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Paging

To monitor paging signals, several options exist.

Option 1: PC with soundcard

This only works for 2-level signals. You'll need:
discriminator output
  • A receiver with a discriminator output or 9600 bps packet radio output or a DVB-T stick
  • An audio cable from the discriminator output to the line- or microphone input of your computer's soundcard. If you use a DVB-T stick, this is a virtual cable
  • A Windows PC running the appropriate software, e.g. PDW. This excellent software can be downloaded free of charge.

Under Windows XP and higher, fair to good results can be achieved, but success is not guaranteed. Both the quality and settings of the soundcard and the settings of PDW impact the performance. There is no standard recipe to receive paging with the soundcard. It's a matter of trial and error to find the best soundcard and PDW settings for your PC.

If you use a DVB-T stick, things get even more complicated, as you also have to finetune the frequency correction and gain. In many cases, using a DVB-T stick does not lead to a stable solution.



Option 2: Interface - USB or RS232

You'll need:
  • A receiver with a discriminator output or 9600 bps packet radio output
  • A PC with a USB port or serial port (also PCI or PCMCIA card)
  • An interface: USB or RS232 for POCSAG, 2 level Flex and Mobitex. One side of the interface is connected to the discriminator output, the other side to the PC's USB or serial port
  • PDW
USB interface
Advantage of this configuration is that you don't have to tweak any soundcard settings. The USB interface also works on a PC without a serial port. The interfaces can only be used for 2-level modes (POCSAG 512, 1200 and 2400, Flex 1600 and Mobitex).

A built and tested USB or RS232 interface or the circuit board plus programmed microprocessor can be ordered through the Order Page.

Option 3: PC with a 'slicer' interface

You'll need:
  • A receiver with a discriminator output or 9600 bps packet radio output
  • A PC with a 'real' serial port (COM-port, RS232-port). A USB-to-RS232 converter or PCMCIA card can't be used unfortunately.
  • An interface: 2-level for POCSAG and 2-level FLEX, 4-level for POCSAG, FLEX and ERMES. One side of the interface is connected to the discriminator output, the other side to the PC's serial port
  • PDW. A Quick Start Guide for PDW can be found here
PDW screen
Advantage of this configuration is that you don't have to tweak any soundcard settings. If you're running Windows XP, you have to install a driver for the serial port. This driver is included in the PDW zip file.

A 4 level interface can be ordered through the Order Page The 2 level interface has been discontinued.

Option 3 under Windows 95, 98 en ME

Sometimes PDW doesn't work under Win9X. This may have to do with the serial port power management. The remedy is:
  1. Select the "START" menu, click "Run"
  2. Enter "REGEDIT.EXE" and click "OK"
  3. Search for the next registry key: "Hkey_Local_Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\VxD\VCOMM"
  4. Change the value of "EnablePowerManagement" from "01 00 00 00" in "00 00 00 00"
  5. Leave the program and restart the PC
With this sequence, 'COM port power management' has been disabled.


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