POCSAG Pager Decoding

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PagerPOCSAG (Post Office Code Standards Advisory Group) is a common paging transmission format. POCSAG decoder software is able to display pager messages by using a normal radio scanner, a computer and a soundcard.

Ideally for POCSAG decoding you want a scanner with a discriminator output but I’m using an Icom IC-R2 and this doesn’t have one. You can decode using the audio out, but not at 2400 baud. You should be fine with 512 baud and depending on your scanner and the signal you may get 1200 baud. I have found that the IC-R2 can sometimes receive 1200 baud so long as the signal is clean.

I have had some luck listening on 137.975. It’s just a matter of playing with the line level in and the volume out of the scanner. Turning the auto squelch off helps a lot too.

Frequencies to try: 153.150, 153.225, 153.250, 153.275, 153.350, 466.075, 137.975

Note: The IC-R2 can be modified to add a discriminator output, there is actually a test point pad that can be used for this purpose. If you are feeling brave, the details can be found here.

Multimon – Pocsag program for Linux, decodes pagers using sound card (Also handles AX.25, DTMF and ZVEI) (49k)

PDW 110f – Pocsag program for Windows, decodes pagers using sound card (Also does Flex, ACARS, MOBITEX & ERMES) (366k)

POC32 – Pocsag program for Windows, decodes pagers using sound card (402k)

Last modified: 26 July 2012

One thought on “POCSAG Pager Decoding

  1. Hi,

    There is now a cheap ($20.00) TV USB dongle that uses chipsets RTL2832U and E4000 (tuner)that can now be used for SDR (Software Design Radio) between 64MHz and 1.7GHz. Normally it comes with software to decode TV and or FM broadcasts. It would be great if your POCSAG software was able to interface and receive signals from this SDR. $20.00 for a receiver makes it real cheap for decoading POCSAG.

    Some information:

    I hope you have time to implement this project.



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