DIY

THE SHACK LOVES SCIENCE FAIRS

The Shack loves a good science fair, so we’re pretty excited about the ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair this weekend in San Antonio, TX. In fact, back in February, we were at the Fort Worth Regional Science Fair checking out the local students and their cool projects. We gave out several RadioShack Awards, with winners from R.C. Loflin Middle School, Azle High School, and Harmony School of Innovation.

 

One such winner was Logan Zartman, from Harmony Science Academy, with his “Wireless Power: Who Needs Cords?” His project, built using RadioShack parts, tested whether or not power could be transferred wirelessly using magnetic induction. Logan was able to power multiple LED lights over a distance of up to 6 centimeters, proving that magnetic induction could be used to transmit power wirelessly. Interestingly, he also discovered that the angle of the receiver and the transmitter had an effect on the efficiency of the power transfer.

RadioShack Award Winner Logan Zartman

As Logan concluded in his presentation, “The concepts of this project have countless applications to the real world. In the future, it could be used to nearly eliminate the need for cords in short-range power transfers such as the charging of mobile devices, powering a printer, or even allowing one to watch TV.” Here’s a photo of Logan’s Wireless Power final device in action:

 

RadioShack wishes Logan and the hundreds of other students competing this weekend the best of luck! What’s the coolest thing you’ve built using parts at RadioShack?

 

UPDATE: We’re proud to congratulate all of the winners at the ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair 2011. Logan took 1st Place for the Engineering: Electrical/Mechanical division.

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14 Comments

  • malak

    hey logan good job wow that is amazing good luck on the regional u rock!!

  • Gabrielle

    Amazing work! Very original, well done! Congratulations on your first place win at state!

  • DR WAYNE LANIER

    Actually, for those of us able to remember the original "Radio Shack", this is the community you originally served. As a high school student, then college student, then graduate student in the 1950s and early 1960s, I frequently bought components and tools from the "Radio Shack" of those days. The people in your stores then were, themselves, enthusiasts knowledgeable in the components you carried.

    Sadly, that changed. You stopped serving the hams, the tinkerers, and the experimentalists and switched to canned kits and then to products for "everyone" – that is, of course, everyone else but the hams, tinkerers, and experimentalists.

    I hope this really means you will, again, become a primary source for experimenters. That requires a staff sufficiently educated to help; and, a much wider range of inexpensive basic components.

    The last time I was in one of your stores, I wanted to buy the components to set up an experiment in which I mounted a discarded auto-charging solar cell [about 8-in X 8-in] on my roof. I needed various resistors to load-balance the cell, connecting wires, jacks, an analog-to-digital converter, and software for an old PC computer. I intended and, indeed, accomplished through other sources, a set-up enabling me to continuously record a full year of power production [lovely output curves, and output integrated as daily and monthly KWH scaled to an equivalent-mounted 50-sq-meter solar array]. This told me that a 50-sq-meter array would actually supply, over a year of 4-seasons in San Francisco, the power for two apartments and sufficient overage that, if sold back to PG&E, would help amortize the projected cost of the system. The only components I ended up getting from Radio Shack were several large ceramic resistors. The clerk is the store was of no help, since he was only knowledgeable of the standard products.

  • Leonard

    First lets set me straight. I hold a Masters Degree in vocational education. I have held an Amateur license for over 50 years. I hold a Radar endorsed commercial broadcast license. In the 1960′s I taught, and supervised The B-52 flight crews and their Aircraft training. I went on and taught communications and broadcast, at one of the few High Schools with it’s own FM 100 Watt broadcast station.
    It was a sad day when Radio Shack quit carrying the variety of kits, and components that they used to. We need a good affordable comeback of such items.
    If a High School graduated 200 students, at the most only 40 would approach College and then only 20 might succeed in obtaining a degree. (from statistics), that I compiled through the years.

    What I am saying Is that you are needed for the benefit of getting America Back on track.

  • steve

    Give me a break, this isn’t anything new, he copied the pad chargers available anywhere. Actually I suppose the real amazing thing is that he found Radio Shack parts that had magnetics good enough to couple 6 cm!

  • steve

    Radio Shack will never get back into the tinkerer scene – there isn’t any money in that. But with due respect to Radio Shack, how can you sell a transistor for $2 when you can buy the whole radio for $3? And there’s more money in cell phones than parts.

  • brian mcclung

    its like the power transfer like in the tv show star trek! cool!

  • Knot

    Wow Good job logan Dude keep on rocking man

  • Cap N Lou

    This warms my heart! To think that kids are thinking this now!

    Back in the days, before my time and before your grandparents time a man had the same idea. His name was Gugliemo Marconi. He was an electrician who believed he could transmit power through the air to light street lights. His approach failed miserably because the amount of power needed to light up the lamps was far too much and not efficient enough. The method he used was basically to fill the air with waves of energy to light up the street lights. I don’t know the chronological events that took place or how the connecting was made but when you interupted the power being generated, there was an effect magnetically at a remote site. Through more tinkering, they dicovered that Marconi’s device could be the tramission and they could make a reciever of some sort. They ended up calling it a spark gap generator and figured on sending long and short pulses and that would translate into a communicating pattern which was developed by Samuel Morse. Yes they called it Morse code. The very first transatlantic communication was done by three towers built on Marconi beech in South Wellfleet, Massachusetts(cape cod). The tower sites are gone now, eroded from the surf of the Atlantic.

    Marconi was the inventor of radio but in it’s crude form. The Morse code, the most intelligble form of communication was the language. The receiver only heard an arcing sound with long and short duration times. An example dah would be a long and dit would be a short in an easier descriptive way. Dah dit dah dit would be a letter C, and a dah dah dit dah would be a Q. So dah dit dah dit dah dah dit dah would be CQ which in morse code world would be CQ. A CQ is a general call so if you distinguished a CQ being transmitted it was a general call to anyone listening.

    The spark gap has been outlawed internationally because the energy a spark gives off with trash all frequencies and now a days if you were to do that you would not be able to you remotes, cell phones, tv’s, or a host of other more sensitive electronics. We’ve come a long long way from Marconi’s invention but at the rate we are going there is still lot’s to be found.

    I don’t mean to be like "ha ha it’s been done before", but know what history brought, we can discover more in the future. Who but the thinkers of the world would ever say that we’d be streaming music over the internet back in the 1960′s. Who ever thought that a Vinyl disk with grooves on it that played music would be replace by magnetic tape into the 8 track tape. Video tape to digital video disk(DVD). Vinyl to tape to compact disk(CD). MP3 stored in memmory, a semi conductor chip!

    I saw a comment there is no money in tinkering and that has got to be the biggest line of BS we all feed ourselves with.

    It bothers me that the SHACK has gotten away from, in recent years from selling parts. To hear it’s making a come back is excellent. The prices of the parts however is another disturbing factor to deal with but after all Gasoline I’m sure is cheaper to process than it was 30 years ago or 50 years ago but they need…want more money. So gouging has become the Norm these days and the tinkerer dies off. The SHACK was founded on the idea of the amateur radio hobbiest, the tinkers of years past, the ham operators, but comercialization got to them. My ham license expired in 2008 because I was too stupid to renew for the next ten years but I plan to pursue it again. My call letters are dead but they still have references tied to me so I’m reluctant to type them out. The SHACK has a link to Ham Radio in the product list but not one radio for the purpose. They didn’t sell you might say for the price reason so stop having them, sure that’s the answer. Commendations on sponssorship into the science fairs and reviving the tinkerers. The wave that will create our future!

    Logan, great work! Careful with the magnetive wave energy your throwing out at the frequencies your using. One last invention to mention, the Microwave oven. The energy coming of the circuit a man was testing melted a chocolate bar on the desk. When that man returned from lunch he discovered a pool of chocolate on his desk that was his chocolate bar sitting near by the circuit he was working on. Can you imagine how much he was coking himself while working on it. Research all your doing, ask questions, be creative, but do not sacrifice safety.

  • Gerald Lyne

    I am glad to see Radio Shack support local science fairs. As a parent that had 2 kids participate this year, I greatly appreciate businesses that help to encourage the kids to learn and explore. While some of the project may already be available commerically, they still learn a tremendous about science, how things work and making things work. If Radio Shack has reps in eastern Colorado next March, they would be more than welcome to visit the Morgan-Washington Bi-County Science Fair.

    I also appreciate that many of the Radio Shacks still carry the basic components for DIY. I teach a PV solar camp in the summer and many of the parts I use come from Radio Shack.

  • Mikew

    Bring back the Radio shack P-Box kits.

  • Nurah L!!!!

    Oooo-ah!OOO-ah! Go Logan its ur birthday;how bout we party like its your birthday! But seriously ur frickn AMAZING!