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Reversed text for practice legal?

Feb 10th 2014, 19:10


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Ordinary text is easy to copy because words in the text are familiar and characters can be guessed. Sending reversed text is a better challenge for a beginner. The reversed text of




Is it permissible to send reversed text during on-the-air code practice or is it considered encrypted?


Feb 11th 2014, 16:08


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Chris -
I am not a lawyer, and this forum is not a place to get reliable legal advice. That said, I think it's an interesting question. The relevant FCC reg seems to be in 97.113:

(4) Music using a phone emission except as specifically provided elsewhere in this section; communications intended to facilitate a criminal act; messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning, except as otherwise provided herein; obscene or indecent words or language; or false or deceptive messages, signals or identification.

It seems to come down to intent -- are you trying to hide something. Reversed text seems harmless by this test. How about other possibilities, like random code groups? If they are "meaningless", I suppose it's ok. But how do you distinguish meaningless groups from encrypted traffic? Encrypted text generally looks like random code groups! So you might have a hard time with random text.

I doubt you'll ever get the ARRL, a lawyer, a judge, or the FCC ever to say that reversed text is "no problem". It's a question of how much legal risk you're willing to take.

Maybe you could send something in an unfamiliar language?

73 Martin AA6E
Jul 18th 2014, 17:35


Joined: May 24th 2012, 22:10
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
A possible way to clarify the intent of any transmission of reverse text is to clearly state what you are doing before and after the transmission. For example, W1AW code practice sessions start with something like NOW 20 WPM and finish with END OF 20 WPM TEXT. It seems reasonable before sending reverse text to transmit BEGIN OF REVERSED TEXT and to finish with END OF REVERSED TEXT.

Saying that you are sending reversed text often enough should make it apparent to any code competent monitor that your intent is not encrypted transmissions. Some of the QST text content, especially from contest result pages, can appear awfully close to gibberish when taken out of context, but the surrounding text clears up the intent.

Hope this helps,
Jeff AD0AK

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