Alexander von Kryha's Cipher Machine


Basically, this device does a polyalphabetic substitution with a period of a few hundred characters. The machine allowed any set up plain and cipher text alphabets. To encrypt a text, the operator locates a letter in the plain text alphabet and writes down the character fond at the ciphertext alphabet. After depressing a lever, the device shifts the alphabets relative to each other. (Actually, the letters of one alphabets are arranged at the circumference of a disk that will be rotated. The other alphabet remains stationary, it's letters placed to opposite those at the rotating disk.)

The original machine used an exchangeable sectored cipher disk. At the depression of the lever, this disk was rotated to the next sector. Each sector had some teeth, and each tooth shifts the alphabets relative to each other by one letter.

A later model used an universal ciphering disk: The insertion of up to 52 stop pins gave the possibility the vary the number of sectors while leaving the total number of teeth constant.

When using this cipher, first decide which cipher disk you want to use. For the original version, you may enter the number of teeth for each sector directly as a list of comma separated cardinal numbers. For the universal ciphering disk, click between to numbers to insert or remove a stop pin. A stop pin will be denoted by a white vertical line, the black one's are inserted as benchmark at every fifth possible stop pin location. Note that you must place at least one stop pin.

Within CipherCLerk's Applet's implementation, you specify the the plain and cipher text alphabets by a key word and an algorithm how to generate the mixed alphabet (see how a substitution is generated).

To proceed, you may