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Crypto
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FILL
DS-102
  
KYK-13 →
  
KOI-18
Key tape reader

KOI-18, or KOI-18/TSEC, is a portable handheld electronic device for reading cryptographic keys of variable length from 8-level (8-bit) punched paper tape and transfering them to cryptographic equipment and key fill devices, developed around 1976 by the US National Security Agency (NSA) for use by the American armed forces and NATO. Also known as NSN 5810-01-026-9620 [1].

The device is housed in a rugged green die-cast aluminium enclosure that measures 130 x 64 x 38 mm and weights 350 gram, battery included. It has a male U-229 socket for connection to a host device — either directly or via a fill cable.

At the front is a hinged lid, below which an 8-bit reader is located, that accepts 8-bit ASCII format punched paper tape, which is pulled through the reader manually. The logic OR of the bits is used to generate the clock pulse. Each character re­pre­sents 4 key bits (1 nibble). The host device will signal whether the transfer was successful.
  

As the device does not contain memory, it can not hold any cryptographic keys and, hence, can not be used as a key fill device. Instead it should be used to transfer a key directly from tape into a cryptographic device or to transfer the key from tape to a regular key fill device like the KYK-13 or the KSP-1. The KOI-18 is equivalent to the KLL-1, made by the German manufacturer ANT. In comparison to other DS-102 devices, its main advantage is its virtually unlimited key length.

KOI-18 devices were gradually phased out in the 2000s, although in some countries they were used as late as 2010. The device has now become obsolete, as production of the blank key tapes has stopped and existing stocks have been used up. Crypto Museum tries to maintain a decent stock of 8-bit paper tape, so that we can demonstrate the device in the years to come.

Starage bag with KOI-18
KOI-18 with storage bag
KOI-18 key tape reader
KOI-18 key tape reader
KOI-18 with open lid
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Starage bag with KOI-18
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KOI-18 with storage bag
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KOI-18 key tape reader
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KOI-18 key tape reader
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KOI-18 with open lid

Interior
Interior
Tape reader
Electronic circuits
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Interior
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Tape reader
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Electronic circuits

FILL
At the rear of the KOI-18 is a 6-pin U-229 connector (actually a U-283/U) marked J1. This con­nector can be fitted to a crypto device by means of a fill cable. It can also be connected directly to the male receptacle of a KYK-13 key transfer device. Below is the pinout when looking into the receptacle.

  1. GND
    Ground
  2. MUX
    From MUX word generator
  3. REQ
    Fill request
  4. DATA
    Fill data into KY-99
  5. CLK
    Fill clock into KY-99
  6. ORF
    ?
Specifications
  • Device
    Key tape reader (FILL)
  • Purpose
    Reading of cryptographic keys from punched paper tape
  • Model
    KOI-18
  • Year
    1976
  • Country
    USA
  • Developer
    NSA
  • NSN
    5810-01-026-9620
  • Designator
    ON190315
  • Classification
    Unclassified CCI
  • Interface
    DS-102
  • Key length
    Unlimited
  • Checksum
    8-bit CRC
  • Backup
    6V, BA-1372/U, BA-5372/U
  • Dimensions
    130 × 64 × 38 mm
  • Weight
    350 g (battery included)
Documentation
  1. Operator's and Maintenance Manual for KOI-18, KYK-13 and KYX-15
    TM-11-5810-292-13&P. US Army, 31 May 1989.

  2. KOI-18 Deport repair manual - wanted
    TM 11-5810-292-40P. US Army.

  3. Instructiekaart Digitaal Beveiligd Telefoontoestel - COMSEC
    COMSEC instruction card with Spendex 50, KYK-13 and KOI-18 (Dutch).
    IK001433/2. Dutch Army, 4 April 2001.

  4. CSESD-11
    Communications Security Equipment System Document for Fill Devices

    NSA, date unknown. Unclassified parts only. #CM303091/B.
References
  1. Jerry Proc, KOI-18 Key Tape Reader
    Jerry Proc's crypto pages. Retrieved September 2019.

  2. Army Property, NSN 5810-01-026-9620
    Retrieved September 2019.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Sunday 15 September 2019. Last changed: Saturday, 27 April 2024 - 07:44 CET.
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