Pager Handbook For The Radio Amateur Qsl Net-Books Pdf

Pager Handbook for the Radio Amateur QSL net
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The purpose of this handbook is to introduce paging technology to the radio amateur We ll describe the. Radiopaging Code No 1 also known as POCSAG outline what s needed to complete a two way POCSAG. QSO list what s needed to monitor paging investigate the inner guts of a typical pager both the FM. receiver board and the decoder board suggest where to purchase pagers for amateur use outline procedures. for recrystalling pagers for 2 meter and 70 cm use describe how to set up an amateur station for paging and. describe the paging commands and paging capability added to the Kantronics KPC 9612 packet modem. While attending Wireless World last December in San Francisco I managed to take in the sessions on. paging I was just a bit curious about the future of paging although it wasn t my main mission for attending. the convention As it turned out the discussions on two way paging and new paging formats were thought. provoking they got me thinking about the possibilities for paging in amateur radio. Once home I obtained a copy of the International Radio Consultative Committee s Radiopaging Code NO 1. RPC1 recommendation R 584 1 outlined some feasibility experiments for 2 meter paging checked. appropriate sections of Part 97 and asked Mike Huslig KB0NYK to program and port a POCSAG encoder. and monitor into our 9600 baud packet modem Not long thereafter we were transmitting 512 1200 and. 2400 baud numeric and alphanumeric pages with an IFR signal generator copying them on a pager lying on. the bench and monitoring them on loop back into the KPC 9612 We had proof of concept. Once the equipment was working on the bench two application ideas came to mind paging in emergency. situations where amateurs assist and coupling paging with packet radio A host of other thoughts followed. too As a result we decided to add ten pager related keyboard commands and a packet paging server PS to. the firmware of the KPC 9612 With the PS in place amateurs can connect to the TNC leave a page for. transmission list a log of pages sent or set up a page for a group We also added sysop TNC owner. password control just in case they might want to restrict access to the PS. It is my hope that our POCSAG adventure will add some excitement to our hobby and enhance the amateur. service s ability to provide emergency communication At the same time I realize that not everyone will. welcome this adventure some stated that it was the end of amateur radio when SSB was added when. packet radio was introduced when AMTOR and Pactor appeared on 20 meters and when GGTOR appeared. later Obviously I don t believe that I think we should strive to advance the state of the art experiment with. new modes adapt modes from other services like we did with AMTOR and strive to compete with those. importing equipment, I recognize that adding yet another mode to the VHF and UHF bands could cause additional crowding in. some regions Hence it is extremely important if you embrace the idea of paging that you coordinate your. activities with the other spectrum stakeholders in your area. Is paging legal A careful reading of Part 97 sections 97 3 a 10 97 1 1 1 b 2 97 305 c and 97 307 f. 5 makes it clear that digital paging is allowed for VHF and UHF operations One way transmissions are. made every day by amateurs to establish communications with other amateurs even using one mode to. establish a link in another Paging simply creates another way of establishing communication Don t confuse. one way transmissions with broadcasting, The benefits of investigating alternative technologies and mixing them with existing systems are well proven. Our efforts as a nation in space have brought us the integrated circuits we use today My point is that parts of. the paging technology will yield benefits for the amateur An unplanned benefit of porting the POCSAG. protocol into our packet TNC is that it becomes a piece of test equipment a POCSAG encoder Hence it can. be used in conjunction with an RF signal generator to test pagers and aid in recrystalling them Another. unplanned benefit is the realization that pager receiver boards can be converted for other uses as an FM. receiver as a data packet receiver or as a portion of a deviation meter Spin offs like these occur naturally. when technologies are mixed, I ll leave you with this thought to get your creative juices going We ve discovered that some of the packet. data ready radios are plug and play for sending and monitoring paging when coupled with a TNC. containing a paging encoder decoder,INTRODUCTION TO PAGING. Commercial pagers have become super popular in the last decade competing strongly with the cellular. phone Applications are no longer limited to businesses or doctors teenagers and college students are signing. up with service providers by the thousands and tens of thousands of new pagers are coming on line every. week These folks have found out the secret about paging it works it s convenient and it s reasonably. inexpensive compared to other services, Regardless of the type of pager beep only voice numeric readout or alphanumeric display the function is.
pretty much the same someone wants to contact the personal carrying the pager Once paged those carrying. the older style beep only pager respond by calling a dispatcher or automated service to obtain a call back. number Those carrying pagers with a liquid crystal display LCD receive their call back number as a part of. the page message which is the usual practice They can respond by returning a call directly Most pagers sold. with an LCD are numeric that is they are capable of receiving numbers and a limited number of special. characters Even so with these devices a call back my not be necessary if the parties have agreed that certain. numbers have specific meaning For example 123 may mean call the main office and 456 might mean call. your motherlaw Alphanumeric pagers provide even more flexibility and are gaining in popularity The. strong preference for numerics continues however and may have to do with the fact that the person sending. the message can use a touch tone phone to initiate the page Alphanumerics require a computer keyboard. terminal or dispatcher, How does the paging system work as a whole Let s investigate by looking at a typical paging system for. Any town USA as shown in Figure 1 1 A page is initiated at a touch tone phone To page your spouse for. example you d dial a phone number assigned to the pager wait for the automated voice prompt from the. paging terminal please enter a number followed by the sign enter the phone number where you d like to. be reached and hang up The paging terminal in turn makes up the paging message for your spouse. including your message and the address of the pager ID adds it to a stack of pages to be sent and transfers. these pages within a few minutes to a bank of transmitters Once transmitted at the radio frequency assigned. to your paging service your spouse s pager beeps after recognizing its unique ID and stores the message. Figure 1 1 Commercial Paging System, As you can see the system is similar to many other systems we use In collecting paging messages the. paging terminal simply prompts the caller as a telephone answering device TAD would to leave a. message Your touch tone phone and the telephone company s equipment does the rest The paging terminal. has other jobs too It must keep track of pairs of phone numbers and pager IDs keep a record of messages. sent control the transmitters spread out across the city and manage the paging system as a whole With inter. city paging so called wide area paging paging network controllers handle the job of exchanging pages. between cities and systems often using the Telecator Network Paging Protocol TNPP to accomplish their. The job of the transmitters is basic They transmit a batch of pages upon demand and may transmit each. page on all transmitters at once called simulcasting The messages are sent at the radio frequency RF. assigned to the paging service by the FCC using frequency modulation FM For numeric and alphanumeric. pagers the digital information is sent with a frequency shift keying FSK modulation format To send ones. and zeroes the frequency of the transmitter signal the carrier is shifted deviated up or down in frequency. by 4 5 kHz, The pagers complete the system They wake up about once per second to look for a paging signal addressed. specifically for them If a pager sees its ID in any of the pages being transmitted it picks out that page beeps. or vibrates the person carrying or wearing it and stores the message if a numeric or alphanumeric pager. The person carrying the pagers is then free to display the message on the LCD. First generation pager systems beep only and or voice were assigned to the VHF bands 33 50 MHz and. 139 175 MHz Today paging services are assigned VHF UHF and 900 MHz carrier frequencies as shown. in Table 1 1,Table 1 1 Paging Frequency Bands,paging band frequency range. VHF low band 33 50 MHz,VHF high band 138 175 MHz,UHF 406 422 MHz.
UHF high 435 512 MHz,900 band 929 932 MHz, In 1978 to accommodate more pages sent per hour per frequency and to include numeric or alphanumeric. messages in a pager signal a standards group formulated a new paging format referred to at that time as. POCSAG This pioneering planning was carried out by the Post Office Code Standardization Advisory. Group POCSAG A bit later the International Radio Consultative Committee CCIR a committee of the. International Telecommunications Union ITU renamed the POCSAG code as Radiopaging Code No 1. RPC1 and specified its format in their Recommendation for International Paging R 584 1 We ll continue. in this handbook to refer to the RPCl as POCSAG This protocol for sending paging messages is today s. defacto standard and its details are presented in Chapter 2. You ll hear talk about Golay Sequential Code GSC Flex and the Advanced Paging Operator Code APOC. paging formats GSC systems and pagers are still in use in the US today particularly in hospitals but their. numbers are now small compared to POCSAG systems Motorola has introduced and is pushing their new 4. level FSK system Flex designed for higher speeds Flex is a trademark or registered trademark of. Motorola The APOC specification was written at Phillips Telecom and they are promoting it None of. these paging formats will be covered in this handbook. Figure 1 2 Amateur Paging System 2 meters or 70 cm. You might wonder at this point how this all fits with amateur radio Can we retrofit commercial pagers for. amateur use and can we encode transmit and monitor pages As it turns out we re in luck on all four points. First some commercial POCSAG pagers made for the VHF and UHF frequency bands can be recrystalled. for the US 2 meter and 70 cm amateur bands We ll investigate the insides of these pagers buying them and. converting them in Chapters 4 5 and 6 Second Kantronics KPC 96l2 packet modem v7 0 now includes. POCSAG encoding decoding A page message is encoded simply by typing in the pager ID and message. from a computer keyboard the TNC does the rest forming up the page and sending it to the transmitter. We ll describe this process in Chapters 3 7 and 8 Third some of the 9600 data ready transceivers made. for packet radio operation are capable of transmitting and receiving POCSAG pages We ll check this out in. Chapter 7 With these lessons in hand you ll be ready to examine convert and apply pagers and paging. technology to our hobby, Before reading these chapters however let s take a look at the POCSAG paging code as defined in. Recommendation 584 1 as described in Chapter 2 While this task will be a bit tedious it s necessary The. code is the foundation for everything else we ll do. THE DEFACTO STANDARD POCSAG,Introduction, The single purpose of this chapter is to describe the Post Office Code Standardization Advisory Group. POCSAG code used for sending and receiving numeric and alphanumeric pages You might think of the. code as an alphabet like the Baudot code for RTTY or the ASCII code for your computer serial port The. term code as used here however is meant to be synonymous with the term protocol The POCSAG code is a. description not only of the specific binary codes used but also of the format rate and signalling method used. in sending and receiving page messages, The transmission format of the code is a preamble of 576 bits alternating ones and zeroes followed by one. or more batches of codewords Each batch consists of a 32 bit synchronization codeword SC followed by. eight frames of 64 bits each each frame consisting of two codewords Codewords are defined as. synchronous idle address and data The format of the data codeword differs slightly from the rest but all. codewords contain ten check bits for error detection and correction The signalling modulation method. called for is frequency shift keying FSK with a deviation of 4 5 kHz. The transmission rate for POCSAG is either 512 1200 or 2400 baud The rate and format of the code. determine the shortest duration possible for a page transmission Table 2 1 It s easy to differentiate between. rates when monitoring simply listen for the pitch and duration of the preamble. Table 2 1 Minimum Transmission Duration, baud rate preamble seconds batch seconds total duration.
512 1 125 1 0625 2 1875,1200 0 480 0 453 0 933,2400 0 240 0 227 0 467. Numerous descriptions of the POCSAG code can be found in the literature I ve found fairly complete. PAGER HANDBOOK for the Radio Amateur Philip N Anderson W0XI CONTENTS Preface Chapter 1 Introduction to Paging Chapter 2 The Defacto Standard POCSAG Chapter 3 A Two Way POCSAG QSO Chapter 4 Digital Pagers Receiver Decoder Chapter 5 Buying a Pager for Amateur Radio Use Chapter 6 Recrystalling Programming

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