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Tuesday 7 July 2020

POCSAG from the Jumbospot

I finally got round to setting up an account with the DAPNET, which means my Jumbospot can now transmit POCSAG pager transmissions, I put the NooElec NESDR SMArt on my tablet and on the standardised pager frequency in the Amateur 70cm band and indeed the hotspot is genuinely transmitting.

I hope to try and get hold of a compatible pager and use this to its full potential, because it's retro tech and works well for what it is, and this service being part of the Amateur radio service is perfectly legal to decode, unlike commercial pager systems.

The hotspot is working as follows, when it is idle, the POCSAG transmissions can take place on the worldwide spot frequency of 439.9875MHz (or whatever frequency is set up for paging, though this one is the standard in most of the world), once the hotspot has done this is switches back to the hotspot frequency (in my case I use 438.800 as in the UK bandplan this is set aside for personal hotspots, though your country my differ), while a digital voice transmission is in progress or the hotspot is receiving a digital voice transmission it will not transmit any further POCSAG until the hotspot has returned to its standby state.

If you want to use the DAPNET yourself you need to go onto, open a ticket to create an account (you will need to also submit your licence document as proof you are an Amateur radio operator), then you will need to open a ticket to register a transmitter, which will give you the auth code to put into the POCSAG settings on your hotspot, this does work with most Pi-Star based hotspots but not sure about others.

If you have a pager you'll need to obtain a RIC, open another ticket to do this.

I have Josh KI6NAZ from Ham Radio Crash Course to thank for me actually getting registered with DAPNET, one of his previous livestreams featured a pager in it (though the subject was the NanoVNA) and he has a video on the pager subject as well which is what motivated me to finally get on and do it, and though his channel is an American channel I highly recommend you check him out no matter where in the world you are.

there's more to come on this subject so do watch this space

73 de M0WNU/26CT730