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Ham Radio 2015
26-28 June 2015

Following the tradition of recent years, Crypto Museum was present at the HAM RADIO 2015 in Friedrichshafen (Germany) at the big Enigma stand in HALLE A3. We had about the same space and location as last year, but the amount of traffic around our tables had nearly doubled.

The Enigma stand was manned by the usual suspects. Tom, Gretchen and Dan Perera were buying and selling Enigma machines and parts as usual. Henning Treumann and his colleagues were demonstrating Telex-Over-Internet (TOI), Klaus Kopacs was selling surplus equipment and Enigma parts and Marc Simons and Paul Reuvers were representing Crypto Museum as usual.

John Alexander represented TNMOC1 . Many well-known collectors and researchers were present at the event and most of them used the Enigma stand as a meeting and resting point.

Although in general we had the feeling that there was less equipment on offer than in previous years, we still found a couple of very interesting devices, parts and artifacts. Furthermore, the people who visited our stand appeared to have found the most interesting stuff on the tables.

One of the most exiting artifacts to show up this weekend, was an original Fialka spares kit. Being just 6 cm high and painted grey, most people probably wouldn't have noticed it, but former Fialka operator Jrög Drobick recognised it after seeing the Fialka rotor shaft and bought it.

The image on the right shows the contents of the spares box which will now become a highly wanted collector's item. Apart from the rotor shaft, it contains a service lamp, calibration tools, spare springs, contacts, transistors and even a moisturizer for pre-gummed paper tape.
Fialka spares box

It was really great to see our many friends and supporters from all over the world, some of whom we see only once a year... in Friedrichshafen. We received quite a few donations in the form of surplus cipher equipment, which will be added to the website in the next couple of months.

On Friday afternoon we (Marc and Paul) held a presentation about the Enigma family tree, showing how the various models were related to each other and where they fitted on the Enigma timeline. There were also talks by Tom Perera (Enigma history) and Klaus Schmeh (crypto books), and all of us had a great audience.

Although Friday is traditionally the busiest day of the show, we had the feeling that there were even more people on Saturday. Despite the fact that most highlights were gone, we still found a very rare Hungarian spy radio set that afternoon.
The missing indicator for the Noreen cipher machine, found in Friedrichshafen

But the real hammer for use was the red pilot lamp shown above. It was missing from our British Noreen cipher machine and we had been looking for it for over a year. That Saturday afternoon it suddenly popped up on one of the tables, brand new and... for just one Euro. Even if it was just for this one lamp, it would have been worth the 1360 km round trip to Germany. Watch the website over the next months when we unpack our new items and add them to the collection.

Wee had a great time. See you next year(?)

  1. TNMOC = The National Museum of Computing (UK).

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