Home | Principles | Daily Keys | Key page structure | Sample message | Regulations |

| Virtual Enigma Machine | Enigma World Code Group | Audio Oscillator for MCW |


WWII Enigma Encryption on Amateur Radio

The primary purpose of this website is to enable anyone who has copied an Enigma encrypted CW transmission from amateur radio station ZL3TK, to quickly and easily decrypt that message.  Be advised there is no intention, and has never been any intention that transmissions be encoded for the purpose of obscuring its meaning, which is acknowledged as a prohibited activity on amateur radio in most jurisdictions. 

On the contrary, using the accepted definitions, nothing has been encoded  into a data stream and transmitted. Accordingly this website does not provide decoding facilities.  Instead parts of the messages were encrypted using a complex letter-substitution algorithm through the use of a Virtual Enigma Machine.  The mechanical Enigma concept was invented by Arthur Scherbius in 1918.  This website provides both instructions and hyperlinks to the resources necessary to easily decrypt any of the messages unique to ZL3TK and correspondents.  By deduction, Enigma messages not associated with ZL3TK may also be decrypted using keys provided by other sources.  It is easily demonstrated that Enigma encryption, as a security or obscuring protocol, is well past its use-by date and can no longer be considered a secure cypher in any sense of the word.  

An obvious secondary purpose of this website is to encourage interest in all technical and historic aspects of the German Enigma machine used during World War II, and while making use of Morse code, foster a continuing interest in CW as a living mode on the amateur bands. For system accuracy, it is suggested that CW speed be limited to < 20 wpm.   Re-transmits are quite acceptable but by their nature tend to waste good air-time.

For simplicity, the only model of Enigma machine referred to on this website is the 3-rotor Wehrmacht/Luftwaffe machine fitted with a UKW B reflector.



And thirdly, significant challenges were faced by German field troops when Enigma was mandated for security while communicating by radio.  To illustrate, each radio team was composed of three men, only one of whom was on the key, while the other two were needed to work the Enigma machine.  By using less than 10 watts (QRP), typical of a panzer radio, we are able add a small measure of authenticity to our Enigma experience.    




The Principles page explains (only superficially) the concept of encryption and the place of the famous Enigma machine.  Readers are encouraged to dig deeper with the help of Mr Google.


The Daily Key pages show one for each month.   These provide the date-specific initial machine settings for the first and subsequent messages in any one conversation. 
 For simplicity, these twelve key pages apply to all years, not just 2015, and the initial machine
 settings are not changed within a conversation even if messages span several days.


Download the best fully-functioning  Virtual Enigma Machine available.
Many thanks are due to its creator, Dirk Rijmenants


Join the Enigma World Code Group   
A fine practical site established by Bruce Culp, N7CLH.


The Message Configuration page describes the purpose of each part of ZL3TK's
outgoing Enigma encrypted messages.  
Incoming traffic is expected to follow the same format but may differ.


Schematic for an Audio Oscillator.   It provides a click-free, sinewave output specially for
transmitting MCW on FM transmitters.  Obviously it has a range of applications.


The New Zealand Radiocommunication  Regulations.   
An interpretation of the only clause relevant to Enigma.




All Copyrights and Trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.
Anyone is free to use material from this website, however text
must be accurately transcribed, please do not misquote any part of it.


Disclaimer:    This is a simple website and is not claimed to be definitive or complete in any way.   There are numerous more sophisticated resources available for information, training and research purposes, which have been written by really clever people . 
Every Enigma  transmission from ZL3TK and respondents refers listeners to
this website:  https://qsl.net/ZL3TK  for the daily key and other decryption resources.