Last weekend, the 18th annual meeting of the Military Radio Collectors Group was held in San Luis Obispo, California, at Camp San Luis Obispo’s NCO club. The event included equipment displays, presentations, field operations and a swap meet. I had a great time, and nearly every other comment I heard about this year’s meet was positive. I’m already looking forward to next year’s annual meeting, as well as the occasional field events we’ll probably have throughout the year.
Soviet military equipment.
A collector who just bought a Fialka cipher machine asked me how to load the paper tape, which is tricky until you’ve done it a few times. Here’s how I load the wide paper tape (for printing and/or punching) into my Czechoslovakian M-125-3 machine. His machine is a Polish M-125, but hopefully the paper path is about the same (I’ve never handled the earlier model of Fialka, so I’m not sure about that). The paper tape path is a bit different when using the narrower print-only paper tape, but I don’t have any to demonstrate with.
The “Fialka” is a cipher machine which was made and used by the USSR during the Cold War. I found this one on eBay, and it only required minor repairs to become fully operational. I’ll write more detailed information about it later; in the mean time, here are some pictures of my Fialka. You can also find more details about this kind of machine on Wikipedia.