A love of remote control vehicles led Michael Zeng ’22 to a first-place prize and two specialty awards at the 64th annual Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair at Balboa Park on March 14.
Michael took first in the Junior Division in the Engineering Electrical and Mechanical category and he won the USN-ONR Naval Science and General Atomics Science Education Foundation awards for his project Short and Steady Wins the Race! – The Application of Antennas in RC. The project was one of 600 exhibiting at the fair.
Michael decided on this topic after he noticed that the signal from the remote control to the vehicle frequently lost its connection after a short distance. He set out to create a self-designed antenna to improve the connection.
Using pre-existing transmitter and receiver antennae, a RF Explorer Spectrum Analyzer and RF Explorer Signal Generator, Michael tested 24 different antennae. He determined that one he made himself, with 1⁄4 wavelength of AWG 14 copper wiring in a straight line, generated the best results of all other tested antennae, including a factory-made one from the transmitter and receiver set.
The Bishop’s School is an independent, coeducational college-preparatory day school for students in grades six through twelve who live throughout San Diego County. Founded in 1909, the School is affiliated with the Episcopal church.