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Re: WHEN IS A Z LOCO RUNNING RIGHT?

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  • mark2playz
    Ell, If you want to see what AF made available check out: http://www.myflyertrains.org/gallery/ I don t remember the details of how I got my copies, only that
    Message 1 of 22 , Nov 6, 2010
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      Ell,
      If you want to see what AF made available check out:
      http://www.myflyertrains.org/gallery/
      I don't remember the details of how I got my copies, only that my dad got then at the same time he bought an AF maintenance kit at the train store.
      My question isn't so much just accepting a loco, but maintaining them. As an example from the MR review I know a GP-35 running at 200mA is good. Is 250mA still good or is it suggesting maintenance time?
      The RPM around an oval is a good way to match locos as well as check the performance. Would Malcolm have been concerned about the SD-40 if it were identified that it does 5 RPM when a GP-35 does 7?
      As for hard numbers, I could publish what I have on GP-7s,9s, F7s (Marklin & MTL) and a Mikado, if anyone is interested.

      Mark

      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Ell" <geib@...> wrote:
      >
      > Rob,
      >
      > While I understand your arguments, I don't think they really address Mark's or Malcolm's questions/comments.
      >
      > While I have never heard of any manufacturer supplying the sort of information Mark says American Flyer supplied concerning current draw, that would be a very handy piece of info to have.
      >
      > Of course it would differ between manufacturers and for different models from the same manufacturer. But it should not differ greatly for the same model by the same manufacturer. If a new GP35 from MTL typically drew 50 to 60 ma at 5 volts, then I would expect something to be wrong if another one drew 80-90 ma at 5 volts. That is simply too large a difference to attribute to different runs. A difference of 50-60 percent in current draw indicates something is wrong.
      >
      > The manufacturers of z-scale equipment do an excellent job of producing very good-looking items, and for the most part good-running items. Even if they did not include the expected current draw information, I think it would be a real plus for operation if they did a quick check on current draw at the time of manufacture. It would probably go a long way to head off complaints that a newly purchased engine doesn't seem to work correctly.
      >
      > But I would love to have some idea from the manufacturer of what numbers I should anticipate for a properly working engine.
      >
      > Ell Geib
      >
      >
    • mark2playz
      Loren, My question isn t to fix a particular issue. What I m asking about is what quantitative measurement can be used to determine its time to take the loco
      Message 2 of 22 , Nov 6, 2010
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        Loren,
        My question isn't to fix a particular issue. What I'm asking about is what quantitative measurement can be used to determine its time to take the loco off the track and play with the screws.

        Mark

        --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Loren Snyder" <ljsnyder@...> wrote:
        >
        > Mark,
        > Have you played with the tightness of the chassis screws yet? Maybe
        > loosening them will help?
        > Loren
        >
      • Loren Snyder
        Mark, I guess I m not understanding the overall question.....are you wanting to determine how much time is involved in making a repair and if you consider the
        Message 3 of 22 , Nov 6, 2010
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          Mark,
          I guess I'm not understanding the overall question.....are you wanting to
          determine how much time is involved in making a repair and if you consider
          the time excessive?
          Loren




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

          From: mark2playz
          Date: 11/6/2010 11:01:29 PM
          To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: WHEN IS A Z LOCO RUNNING RIGHT?


          Loren,
          My question isn't to fix a particular issue. What I'm asking about is
          what quantitative measurement can be used to determine its time to take the
          loco off the track and play with the screws.


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • hasbro
          ... Mark, I went back to the beginning and reread your question. I think I get it now. I m not aware of any set standard to measure AZL or MTL loco
          Message 4 of 22 , Nov 6, 2010
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            --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "mark2playz" <mark.markham@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            > Loren,
            > My question isn't to fix a particular issue. What I'm asking about is what quantitative measurement can be used to determine its time to take the loco off the track and play with the screws.
            >
            > Mark

            Mark,
            I went back to the beginning and reread your question. I think I get it now. I'm not aware of any set standard to measure AZL or MTL loco performance. No set rules, the bottom line I guess is to compare several like locos and notice what the average speed of each is.

            A timed circle will certainly tell you which loco is a slow poke. From there it is likely a matter of tweaking the slow loco to get it to speed up. Not always possible I suppose due to manufacturing idiosyncrasies and care of assembly, (the human factor) perhaps being just a tad off, but generally speaking each loco should perform very close to the operational characteristics of other locos.

            Ever heard of the advice to not buy a car built on Monday or Friday?
            Same may be true of locos or anything else for that matter.
            Loren
          • dpstripe@aol.com
            Loren, I think what Mark is looking for is some kind of bench mark values. Something provided by the manufacturer that tells the standard performance
            Message 5 of 22 , Nov 6, 2010
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              Loren,
              I think what Mark is looking for is some kind of bench mark values. Something provided by the manufacturer that tells the standard performance characteristics of a locomotive. That way, you can compare your loc to the bench marks to see if it is running properly.
              Dan S.




              -----Original Message-----
              From: Loren Snyder <ljsnyder@...>
              To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Sun, Nov 7, 2010 1:05 am
              Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: WHEN IS A Z LOCO RUNNING RIGHT?


              Mark,
              guess I'm not understanding the overall question.....are you wanting to
              etermine how much time is involved in making a repair and if you consider
              he time excessive?
              oren




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

              rom: mark2playz
              ate: 11/6/2010 11:01:29 PM
              o: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
              ubject: [Z_Scale] Re: WHEN IS A Z LOCO RUNNING RIGHT?


              oren,
              My question isn't to fix a particular issue. What I'm asking about is
              hat quantitative measurement can be used to determine its time to take the
              oco off the track and play with the screws.

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

              ------------------------------------
              Z-scale: minimum siZe, MAXIMUM enjoyment!
              ahoo! Groups Links
              Individual Email | Traditional
              http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Loren Snyder
              Dan, Mark may be looking for something like that, but there is none to my knowledge. I just wrote another missive and mentioned that comparison performance is
              Message 6 of 22 , Nov 6, 2010
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                Dan,
                Mark may be looking for something like that, but there is none to my
                knowledge. I just wrote another missive and mentioned that comparison
                performance is the usual determining factor we look at to determine normal
                operating perameters.

                An element of truth to that concept?
                Loren




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

                From: dpstripe@...
                Date: 11/6/2010 11:16:45 PM
                To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: WHEN IS A Z LOCO RUNNING RIGHT?

                Loren,
                I think what Mark is looking for is some kind of bench mark values.
                Something provided by the manufacturer that tells the standard performance
                characteristics of a locomotive. That way, you can compare your loc to the
                bench marks to see if it is running properly.
                Dan S.





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • mark2playz
                Loren, I m a preventive maintenance sort of guy. I ve started running more regularly these days and considering when its time to do a PM on a loco. Marklin
                Message 7 of 22 , Nov 6, 2010
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                  Loren,
                  I'm a preventive maintenance sort of guy. I've started running more regularly these days and considering when its time to do a PM on a loco. Marklin says oil every 20 hrs. but that's about it. In my experience with American Flyer engines they basically specified a upper current limit for a running engine, and a distance it should travel in a minute, under specific conditions. The 1st measurement would tell me if its time to clean the motor, replace brushes, etc. and the 2nd usually meant its time to relubricate. I posted a link to examples in another message. I want to do something similar in the way of quantitative measurements for my Z.
                  I generally run a speed and current test on everything I aquire. So I'm wondering how much of a current increase or a slow down (or some other measurement I haven't thought of) would indicate that maintenance would be required.
                  The side comments with Malcolm are: wouldn't be nice if manufacturers provided some of this info as it would make it easier to do maintenance, would help set performance expectations and provide a consistent basis to answer the original question.

                  BTW: I always spend too much time working on my engines...of course I wash the windows inside and out.

                  Mark


                  --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Loren Snyder" <ljsnyder@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Mark,
                  > I guess I'm not understanding the overall question.....are you wanting to
                  > determine how much time is involved in making a repair and if you consider
                  > the time excessive?
                  > Loren
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > -------Original Message-------
                  >
                  > From: mark2playz
                  > Date: 11/6/2010 11:01:29 PM
                  > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: WHEN IS A Z LOCO RUNNING RIGHT?
                  >
                  >
                  > Loren,
                  > My question isn't to fix a particular issue. What I'm asking about is
                  > what quantitative measurement can be used to determine its time to take the
                  > loco off the track and play with the screws.
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • mark2playz
                  Dan, Exactly. Manufacturer data would be nice. But also how do other people here bench mark their locos? Mark
                  Message 8 of 22 , Nov 7, 2010
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                    Dan,
                    Exactly. Manufacturer data would be nice. But also how do other people here bench mark their locos?

                    Mark

                    --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, dpstripe@... wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > Loren,
                    > I think what Mark is looking for is some kind of bench mark values. Something provided by the manufacturer that tells the standard performance characteristics of a locomotive. That way, you can compare your loc to the bench marks to see if it is running properly.
                    > Dan S.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: Loren Snyder <ljsnyder@...>
                    > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Sun, Nov 7, 2010 1:05 am
                    > Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: WHEN IS A Z LOCO RUNNING RIGHT?
                    >
                    >
                    > Mark,
                    > guess I'm not understanding the overall question.....are you wanting to
                    > etermine how much time is involved in making a repair and if you consider
                    > he time excessive?
                    > oren
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ------Original Message-------
                    >
                    > rom: mark2playz
                    > ate: 11/6/2010 11:01:29 PM
                    > o: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                    > ubject: [Z_Scale] Re: WHEN IS A Z LOCO RUNNING RIGHT?
                    >
                    >
                    > oren,
                    > My question isn't to fix a particular issue. What I'm asking about is
                    > hat quantitative measurement can be used to determine its time to take the
                    > oco off the track and play with the screws.
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------
                    > Z-scale: minimum siZe, MAXIMUM enjoyment!
                    > ahoo! Groups Links
                    > Individual Email | Traditional
                    > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                  • mark2playz
                    Loren, Sorry my comments are out of sync, when I m at home, I m limited to dial-up speeds. I suppose comparison works as long as you have a half dozen units to
                    Message 9 of 22 , Nov 7, 2010
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                      Loren,
                      Sorry my comments are out of sync, when I'm at home, I'm limited to dial-up speeds. I suppose comparison works as long as you have a half dozen units to compare to. But if you have only one what do you compare to? That get's us to Malcolm's SD-40 vs. GP-35 issues.

                      Mark

                      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Loren Snyder" <ljsnyder@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Dan,
                      > Mark may be looking for something like that, but there is none to my
                      > knowledge. I just wrote another missive and mentioned that comparison
                      > performance is the usual determining factor we look at to determine normal
                      > operating perameters.
                      >
                      > An element of truth to that concept?
                      > Loren
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > -------Original Message-------
                      >
                      > From: dpstripe@...
                      > Date: 11/6/2010 11:16:45 PM
                      > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: WHEN IS A Z LOCO RUNNING RIGHT?
                      >
                      > Loren,
                      > I think what Mark is looking for is some kind of bench mark values.
                      > Something provided by the manufacturer that tells the standard performance
                      > characteristics of a locomotive. That way, you can compare your loc to the
                      > bench marks to see if it is running properly.
                      > Dan S.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                    • Loren Snyder
                      Mark, I can t speak for anyone else, but from attending many a train show and observing others I have come to the conclusion that preventive maintenance is the
                      Message 10 of 22 , Nov 7, 2010
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                        Mark,
                        I can't speak for anyone else, but from attending many a train show and
                        observing others I have come to the conclusion that preventive maintenance
                        is the best thing just prior to a show or for a home running session where
                        you want and need your fleet of locos to run flawlessly and without any sort
                        of hick up other than the occasional derail which happens to all of us from
                        time to time.

                        On MTL locos, the preventative maintenance prior to a show consists mainly
                        of removing the truck side frames, checking for lint and foreign material on
                        the gears, maybe blowing any particles out of the wheel sets, and a tiny
                        drop of oil on the manufacturer's suggested points. That and cleaning the
                        wheels is about all you must do routinely to insure consistent performance.
                        The entire process takes only a few minutes and is fairly simple and pain
                        free. AZL locos are similar with minor differences.

                        Dirt is the Achilles tendon of Z scale operation. Start with excellent
                        track work, regular track cleaning and loco maintenance and you have the
                        formula for 'good times'.

                        Personally I don't think any sort of written parameters are needed or
                        necessary. The whole process is so simple and quick to perform.

                        Just a casual runner's 2 1/2 cents worth.

                        Loren

                        'it's all in the way you hold your lips'




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

                        From: mark2playz
                        Date: 11/7/2010 12:02:38 AM
                        To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: WHEN IS A Z LOCO RUNNING RIGHT?


                        Dan,
                        Exactly. Manufacturer data would be nice. But also how do other people
                        here bench mark their locos?

                        Mark


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Loren Snyder
                        Mark, One additional comment regarding loco performance. Loco performance depends partly on how it was assembled and with what care, and also the actual
                        Message 11 of 22 , Nov 7, 2010
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                          Mark,
                          One additional comment regarding loco performance. Loco performance
                          depends partly on how it was assembled and with what care, and also the
                          actual parts used. Once a couple of years ago, MTL's machine for making the
                          F7 wheel sets became a bit worn and the resulting wheel sets had a slight
                          wobble from some factor I am not well versed on. The problem came to light
                          in part when one of my customers complained of F7 wobble. Upon
                          investigating the issue, the worn tooling was discovered. Upon correction
                          of the faulty tool the problem was completely eliminated and all campers
                          went to bed happy under the stars that night.

                          I think Rob Kluz thoroughly explained why some locos just don't sync
                          together easily, differing gear ratios taken into consideration.

                          I bought one of the first AZL UP GP7s that was not really ready for prime
                          time and was released prior to the regular release. One would have expected
                          it to perhaps perform less than ideally because of its early production and
                          not having everything just exactly right.
                          Low and behold, due to it being hand assembled by a person who really took
                          pains to insure the best, my particular loco ran like a scared rabbit.
                          Nothing from AZL has ever run quite that good. It walks away from other
                          GP7s I've had so I call it my little 'streak'

                          This is not to say the other AZL locos have not run well right out of the
                          box after a little break in time, but this particular loco seemed to be in a
                          class all its own. I know that is an exception to the rule.......but you
                          won't hear me complaining about its speed.

                          Nice little choo choo.

                          Loren




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

                          From: mark2playz
                          Date: 11/7/2010 12:29:33 AM
                          To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: WHEN IS A Z LOCO RUNNING RIGHT?


                          Loren,
                          Sorry my comments are out of sync, when I'm at home, I'm limited to
                          dial-up speeds. I suppose comparison works as long as you have a half dozen
                          units to compare to. But if you have only one what do you compare to? That
                          get's us to Malcolm's SD-40 vs. GP-35 issues.

                          Mark


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Garth
                          There is a great deal of difference between an American Flyer or Lionel engine with open frame motor with weight and one of our little Z scale jobs. From
                          Message 12 of 22 , Nov 7, 2010
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                            There is a great deal of difference between an American Flyer or Lionel engine with open frame motor with weight and one of our little Z scale jobs. From working in a hobby shop in early 80's never saw one with cruddy wheels like we do in Z. Being over oiled was never a problem with the heavy weights but it certainly is in N-scale and particularly is Z.

                            My preshow check is like Loren to be sure the trucks are clean and have nothing in them. If they look dry then a tiny drop of oil otherwise no oil. I sometimes use a bit of teflon powder if an engine is having trouble out of the box but usually it justs need a tweak on the truck and chassis screws. I have never seen warn out wipers in Z like I have in American Flyer and Lionel. The American Flyer and Lionel stuff I was working on was 40 to 55 years old and our Z stuff just hasn't reached that age yet.

                            My basic approach is if it is clean and running leave it alone. If it is sick fix it. And if it is Marklin and old then make sure you run it monthly so it does not freeze up, but I usually clean a new Marklin engine and re lubricate it with Labelle right out of the box so I have avoided the dreaded harden oil syndrome for most of the engines in my Nn3 & Z collection of Marklin steamers.

                            Working on David George's fleet of engines the only maintenance I have had to do was due to crude on wheels cat hair in things including axle cones of his rolling stock and broken couplers. The only reason the engines did not run on the track was no power getting through to the motor. Once cleaned they were off and running again. At shows I run a track cleaning car behind the engine on my train consists and I have found metal wheels are a great way to add weight to your cars and they do not collect the crude the Delrin wheels do. No cruddy delrin wheels no crude on diesel wheels either. Then I clean the roller on the track cleaner between shows also.

                            cheerz Garth

                            --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Loren Snyder" <ljsnyder@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Mark,
                            > I can't speak for anyone else, but from attending many a train show and
                            > observing others I have come to the conclusion that preventive maintenance
                            > is the best thing just prior to a show or for a home running session where
                            > you want and need your fleet of locos to run flawlessly and without any sort
                            > of hick up other than the occasional derail which happens to all of us from
                            > time to time.
                            >
                            > On MTL locos, the preventative maintenance prior to a show consists mainly
                            > of removing the truck side frames, checking for lint and foreign material on
                            > the gears, maybe blowing any particles out of the wheel sets, and a tiny
                            > drop of oil on the manufacturer's suggested points. That and cleaning the
                            > wheels is about all you must do routinely to insure consistent performance.
                            > The entire process takes only a few minutes and is fairly simple and pain
                            > free. AZL locos are similar with minor differences.
                            >
                            > Dirt is the Achilles tendon of Z scale operation. Start with excellent
                            > track work, regular track cleaning and loco maintenance and you have the
                            > formula for 'good times'.
                            >
                            > Personally I don't think any sort of written parameters are needed or
                            > necessary. The whole process is so simple and quick to perform.
                            >
                            > Just a casual runner's 2 1/2 cents worth.
                            >
                            > Loren
                            >
                            > 'it's all in the way you hold your lips'
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > -------Original Message-------
                            >
                            > From: mark2playz
                            > Date: 11/7/2010 12:02:38 AM
                            > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                            > Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: WHEN IS A Z LOCO RUNNING RIGHT?
                            >
                            >
                            > Dan,
                            > Exactly. Manufacturer data would be nice. But also how do other people
                            > here bench mark their locos?
                            >
                            > Mark
                            >
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                          • de Champeaux Dominique
                            I don t do any benchmark on any of my locos. But without any measurement I immediately know when of my loco runs smoothly or on the opposite jerky.   -For
                            Message 13 of 22 , Nov 7, 2010
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                              I don't do any benchmark on any of my locos. But without any measurement I immediately know when of my loco runs smoothly or on the opposite jerky.
                               
                              -For example I've a batch of the first released AZL SD70s, those who run very slowly. I've read here and there that once put appart and reassembled again they run faster and with a lower current drive. Maybe. But as these run very smoothly and as I'm not looking for high speeds I don't need any intervention on these, as furthermore I don't experience any overheat on them nor on the power supply system.
                               
                              -I had once a stuck GP35, I guess after it swallowed a grain of ballast or any other rubbish. I sent it to my local hobby store for overhauling. After they charged me of the equivalent of $20 I recovered a loco that ran jerkily.... I just unscrewed a little bit the 4 screws holding half chassis together and everything came back fine (that lets me telling myself the next time such an event occurs I'll fix it myself....).
                               
                              Dom

                              --- En date de : Dim 7.11.10, mark2playz <mark.markham@...> a écrit :


                              De: mark2playz <mark.markham@...>
                              Objet: [Z_Scale] Re: WHEN IS A Z LOCO RUNNING RIGHT?
                              À: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Dimanche 7 novembre 2010, 8h02


                               





                              Dan,
                              Exactly. Manufacturer data would be nice. But also how do other people here bench mark their locos?

                              Mark

                              --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, dpstripe@... wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > Loren,
                              > I think what Mark is looking for is some kind of bench mark values. Something provided by the manufacturer that tells the standard performance characteristics of a locomotive. That way, you can compare your loc to the bench marks to see if it is running properly.
                              > Dan S.
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > -----Original Message-----
                              > From: Loren Snyder <ljsnyder@...>
                              > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                              > Sent: Sun, Nov 7, 2010 1:05 am
                              > Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: WHEN IS A Z LOCO RUNNING RIGHT?
                              >
                              >
                              > Mark,
                              > guess I'm not understanding the overall question.....are you wanting to
                              > etermine how much time is involved in making a repair and if you consider
                              > he time excessive?
                              > oren
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > ------Original Message-------
                              >
                              > rom: mark2playz
                              > ate: 11/6/2010 11:01:29 PM
                              > o: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                              > ubject: [Z_Scale] Re: WHEN IS A Z LOCO RUNNING RIGHT?
                              >
                              >
                              > oren,
                              > My question isn't to fix a particular issue. What I'm asking about is
                              > hat quantitative measurement can be used to determine its time to take the
                              > oco off the track and play with the screws.
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                              > ------------------------------------
                              > Z-scale: minimum siZe, MAXIMUM enjoyment!
                              > ahoo! Groups Links
                              > Individual Email | Traditional
                              > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >











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