Thanks to the LPKF Lottery Win: Keeping History Alive

Jörg Drobick is considered to be the person to contact for anyone wishing to know more about cryptography in the GDR. As a former master mechanic for the NVA (National People’s Army), he was professionally involved with cipher methods; today he is an honorary expert at the NVA Museum in Harnekop.

Not only does he present a wealth of information on his very extensive website,, but he also still does the work himself. Thanks to Jörg Drobick, the museum can even today exhibit functioning machines.

Drobick found out about the LPKF lottery through the Elektor trade magazine. He took part – and won the LPKF ProtoMat E44, including the LPKF CircuitPro software, the LPKF dust extraction system, and the accessory kit with consumables and tools, with a total value of around 8,000 euros.

That was a stroke of luck, as Drobick explains:

“The cipher machines should be kept in working order. And that is only possible if we can replace electronic components after a failure quickly and cheaply.”

The LPKF ProtoMat E44 can create single- or double-sided printed circuit board layouts from fully coated substrates without using etching chemicals. Drilling holes and milling are also no problem for the all-around talent – the ProtoMat thus meets numerous requirements of electronics laboratories.

Jörg Drobick has precise ideas. Using the LPKF ProtoMat E44, he wants to make the adapter circuit boards, the long-term keys for the T-310/50 GDR cipher machine, and the now-unavailable printed circuit boards that were used in the electronic telex devices – so that the electronics in the museum can continue to run.

Ten copies of the book “Printed Circuit Board Prototyping” from the publishing house Vogel-Buchverlag were also given away. In the book, LPKF authors present modern techniques for in-house prototyping of everything from single-sided boards to multilayer rigid-flex PCBs. The winners were notified and have already received their copies.