Tapeless Rotorless Online cipher machine
- wanted item
TROL was Philips' contribution to a NATO evaluation of 1962 for a
Tapeless Rotorless On-Line cipher machine (TROL).
It was a combination of a modified Ecolex IV
cipher machine, a unit for editing the key settings (SIMILEX),
and a key generator (TAROLEX).
It was never released, as the evaluation was lost to the British
BID/610 (ALVIS) , but parts were used
in later designs.
TROL consisted of the following three units:
The image on the right shows a complete early setup.
At the top is an Ecolex IV cipher machine of which both tape
readers have been removed. One tape reader is replaced by a key generator,
whilst the other one is replaced by a teleprinter.
The modified Ecolex IV is only used as a mixer.
In a later version of the TROL design,
it was replaced by a simplified unit
which contained a mixer and interfaces for teleprinter and line.
The unit at the bottom left has a hinged door behind which a short piece
of punched paper tape can be installed in a
special reader. It is used as
the seed for the key generator. This part was later reused in the
Tarolex 19" design.
As far as we know, there are no surviving Philips TROL
units, and the photographs below and on the right are the only evidence
that the machine ever existed. The images below show the various development
stages of the design, with the
final design consisting of just two
units — the key generator and the mixer/interface — that were fitted in a
single 19" rackmount front panel.
Any links shown in red are currently unavailable.
If you like the information on this website, why not make a donation?
© Crypto Museum. Created: Saturday 15 June 2013. Last changed: Wednesday, 15 March 2023 - 11:51 CET.