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Reichert Elektronik 5010
Automatic cipher machine - under construction

The 5010 was an electromechanical automatic cipher machine, developed by Reichert Elektronik in Trier (Germany) 1 in the early 1960s. The device is intended for the encryption and decryption of signals from an electric (IBM) typewriter and an external tape puncher/reader and/or a printer.

The image on the right shows the extremely rare Reichert 5010. It has two physical locks: one at the top that locks the lid to the two plugboards, and one at the rear that prevents the case from being opened. As the original keys are missing from the device shown here, we had to pick both locks in order to gain access to the interior.

At the rear are two Harting 34 pin female sockets for the input and output devices. The leftmost one was probably used to connect an IBM electric typewriter, whilst the rightmost one accepted Reichert's Datica 100 tape puncher.
Reichert 5010 cipher machine

The machine has two user-configurable plugboards, one for the input and one for the output, that can be accessed through a lid at the top. Furthermore, the machine has four 26-position rotary switchs (marked A, B, C and D) that are used for setting the basic key, plus an internal revolving plugboard that can be configured by a priviledged user or an engineer. In addition, there is a uniselector and 5 electric relays of which the function is currently unknown.

  1. Rechert Elektronic is currently known as Mils Electronic and is located in Austria.  More

Reichert 5010 cipher machine Front panel Front view Rear panel Rear view Double plugboard Setting the cipher code Switching to CODING
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Reichert 5010 cipher machine
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Front panel
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Front view
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Rear panel
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Rear view
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Double plugboard
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Setting the cipher code
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Switching to CODING

The upper half of the machine's front panel holds 4 rotary switches with 26 positions each. Only half the number of positions are used in each mode: 13 for coding, interleaved with 13 positions for decoding. Above each knob is a window that shows the current setting. In Coding Mode, the knobs are marked A, B, C and D, whilst in Decoding Mode they are marked C, D, A and B. These four rotary selectors are used for setting the basic key.

Block Diagram
At present, the exact operation of the 5010 is unknown. Whilst we are investigating the machine we are gradually beginning to understand how it works, but this process has by no means been completed yet. The block diagram below gives a snapshot of the current situation.

  1. Wikipedia, Stepping switch (Uniselector)
    Retrieved July 2015.
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Crypto Museum. Created: Wednesday 10 August 2016. Last changed: Saturday, 24 February 2018 - 13:31 CET.
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