Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair

Science Fair Project

At the Greater San Diego Science Fair, I won the Sweepstakes award which is the name given to the top award at the fair.  Now, I not only get to go on to the California State Science Fair, but also get an all expense paid trip to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. This year, the international fair happens to be in Los Angeles, but is in a different part of the country every year and includes “more than 1,600 high school students from nearly 60 countries.”


Additional Links

GSDSEF Senior Division Sweepstakes—One of the top awards given.

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FIRST Robotics Competition 2011

Our robot this year

I’m a part of FIRST Robotics Competition Team #3255: The “Super NURDs.”  This year we were seeded 5th out of 60 teams at the San Diego regional and made it to the quarter finals which is an incredible improvement compared with last year when we were a rookie team. When I helped start the team at my school I had no idea what it would become.

I am also deeply grateful for the Regional Dean’s List Award which was also an enormous surprise. The FRC team is the main thing I will miss as I go off to college next year.

This year, we competed in alliances of three teams each to hang as many tubes during the first two minutes of the match and then deploy a minibot at the end for extra points.

More info is available at our team website:

Also, check out the 2011 team video I made here or here.

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Optical Quadrature Encoder Circuit

Here is the circuit diagram for a quadrature encoder I made using two phototransistors. I’m using this for the Cylinder Balancing Robot Project.

Encoder Schematic

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Photointerruptor Test Circuit

I decided to make a circuit to test phototransistors I will be using for the encoder I will make for the CynBot project.  I am using these phototransistors.  Here is the schematic.

Photosensor Test Schematic

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Wireless Modules with Arduino

Wireless Transmitter and Receiver Modules

I recently ordered a two wireless modules, a transmitter and receiver, from Sparkfun.  It was much harder to get them to work than I thought it would be and I found some issues that were not mentioned in any of the literature I could find about the modules on the internet.  Hopefully this post will help others who have had similar problems.


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Eagle Project Finished!

I finally finished my eagle project last weekend.  I took about as much time as I expected, and everything worked out great.  Now, I’m hurrying to finish Merit Badges and everything else I need to do to prepare for eagle.  Here are some pictures:

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Eagle Project

For my eagle project, I will be building a trail kiosk and bench.  The pictures below are taken from some drawings I made.  I couldn’t find a free, user friendly CAD program with the necessary features so I decided to use Inkscape which is a free, open source drawing program.

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