Frugal Radio: Decoding Fire, Ambulance MDT and Hospital Pagers with SDR++ and PDW

On this weeks Frugal Radio YouTube video, Rob explores how to decode Fire, Ambulance and Hospital pager data using SDR++ and PDW. In the video Rob first explains what applications pagers are used for in 2021 and how they're typically received with pager or MDT hardware terminals mounted in fire and ambulance trucks.

He then goes on to show how we can receive and decode these pager messages using an RTL-SDR, SDR++, VB-Cable and the PDW pager decoder. The tutorial shows how to set up SDR++ settings for pager reception, how to install and setup PDW and how to interface the two programs with VB-Cable. Finally Rob explains how to fully understand some of the messages that you might receive.

Decoding Fire & Ambulance MDT data & hospital pages with a $10 SDR Radio

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Independent Researcher

I’m not a lawyer. Unfortunately I believe that according to US title 18, disclosing the contents of intercepted transmissions which were not intended for the recipient is a violation of the title. If that is true, that is too bad, because that would make it illegal to disclose to a healthcare organization the breach of HIPAA policy they are committing.

Tyrannosaurus Hex

I think he is in canada so no worries there that I know.
Irony: In the USA, you can’t listen freely, but you have the freedom to defend yourself and refuse the mask and vaccine. In Canada, you can listen freely, but you better follow all the fake chinese virus rules or they will take you to the camps. Don’t even think about defending yourself or your family, not acceptable! It’s a clown world out there.


Canada isn’t forcing anyone to vaccinate. Go take your policial bullshit somewhere else.

Tyrannosaurus Hex

Check the news buddy, you’re a few months behind

Ladislav OK1UNL

Please find out how many readers there are from the U.S.A. I and many others are from Europe and I see no reason to respect American law and regulations. So sorry….
There are slightly different rules and restrictions in Europe. In cyberspace, you will always find facts that are in conflict with US or European law. It depends on what you are looking for.


The video poster needs to check if he is violating federal law by publishing the contents of these pages, regardless of the fact that they aren’t encrypted.
Anyway, the paging frequencies were much more interesting 10-20 years ago, nowadays the remaining usage in these bands is low-priority/non-sensitive stuff and everything else has moved to the encrypted pagers and IP based services.
He really should check if he is breaking the law, though. I am fairly certain that it is a title 18 offense in the USA to divulge the contents of these pages, regardless of encryption status.