Wi-Fi routers are inexpensive, reliable and have become incredibly quick, but they’re not stylish or unique. Most models are simple boxes that, at best, blend into their surroundings.
That’s fine for most people, but if you want a router like no man has had before, you’ll have to put in the extra effort and build it yourself. That’s exactly what Roland Schwab did when he built a router into a classic Revell model of the Enterprise NCC-1701 from the original Star Trek series.
Not just any Wi-Fi router was used. Instead Mr. Schwab picked a particular router, the UniFi AP Pro. Why? The reason is simple; it is shaped like a disc, and it happens to be about the same size as the saucer section of Revell’s Enterprise model kit.
This provided plenty of room to install the router hardware, and there was even space left over to curl an Ethernet cord around the interior. It appears the cord was then routed through the interior of the ship and out the stand, making it possible to hide the cord almost entirely. As an added bonus, a bright white LED on the router lights up the bridge of the model when the router is in use.
The model used by the mod, the UniFi AP Pro, isn’t inexpensive, as it retails for $230. It’s an enterprise-grade router (no pun intended!) with 802.11a/b/g/n MIMO support. UniFi also offers consumer models of the router that sell for as little as $70, and presumably the less expensive version would fit into the model kit just as easily.
You can buy the model used for the mod from Amazon for about $45, so if you don’t mind slightly slower Wi-Fi speeds, you could put together this router for about $100 (not including the cost of glue and an Ethernet cord). I have a hard time thinking of a better weekend project.