The Richmond Amateur Telecommunications Society owns and operates the W4RAT analog repeater on the SERA-coordinated frequency pair of 146.28/88 MHz. This repeater utilizes full CTCSS encoding and decoding at 74.4Hz. IRLP service is available.
Autopatch service with emergency speed dial is available to active club members. This allows RATS members to make outbound telephone calls from anywhere within the W4RAT repeater footprint. NOAA Weather Radio alerts are carried during severe weather events (this functionality can be temporarily disabled by SKYWARN Net Controls). A battery bank provides short-term power for the repeater, and a UPS provides short-term power for IRLP and various monitoring and control systems. The entire repeater system is serviced by a large diesel generator maintained by our host TV station.
The VHF repeater is the primary Wakefield SKYWARN repeater for central Virginia and also serves ARES and other EMCOMM groups through written MOU's. All transmissions through the repeaters are recorded at the controller 24/7 for use in repeater performance monitoring and enforcement activities.
Before going on the air, repeater users should be familiar with the particulars of FM repeater operation, as well the RATS Repeater Rules & Policies and basic repeater etiquette. If you have questions about operating procedures or need other assistance with the repeater, please contact the RATS Technical Committee. We will be happy to help in any way we can.
The 146.88 repeater is located at WCVE Channel 23 in Chesterfield County (near Bon Air), with antenna situated about 680 feet above ground on the taller of the station's two large towers. RATS appreciates WCVE's generosity in allowing us such excellent locations for our antennas and repeaters.
Above: Map showing projected coverage of the W4RAT 146.88 MHz repeater, generated using Radio Mobile Online by Roger Coudé VE2DBE
W4RAT/R is a Motorola MTR 2000 repeater with a full featured Arcom controller and Digital Voice Recorders, a Decibel Products DB-224-E antenna on VHF and approximately 750 feet of 1-1/4-inch hard-line which feeds both the VHF analog and UHF DMR antennas. Our transmitter's output power is approximately 60 watts.
To reduce noise, the repeater utilizes a kerchunk filter which will keep most short transmissions from coming through the repeater. Except for net modes and drive time, the repeater does not usually transmit a courtesy tone.