hampager / DAPNET Sota Spots

For those of you how want to do SOTA without mobile phone, here is a possible solution to get spots in the field without using the internet.

Since today all spots on SOTAWatch are forwarded to the rubric spots-sota. Content view

DAPNET (Decentralized Amateur Paging Network), more information found at https://hampager.de/. The network is currently starting to grow all over the world.

The SOTA rubric is 46 if you might already have a pager.

Please let me know if you miss some information, currently the frequency, call, mode and summit are send.

vy 73 de Thomas HB9GVC

Hi Thomas,
I’ve been watching the old Pocsag based systems come back to the fore with Dapnet - which I think is great. what would be even better is if there were a way to use the texting function which is already in DMR HTs with the DAPNET network. Do you know if anyone is working on that? It might be possible using an MMDVM based modem/hotspot/repeater controller board. I don’t have the skillset to develop this myself unfortunately.

73 Ed.

Also the pagers on eBay that I can see listed as for conversion to 70cm or 2m Dapnet (is there a 2m Dapnet?) - appear to be receive only - do some have a keyboard to be able to send a SOTA spot from a summit? Which models would these be? Or is the concept receive only - so you see all the spots scroll through from SOTAWatch on the pager and them spot yourself via SMS?

Hi Ed,

I use APRS on my FT2 to send the Spot and the pager ist receive only.

The 2m variant is vor Italy due to local regulations.

vy 73 Thomas

OK if the pager is receive only, (there used to be ones that sent as well back in the 70s I’m pretty sure), then it needs to be combined with a simple phone with SMS to be able to self spot.

Great to see Amateur radio bring back the pager in any case - I wonder who thought that up - perhaps someone who found a whole lot of pagers for next to no cost!

By the way, I believe in the UK, the doctors and hospitals still use pagers, but no one else does - any comments from the UK residents?

73 Ed.

Pagers have a niche use still. Useful to contact people who work in an environment where having an RF source is not viable such as intrinsically safe requirements and the batteries tend to last months not hours like a modern phone.

There is a common conception with non-technical people that old technology is inferior.

Not only with non-technical people Andy.
The number of times I’ve use the well worn phrase “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” with colleagues, I’ve lost count of!


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The RNLI has its own paging system for crews

is the simple solution not call cq then ask who ever answers your call ask them to spot you?

martin 2m0kau

Hi Martin,
i think you misread the post - Thomas is RECEIVING other peoples spots via the Pager - not self spotting his own activation.

73 Ed.

ah right now i understand

martin 2m0kau

(I presume this is just G, as health is a devolved area)

We’ll see the complaints come flooding in when nobody can be paged because their phone needs charging and unlike a pager which runs for months on a battery, most phones barely last a day.

I can see the headlines in the Daily Hate (Daily Mail) “Child of 3 dies because doctor could not be paged” along with all the blame applied to people who replaced tested “British” technology with some foreign phone product. Or maybe I’m just too cynical.


I like the text in the story "Mr Hancock said “email and mobile phones” were a “more secure, quicker and cheaper way to communicate”.

More secure? Tony - what are you saying ??? ( Hancock's Half Hour - Wikipedia )

They also say that the reason for increasing costs is the monopoly of the one service provider that is left, and now they expect to “keep a few pagers for emergencies” - with the NHS being the biggest users of pagers in the UK, do you think the pager network will be kept running for the few “only to be used in emergencies” units. I don’t think so!

The separate radio network with far better coverage into buildings that the cell networks, is the reason for stability and reliability of the paging system - switching to the cell network CANNOT give the same service level. It’s not a matter of throwing together a Medics-WhatsApp program - it’s the infrastructure that provides the stability that is essential in EMComms.

Perhaps the DAB transmitter sites can be re-purposed for pager support when that system is finally “Dead And Buried”?


Mr. Hancock has form… his web app recorded all sorts of personal info it shouldn’t. GDPR… we’d like some!

Sorry to bump an old topic.
I recently picked up an old pager and would like to put it to use again via some local DAPNET nodes.
Is this rubric still active as I can not see any content on the viewer on DAPNET?
Maybe the url’s for the SOTA and DPANET API’s have changed causing a break in the system.


Hi Tom, I also picked up a Pocsag pager earlier this year with the idea of using it for SOTA spots. Unfortunately, I was never able to get the official rubric to work either so I’m guessing the person running the service abandoned it. I put together a short python script that will poll the SOTA API and send spots using either a Rasp-PI/MMDVM, or Unipager. If you have existing hampager infrastructure where you live, this probably won’t be much use for you, as you need to run your own transmitter with this script running on it.

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the NSW Gov VHF POCSAG network has never been busier supporting the huge volunteer Rural Fire Service with countless callouts every day across the state

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Thanks very much for sharing!