Personal Technology & Gadgets

POCSAG decoding

My current project is to get rid of my digital fire pager (and possibly those of other folks on the department who are interested).

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I purchased a Realistic PRO-57 scanner, which is easily modified (done) to add a discriminator output using the excellent instructions here. I also purchased a two level data slicer to provide a serial port output. With the serial input, I can have any computer or slug in my house (with serial-USB adapter) send me an e-mail or a text message when I get a page. I’ll keep y’all appraised if it works out.

By Dave

He was born in Canada, but currently lives in Boulder, CO up in Boulder Heights.

One reply on “POCSAG decoding”

Well, not all my information was correct. I was entirely unable to get the data slicer working with decoding software and Windows XP or Vista. On the other hand, I did have very good success with the direct audio card input from the discriminator output. Here’s what I didn’t know but know now:

1) The output is not a serial output from the slicer. It needs special sampling and decoding software on the computer to work correctly.

2) The decoding software apparently doesn’t like Windows XP AND the 2-level data slicer. I got continuous garbage from the program. There’s a DOS-only version, as well as an ancient LINUX program called YYY that may provide me with more help.

3) It is illegal for folks to decode POCSAG who aren’t the intended recipients (I am, so it’s legal for me), so I will not post instructions on how I put it all together, and I’ll post no more helpful hints, sorry.

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