Status Information

We have created status pages for the repeaters and APRS digipeaters which will be updated to reflect any known issues.

Next Club Meetings

Upcoming club meeting dates:

  • Friday, May 17 - 7:30p
  • Friday, June 21 - 7:30p
  • Friday, July 19 - 7:30p

Our club meetings are usually the third Friday of each month at 7:30 PM.  We meet at the Richmond Volunteer Rescue Squad building at 1802 Chantilly Street.  This is near the Wendy's at the corner of West Broad and Staples Mill.  Park in the lot behind the Wendy's and knock on the rear door of the squad building for entry (this is the building directly behind the gas station).  You do not need to be a club member or a licensed ham to attend a meeting.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is:

  • Friday, June 21st - 6:30pm at the RVRS facility, prior to the membership meeting.

The board typically meets the first Wednesday of each month at Amigos Mexican restaurant near the intersection of Staples Mill and Broad.  Club members are invited to attend.

IRLP Availability Update

Effective January 19, 2019:  IRLP services on the W4RAT 146.88 MHz repeater will be available until midnight.  This is an additional hour of operation each evening.  IRLP is automatically enabled each morning at 7 AM local time.

IRLP -- the Internet Radio Linking Project -- is a voice-over-IP system connecting simplex nodes and repeaters all around the world.  Anyone with an analog radio capable of generating DTMF commands can use the system.

To connect to an IRLP node, first identify ("this is AB1CDE, accessing IRLP") then enter # followed by the 4-digit node number, or reflector and channel number.  To disconnect, enter #73.  Friends elsewhere can reach us by connecting to node 4424.  To learn more about IRLP visit or send an e-mail to the RATS Technical Committee.

Repeater Control Codes Uploaded

The latest W4RAT analog repeater control codes are available to club members.

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

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