The Naquadah Generator is a pivotal piece of technology in the Stargate properties. In one form or another Naquadah generators provide the Tau'ri with a potent source of energy to power their ships and technology. No further proof of the importance of this tech is required than the fact that it made the transition from Stargate SG1 to Stargate Altantis. Of the many versions of Naquadah reactors used in the shows, the Naquadah Generator Mark 1 stands out as the primary reactor used throughout the shows.
Naquadah Generator Mk I hero prop
There are three known Naquadah Generator Mk I props that were made by the prop department, and all of them were hero props. There are no known static Mk I generator props. The hero prop features all of the lighting effects seen on the show. This prop was designed to be fully functional on screen with very little visual effects added in post production. The exception is sound effects, which were all added in post production (as is the case with most props).
Illumination is provided by an assortment of internal LEDs to power the top chasing blue lights, red and green power status indicator lights and also the tubes extending from each side of the prop. The small side tubes each contain a cold cathode. The prop is activated by raising the reactor core chamber, which illuminates the green indicator lights on the top. When rotated 90 degrees the green status lights switch off and red lights activate. The Naquadah chamber can then be pushed back down into the prop to activate all of the other lights on the prop. The hero props were remote controlled, which allowed the crew to activate the reactor overload sequence, and change other settings on the lights.
In addition to the moving Naquadah core, the sphere on each end of the reactor can be extended from their collapsed storage position. These spheres can be moved in and out regardless of whether or not the prop is active, however the original concept art suggests that they would only open when the generator was active.
Enjoy this video of the working hero prop.