Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Amateur Paging

Back in the late 80s through the 90's, two-tone paging was pretty popular. Many repeater controllers were setup to send these. Hams caring around the popular Minitor pagers on their belts could be summoned via a touch-tone invoked setup on the repeater. You don't see much of that anymore for whatever reason. The only people you noticed still being voice paged are usually volunteer fire / EMS guys.

The idea of digital paging always interested me, but it never seem to have gotten much attention in the ham radio world. Perhaps now that digital voice formats are emerging it's time to touch briefly on the idea again.

Back in the 90's Clive Cooper, G8UNK wrote a software POCSAG digital paging encoder. Kantronic's also came out with the KPC-9612 TNC cable of encoding POCSAG. (If you are wondering what POCSAG is, it's a well known standard for radiopaging)

Paging is kind of a one way deal, much like those beaconing the APRS locations. If this sounds interesting, here is a link for more information:


LeRoy Miller said...

I know this is an older post - but get a hold of me if you are still interested in paging - I would like to know your progress, and where you are at with your project - I have been thinking that this is the right time again for pagers -> Alpha in general - DX reports, Weather, APRS, and other things can all be sent to a group all at once or just to a single person...I don't know why the idea kind of phased out...seems like it would be the right time too me...

Brady said...

Hey! Me too..sounds like something fun to play with. I'm guessing that range is going to be a factor. Repeaters tend to be kind of puny compared to 1/4KW paging transmitters on good sites.

But I want to try it anyway...probably from my own transmitter just to see how it works.

If anyone has done it, let me know too.

k0uc at palmquist daht us

Steve said...

I have done it several years ago using the DOS encoder mentioned, it does work!

Dan KK7DS said...

Hi we're successfully using POCSAG pagers for ham activations. We're documenting it here: