Special Olympics This Weekend

The W4RAT UHF 442.55 MHz analog repeater and the Richmond Local DMR talkgroup will be in use by RVAHams in support of the Virginia Special Olympics Summer Games on Friday and Saturday, June 8 and 9.  Stations not participating in this event are asked to please keep clear since this event carries a very high volume of traffic, including emergency medical communications.

Our VHF 146.88 MHz repeater will be available for regular amateur use through the period.

You can hear a live stream of this event on our Streaming Audio page.  For more information, visit the RVAHams web site or contact Matt Kimball K4MTK.

Volunteer for Frostfest!

Hey everybody – it’s time for FROSTFEST! Please do your part to support the club by signing up now to volunteer. Those who volunteer for a shift supporting the show get free admission to the show, free food, and a ticket to place in the prize drum (eligible for ANY door prize, including the GRAND PRIZE!).

This year’s Volunteer Coordinator is Reid Barden. He had made signing up super easy. Just click THIS LINK to pull up the online form, and let him know who you are. Reid will reach out to you shortly afterward to sort out the details. That’s it!

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide, and we hope everyone has a terrific time at Frostfest.

Rob Marshall KI4MCW
Frostfest Director ’18

December 2018 RATS Update

The special election that was to be held at the December RATS membership meeting has been postponed to the January 2018 meeting.  This was done to allow more time to get the ballots out and also avoid the rush of the holidays.

Please come out to the membership meeting this month.  It will be held on Friday December 15 at 7:30 PM at the usual location at the Richmond Volunteer Rescue Squad.  There will be a very short business meeting followed by food, drink, and socializing.  You don’t have to be a member to attend, just come and hang out and talk radio with some of your local amateur radio operators.

Note From the President

Hello everyone, as the holidays fast approach. I wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for their dedication and help with club functions this past year. Without our members we could not help out at all the special events that the club is involved in. As a reminder Frostfest is fast approaching and we will need several volunteers to help support this event. Reid N1VCU is the new volunteer coordinator for Frostfest 2018, if anyone would like to sign up to volunteer you can email him at reidbarden@gmail.com.

I would like to thank all the families that gave up time so your significant others could volunteer their time with all our special events. Without your support of the hobby we could not do half of what we do, for that I humbly say thank you and I personally would like to invite you to the RATS holiday gathering on Friday December 15th as a thank you for your support.

My wife and I would like to wish all the RATS members a happy and blessed holiday season, and we look forward to a new year. May 2018 bring new and fun adventures in our hobby and we look forward to sharing 2018 with all of you. My door is always open to email suggestions for new things the RATS club can do in 2018.

Tim Farrell, KJ4NPB
President, Richmond Amateur Telecommunications Society

JOTA 60th

On October 21 2017 several hams from Richmond Amateur Radio Club and Richmond Amateur Radio Telecommunications Society, came together as one community – RVAHams. We set up 7 amateur stations offering DMR, D-STAR, HF, VHF/UHF PSK 31, remote ham, and simplex HT communications. During our stay at Camp Albright we were able to work with 300 scouts. We helped them make contacts in the United States and abroad, from places such as Japan, Australia, and Germany, just to name a few. This was a big hit with the scouting leadership along with the hams that attended. Darren KG4INW, Dan N4DOB, Lewis KK4SRF, David KG4DCX, Mike AC5PT Julian KV4VP, Jim K8OI, Matt K4MTK, George W3PPY, Tim KJ4NPB, Charles WA5VHU and Dee Dee KK4AVC all had a great time helping the scouts celebrate the 60TH Jamboree On The Air.


November 2017 Membership meeting

The November 2017 RATS membership meeting will be held on Friday, November 17, 2017 at 7:30 PM at the Richmond Volunteer Rescue Squad building.  Directions can be found here.

Topics of interest at this month’s meeting will be an update to the special election being held in November as well as Frostfest news.

The program this month will be on the new 2200 meter band and 630 meter band.  Use of these new bands requires you to register to make sure you don’t interfere with any local power transmission facilities.  The 2200 meter band is in the middle of a range of frequencies that are used by power companies to coordinate tripping on the transmission system.  There will be a brief discussion of how these frequencies are used by the power company.

November 2017 Special Election

There will be a special election held to fill some recent board vacancies.  I know what you’re thinking – “We just had an election”, and you’re right.  Here’s what’s going on.

The results of the election are as follows

  • President – Jeff, K4BXX
  • Vice President – Tim, KJ4NPB
  • Director – Darren, KG4INW
  • Director – Charles, KI4WCK

The newly elected President, K4BXX, had to resign because he had to move back home to Indiana.  This meant that the new Vice President, Tim Farrell, moved up to become President.  Also, due to the election results, where two directors became officers (Jeff and Tim), that vacated their director positions.  We also had one director resign, Steve, KG4PEQ, due to increased work responsibilities.  The past vice president also lost his spot to Tim.  The net result is that the board is down by one Vice President and two directors.  Technically the board could appoint these positions, however, due to there being so many vacancies and turnovers, it was decided to hold a special election to fill these spots.  Also, the board has appointed former President Robert Orndorff, W4BNO as interim Vice President until the special election is held.

Ballots and biographies will be mailed out shortly after the November meeting and the ballots will be counted at the December meeting, with the newly elected members taking office immediately after the ballots have been counted.

A nominating committee was formed and came up with the following candidates:

  • Vice President – Cheryl Hackett, KJ4JPX and Joe Palsa, K3WRY
  • Director – Jason Pye, KD4LEM
  • Director – Mike Hackett, AC5PT
  • Director – Joe Palsa, K3WRY

August VE Testing session

RATS will be conducting VE Testing on Saturday August 19, 2017 from 10 AM until 2 PM at the Richmond Volunteer Rescue Squad building located at 1822 Chantilly Street, near the intersection of Broad and Staples Mill Road.

If you want to try to obtain your first amateur radio license, or upgrade, this is a good opportunity to do so.

Park in the back of the building, behind the Wendy’s restaurant, in the same area that is used for our regular monthly meetings.

The cost is $14.

Field Day 2017

Field Day 2017 logoRATS is hosting a Field Day event at the Laurel Park Recreation Area.  The Dominion DX Group (DDXG) and Richmond Amateur Radio Club will be participating as well.

Some important Field Day information:

  • Field Day is a 24 hour operating event and is held on Saturday June 24 through Sunday June 25 2017.
  • Setup for our event starts around 11 AM with operation beginning at 2 AM and running continuously until around noon on Sunday.  If you’re a night owl, come on out – we’ll have people there all night long.
  • The location is 10301 Hungary Spring Road.
  • We will have VE testing Saturday afternoon starting around 2 PM.
  • We will be operating under the W4RAT callsign and will have four HF stations available for operation.
  • Help is always appreciated, especially for set up on Saturday morning and take down on Sunday around noon.

If you’ve never operated HF, or haven’t operated in a long time, come on out and we’ll get you on the air.  You do not need a license to operate at Field Day – we’ll have people available to operate with you.