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RE: [BCD396XT] Double Discone antenna question (for you antenna wizards)

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  • Michael Hopkins
    Just a note about lightning and antennas: Nothing’s going to protect you against a direct lightning strike unless you do a professional installation, which
    Message 1 of 19 , May 7, 2013
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      Just a note about lightning and antennas:



      Nothing’s going to protect you against a direct lightning strike unless you do a professional installation, which most of us can’t afford to do. This generally involves ground mats, multiple grounds, “seeded” ground for conductivity, feedlines bonded to the tower at the top, bottom and several places along the way, and more. Even then, direct strikes can cause blown power supplies and other problems due to ground potential rise when the lightning current travels in the ground. A friend of mine in Pennsylvania put up a 100 foot tower and did everything right. Within a year, he took a direct strike to the tower which took out light bulbs, telephones and power supplies, but the radios themselves (2 meter repeaters) were fine.



      Coaxial protectors work well to take care of any induced lightning, which can be substantial voltage, but won’t help in the case of a 10 to 50 thousand amp injection of current from direct lightning. For induced voltages, the old rule of thumb for telephone linemen was 1kV/meter/mile, which means 1,000 volts induced into a meter of wire a mile from a flash. If you have a wire antenna of say, 30 feet or so connected to a coaxial feed line coming into a bulkhead connector, you can see almost continuous arcing between the center conductor an shield during a thunderstorm if no protector is used. A coaxial protector will do the arcing for you.



      An important point about coaxial protectors is that they are typically air gaps which fire at or above 1,000 volts (the firing voltage depends on how fast the induced voltage is rising). When they operate, your radio will see that 1kV or greater spike before the protector operates. Most radios won’t like it. There are solid state protectors available which can be expensive but will operate reliably at lower voltages.



      Best bet is to make sure the lightning (or it’s remnants) can’t get to the radio which is why I have disconnects where the feedlines come into my house. You really don’t want the kinds of voltages or currents that lightning can produce inside your house.



      My 2¢ --------



      Mike Hopkins K1VLB

      Mhopkins735@...



      From: BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com [mailto:BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John Stark
      Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2013 12:17 AM
      To: BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [BCD396XT] Double Discone antenna question (for you antenna wizards)





      Lol... put the antenna on top of the tree....

      Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

      Preston Ward <ppreston69@... <mailto:ppreston69%40yahoo.com> > wrote:

      >Well now we're getting into family political issues when it comes to trimming the tree, which really aren't on-topic for this list :)
      >
      >In the meantime, I'll check out the Scantenna too...
      >
      >
      >--- On Mon, 5/6/13, MCH <mch@... <mailto:mch%40nb.net> > wrote:
      >
      >
      >From: MCH <mch@... <mailto:mch%40nb.net> >
      >Subject: Re: [BCD396XT] Double Discone antenna question (for you antenna wizards)
      >To: BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com <mailto:BCD396XT%40yahoogroups.com>
      >Date: Monday, May 6, 2013, 4:49 PM
      >
      >
      >I'll make it easier then - trim the tree. :-)
      >
      >But, on the other side of things, I would recommend putting the
      >Scantenna on the list for consideration, too. They work great.
      >
      >I've never had a double discone, but I suspect they would work much
      >better than the regular discone since the regular one doesn't have all
      >that much capture area.
      >
      >Joe M.
      >
      >Preston Ward wrote:
      >> Well thanks a lot Joe... you just made my decidion that much harder ;)
      >> Now I'm torn between this thing from England, a single discone with a vertical element, and a discone without the vertical element (and that's just for the local signals I want to get with an omnidirectional antenna, I'm not talking about the directional yagi issue to Springfield). It would probably be better to get a discone with the vertical element, but I also have a big oak tree very close to where I want to put my mast, and if it grows any, then I'm going to have an issue with a tree. If I had an antenna without the vertical element, it would let me put the mast that much higher and stick the single discone on top without having to worry about that extra 4-5 feet of vertical element touching the tree for now.
      >>
      >>
      >> --- On Mon, 5/6/13, MCH <mch@... <mailto:mch%40nb.net> > wrote:
      >>
      >>
      >> From: MCH <mch@... <mailto:mch%40nb.net> >
      >> Subject: Re: [BCD396XT] Double Discone antenna question (for you antenna wizards)
      >> To: BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com <mailto:BCD396XT%40yahoogroups.com>
      >> Date: Monday, May 6, 2013, 8:47 AM
      >>
      >>
      >> Double would be better only from the standpoint that generally speaking
      >> the more capture area you have on your antenna the more you will
      >> receive. IOW, the larger the antenna, the better.
      >>
      >> The lower radiation angle means that transmission (and reception) will
      >> be focused on the horizon rather than in the air. You get gain on an
      >> antenna by focusing it on the horizon in order to make it more sensitive
      >> to distant signals.
      >>
      >> Of course, if aircraft or satellite reception is your target, this would
      >> not be a good thing, but for general public safety/business/ham
      >> reception, it would be better.
      >>
      >> Joe M.
      >>
      >> Preston Ward wrote:
      >>> I ran across this "double discone" antenna on eBay and it says that it has "2.8db gain over a conventional 'single discone'" and "provides gain and lower radiation angle than conventional discones to increase your reception power."
      >>>
      >>>
      >>> Can someone explain to me 1) if a double is better than a single discone, and 2) what the lower radiation angle means? I can't find any reference to a "double discone" online...
      >>>
      >>>
      >>> In any case, it sure is a cool looking antenna :)
      >>>
      >>>
      >>> Thanks!
      >>>
      >>>
      >>> http://www.ebay.com/itm/Double-Discone-Scanner-Base-Station-Antenna-Aerial-/320832340973?pt=UK_ConsumerElectronics_SpecialistRadioEquipment_SM <http://www.ebay.com/itm/Double-Discone-Scanner-Base-Station-Antenna-Aerial-/320832340973?pt=UK_ConsumerElectronics_SpecialistRadioEquipment_SM&hash=item4ab31903ed> &hash=item4ab31903ed
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>> ------------------------------------
      >>>
      >>> Yahoo! Groups Links
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>>
      >>
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      >>
      >> Yahoo! Groups Links
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    • MCH
      The double discone looks like a discone placed upside down on top of another one. The discone with a radiator is different. Joe M.
      Message 2 of 19 , May 7, 2013
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        The double discone looks like a discone placed upside down on
        top of another one. The discone with a radiator is different.

        Joe M.

        John Stark wrote:
        > Never heared it called a double discone but I use a discone that has a center element and it works great. I hear every county in the state on VHF as well as other states. Even my HP1 picks up Ft Wayne 90 miles away and Louisville Ky more than 100 miles away. Great antenna but I don't use the Radio Shack version but one that's around $150. This thing survived a tornado while the scantenna didn't survive 50mph winds even strengthened.
        >
        >
        > Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID
        >
        > Preston Ward <ppreston69@...> wrote:
        >
        >> Well thanks a lot Joe... you just made my decidion that much harder ;)
        >> Now I'm torn between this thing from England, a single discone with a vertical element, and a discone without the vertical element (and that's just for the local signals I want to get with an omnidirectional antenna, I'm not talking about the directional yagi issue to Springfield). It would probably be better to get a discone with the vertical element, but I also have a big oak tree very close to where I want to put my mast, and if it grows any, then I'm going to have an issue with a tree. If I had an antenna without the vertical element, it would let me put the mast that much higher and stick the single discone on top without having to worry about that extra 4-5 feet of vertical element touching the tree for now.
        >>
        >>
        >> --- On Mon, 5/6/13, MCH <mch@...> wrote:
        >>
        >>
        >> From: MCH <mch@...>
        >> Subject: Re: [BCD396XT] Double Discone antenna question (for you antenna wizards)
        >> To: BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com
        >> Date: Monday, May 6, 2013, 8:47 AM
        >>
        >>
        >> Double would be better only from the standpoint that generally speaking
        >> the more capture area you have on your antenna the more you will
        >> receive. IOW, the larger the antenna, the better.
        >>
        >> The lower radiation angle means that transmission (and reception) will
        >> be focused on the horizon rather than in the air. You get gain on an
        >> antenna by focusing it on the horizon in order to make it more sensitive
        >> to distant signals.
        >>
        >> Of course, if aircraft or satellite reception is your target, this would
        >> not be a good thing, but for general public safety/business/ham
        >> reception, it would be better.
        >>
        >> Joe M.
        >>
        >> Preston Ward wrote:
        >>> I ran across this "double discone" antenna on eBay and it says that it has "2.8db gain over a conventional 'single discone'" and "provides gain and lower radiation angle than conventional discones to increase your reception power."
        >>>
        >>>
        >>> Can someone explain to me 1) if a double is better than a single discone, and 2) what the lower radiation angle means? I can't find any reference to a "double discone" online...
        >>>
        >>>
        >>> In any case, it sure is a cool looking antenna :)
        >>>
        >>>
        >>> Thanks!
        >>>
        >>>
        >>> http://www.ebay.com/itm/Double-Discone-Scanner-Base-Station-Antenna-Aerial-/320832340973?pt=UK_ConsumerElectronics_SpecialistRadioEquipment_SM&hash=item4ab31903ed
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>> ------------------------------------
        >>>
        >>> Yahoo! Groups Links
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>>
        >>
        >> ------------------------------------
        >>
        >> Yahoo! Groups Links
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >> ------------------------------------
        >>
        >> Yahoo! Groups Links
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        >
        >
        > No virus found in this incoming message.
        > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
        > Version: 9.0.932 / Virus Database: 3164.1.1/5805 - Release Date: 05/07/13 01:38:00
        >
      • MCH
        It sounds like that strike came in the power lines. When it comes to lightning you have to protect *everything* that enters the building - including phone
        Message 3 of 19 , May 7, 2013
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          It sounds like that strike came in the power lines. When it comes to
          lightning you have to protect *everything* that enters the building -
          including phone lines and power lines. Did your friend do that?

          Another good point to make is that if you are installing lightning
          protection, the best way to keep lightning out of your equipment is to
          not let it in the building. In other words, don't install lightning
          protection inside - do it at the entrance to the building.

          For you hams, this *includes* rotor cables. If it enters the building,
          it needs protection. Otherwise, it's like installing an alarm system but
          leaving the window open. Lightning will find any path available.

          Joe M.

          Michael Hopkins wrote:
          > A friend of mine in Pennsylvania put up a 100 foot tower and did everything right. Within a year, he took a direct strike to the tower which took out light bulbs, telephones and power supplies, but the radios themselves (2 meter repeaters) were fine.
        • Michael Hopkins
          Joe M. Telephone lines coming into any house or building come in through a box containing lightning arrestors that are attached to a ground wire. These are
          Message 4 of 19 , May 7, 2013
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            Joe M.



            Telephone lines coming into any house or building come in through a box containing lightning arrestors that are attached to a ground wire. These are typically carbon block (old style) or gas filled arrestors (modern) and they have a good history or protecting the telephone system (and houses) from lightning coming down the telephone lines. There are also multiple lightning protectors in the distribution system along the way.



            Power lines are usually not a problem unless the strike is direct to the house entrance or very close. Many distribution poles have a grounded wire above the conductors plus arrestors placed periodically along the way so most lighting that hits the power lines is shunted to ground before getting into a residence. According to IEEE standards (C62-41, 45, and others) argue that primary arrestors that are now mandatory for new construction in many states, will handle any lightning remnant coming from the pole.



            I agree with using protectors outside – that is the case with telephone line protectors, but for the power mains the protection is typically in the main distribution box inside. I also agree that rotor cables should also be disconnected.



            Good comments….



            Mike Hopkins K1VLB

            Mhopkins735@...



            From: BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com [mailto:BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of MCH
            Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2013 9:40 AM
            To: BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [BCD396XT] Double Discone antenna question (for you antenna wizards)





            It sounds like that strike came in the power lines. When it comes to
            lightning you have to protect *everything* that enters the building -
            including phone lines and power lines. Did your friend do that?

            Another good point to make is that if you are installing lightning
            protection, the best way to keep lightning out of your equipment is to
            not let it in the building. In other words, don't install lightning
            protection inside - do it at the entrance to the building.

            For you hams, this *includes* rotor cables. If it enters the building,
            it needs protection. Otherwise, it's like installing an alarm system but
            leaving the window open. Lightning will find any path available.

            Joe M.

            Michael Hopkins wrote:
            > A friend of mine in Pennsylvania put up a 100 foot tower and did everything right. Within a year, he took a direct strike to the tower which took out light bulbs, telephones and power supplies, but the radios themselves (2 meter repeaters) were fine.





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • joe@polcari.com
            Isn t a double discone just a wideband vertical dipole? ----- Original Message -----From: "MCH" ;mch@nb.net [Non-text portions of this message
            Message 5 of 19 , May 7, 2013
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              Isn't a double discone just a wideband vertical dipole? ----- Original Message -----From: "MCH" >;mch@...

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • MCH
              It could be described as several vertical dipoles. Well, not exactly vertical - about 30-45 degrees off vertical. It could also be described as several
              Message 6 of 19 , May 7, 2013
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                It could be described as several vertical dipoles. Well, not exactly
                vertical - about 30-45 degrees off vertical. It could also be described
                as several "sideways vees" (think inverted vee antenna but on its side).

                Joe M.

                joe@... wrote:
                > Isn't a double discone just a wideband vertical dipole?
              • Michael Hopkins
                Sounds right to me. Mike Hopkins K1VLB Mhopkins735@charter.net From: BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com [mailto:BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of joe@polcari.com
                Message 7 of 19 , May 7, 2013
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                  Sounds right to me.



                  Mike Hopkins K1VLB

                  Mhopkins735@...



                  From: BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com [mailto:BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                  Of joe@...
                  Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2013 10:39 AM
                  To: BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com; bcd396xt@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [BCD396XT] Double Discone antenna question (for you antenna
                  wizards)





                  Isn't a double discone just a wideband vertical dipole? ----- Original
                  Message -----From: "MCH" >;mch@... <mailto:mch%40nb.net>

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Preston Ward
                  I m still running behind on catching up to some messages, so this may have already been answered by now, but if not please let me know which antenna you re
                  Message 8 of 19 , May 8, 2013
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                    I'm still running behind on catching up to some messages, so this may have already been answered by now, but if not please let me know which antenna you're using.  Sounds like I may want to consider it too...


                    --- On Mon, 5/6/13, John Stark <johnstark@...> wrote:


                    From: John Stark <johnstark@...>
                    Subject: Re: [BCD396XT] Double Discone antenna question (for you antenna wizards)
                    To: BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Monday, May 6, 2013, 11:10 PM


                    Never heared it called a double discone but I use a discone that has a center element and it works great. I hear every county in the state on VHF as well as other states. Even my HP1 picks up Ft Wayne 90 miles away and Louisville Ky more than 100 miles away. Great antenna but I don't use the Radio Shack version but one that's around  $150. This thing survived a tornado while the scantenna didn't survive 50mph winds even strengthened.


                    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

                    Preston Ward <ppreston69@...> wrote:

                    >Well thanks a lot Joe... you just made my decidion that much harder ;)
                    >Now I'm torn between this thing from England, a single discone with a vertical element, and a discone without the vertical element (and that's just for the local signals I want to get with an omnidirectional antenna, I'm not talking about the directional yagi issue to Springfield).  It would probably be better to get a discone with the vertical element, but I also have a big oak tree very close to where I want to put my mast, and if it grows any, then I'm going to have an issue with a tree.  If I had an antenna without the vertical element, it would let me put the mast that much higher and stick the single discone on top without having to worry about that extra 4-5 feet of vertical element touching the tree for now.
                    >
                    >
                    >--- On Mon, 5/6/13, MCH <mch@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    >From: MCH <mch@...>
                    >Subject: Re: [BCD396XT] Double Discone antenna question (for you antenna wizards)
                    >To: BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com
                    >Date: Monday, May 6, 2013, 8:47 AM
                    >
                    >
                    >Double would be better only from the standpoint that generally speaking
                    >the more capture area you have on your antenna the more you will
                    >receive. IOW, the larger the antenna, the better.
                    >
                    >The lower radiation angle means that transmission (and reception) will
                    >be focused on the horizon rather than in the air. You get gain on an
                    >antenna by focusing it on the horizon in order to make it more sensitive
                    >to distant signals.
                    >
                    >Of course, if aircraft or satellite reception is your target, this would
                    >not be a good thing, but for general public safety/business/ham
                    >reception, it would be better.
                    >
                    >Joe M.
                    >
                    >Preston Ward wrote:
                    >> I ran across this "double discone" antenna on eBay and it says that it has "2.8db gain over a conventional 'single discone'" and "provides gain and lower radiation angle than conventional discones to increase your reception power."
                    >>
                    >> 
                    >> Can someone explain to me 1) if a double is better than a single discone, and 2) what the lower radiation angle means? I can't find any reference to a "double discone" online...
                    >>
                    >> 
                    >> In any case, it sure is a cool looking antenna :)
                    >>
                    >> 
                    >> Thanks!
                    >> 
                    >>
                    >> http://www.ebay.com/itm/Double-Discone-Scanner-Base-Station-Antenna-Aerial-/320832340973?pt=UK_ConsumerElectronics_SpecialistRadioEquipment_SM&hash=item4ab31903ed
                    >> 
                    >> 
                    >> 
                    >>
                    >> 
                    >>
                    >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >> ------------------------------------
                    >>
                    >> Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >
                    >
                    >------------------------------------
                    >
                    >Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >------------------------------------
                    >
                    >Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



                    ------------------------------------

                    Yahoo! Groups Links





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • John Stark
                    Not sure who made it but its the heavier duty discone that s around $149. Available through several places like Universal Radio and R&L and I think Groves also
                    Message 9 of 19 , May 8, 2013
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                      Not sure who made it but its the heavier duty discone that's around $149. Available through several places like Universal Radio and R&L and I think Groves also carries it.


                      Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

                      Preston Ward <ppreston69@...> wrote:

                      >I'm still running behind on catching up to some messages, so this may have already been answered by now, but if not please let me know which antenna you're using.  Sounds like I may want to consider it too...
                      >
                      >
                      >--- On Mon, 5/6/13, John Stark <johnstark@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      >From: John Stark <johnstark@...>
                      >Subject: Re: [BCD396XT] Double Discone antenna question (for you antenna wizards)
                      >To: BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com
                      >Date: Monday, May 6, 2013, 11:10 PM
                      >
                      >
                      >Never heared it called a double discone but I use a discone that has a center element and it works great. I hear every county in the state on VHF as well as other states. Even my HP1 picks up Ft Wayne 90 miles away and Louisville Ky more than 100 miles away. Great antenna but I don't use the Radio Shack version but one that's around  $150. This thing survived a tornado while the scantenna didn't survive 50mph winds even strengthened.
                      >
                      >
                      >Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID
                      >
                      >Preston Ward <ppreston69@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >>Well thanks a lot Joe... you just made my decidion that much harder ;)
                      >>Now I'm torn between this thing from England, a single discone with a vertical element, and a discone without the vertical element (and that's just for the local signals I want to get with an omnidirectional antenna, I'm not talking about the directional yagi issue to Springfield).  It would probably be better to get a discone with the vertical element, but I also have a big oak tree very close to where I want to put my mast, and if it grows any, then I'm going to have an issue with a tree.  If I had an antenna without the vertical element, it would let me put the mast that much higher and stick the single discone on top without having to worry about that extra 4-5 feet of vertical element touching the tree for now.
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>--- On Mon, 5/6/13, MCH <mch@...> wrote:
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>From: MCH <mch@...>
                      >>Subject: Re: [BCD396XT] Double Discone antenna question (for you antenna wizards)
                      >>To: BCD396XT@yahoogroups.com
                      >>Date: Monday, May 6, 2013, 8:47 AM
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>Double would be better only from the standpoint that generally speaking
                      >>the more capture area you have on your antenna the more you will
                      >>receive. IOW, the larger the antenna, the better.
                      >>
                      >>The lower radiation angle means that transmission (and reception) will
                      >>be focused on the horizon rather than in the air. You get gain on an
                      >>antenna by focusing it on the horizon in order to make it more sensitive
                      >>to distant signals.
                      >>
                      >>Of course, if aircraft or satellite reception is your target, this would
                      >>not be a good thing, but for general public safety/business/ham
                      >>reception, it would be better.
                      >>
                      >>Joe M.
                      >>
                      >>Preston Ward wrote:
                      >>> I ran across this "double discone" antenna on eBay and it says that it has "2.8db gain over a conventional 'single discone'" and "provides gain and lower radiation angle than conventional discones to increase your reception power."
                      >>>
                      >>> 
                      >>> Can someone explain to me 1) if a double is better than a single discone, and 2) what the lower radiation angle means? I can't find any reference to a "double discone" online...
                      >>>
                      >>> 
                      >>> In any case, it sure is a cool looking antenna :)
                      >>>
                      >>> 
                      >>> Thanks!
                      >>> 
                      >>>
                      >>> http://www.ebay.com/itm/Double-Discone-Scanner-Base-Station-Antenna-Aerial-/320832340973?pt=UK_ConsumerElectronics_SpecialistRadioEquipment_SM&hash=item4ab31903ed
                      >>> 
                      >>> 
                      >>> 
                      >>>
                      >>> 
                      >>>
                      >>> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >>>
                      >>>
                      >>>
                      >>> ------------------------------------
                      >>>
                      >>> Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >>>
                      >>>
                      >>>
                      >>>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>------------------------------------
                      >>
                      >>Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>------------------------------------
                      >>
                      >>Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >
                      >
                      >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >------------------------------------
                      >
                      >Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >------------------------------------
                      >
                      >Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >


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