Manual local POCSAG message without network/DAPNET

Here is where you can get help with using and setting up POCSAG and related topics
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vk3fjc
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Manual local POCSAG message without network/DAPNET

Post by vk3fjc » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:47 pm

Hi all,
I'm super excited by the new POCSAG capabilities.
I have noted that the new feature comes with a script (pistar-dapnetapi) that allows to send a POCSAG message using the DAPNET API.
I would like to be able to send various messages via my zumSPOT HotSpot *without going through DAPNET*. This would present multiple advantages:
- avoid flooding all the transmitters in my group (vk-all)
- still work locally if I have an Internet issue
- let me use alternate locally managed RIC codes
- let me use sub code A, B, C or D
- etc
Does anyone know if there is a way to "inject" POCSAG messages in the POCSAG queue manually without using DAPNET API or at least guide me on what I should modify?
Any help appreciated.

73s de Guillaume VK3FJC/F4FJC
Guillaume (VK3FJC / F4FJC)

M0GLJ

Re: Manual local POCSAG message without network/DAPNET

Post by M0GLJ » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:26 pm

If you know of another network that we can put in the Pi-Star system, we would be happy to to include it.

The only network (DAPNET) that we have does have the ability to include in the config file to restrict messages to an area as found on the DAPNET website

RIC's are entered into your pager and have nothing to do with Pi-Star or DAPNET as to which one you use.

For mor information see the DAPNET website which has all the information you require

vk3fjc
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:15 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Manual local POCSAG message without network/DAPNET

Post by vk3fjc » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:10 am

Thank you for your reply Adrian but it doesn't help much, probably because my question may not have been clear enough.

I do not know any other amateur POCSAG network than DAPNET but to me this is irrelevant: what I am after is the possibility to send local messages even if I am disconnected from WAN/Internet (in that case any alternate external POCSAG network wouldn't help). The area is also irrelevant.

Waht I need is a way to manually add a POCSAG message to the MMDVM POCSAG queue (somewhere between MMDVMHost and the DAPNET local server). The reason why I mentioned about manually setting the RIC is because in that case, without the DAPNET (or any external) API, there is no way to translate a call sign to a RIC and I therefor need to provide the target RIC code for the radio.

The only work-around I have in mind at the moment would be to set-up my own DAPNET node/server locally and use it but it would have to be connected to DAPNET to also receive messages sent through DAPNET so it isn't perfect either and defeats the purpose of a self-contained Pi-Star based system.

By the way, I posted a similar message on the DMR support page to actually try to find a way to send a message to the local radio without going through Brandmeister for the exact same reason. This feature exists on the OpenSPOT for example.

I hope this is a bit clearer now and that someone can help figure out how to do this.
Guillaume (VK3FJC / F4FJC)

MW0MWZ
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Re: Manual local POCSAG message without network/DAPNET

Post by MW0MWZ » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:39 am

I understand what you want, it's probably possible, and yes I want it too (so that you can have local alerting when the network is down, telling you of your repeater status for example).

So Get the need, I understand what you want, but no, I dont have the answer at this time.
Andy

73 de MW0MWZ
http://pistar.uk

Kf4hjw
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:24 pm

Re: Manual local POCSAG message without network/DAPNET

Post by Kf4hjw » Fri May 03, 2019 8:17 pm

This would be a nice add on feature for local events as well were a message could be sent to an operator in an area that has higher noise. Sure wish I knew how to code software. Maybe we will see something develop.

73
Darrell
KF4HJW

pu5nsf
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Re: Manual local POCSAG message without network/DAPNET

Post by pu5nsf » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:46 pm

Hi Guillaume!

Did you have any good news on how to send POCSAG or DMR SMS localy?


I also what this feature.

73 de PU5NSF - Nelson

MW0MWZ
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Re: Manual local POCSAG message without network/DAPNET

Post by MW0MWZ » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:38 am

Local POCSAG is now possible on Pi-Star v4.x.x

You will currently need to enable the Remote Control feature (look right at the bottom of the MMDVMHost config in the expert editor), and then you can use the new RemoteCommand feature added to MMDVMHost. Keep in mind that you need to have POCSAG support enabled too or nothing will happen when you do this.

The syntax for this is a little odd, but here goes:

Code: Select all

sudo RemoteCommand <port> page <RIC> "<message>"
You need to specify the <port>, usually 7642, "page" specifies that this is a local page to be sent over RF only, <RIC> is the RIC number of the pager (NOT the callsign), and <message> is the message you wanted to send...
Andy

73 de MW0MWZ
http://pistar.uk

vk3fjc
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:15 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Manual local POCSAG message without network/DAPNET

Post by vk3fjc » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:32 pm

Wow, thanks ! I 'll give it a try.
Cheers,

Guillaume
Guillaume (VK3FJC / F4FJC)

vk3fjc
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:15 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Manual local POCSAG message without network/DAPNET

Post by vk3fjc » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:26 am

OK, I tried and it works ... but:
  • if there is an ongoing QSO at the time of the command, the message doesn't seem to get queued properly (like DAPNET messages) so the message is lost forever.
    That is a real issue on a busy hotspot/repeater unless there is a way to force the mode to POCSAG before transmitting the message and release it right after.
  • If one try to send a message that is more than 80 characters, it will fail silently and will not be able to transmit POCSAG messages ever until next reboot.
    It should either truncate or eventually break down into as many 80 messages as required...
It will take a bit more formal testing to confirm the above points and I will then report the issue on github.

What I still miss is the possibility to leverage the "sub" RIC codes (A,B,C,D) which would require an additional command line argument but it's not a big deal.
Guillaume (VK3FJC / F4FJC)

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