If you’ve been thinking about something useful to do with your amateur radio POCSAG pager, think situational awareness. This has been a strange year not only for dealing with an extreme virus but with extreme weather.
You can subscribe your ham pager to rubric 1081 to receive county specfic weather alers in almost real time. I currently provide feeds to DAPNET for 38 US counties. If your county is not on the list, it can be added upon request.
You can find out more about this service and DAPNET via the DAPNET Wiki.
If you don’t already have a DAPNET paging transmitter in your area you can use your Pi-Star MMDVM-based hotspot. The capability is built-in. If you need a compatible amateur radio pager, they can be found on eBay.
73 de K2IE
Did you know that radio amateurs have our own paging network? Really, pagers, those slim devices that you carried on your belt back in the 1980s and 1990s. The devices with batteries that would last for weeks!
The Decentralized Amateur Paging Network was built by hams to provide the backend infrastructure to send messages to your personal amateur radio paging device. And if you’re running Pi-Star, you already have what is needed to turn your local hotspot into a POCSAG paging node on the DAPNET!
You also need need a pager. The AlphaPOC 602R seems to be a popular model that will work on the 70cm amateur band. The default paging frequency seems to be 439.9875 MHz and that is what Pi-Star will use unless you change it.
I wanted to play around with ham radio paging but, since I don’t have a ham radio pager available, I improvised. Isn’t that what amateur radio is all about? I wrote a python3 program to take inbound pages to my RIC (pager identification code) and send them to my email. I’ve shared the code on github and invite you to use it, comment, and contribute.
How can you use amateur radio paging? DX spots, APRS weather alerts, and solar activity are a few applications that come to mind. Share your ideas and be sure to send me a page via the us-nj transmitter group.
73 de K2IE