Tag Archives: Enigma

Paul attends “The Secret War” special exhibit at the Science Museum

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Evans, who writes:

From the SWLing roving foreign correspondent.

A couple of weeks before going to London on our recent trip, I was idly looking through the Science Museum web site when I spotted a special exhibit ‘The Secret War’ put on by ‘members of GCHQ’. It had to be booked in advance (but was FREE), so I duly registered and printed out our tickets.

Come the first full day of our visit, a short walk in Kensington took us to the museum and an 11am time slot. The exhibit was a little hard to find, way at the back of Floor 0 and down some stairs, however it wasn’t just shoved in a ‘lesser area’. Entry was through a computer check-in and helper. However, there was enough slack that anybody showing up could enter more or less ‘on demand’. The exhibit is limited to 100 visitors per hour (that’s the trick).

Well, it was very well done and went all the way through the earliest coding in Greece and Egypt, through WWII and Bletchley to GCHQ and modern exhibits such as Edward Snowden’s laptop.

We had the pleasure to hear G7VAK calling CQ on a straight key, so I went over and answered him and gave him a suitable signal report and we swapped cards. Paul is manning the show, it seems, through most of its run into next year [23 February, 2020]. We exchanged suitable quips about having to kill each other if we said what we couldn’t say. He had a letter about some questions asked at the exhibit printed recently in RSGB RadCom in the ‘The Last Word’.

Overall the Science Museum has improved very much, having moved from a place stuffed full of (fairly) boring exhibits, to a more open and curated layout. They have also added snack bars (very good quality but pricey) on each floor.

Well worth a visit to what is now one of the world’s best museums of any topic. One of the finest exhibits on the staircase entry to Mathematics is the recently finished Babbage machine. And it works!

P.S. Personal bias. My Uncle Fred was at Bletchley Park, Hut 6 for a couple of years before being placed overseas, including a couple of trips to the USA (shhhhhhh!)

Mum’s the word, Paul! Thank you for the quick review of this special exhibit.

If you’d like to book a free ticket for this exhibit, go to the Science Museum website and click on the “Book Now” link!

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Alan Turing: “New face of the Bank of England’s £50 note”

(Source: Bank of England)

Many thanks to a number of SWLing Post readers who sent a link to this piece from the BBC News:

Computer pioneer and codebreaker Alan Turing will feature on the new design of the Bank of England’s £50 note.

He is celebrated for his code-cracking work that proved vital to the Allies in World War Two.

The £50 note will be the last of the Bank of England collection to switch from paper to polymer when it enters circulation by the end of 2021.

[…]”Alan Turing was an outstanding mathematician whose work has had an enormous impact on how we live today,” said Bank of England governor Mark Carney.

“As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as a war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far-ranging and path breaking. Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.”[…]

Click here for the full article at BBC News.

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Bletchley Park replica Turing Bombe decodes 40M Enigma message

Remember the weekend 40 meter Enigma message transmitted by DL0HNF? At least one recipient decoded this message:

(Source: Southgate ARC)

40m Enigma Message decrypted at Bletchley Park

On Friday, April 7 the amateur radio station DLØHNF transmitted an Enigma encrypted message on 7036 kHz to Bletchley Park

DLØHNF is the club station at the Heinz Nixdorf Museum in Paderborn, Germany. The encrypted telegraphy message they transmitted was received at the home of the World War Two UK Codebreakers in Bletchley Park. There the message was fed into a replica of the Turing Bombe which enabled the encryption to be cracked.

The message read:  “Paderborn greets the Codebreakers at Bletchley Park”

Read the report and pictures of the event down the page at
http://www.hnf.de/en/veranstaltungen/events/cipher-event-wer-knackt-den-enigma-code.html

Bletchley Park
https://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/

I would have loved to watch the Touring Bombe in action!

Out of curiosity, did anyone record the Enigma transmission?  I’ve had a number of readers inquire about this. Please comment!

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April 7: Decipher an Enigma encrypted message on 40 meters

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Enigma encrypted message to be sent in 40m

In cooperation with Bletchley Park, the Heinz Nixdorf Museum DLØHNF in Paderborn, Germany is hosting a cipher event on April 7

A Google translation of the DARC post reads:

As with the first event of this kind ten years ago, an encrypted message is sent over radio, to which radio amateurs are invited, to follow them and to play with them. This time, however, the message is not generated with a Lorenz machine, but with an enigma and then transmitted in encrypted telegraphy to 40 m from the club station of the Heinz Nixdorf Mueseum, DLØHNF.

DLØHNF will open radio stations with other stations, which also use historical technology and thus recreate a historical radio network, between the transmissions of various encrypted messages – which are specially approved for this event. DLØDM and DLØAFM are also involved. The activities in Bletchley Park go back to the mathematician Alan Turing, who during the Second World War succeeded in decoding the Enigma coded radio spoofs of the Germans with his Turing machine.

In the Heinz Nixdorf Museum you can watch the happenings from 9 o’clock on the spot. Visitors experience encryption with the Enigma, the Morse as well as a live transmission.

A precise frequency for the transmission of the CW transmission from 9:30 is not known. The museum information is at
http://www.hnf.de/start/date/2017/04/07/cal/event/tx_cal_phpicalendar/
cipher_event_wer_knackt_den_enigma_code.html

Source https://www.darc.de/

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The Enigma Event: an on-air exchange of encrypted messages

Radio-Dial-Blurred-Dark

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Members of the ARI Fidenza will be activating special callsigns IO4ENG and IQ4FE during the ‘Enigma Event’.

The Enigma Event consists of exchanging ham radio messages over the air encrypted with the Enigma code of WW II memory to commemorate its importance in the history of communications and encryption.

The Event Enigma is one of the “European Researchers’ Night” events on Sept 25th, when a number of initiatives will be organized by European research and cultural institutions.

An Amateur Radio Award (ENIGMA AWARD) is associated with this event. The ham activity of the ENIGMA AWARD will start on Sept. 12th.

All details and rules are available on the official Web site at: http://www.enigma-reloaded.it

This should be a fun event to hear on the air and one of the very few sponsored by ham radio operators who will intentionally transmit “encrypted” messages.  I will try to tune in.

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