ROCKEX, a highly modified version of a Western Union on-line cipher machine, was introduced in 1943 and saw service in Canada until 1975. The message was prepared in a plain language tape and was fed through the transmitter heads simultaneously with a special scrambled tape to provide encoded transmittable text. At the receive terminal , the process was reversed. An "unscrambling " tape recreated a plain text copy. The Rockex was operated in conjunction with a tape punch and a keyboard/printer
Keying Method: 5 level, one time tape.
Service life: 1940's - 1970's.
Input: Punched paper tape.
Output: Punched paper tape or printed page.
Speed: 30 wpm
Applications: Off-line, strategic environments.
The name Rockex originated after the designers attended a performance of the Rockettes, a dance group featured at New York's Radio City Music Hall. This was a departure from the naming convention based on mythology.
Reference: Communications Security Establishment data and the display card from the Communications and Electronics Museum, Kingston (C&E). The machine depicted in the photo is on display at the C & E Museum. (Photo by Jerry Proc)
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