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The Art of Custom Mechanical Keyboard Keycaps

We meet a 3D artist who models and 3D prints custom keycaps for mechanical keyboards! Robert, who runs Clackeys, explains to us how he designs unique keycaps inspired by video games and pop culture, treating the surface of a key as his canvas. We about talk his approach to printing these designs and the amount of complexity he can get from an SLA print.

Artist Jason Freeny on Toy Design and His Anatomical Sculptures

We catch up with artist Jason Freeny, whose anatomical sculptures we first featured on Tested over four years ago. Since then, Jason has teamed up with the toymakers at MightyJaxx to release a line of anatomical collectibles, including ones inspired by DC Comics characters, LEGO figures, and even mythological creatures. We discuss toy design and what's next for Jason's creations.

Tim Shea's Amateur Hour - Episode 80 -11/17/17
On this episode, Frank and Len look at the hobbyist angle of doing your own design work with our guest Tim Shea. You may recognize some of Tim's work from past Tested videos, although you would never know he is an amateur designer. Tim just wrapped up a whirlwind weekend at DesignerCon in LA and he chats all about it, as well as the Predator design, Frank's haunted apartment and more. If you're digging what you hear, please head over to http://www.patreon.com/creaturegeek and support us with a few bucks. We truly appreciate your support!
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Adam Savage Tours the Jim Henson Exhibition!

Adam Savage visits the Museum of the Moving Image, which recently opened a landmark exhibition showcasing the works of Jim Henson. From the Muppet Show to Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock to the Dark Crystal, we get up close with many of the puppets, props, and film artifacts from Henson's world-changing career.

Hobby RC: Testing High-Voltage LiPo Batteries

Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries are presently the standard power source for most hobby-grade RC vehicles. These batteries have seen steady improvement since they were first introduced to the hobby around the turn of this century. Most of that progress has been related to increasing their fast discharge and charge capabilities. During the last year or so, we have seen the emergence of LiPo cells that evolved in a slightly different direction. High-Voltage LiPo batteries (LiHV) look and perform much like contemporary LiPo cells, but have a tad more voltage.

More voltage fed your electric motor equals more RPMs. That will give your RC toy a zippy performance boost, right? Well, maybe. There is more to consider than just voltage. I recently tested a LiHV battery to determine whether these types of cells are an overall advantage for me.

What is LiHV?

Standard LiPo batteries have 4.2 volts per cell when fully-charged. LiHV cells go up to 4.35 volts. That extra .15 volts may not seem like much, but it could make a significant difference in some applications. Most RC vehicles use two or more cells in series. So the extra voltage of a LiHV battery is multiplied by the number of cells.

A regular LiPo is considered discharged when it drops to 3.2 volts per cell under load. This usually equates to about 3.7 volts at rest. LiHV cells have the same bottom end values. So, LiHV cells operate over a slightly broader voltage range than standard LiPo variants.

LiHV batteries have slightly more voltage than LiPo cells. This presents potential performance benefits as well as new considerations.

There are numerous LiHV options available on the market. From what I can tell, most of these batteries are very similar in size, weight, price, and discharge capabilities to their normal-voltage contemporaries. Yes, there are some differences. But I think most of those deltas would be insignificant to the average hobbyist.

Hyperion provided two similar batteries for testing, one LiPo and one LiHV. The LiPo is their G5 3-cell (12.6 volts) 850mAh unit that is rated for 70C maximum discharge (59.5 amps). On the LiHV side is a G7 3-cell (13.05 volts) 900mAh battery rated for 60C discharge (54 amps). Before getting into my results from using these batteries, we should cover a few things to think about regarding LiHV cells.