Kristian Tysse loves the show Stargate SG:1 (he has good taste!). On that show, teams of “off-world” explorers use a device called the Stargate to travel to other planets, some of which are similar to our own, some of which are completely different. They meet alien races, encounter strange civilisations… I’d better stop before my words switch to another sci-fi series!
The Stargate is a non-natural wormhole generator which connects between one planet and another. Teams cross the event horizon of the wormhole and whoosh! They arrive shortly at their destination.
Kristian decided to create his very own, miniature Stargate and accompanying scenic elements. The entire project took 18 months and Kristian has covered the process extensively over on his website, The Stargate Project. He replicates, in miniature, the whole Stargate, including the DHD (Dial Home Device) which is used to select the address that the gate connects to.
The address is “dialed” on the DHD then the miniature gate is activated, its inner wheel rotating and the chevrons animating as the address locks in. When the final chevron engages, the gate activates and the wormhole opens. In this case, the wormhole is an infinity mirror which gives a lovely effect. The whole thing is accompanied by sound effects from the show and is, I think, a very impressive build. He’s even created a tablet showing valid addresses!
Only using a valid address will activate the Stargate and allow you to travel!
He uses three stacked Adafruit DC and Stepper Motor HATs on top of a Raspberry Pi 3B+ (see the HAT at the Pimoroni store. Also available at other stores including, obviously, Adafruit and The Pi Hut). You can see what pins it uses over at pinout.xyz. Attached to the HATs are lots of motors to control both the inner wheel and also the chevrons and he uses lots of LEDs for the infinity mirror. The DHD is 3D-printed (as is the rest of what you can see) and inside is controller from an old keyboard, a custom circuit board and lots of tiny tactile buttons. The complete list of materials and bits and pieces are listed on the website.
You can see a video of it in action below and you can read a lot more over on the project website. He has made the design files available to buy (quite reasonable, I thought), so if you’d like to build your own, you can!