[aprssig] An amusing aside (Text Pagers)

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Thu Jan 28 11:44:40 CST 2010

> There are quite many software/PIC/AVR based 
> POCSAG encoders out there to create a 
> separate paging network. There is one already 
> in Germany on UHF, I believe.

Yes, that is the goal.  Take standard POCSAG text messaging
pagers and use any of the available POCSAG encoders (for example
the one built into the Kantronics TNC's).  Then have someone
write a simple APRS-to-POCSAG converter so that all these RF
pagers can be connected to APRS messageing, Email etc via the
global APRS network.

We need:
1) Some junk hound to locate hundreds if not thousands of
surplus text pagers
2) Someone who knows how to re-program their synthesizers onto
the VHF or UHF amateur bands.
3) Someone to write the Pgate software to tie it into the APRSIS

The rest of the global network is there.  This way, non-APRS
users can get in on APRS messaging for only the cost of a
surplus pager.  

BUT IT IS NOT JUST PAGING...  The person who writes the P-Gate
software can also add configuration features such as sending
these TEXT items:

1) Direction and Distance to APRS mobiles in range
2) APRS local WX alerts
3) APRS local bulletins and announcements
4) APRS traffic alerts
5) APRS local objects

All of this is quite dooable and a perfect amateur radio
project.  Amateur efforts to convert pagers for ham radio have
been around for years, but they never gain traction because they
have lacked the GLOBAL interconnectivity that APRS provides.  So
they have very small local applications and die...  And the
growth of commercial cellphones lets anyone do it...

A) This makes surplus pagers dirt cheap..
B) The APRS network provides the connectivity and is COMPLETE.

Now's the time to do this before all the bazilliions of surplus
pagers are melted back to scrap metal for recycling.  This is
just part of what I covered in my septermber 2009 QST article on
Universal Amateur Radio Text Messaging...

See www.aprs.org/aprs-messaging.html

So many projects.. So little time...


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