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KU-27M
ELBRUS test device - not in collection

KU-27M (Russian: КУ-27М) is a measurement, test and service device for the electronic building blocks (modules) of the T-217M (ELBRUS) voice scrambler, developed during the Cold War — in the early 1970s — in the former Soviet Union (USSR), and used in the Warsaw Pact countries. It allows the modules to be tested and aligned, by using test procedures defined on program cards.

The installation consists of two main devices: (1) an interface unit and (2) the actual test device, each of which is housed in a large heavy grey hamerite enclosure. In practice, the test device was placed on top of the interface unit, as shown in the image on the right. They were probably interconnected by means of one or more cables.

In addition, there were two grey storage cases with spare parts, tools and documentation, that were needed for the repair of the equipment under test. The test device (shown in the image on top of the interface unit) has a drawer at the front, inside which a metal container is stowed. Inside the container are a series of small brown pertinax circuit boards, with wiring on one side and a series of contact points at the other side.
  
The two main units of the KU-27M

Each of the cards is wired for a specific test and can be seen as a program card. By installing it in one of the recptacles, and closing the hinged lid, the device is set up for a specific alignment or test procedure, in a similar way as punched paper cards were once used with valve (tube) testers.

The image on the right shows how a program card is installed in one of the two receptacles at the front panel of the interface unit. The wiring of the card should be facing outwards. There are two guide pins to keep the card in place and to ensure that it is installed the right way around.

The contacts at the reverse side of the program card mate with the contact bed of the receptacle, allowing the interface unit to 'sense' the wiring of the program card. Below each receptacle is a hinged metal frame in which one of the building blocks (modules) under test should be installed.
  
Installing a program card

Each frame is held in place by a metal clip to its right. Pushing the clip to the right, releases the frame and allows a module to be installed in the socket at the bottom. Once this is done, the frame should be closed again and the test can commence. Each test and alignment procedure is fully described in the comprehensive manuals, which are stowed in one of the spare parts boxes.

The two main units of the KU-27M The two main units of the KU-27M Test interface block Case with spare parts Case with accessories and documentation Receptacle for program cards Socket for module under test Socket for module under test
Drawer with program cards Program cards Wiring side of a program card Contact side of a program card Installing a program card Program card in place Unlocking the frame Frame for holding the module under test
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The two main units of the KU-27M
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The two main units of the KU-27M
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Test interface block
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Case with spare parts
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Case with accessories and documentation
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Receptacle for program cards
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Socket for module under test
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Socket for module under test
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Drawer with program cards
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Program cards
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Wiring side of a program card
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Contact side of a program card
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Installing a program card
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Program card in place
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Unlocking the frame
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Frame for holding the module under test

Spare parts and tools
Two grey hamerite metal containers with accessories, tools, spare parts and documentation were supplied as part of the TU-27M installation. The first box contains a dark grey metal box – similar to the one stowed inside the drawer of the test device – with additional pertinax program cards.

Below the box with additional program cards, is a removable panel below which several cartons with spare parts are stowed, each nicely wrapped in brown paper. The image on the right shows an example of spare parts (in this case three types of diodes) as found in one of the boxes.

On the lid of each box is a written checklist of the items that are packed inside it. The second container holds two more carton boxes with spare parts, plus a multi-meter in a grey metal container, and a canvas wrapper with repair tools like screwdrivers and a soldering iron.
  
Spare components on cartons

This container also holds the documentation (6 books) and the cables that are needed to connect the test unit and the interface unit together. During the Cold War, the installation shown here would have been parts of a (field) repair workshop. Many thanks to German collector Immo Hahn for providing access to a complete installation and allowing us to investigate and describe it [1].

Case with spare parts Extra drawer with program cards stowed in carrying case Extra drawer with program cards Spare parts stowed in a separate case Spare parts Spare components on cartons Case with accessories and documentation Case with accessories and documentation
Spare parts, soldering iron and multi-meter More spare parts Documentation and cables Spare parts in carton box Tools in canvas pocket Multi-meter in metal container Multi-meter Documentation
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Case with spare parts
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Extra drawer with program cards stowed in carrying case
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Extra drawer with program cards
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Spare parts stowed in a separate case
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Spare parts
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Spare components on cartons
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Case with accessories and documentation
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Case with accessories and documentation
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Spare parts, soldering iron and multi-meter
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More spare parts
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Documentation and cables
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Spare parts in carton box
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Tools in canvas pocket
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Multi-meter in metal container
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Multi-meter
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Documentation

Versions
  • KU-27
    1972
    Test device for T-217 (ELBRUS)
  • KU-27M
    1976
    Test device for T-217M (ELBRUS).
Documentation
  1. Device Kit KU-27M - circuit diagrams (Russian), S/N 69
  2. KU-27M Description of case with spare parts (ZIP) 1
  3. KU-27M Description of case with tools
  4. Device kit KU-27M, Logbook, S/N 000058
  5. Device Kit KU-27M, Parts list for repair of T-217M
  6. Device kit KU-27M, ZIP 1 checklist
  1. ZIP (Russian: ЗИП) = Запасные части И Принадлежности (spare parts and accessories).

References
  1. Immo Hahn, Complete KU-27M installation
    Crypto Museum, September 2019.

  2. Jörg Drobick, T-216 LIANA, T-217M ELBRUS
    Website: SAS und Chiffrierdienst, Retrieved September 2019.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Tuesday 24 September 2019. Last changed: Thursday, 03 October 2019 - 07:21 CET.
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