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Re: [softrock40] Any UK resellers of the Softrock kits?

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  • Sid Boyce
    ... You are more than well qualified to tackle SMT components. As Stu says, a pair of decent tweezers so that the components don t launch somewhere into orbit,
    Message 1 of 30 , Apr 2, 2012
      On 02/04/12 15:50, Chris Wilson wrote:
      >
      >> I'm not quite sure why people talk up this SMD stuff, it's not like it's
      >> 0402 or .5mm pitch blindfold.
      >> To me a decent pair of tweezers and angle the board so that your wrist
      >> is at the right angle so its not straining, bluetack the pcb to a tray
      >> and move around when required. Magnifying glass or webcam if the
      >> eyesight is a bit lacking.
      >> Unless someone is out in the woods and can't talk to someone who has
      >> been in electronics some time in the last 20 years there is help out there.
      >> If you really think it's that much of a big deal I'll stick the Si570
      >> bits on and test for him. Or Skype with webcam some build tips,
      >> Teamviewer the PC to watch drivers are installed.
      >> OK a 96kHz sound card is a luxury but a a half decent soldering iron
      >> isn't - why don't we be a bit more positive and recommend some things
      >> learnt from all this combined enthusiasm?
      >> Stu
      >
      > I am certainly willing to give it a go. I would like to practice on
      > some SM components first though. I am unsure how to go about that
      > though. I am happy to buy some cheap surface mount devices to
      > "sacrifice", but I would need a suitable PCB board to solder them to.
      > Anyone got any tips for cheap ways to practice? i couldn't TIG weld 2
      > years ago, but am now so so with aluminium and reasonable on
      > stainless. I remember when a BMC "A" series engine seemed complex and
      > re-building one was a fearful undertaking. I now tackle F1 engines
      > without any great concerns. Practice makes perfect and all that.... ;)
      >
      > 02/04/2012 15:46
      >
      >
      >
      You are more than well qualified to tackle SMT components. As Stu says,
      a pair of decent tweezers so that the components don't launch somewhere
      into orbit, an eye loop or magnifying lamp with which to check the work
      and a suitable fine tip soldering iron is all that's needed.

      When I did my first SMT board, the SR63ng I had no previous experience
      but I realised that putting a little solder on one pad, placing the
      component, checking alignment and soldering the other connection was as
      simple as it gets.

      For SMT DIP same idea, solder one corner pin, check chip alignment with
      the pads, solder the pin at the end of the other side, then solder all
      other pins. User solder flux and solder wick to remove bridges between
      pins, check again and you are done.

      Even QFP and QFN packages can be done with the same technique.

      Nothing to fear but fear itself and it's easier and quicker than through
      hole components.
      73 ... Sid.


      --
      Sid Boyce ... Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot
      Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu Servers Tech Support
      Senior Staff Specialist, Cricket Coach
      Microsoft Windows Free Zone - Linux used for all Computing Tasks
    • Rick Simpson
      I overcame my fear of SMT by using the ELENCO Model SM-200K Surface Mount Technology Kit, available through Amazon. It is about $20 and steps you through
      Message 2 of 30 , Apr 2, 2012
        I overcame my fear of SMT by using the ELENCO Model SM-200K Surface Mount
        Technology Kit, available through Amazon. It is about $20 and steps you
        through soldering about a dozen SMT components. Make sure you use 0.015
        tin-lead solder, not the no-lead stuff they provide with the kit. Also, an
        earlier post in this group gave a source for scrap SMT PC boards.

        Rick
        K3IND

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Chris Wilson" <chris@...>
        To: "Stu Capon" <softrock40@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, April 02, 2012 10:50 AM
        Subject: Re: [softrock40] Any UK resellers of the Softrock kits?


        >
        >
        >> I'm not quite sure why people talk up this SMD stuff, it's not like it's
        >> 0402 or .5mm pitch blindfold.
        >> To me a decent pair of tweezers and angle the board so that your wrist
        >> is at the right angle so its not straining, bluetack the pcb to a tray
        >> and move around when required. Magnifying glass or webcam if the
        >> eyesight is a bit lacking.
        >
        >> Unless someone is out in the woods and can't talk to someone who has
        >> been in electronics some time in the last 20 years there is help out
        >> there.
        >> If you really think it's that much of a big deal I'll stick the Si570
        >> bits on and test for him. Or Skype with webcam some build tips,
        >> Teamviewer the PC to watch drivers are installed.
        >
        >> OK a 96kHz sound card is a luxury but a a half decent soldering iron
        >> isn't - why don't we be a bit more positive and recommend some things
        >> learnt from all this combined enthusiasm?
        >
        >> Stu
        >
        >
        > I am certainly willing to give it a go. I would like to practice on
        > some SM components first though. I am unsure how to go about that
        > though. I am happy to buy some cheap surface mount devices to
        > "sacrifice", but I would need a suitable PCB board to solder them to.
        > Anyone got any tips for cheap ways to practice? i couldn't TIG weld 2
        > years ago, but am now so so with aluminium and reasonable on
        > stainless. I remember when a BMC "A" series engine seemed complex and
        > re-building one was a fearful undertaking. I now tackle F1 engines
        > without any great concerns. Practice makes perfect and all that.... ;)
        >
        > 02/04/2012 15:46
        >
        >
        >
        > --
        > Best Regards,
        > Chris Wilson.
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
      • Chris Wilson
        ... 02/04/2012 17:00 Sadly a PCB board might be more gastronomically appealing than my wife s cooking ;) -- Best Regards, Chris Wilson.
        Message 3 of 30 , Apr 2, 2012
          >
          > It's just plain a bad idea to cook PCBs with lead solder in an oven
          > you use to cook food with.

          > At 09:54 AM 4/2/2012, you wrote:

          >>Chris,
          >>
          >>You can get a board by finding an older computer board or consumer
          >>electronics. The older stuff used larger size components. Hit it
          >>with a heat gun and shake the parts off. You might also be able to
          >>use the oven at 500 F and then shake. Just don't let your wife see you.
          >>
          >>Dave
          >>KB2YWT
          >>
          >>On Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 10:50 AM, Chris Wilson
          >><<mailto:chris@...>chris@...> wrote:
          >>
          >>
          >> > I'm not quite sure why people talk up this SMD stuff, it's not like it's
          >> > 0402 or .5mm pitch blindfold.
          >> > To me a decent pair of tweezers and angle the board so that your wrist
          >> > is at the right angle so its not straining, bluetack the pcb to a tray
          >> > and move around when required. Magnifying glass or webcam if the
          >> > eyesight is a bit lacking.
          >>
          >> > Unless someone is out in the woods and can't talk to someone who has
          >> > been in electronics some time in the last 20 years there is help out there.
          >> > If you really think it's that much of a big deal I'll stick the Si570
          >> > bits on and test for him. Or Skype with webcam some build tips,
          >> > Teamviewer the PC to watch drivers are installed.
          >>
          >> > OK a 96kHz sound card is a luxury but a a half decent soldering iron
          >> > isn't - why don't we be a bit more positive and recommend some things
          >> > learnt from all this combined enthusiasm?
          >>
          >> > Stu
          >>
          >>
          >>I am certainly willing to give it a go. I would like to practice on
          >>some SM components first though. I am unsure how to go about that
          >>though. I am happy to buy some cheap surface mount devices to
          >>"sacrifice", but I would need a suitable PCB board to solder them to.
          >>Anyone got any tips for cheap ways to practice? i couldn't TIG weld 2
          >>years ago, but am now so so with aluminium and reasonable on
          >>stainless. I remember when a BMC "A" series engine seemed complex and
          >>re-building one was a fearful undertaking. I now tackle F1 engines
          >>without any great concerns. Practice makes perfect and all that....
          >>
          >>02/04/2012 15:46



          02/04/2012 17:00

          Sadly a PCB board might be more gastronomically appealing than my
          wife's cooking ;)

          --
          Best Regards,
          Chris Wilson.
        • MIKE DURKIN
          Go to a thrift store ... get any computer - maybe even working - have at it! !! ; laptops are kinda hard to disassemble but are guaranteed to have SMD parts
          Message 4 of 30 , Apr 2, 2012
            Go to a thrift store ... get any computer - maybe even working - have at it! !! ; laptops are kinda hard to disassemble but are guaranteed to have SMD parts .... I use a leather embossing tool as part of my flow/reflow tool ... and a black&decker toaster oven (12$ yard sale)



            -----Original Message-----

            From: Chris Wilson
            Sent: 2 Apr 2012 14:50:30 GMT
            To: Stu Capon
            Subject: Re: [softrock40] Any UK resellers of the Softrock kits?



            > I'm not quite sure why people talk up this SMD stuff, it's not like it's
            > 0402 or .5mm pitch blindfold.
            > To me a decent pair of tweezers and angle the board so that your wrist
            > is at the right angle so its not straining, bluetack the pcb to a tray
            > and move around when required. Magnifying glass or webcam if the
            > eyesight is a bit lacking.

            > Unless someone is out in the woods and can't talk to someone who has
            > been in electronics some time in the last 20 years there is help out there.
            > If you really think it's that much of a big deal I'll stick the Si570
            > bits on and test for him. Or Skype with webcam some build tips,
            > Teamviewer the PC to watch drivers are installed.

            > OK a 96kHz sound card is a luxury but a a half decent soldering iron
            > isn't - why don't we be a bit more positive and recommend some things
            > learnt from all this combined enthusiasm?

            > Stu


            I am certainly willing to give it a go. I would like to practice on
            some SM components first though. I am unsure how to go about that
            though. I am happy to buy some cheap surface mount devices to
            "sacrifice", but I would need a suitable PCB board to solder them to.
            Anyone got any tips for cheap ways to practice? i couldn't TIG weld 2
            years ago, but am now so so with aluminium and reasonable on
            stainless. I remember when a BMC "A" series engine seemed complex and
            re-building one was a fearful undertaking. I now tackle F1 engines
            without any great concerns. Practice makes perfect and all that.... ;)

            02/04/2012 15:46



            --
            Best Regards,
            Chris Wilson.



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

            Yahoo! Groups Links
          • m0fmt
            Chris and group I would recommend that you buy a softrock kit from Tony Parks directly. The World has shrunk somewhat since the days of the Wilson government
            Message 5 of 30 , Apr 2, 2012
              Chris and group

              I would recommend that you buy a softrock kit from Tony Parks directly. The World has shrunk somewhat since the days of the Wilson government who only allowed us to spend £30 overseas... hee hee if you can remember that far back. So it's just as easy these days to buy from Tony as it is from a UK local outfit with their "Mark ups".
              As far as SMT is concerned it's not so difficult. My equipment is a 60watt elcheapo soldering iron with a point tip. Lead solder and a reel of solder wick. And of course an illuminated bench magnifier from Maplin. The RSGB has done SMT no favours with their articles of the perfect SMT solder joint diagrams you just have to get the solder to run then you know you have "caught " it, perfection is not necessary just a good electrical connection. The positioning of the components on the board is important but the magnifier helps. I flood solder the IC pins and then remove surplus with the solder wick it works although it is a bit counter intuitive.
              To just get started with perfectly adequate results the on-board soundcard on a cheap PC will usually gives you a 196kc/s band width. I run a Delta card and an on-board card and can't really tell much difference if I am honest. So get started and realise the potential of SDR. Once the hardware detector is done all that is required is to hook up all your data applications via VAC and not a trailing wire or soldering iron in sight. Good luck Pete M0FMT


              --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "Rick Simpson" <RSimpson@...> wrote:
              >
              > I overcame my fear of SMT by using the ELENCO Model SM-200K Surface Mount
              > Technology Kit, available through Amazon. It is about $20 and steps you
              > through soldering about a dozen SMT components. Make sure you use 0.015
              > tin-lead solder, not the no-lead stuff they provide with the kit. Also, an
              > earlier post in this group gave a source for scrap SMT PC boards.
              >
              > Rick
              > K3IND
              >
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: "Chris Wilson" <chris@...>
              > To: "Stu Capon" <softrock40@yahoogroups.com>
              > Sent: Monday, April 02, 2012 10:50 AM
              > Subject: Re: [softrock40] Any UK resellers of the Softrock kits?
              >
              >
              > >
              > >
              > >> I'm not quite sure why people talk up this SMD stuff, it's not like it's
              > >> 0402 or .5mm pitch blindfold.
              > >> To me a decent pair of tweezers and angle the board so that your wrist
              > >> is at the right angle so its not straining, bluetack the pcb to a tray
              > >> and move around when required. Magnifying glass or webcam if the
              > >> eyesight is a bit lacking.
              > >
              > >> Unless someone is out in the woods and can't talk to someone who has
              > >> been in electronics some time in the last 20 years there is help out
              > >> there.
              > >> If you really think it's that much of a big deal I'll stick the Si570
              > >> bits on and test for him. Or Skype with webcam some build tips,
              > >> Teamviewer the PC to watch drivers are installed.
              > >
              > >> OK a 96kHz sound card is a luxury but a a half decent soldering iron
              > >> isn't - why don't we be a bit more positive and recommend some things
              > >> learnt from all this combined enthusiasm?
              > >
              > >> Stu
              > >
              > >
              > > I am certainly willing to give it a go. I would like to practice on
              > > some SM components first though. I am unsure how to go about that
              > > though. I am happy to buy some cheap surface mount devices to
              > > "sacrifice", but I would need a suitable PCB board to solder them to.
              > > Anyone got any tips for cheap ways to practice? i couldn't TIG weld 2
              > > years ago, but am now so so with aluminium and reasonable on
              > > stainless. I remember when a BMC "A" series engine seemed complex and
              > > re-building one was a fearful undertaking. I now tackle F1 engines
              > > without any great concerns. Practice makes perfect and all that.... ;)
              > >
              > > 02/04/2012 15:46
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > --
              > > Best Regards,
              > > Chris Wilson.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > ------------------------------------
              > >
              > > Yahoo! Groups Links
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
            • Gordon JC Pearc e
              ... If you can t get hold of a Softtrock (you ve got to be quick!) you could get a Kanga Finningley SDR instead. This is functionally similar to the Softrock
              Message 6 of 30 , Apr 2, 2012
                On 02/04/12 10:47, Chris Wilson wrote:
                >
                >
                > Can I buy here in the UK, or are they only available from the US?
                > Can someone point me to a link from which I can order please?
                > thanks.I feel building one is pushing my "newbie" staus to the limit,
                > but about to try for my intermediate UK amateur exam, so I might as
                > well try and build something both taxing and useful ;)
                >

                If you can't get hold of a Softtrock (you've got to be quick!) you could
                get a Kanga Finningley SDR instead. This is functionally similar to the
                Softrock Lite kits (single frequency LO, fixed at 3.750MHz - you can use
                different crystals to shunt it around the band though), but about twice
                the size and of course all surface-mount, which makes them much easier
                to build.

                At my local club we recommend these as a good Intermediate project.
                They don't take long to build, even for relatively inexperienced
                constructors, and they work well.

                Don't worry about spending money on expensive soundcards just yet. Your
                on-board 48kHz 16-bit card will be absolutely fine, especially for 80m
                where everything is either deafeningly loud or just plain inaudible.

                --
                Gordonjcp MM0YEQ
              • Gordon JC Pearc e
                ... The lead isn t going to go anywhere. It s pretty inert as a metal. I d be more worried about the chemicals driven off from the PCB resins. -- Gordonjcp
                Message 7 of 30 , Apr 2, 2012
                  On 02/04/12 16:06, cbayona wrote:
                  > It's just plain a bad idea to cook PCBs with lead solder in an oven
                  > you use to cook food with.
                  >

                  The lead isn't going to go anywhere. It's pretty inert as a metal.

                  I'd be more worried about the chemicals driven off from the PCB resins.

                  --
                  Gordonjcp MM0YEQ
                • sdrsharp
                  Seconded.
                  Message 8 of 30 , Apr 3, 2012
                    Seconded.

                    --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Gordon JC Pearc e <gordon@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > On 02/04/12 16:06, cbayona wrote:
                    > > It's just plain a bad idea to cook PCBs with lead solder in an oven
                    > > you use to cook food with.
                    > >
                    >
                    > The lead isn't going to go anywhere. It's pretty inert as a metal.
                    >
                    > I'd be more worried about the chemicals driven off from the PCB resins.
                    >
                    > --
                    > Gordonjcp MM0YEQ
                    >
                  • cbayona.cb
                    That is just what the Romans used to say before they went cuckoo. Your right though a bar of lead sitting in the oven will not do anything as long as the oven
                    Message 9 of 30 , Apr 3, 2012
                      That is just what the Romans used to say before they went cuckoo.
                      Your right though a bar of lead sitting in the oven will not do
                      anything as long as the oven is off, heated to 425 degrees you end up
                      with some lead vapors that are not nice.

                      At 01:43 AM 4/3/2012, you wrote:
                      >On 02/04/12 16:06, cbayona wrote:
                      > > It's just plain a bad idea to cook PCBs with lead solder in an oven
                      > > you use to cook food with.
                      > >
                      >
                      >The lead isn't going to go anywhere. It's pretty inert as a metal.
                      >
                      >I'd be more worried about the chemicals driven off from the PCB resins.
                      >
                      >--
                      >Gordonjcp MM0YEQ
                      >

                      Cecil
                      k5nwa
                      < <http://www.softrockradio.org/>http://www.softrockradio.org/ >
                      < http://thepartsplace.k5nwa.com/ >

                      Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.
                    • Chris Wilson
                      ... I have ordered an Ensemble II direct from Tony. A forum member, Stu Capon, has been incredibly helpful and very kind. He has offered up a spare kit that s
                      Message 10 of 30 , Apr 3, 2012
                        >
                        > Chris and group

                        > I would recommend that you buy a softrock kit from Tony Parks
                        > directly. The World has shrunk somewhat since the days of the Wilson
                        > government who only allowed us to spend £30 overseas... hee hee if
                        > you can remember that far back. So it's just as easy these days to
                        > buy from Tony as it is from a UK local outfit with their "Mark ups".
                        > As far as SMT is concerned it's not so difficult. My equipment is a
                        > 60watt elcheapo soldering iron with a point tip. Lead solder and a
                        > reel of solder wick. And of course an illuminated bench magnifier
                        > from Maplin. The RSGB has done SMT no favours with their articles of
                        > the perfect SMT solder joint diagrams you just have to get the
                        > solder to run then you know you have "caught " it, perfection is not
                        > necessary just a good electrical connection. The positioning of the
                        > components on the board is important but the magnifier helps. I
                        > flood solder the IC pins and then remove surplus with the solder
                        > wick it works although it is a bit counter intuitive.
                        > To just get started with perfectly adequate results the on-board
                        > soundcard on a cheap PC will usually gives you a 196kc/s band width.
                        > I run a Delta card and an on-board card and can't really tell much
                        > difference if I am honest. So get started and realise the potential
                        > of SDR. Once the hardware detector is done all that is required is
                        > to hook up all your data applications via VAC and not a trailing
                        > wire or soldering iron in sight. Good luck Pete M0FMT

                        I have ordered an Ensemble II direct from Tony. A forum member, Stu
                        Capon, has been incredibly helpful and very kind. He has offered up a
                        spare kit that's already here in the UK and being picked up today by
                        courier, so I can get on with this as soon as possible. Tony is
                        sending a replacement kit directly to Stu shortly, when he has some
                        missing boards back in stock. My work takes me away a lot in the motor
                        racing season, so I was anxious to see if I can get my intermediate
                        licence exam done and dusted as soon as possible. I cannot thank him
                        enough as we have fired numerous e-mails around to each other and to
                        Tony Parks. My sincere thanks to both of these gentlemen. They, and
                        all others who have replied here, have been a great help. I'll post up
                        my experiences as a novice building this kit in due course. Cheers
                        everyone.

                        03/04/2012 11:15



                        --
                        Best Regards,
                        Chris Wilson.
                      • Gordon JC Pearc e
                        ... What the hell kind of oven do you have, that goes up to 425 degrees? Metallic lead is fairly inert. What did for the Romans, was boiling wine in lead pots
                        Message 11 of 30 , Apr 3, 2012
                          On 03/04/12 10:36, cbayona.cb wrote:
                          > That is just what the Romans used to say before they went cuckoo.
                          > Your right though a bar of lead sitting in the oven will not do
                          > anything as long as the oven is off, heated to 425 degrees you end up
                          > with some lead vapors that are not nice.

                          What the hell kind of oven do you have, that goes up to 425 degrees?

                          Metallic lead is fairly inert. What did for the Romans, was boiling
                          wine in lead pots to form lead acetate, which is astonishingly bioavailable.

                          --
                          Gordonjcp MM0YEQ
                        • Stu Capon
                          So no boiling softrocks in wine at 425F is that clear!!
                          Message 12 of 30 , Apr 3, 2012
                            So no boiling softrocks in wine at 425F is that clear!!

                            On 03/04/12 15:11, Gordon JC Pearc e wrote:
                             

                            On 03/04/12 10:36, cbayona.cb wrote:
                            > That is just what the Romans used to say before they went cuckoo.
                            > Your right though a bar of lead sitting in the oven will not do
                            > anything as long as the oven is off, heated to 425 degrees you end up
                            > with some lead vapors that are not nice.

                            What the hell kind of oven do you have, that goes up to 425 degrees?

                            Metallic lead is fairly inert. What did for the Romans, was boiling
                            wine in lead pots to form lead acetate, which is astonishingly bioavailable.

                            --
                            Gordonjcp MM0YEQ


                          • cbayona
                            Actually it can go to 800 degrees F in self cleaning mode. 425 F is what you heat it to as recommended to solder components. Long before any metallic substance
                            Message 13 of 30 , Apr 3, 2012
                              Actually it can go to 800 degrees F in self cleaning mode. 425 F is
                              what you heat it to as recommended to solder components.

                              Long before any metallic substance boils particles start coming
                              off, lead in a liquid state gives off lots particles to the air,
                              sorry but you are never going to convince me that lead fumes is
                              perfectly safe. As insane as some people claim I am I want to keep it
                              at that point and no further.

                              I've seen ovens used to melt lead and over time they end up with
                              visible lead in it's interior.

                              At 09:11 AM 4/3/2012, you wrote:
                              >On 03/04/12 10:36, cbayona.cb wrote:
                              > > That is just what the Romans used to say before they went cuckoo.
                              > > Your right though a bar of lead sitting in the oven will not do
                              > > anything as long as the oven is off, heated to 425 degrees you end up
                              > > with some lead vapors that are not nice.
                              >
                              >What the hell kind of oven do you have, that goes up to 425 degrees?
                              >
                              >Metallic lead is fairly inert. What did for the Romans, was boiling
                              >wine in lead pots to form lead acetate, which is astonishingly bioavailable.
                              >
                              >--
                              >Gordonjcp MM0YEQ

                              --
                              Cecil - k5nwa
                              http://www.softrockradio.org/ http://thepartsplace.k5nwa.com/

                              Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.
                            • MIKE DURKIN
                              Lol ... Confucius is confused. 325°F is easy ... 325°C is hard with an oven...... its the smell of the flux that will get you in trouble with the XYL! !! ...
                              Message 14 of 30 , Apr 3, 2012
                                Lol ... Confucius is confused.
                                325°F is easy ... 325°C is hard with an oven...... its the smell of the flux that will get you in trouble with the XYL! !!

                                -----Original Message-----

                                From: Gordon JC Pearc e
                                Sent: 3 Apr 2012 14:12:24 GMT
                                To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: Re: [softrock40] Any UK resellers of the Softrock kits?

                                 

                                On 03/04/12 10:36, cbayona.cb wrote:
                                > That is just what the Romans used to say before they went cuckoo.
                                > Your right though a bar of lead sitting in the oven will not do
                                > anything as long as the oven is off, heated to 425 degrees you end up
                                > with some lead vapors that are not nice.

                                What the hell kind of oven do you have, that goes up to 425 degrees?

                                Metallic lead is fairly inert. What did for the Romans, was boiling
                                wine in lead pots to form lead acetate, which is astonishingly bioavailable.

                                --
                                Gordonjcp MM0YEQ

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