Do you need to crank your home network to warp speed? This model of Star Trek's original Starship Enterprise hides a surprisingly practical secret: It's a functioning Wi-Fi access point.
Even better, this nerdy DIY creation by Germany-based Trekkies Christoph Kauch and Rol Schwarz uses mostly off-the-shelf parts. So if you're in the market for a way to extend your home network and are willing to shell out a few more Federation credits than usual, you too can create a Starship Enterprise that doubles as your door to the World Wide Web.
To put it together, the pair used a Revell model kit of the original NCC-1701 and the innards of a Ubiquiti UAP-Pro access point. Kauch and Schwarz chose the UAP-Pro for its round shape, which fit neatly within the saucer section of the Enterprise.
The model's deck windows were left transparent, which allows the LEDs on the access point's circuit board to illuminate the upper part of the saucer section.
The pair also built a heavier base for the model out of wood--presumably to make the model more stable and to better bear the added weight of the access point circuit board.
The impact on you at home: It will take some concentration and patience, but judging by the images posted to imgur this DIY project is well within the capabilities of anyone handy with a screwdriver and glue. To create exactly the same model, however, you'll need to shell out around $300 just for the basic parts. The Revell model is reasonable enough on Amazon at $76, but the UAP-Pro will set you back around $200 or more. If you don't need the speed of the UAP-Pro, Ubiquiti sells a lower-powered access point for $70, cutting the project's biggest costs by more than half.
No heat shields necessary
As with any electronic device, heat dissipation is always a problem, but so far Schwarz says the access point components haven't melted the model plastic or set it aflame. Answering questions about the project on Reddit, Schwarz said the UAP-Pro doesn't get too hot and the model is not airtight. This means heat can escape without the necessity of adding extra air holes.