Winston Lawrence

KD2WLL - Amateur Radio Notes

RT73 HowTo: SMS Text Messaging through SMSGTE.


Retevis RT73 Configuration and Firmware at the time this was written..

 Name Description
 Model Number DR300UV
 Firmware Version 109E.D4.EARSAB.007
 Version Date Nov 27 2020
 Firmware ID DRS-300UV

The good news is that you can send text messsages with the RT73. The only downside being that other than the novelty aspect why would you want to? If you have cell-phone service then it is an order of magnitude easier to use a cell-phone than to pick up the RT73 and start maneuvering through the menu selections and this is assuming that you have already created pre-written messages that are ready to send.
Please verify: that your area/country (see: ) is supported by SMSGTE. Special thanks to Vivian Xu at Ailunce who told me when these instructions did not work when she tested. SMSGTE, being cellphone based, is not available everywhere. SMSGTE mentions the cost factor since they do not charge a subscription fee and lists the countries where they are currently available. They also note how to bring the gateway service to an area/country where they do not currently provide service.
Prerequisite You have already setup and tested your connection into the BrandMeister DMR network. You have indicated that you have a chinese radio (RT73) and you typed your name into the APRS TEXT field. The APRS TEXT is used for "Talker Alias" and is not required for this example but you should enter it. You can (should) also setup the codeplug as indicated with a private call entry for the SMSGTE talkgroup.
Contact List Entry:
   Contact Name:  APRS310999   [you can of course name this anything you want]
   Contact ID:        310999
   Call Type:          Private Call
Note: To determine the appropriate Contact ID (destination), use the first 3 digits of the BrandMeiseter master server your repeater or hotspot is connected to. You should have selected the server in your country or closest to your location. In the U.S, I am connected to the BM Master server 3101 so am using (as shown) destination 310999.
Quick Message Entry:
   SMSGTE @8005551212 Test Message to my phone
   [use your own phone of course - text msg limit is 40 chars]

You are now ready to send a message to the SMSGTE via the Brandmeister network.

  • From your R73 - Connect to the BrandMeister network (hotspot/repeater connection)
  • Select [MENU]-->[MESSAGE]-->[Comm Msg] and the Quick Msg you saved earlier. Scroll down and select [SEND] and then OK
From your test phone you should receive the message. You should probably make a contact from the received message so that you can send to your radio and you can just reply to the received message to send something back to the radio. If you are still connected to BrandMeister then you will receive a DMR SMS as BrandMeister (still) knows who and where you are.
You can go to which has a user guide, tutorial and examples for using the smsgte service. Just one "gotcha" when keying in the commands, they do not appear to be case sensitive but ARE weirdly enough "space" sensitive for example if you want to link your mobile number with your callsign you would send the following from the RT73:
      SMSGTE #mynumber add 9175551212 {this works}
      SMSGTE #mynumber    add 9175551212 {results in invalid syntax response due to extra spaces}:(
Please do not give out the regional phone number associated with the message received. While this is currently a free service, clearly there are costs associated with sending phone text messages and maintaining the web service. - I sent them a few dollars because I was using the service to test - not sure that I will need the service in the long-term myself.

'73 KD2WLL