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Enigma-E metal enclosure
Assembly instructions

Since the introduction of the Enigma-E in 2003, many users have asked us whether it would be possible to add a suitable enclosure to the kit. Over the years, we developed the idea to create a metal enclosure — similar to the metal case of a real Enigma — that can be assembled by anyone with simple tools. From August 2023 onwards, all Enigma-E kits come with this metal enclosure.

The enclosure makes the Enigma-E much more realistic. It comes as a series of laser-cut steel panels that you must separate, clean and bend yourself, using the instructions below as a guide. The separate panels will be held together by means of special plastic push-in rivets that are supplied with the kit. Also supplied is a suitable bending tool. Once the metal enclosure is complete, the creation of a suitable wooden case will be much simpler.


Before you start
To build the metal enclosure, some of the steel panels must be separated and bended into shape. Note that this can only be done once, so please read the instructions carefully to ensure that you are not bending part of the panels in the wrong direction. Bending it back may break the part. In the instruction below, the photographs may be clicked to enlarge. Additional photographs can be revealed by clicking any text that is printed in blue. Read the following instructions carefully.

You own tools
For the assembly of the metal enclosure, you need the following tools. These are not supplied with the kit:

  • Smooth flat file
  • Side-cutting pliers
  • Straight flat pliers
  • Phillips screwdriver number 0
  • Sharp knife
  

Use a file
We strongly discourage the use of a Dremel tool to clean the individual panels and remove the sharp edges, as the high speed of the Dremel is likely to cause sparks and splinters, which are potentially dangerous to your eyes. Instead use a smooth flat file to remove the cutting remains.
  

Push-in rivets
Plastic push-in rivets are provided for mounting the metal parts and the PCBs together. A push-in rivet consists of two parts: the actual rivet and a push-in pin with a black head. When you are instructed to mount two parts together, ensure that the holes of the two parts are lined up.

Then insert the rivet in such a way that it pro­trudes both holes, as shown in the image on the right. Once this is done, press the head of the push-in pin firmly until it clicks. The result looks like this. A push-in rivet can be removed, by pusing the centre pin out from the other end.

  

PAINTING THE CASE — You may be tempted to think ahead and spray the panel with a black paint, just like the original Enigma. We strongly discourage this however. At this stage it is more important to bend and finish the parts in the correct manner, to ensure that they fit together properly. Once every­thing is checked and cleaned, it is easy to take the enclosure apart again and spray the panels.

Here we go
1. Unpacking and identifying the parts
1.1 Find the parts

All parts for the metal enclosure are supplied in a separate plastic bag, except for the lamp film which can be found inside the manual.

The image on the right shows the plastic bag with the parts and the lamp film. Click the photograph to enlarge.
  

1.2 Unpack the parts

Unpack the items from the plastic bag. You should now have:
  • 5 steel panels
  • Display filter (brown)
  • Lamp panel diffusor (green)
  • Lamp film (A-Z)
  • Plastic bag with small parts (see below)


  

1.3 Check the contents of the plastic bag

The plastic bag should contain the following:
  • 20 Push-in rivets
  • 2 Tapered push-in knobs
  • Slide switch
  • 2 screws for mounting the slide switch
The push-in rivets will be used later for fitting the metal parts and the PCBs together. For now, store these items in a safe place.

  

1.4 Identify the steel panels

Five laser-cut steel panels are supplied as part of the kit, as shown in the image on the right. At the top is the rear panel, to which some parts for the power switch assembly are attached. Also attached to this panel is a bending tool.

At the centre is the top lid of the machine. At either side of the lid are the left and right sides respectively. At the front are the 'fake' rotors plus a long lever (at the centre) that will later be used for operating the power switch.

  

2. Separate the parts
2.1 Separate the parts from the rear panel

Use the cutting pliers to separate the three additional parts shown in the image on the right from the rear panel. Cut the thin metal stubs (that hold the parts together) as close to the part as possible. The rear panel holds the following additional parts:
  

2.2 Separate the fake rotors

Next, separate the fake rotor panel in the same manner. It consists of the following parts: The fake rotors will later be mounted to the main lid. The long lever will later be used as part of the power switch assembly.
  

2.3 Check and clean the separated parts

Check that you have the following parts: Clean these parts by filing off the sharp cutting remains. Stow the parts for now, except for the bending tool which we will need for preparing the panels.

  

2.4 Clean the rear panel

In a similar vain, file off the sharp cutting remains from the rear panel, as shown in the image on the right.
  

3. Prepare the panels
3.1 Mark the panels

Mark the inside of each panel so that you later know which side will not be visible. All mounting flaps will later be bent inwards.

Hold the right side panel as shown in the image on the right, and mark the inside, for example with the letter 'R'. Repeat this with the left side panel (mark it with the letter 'L') and with the rear panel (mark it with the word 'back').
  

3.2 Mark the lid

Hold the lid (lamp panel) as shown in the image on the right, and mark it with a text (e.g. 'Lid under'). This is the underside of the lid (i.e. the part that is not normally visible.

Note that in this position, the holes for the fake rotors are to the left of the display windows. When the lid is in the normal position, the rotors will be to the right of the display windows, just like on a real Enigma.
  

4. Prepare the right side panel
4.1 Bend the mounting flaps inwards

For the next steps you need the bending tool that you've previously separated from the rear panel. Hold the right panel with the marking (the letter 'R') towards you, as shown in the image.

The panel has six pre-cut mounting flaps, each with a mounting hole. Ignore the large bottom edge for now. We will deal with this later.
  

Insert the hook of the bending tool in one of these holes as shown in the image on the right. Ensure the 90° edge of the bending tool aligns with the pre-cut seam. Now bend the flap inwards as shown here, until the bending tool aligns with the panel.

Repeat this procedure for the other 5 flaps.
  

4.2 Bend the blind flap down

Note that the rearmost mounting flap of this panel (i.e. the flap that is closest to the rear of the machine) has an extra 'blind' flap.

Use a pair of straight pliers to bend this flap down by 90° as shown in the image on the right. This flap will later be used to hook into the rear panel.

  

4.3 Bend the bottom edge

Align the large flap at the bottom of the right panel with a piece of wood (or your work bench) as shown here.

Now bend the large flap inwards, until it is at a 90° angle from the side panel, as shown in the image on the right.

  

4.4 Check the right side panel

The right side panel should now look like the one in the image on the right. Ensure that all flaps are bended in the correct direction (i.e. inwards).

You may now continue with the left panel.

  

5. Prepare the left side panel
Repeat the above procedure for the left side panel. Ensure that all flaps and folded inwards (i.e. towards the side with the text marking).

The left and right side panels should now look as shown in the image on the right.

  

6. Prepare the rear panel
You are now ready to prepare the rear panel. Hold the panel with the text marking towards you and bend the three flaps with the mounting holes (one at the centre and two at the bottom corners) inwards by 90°.

Next, use the straight pliers to bend the two 'blind' flaps inwards by 90° as shown in the image on the right. Finally, bend the large flap at the bottom inwards by 90°, in the same way as the side panels. The rear panel should now look like the one shown in the image on the right.
  

7. Join the right and rear panels
Now join the right panel with the rear panel by hooking it in as shown here. If it does not immediately fit, you may have to align the mounting flaps with your pliers.

Fixate the two panels by inserting a push-in rivet in the lower mounting hole (insert it from the bottom side). Push the plastic rivet all the way in to fixate it.
  

8. Add the left side panel
Now add the left side panel by hooking it into the rear panel in the same way as the right panel, and fixate it by inserting a push-in rivet in the bottom mounting hole. Do not yet put a push-in rivet in the upper mounting holes, as we still need to install the main PCB.

The complete frame should now look like the one shown in the image on the right.
  

9. Prepare the lid
9.1 Bend the front edge

We are now ready to prepare the top lid (i.e. the lamp panel). First you must bend the front edge of the panel inwards by 45°.

Warning: Do not bend it at 90° as in that case it no longer fits. The front edge of the lid of a real Enigma is also bended by 45°.
  

NOTE — If you have decided to paint the enclosure, it might be a good idea to do this now. In the following steps, additional parts will be added to the lid.
9.2 Mount the fake rotors

Insert one of the fake rotors into the cut-outs at the upper side of the lid, as shown here. Ensure that the fake rotor is fully inserted and aligned with the top surface of the lid.

Now turn the lid over and fixate the fake rotor by bending the two short stubs towards the centre using pliers, as shown in the image on the right. Repeat this for the other three fake rotors.
  

9.3 Mount the display filter

Peel-off the protective foil from both sides of the red/brown display filter. Place the filter at the underside of the lid and fixate it from the top of the lid by means of four push-in rivets.

The lid should now look like the one shown in the image on the right.
  

9.4 Fit the lamp film to the diffusor

Peel-off the protective green foil from both sides of the diffusor. The diffusor should now be milky white. Peel-off the white back from the lamp film and fixate the lamp film with its adhesive side to the diffusor.

Note: The lamp film is slightly smaller than the diffusor, so you might want to start approx. 1 mm from the edge of the diffusor when fitting the lamp film.
  

9.5 Mount the lamp film

Use a sharp knife to open the two mounting holes at the short edges of the diffusor as shown here. Place the lamp film at the underside of the lamp panel and fixate it from the top by means of two plug-in rivets.

The lid should now look like the one shown in the image on the right. Don't worry about a small misalignment of the letters, as this was also the case on a real Enigma due to shrinking of the celluloid lamp film.

  

9.6 Fit the lid lifting knobs

Fit the two tapered push-in knobs at the front corners of the lid as shown in the image on the right. These knobs can be used to raise the lid in order to access the machine's internal settings.

The lid should now look like the one shown here.

  

10. Mount the assembled PCBs
Fit the main PCB horizontally at the top of the frame as shown in the image on the right. Fixate it with two plush-in rivets at the center (the remaining 4 push-in rivets will be added later). In the same way, fit the plugboard at the front and fixate it with 4 plug-in rivets.

Note: For simplicity, we have shown the bare PCBs in the image on the right. In reality you must assemble and test the PCBs first.
  

11. Mount the lid
Mount the lid on top of the frame by snapping the small stubs at the rear into the guide holes of the left and right side panels. The stubs and the holes will act as a hinge.

When doing this, it is necessary to pull the side panels outwards a little bit. Once the lid is in place, push the sides firmly together again and fixate the main PCB by inserting the remaining 4 plug-in rivets at the corners.

The case should now look like the one shown in the image on the right.

  

12. Mount the power switch assembly
12.1 Mark the power switch bracket

With the machine more or less finished, it is time to add the power switch. This switch will be mounted under the main PCB, at the heart of the machine, and will be operated with a long lever.

First locate the power switch mounting bracket and mark it as shown in the image on the right. Note that this part is not symmetric. It has a cut-out at the bottom left.
  

12.2 Bend the drilled flaps

Bend the two flaps with the mounting holes (at the top of the bracket) inwards by 90° (towards the text).

Insert the bending tool into the hole as shown in the image on the right, and bend it until the bending tool meets the surface of the bracket. Repeat this for the other drilled mounting flap.
  

12.3 Bend the rectangular flaps

At the bottom of the mounting bracket are two rectangular flaps: one with a rectangular hole and one with a cut-out. Use your pliers to bend these two flaps inwards (towards the text) by 90°, as shown in the image on the right.
  

12.4 Check the mounting bracket

If all went well, the power switch mounting bracket should now look like the one shown in the image on the right.

Ensure that the bended flaps are at 90° angles. If this is not the case, use your pliers to make (small) corrections.
  

12.5 Locate the other parts

The following parts are now needed to complete the power switch assembly:
  • Operating lever
  • Guide plate
  • Slide switch
  • 2 screws (M2)
  

12.6 Position the mounting bracket

Turn the Enigma-E over so that you look at the bottom side of the main PCB. Position the mounting bracket as shown in the image. The two mounting holes of the bracket should be roughly aligned with the mounting holes in the main PCB. Do not fixate the bracket with the push-in rivets. We will do that later.

Now insert the long operating lever through the centre mounting hole in the plugboard, into the mounting bracket. Ensure that the tip at the end of the lever is pointing to the right as shown.

  

12.7 Install the guide plate

Insert the guide plate into the mounting bracket in such a way that it aligns with the cut-out of the operating lever. Alternatively, align the operating lever and the guide plate as shown here before inserting it into the bracket.

The switch assembly should now look like this.

In the next step, the hole in the guide plate will be mated with the black knob of the slide switch.

  

12.8 Mount the slide switch

Locate the slide switch and insert it into the mounting bracket from the rear, as shown in the image on the right. Ensure that the black knob of the slide switch mates with the rectangular hole in the guide. You may have to tilt the mounting bracket somewhat to see what you are doing.

Fixate the slide switch with the two M2 screws, using the nr. 0 Phillips screwdriver.
  

12.9 Fixate the assembly

Fixate the power switch assembly by inserting two push-in rivets from the top of the main PCB though the mounting holes, into the mounting holes of the power switch bracket.

The resulting switch assembly should now look like the one shown in the image on the right, Try operating the switch by pulling/pushing the lever at the front of the plugboard.

  

12.10 Connect the switch

As a final step, solder two wires to the two frontmost contacts of the slide switch, as shown in the image on the right. The other end of the two wires should be soldered to contacts (B) and (C) at the rear edge of the main PCB. The Enigma-E is now ready for battery operation.

Note: If you want to make the switch suitable for operation from battery and mains adapter, as shown in the circuit diagram, the three contacts of the slide switch should be wired to main PCB contacts (B), (C) and (N) respectively.

  

Done
The metal Enigma-E enclosure is now complete and should look like the one shown in the image on the right. There are many ways in which you can improve the case, for example by painting it black, just like the original Enigma.

You might even want to finish it with black wrinkle paint, which is available from a number of paint outlets on the internet. Black wrinkle paint is also used for painting the engine parts of a Harley-Davidson motorbike.

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Crypto Museum. Created: Tuesday 10 October 2023. Last changed: Tuesday, 28 November 2023 - 07:46 CET.
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