View Full Version : What is it #6

11-08-2012, 10:33 PM
How many of you can identify this interesting gadget? I have obscured the information in the labels because it might have given a clue. Some of you will recognize it immediately, I think.

Andy N1ORK
11-09-2012, 06:24 AM
Since I see what appear to be two keyboards, one for receiving and one for transmitting, and 4 wheels for changing some function, I would think it was some sort of coding device for secret messaging.

11-09-2012, 10:10 AM
I believe the Brits snatched that gadget off a submarine awhile back. (But I'll wait a bit before blurting out the answer.)

Interesting that they were both in nicely crafted wooden cabinets.

Andy N1ORK
11-09-2012, 02:21 PM
I don't think it's an Enigma, I remember seeing one in a movie and it didn't quite look like that. The Enigma was mechanical and this one looks like it's electrical as well. But, of course, I could be all wet too.

11-09-2012, 08:17 PM
It's an Enigma. In particular, it's a naval Enigma. Excellent article at Wikipedia Enigma article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enigma_machine).

Only the naval Enigma had four rotors; other Enigmas had [almost always] three. It's both electrical and mechanical. The upper "keyboard" is not a keyboard but a set of lamps. When encrypting, the operator pressed a key to enter a plaintext character, and a lamp illuminated corresponding to the cyphertext character. The operator pressed a key, looked at the lamp, and wrote the cyphertext on a piece of paper for the radioman to send. In decrypting a received message, it worked exactly the same. Spare bulbs are stored in the row at the upper edge of the lid; there are several of them up there, on the left.