Anti Spy Disc Secret Decoder
This anti-NSA secret decoder disc was made in ONE day, prompted by you guys during ‘Fringe Focus Make Day’. I gave a prompt of ‘Wood & History’, and it turns out November 4th (the day of this Make Day) was the start of the NSA in 1952. So as backlash for how we are all feeling about the NSA, I made secret decoder wheels, from start to finish all in one day.
The final decoders are two discs of maple, sealed and joined by a rivet. They are designed by me and laser engraved. Each decoder is a functional device, you can use it to encrypt notes on your fridge, or hide secrets from the NSA on a notepad! You could even write secret emails with it… but I’m pretty sure the NSA can break this code.
To use the device, you establish a cypher key (by yourself or with friends), and whatever the key is, let’s say ‘K’, you would spin the outer dial so the ‘K’ on the outside finds the ‘A’ (first letter of the alphabet) on the inner dial. You can then write notes by writing each letter as it appears on the outer dial, I’ve also included the digits 1-0. I’ll write some more about how to use these ciphers, but you should check out the Wikipedia articles below.
This entire project was sourced by friends and followers, so I thank you for your ideas! These decoders are now available for sale as the result of everyone’s input.
Nov 4th’s Make Day theme was ‘Wood & History’. Here is how this got made in one day:
Monday, November 4th:
8:30pm: Decided to scallop the edges for a better grip. Looks awesome. The finished wooden decoders for Make Day will be up and ready in 30-40 minutes I suspect!
7:40pm: Testing laser strength on the maple boards. Success is imminent.
7:30pm: Design is finished AND starting to test the designs in wood on the laser cutter.
4pm: Image: Bought some rivets for the wooden decoders so they can spin on an axis.
2:45pm: Coffee time and hardware store time! I’m gonna gather some items needed to make the decoder. Will finish the design in the workshop. To the store!
2:30pm: More more design progress. Showing a mockup of the wood. The center will likely have some text / design lasered into it. Perhaps something about the NSA?
1:50pm: IMAGE of progress on the cipher wheels for the decoder! Still working on the design now.
12:50pm: The cipher disk was invented in 1470. So, uh, mine will not be the first. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cipher_disk … It will look awesome-er though.
12:45pm: I am going to write a substitution cipher on the anti-NSA wooden decoder: Here’s some info about ciphers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Substitution_cipher
12:20pm: Idea chosen! I am going to work on a anti-NSA secret decoder / cipher disk made out of wood. It will be ‘anti-NSA’ for fun (because they suck), but chosen because the NSA was founded on this day (November 4th) in 1952. Wood. History. Fun. I will post design updates soon as I draw this out.
11am: Topic announced. Video is up. Give me your ideas for something to make today on the topic of ‘Wood & History’. Twitter / Facebook would be fastest. Think of a cool item you would want to see made, or a gift for a friend, I dunno!
Ideas so far:
- Make: George Washington’s wooden teeth!
- Relate to today in history (Nov 4th). Tripoli Tribute Box / Wooden Coin.
- Something King Tut related for the discovery of his tomb, Nov 4th 1922.
- Try browsing this Wikipedia article for things that happened Nov 4th: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/November_4
- 1952, Establishment of the NSA. Could be a cool wooden coder/decoder.
- That coin from Game of Thrones?
- How about a game or puzzle. Before manufacturing they were often made by hand w/ wood.
- A bike. “But that may be more than a day.”
What is Fringe Focus Make Day?
Fringe Focus Make Day is a one day build event based on your ideas. I speak with everyone in the morning (on Twitter, Facebook, Email, whatever you want) and we choose the best idea based on a theme. Today’s theme is ‘Wood & History‘. I then design and sketch the plans for this object, posting photos along the way. Then it’s off to the hardware store, materials gathering, and to the Fringe Focus Workshop. I will build the newly designed thingy over the course of several hours, then put the finished object into the Fringe Focus store in the evening. It could be one limited edition item, or a collection of small things that everyone can grab. I have no idea what will happen. But this seems fun. Let’s do it.