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If you like this project, please consider voting for it in the PCB Contest (at the bottom of the page)!

Stargate SG-1 is my favorite TV show of all time—full stop. Over the past couple of months, I've been forcing my girlfriend to watch to watch the entire series. We were around season 4 when I saw that Instructables was running a PCB Contest, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to design my very own Stargate that I could put on my desk.

This project is what I came up with. It's a 4 inch diameter PCB Stargate, with accompanying DHD (that's Dial-Home Device for layman), that sits on your desk and lights up! Tap the capacitive touch pad on the DHD and each chevron will light up in sequence. Get to the 7th chevron, and the wormhole lights up!

The PCB is designed as a single piece, and snaps apart. The DHD is in the center, and the outer corners are supports for the Stargate and DHD. It runs on two AA batteries, and the battery holder acts as the base of the DHD.

Logic is provided by an ATtiny85, which turns on the LEDs through a 74HC595 shift register. Read on to see how I designed it, and for instructions on how to assemble it!

Step 1: Prototyping

Picture of Prototyping

If at all possible, you want to prototype your PCB designs on a breadboard before actually getting anything fabricated. These days, it's very affordable to have PCBs made, but you still don't want to waste your time or money.

In my case, I had never worked with a shift register before, so that was what I needed to concentrate on testing. I relied heavily on this Instructable tutorial to learn how they work:

I actually made the mistake of ordering PCBs before thoroughly testing. My original design used WS2812B individually-addressable LEDs. Those didn't end up working well for a few reasons, and I wasted a lot of time and money. The new design is more simple and less expensive.

To prototype my shift register design for the second revision of the PCBs, I put everything out on a breadboard. The ATtiny85, shift register, resistors, and LEDs are all on there. There is also a second area for programming the ATtiny85 through an Arduino (Google how to do that, there are a lot of tutorials).

The complete parts list for this project:

Attached is the ATtiny85 code (flashed using an Arduino). After testing, I moved onto the PCB design.

MartinG1677 months ago
Oh damn, what a great idea. Now I have to make one for myself.

It does need rotation and a screen to simulate the event horizon would be epic.
CameronCoward (author)  MartinG1677 months ago
Thanks! I considered going all-out and adding movement, but I just wanted this to be a quick project, not a big undertaking. Not to mention the component costs, since I plan to make this available as a kit.
Cross_7 months ago
That's a very nice & clean build!
CameronCoward (author)  Cross_7 months ago
Thank you!
You need to make the iris quick before the Goa'uld learn to send hamster-sized Jaffa guards through!

Very cool. Voted for it!
CameronCoward (author)  bruce.desertrat7 months ago
Ha! But they'd be so adorable! "Mr. Bojangles, cree!"

stewkingjr7 months ago
Cool! Now, if only you could have it do the flush too...
CameronCoward (author)  stewkingjr7 months ago
Have it just spray water out at you? Haha
mdanielsen7 months ago
So cool... One thing that could make it cooler was that if it was a qi phone charger for the base and the portal was indication of how much it is charged...
Other than that it is awesome made...!
CameronCoward (author)  mdanielsen7 months ago
That is a good idea! Might need to design one like that in the future.
how many batteries do you think i would need to scale this up to human size? right now i am only able to send mice, mice, gerbils small office supplies etc. to far away galaxies, the animals come back completely stripped of the flesh with notes in some sort of language i cant understand but they do look like they are very happy notes along with hand drawn pictures of some of the office supplies and what looks like some of the uses they have found for them. push pins, for instance, i have never seen used to decorate ones body in this manner i guess i should have not sent fifty thousand of them (they were taking up to much space in the closet) none the less i have found a lot of uses for this thing mainly getting rid of small unwanted objects and the only drawback is that one set of double AA's is only good for one transfer. (by the way the batteries pretty much implode and flatten thin as paper, is this normal?)
CameronCoward (author)  thebertwonderstone7 months ago
To scale up, you're going to need a lot more power. I'd suggest a naquida reactor or lightning strike. Hope that helps! ;)
Oloneear7 months ago
Awesome, as a fan of SG1 gotta say what a nice job and great Instructable! You have my vote.
CameronCoward (author)  Oloneear7 months ago
AniaNailo7 months ago
Love this. SG-1 was an awesome show!