Building a Star Trek Control Panel Table Topper

By Norman Chan

Minneapolis makers create an awesome replica prop that's also practical!

Remember that video from earlier this week about makers being problem solvers? The members of Minneapolis' local Star Trek fan club really exemplify that sentiment with their latest project: a classic Star Trek control panel. For the past eight years, the club has had an annual gathering at the CONvergence event, but the hotel room where the club hosts its party was outfitted with an anachronistic immovable marble-topped desk. So the club members, some of whom are also part of the Twin Cities Makers community group, designed and built a beautiful TOS-era Starship control panel to mount on top of that desk! The panel has 150 buttons, light-up displays, and a Raspberry-Pi-controlled effects system. Scotty would be proud.