Issue with PDW - Sound is working, messages aren't?

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seqcc
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Issue with PDW - Sound is working, messages aren't?

Post by seqcc » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:24 pm

I'm just trying to get my foot into the door of pager decoding, using my RTL-SDR unit hooked up to SDRsharp, and I'm having some issues with the decoding side of things.

I'm tuned into 148.56200 on my SDR and hearing the electronic tones loud and clear. From SDRSharp I have the audio running into VB-cable, and I have VB-Cable selected as the input on PDW, which causes the dial in the top right to move every time there's sound in SDRsharp (which is how it should be).

Unfortunately despite getting a loud signal (maxing out the dial in PDW) there are no messages showing up, and I'm not getting a percentage whatsoever. No filters in use at the moment (because there's nothing to filter?). For about 5 seconds while I was mucking around with the settings I got something showing up in the text but since then, nothing.

Could someone give this newbie a hand and let me know what I've done wrong?

Screenshot of my settings:

https://i.imgur.com/JNg8JyF.png

Screenshot of the dial maxed out, but no percentage showing:
https://i.imgur.com/HCwp9eh.png

Comint
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Re: Issue with PDW - Sound is working, messages aren't?

Post by Comint » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:19 pm

I believe the frequency should be 148.5625 MHz.

--
Comint

seqcc
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Re: Issue with PDW - Sound is working, messages aren't?

Post by seqcc » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:22 am

So I've spent a few hours now playing around with different volume and RF gain levels in SDRSharp, and based off what I set the volume to I seem to alternate between either 20+ lines of gibberish a minute or an occasional test page.

What I'm currently seeing (at a level which cuts out the gibberish) is:

0802457 11:08:27 05-02-20 POCSAG-2 NUMERIC 512 TONE ONLY
0511385 11:08:35 05-02-20 POCSAG-1 NUMERIC 512 TONE ONLY
0802457 11:08:55 05-02-20 POCSAG-2 NUMERIC 512 TONE ONLY
0511041 11:09:03 05-02-20 POCSAG-1 NUMERIC 512 TONE ONLY
0228449 11:09:05 05-02-20 POCSAG-3 ALPHA 512 11:08 P140242.RURAL
0857521 11:09:25 05-02-20 POCSAG-1 ALPHA 512 11:09 P4828436..HUTPDA2
0802457 11:09:30 05-02-20 POCSAG-2 NUMERIC 512 TONE ONLY
0511369 11:09:39 05-02-20 POCSAG-1 NUMERIC 512 TONE ONLY
0802457 11:10:05 05-02-20 POCSAG-2 NUMERIC 512 TONE ONLY
0228449 11:10:06 05-02-20 POCSAG-3 ALPHA 512 11:09 P140242.RURAL
0511049 11:10:17 05-02-20 POCSAG-1 NUMERIC 512 TONE ONLY
0857521 11:10:27 05-02-20 POCSAG-1 ALPHA 512 11:10 P4828436..HUTPDA2
0802457 11:10:34 05-02-20 POCSAG-2 NUMERIC 512 TONE ONLY
0857521 11:11:30 05-02-20 POCSAG-1 ALPHA 512 11:11 P4828436..HUTPDA2
0228449 11:12:08 05-02-20 POCSAG-3 ALPHA 512 11:11 P140242.RURAL
0857521 11:12:35 05-02-20 POCSAG-1 ALPHA 512 11:12 P4828436..HUTPDA2

And then a few hospital related ones:
0445698 11:25:16 05-02-20 POCSAG-1 ALPHA 512 NGH OVER CAPACITY 11:25:01 AM 5/02/2020
0500318 11:27:35 05-02-20 POCSAG-3 ALPHA 512 TRAUMA ALERT ED | Acute ETA NOW
0500318 12:43:59 05-02-20 POCSAG-3 ALPHA 512 TRAUMA ALERT ED | RESUS ADULT ETA 15 MINS

Which I believe is from the PA hospital as I only live a few minutes away.

But not much other than that on 148.6375. The whole reason I'm trying to do this is to scan for QFES pagers, but I don't seem to be detecting much. Now that I'm at a point where I'm getting test pages and cutting out all the gibberish, should I be turning up my volume or my RF gain?

Edit: Added more info to existing reply instead of making a new one.

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Discriminator
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Re: Issue with PDW - Sound is working, messages aren't?

Post by Discriminator » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:16 am

Check https://www.discriminator.nl/paging/index-en.html

'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.'

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seqcc
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Re: Issue with PDW - Sound is working, messages aren't?

Post by seqcc » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:46 pm

Oops, I never got around to posting an update here.

Basically after my last reply I did a lot of tinkering and nudged the volume around db by db until I found the sweet spot which gives me basically no gibberish but picks up all the pager messages. Currently sitting at 98% accuracy which I'm pretty happy with.

ambo000
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Re: Issue with PDW - Sound is working, messages aren't?

Post by ambo000 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:00 pm

seqcc wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:46 pm
Oops, I never got around to posting an update here.

Basically after my last reply I did a lot of tinkering and nudged the volume around db by db until I found the sweet spot which gives me basically no gibberish but picks up all the pager messages. Currently sitting at 98% accuracy which I'm pretty happy with.
My PDW is the most tempremental thing ever. It will work fine then stop working altogether and I have to fiddle around again to get it going. It has a mind of its own and it isn't linked to any time of day or weather. Just annoying. I will try going to SDR and seeing if that works. My wipath device PSR seems to work fine most of the time

seqcc
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Re: Issue with PDW - Sound is working, messages aren't?

Post by seqcc » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:17 pm

ambo000 wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:00 pm
My PDW is the most tempremental thing ever.
Don't worry too much, mine is the same sometimes. I can't leave it running for more than a day before it suddenly starts scrambling messages and going haywire, though it's usually fixed by just restarting the program.

donaldm
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Re: Issue with PDW - Sound is working, messages aren't?

Post by donaldm » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:45 am

i use PDW in new Zealand. its on 157.950. and i find its a fiddley thing, some days it rocks other days its down to 65% RX. Just moving the audio cable seems to upset it. But i just be patient. But i do enjoy it

scrawn80
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Re: Issue with PDW - Sound is working, messages aren't?

Post by scrawn80 » Mon May 18, 2020 4:04 pm

give you people a hint for SEQ
check out mdt freqs
data output has changed

Kazzaw
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Re: Issue with PDW - Sound is working, messages aren't?

Post by Kazzaw » Mon May 18, 2020 5:18 pm

What freqs?

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