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UP-2101
Key transfer device - Wanted item

The UP-2101 was a small electronic transfer device for the distribution of cryptographic material (key-filler), commonly referred to as Transmission Encryption Keys (TEK). It was developed by Philips Crypto in Eindhoven (Netherlands) in 1992, as the successor to the UP-2001, which in turn was an alternative to the rather limited KYK-13 filler. Despite its potential, only a small quantity was ever produced. It was used for example with the Philips Spendex 40 crypto phone.
 
The image on the right shows a prototype of the UP-2101. It is similar in appearance and size to the American KYK-13 and uses the same U-283 socket for connection to the equipment [1].

It has a rotary switch that is used to select the mode of operation. At the center is a red ACTIVATE button that is used in combination with a particular setting of the mode selector.

The mode selector is also used for reading keys via the DB9 connector at the bottom and writing them to the U-283 connector at the top.
  
Key-fill device

It has some important improvements over the KYK-13 however. First of all is has room for 40 sets of key variables (compartments), whereas the KYK-13 has only 6. The required key compartment is selected by setting the 2-digit selector at the top to the corresponding number (00-39). This greatly increases the number of keys that can be carried around at any time.

Another advantage is the presence of a standard serial RS-232 interface that allowed the connection of a data-entry device, such as a barcode reader. It was suggested that the crypto-keys could be printed on a sheet of paper each day as a set of barcodes. The sheet could then be faxed to a destination, using a PFDX fax encryptor, a Spendex 40 phone or a Spendex 50. This way, the keys could be distributed securely. The UP-2101 supported a standard HP barcode reader. Loading the keys into the right compartment of the UP-2101 was a matter of seconds.
 
Key-fill device Key-fill device with barcode pen Key-fill device U-229 connector on the key-filler Key-fill device Zeroizing the key-filler Connecting the key-filler to the Spendex-50 Key-fill device connected to the Spendex-50

The UP-2101 used the DS-102 protocol, developed by the NSA, and was suitable for all Usfa/Crypto-developed military encryption devices, such as the Spendex 40, Spendex-50 (DBT) and the Trunk Encryption Device BVO. The rightmost image above show the UP-2101 being used with a Philips Spendex 50. It is fitted directly to the FILL connector of the Spendex 50.
 
Key loading
Keys can be loaded into the UP-2101 by means of a (DOS) PC running the UP-2002 Net Key Program (NKP) software. For this, the DB9 connector of the UP-2101 was connected to the COM1 port of the PC via a simple 2-wire cable. Keys were generated by the NKP and were then transferred to the UP-2101 via the serial port, one at a time, each with a suitable checksum.


It was also possible to load keys into the UP-2101 via barcodes, by using an HP HBCR-8300 barcode reader. The UP-2002 NKP (see above) could be used to print suitable barcodes onto paper. This allowed the keys to be sent securely by means of a (trusted) courier, or via a fax unit connected to a secure crypto telephone, such as the Spendex 40.
 
FILL connector
The UP-2101 uses a 5-pin U-229 type connector for connection to the crypto device, rather than the more common 6-pin U-284. Is it nevertheless compatible as the extra pin (F) is not used. The table below shows the pin-out of the connector. More information on the special U-229 page [2].

U-229 pinout. Click for more information.

Pin DS-102 Description  
A GND Ground (common wire)  
B - Not used  
C ACK FILL request acknowlegment  
D DATA Fill data into radio or crypto device  
E CLK Fill clock into radio or crypto device  
F - -  

 
Technical specifications
  • Identification: UP-2001 or PKMX-2001, Philips Usfa BV, Fill Gun
  • Storage capacity: 40 keys
  • Transmission: serial asynchronous (DB9) or synchronous (U-183U)
  • Asynchronous data: 9600 baud (DB9)
  • Synchronous data: conform DS-102 (U-183U) 1bps-5kbps (RX), 1.6kbps (TX)
  • Dimensions: 125 x 50 x 71 cm
  • Temperature range: -20 to +45°C (operating), -25 to +60°C (storage)
  • Power supply: 2 x UA-6303 lithium cells (3.6V each)
References
  1. Mathieu Goudsmits, Spendex-50 developer at Philips Usfa
    Interview, Crypto Museum. July 2011.

  2. Crypto Museum, U-229 Connector
    Description of the US Army and NATO standard audio and FILL connector.

  3. Hewlett Packard, Hewlett-Packard SmartWand Bar Code Reader
    HBSW-8000 series datasheet. Tecnical Data. Retrieved July 2012.

Further information

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