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RUSSIAN COLD WAR ERA M-125 and M-125-3MN FIALKA CIPHER MACHINES:

The www.w1tp.com/enigma museum

Copyright (c) 2005 Prof. Tom Perera Ph. D. and David Hamer Ph. D.


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FIALKA PAGE INDEX:

1. General Introduction:
2. The Model M-125-MN Fialka:
3. The Much More Complex M-125-3MN Fialka:
4. Disassembly of the Much More Complex M-125-3MN Fialka:
5. The Rotor Photos, Wiring and Advance Data:
6. The 24 Volt Fialka Power Supply:
7. The Accessories, the Special Mult-Adjustable rotor set and the cover
8. Fialka Manual: German Language Version:
9. Fialka Manual: German Language Version (Adobe .pdf files):

INTRODUCTION:

Very little information has previously been available about this interesting machine. I have produced a set of detailed photographs and descriptions of my Fialkas that are on display in the fialka section of my museum: http://w1tp.com/enigma and will be included in future printings of my CD entitled: The Story of the ENIGMA: History, Technology, and Deciphering which can be ordered at the link given at the top of this page. I am looking for more information on the Fialka and stories about where and when it was used.

I have also produced a detailed set of photographs and descriptions of the construction of the two different Fialka rotor sets. You may view them here: Photographs, descriptions, wiring diagrams and advancing pin data for Fialka rotors.

In addition, John Alexander located a German language manual for both models of the Fialka and I have digitized the manual. The German Language Fialka Manual clarifies many aspects of the machine's operation and even shows one of the programming cards that slide into the left side of the machine. If you have Adobe Acrobat in your computer, you may want to view the German Language Fialka Manual as an Adobe .pdf file (3.1MB)

Two versions of the Fialka have been identified and this manual applies to both the M-125-3MN and M-125-MN Fialkas. The main differences between these two machines are that the -3MN version has a very different keyboard, an unique lever on the back of the case, switches alongside the keyboard, under the base, and under the card reader matrix, a rotor rotation disconnect lever, and the three bundles of wires coming from the reflector of the -3MN model in contrast to the single bundle of wires coming from the -MN reflector. Both models will be displayed and described below:

The Fialka is generally similar in design to the German Enigma cipher machine but it has 10 rotors with 30 Russian characters/contacts instead of the 3 or 4 rotors with 26 letters/numbers/contacts in the German WW-2 Enigmas. The first version of the Fialka, the M-100 was produced in the 1930s and it was followed by the M-105 and then these M-125-MN and M-125-3MN models. The codename "Fialka" is the Russian word for "Violet".

Instead of illuminating light bulbs to display the ciphertext resulting from inputting plaintext into the keyboard, the Fialka prints the ciphertext on paper tape and simultaneously punches holes in the tape in 5 level characters resembling those of a Baudot teletype machine tape. The Fialka also includes a paper tape reader for use in rapidly deciphering ciphertext punched into the paper tape. Other important differences between the Fialka and the Enigma include alternately counter-rotating rotors, wires coming from the reflectors, and a switch to change the input wheel wiring.

There are two different sets of 10 rotors that can be inserted into either model of the Fialka. The additional set of rotors is carried in a cylinder inside the metal cover. One set is non-adjustable with fixed ring settings and a fixed wiring maze. The other set is exceptionally cleverly designed in that it allows for both the normal Enigma-like changes in ring settings coupled with the ability to actually remove the internal wiring maze module from each rotor. Once the wiring maze is removed, it may be reinserted into the rotor in any of the 30 possible positions and/or flipped upside down and inserted in any of the 30 positions. In addition, the wiring maze module itself may be removed from the rotor and inserted into a different rotor. This detailed rotor information can be seen here:

You will find a number of photographs showing various external and internal views of the Fialka below. However, I think it is important to clarify various aspects of the Fialka'a operation here. I will assume that you are familiar with the operation of the German Enigma cipher machine and focus on the differences between the Fialka and the Enigma.

Differences Between the Fialka and Other Cipher Machines:

Paper Tape:
One of the major differences is that the Fialka prints and punches its output on 5-level paper tape. This punched paper tape can be read by eye, read into a radioteletype transmitter, or read into another Fialka machine via its internal tape reader. The Enigma and NEMA cipher machines used light bulbs to illuminate letters that had to be written down by hand and then manually sent and received by Morse code or manually typed into another cipher machine.

Card Reader:
Another difference is that the Fialka incorporates a card reader which allows punched paper cards to be used to set internal coding parameters. These cards replaced the clumsy, difficult to set, and therefore error prone plugboards of the German Enigmas.

Rotor Rotation Direction:
Another difference is that the Fialka rotates each of its 10 rotors in a direction that is opposite to that of each neighboring rotor. Other cipher machines have rotors that all turn in the same direction. The pins that control the rotation of individual rotors are described and the locations of all pins for all rotors is given in a table in this link.

Unique Rotors:
Another difference is that the Fialka can use both a simple, non-adjustable set of rotors or an extremely unique and complex set of multi-adjustable modular-wiring-matrix rotors that allow a very large number of internal wiring variations. The rotors in the non-adjustable set are very simple. Each of these rotors has a fixed wiring maze connecting the 30 input connections to the 30 output connections. The other 10-rotor set consists of multi- adjustable modular-wiring-maze rotors. Each rotor in this set has both an adjustable external ring setting with 30 possible positions and a modular wiring matrix that can be removed and reinserted in 60 different orientations or inserted into another rotor body. This modular wiring matrix allows the rotors to have a total of 60 unique and different internal wiring layouts. All photographs and wiring data are given in this link.

Unique Reflectors:
The reflector at the left end of the rotor stack is different from the reflector in an Enigma and different in each Fialka model. In the M-125-MN, the reflector has a single bundle of wires extending down from it. In the M- 125-3MN, the reflector has three bundles of wires coming out of it. It is thought that these wires may be part of a circuit that allows the Fialka to represent more Cyrillic letters than just the 30 represented by the 30 rotor contacts and keyboard keys.

Unique Input Wheels:
The input wheel on the right end of the German Enigma rotor stack carries voltages into and out of the rotor stack. It is non-adjustable. The Fialka input wheel has two levers. One actually changes the internal wiring of the input wheel, and, in the -3MN model, it also can totally disengage the rotor drive mechanism. The second input wheel lever controls the paper tape punch.

How the 30 key keyboard may have been used to represent 33 Cyrillic letters:

In order to allow the use of the 30 key keyboard and 30 contact rotors, the Russians probably did not use three letters from the 33 letter alphabet. They probably omitted The soft E, usually shown as an E with an umlaut, the reversed letter E which is actually a Greek letter with a short sound that is often found in cognates, and the hard sign which has generally not been used since the revolution.

Numbers were apparently represented by the 2, 5, 7, and 8 on the keyboard keys and by other symbols. The Roman numeral 1 or I may have represented 1. The Cyrillic 3 and soft sign may have represented 3 and 6 respectively. The Cyrillic "ya" may have represented 9 with 10 being represented by the Cyrillic "yu".



The following sections describe and display first the M-125MN model and then the much more complex M-125-3MN model. These sections are followed by descriptions and photographs of the 24 Volt DC power supply and its cables and the metal cover and accessories including a different multi-adjustable modular wiring maze rotor set.


The Model M-125-MN Fialka:


Descriptions, Photographs, and Partial Disassembly of the M-125-MN Fialka:

The following section describes and displays the Model M-125-MN Fialka. This section is followed by, or linked to descriptions and photographs of the Model M-125-3MN Fialka, the 24 Volt DC power supply and its cables and the metal cover and accessories including a different rotor set.

Differences between the Model M-125-MN and Model M-125-3MN Fialkas:

The model M-125-MN does not include the following features that are to be found in the model M-125-3MN described in another section.
These features are:
1. A multilingual keyboard.
2. A mechanical switch along the right side of the keyboard that modifies keyboard function.
3. A 3-position lever on the back of the Fialka that modifies paper tape punch operation.
4. A large matrix switch that alters the wiring of the programming matrix and therefore the effect of the programming cards.
5. A rotary switch located under the base of the Fialka.
6. A position on the input rotor switch that stops rotation of the rotors and character counting as characters are typed in. 7. An extended copyholder.

These features are described in detail in the section covering the model M-125-3MN.


External Appearance and Features: Model M-125-MN

Left side view of the model M-125-MN Fialka showing the copy holder, the letter counter and the slot for inserting the paper programming card.

Closer view of the carrier for the paper programming card being pulled out.

Closer view of the carrier for the paper programming card fully open to allow insertion of the card.

Much closer view of the carrier for the paper programming card showing the contacts that read the holes in the cards.

The Right side of the Fialka showing the copy holder, the switches on the input wheel, the switch under the rotors, and the hole for the hand crank that allows manual operation of the Fialka.


The Right side of the Fialka showing the hand crank that allows manual operation of the Fialka and the switch located under the rotors.


The hand crank that allows manual operation of the Fialka.


The Fialka resting on a wooden pedestal.

A closer view of the keyboard, the paper tape reader, and the character counter. The reset button for the counter is located under the counter between the counter and the space bar.

A Much closer view of the Russian keyboard.

The Fialka connected to its 24 volt DC power supply.

Left side of the Fialka connected to its 24 volt DC power supply.

Right side of the Fialka connected to its 24 volt DC power supply.

The Fialka and its 24 volt DC power supply.

The 10 rotors after the cover door is opened. The index bar is raised to the open position to allow the removal of the rotors.

A closer view of the 10 rotors after the cover door is opened. The index bar is raised to allow removal of the rotors.

A close view of the 10 rotors with the index bar lowered and clicked into position to aid in the accurate setting of the rotor positions. All rotors have been set to the "A" position.


Appearance and Features of the Fialka seen with cover removed:

A top view of the Fialka with cover removed (3 screws). The power switch and fuses are seen in the left rear. The paper tape printer ribbon reels, printer, and paper tape punch are behind the 10 rotors. The brown reflector is on the left end of the rotor stack. The adjustable input wheel is on the right end of the rotor stack. The keyboard and manual paper tape feed wheel are in front.

A closer view of the power switch, fuses, the paper tape printer ribbon spools, the printer, and the punch mechanism.

A closer view of the paper tape reader mounted on the front of the Fialka.

Left side view of the Fialka with the cover removed showing the programming card slot under the rotors and the reflector.

Front view of the Fialka showing the 10 rotors, the keyboard, the counter, and the paper tape reader with the round paper tape advance wheel.

A closer view of the 10 rotors with the index bar raised to permit removal of the rotor stack. The rounded metal handles on the two levers that push the reflector on the left and the input wheel on the right inward have been moved forward so that the reflector and input wheel may be pushed outwards to allow the rotor stack to be removed. The brown color of the rotors indicates that they are the Non-Adjustable rotors. The black multi-adjustable rotors are described later under accessories and in the special detailed section on rotors and rotor movement.

The 10 rotor stack of brown, Non-adjustable rotors is shown here after removal from the Fialka.

The 10 rotor stack showing the 30 spring loaded input contacts and the retaining clip that keeps the rotors on the shaft.

The 10 rotor stack with the retaining clip removed and rotor "K" slid off the shaft.

The 10 rotor stack with all but rotor "A" removed from the shaft.

The input contact sides of all 10 non-adjustable rotors after removal from the shaft.

The output contact side of a non-adjustable rotor on the shaft.

The internal hand-wired set of connections between the input contacts and the output contacts is called a wiring maze. It can be inspected or repaired by removing a metal disc as shown here. The wiring maze of one of these non-adjustable rotors is not designed to be changed.

The output contact sides of all 10 non-adjustable rotors after removal from the shaft.

The shaft with the retaining clip in place to allow 8 rotors to be used instead of 10. A special filler with contacts on both sides is used to fill in the remaining space.

The drive mechanisms that produce the rotation of alternate rotors.

The lower horizontal bar activates cogs that pull forward on the bottoms of rotors 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 (counting from left to right) and rotate them so that the tops of the rotors move AWAY from the keyboard.

The upper horizontal bar activates cogs that pull back on the bottoms of rotors 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 (counting from left to right) and rotate them so that the tops of the rotors move TOWARD the keyboard.

A set of spring-loaded roller-equipped arms lock all 10 rotors into their detent positions.

Highly detailed photographs and explanations of the rotation of the rotors are given in this special rotor page:

A very close view of one of the cogs that move toward the back of the Fialka causing the rotor to rotate its top TOWARD the keyboard.
The cog mechanism and the advance blocking feeler for the second rotor to the right of this one are also visible in the foreground. A much more detailed description, photographs, and tables explain the rotation of the rotors in this link:

The reflector located on the left end of the rotor stack. Notice the siingle bundle of wires coming down out of the reflector. It is thought that these wires are part of a circuit that allows the Fialka to represent more Cyrillic letters than just the 30 activated by the 30 rotor contacts.

The input wheel located on the right end of the rotor stack. The input wheel is connected to the complex switching system seen in the following photographs.

The right side of the Fialka showing the input wheel and associated lever and switch described in detail in the following photograph captions.

A closer view of the input wheel and switch assembly shows the 3 position switch lever on the left and the paper tape punch control lever on the right.

Removing the cover of the input wheel switch assembly shows the internal circuitry and paper tape punch control lever mechanism.

Removing the paper tape punch control lever from the input wheel switch assembly shows the internal circuitry more clearly.

Pulling the circuit board outwards reveals the 7 power diodes and other components.

Pulling the circuit board farther out of the way reveals the switching mechanism that is activated by the lower two positions of the 3 position input wheel switch. The uppermost position of the switch lever does nothing in the M-125-MN Fialka but completely disables rotor rotation and character counter activation in the M-125-3MN Fialka.

The back of the Fialka with the cover removed showing the drive motor. The metal box at the left contains the 5 paper tape punch operating solenoids shown in the next photograph.

The 5 paper tape punch operating solenoids are located under a metal cover in the back right corner of the Fialka.

Detailed Rotor Wiring and Rotation Data, Photographs, and Descriptions may be viewed at this link:

Descriptions of the Power Supply, Cables, Cover and Accessories including a different rotor set will be found after the description of the model M-125- 3MN Fialka.


END of description of the model M-125-MN Fialka



The Model M-125-3MN Fialka:


Descriptions, Photographs, and Partial Disassembly of the M-125-3MN Fialka:

The following section describes and displays the Model M-125-3MN Fialka. This section is followed by, or linked to descriptions and photographs of the Model M-125-MN Fialka, the 24 Volt DC power supply and its cables and the metal cover and accessories including a different rotor set.

The model M-125-3MN Fialka is much more complex than the M-125-MN version with a number of major differences:

Differences between the Model M-125-MN and Model M-125-3MN Fialkas:

The M-125-3MN has many complex features that are not included in the M-125-MN. These include:
1. A multilingual keyboard.
2. A mechanical switch along the right side of the keyboard that modifies keyboard function.
3. A 3-position lever on the back of the Fialka that modifies paper tape punch operation.
4. A large matrix switch that alters the wiring of the programming matrix and therefore the effect of the programming cards.
5. A rotary switch located under the base of the Fialka.
6. A position on the input rotor switch that stops rotation of the rotors and character counting as characters are typed in. 7. An extended copyholder.

All of these features will be shown and described in the following page:


The Model M-125-3MN Fialka:

Descriptions, Photographs, and Partial Disassembly of the M-125-3MN Fialka:
Note: The pictures show a model M-125-3Mp2 Fialka which is very similar to a model M-125-3MN.


External Appearance and Features:

The left side view of the M-125-3MN Fialka shows the copy holder with its extensions, the character counter and the slot for the paper programming card.

The carrier for the paper programming card being pulled out of the left side of the Fialka to allow insertion of the card.

Closer view of the carrier for the paper programming card opening to allow insertion of the card.

Closer view of the contacts that are activated by the programming card.

The underside of the M-125-3MN showing the unique chromed programming card matrix switch lever that changes all of the contacts in the card reader. This switch is not found in the M-125-MN model.

Removing the cover over the switch reveals the complicated mechanism. The lever moves the white plastic central contacts to the right when it is activated as shown in the next photograph. This switch is not found in the M- 125-MN model.

In this photo the lever has moved the white plastic central contacts to the right thus changing the entire wiring of the programming card reader matrix. This switch is not found in the M-125-MN model.

Another unique feature of the M-125-3MN model is this rotary switch that is located near the center of the bottom of the base of the Fialka. This switch is not found in the M-125-MN model.

The Right side of the Fialka showing the copy holder and input wheel levers. The switch under the rotors, and the hole for the hand crank that allows manual operation of the Fialka are just barely visible.


The switch (left) and paper tape control lever (right) on the input wheel switch assembly that is located on the right side of the Fialka. In this M-125-3MN model, the switch in the 0 position as shown disables rotation of the rotors and incrementing of the character counter. In the M-125-MN model, this position of the switch has no effect.

The Rear of the Fialka showing the three position lever that is not found on the M-125.MN model. It is located half way between the center and the left corner. The lever must be pushed downwards to unlock it and allow it to be set to one of the three positions.

A front view of the Fialka showing the keyboard with the paper tape reader on the right and the character counter on the left.

This mechanical switch located under the right side of the keyboard modifies the function of the keyboard. This switch is not found on the Model M-125-MN Fialka.

This picture shows the mechanical switch under the right side of the keyboard with the cover removed. The knurled and slotted activating pin is positioned between the left and right positions. It modifies the function of the keyboard. This switch is not found on the Model M-125-MN Fialka.

The Fialka connected to its 24 volt DC power supply.

The left side of the Fialka connected to its 24 volt DC power supply.

The right side of the Fialka connected to its 24 volt DC power supply.

The 10 rotors after the cover door is opened. The index bar is lowered in place in front of the rotors to allow accurate setting.

Another view of the 10 rotors after the cover door is opened. The index bar is lowered in place in front of the rotors to allow accurate setting.


Appearance and Features of the Fialka seen with cover removed:

A top view of the Fialka with cover removed (3 screws). The power switch and fuses are in the left rear. The paper tape printer ribbon reels, the printer and the paper tape punch are behind the 10 rotors. The brown reflector is on the left end of the rotor stack. The adjustable input wheel is on the right end of the rotor stack. The keyboard and paper tape reader with its manual paper tape feed wheel are in front.

A closer view of the power switch, fuses, the paper tape printer ribbon spools, the printer, and the punch mechanism. The unique 3 position lever is seen extending upwards from the rear of the mechanism.

A view of the back of the Fialka after removal of the cover. Note the 3-position lever to the left of the center of the machine. It appears to modify the functioning of the paper tape punch mechanism. This lever is not found on the model M-125-MN Fialka.

Note the metal box on the left corner of the mechanism. It houses the paper tape punch solenoids as shown in the next photograph.

The 5 paper tape punch operating solenoids are located under a metal cover in the back right corner of the Fialka. Note also the 3-position switch lever with the three detent positions located in back of and below the colored wires. It is located in front of the manual mechanism drive wheel with its arrow indicating the correct direction of rotation.

The left side view of the Fialka with the cover removed showing the programming card holder under the rotors and the reflector.

Another left side view of the Fialka with the cover removed showing the programming card holder pulled all the way out and opened to accept a programming card.

A close view of the programming card holder pulled all the way out and opened to accept a programming card.

Front view of the Fialka showing the 10 rotors with the index bar in place to facilitate setting the rotor positions accurately.

A closer view of the 10 rotors with the index bar raised to permit removal of the rotor stack.
The two rounded levers that push the reflector on the left and the input wheel on the right inward have been pulled forward so that the reflector and input wheel may be pushed outwards to allow the rotor stack to be removed.
The brown color of the rotors indicates that they are the Non-Adjustable rotors. The black multi-adjustable rotors are described later under accessories and in the special detailed section on rotors and rotor movement.


The 10 rotor stack of brown, Non-adjustable rotors is shown here after removal from the Fialka.

The input contact sides of one of the 10 non-adjustable rotors after removal from the rotor shaft. Note the grease which lubricates the rotor and improves contact reliability.

The output contact side of one of the 10 non-adjustable rotors after removal from the rotor shaft.

The internal hand-wired set of connections between the input contacts and the output contacts is called a wiring maze. It can be inspected or repaired by removing a metal disc as shown here. The wiring of these non-adjustable rotors is not designed to be changed.


NOTE: Please refer to the description of the M-125-MN Fialka (above) for a more complete set of photographs and descriptions of these brown non- adjustable rotors. The black multi-adjustable rotors are described in detail in the section on accessories at the bottom of this page.

The drive mechanisms that produce the rotation of alternate rotors.

The lower horizontal bar activates cogs that pull forward on the bottoms of rotors 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 (counting from left to right) and rotate them so that the tops of the rotors move AWAY from the keyboard.

The upper horizontal bar activates cogs that pull back on the bottoms of rotors 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 (counting from left to right) and rotate them so that the tops of the rotors move TOWARD the keyboard.

A set of 10 spring-loaded arms with rollers holds the 10 rotors in their detent positions.

Highly detailed photographs and explanations of the rotation of the rotors are given in this special rotor page.

A very close view of one of the cogs that move toward the back of the Fialka causing the rotor to rotate its top TOWARD the keyboard.
The cog mechanism and the advance blocking feeler for the second rotor to the right of this one are also visible in the foreground. Much more detailed descriptions, photographs, and tables explain the rotation of the rotors in this link:

The reflector located on the left end of the rotor stack. Notice the three bundles of wires coming down out of the reflector. The Model M-125-MN has only a single bundle of wires exiting the reflector. It is thought that these wires may be part of a circuit that allows the Fialka to represent more Cyrillic letters than just the 30 represented by the 30 rotor contacts and keyboard keys.

The input wheel located on the right end of the rotor stack. The input wheel is connected to the complex switching system seen in the following photographs.

A closer view of the input wheel and switch assembly shows the 3 position switch lever on the left and the paper tape control lever on the right. Notice that the 3-position switch is in the uppermost position. In this position, it disables rotation of the rotors and incrementing of the character counter. It does not have any function in the top position in the M-125-MN Fialka.

Removing the cover of the input wheel switch assembly shows the internal circuitry and paper tape punch control lever mechanism.

Removing the paper tape punch control lever from the input wheel switch assembly shows the internal circuitry more clearly.

Pulling the circuit board outwards reveals the 7 power diodes and other components.

Pulling the circuit board farther out of the way reveals the switching mechanism that is activated by the lower two positions of the 3 position input wheel switch.
The uppermost position ( "O" ) of the switch lever completely disables rotor rotation and character counter activation in the M-125-3MN Fialka. It has no effect at all on the functioning of the M-125-MN Fialka.


Detailed Rotor Information including Wiring, Rotation Data, Photographs, and Descriptions may be viewed at this link:


END of description of the model M-125-3MN Fialka



ROTOR Technical Descriptions and Wiring Data for the M-125-MN and M-125-3MN Russian Fialka Cipher Machines

Prof. Tom Perera Ph. D. and David Hamer Ph. D.
( Copyright (c) 2005 )


Introduction, Rotor Descriptions and Rotor Wiring Data:


Differences Between the Fialka Rotors and Those of Other Cipher Machines:

Rotor Rotation Direction:
One of the differences is that the Fialka rotates each of its 10 rotors in a direction that is opposite to that of each neighboring rotor. Other cipher machines have rotors that all turn in the same direction. The rotor advance blocking pins that control the rotation of individual rotors are described and the locations of all pins for all rotors are given in a table below.

Unique Rotors:
Another difference is that the Fialka can use both a simple, non-adjustable set of rotors or an extremely unique and complex set of multi-adjustable modular-wiring-matrix rotors that allow a very large number of internal wiring variations. These simple and complex rotors are described in detail below and their internal wiring data is presented in a comprehensive table.

Detailed Descriptions of the Rotors and Rotor Wiring:


Rotor Overview:
There are two different sets of 10-rotors that fit into the Fialka. The rotors in one set are very simple and they are non-adjustable. Each rotor has a fixed wiring maze connecting the 30 input connections to the 30 output connections. This non-adjustable set will be described first below.

The other 10-rotor set consists of multi-adjustable rotors. Each rotor in this set has both an adjustable external ring setting with 30 possible positions and a modular wiring matrix that can be removed and reinserted in 60 different orientations. This modular wiring matrix allows the rotors to have a total of 60 unique and different internal wiring layouts.

Non-Adjustable Rotor Set:

This set consists of 10 brown-colored rotors that are identified by the first 10 letters of the Russian Cyrillic Alphabet.

Input Contacts:
Each rotor has 30 contacts that are identified by 30 letters of the Cyrillic Alphabet that are stamped around the outer ring of the rotor. The contacts receive electrical voltages from the input wheel on the right side of the Fialka and are therefore called the input contacts. These contacts are on the RIGHT side of the rotors when they are inserted into the Fialka. The RIGHT side of the rotors face the input wheel which on the far right side of the Fialka and which carries the voltages from the keyboard to the rotor stack.

The Thirty Input Contacts for the Non-Adjustable Rotor "A". The heavy lubricating grease lubricates the contacts and eases rotation.

Output Contacts:
The other side of the rotor contains the 30 output contacts that pass the electrical voltage out of the rotor and LEFT to the next rotor in the stack or to the reflector at the far left. Each of these output contacts is identified by a letter from the Russian Cyrillic Alphabet that is stamped on the outer ring of the rotor.

The Thirty Output Contacts for the Non-Adjustable Rotor "A".

The non-adjustable rotors can be disassembled to allow access to the wiring maze but no changes can be made to the maze. To access the wiring, this metal disc is rotated until it releases the brass central shaft as shown in the next photograph.

The metal disc has been rotated until it releases the brass central shaft.

The metal disc and the insulating fiber washer have been moved aside to reveal the hand-wired wiring maze. Access to the wiring maze makes it easier to repair any cold-soldered joints.

The wiring maze is shown in this photograph.

Here is a closer view of the wiring maze.

Specific Wiring Data for all Non-Adjustable Rotors:
The 30 wired connections between the 30 input contacts and the 30 output contacts are fixed and can not be changed. The Cyrillic letter stamped on the outer ring and associated with each contact is also fixed and can not be changed. The exact wiring between the 30 input and output connections is given for each of the 10 rotors in a table below. This table shows the Cyrillic and the corresponding numerical identifier for each of the 30 INPUT contacts in a column on the left side of the table. The OUTPUT contact that is fixed-wired to each of the input contacts is given by the number in the table under the Cyrillic letter identifying each of the 10 rotors. To convert this number back into its corresponding Cyrillic letter, just use the column on the left.


**SPECIAL NOTE: The column on the far right side of the table shows the output contacts that are connected to the 30 input contacts of MULTI- ADJUSTABLE ROTOR "K" WHEN THE REMOVABLE MODULAR WIRING MAZE HAS BEEN REMOVED AND REVERSED SO THAT SIDE "2" FACES OUTWARDS AND THE INDEX MARK POINTS TO THE CYRILLIC LETTER "A". For a further description of this setting, please see the information on the multi-adjustable rotors below:


Rotor Rotation Advance Blocking Pins:
The actual rotation of the rotors is controlled by the placement of the metal pins adjacent to each of the contacts. These pins block or lock-out the drive mechanism and determine which rotors will not rotate. This photograph shows several of the pins and several of the un-pinned locations. A detailed table showing the locations of all of the pins in all of the rotors may be found below.

Although all known Fialka rotors have exactly the same rotor advance blocking pin placements it is possible, with a considerable amount of effort, to change the placements. These pins can be removed from the rotors and inserted into other holes but it is quite difficult to do this. It does not appear to be a real adjustment of the rotor but rather an assembly convenience and perhaps a provision for a major engineering revision. To remove the pins, the 6 screws holding the outer ring plate must be unscrewed. Each screw is covered with red paint that both makes it difficult to unscrew, and also reveals any attempts to do so. After the outer ring plate is removed, the pins drop out of their cylindrical holes and can be repositioned. This is so difficult and complex that for field and operational use, it can safely be assumed that these pins are always to be found in the positions shown in the table.

This is a close view of the rotation advance blocking pins for one of the rotors:

Table showing and explaining the rotation advance blocking pin locations for all 10 rotors:

ROTOR ADVANCE BLOCKING PIN LOCATIONS FOR NON-ADJUSTABLE AND MULTI-ADJUSTABLE MODULAR-WIRING-MAZE ROTORS FOR RUSSIAN M-125-MN AND M-125-3MN FIALKA CIPHER MACHINES

Copyright 2005: Tom Perera Ph. D. and David Hamer Ph. D.

This table gives the locations of the advance blocking pins for the Non- Adjustable and Multi-Adjustable Fialka Rotors. These pins determine whether the rotor will advance or not as each letter is typed in. These pins block the advance of rotors by blocking specific advance cogs underneath the rotor stack.

The advance blocking pins (marked with an "x" for each rotor in the table) are located at the position identified by the Cyrillic letter and contact number shown in the column on the left. EXAMPLE: For rotor "A" there is no rotor advance blocking pin in position 1 which is marked with the Cyrillic letter "A". There is, however, a blocking pin located at position 2.

Please note that this table only gives the actual physical location of the advance blocking pins. The rotor advance sequence is as shown but the actual point of advance is different from these locations. The actual position where the cogs engage and drive the rotors is described below:

Please also note that the Non-Adjustable and Multi-Adjustable rotors are identical ONLY when the multi-adjustable rotors are set to their overall 'BASE' setting. In the overall BASE setting, the outer lettered ring is set so that the Cyrillic letter "A" is Adjacent to the Cyrillic letter "A" on the main rotor frame. Then the internal modular wiring maze is removed and placed back into the rotor so that its index mark points to the Cyrillic letter "A" and so that its side "1" is facing outward. Please see the accompanying text for an explanation of the special multi-adjustable modular-wiring-maze rotors.

NOTES ON THE ROTATION OF THE ROTORS:

Rotors 2, 4, 6, 8 & 10 (reading from left-to-right)

The actual advancing of rotors 2, 4, 6, 8 & 10 is activated by a drive cog that engages the rotor at position 18 (When the rotor is set to the "A" position). An advance blocking pin in the rotor in this position (position 18) will block the rotation of any of these even-numbered rotors to the RIGHT of that rotor. As the rotors rotate, the place that the advancing cog engages the rotor changes accordingly.

Rotors 2, 4, 6, 8 & 10 Rotate their upper letters AWAY from the keyboard. Their rotation is driven by rotor 2 which drives rotors 4, 6, 8 & 10 in that order. For these 5 rotors, ANY Rotor Advance Blocking Pins existing in the drive slot of a rotor to the LEFT of a given rotor will prevent it from rotating. In other words, a Rotor Advance Blocking Pin blocks the rotation of any of these 5 rotors to the RIGHT of the rotor that has the pin. Rotor Advance Blocking Pin locations are given in an accompanying table.

Rotors 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9 (reading from left-to-right)

The actual advancing of rotors 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9 is activated by a drive cog that engages the rotor at position 21 (When the rotor is set to the "A" position). An advance blocking pin in the rotor in this position (position 21) will block the rotation of any of these odd-numbered rotors to the LEFT of that rotor. As the rotors rotate, the place that the advancing cog engages the rotor changes accordingly.

Rotors 9, 7, 5, 3 & 1 Rotate their upper letters TOWARD the keyboard. Their rotation is driven by rotor 9 which drives rotors 7, 5, 3 & 1 in that order. For these 5 rotors, ANY Rotor Advance Blocking Pins existing in the drive slot of a rotor to the RIGHT of a given rotor will prevent it from rotating. In other words, a Rotor Advance Blocking Pin blocks the rotation of any of these 5 rotors to the LEFT of the rotor that has the pin. Rotor Advance Blocking Pin locations are given in an accompanying table.


Sample Rotor Rotation Data:
Sample rotation data for all 10 rotors for the first 20 letters typed into the Fialka are shown in a table below:

SAMPLE ROTOR ADVANCING DATA FOR NON-ADJUSTABLE AND MULTI-ADJUSTABLE MODULAR-WIRING-MAZE ROTORS FOR RUSSIAN M-125-MN AND M-125-3MN FIALKA CIPHER MACHINES

Copyright 2005: Tom Perera Ph. D. and David Hamer Ph. D.

This table gives sample rotor advancing data for the first 20 letters typed into a Fialka for all 10 rotors after the rotors have been set to starting position: A A A A A A A A A A. This table applies to both the Non-Adjustable and Multi-Adjustable rotors when the Multi-Adjustable rotors are set to their BASE ring setting. (This BASE setting of the multi-adjustable rotors has all Cyrillic letter "A"s on the outer ring set Adjacent to the Cyrillic letter "A"s on the inner ring of the rotor). The table has been constructed in the following way:

First, each of the 10 rotors was inserted into the Fialka as shown at the very top of the table with rotor "A (1)" on the far left and rotor "K (10)" on the far right. (The rotors have been given numbers for convenience in understanding the paragraphs in the next section:)

Then All 10 rotors were manually rotated to position "A". (The state in which all rotors are set to position "A" is shown in the table as 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 in the top row of the table.

Finally, 20 letters were typed into the Fialka. Each letter caused some of the rotors to rotate. The position that each of the 10 rotors had reached after each letter was entered is shown in the table by a number that corresponds to a Cyrillic Letter on the outer ring of the rotor.

These numbers may be converted into their Cyrillic letter equivalents by using the column on the right side of the table which is just placed there as a convenience in making the conversions.

NOTES ON THE ROTATION OF THE ROTORS:

Rotors 2, 4, 6, 8 & 10 (reading from left-to-right)

Rotors 2, 4, 6, 8 & 10 Rotate their upper letters AWAY from the keyboard. Their rotation is driven by rotor 2 which drives rotors 4, 6, 8 & 10 in that order. For these 5 rotors, ANY Rotor Advance Blocking Pins existing in the drive slot of a rotor to the LEFT of a given rotor will prevent it from rotating. In other words, a Rotor Advance Blocking Pin blocks the rotation of any of these 5 rotors to the RIGHT of the rotor that has the pin. Rotor Advance Blocking Pin locations are given in an accompanying table.

The actual advancing of rotors 2, 4, 6, 8 & 10 is activated by a drive cog that engages the rotor at position 18 (When the rotor is set to the "A" position). An advance blocking pin in the rotor in this position (position 18) will block the rotation of any of these even-numbered rotors to the RIGHT of that rotor. As the rotors rotate, the place that the advancing cog engages the rotor changes accordingly.

Rotors 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9 (reading from left-to-right)

Rotors 9, 7, 5, 3 & 1 Rotate their upper letters TOWARD the keyboard. Their rotation is driven by rotor 9 which drives rotors 7, 5, 3 & 1 in that order. For these 5 rotors, ANY Rotor Advance Blocking Pins existing in the drive slot of a rotor to the RIGHT of a given rotor will prevent it from rotating. In other words, a Rotor Advance Blocking Pin blocks the rotation of any of these 5 rotors to the LEFT of the rotor that has the pin. Rotor Advance Blocking Pin locations are given in an accompanying table.

The actual advancing of rotors 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9 is activated by a drive cog that engages the rotor at position 21 (When the rotor is set to the "A" position). An advance blocking pin in the rotor in this position (position 21) will block the rotation of any of these odd-numbered rotors to the LEFT of that rotor. As the rotors rotate, the place that the advancing cog engages the rotor changes accordingly.


EXAMPLE OF THE USE OF THIS TABLE:

Suppose you insert all Fialka rotors such that the rotors are in the order shown at the top of the table.

Suppose you set all Fialka rotors to the letter "A" position.

Suppose you would like to predict the rotation of rotor 4 as you type in 5 letters.

1. Remember that the drive cog for rotors 2, 4, 6, 8 & 10 is located at position 18 (Very Important).

2. Look at the table that shows the locations of the rotor advance blocking pins.

3. Note that there is an advance blocking pin in location 18.

4. This means that when you type in the first letter, the drive wheel "2" will rotate but the advance blocking pin will prevent rotor "4" from being turned.

5. You will see in this table that rotor "4" does not rotate as the first letter is typed.

6. Now type in another letter. The drive rotor, number "2" has moved so that the drive cog engages position 17 and the table shows that position 17 has an advance blocking pin in place preventing rotor 4 from turning.

7. Typing in two more letters advances the drive rotor "2" 2 more positions but rotor advance blocking pins are in place in positions 16 and 15 so rotor 4 still does not turn.

8. Now, type in another letter. The drive cog now turns the drive rotor at position 14 where there is NO rotor advance blocking pin. Without a drive advance blocking pin in place, rotor "4" is also rotated and turns to position 30. (This means that the drive advancing cog is now located at position 17.) Since the table shows that rotor 4 has a drive blocking pin in position 17, it does not allow rotors 6, 8, or 10 to turn.) Drive blocking pins prevent the even numbered rotors to the right from turning.


Multi-Adjustable Modular-Wiring Maze Rotor Set:


This set consists of 10 black-colored rotors that are identified by the first 10 letters of the Russian Cyrillic Alphabet.

Input Contacts:
Each rotor has 30 contacts that are identified by 30 letters of the Cyrillic Alphabet. They receive electrical voltages from the input wheel on the right side of the Fialka and are called the input contacts. These contacts are on the RIGHT side of the rotors when they are inserted into the Fialka. The RIGHT side of the rotors face the input wheel which on the far right side of the Fialka and which carries the voltages from the keyboard to the rotor stack.

The Thirty Input Contacts for Multi-Adjustable Rotor "A".

Output Contacts:
The other side of the rotors have the 30 output contacts that pass the electrical voltage out of the rotor and LEFT to the next rotor in the stack or to the reflector at the far left. Each of these output contacts is identified by a letter from the Russian Cyrillic Alphabet. If you look closely at the output contacts you may be able to see the "A 1" that identifies side 1 of the removable modular wiring maze for rotor "A".

The Thirty Output Contacts for the Multi-Adjustable Rotor "A".

Adjusting the Multi-Adjustable Rotors:
The Ten multi-adjustable rotors can have their ring settings set to any one of 30 possible locations. They can also have their removable modular wiring mazes set to any one of 60 possible locations. These settings are explained below:

Ring Settings:
The outer ring has 30 Cyrillic letters and any one of these letters may be set across from the index mark by pushing a spring-loaded locking pin inwards as shown below:

In this picture, the Cyrillic letter "A" has been set to the index mark which, as you will see from the next photograph, is also the outer ring setting letter "A". When the outer ring is set to this position, it is said to be in the BASE ring setting position.

This is a closer view of the BASE ring setting in which the outer letter "A" is set across from the inner letter "A".

This is a view of the spring loaded locking pin on a different rotor. Again, the outer ring has been set to the BASE ring setting in which the outer letter "A" is set across from the inner letter "A".

Setting the removable modular wiring mazes:
The 30 wired connections between the 30 input contacts and the 30 output contacts are made by a modular removable wiring maze. The modular wiring maze is removed from the rotor by following the steps shown in the next photographs: First, the retaining disc is rotated until it is released from the brass central shaft:

The removable modular wiring maze is removed by first releasing this metal disc by rotating it so that it is no longer retained by the central brass cylinder:

In this photograph, the retaining disc has been released from the brass cylinder.

In this photograph, the retaining disc has been moved aside to reveal the modular wiring maze. Note that the maze has a Cyrillic letter and a number. The Cyrillic letters on the mazes correspond to the letters of the 10 rotors BUT, ANY MAZE may be inserted into ANY of the 10 rotors. You are looking at side 1 of the modular wiring maze "A". It can be flipped upside down to reveal side 2. Please also note that the modular wiring maze has a white line index mark that is pointing to the Cyrillic letter "A". WHEN THE INDEX MARK ON SIDE 1 OF THE MODULAR WIRING MAZE IS FACING OUTWARDS AND POINTING TO THE CYRILLIC LETTER "A", THE WIRING MAZE IS IN THE "BASE" POSITION. When the maze AND the ring setting are in the BASE position, the rotor is in the OVERALL BASE SETTING and it exactly corresponds to the like-lettered non-adjustable rotor.

In this photograph, the modular wiring maze has been removed from the rotor.

This is a close view of the index mark on the modular wiring maze. The maze is oriented so that side 1 is facing outwards. The large figures "A1" show that you are looking at side 1 of modular wiring maze "A". The small figures A 1 printed around the outside of the modular wiring maze are put in that position to allow the letter and number of the maze to be read even when the metal disc holding the modular wiring maze is locked in place.

In this photograph, the index mark of the modular wiring maze has been set to the Cyrillic letter "B" position.

In the following photograph, the modular wiring maze has been removed from rotor "K" and flipped upside down so that side 2 is facing outwards. The index mark on the modular wiring maze is pointing to the Cyrillic letter "A". NOTE: This is the setting of adjustable rotor "K" that is shown in the wiring table in the column on the far right. The heading of this column is: REVERSED K. This means that multi-adjustable rotor "K" has had its internal modular "K" wiring maze flipped to the position shown in this photograph. This special wiring data set in the right column is shown to try to help clarify what happens to the wired relationship between the 30 input contacts and 30 output contacts when the removable modular wiring maze is reversed in the way shown in this photograph. Of course, there are a total of 60 possible orientations of the removable modular wiring maze within the rotor but it is hoped that showing the data for this one orientation will help researchers extrapolate all of the other possibilities from this known wiring.

This photograph shows rotor "K" with its removable modular wiring maze FLIPPED OVER OR REVERSED so that side "2" of the maze is facing outward and its index mark is pointing to the letter "A" position. THIS IS THE SETTING OF ROTOR "K" THAT IS REFERRED TO AS "REVERSED K" IN THE COLUMN ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE ROTOR WIRING TABLE. The wiring data shown in the right column of the table show the connections between the input contacts and the output contacts when the modular wiring maze is reversed in rotor "K" so that it is in this position.

It is important to remember that the wiring mazes from one rotor can be removed and reinserted into any other rotor in 60 different orientations. Please notice that the modular wiring maze has both an index mark and a Cyrillic letter and a number 1 or 2. The modular wiring maze can be inserted into a rotor with the index mark pointing to any of the 30 Cyrillic letter- identified locations around the rotor. The modular wiring maze can be inserted into the rotor with either side 1 or side 2 facing up. The "BASE" positioning of a modular wiring maze is when the index mark points to the Cyrillic letter "A" and side 1 is facing outward.

In addition to the 60 possible insertion positions of the modular wiring maze, remember that these multi-adjustable rotors can also have their outer Cyrillic letter ring rotated to any of 30 positions. When letter "A" on the outer ring is adjacent to letter "A" on the rotor, the rotor is set to the BASE ring setting.

Specific Wiring Data for all Multi-Adjustable Rotors:
When the Multi-Adjustable rotor is set to the base position with the modular wiring maze index pointed to the Cyrillic letter "A" and side 1 facing out AND when the outer letter ring is set so that the Cyrillic letter "A" on the outer ring is adjacent to the Cyrillic letter "A" on the output face of the rotor, the rotor is in its OVERALL "BASE" position.

The exact wiring between the 30 input and 30 output connections for the 10 multi-adjustable rotors set to the OVERALL BASE position is identical to the wiring of the non-adjustable rotors and it is shown in the previous wiring data table. This table shows the Cyrillic and the corresponding numerical identifier for each of the 30 INPUT contacts in a column on the left side of the table. The OUTPUT contact that is wired to each of the input contacts is given by the number in the table under the Cyrillic letter identifying each of the 10 rotors. To convert this number back into its corresponding Cyrillic letter, just use the column on the left.

Redundant Note: The table applies to both the Non-Adjustable rotor set and the Multi-Adjustable rotor set AS LONG AS THE MULTI-ADJUSTABLE ROTORS ARE SET TO THE BASE POSITION. One final column is presented in the table to show the internal wiring of multi-adjustable rotor "K" when the rotor ring setting is first set to the base position and then the modular wiring maze is flipped upside-down so that side "2" is facing out and the index mark is adjacent to the Cyrillic Letter "A". With this wiring data it is possible to determine by extrapolation, the exact internal wiring data for the multi-adjustable rotors for any of the 60 possible insertion positions of the modular wiring maze.

Rotor Rotation Advance Blocking Pins:
The actual rotation of the rotors is controlled by the placement of the metal pins adjacent to each of the contacts. These pins block or lock-out the drive mechanism and determine which rotors will not rotate. This photograph shows several of the pins and several of the un-pinned locations. A detailed table of the locations of all of the pins in all of the rotors may be found above.

Although all known Fialka rotors have exactly the same rotor advance blocking pin placements it is possible, with a considerable amount of effort, to change the placements. These pins can be removed from the rotors and inserted into other holes but it is quite difficult to do this. It does not appear to be a real adjustment of the rotor but rather an assembly convenience and perhaps a provision for a major engineering revision. To remove the pins, the 6 screws holding the outer ring plate must be unscrewed. Each screw is covered with red paint that both makes it difficult to unscrew, and also reveals any attempts to do so. After the outer ring plate is removed, the pins drop out of their cylindrical holes and can be repositioned. This is so difficult and complex that for field and operational use, it can safely be assumed that these pins are always to be found in the positions shown in the table.

This is a close view of the rotation advance blocking pins for multi- adjustable rotor "A".

Sample Rotor Rotation Data:
Sample rotation data for all 10 rotors for the first 20 letters typed into the Fialka are shown in a table above.



Fialka 24 Volt Power Supply and Cables:

Descriptions, Photographs and partial disassembly:

The following section describes and displays the Fialka 24 Volt Power Supply and cables. This section is followed by, or linked to descriptions and photographs of the Model M-125-MN and Model M-125-3MN Fialkas, and the metal cover and accessories including a different rotor set.


The front of the Fialka 24 volt DC power supply.

The right side of the Fialka 24 volt DC power supply showing the compartment for storing the cables that connect the Fialka to the power supply.

The right side of the Fialka 24 volt DC power supply after the cover is removed. The power transformer and filter condensers are visible.

The left side of the Fialka 24 volt DC power supply after the cover is removed. The voltage regulating circuitry is visible.

A close view of the back of the Fialka 24 volt DC power supply showing the cable connectors.

Two of the cables that connect the Fialka to its 24 volt power supply.

A third cable that connects the Fialka to its 24 volt power supply.



Fialka Cover, Accessories, and Multi-Adjustable Modular Wiring Matrix rotor set:

Descriptions, and Photographs:

The following section describes and displays the metal cover for the Fialka and a set of accessories that may accompany the machine. This section is followed by, or linked to descriptions and photographs of the 24 Volt Power Supply and cables, and the Model M-125-MN and Model M-125-3MN Fialkas.


A metal cover protects the Fialka from damage in transit and contains a variable number of accessories.

The back of the cover has two metal skids that hold it up.

The inside of the cover may contain accessories as shown. These accessories may include a hand crank, a spacer, additional print wheels, and a different set of rotors.

This is the hand crank that may be found inside the cover.

The additional print wheels, if included, are stored inside protective white plastic covers and stacked on a shaft along with a spacer that allows a reduced number of rotors to be installed on the shaft.

The additional print wheels are shown along with the retaining clips and spacer after their protective white covers have been removed.

This is a closer view of the additional print wheels.

An additional set of rotors may be provided. This rotor set may be a duplicate of the Brown, Non-Adjustable rotors or a set of the Black Multi- Adjustable Modular Wiring Matrix rotors:

The additional set of rotors, if present, is stored in a protective metal case.

The Brown, Non-Adjustable rotor set has already been shown and described above and in the special detailed page explaining the rotors.
This is the special set of Black Multi-Adjustable Modular Wiring Maze rotors. The retaining clip that holds the rotors on the shaft is also shown.


The input contact side of all 10 Black Multi-Adjustable Modular Wiring Maze rotors after they have been removed from the shaft.

This photograph shows the special retaining clip location that allows 8 of the rotors to be mounted on the shaft instead of 10. An accessory spacer fills in the rest of the rotor stack width.

A close view of the input contacts on one of the 10 Black Multi-Adjustable Modular Wiring Maze rotors.

The output contact side of all 10 Black Multi-Adjustable Modular Wiring Maze rotors after they have been removed from the shaft.

The output contacts on one of the 10 Black Multi-Adjustable Modular Wiring Maze rotors.

The adjustable outer ring setting on one of the 10 Black Multi-Adjustable Modular Wiring Maze rotors. Pushing the pin inwards allows the outer ring to be rotated to any of the 30 positions.

The removable reversible wiring maze module is shown being removed from one of the 10 Black Multi-Adjustable Modular Wiring Maze rotors. It is removed by releasing the metal retaining disc. Much more information on rotors, rotor movement, and the exact internal wiring data is given in: this special rotor description and data page:

More detailed Rotor Wiring and Rotation Data, Photographs, and Descriptions may be viewed at this link:



NOTE: I AM ALWAYS INTERESTED IN PHOTOGRAPHING OR BUYING VERY UNUSUAL ENIGMA-RELATED MATERIALS, PARTS, EARLY COMPUTERS, AND TELEGRAPH KEYS !


Professor Thomas B. Perera
Montclair State University

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