DIY Enigma machine kit

DIY Enigma machine kit

There was an Engima machine on eBay a week or so ago, but this kit looks like it would be a fun build – During WWII the German army used Enigma coding machines to encipher most of their radio messages. At the time the Germans were convinced that this machine was unbreakable, but recent history has proven them wrong. For most of the war, the Poles, and later the British and Americans managed to decipher the German messages which is now believed to have shortened the war by some 2 years.

Once you’ve seen a real Enigma, you’re likely to have fallen in love with it, making you want to have one. But, given the low number of machines available today, and their high price, that won’t be an option for most of us. Hence the reason to create an electronic variant of the Enigma machine, using modern electronic components. “ [via] – Link.

10 thoughts on “DIY Enigma machine kit

  1. tuckerch says:

    The obvious first mod for this is to replace the LED displays with Nixie tubes.

    Also, I’ve seen a mod wher ethe keycaps from an ancient typewriter were epoxied to the pushbutton “keyboard”.

  2. Hindle says:

    These were available to buy from Bletchley Park, which is the place that Turing cracked the code.

  3. Dave Armstrong says:

    Actually the Enigma isn’t a code, it’s a system of ciphering and deciphering text, and it’s unbreakable. A captured Enigma machine came into British hands and, using that, Turing and his team were able to decipher many messages and reveal vast amounts of valuable information; but it still took a great deal of time, trial and error, elimination and guesswork for every message. The Germans left themselves vulnerable by using predictable Keywords such as ‘HIT LER’ or ‘QWE RTY’, to communicate the initial rotor settings the intended recipient should use, which the team were able to exploit. Had they been more random, as they were trained to be, it would have taken so long to decrypt any text that it would almost certainly have been obsolete.

    I have a mechanical (ie. non-electrical) version of an enigma machine and the only way any encrypted texts can be deciphered is if the finder has in his possession an identical machine, knows the initial rotor settings, knows the correct rotor settings for a particular message, knows the correct rotor arrangement, and crucially the alterations to make on all 3 rotors after each letter is typed. Without the above, the text is unbreakable.

  4. Marcus says:

    This electronic Enigma does not seems to have any components representing the ‘Letter Entry Rings’.
    Also, how are the electronic rotors(ROM Modules) exchanged?

    How do I get one of these anway?

  5. Kate Griffiths says:

    Alan Turning was not the first Briton to break Enigma. That honour went to Dilly Knox in January 1940 when he broke the Green key

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

current: @adafruit - previous: MAKE, popular science, hackaday, engadget, fallon, braincraft ... howtoons, 2600...

View more articles by Phillip Torrone


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).