This hacker has been wanting to design an Enigma machine simulator for a while, but didn’t take the leap until they realized there was a compact Arduino with a surplus of I/O.
The logs go through all sort of variations on the machine. Everything from a plug board variation similar to the original to a 16 segment LED tester are covered. In one of the posts you can even see it decode a real U-Boat message.
The earlier revisions are housed in very attractive laser cut cases but the latest designs employ an even more elegant casing solution. The simulator uses 16 segment displays and momentary push buttons for the keys. At its core is a 2560 Pro mini. The write-up contains a lot of detail about the code behind the Enigma and is interesting to read. Interestingly, the PCB was designed in Fritzing, the EDA software many love to hate.
We love the craftsmanship and attention going into this project and can see it turning into a very appealing kit as it goes through its design cycles.
To many, the Enigma machine is an enigma. But it’s really quite simple. The following is a step-by-step explanation of how it works, from the basics to the full machine.
Possibly the greatest dedicated cipher machine in human history the Enigma machine is a typewriter-sized machine, with keyboard included, that the Germans used to encrypt and decrypt messages during World War II. It’s also one of the machines that the Polish Cipher Bureau and those at Britain’s Bletchley Park figured out how to decipher, or break. Most recently the story of how it was broken was the topic of the movie The Imitation Game.
Let’s start with the basics.
Continue reading “The Enigma Enigma: How The Enigma Machine Worked”
At the end of World War II, the Germans ordered all Enigma cipher machines destroyed. Around the same time, Churchill ordered all Enigma cipher machines destroyed. Add a few decades, neglect the efforts of Polish codebreakers, and make a movie about Alan Turing and an offensively historically incorrect love interest, and you have a mystique around these rare, innovative cipher machine.
At the Vintage Computer Festival East, I was privy to what is probably the largest collection of Enigma machines on the planet. The exhibit comes from [Tom] and [Dan Perera] of Enigma Museum. Right now, they’re they only place where you can go out and simply buy a real, wartime Enigma machine. The price? Well, there is a pair of million-dollar Apple I boards at VCF. The Enigmas go for about a fifth of an Apple I.
Continue reading “VCF East: Enigma Machines In The Flesh”