Circle On Reader Service Card

73 Amateur Radio Today * January 1998 51


Tins meant installing the program and going through the configuration from scratch. I should have kept notes ... a lesson in hindsight. It was the end of a relatively satisfying session and time to get away from the computer for a bit. As 1 sat back and thought about the dilemma, 1 remembered seeing other software available. If it was necessary lo start over, perhaps it would he just as well to stretch my learning capacity and look at something new. More choices

1 went ro an HF-FAX Web site I had bookrnarked in Netscape™ | http://ourworlri.coi npusen exontf homepages/HFFAX/hf-fax.htm and found a dozen or more DOS programs and (surprise!) several SSTV programs to run under Windows. 1 read the descriptions of the Windows-based programs and selected W95SSTV for download.

It's a healthy size, on the order of three megabytes, as would he expected for a Windows program. Its well worth the on-line time lo download. When you install it, you get the feel of a finished professional Windows 95™ program. Il simply takes care of itself. The configuration is intuitive and accomplished in a few minutes.

No modem!

Now here's the kicker. It does not require a modem or any such external hardware. You do need a sound card, A 32-bit Sound Blaster™ card is preferred. 1 am stil! using a 16-bit SB card and it works fairly w e 11. Also it s recommended to have better definition Lhart my 256-color display, but that, too, works okay for now.

The hookup is simple. Cable your audio from your radio to the line-in jack on the sound card and make a cable from the line-out to the modulator input terminal on the AFSK connector on your radio. The good part is there is a detailed explanation of what to do and watch for in the documentation that accompanies the program. I Eike that.

The cost of try ing it out tor yourself/ The program is shareware. It works 100%', not crippled, except it only works with bitmap (BMP) images until registered. Registration Is $50.The cables were nominal. Along with some used cable (most any cable will suffice for audio) 1 had already, it was necessary to invest in some new plugs. I was started in SSTV with color for less than $10! I really like that.

Ill pass along a little hint, though it is covered in the Instructions. it applies to getting enough audio drive for a modem as well as the sound board. Audio output isn't the same from every jack on most radios. 1 find the drive from the Accessory Port on the 1COM 735 is insufficient for the task at hand.

Measuring with a digital voltmeter. the output is consistently under one volt AC The output from the headphone jack, which of course varies with volume control setting, can be pushed as high as seven voits AC. You only need about t wo volts more or less and the system will start to make pictures on your monitor.

Go for smoke

With the cables in the right places, the system was ready for a test drive* The manual leads you through a relatively brief testing, setup and orientation. Then you're ready for the real thing.

It was the right time of day and a group of hams were gathered at the 14.230 SSTV watering hole. The first picture received was coming through in color, and 1 was still learning to operate the program, so part of the image was not displayed.

It didn't take long to get ihe hana of which button to click at what time and the program started receiving images automatically. As I mentioned, my monitor and sound board are considered inferior, but the images are still pretty good, considering.

For example, some of the scenic images sent on SSTV are far from the norm, as can be seen in Photo A, You will find quite a variety of scenes that arc candidates for serious photo exhibits. Of interest is the fact that on ihe HF bands, you can receive images anywhere in the world that you can copy an audio signal reasonably well. That is because the audio signal is the medium into which the video is coded. Thai may be a poor choice of words, but the point is that this method is necessary mJ

to make the transmission possible within the width Of the HF bands, By contrast, check the extreme band widths of commercial TV broadcasts.

i found, after a time, that the quality of the received images could be improved by adjusting the passband tuning on the ICOM 735.1 also made attempts with the external audio filter but the help was barely pereephbie. The best answer is probably a DSP system—another item on my wish list.

Wilt it transmit?

I captured and stored one of Hank KH6DEH's many seen it-images and retransmitted it to see if this part of the system really worked. 1 had previously trans-milted into a dummy load and it appeared to work, buL I needed confirmation that there was a real picture going out into ihe airwaves. Hank assured me the picture came through 'loud and clear.*'

Transmit and receive is accomplished from a screen in the W95SSTV program. There is a pop-up editor that allows you to insert your call sign and other information into the image. The spectral display is an effective tuning help and gives an idea of signal quality as well as the interference at hand.

W95SSTV is a winner

The installation and successful operation of the program was definitely one of the smoothest transitions from bottom-rung-of-the-ladder to nearly flawless operation. The program screen is intuitive, although there were a few minutes of delay while 1 made up for ihe parts of the documentation I had skimmed through a bit too rapidly.

Packet on a sound board

Now for anoiher thought along these lines. There is a Web site on the Internet with a downloadable set of modules to accomplish packet using the sound board also. No modem, no TNC -it appears the wheel has been reinvented. It doesn't look nearly as easy as the W95SSTV, and il will lie a whiie before most of us get it soited out, but it certainly deserves a looksee. Point your browser at [].

In retrospect, it appears to me that the digital communications format will blossom with many software innovations that wilt be as remarkable as the TNC was in the 1980s. That was quite a breiik-through for ham radio. It made it possible for hams of modest means to participate in a worldwide digital network. There have been some gains in speed and efficiency, but ham radio is overdue when we compare the 1200-baud rate to Ihe speeds landline file transfers are attaining.

Don\ be surprised if ham radio, once again, leads the way to more efficient and affordable means of communication. Some of the greatest minds work to ascend mental mountains "because they are there. " Ham radio is a great outlet for those minds.

Lest I forget to pass it along, a few of you have informed me that shielding was necessary for your BP-2M modem to radio cable. Both Zak VK6BMZ and Jeff N3EPS claimed problems were solved on HF as well as VI-FR The tech at TigerTronics1 M says this shouldn't be necessary when using the cable supplied with the modem. So lake il for what it is worth—if it works for you, it must be right.

If you have queslions or comments about this column. E-mail me at [email protected] 1 and/ or CompuServe 172130A 352J. I will gladly share what I know or find a resource for you. On packet, when you get a chance, drop me a line [KB7NO @ N7N PB .#NONrEVNVLiSAJNrOAM For now, 73, Jack KR7NJO. ¡1

hrms iiiith clhss

Carole Perry WB2MGP Media Mentors [ne, P.O. Box 131646 Staten Island NY 10313-0006

Mayor s proclamation for hams

The people who live in the borough of Stalen Island, New York, consider themselves lucky to have a big number of amateur radio operators who are very civic-minded. There is a dedicated group of hams who belong to ARBS headed up by my friend Charlie Hargrove NZNOY They believe that their responsibility eo Part 97 of the FCC Rules and Regulations is lo provide "value to the public for emergency communications."

Our ARES group in Staten island has provided communications for walk-a-thons. parades, floods, and the New York City Marathon, In September of 1997, Charlie was thrilled to get an E-mail message from Howard Price KA2QPLo! the local ABC News affiliate, saying thai he was able lo get the ear of Mayor Giuliani's press secretary to have His Honor sign a proclamation for Amateur Radio Awareness Day (September 20th).

Within less than 24 hours of getting this message, Charlie had arranged for seven Staten Island ARES members to readjust iheir schedules to be able to attend the mayor's presentation to us at City HalL I myself was proud to have been invited, and quickly arranged for a substitute teacher to cover my radio classes that day. My principal, Barbara Glasmam was delighted to see our school and its ham radio program represented at the proclamation ceremony.

There were 13 amateur radio operators in all from New York City who were present al the famous "blue room" of City Hall on the morning of September 19ih. Pictures were taken, hands were shaken, and smiles were in abundance. Mayor Giuliani expressed his appreciation of the work that amateur radio volunteers do to help out the MOEM (Mayors Office of Emergency Management). [As of this writing, by the way, the

Photo A. Proudly displaying Mayor Giulianis proclamation are, shown left to right: Jerry Cudmore K2JRC; Frank Katalenas N2UMC; Howard Price KA2QPJ; Mart Everns WA2UKM; Jerome Hauer Director, OEM; Charles Hargrove N2NOV; Karen Hargrove N2ZYF; John Kiernän KE2UN: ami Beverly Dyrack KA20PQ.
Photo B> It's a good day to he a ham! At least Howard Price KA2QPJ and Carole Perry WB2MCP think so. Photos by Charles Hargrove N2NOV.

communications command station at the MOEM just received its custom cal i sign from the FCC: WC20EM.I

The Mayor then read from the proclamation to us;

"Whereas: More than 100 federally licensed amateur radio operators dedicate their time to support public and private agencies in times of crisis. Two organizations—The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service under the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management and the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, a volunteer arm of the American Radio Relay League— provide backup communications to government agencies and disaster relief in the event normal radío channels are disrupted or overloaded; and Whereas: Volunteers work around the clock, donating their skill, time and equipment to serve the public. Many of the volunteers are trained by the Red Cross in first aid, and all are specially trained to handle emergency messages and routine radio traffic under intense deadlines and conditions. These volunteers have recently worked during the TWA flight 800 disaster and for Red Cross shelters opened for safe havens during weather emergencies; and Whereas: Our city's vast and complex communications system is indebted to the many trained amateur radio volunteers who are efficient and dependable and lend a much-needed hand in times of crisis or disaster. They are an invaluable part of our city's communications network. Now therefore, 1T Rudolph Giuliani, Mayor of The City of New York, in recognition of this important event, do hereby proclaim Saturday, September20th, 1997 in The City of New York as Amateur Radio Awareness Day/"

The Director in the mayor's office for MOEM is Jerome Hauer, who was also in attendance at the signing. The hams on hand for this exciting event were: Howard Price KA2QPJ, Jerry Cudmore K2JRC Charles Hargrove N2NOV, Karen I largrove N2ZYF. Arthur Booten N2ZRC, John Kiernan KE2LN, Matt Evans WA2UKM, Rich Dyrack K2LUQ, Beverly Dyrack KA20PQ, Bill Butler N2BGR, Frank Katalenas N2L MC, Carole Perry W2MGP, and Scott Swanson N9SAT

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Amateur Radio Via Satellites

Andy MacAHister W5ACM 14714 Knights Way Drive Houston TX 77083

Last year aL lb is time the launch of Phase 3D. the largest and most advanced amateur radio satellite, was supposedly only a few months nway, Circumstances have proven otherwise. The satellite has been structurally modified for greater than anticipated launch stresses, is heavier, and still lias a few outstanding construction issues in search of resolution. Phase 3D was the primary topic of the 1997 AMSAT Annual Meeting and Space Symposium held in Toronto, Ontario, over the weekend of October \ 7th through the 20th.

The AMSAT annual meeting

Over 200 satellite enthusiasts went to Canada to hear the latest news about Phase 3D, listen to presentations on other ham sal topics, attend the AMSAT Board of Directors meeting, and tour the city of Toronto. AMSAT meetings tire typically held wherever the local volunteers have the interest and infrastructure necessary to host the event, in 1996 we went to Tucson, Arizona. This year it was Toronto, and next year it will be Vickshurg, Mississippi

The space symposium

Activities began in earnest on Friday morning at 8 ajn. Many attendees made it a point to arrive On Thursday to ensure thev would miss nothing.

Chuck Dtiey KI0AG got things started with his presentation about mobile and portable operations via voice-mode satellites. Chuck has been active on several low-orbit satellites including Fuji-OSCARs 20 and 29, RS-10, and AMRAD-OS-CAR-27. lie uses the Arrow Antenna™ model 146/437-10 dual-band yagi with an integral low-power d up lexer for two-meter and 70-cm activity. Using this antenna with a dual-band FIT, Chuck managed several contacts on a single pass via A-O-27 from the Delta Hotel parking lot

Photo A, Chuck Ducy KÏ0AG gave a talk on mobile and portable hams at operation in addition to making several AMRAD-OSCAR-27 OSOs miside the convention hotel. Harry JA1ANG looks on. 54 73 Amateur Radio Today • January 1998

(Photo A) to augment his excellent talk.

Many stations have made short contacts via A-O-27 using only dual-band whip antennas on His, but the addition of a good yagi makes a marked difference. Die ring Chuck's parking-lot demonstration, downlink signals on 70 cm were strong and the two-meter, three-wait output from Chuck's HT appreciated the additional uplink gain oT ihe beam.

Most of Arrow's antennas are made from aluminum arrow shafts with threaded inserts for easy takedown, setup and portability. Plastic element tips are included for safety. The antennas are engineered for maximum gain and efficiency in the smallest practical size and lightest weight. Chuck's presentation and on-the-air demonstrations were quite a hit at the symposium.

Other talks on Friday morning included Ashley Rego of SPAR Aerospace describing the New Canada Arm designed for the International Space Station; an introduction to microwave work by Laura Halliday VE7LDH; BdaJe Garbee's discussion on how the Internet and free software actually help AMSAT; WATOO™—new Internet access software lor satellite tracking by Marc Normandcau, J can-Marc Dcsbiens, Michel Barbeau. and Sieve Bernier; and finally a discussion by Rich Moseson W2VU, explaining, the use of the Weather

Channel™ as a model of satellite technology for newcomers.

The Friday afternoon talks were dominated with software topics in addition to some solid hardware discussions by Ken Ernmules N2WWD and Fred Winter on a new EZ-S AT™ proposal and Di\ Robert E. Zee's presentation on the University if Toronto's astronomy micro-sate Hue project.

Anthony Montiero AA2TX described an object-oriented approach loautomatic radio tuning. John Hansen WA0PTV delineated the use of broadcast protocols on terrestrial links. While many groups around the country have considered the efficiency of the salellite-based.

digital, 9600-baud broadcast protocol on the UoSATs and KITSATs, the software has not been openly available, Doug Quagliana KA2UPW showed the advantages of a simple BPSK (bi phase shift keying) modulation system implemented with software and minimal hardware and John Melton G0ORX went into his efforts to develop non-machine-specific software using Java™, Robert II ill man finished Friday's talks with his notes on the design of a space imaging processing system.

Friday evening provided a great opportunity to renew acquaintances and gel into some late-night discussions and friendly; arguments on technical and political ham sat topics.

Photo B. Lou McFudin W5DID and Stan Wood WA4NFY pro vided a Phase 3D progress report at the 1997 AMSAT Space Sym posium in Toronto, Ontario.

Photo C Dan Schultz NSFGV presenred a paper on digital voice modulation techniques for a future generation oj humsats.


Acii\ iiies on Saturday began promptly at 8 a.m. A MS AT President Bill Tynan provided opening remarks and a welcome. After the preliminaries were out of the way, die topic ot interest, Phase was addressed. Bill told the audience about the difficulties A MS AT had been through, meeting the launch stress flequiremetus f rom the European Space Agency for the Ariane502 flight scheduled for 1997, AMSAT could not make the structural modifications to Phase 3D and prepare

Photo Ö. Frank Bauer KAMI DO provided insight on the Amateur Radio gear for the new International Space Station, all of the transponders, experiments and support equipment in time to match the ESA's launch agenda.

AMSAT Pay load Integration Manager Lou McFadin W5DID i Photo B), and AMSAT Vice President of Engineering Stan Wood WA4NFY joined Bill at the podium to detail the efforts at the AMSAT lab in Orlando, Florida, over the past year, Lou showed \ ideotape documenting the many mechanical components needed to strengthen the structure of the satellite. Overhead slides were used to point oui ihe high stress points that required work. Stan described many oilier activities at the lab in support of the project. During the year payloads from around the world were brought to Orlando for final integration and testing.

AMSAT Executive Vice President Keith Baker KB1SF brought the group up to date on the financial status of AMSAT North America. LTniil launch, expenses supporting the program will continue. While AMSAT is not currently tiglu for money, any significant delays or further surprises, like the projected launch stresses liihI required space frame modifications, will cause serious problems. Bi3! pointed out lhat talks with the ESA about another launch opportunity will not begin until the completion of the Ariane 502 mission.

Thc Phase 3D presentation engaged a large segment of the morning. Other talks before lunch included the design and implementation of Internet-linked ground stations for the amateur satellite community by Chris Bond and Mark Maier: a Phasc-4 "lite" proposal by Philip Chien KC4YER; a Phase 3D GPS receiver progress report by Bdale Garbee N3ELA; and finally a practical guide to Phase 3D operation on Mode L GHz) and above by Ed Krorae K9EK, Ed lias provided tnanj simple solutions to complex digital and microwave challenges over many years.

Photo E. Hans van de Groenendaal 7.S5AKW fARl' Satellite Advisor and Member of the IA fit Region / Executive Committee, provided an excellent speech at ihe AMSAT banquet on Saturday night.

During the symposium days, the Delia Hotel restaurant did an excellent job. Saturday lunch was no exception. Service v\as quick and the prices were reasonable. We were back in the meeting room on time for Dan Schultzs description of digital voice modulation techniques for a future generation of ham satellites (Phatu C), Martin Davidoff K 2 UBC\ author of The Satellite Experimenter's Handbook, followed with his thoughts on selecting orbits for LEO (low earth orbit) constellations and SSB/CW satellite communications. Ken Ernandes N2WWD continued the thread with his description of a candidate orbii tor future AMSA'l spacecraft.

AMSAT Vice President for Manned Space Activities Frank Bauer KA3IIDO provided details on the amateur radio opportunities on board the future international Space Station iPhoto D). The proposals for two feel of rack space dedicated to ham gear were accepted by NASA. Frank will be working with his recently-formed group of hams from participating countries to plan and build the equipment and antennas for the ISS.

Following the talks, an hour was allocated for the AMSAT General Meeting, All of the AMSAT officers and board members look the stage to provide information to the membership about their programs and projects. It was also an opportunity for the members to ask questions. The Phase 3D topic was good for a few more queries.

The official activities of the da> ended with an excellent banquet; a talk about the future of amateur satellite frequency allocations b> IARL" Satellite Adv isor Hans van de Groenendaal ZS5AKV \ Photo E); plaque presentations by Bill Tynan and other AMSAT officers; and the

Photo F. One of ihe display demonstrations of the AMSAJ Space Symposium.

Photo G. TAPR President Greg Jones WD51VD (left), AM SAT President Bill Tynan W3X0 (right) and others take a break at (he AMSAT Space Symposium in Toronto. Ontario, prize drawings. This year 1C0M America™, Rosetia LaboratoriesrvE of Australia, and Kenwood Canada™ provided the lop prizes. The odds of winning were excellent. with oveT 100 Other items ranging, from a Kansas Ciiy Tracker Tuner™ to ES A T-shirts.


AMSAT Vice President of Field Operations Barry Baines WD4ASW hosted an Area Coordinators" breakfast at 7;30 ajn, AMSAT currently has over 150 volunteer area coordinators who make presentations to ham clubs and offer assistance 10 those that would like to participate in hamsat activities» Barry's efforts to support the field volunteers has paid off. Many coordinators join the ranks every month to help promote this facet of amateur radio activity,

The remainder of Sunday morning was dominated by the 1ARU meeting, Satellite Ire-quency coordination efforts were discussed in addition to many other topics. Debate was encouraged on preparation for WRC99. frequency allocations challenges from Africa, and the use of amateur satellites by third 56 73 Amateur Radio Today • January 1998

parties engaged in emergency communications.

While many symposium attendees took off for home on Sunday afternoon, the AMSAT Board of Directors meeting was just beginning. Bill Tynan's agenda set a tough pace. The Sunday session lasted till 10:30 p.m. An early Start on Monday allowed an end by about 3:30 p.m. A transcript of the discussions and motions will be printed in an upcoming issue of The AMSAT Journal.

The Toronto volunteers did a fantastic job with the 1997 AMSAT Space Symposium and General Meeting, The Vicksburg, Mississippi, group will have a really hard act to follow, Perhaps by this time next year Phase 3D will finally be in orbit. The project, now seven years old. has been the most challenging one to date.

Note: You can find Arrow Antenna on the Internet at [http:/ / .com/Arrow 146/ index.html J. Their E-mail address is [[email protected] The standard mail address is 1803 S. Greeley Hwy. #Bt Cheyenne WY 82007. Their phone number is (307) 6382369. and the FAX line is (307) 638-3521, the

Mobile, Portable arid Emergency Operation

Steve Nowak KESYN/4 1011 Peacock Ave. NE Palm Bay FL 32907 [[email protected]

Plan to plan

What do you do in an emergency? Naturally, that depends upon what type of emergency you're faced with. We leach our children to slop, drop, and roll if they ever catch their clothing on fire. It's a simple plan that can save a child's life. But what about the type of emergency you may be called upon to support as a hai n radio operator? Do you have a plan for that? Many people assume that they will merely grab their handie-talkie, head to where the action is. and talk on the radio. In many cases, this is not the best idea.

A friend of mine used to always quote the "six P" rule, that "Poor Planning Produces Poor Performance." I know there are only five Ps—use your imagination for the sixth. If you have no idea what you're going to do in an emergency situation such as a natural disaster, you are counting much too heavily on luck and divine intervention.

Planning for emergencies and disasters is a tricky business, because by definition, a disaster or an emergency is unexpected. By the same token, a plan is a series of ideas which may be appropriate for a given situation. Most plans begin changing as soon us they are implemented. However, they do provide the skeletal structure, and a starling point.

The military has operational plans for virtually any possible conflict, and when an event occurs, the appropriate plan is retrieved and set into motion. Warfare has many of the aspects of a disaster, plus the added problem of the bad guys' army or navy trying to make things as difficult as possible.

There's a lesson to be learned here. \u most eases, in the event of an emergency which would involve the use of the amateur radio community, a number of other organizations would be involved. These would include the police and fire departments, possibly the area Civil Defense authority (often called the Office of Emergency Preparedness or such), and relief agencies,

Photo H. Alberto Zdgni I2KBD (center) of ITAMSAT and other members of AMSAT Italy attended the AMSAT Space Symposium and AR1SS (Amateur Radio on the Internationa! Space Symposium) meetings.

such as the Red Cross. While some hams are deeply involved with these agencies on a regular basis, most do not perceive the need to get involved until a crisis occurs, We need to plan a liule better.

Developing a plan can be as simple as using the old mantra of newspaper reporters, "Who, What, When, Where, and How?" The 4iWho?" question covers several categories. Ideally, the Emergency Coordinator and his or her primary assistants will cover key areas, such as the Civil Defense Office, the Red Cross office, and so forth. If these key people know their responsibilities, and have an existing relationship with the people they are going to be working with, you have a significant advantage, An experienced ham with these skills can determine what the served agency needs, and then assign other hams to appropriate duties to meet these needs. A cadre of experienced operators is the key to a successful operation.

"What?" can be defined as "What support will we be providing?" Traditionally, this has included providing inter-agency communications so that there is a direct and immediate link among groups which may not be able to communicate directly. The local police, for example, may not be able to communicate with the National Guard, so hams can provide that service. Another common need is for hams to provide communications at emergency shelters, or to provide communications for those conducting damage assessment.

"When?" may seem an easy one... "when the disaster s tri kes." Unfortunately, the time frame for providing communications often extends for days, or in some cases, longer. There is often a surplus of willing volunteers the day the disaster strikes, but it quickly dwindles as lime passes, A good plan will include identifying those who may be available for longer periods, or determining some folks who should be held back so they can be involved on the third through fifth days, rather than using everybody on day one. M any people can get a day or two off from work for such activities, but if evei^-one uses up their time early on, it gets difficult later. If you have hams who are retired or have the freedom to determine their own schedules, these folks can be invaluable for the longer haul.

"Where?" is always difficult, because we never know where a disaster will strike. However, it is not as difficult as tt would appear In many cases, there will be people needed for damage assessment, shelter operations, etc. If a ham takes the time to train with a particular agency for a role, he or she is a natural for that particular type of location.

The Red Cross provides training in damage assessment and emergency shelter management. A ham can function both as a damage assessor or shelter manager and his or her own communicator if the training was completed.

Likewise, if a ham operator is a reservist, it would make sense to assign that individual to be the liaison with the National Guard. A National Guard member may or may not be available to do communications, depending upon what duty is required of him or her

"How?" ts the toughest one, because it is the link to all the other questions. Unlike the reporter, we are not concerned with what has happened, but are more concerned with what will happen. This is the sum and substance of your plan.

Planning is important. In his book // Doesn't Take. A Herof General Schwartzkopf pointed out that he fought in three wars, and they were in the last three places he ever would have expected when he graduated from West Point. The lesson here is that we all need to plan as best we can, because what we will face may be totally unexpected,

Get involved, now. Think about going through a damage assessment or shelter management class, and while you*re there, leant CPR and first aid. Work with the area's Emergency Coordinator, and get involved with the folks you1 d meet during an emergency. It's only a matter of time until you meet them. We should put at least as much time into planning for a disaster as we do planning our vacations!

As the robot said in the movie Short Circuit, "Input! I need input!" Let me know your ideas, suggestions, etc, Use E-mail, snail-mail, whatever. Your ideas are very important! Besides, now that I'm settled into my new home, 1 always love to get good mail besides the usual bills. Happy New Year!

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