[aprssig] Doubling APRS messaging in ham radio overnight

Ben Jackson bbj at innismir.net
Mon Jan 26 10:59:20 EST 2009

On 1/26/2009, "Earl Needham" <needhame1 at plateautel.net> wrote:

>Ben Jackson wrote:
>> Older, working pagers are a dime a dozen on the used market and there are
>> some people who have refitted them to work on Amateur bands[2]. With the
>> fact that there (quite literally) buckets full of working pagers at
>> HamFests, why not have a "messagegate" that takes APRS messages to
>> stations and translates them to a message destined for a POCSAG
>> compatible pager. There were certain KAM TNCs that could encode POCSAG
>> natively
>    Years ago I had a pager converted to receive on 146.76, our local
>repeater.  We had a new controller that would send paging tones to open
>it up.  Sadly, after about 3 uses, the "old fogeys" decided it was
>illegal.  We had quite the discussion, and one of them finally called
>the FCC monitoring office in Powder Springs, Ga, and simply asked
>them,"Paging isn't legal on amateur frequencies, is it?"

This *is* a concern and I'm curious as to how the FCC looks at paging
for amateur stations by amateur stations. The only real "paging
network" I've seen is based in Germany. Nothing on this side of the

I'm sure there are people smarter then me on this list. Any opinions on
this? Part 97 is murky at best.

>    If you try this, be prepared for other "old fogeys" to step in and
>try to take the fun our of amateur radio.

Fogeys don't need to be old :). Every project needs to be championed by
someone who can tilt at windmills. The next step was to call the FCC and
the ARRL to get their interpretation of the tomes. Paging in this sense
may be something that is not supported under Part 97, which is part of
the reason I haven't tried to really push this (other reasons being
time and money). I just decided to toss it out there in this thread
partially to get input from other people regarding it.

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