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Old 11-19-2013, 10:16 PM
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Default Anytone AT-5888UV

Does anyone know if it's legal to use the scrambler function on this particular radio, with a HAM frequency?
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Old 11-19-2013, 11:42 PM
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In most cases, any attempt to obscure the meaning of a communications in the U.S. amateur radio service is prohibited.
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Old 11-20-2013, 9:04 AM
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Quote:
97.113 Prohibited transmissions.
(a) No amateur station shall transmit:

(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.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Anytone (and other China-com radios) being Part 90 radios is that they are primarily for Part 90 business band use - where scrambling and encryption are legal. Part 90 radios can be used on ham frequencies legally, but since scrambling/encryption isn't legal on the ham bands, that feature wouldn't be legal in the ham bands.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scannerowner View Post
Does anyone know if it's legal to use the scrambler function on this particular radio, with a HAM frequency?
NO.

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Old 11-24-2013, 5:18 PM
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Thanks everyone, I didn't think it was legal....
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Old 11-24-2013, 7:58 PM
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Well are there millions of different possible scrambling keys like a Motorola, or is there just a button with a scrambling on/off with only 1 key, so anybody who owns the same radio would be able to communicate. Then you're not trying to keep communications private, as every Anytone can communicate with others. Sort of like using P-25 on ham, where analog only users wouldn't be able to hear the P-25, but anyone with a P-25 radio would hear it.
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Old 11-25-2013, 7:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOONBOOTS View Post
Well are there millions of different possible scrambling keys like a Motorola, or is there just a button with a scrambling on/off with only 1 key, so anybody who owns the same radio would be able to communicate. Then you're not trying to keep communications private, as every Anytone can communicate with others. Sort of like using P-25 on ham, where analog only users wouldn't be able to hear the P-25, but anyone with a P-25 radio would hear it.
It's only inversion scrambling, not encryption so no keys are needed. Easily done by reversing audio frequencies and using a null tone.
Very easily undone.

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Old 11-26-2013, 6:41 PM
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So bottom line, legal or not?
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Old 11-26-2013, 7:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scannerowner View Post
So bottom line, legal or not?
NOT.

Short answer - PLEASE don't risk it.

Long answer below -

But you don't have to take my word for it. Go ahead and try to skirt the law with the nit picking that others have hinted at here. I'll look for your Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order (NAL) on EB - Field Actions 2013

If you encrypt an amateur radio transmission that is NOT for the control of a satellite, you WILL lose.

I'm really shocked to see supposed amateur radio operators suggesting that you can use the Anytone scrambling because it's "easily undone" or because it's not based upon a large array of encryption keys, or because it's "sort of like using P25."

P25 is NOT encryption, D-Star is NOT encryption, Yeasu's 12.5 kHz C4FM/FDMA is NOT encryption - those are modulation schemes. Voice inversion/scrambling/encryption is meant solely for "obscuring the meaning" of a radio transmission.

The phrase "messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning" has already been litigated to mean ANY attempt to obscure meaning, not just an attempt that is difficult to decipher.

Last edited by kd7eir; 11-26-2013 at 7:19 PM..
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Old 11-26-2013, 7:30 PM
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If it were illegal, why does US Customs allow the radio to be imported? Wouldn't the firmware in the radio automatically turn off the inversion on ham freq's? Wouldn't the FCC have noticed this while testing the radio before issuing FCC approval? Just thinking outloud.
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Old 11-26-2013, 8:38 PM
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As one person already stated... they're part 90 certified for the business band where encryption, scrambling, etc., is legal. It's legal to use a part 90 certified radio in the amateur radio service but, a radio certified for amateur radio service can't be used for land mobile, commercial, etc., despite the capabilities of certain radios to be modified to operate outside of the ham bands.

My Motorola radios have the capability for encryption and I use them for ham radio sometimes... they're FCC certified for part 90 and imported just like the Chinese radios. Why would U.S. Customs be concerned with the Chinese radios if they meet FCC type certification for the service they were intended for? Am I missing something?
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Old 11-26-2013, 8:52 PM
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Hey, I'm not arguing, just thinking aloud. It seems that these Chinese radios while certified for part 90 use, are being sold at ham radio stores. Look in QST. Are any being sold at Bearcom, or other 2 way business radio shops. To me it seems these radios are geared to the ham radio operator who might also be a volunteer fire fighter, thus allowing him to use the radio on ham freq's, & his city's freq legally. But again, while part 90 approved, they are advertised in QST etc. Either way, I doubt the OP could use the radio through a repeater while in the "inversion mode". I've been to many hamfests where I've heard DES-XL on ham freq's in simplex.
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Old 11-26-2013, 9:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOONBOOTS View Post
If it were illegal, why does US Customs allow the radio to be imported? Wouldn't the firmware in the radio automatically turn off the inversion on ham freq's? Wouldn't the FCC have noticed this while testing the radio before issuing FCC approval? Just thinking outloud.
Because the radio is part 90 certified, and encryption is legal on part 90 radios.

The certification process for part 90 has absolutely nothing to do with part 97. Part 97 allows the use of ANY radio, even home brewed radios, as long as they meet spectral purity requirements, therefor any part 90 radio is legal to use on amateur radio part 97 operations.

Just because a part 90 radio is CAPABLE of encryption does not preclude it's use in part 97 operations, as long as the encryption is not enabled while transmitting on amateur radio frequencies.

Just because a Ferrari CAN do 200 mph does not make it illegal to import into the USA. As long as it meets the US safety standards it's perfectly legal to own a car that can go 200 mph. It's not legal to drive said car 200 mph on the public streets however.
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Old 11-26-2013, 9:40 PM
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Since the OP has his answer, this thread is closed.
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Last edited by W9BU; 11-26-2013 at 9:43 PM..
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