Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Runic Translator

This brass runic translator comes to us from Finnish artist Janne Aaltonen.  The rotating central cylinder allows the user to transliterate one alphabet to another.  It also happens to be a USB drive.


Raven said...

My eyes bugged out when I saw this. I showed it to my wife, who uttered, "Kewl; want!"

(Ah, marital harmony...)

Kaunis työtä! Hyvin tehty, herra Aaltonen!

CoastConFan said...

That’s really an outstanding piece of work. I like the fact that it’s hand wrought brass, because there’s nothing like using classic materials for a prop. In setting up a scenario where there is a code, consider the ancient scytale as a quick and easy method. The players find the strip of paper and can’t figure it out unless they have the key. http://www.australianscience.com.au/technology/a-scytale-cryptography-of-the-ancient-sparta/

A PDF about the Bazeries Cylinder if you add a code such as a form of telegraph code on top of using the cylinder, you have a nearly unbreakable message. On top of that you can make players retrieve the individual wheels as part of play so they can assemble the machine – whee! http://derekbruff.org/blogs/fywscrypto/files/2010/11/Bazeries-Essay-2.pdf

You can buy a copy of the wheel here if you don’t want to make one http://www.shopretroworks.com/Retroworks-Secret-Cipher-Wheel-Jefferson/dp/B00HWJ9KIU or buy the more expensive, but prettier version http://www.shopretroworks.com/Retroworks-Large-Cryptex/dp/B00JIUJTAU


For a very good book about historical ciphers and code tools and cipher devices, try Codes, Ciphers & Other Cryptic & Clandestine Communications (1998) by Fred WriXon. It’s well worth the read for the historical information.

gndn said...

Very impressive. Might raise some eyebrows with the TSA, though.