For years I have been interested in codes and spy gear. I built this Mayan Cipher Wheel adaption from a Mexican cipher wheel that had been used up until WWII. Thanks to my local community college they helped me laser cut this so I could use this for a live action RPG game I did for a friend and their family.
I got the inspiration from this video ->
This explains how to use the wheel also, but it is pretty easy.
Imagine you have a secret code you found that is 24-50-69-85-G (1:51min in). You line all those up with each other and now you turn the wheel to decode the message.
Decode this message from the above video clip. Comma denotes a different word.
There are many ways of making this file, but I made this in AutoCAD due to my familiarity with it. This is a little different than I would of done originally due to the game clues (I'll explain later), but it is a good base to start with.
Most people will only use some of these circles, I had many some of which are 26 divisions and some with 27, I would just do 26 divisions for everything so all the items line up. I chose two different ones so that when I gave the clue it spelled out the birthday girls birthday, but that meant I needed a few extra numbers per wheel, you will not need to do this, but could if you wish. I also added a mini wheel going up to 100s to make it harder. Less wheels makes it not as tall and not as wide, but that is kind of the cool part, I wanted to show lots of complexity.
Making the Wheel
Step 0: Extract and load the Mayan fonts (need to do this to make it work)
Step 1: Make the polar array of 26 parts for the alphabet with which ever diameters you want really. Just make sure your font is readable. My dimensions as shown are all over the place due to a scaling issue I had when "printing" my laser cut. I had a small piece of scrap that I printed it to so everything got downscaled. Originally I used an inner diameter of 6.5" and an outer diameter of 7.25".
In AutoCAD set your units to inches and architectural to 1/32 precision
1. type units, choose Architectural, Precision 1/32" from the drop down.
2. Then Draw your circles. Type Circle, then click anywhere. Type the diameter you want ie, 6.5 and then hit enter
3. Type Circle and click the center of the circle so you can make it coincident. Type diameter, ie 7.25 and hit enter
You should have to circles perfectly centered on each now.
4. Draw out all your circles you want and make them all coincident. Draw your last one to fit a predetermined peg, I would use 1/2" if you are adding more than 3 wheels.
5. Now draw a line from the center mark to 90 degrees from the center to the outside of your rings lets say about 2" off, doesn't really matter as we will cut this later.
6. Ok make a text box and make a Capital A and line the A up so it is centered between the circles and the line passes through the line in its vertex as shown.
7. type arraypolar and choose the line you made and the A text boxes, hit enter and click the center point of all the circles (basepoint), a few lines should pop up. You want to select items. Then type the number of divisions, ie 26. It will preview your selection now hit enter.
OK, you have all your circles into 26 pieces that are split. Now what? We need to explode it and make another polar array.