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Amateur Radio Data Transmissions For discussion of all modes used to send data such as APRS and packet.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2014, 3:51 PM
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Default POCSAG Pager Question

Does anyone know where I can get a POCSAG pager in the 70cm band? Or at least the 2m band? Is it even allowed? I understand that it is, but there is some controversy over it...

Where can I find a pager? Does anyone know?

TIA
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Old 01-10-2014, 5:02 PM
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Even if you could, paging services don't transmit that low in vhf or uhf bands.
What is it you're trying to do?

73,
n9zas
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Old 01-10-2014, 5:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gewecke View Post
Even if you could, paging services don't transmit that low in vhf or uhf bands.
What is it you're trying to do?

73,
n9zas
True enough. Paging services don't. But there are POCSAG encoders out there that can. As for what I am trying to do, I am trying to do what every ham does. EXPERIMENT!
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:31 PM
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Buy a $20 RTL-SDR dongle, get the free apps PDW and SDR# (alternatives available), and you're set for decoding many pager systems. Most of what I find is in the 931MHz range.

sample: POCSAG & FLEX Paging Decode with RTL-SDR, SDR# and PDW - YouTube
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Old 03-24-2014, 6:12 AM
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You realize it's illegal to decode common carrier paging systems or messages not intended for you. I don't see what thrill people get out of decoding this information. Use that SDR dongle for something that is worthwhile.
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Old 03-24-2014, 7:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwilson2013 View Post
You realize it's illegal to decode common carrier paging systems or messages not intended for you.
Quote me that statute specifically for this situation. If it were really important, it would be encrypted.

Anyway, I'm more about the mode, software, etc. than I care about the conversation.

Quote:
I don't see what thrill people get out of decoding this information. Use that SDR dongle for something that is worthwhile.
I don't get the thrill of your spanking us, but hey, to each his own. I probably do more with dongle than most, so I'm sure "something that is worthwhile" is likely some day. Something worthwhile isn't easy in this hobby since it's, well, just a hobby.

73
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Old 03-24-2014, 8:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwilson2013 View Post
You realize it's illegal to decode common carrier paging systems or messages not intended for you. I don't see what thrill people get out of decoding this information. Use that SDR dongle for something that is worthwhile.
First of all, POCSAG is all but obsolete. No common carrier in the US uses it anymore so your point is moot.
Second of all, POCSAG is a legal mode for amateur radio. Kantronics even included it at one time in their software for their TNCs.
As for the OP's question, the secondary market is about the only source left. We were running our own POCSAG system here at the fire department until we moved to other systems. We were buying our pagers direct from mainland Chinese manufacturers up until 5 years ago. We were on the 450 Mhz band. We sold all of our spare and used pagers as surplus and were bought for scrap value. We used POCSAG to control all our Civil Defense sirens as well as paging.
Keep looking, they are out there. As for how to identify them readily, I do not know although Motorola had a few POCSAG only pagers with specific model numbers. Finding software to reprogram the channels they were on can be a pain in the rear. I know there were several ham clubs that used the pagers to notify them of emergency incidents. Some of those pagers may be floating around.
I admire your curiosity and encourage you highly. All the naysayers on here obviously do not know what they are talking about and are only too glad to tell you why it won't work or is illegal.
Craig
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Old 03-24-2014, 5:01 PM
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And if you're still looking, here's one that will go on 2 meters.

http://www.usalertllc.com/bravo802-Alpha.pdf
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Old 03-25-2014, 4:47 PM
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www.unicationsusa.com
www.osiinternaional.com

Either one can help you with MANY models to choose from.
If I have the URL incorrect, just google unications and osi international
Good Luck.. And POCSAG is very much alive in public safety
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Old 04-24-2014, 4:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcr_inc View Post
www.unicationsusa.com
www.osiinternaional.com

Either one can help you with MANY models to choose from.
If I have the URL incorrect, just google unications and osi international
Good Luck.. And POCSAG is very much alive in public safety
OSI International corrected link. The first one does not go anywhere.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:44 AM
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Apollo pagers , the software is free on their website to program , most can be programmed via the front buttons, and is the method of alerting our County uses for primary dispatching , station printing and I have switched our House Siren over to trigger via pocsag.
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Old 05-09-2014, 3:32 PM
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Quote:
You realize it's illegal to decode common carrier paging systems or messages not intended for you.
It's never been illegal to intercept and decode any broadcasted signal. What is illegal is to use any of the information you receive for illegal purposes or pecuniary gain or advantage. The "security of communications" acts go right back to the days when ordinary mail and telegraph was the only form of communication.
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Old 05-09-2014, 8:13 PM
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A second vote for Apollo pagers. I've had a few and they work good, not to mention a nice bright backlight.
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Old 05-18-2014, 7:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majoco View Post
It's never been illegal to intercept and decode any broadcasted signal. What is illegal is to use any of the information you receive for illegal purposes or pecuniary gain or advantage. The "security of communications" acts go right back to the days when ordinary mail and telegraph was the only form of communication.
Actually I think he's right. I think the pager law is in there with the cell phone and cordless phone law from back in 1994.

But I am not looking to intercept. I am looking to page.
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Old 06-11-2014, 3:27 PM
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I built a HAM based paging system last year which was based on these (Wrist Watch Pager American Cellular Inc.) pagers. Really cool and well received. I would program it to send a callsign on a unused CAPCODE every 10 minutes to keep it legit.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfalcon View Post
I built a HAM based paging system last year which was based on these (Wrist Watch Pager American Cellular Inc.) pagers. Really cool and well received. I would program it to send a callsign on a unused CAPCODE every 10 minutes to keep it legit.
Neat project.

I'm curious why you'd have the transmitter key-up and identify
every 10 mins.

You should only have to send your call sign once at the end of any page, or series of pages.

On a given day, if you didn't activate the transmitter to page,
it would still ID 144 times. That's a lot of QRM on a frequency,
particularly if it's used by others in range.
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Old 06-23-2014, 8:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majoco View Post
It's never been illegal to intercept and decode any broadcasted signal. What is illegal is to use any of the information you receive for illegal purposes or pecuniary gain or advantage. The "security of communications" acts go right back to the days when ordinary mail and telegraph was the only form of communication.
This may be correct in New Zealand, but in the US the mere act of decoding a pager transmission from a common carrier was made illegal in 1986.
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Old 07-08-2014, 1:48 PM
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So in Austria its illegal to receive one of that Transmissions.
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Old 07-08-2014, 3:05 PM
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And the US of A
Quote:
Originally Posted by Your_account View Post
So in Austria its illegal to receive one of that Transmissions.
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:02 PM
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What are you using to "Dispatch" the calls out? I was looking at using something like the Pagers to activate the ARES group in Calgary.
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