Homepage
Crypto
Index
Glossary
Enigma
Hagelin
Fialka
Nema
Voice
Hand
OTP
EMU
Mixers
Phones
FILL
Codebooks
Algorithms
USA
USSR
UK
Yugoslavia
Ascom
AT&T
Bosch
Datotek
Gretag
HELL
ITT
Motorola
Mils
OMI
Philips
Racal
Siemens
STK
Tadiran
Telsy
Teltron
Transvertex
TST
Spy radio
Burst encoders
Intercept
Covert
Radio
PC
Telex
People
Agencies
Manufacturers
• • • Donate • • •
Kits
Shop
News
Events
Wanted
Contact
About
Links
   Click for homepage
Ecolex III
One-time tape cipher machine - this page is a stub

Ecolex-III was a One-Time Tape (OTT) cipher machine (mixer), developed by Philips Usfa around 1959, as the successor to the Ecolex II. Contrary to the Ecolex II, the Ecolex III featured advanced synchronisation for use over unstable narrowband Short Wave (HF) radio channels. The machine was known by NATO as the Ecolex-IIB. The machine later evolved into the successful Ecolex-IV.

The machine clearly follows the design strategy of the earlier Ecolex II and it based on a existing Siemens twin tape reader, identical to the one that was used for the Ecolex II. It is mounted on top of the actual mixer, which has become much larger due to the fact that is now includes a complete synchronizer as well. This is illustrated by the two prominently visible counters (DELAY and ADV) at the front panel of the bottom unit.

The image on the right shows a prototype of the Ecolex III , but it is uncertain whether it was ever taken into production, as no production records of it have been found to date. It is not listed in the internal Philips memo [2], which is otherwise known to be both accurate and exhaustive.

On the other hand, the machine was tested and approved by SECAN, NATO's certification body, on 19 November 1959 [3], which means that at least a fully operational prototype must have existed and that all SECAN recommendations had been followed and implemented. In the approval memo [3] NATO even refers to this.
  
Ecolex III (or Ecolex II B) which was approved by NATO but was probably never taken into production.

The image above also shows a line interface (or actually a filter) at the right. This filter is identical to the one that was later supplied with the Ecolex IV. As we were unable to find any records referring to the Ecolex III or the Ecolex II B (apart from the NATO approval), we assume that the machine was not taken into production and that it was later re-released, probably with some improvements, as the Ecolex IV which supports both synchronised and non-synchronised traffic.

References
  1. Photographs from Philips Usfa
    Crypto Museum Archive.

  2. Philips Usfa, Internal Memo L/5636/AvdP/JG
    23 August 1982, page 5.

  3. NATO, ECOLEX Mark II B
    SGM-660-59. 19 November 1959. NATO SECRET.
    Declassified by NATO on 5 January 2000 (IMSM-431-99).
Further information
Any links shown in red are currently unavailable. If you like the information on this website, why not make a donation?
Crypto Museum. Last changed: Friday, 28 August 2015 - 15:50 CET.
Click for homepage