Saturday, April 10, 2021

Check Out This Raspberry Pi-Powered Stargate with Working Lights and Sounds

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A replica Stargate with a fake wormhole open.
Kristian Tysse

Stargate SG-1 is one of our time’s finest sci-fi series, thanks to smart writing, excellent acting, and the sense to not take itself too seriously. If you’re a fan, you probably dreamed of stepping through the stargate and visiting another world. Well, that’s still not possible, but this Raspberry Pi-powered replica might be the next closest thing.

Stargate fan Kristian Tysse put the whole thing together and painstakingly wrote about the process on his website. He started by 3D printing the pieces he’d need to build a stargate, a base, a DHD (that’s a dial-home device), and a map of stargate addresses.

The goal was to make a stargate with an actual spinning piece, chevrons that lock, and a wormhole effect. To achieve that last part, Tysse used an infinity mirror effect. The DHD features light-up buttons, including the big red button at the center. The DHD is essentially a USB keyword, and Kristian created a custom PCB to connect all the buttons and lights.

When you tap the address symbols, the DHD connects to a Raspberry Pi hidden in the base and checks against a list of valid addresses. Tysse culled this from a list of addresses used in the show. If your sequence matches, the stargate “opens a wormhole.”

As you dial, the stargates spins its coordinate symbols, and the pieces lock into place exactly as seen in the show. And you only get a wormhole if you dial the correct address. To help with that, Tysse 3D printed a list of them on a replica of a goa’uld tablet.

Speaking of show accuracy, the wormhole will only stay open for 30 minutes. Once that time limit hits, the whole setup plays a quote from the show and shuts down the wormhole.

You can see the entire write up of the project at Tysee’s website. Better yet, he offers a plan so that you can 3D print, wire, and build your own. And if that sounds like something out of your skillset, he plans to make one more to auction off. 

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