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    Crowdfunding Spotlight: NixieTherm DIY Thermometer

    There are plenty of ways to track the temperature in your home, but few of them are as retro-chique as the NixieTherm SMD. This device has exited for several years, but an updated version is live on Kickstarter right now. While it's still a DIY project, the design is much more accessible. All you need are basic soldering and electronics skills.

    The name of this gizmo comes from the bar-style display at its heart. Nixie tubes are a type of cold cathode display technology; the application of voltage causes gas in the tube to glow. Many Nixie tubes contain the necessary parts to display the numbers 0 through 9, but the tube in the NixieTherm is a simpler bargraph model.

    There's been a resurgence of interest in Nixie tubes in recent years—some larger and rarer models can be worth hundreds of dollars. There's a limited supply of Nixie tubes because they haven't been manufactured in decades. Newer technologies like LCD and LEDs effectively killed demand for Nixie tubes in industry. Luckily, substantial numbers of Nixie tubes were manufactured in Russia until the late 1980s, so the NixieTherm and many other tube-based projects use "new old stock" or (NOS). These are tubes that were produced decades ago but never used. They sat in a warehouse in Russia until the technology was old enough to look cool and retro.

    The NixieTherm SMD kit comes with a PCB, case, temperature gauge, and the bar-style IN-13 Nixie tube. A standard 5V USB cable is all you need to power the device, which can tell you the temperature with a range of 57-92 degrees Fahrenheit (14-33 degrees Celsius). That should mostly cover the full range of indoor temperatures. It has an accuracy of plus or minus 1 degree, and the entire system is analog. That means continuous temperature readings with no microcontroller in the middle.

    You will need to solder some components on the NixieTherm PCB, but the process is simpler than it was for the older variant of this device. The surface-mount components are already on the board, so you just need to do a few through-hole parts. It's a bit like soldering switches in most mechanical keyboard kits; the little fiddly bits like diodes and resistors are already done. The NixieTherm designer also suggests having a multimeter to check voltages on the board before use. The campaign says it'll take about two hours to build, and there will be downloadable instructions.

    Custom Model Paint Racks for the Tested Workshop!

    Sean's latest project with our Universal Laser Systems laser cutter is an improvement to our workshop's model paint storage. Sean designs a stackable storage system that can work with different sized bottles, properly labeled. We assemble one of these storage racks and show off the design details.

    Weta Workshop Sculptor's Tabletop Miniature World!

    Adam Savage checks in on the status of sculptor Johnny Fraser-Allen's tabletop model, which has grown from the intricate Labyrinth we saw two years ago to a sprawling world steeped in fantasy architecture and landscapes that come alive. We're awestruck by the design and details of these models, which Johnny has brilliantly made to be modular and customizable. We can't wait to play in Hagglethorn Hollow! Get updates on this project here.

    Tested: Magic Leap One Augmented Reality Headset Review!

    It's finally here! We spend a week testing the Magic Leap One augmented reality headset, the long-awaited developer kit utilizing Magic Leap's secretive display technology. Let's dive deep into the hardware, display tech, user experience, and launch applications. Post your questions about the headset in the comments section!

    3D-Printing a NASA ACES Helmet for Adam Savage!

    We're trilled to welcome a new member of the Tested family: 3D modeler and prop maker Darrell Maloney (aka the Broken Nerd)! We're big fans of Darrell's work and YouTube videos, and are starting a new series of collaborations between him and Adam. In this first video, Darrell goes over his process adapting a model made for vfx work to be 3D printable, and the 100+ hours of printing needed to have it come out right!

    Awesome Animated LEGO Sculpture!

    The best custom LEGO sculpture we saw at this year's Bricks by the Bay was this animated MOC called "Treasure of the Snake Queen". Essentially a Disney dark ride made in mini-fig scale, this towering build depicts a band of adventurers as they embark on a journey through different lands to face the Snake Queen. We chat with builder Flynn de Marco about the concept, layout, and lighting of this incredible build!

    Adam Savage Paints an Astromech for Magic Wheelchair!

    Adam takes part in one of the team builds for this year's Star Wars-themed Magic Wheelchair project, painting up a scaled R2-D2 dome that'll go on a Jedi starfighter. Follow along as Adam goes through the process of masking and painting this Carbon 3D-printed part, and then heads to Comic-Con for the project reveals!

    Weta Workshop's "The Scale of Our War" Exhibit

    While in New Zealand, Adam is able to visit the extraordinary exhibition "The Scale of Our War" at the Te Papa museum. Featuring truly larger-than-life sculptures by Weta Workshop, the exhibition tells the story of the Gallipoli campaign in World War I. Join Adam for a tour of the exhibit as we get up close to these remarkable figures.

    Impressive LEGO Dystopian Monorail City!

    One of our favorite LEGO builds from this year's Bricks by the Bay convention was this massive dystopian cityscape connected by a working monorail system (with six trains!). The mother and son team of Pamela and Austen show us the details of their build, which is inspired by science fiction films like Blade Runner and Ready Player One.

    Adam Savage's Totoro Meetup at Comic-Con!

    Adam Savage could not be more excited for this meetup of Totoro cosplayers at this year's Comic-Con! Almost a dozen furry friends got together at the Nerdist House this year to share their stories of how they made their own Totoro costumes. And once all the costumes are on, it's time to dance!

    Star Trek: Discovery Ship Models from Eaglemoss!

    With Star Trek: Discovery, we're seeing a reminaging of the TOS era of Star Trek starships. But many of the ship designs created for the show aren't fully appreciated in the computer-generated shots on screen. We check out some of these ships, like the new bird of prey or vulcan science vessel, at Eaglemoss' Comic-Con booth.

    Sideshow Collectibles Booth Tour at Comic-Con 2018!

    We're always impressed by the new statues and figures Sideshow Collectibles brings to Comic-Con, and this year, they've brought over 250 new products. We take a close look at a few of these as we tour the booth to see some standout examples of quarter-scale, sixth-scale, and even half-scale sculpts.