Using the Excel Paper Model to encrypt a message

A project log for Mystery 6502 program for the Kim Uno #1kBChallenge

The #1kBChallenge inspired me to dust off the Kim-Uno and write an Enigma Z30 simulator. This is a very rare numbers only Enigma Machine.

Arduino EnigmaArduino Enigma 12/18/2016 at 15:520 Comments

First, get the Excel Paper Model of the Enigma Z30 here: ENIGMA Z ROTOR DEFINITIONS v3.xlsx

Once the file is opened, find the following section on the left panel of the Enigma tab.

This is the control panel where the Enigma Z30 model is operated.

Data can only be entered on the white squares.

On the Key In row, the number to encode can be entered

On the Rotor Types row, the left, middle and right rotors can be set, use the 1, 2 an 3 rotors only once. The reflector is fixed to type 4 and cannot be altered.

Below, on the Ring Setting row, each rotor can have its stepping point and relative position of the contacts altered. When the ring setting is 1, the rotor steps at the 9 -> 0 transition. If the ring setting is 0, the rotor steps at the 8 -> 9 transition, if set to 2, it steps at 0 -> 1. Each rotor, including the reflector can have its own different ring setting.

The Rotor Vis row sets each rotor position. Every time a new key is encoded, first the rotors advance to the next position, and then the key is encoded. The next rotor position is shown a few lines below in the Next Rotor row. In the example shown, the rotors were originally set to 4 3 2 0 and when the key 5 was pressed, the machine changed the rotors to 4 3 2 1 and then encoded 5 into a 9.

The encrypted value for the entry key is shown in the Key Out row. In this example, 5 encrypts to 9.

As an aid to encrypting text, two conversion fields are shown at the bottom, one converts letters A..Z to numerical values 01..26 and the other field converts a number in the range 01..26 to a letter A..Z


To encode some values with a starting rotor position of 0 0 0 0, set the machine as shown below. The 9 encrypting to 5 is for a starting position of 9 9 9 9, which advances the rotors to 0 0 0 0. Don't use that value. At this point, just set the Rotor Visible position.

Note the Next Rotor position is 0 0 0 1. Before starting to encrypt anything, copy that rotor position values from the Next Rotor row to the Rotor Vis row.

Notice that 9 now encrypts to 1. That is the correct encrypted value for a starting position of 0 0 0 0. If the key to encrypt was a 9, note the Key Out value of 1. If the value to encrypt was not a 9, simply change it and the Key Out will show the correct output value. Afterwards, advance the rotors to 0 0 0 2 by copying the Next Rotor values to Rotor Vis.

Once a stepping point is reached, the Paper Model will automatically step the appropriate rotor and show the Next Rotor value.

Different enigma machines models use either a lever or gear stepping mechanism. The gear driven ones behave like a car odometer and advance the numbers correctly. The ones with lever driven stepping mechanism behave a little differently, any rotor at its stepping point, on the next key press will increment itself and the rotor to its left. This is known as the double stepping anomaly. An example is shown below.

The sequence above shows a starting position of 8 8 8 8 and the number 4 being encrypted 4 times, the output value on the first frame is disregarded, as this frame only sets the starting position of 8 8 8 8 to determine the next position of 8 8 8 9 once the key 4 is pushed. Thus 4444 encrypts to 7600


To encrypt text. Type something in the text editor of your choice.

Enter the first letter in the Paper Model to obtain its numeric code of 20.

Replace all T with 20

Repeat until all characters have been converted

then arrange in groups of 4 numbers

an X (24) can be inserted to pad an incomplete group

then encrypt as usual.


To create an actual encrypted message, start by reading the key table for today.

 |Tag |  Walzenlage  |   Ringstellung  |   Kenngruppen   |
 | 18 | 2    3    1  |  3   8   7   1  | 537 183 547 654 |

The first column is the day of the month. The second column sets the rotor types and order. The next column is the ring setting values. Finally on the last column there are some indicator values to embed in the message to indicate the key used.

To set the machine with this values. Type [AD] 0050 [DA] 02+03+01+03+08+07+01

The paper model can be set as follows:

Then execute the enigma program by typing [AD] 0500 [GO]

Select a random message starting position 8497 and select a random message key 8351.

Set the wheels to 8497 and encrypt 8351

If using the paper model, remember to set the Rotor Visible value, then step the rotors by copying the Next Rotor value to Rotor Vis and entering the Key In value. This yields 7, the first value of the encrypted message key.

The random message key of 8351 encrypts to 7800. Set the Rotor Visible wheels to 7800. The use of a random starting position and random message key ensures messages with the same clear text encrypt to different cyphertexts.

Encrypt the rest of the message

Now we put everything together. The random message starting position and the random message key are listed on the first line. The next line starts with a message indicator of 5475. The first three numbers must match any of the groups listed on the last column. This assures the recipient that the correct key is used. A random number was added to 547 to pad it to a group of 4 characters. Then, include the rest of the message.
8497 8351
5475 9451 6340 5542 2888 4592
Before this sequence of numbers is given to the radio operator to send over the air, you may want to add a header indicating how many groups of 4 characters are in this message and a message sequence number.

To decrypt a received message. Confirm the correct key by matching the first group of numbers in the second row to one of the possible message indicators for the day. Set the machine rotor wheel types and ring settings. Move the rotors to the first group of numbers. Type the second group of numbers to get the message key. Move the rotors to the message key and start decrypting from the second group of numbers in the second row.

Now that you have the theory behind encrypting messages with the Enigma Z30 machine, head over to

and give this message a go.