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Inverting alternate symbols of the encoder output of a convolutionally coded system provides sufficient density of symbol transitions to guarantee adequate symbol synchronizer performance, a guarantee otherwise lacking. Although alternate symbol inversion may increase or decrease the average transition density, depending on the data source model, it produces a maximum number of contiguous symbols without transition for a particular class of convolutional codes, independent of the data source model. Further, this maximum is sufficiently small to guarantee acceptable symbol synchronizer performance for typical applications. Subsequent inversion of alternate detected symbols permits proper decoding.