Converting Hex to Ascii for Long SMS

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SMS & MMS Technical Forum » NowSMS Support - SMS Issues (Product Support Only) » Archive through October 31, 2007 » Converting Hex to Ascii for Long SMS « Previous || Next »
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Mark Ramirez
New member
Username: Ramirez

Post Number: 2
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 08:26 pm:   


Whenever our modem receives a long SMS, SMS-IN.log shows a Hex (or Binary - the log says binary but it looks hex to me). Is there any way to convert this to Ascii so it's readable for debugging purposes?

I understand that we can match the sender and the timestamp but it is very tedious to do that and in the end, we're not 100% sure that the message is exactly what we're looking for. We're at the point where we get lots of transactions daily.

Is there a configuration I can set so it will show up as Ascii so it is easier to debug? What I'm getting at basically is I want to audit and make sure that all the SMS that comes in are being processed by my program. Our users have been complaining that they sent messages (but our program is not showing that it received them) and I can't verify if we really received them because they show up as Hex in the logs.

If you don't have this facility, can you provide it? If not possible, can you tell me more about the encoding scheme so maybe we can write our own decoding app?

Thank you.

Malcolm - Now Support
Username: Malcolm

Post Number: 255
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - 05:25 pm:   

Hi Mark,

There is no easy way to do this. This has been an issue on our development queue for awhile now (to log these messages as text instead of binary), but it has been in the queue as a low priority, so we haven't done anything with it.

The encoding is basically a packing of 7-bit characters into 8-bit bytes, so that 8 7-bit characters are fit into 7 8-bit bytes. (160 7-bit characters fit into 140 8-bit bytes.) It is defined in ETSI GSM 03.38 which can be downloaded from

All this said, I had a quick chat with one of our engineers ... and he said that making a change to how we log these types of messages ... logging them as text instead of binary ... is a rather simple effort. And we can get an interim update next week that would make that change ... so stay tuned.

Mark Ramirez
New member
Username: Ramirez

Post Number: 6
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Friday, October 26, 2007 - 04:30 am:   

Hi Malcolm,

Is there a 3rd party software or a website that can decode these messages?

If not, can you point me to the correct direction? what is the procedure called so I can google and research it?


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