[aprssig] Fwd: QIKCOM-2 SPoken Messages

Nagi Punyamurthula n0agi at n0agi.com
Thu Jul 23 17:06:43 CDT 2015

A couple of facts:

1.       POCSAG protocol (FLEX is another) transmission and reception gear are based on FSK modulation and operate in the 512/1200/2400 speeds.

2.       Receiving pagers exist for VHF and UHF bands (900MHz).

a.       Each country/region has a pre-allocated range of vhf/uhf band plans for POCSAG operations.

                                                               i.      Frequencies can be found in the Phil Anderson W0XI documents from links below

3.       There are Two broad methods of “baking in” the frequency at which receiving pagers operate in:

a.       Synthesized (software programmable w/I a pre-defined range of frequencies) or

b.      or Crystallized (crystal based pre-set frequency; non-s/w programmable).

c.       Synthesized pagers are cheaper cost-to-own and easier to reprogram to a different frequency so long as they’re, w/I a pre-destined h/w range.

d.      While Crystalized ones are more expensive to program, to operate on a frequency and require a hardware install of a pre-configured crystal.

4.       TWO Types of pagers available in market today.

a.       Numeric (predominantly 1 line readout pagers).

b.      Alpha-numeric (range btwn 1 to 4 line readouts).

c.       Manufacturers include Motorola Gold Advisor, Apollo and some not so well known Chinese/Taiwanese manufacturers.

d.      Typical Costs

                                                               i.      Synthesized : range from $10 (used, 1-2 liners, a few years old) to $60 (new, 4 liners)

1.       Programmable using proprietary programming h/w cradle and software (Motorola as an example)

                                                             ii.      Crystalized : typically from $10 (used, 1-2 liners from few years old).

1.       Programming is not possible.  Very expensive to custom fit w/ a new crystal typically $20+ more)

5.       HAM gear for Encoding/Transmission

a.       One could purchase a POCSAG encoder/transmitter for ~$110 - ~$140 from Taiwanese companies.

b.      One could also use Kantronics 9612+.  The KPC 9612+ has a built in POCSAG shell in it and works really well.  You will need a TRx radio and a PC to program the KPC setup to transmit

6.       Resources:

a.       I have collated a few POCSAG publicly available documents;  can be downloaded for reference here: http://1drv.ms/1DzwmTL

b.      Of course, there’s the Wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POCSAG

I’m no expert in POCSAG, but, still experimenting and learning all about it.

Hope this helps


From: Robert Bruninga [mailto:bruninga at usna.edu]
Sent: Thursday, July 23, 2015 3:00 PM
To: Nagi Punyamurthula <n0agi at n0agi.com>; TAPR APRS Mailing List <aprssig at tapr.org>
Subject: RE: [aprssig] Fwd: QIKCOM-2 SPoken Messages

Fill me in on what kind of POCSAG pagers are available to hams on the receiving end?  They used to be VERY cheap.  Now?


From: Nagi Punyamurthula [mailto:n0agi at n0agi.com<mailto:n0agi at n0agi.com>]
Sent: Thursday, July 23, 2015 12:16 PM
To: Robert Bruninga; TAPR APRS Mailing List
Subject: RE: [aprssig] Fwd: QIKCOM-2 SPoken Messages

Bob, et al;
Wanted to run this idea by you all;
Over the last couple of months, I have been playing w/ building a prototype for POCSAG pager service to ride on top of APRS backbone.  A short video can be found here (early stages)

the prototype’s objectives:

1.       Station A can send an APRS message of type POCSAG over the air on the network.  The message would obviously include the standard APRS message structure, except include the POCSAG “type ID” as part of the message.

2.       Stations identifying themselves as POCSAG capable (that is stations equipped w/ a POCSAG Tx/Encoder, that know how to parse and send an encoded POCSAG message), will react to this APRS message type, parse out the message and send an encoded POCSAG message thru its own POCSAG infrastructure and gate the packet to APRS-IS and mark it as “processed”

a.       Details are yet TB defined of course

3.       If Stations hearing these type of packets are NOT POCSAG capable, will hopefully digipeat so to move the message forward.

As you can tell, NOT all details have been fleshed out yet.  I am still noodling this idea and would love to include others of similar interest in expanding the APRS web if you will.

Would this be a good candidate for a satellite type digipeating ? may be, may be not

Just brainstorming as an idea, that’s all



From: aprssig [mailto:aprssig-bounces at tapr.org] On Behalf Of Robert Bruninga via aprssig
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 10:50 PM
To: TAPR APRS Mailing List <aprssig at tapr.org<mailto:aprssig at tapr.org>>
Subject: [aprssig] Fwd: QIKCOM-2 SPoken Messages

Well, took a few moments and here are some of my ideas.  I just realized I can allow a single digit modifier, so the digit can go from 0 to 8.

Demonstrating APRStt at Hamfest
Demonstrating APRStt to friends
I am on schedule.
I may be delayed N hours
I may be delayed N days
I may be early N hours
I May be early N days
I may quit early  N stops
I may go farther N stops
We are camping and enjoying it greatly.
We are hiking and enjoying it greatly.
We are sailing and enjoying it greatly
Call me on my cell
Call my cell on the hour.
Or there can maybe be 1-to-8 different whole word modifiers too.  Like:
Please Send ___ (Money, food, water, supplies, shoes, sleeping bag, blanket,fuel)
We are operating on ___ power (Solar, wind, battery, generator, emergency)
We are staying with ____ (Mom, dad, sister, brother, uncle, aunt,friends)
Please pass to ____ (Mom, dad, sister, brother, uncle, aunt,friends)
Just thinkin...

On Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 11:11 PM, Robert Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu<mailto:bruninga at usna.edu>> wrote:
Inviting proposed standard messages for the next APRS Satellite:

Our next QIKCOM-2 APRS satellite will accept 2 digit uplink DTMF messages to be spoken on the downlink.  We have already programmed all of the ARRL standard radio grams and emergency messages.
But there is room for more.  So think....  What kind of message would you want to send (that is not included in the existing ones) from your HT out in the wilderness.  At a hamfest?  or any other HAM Radio event or opportunity.  Keep them simple and of the same order of length as the existing ones.
The existing ones are listed here:
But the implementation cannot include blanks for fill-in like the regular ones.  But any sentence that stands alone can work.
Just thought I'd open it up.  Plenty of RAM and only 1 week before delivery...
Serious considerations only.  Thanks

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