The Console is located at the Fortress of Solitude being one of many components embedded inside the mainframe, and is the primary way of manipulating the Fortress.
The Console itself is made up of many dense Kryptonian crystals that appear impenetrable. The strength of the Console is evidenced in "Solitude", when Brainiac was thrown onto the crystals and the console destroyed that copy of Brainiac, an again in "Blue", when Clark smashed Zor-El's blue crystal against them and when Zor-El was about to kill Kara by pushing her onto the crystals in the surrounding Fortress. However, its frame can be damaged, as proven when it was seen in rubble at the hands of Major Zod.
One crystal in particular activates the console mainframe, and without it, Jor-El becomes dormant.
The console also has small inserts/slots where the smaller crystals are to be inserted. While at the Fortress with Major Zod, Clark is shown inserting small crystals into these slots trying to initiate contact with Jor-El.
Powers and Abilities
The crystals have a variety of powers that mostly have yet to be explored but are almost capable of anything at either Clark's wish or Jor-El's will. The initial crystal thrust from the console was so that in the future Clark would be able to have contact his biological father Jor-El. This crystal was also one of the first parts of Clark's training by beginning to educate Clark with knowledge of his home planet Krypton. Other crystals in the Fortress have time travel abilities with one crystal only allowing Clark to relive one Earth day with him using this ability to save Lana from death, but causing Jonathan Kent's death. But it also has capabilities of creating portals to and from the Phantom Zone, and also to Clark's home planet of Krypton.
The console, however, cannot be affected by anybody; only Clark can activate it manually unless Jor-El does so. This is because the Fortress is assigned to Clark for his training and future guidance by Jor-El. The console has only ever been used by Clark, Raya and Zor-El. Raya used the console while the Fortress was seemingly "dead" and only had a little power left. Zor-El could only manipulate the console after the blue crystal was placed within the console, shutting out Jor-El. After Brainiac was removed from Chloe Sullivan after corrupting the Fortress, taking control from Jor-El, anyone could activate the console. Chloe used the console at this time.
The Console Crystal can deactivate it, and Brainiac, after absorbing information in Dax-Ur's mind, was able to infiltrate the mainframe, but couldn't corrupt Jor-El, only override him. A Green Kryptonite crystal could poison and decay the Fortress.
Clark collects all of the stones, and is teleported to the Arctic Circle by the Altar via the use of the Key. Clark throws the newly formed Crystal of Knowledge, formed from combining the relics, into the distance, in a snowbank, which in turn, creates the Fortress of Solitude. When he enters the castle, he is welcomed by his biological father, Jor-El. He begins his Kryptonian training but gets interrupted by Chloe Sullivan. Clark pleas with Jor-El to allow him to help her, and though reluctant, Jor-El agrees if he returns before the sun sets.
Milton Fine convinces Clark that Jor-El was responsible for the destruction of Krypton, and that General Zod was a man of peace, and blames him for Martha's new illness. With all this, Clark uses Brainiac's crystal, plunges it into the Console, which opens a portal to the Phantom Zone, and Zod tries to escape, but Chloe comes to Clark's rescue, and he removes crystal, shutting the door, preventing the whole thing. Clark and Brainiac then battle it out, and Brainiac gets thrown on the Console, impaled by the crystals, the copy of him gets destroyed.
Clark shares his secret with Lana Lang and takes her to the Fortress. But something goes wrong when Lana dies in a car accident. Clark goes to the Fortress, pleads with Jor-El to undo it, and he shows him a "time-bending" crystal, but warns him that it can only be used once.
After one of Brainiac's replicates crashes a plane that Martha Kent and Lois Lane are on, they land in the Arctic Circle, very near to the Fortress of Solitude. Martha at first just stares in awe at the castle, then takes Lois into the shelter of the Fortress. There, Jor-El professes his appreciation to Martha for being such a good mother, thanking her for raising his son. He then teleports her and Lois back to Smallville.
Clark learns that some Kryptonian, by the name of Kara, is on Earth, and heads to the Fortress to speak with Jor-El about it. Jor-El, because of the type of relationship he had with his brother, warns Clark that she is dangerous and is not to be trusted. Asking what he should do next, Jor-El tells him to watch her, as she poses a much greater threat than he realizes.
Zod destroyed the console to prevent Jor-El from telling Clark about the secrets of Rao and stopping him in taking over the Earth. The Fortress though began to gradually heal itself, restoring the console and allowing Jor-El to communicate once more.