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Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Pager revisit

In June I posted about how POCSAG pagers were being used in Amateur radio and had been for some time by the Germans using the DAPNET, further investigation led me to discover that ETCC had been able to get Ofcom to issue NoVs for some POCSAG transmitters on the Amateur bands, specifically a spot frequency in 70cm, located in the south of England, I believe there are 4 of them all with callsigns MB7Pxx (where xx is two letters), and Pi-Star, as I posted about, can transmit POCSAG messages on the same spot frequency used worldwide (with some regulatory exceptions).

This is all part of a German system called DAPNET, the Decentralised Amateur Paging Network, and because I am a fan of older technology, as it has been proven to work hence one reason I enjoy Amateur radio as a lot of old radio gear is still in working order or has been restored to working order, pagers simply add another aspect to this, they are in very seldom use by commercial users now and only one paging network exists in the UK now, so us Amateurs can keep it alive, though we cannot use it commercially as that would be against the terms of the licence in every country and against the nature of Amateur radio in general.

Pagers have to be assigned a RIC to work, a radio identity code I believe, the system is, like a commercial pager system, one-way, so good for transmitting information on local clubs, nets, SOTA spots, or any other bit of information of interest to the Amateur radio community, the DAPNET has something called 'rubrics' which you can choose to receive information from.

Now I have my full licence I plan to play with this, though I need to put through a new DMR ID first as I believe a pager RIC would be derived from that (though pager RICs don't go up as far as DMR IDs from what I understand), though I plan to run an APRS igate which would require a NoV, running a pager gateway would require a second NoV which would be required to allow me to run both, as demand for pager use is lower than APRS-IS access then I don't have to worry for now.

73 de M0WNU

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