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February 15, 2011 AT 3:32 pm

Kid’s Game to Arduino WWII Enigma Machine

Kid’s Game to Arduino Enigma Machine via HaD.

The Enigma machine basically consisted of three or more rotors that had contacts on both sides.  The rotors are set to the encryption or decryption “key” then a button is pushed which goes through the wiring in the rotors, then lights up a lamp corresponding to the encrypted output (there’s a lamp for every letter in the alphabet).  To decrypt you simply start with the same key that was used to encrypt the data and type in the cipher text.  One thing significant about the Enigma machine is that the rotors rotate as each key is pressed, so the encryption key essentially changes with each character.

I was in a thrift store recently and saw a game with a screen and a keyboard and I thought, that would make a good Enigma machine (I’ve always wanted one, but I know my wife would kill me if I bought a real one $$$).  In this instructable I’ll show how I gutted an kids game and used an Arduino to hook up to the keypad and speaker.  The code’s not too bad (so far).  This version is a simple three rotor Enigma machine.  You can switch the rotors around and change the letters for the rotors.  Future plans are to all for more rotors, allow changing out the reflector, allow for spinning the ring around a rotor, and a plug board implementation.  This Enigma machine will be able to encode and decode messages to and from the real, old Enigma machines used during Wold War II.


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