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Default The ARRL Letter, Vol 28, No 28 (Friday, July 17, 2009)

The ARRL Letter
Vol. 28, No. 28
July 17, 2009


* + New Vice Directors Visit HQ in Advance of Board Meeting
* + HR 2160 Gains More Support in Congress
* + WRC-11 Is Now WRC-12
* + Companion Bill to Senate Radio Spectrum Inventory Act Introduced in House

* + Space Shuttle Endeavour on Its Way to ISS with Hams on Board
* + ARRL Membership Newsletters, Bulletins and Notifications
** Solar Update
***** This Week on the Radio
***** ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration
*** + W1AW to Add New Digital Modes to Transmission Schedule
*** + AMSAT to Mark First Lunar Landing
***** Jim Mullin, W8KKK (SK)

+Available on ARRL Audio News

================================================== =========
==Delivery problems: First see FAQ, then e-mail

==Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA

================================================== =========


Just prior to the ARRL Board of Directors 2009 Second Meeting, three newly appointed Vice
Directors made their way to Newington for a day of orientation. Pacific
Division Vice Director Jim Tiemstra, K6JAT, Southeastern Division Vice
Director Jeff Beals, WA4AW, and West Gulf Division Vice Director John
Thomason, WB5SYT, came to learn the "ins and outs" of the ARRL Board and ARRL
Headquarters operation. The 2009 Second Meeting is scheduled for July 17-18
in Windsor, Connecticut.

According to ARRL Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B, "The new Board
members came to Newington to learn not only how the Board functions, but to
see what each department does and how it interacts with and serves both
Amateur Radio and ARRL members, through our five pillars: Public Service,
Advocacy, Education, Technology and Membership. I am pleased they came to see
how we support Amateur Radio each and every day here at ARRL HQ."

One of the highlights of the group's visit to Headquarters was a tour of the
Membership and Volunteer Programs Department. Dave Patton, NN1N, explained
the function of the department and its staff. "We showed them how we support
Amateur Radio and our members through our Field Organization, Ham Aid
Program, emergency communications support, operating events and awards,"
Patton said.

Beals, the former Southern Florida Assistant Section Manager, was appointed
Vice Director upon the death of then-Vice Director Sandy Donahue, W4RU "I haven't been to
Headquarters in about 15 years -- I'm just amazed at how much things have
changed," he said. "It never ceases to amaze me how much we give our members
for their membership dollars. What's available to them, the services, the
functions we perform for the members, it's just incredible. I think if more
hams out there could see what we do here, we'd double our membership in about
5 minutes."

Thomason, the former Oklahoma Section Manager, was appointed Vice Director when then-Director
Coy Day, N5OK, resigned and David Woolweaver, K5RAV, moved up to Director
from Vice Director
"It's been quite a day -- it's been long, but it's been good," he said. "We
have had the good fortune to see so many wonderful League staffers and to get
together to help plan for the future. Departments here at Headquarters were
able to share some of the things they have done on behalf of our members. It
has definitely been a good day and it will only get better."

Tiemstra, the former Section Emergency Coordinator in the East Bay Section,
was appointed to his position in June after then-Vice Director Andy Oppel,
N6AJO, submitted his resignation "When we got to
Headquarters, we found that we had a full day planned," he said. "We saw all
aspects of the Headquarters operation and it is quite an impressive operation
-- much larger and much more complicated than I expected. I am really looking
forward to the Board meeting on Friday. I am so fascinated by all the things
that the League is doing these days. I think that it will be a tremendous
learning experience and something I will probably never forget."

A report on the July meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors will be available
on the ARRL Web site and in The ARRL Letter.


This week, four more Congressmen -- John Boozman (R-AR-3), Bob Filner
(D-CA-51), Dennis Moore (D-KS-3) and David Wu (D-OR-1) -- pledged their
support for HR 2160, The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement
Act of 2009 This
brings the total number of cosponsors to 18.

Introduced by Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX-18) in April, if passed, HR 2160
would "promote and encourage the valuable public service, disaster relief,
and emergency communications provided on a volunteer basis by licensees of
the Federal Communications Commission in the Amateur Radio Service, by
undertaking a study of the uses of Amateur Radio for emergency and disaster
relief communications, by identifying unnecessary or unreasonable impediments
to the deployment of Amateur Radio emergency and disaster relief
communications, and by making recommendations for relief of such unreasonable
restrictions so as to expand the uses of Amateur Radio communications in
Homeland Security planning and response." The bill has been referred to the
House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

If enacted into law, HR 2160, would instruct the Secretary of Homeland
Security to undertake a study and report its findings to Congress within 180
days. The study would spell out uses and capabilities of Amateur Radio
communications in emergencies and disaster relief. The study shall:

* Include recommendations for enhancements in the voluntary deployment of
Amateur Radio licensees in disaster and emergency communications and disaster
relief efforts.
* Include recommendations for improved integration of Amateur Radio operators
in planning and in furtherance of the Department of Homeland Security
* Identify unreasonable or unnecessary impediments to enhanced Amateur Radio
communications -- such as the effects of private land use regulations on
residential antenna installations -- and make recommendations regarding such
* Include an evaluation of Section 207 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996
(Public Law 104-104, 110 Stat 56 [1996]).
* Recommend whether Section 207 should be modified to prevent unreasonable
private land use restrictions that impair the ability of amateurs to conduct,
or prepare to conduct, emergency communications by means of effective outdoor
antennas and support structures at reasonable heights and dimensions for the
purpose in residential areas.

The Secretary of Homeland Security shall utilize the expertise of the ARRL
and shall seek information from private and public sectors for the study.

"HR 2160 presents the Amateur Radio Service with a unique opportunity -- but
also carries with it the important responsibility of making your voice
heard," said ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND. "HR
2160 stands as the first step in trying to address the long standing problem
of extending the protections afforded Amateur Radio operators under PRB-1 deed
restrictions and covenants. To be clear, passing HR 2160 is not going to
achieve that goal right away. But it will help lay the ground work by
assessing the impact such restrictions have on our ability to train for and
respond to disasters and other emergencies."

HR 2160 is also sponsored by W. Todd Akin (R-MO-2), Michael Arcuri (D-NY-24),
Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD-6), Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), Bart Gordon (D-TN-6),
Brett Guthrie (R-KY-2), Michael Honda (D-CA-15), Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH-15),
Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-16), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO-9), Thaddeus McCotter
(R-MI-11), Charlie Melancon (D-LA-3), Bennie Thompson (D-MS-2) and Peter
Welch (D-VT).

Check the ARRL Web site
for information on how to encourage your Congressional representative to
sponsor HR 2160.

== WRC-11 IS NOW WRC-12

The ITU Council, the 46-nation administrative oversight body of the
International Telecommunication Union (ITU), has agreed to move the next
World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) to 2012. Originally scheduled for
October 24-November 18, 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland, the Council has proposed
January 23-February 17 as the new dates

According to ARRL Technical Relations Manager Brennan Price, N4QX, the full
ITU membership is now being consulted on the dates; responses are due by
August 3. "The ITU Council had previously proposed dates for fall 2011, but
various scheduling conflicts and the lack of available facilities during some
weeks made this schedule impractical," he said.

Held approximately every three years, these periodic conferences of the
Member States of the ITU consider allocations to the various radio services
-- including the Amateur Radio Service -- and evaluate what new technologies
and applications should be addressed by future conferences.

The agenda for WRC-12, developed by the delegates at the last WRC in Geneva
in 2007 (WRC-07), was formally adopted by the ITU Council in 2008. There are
25 agenda items addressing potential new or revised spectrum allocations to
existing services. Of most interest to amateurs is agenda item 1.23, "to
consider an allocation of about 15 kHz in parts of the band 415-526.5 kHz to
the amateur service on a secondary basis, taking into account the need to
protect existing services."

"This agenda item is the highest item on my long term priority list," said
Price. "We are fortunate that this upcoming WRC presents an opportunity for a
new secondary allocation in the medium waves. While the outcome is far from
certain, our experience in other bands -- most notably 30 meters -- indicates
Amateur Radio's compatibility with certain other services as a secondary

Price said that some WRCs have posed great challenges for Amateur Radio, with
blocks of spectrum potentially at risk. "This was the case at WRC-03 and
WRC-07, which posed a very real potential reallocation of portions of the 40
meter band in Region 2 to HF broadcasting," he said. "The agenda for WRC-12
does not pose any threats to Amateur Radio as clear or as overt as those
faced in prior years." Price and ARRL Technical Relations Specialist Jon
Siverling, WB3ERA, are monitoring developments on a number of other agenda
items that could affect Amateur Radio if they take unanticipated turns,

* Agenda item 1.14, considering requirements for and implementation of the
radiolocation service (radar) between 30-300 MHz.
* Agenda item 1.15, considering possible allocations between 3-50 MHz for
oceanographic radar applications.
* Agenda item 1.19, considering regulatory measures to enable
software-defined and cognitive radio systems.
* Agenda item 1.22, examining the effect of emissions from short-range

"Oceanographic radar is perhaps our biggest defensive issue," Price said.
"Fortunately, its proponents have acknowledged that sharing with Amateur
Radio would be problematic."


In March, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) introduced the Radio Spectrum Inventory
Act (S 649) in the Senate Earlier this month,
that bill passed the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
Last week, Representative Henry Waxman (CA-30) introduced a companion bill --
HR 3125 -- in the House of Representatives; the bill has been
referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The bills, if passed,
would mandate an inventory of radio spectrum bands managed by the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Federal
Communications Commission. The Senate version calls for an inventory of
frequencies between 300 MHz-3.5 GHz managed by the two agencies, while the
House bill would mandate an inventory of 225 MHz-10 GHz.

S 649
Senate Bill 649 states that the NTIA and the FCC would be required to
inventory the spectrum no later than 180 days after the bill becomes law;
after the initial survey, follow-ups would be required every two years. Both
agencies would need to prepare a report listing the licenses or government
user assigned in the band, the total spectrum allocation, by band, of each
licensee or government user (in percentage terms and in sum) and the number
of intentional radiators and end-user intentional radiators that have been
deployed in the band with each license or government user.

Additionally, if the information is applicable, the report would be required
to show the type of intentional radiators operating in the band, the type of
unlicensed intentional radiators authorized to operate in the band, contour
maps that illustrate signal coverage and strength and the approximate
geo-location of base stations or fixed transmitters. The report would then be
sent to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and to
the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The bill also mandates that both agencies create a centralized portal or Web
site that lists each agency's band inventories. This information would then
be made available to the public via an Internet-accessible Web site. Both
agencies would also be required to make all necessary efforts to maintain and
update the inventory information "in near real-time fashion and whenever
there is a transfer or auction of licenses or change in allocation or

"Our public airwaves belong to the American people, and we need to make
certain we are putting them to good use in the best interests of those
citizens," Senator Kerry said when he introduced the bill in March. "Last
year's 700 MHz auction resulted in $20 billion for the treasury and will
create greater opportunity and choice for consumers and businesses that need
broadband service. We also took a great step forward when the FCC established
a way for unlicensed devices to operate in white spaces. These two
initiatives are evidence of how valuable spectrum is and how it serves as
fertile grounds for innovation. We need to make sure we're making as much of
it available to innovators and consumers as possible."

HR 3125
Like S 649, HR 3125 calls for the NTIA and the FCC to issue a report on the
inventory of spectrum no later than 180 days after the bill becomes law;
after the initial survey, follow-ups would be required every two years. The
House bill goes a bit further than S 634, however, calling for the two
agencies to work with the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP); this office advises the President on the effects of
science and technology on domestic and international affairs.

The agency reports called for in HR 3125 would include the same information
called for in the Senate version. Like the Senate bill, the House bill calls
for the reports to be made available on the Internet and update the reports
as needed. Both bills include an exemption for licensees or users if they can
demonstrate that disclosure would be harmful to national security.

"The [bill] represents a significant step in making available more spectrum
for commercial and wireless services. The more efficient use of our nation's
airwaves will increase innovation for wireless products and services and
improve the connectivity of the American people," said bill cosponsor
Representative Rick Boucher (D-VA-9). "As more people use wireless devices
and as advanced applications require higher data rates over time, additional
spectrum will be needed to accommodate growth. Wireless technologies can also
play a critical role in bringing broadband to more consumers, particularly in
rural areas."

S 649 is co-sponsored by Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN),
Bill Nelson (D-FL), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), John Thune
(R-SD), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

HR 3125 already has 17 cosponsors: Joe Barton (R-TX-6), Rick Boucher
(D-VA-9), Steve Buyer (R-IN-4), Kathy Castor (D-FL-11), John Dingell
(D-MI-15), Michael Doyle (D-PA-14), Anna Eshoo (D-CA-14), Bart Gordon
(D-TN-6), Jay Inslee (D-WA-1), Edward Markey (D-MA-7), Doris Matsui (D-CA-5),
Jerry McNerney (D-CA-11), Zachary Space (D-OH 18), Cliff Stearns (R-FL-6),
Bart Stupak (D-MI-1), Fred Upton (R-MI-6) and Peter Welch (D-VT). Gordon and
Welch are also cosponsors of HR 2160, The Amateur Radio Emergency
Communications Enhancement Act of 2009


After lightning strikes and thunderstorms delayed the launch of the space
shuttle Endeavour (STS 127) this past weekend, the spacecraft launched into
space at 6:03 PM on Wednesday, July 15. Endeavour's 16 day mission to the
International Space Station (ISS) will feature five
planned spacewalks and complete the construction of the Japan Aerospace
Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory. Astronauts will attach a platform to
the outside of the Japanese module that will allow experiments to be exposed
to space

Endeavour carries a crew of seven: Mark Polansky is commander and Douglas
Hurley is the pilot. Mission specialists are Christopher Cassidy, Thomas
Marshburn, KE5HOC, David Wolf, KC5VPF, and Julie Payette, a Canadian Space
Agency astronaut. The mission will deliver Timothy Kopra, KE5UDN, to the ISS
as a flight engineer and science officer and return Japanese astronaut Koichi
Wakata, KC5ZTA, to Earth. Hurley, Cassidy, Marshburn and Kopra will be making
their first trips to space.

When Kopra arrives, there will six astronauts on board the ISS -- all but one
are licensed radio amateurs: Commander Gennady Padalka, RN3DT; Flight
Engineer Michael Barratt, KD5MIJ; Flight Engineer Frank DeWinne, ON1DWN;
Flight Engineer Robert Thirsk, VA3CSA, and Flight Engineer Roman Romanenko.

While on the ISS, Kopra will help conduct scientific experiments on human
physiology. "We're going to look at all the different components that
correspond to the human body and the effect that microgravity has on
[astronauts]," he said in a NASA pre-flight interview
erview.html. "It's very critical because, if we're going to spend time on
the moon, which has less gravity than the Earth, or transporting to Mars,
which could be a very long trip and then time on Mars, we need to understand
with a lot of detail what those effects will be. So we'll be looking at the
cardiovascular system, neurological system, vestibular system and we'll also
be looking at some of the behavioral aspects of living in space. What happens
to your sleep, for example: Can you sleep soundly, because over time you
definitely need to have sound sleep to be an effective crew member? Those are
some of the examples of the things we'
ll be looking at that correspond to the human physiology side."

Kopra said he expects to "have a lot of fun" while on board the ISS: "I just
spoke with the [current ISS] crew members on board recently, and after they
had only been there for a couple weeks, you could tell that they're just real
excited about all the work that they do on board. It's just like you talk to
a kid about what they would like to do on space station, they might tell you,
'Hey, I want to float around, I want to look out the window.' You know, I
intend to do a lot of both of those just as my crew members like to do."

Kopra, a 1985 graduate of West Point and a colonel in the US Army, was
assigned to NASA at the Johnson Space Center in September 1998 as a vehicle
integration test engineer. In this position, he primarily served as an
engineering liaison for space shuttle launch operations and ISS hardware
testing. He was actively involved in the contractor tests of the
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) interfaces for each of the space station truss

Selected as an astronaut in July 2000, Kopra began his initial training the
following month. He completed two years of intensive space shuttle, space
station and T-38 flight training. He then served in the Space Station Branch
of the Astronaut Office where his primary focus involved the testing of crew
interfaces for two ISS pressurized modules, as well as the implementation of
support computers and operational Local Area Network on ISS. After completing
a Russian language immersion course in Moscow, Kopra began training for a
long duration space flight mission in July 2005. Since then, he has completed
training at each of the international partner training sites and served as a
backup crewmember to Expeditions 16 and 17.

Kopra will return to Earth on space shuttle Discovery (STS 128), due to
launch this August. That mission will bring mission specialist Nicole Stott,
KE5GJN, to the ISS. Discovery will carry the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics
Module containing life support racks and science racks, as well as the
Lightweight Multi-Purpose Experiment Support Structure Carrier.* --
Information provided by NASA


Did you know the ARRL offers more newsletters than just The ARRL Letter? One
of the many ARRL membership benefits includes other newsletters, such as the
ARRL Contest Update (a bi-weekly contest newsletter), the ARES E-Letter (sent
monthly, containing public service and emergency communications news), the
ARRL Club News and the ARRL Instructor/Teacher E-Letter and the VE

You can also elect to receive news and information from your Division
Director and Section Manager (keep in mind that not all Divisions/Sections
send notices), as well as W1AW bulletins that relate to DX, propagation,
satellites and Keplerian reports. The ARRL also offers a free notification
service to members, letting them know when their membership and license are
due to expire.

Sign up for these newsletters, bulletins and notifications on the Member Data
page of the ARRL Web site


Tad "Glorious with the Sun's returning march" Cook, K7RA, this week reports:
We saw a nice run of eight days with a large sunspot, but none have emerged
in the six days since. Unlike other recent spots, this one did not appear
just for one or two days and then vanish. Sunspot numbers for July 9-15 were
15, 13, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of 4. The 10.7 cm flux was 69.1, 67.8,
68.2, 68, 67.2, 66.6 and 66.5 with a mean of 67.6. The estimated planetary A
indices were 6, 7, 4, 5, 10, 8 and 5 with a mean of 6.4. The estimated
mid-latitude A indices were 6, 7, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 3 with a mean of 4.7.
Geophysical Institute Prague predicts quiet conditions for July 17-20,
unsettled July 21, quiet to unsettled July 22 and back to quiet on July 23.
For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical
Information Service Propagation page To read this week's Solar
Report in its entirety, check out the W1AW Propagation B
ulletin page This week's "Tad Cookism"
brought to you by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Sunrise on the Hills"



* This Week on the Radio: This week, an NCCC Sprint Ladder is on July 17. The
North American QSO Party (RTTY), the* DMC RTTY Contest and the CQ Worldwide
VHF Contest are July 18-19. The CQC Great Colorado Gold Rush is July 19. The
Run for the Bacon QRP Contest is July 20 and the SKCC Sprint is July 22. Next
week, another NCCC Sprint Ladder is on July 245 and the RSGB IOTA Contest is
July 25-26. All dates, unless otherwise stated, are UTC. See the ARRL Contest
Branch page, the ARRL Contest Update and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar for more info. Looking for
a Special Event station? Be sure to check out the ARRL Special Event Station
Web page

* ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration remains open through Sunday,
July 26, 2009, for these online course sessions beginning on Friday, August
7, 2009: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 1; Antenna Modeling;
Radio Frequency Interference; Antenna Design and Construction; Ham Radio
(Technician) License Course; Propagation; Analog Electronics, and Digital
Electronics. Each online course has been developed in segments -- learning
units with objectives, informative text, student activities and quizzes.
Courses are interactive, and some include direct communications with a
Mentor/Instructor. Students register for a particular session that may be 8,
12 or 16 weeks (depending on the course) and they may access the course at
any time of day during the course period, completing lessons and activities
at times convenient for their personal schedule. Mentors assist students by
answering questions, reviewing assignments and activities, as well as
providing helpful feed
back. Interaction with mentors is conducted through e-mail; there is no
appointed time the student must be present -- allowing complete flexibility
for the student to work when and where it is convenient. To learn more, visit
the CCE Course Listing page or contact the
Continuing Education Program Coordinator .

* W1AW to Add New Digital Modes to Transmission Schedule: Effective August
17, W1AW, the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station, will replace its AMTOR and
ASCII transmissions with PSK31 and MFSK16, respectively. RTTY (Baudot) will
continue to be the first digital mode used in the transmission schedule. The
frequencies used by W1AW for all its digital transmissions will remain the
same. "All regular 6 PM and 9 PM (Eastern Time) digital transmissions will
begin with RTTY," said W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q. "PSK31 and
MFSK16 will be sent as time allows. The Tuesday and Friday Keplerian data
bulletins will be sent using RTTY and PSK31." The W1AW operating schedule --
complete with times and frequencies -- can be found on the ARRL Web site

* AMSAT to Mark First Lunar Landing: AMSAT-NA will
mark the 40th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing with a special
event on AO-51 AO-51 will transmit a
message commemorating the event Monday, July 20 during evening passes in the
US and Europe. The message will be transmitted on the 435.300 MHz FM downlink
and will contain a Robot 36 SSTV image as well as a voice message. A special
AO-51 QSL will be available to those who copy the downlink. Send QSL requests
marked "Apollo 11" with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to AMSAT, 850
Sligo Ave, Ste 600, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

* Jim Mullin, W8KKK (SK): Jim Mullin, W8KKK, of Concord Township, Ohio, fell
to his death from atop his 100 foot tower on June 6, reports Frank "Fritz"
Hemrich, K8WLF, also of Concord Township. According to a post Hemrich made on, Mullin, 69, was in the process of dismantling his tower and antennas
when his safety belt "parted at one of the seams and just let go." Hemrich
recounted that Mullin had already been up on the tower twice that day: "It
appears as if he was on his third trip up to re-position his gin pole to
start taking apart and down the tower sections. His ground assistant had just
finished taking some pictures of the tower and was putting his camera back in
his car. As he turned away from the car he heard Jim hit the ground." A
service for Mullin was held June 11.

================================================== =========
The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American
Radio Relay League: ARRL--the national association for Amateur Radio, 225
Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259; Joel Harrison, W5ZN, President.

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential and general news
of interest to active radio amateurs. Visit the ARRL Web site for the latest Amateur Radio news and news updates. The
ARRL Web site also offers informative features and
columns. ARRL Audio News is a weekly
"ham radio newscast" compiled and edited from The ARRL Letter. It's also
available as a podcast from our Web site.

Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in
part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The
ARRL Letter/American Radio Relay League.

==Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):

==Editorial questions or comments: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA,

==ARRL News on the Web:
==ARRL Audio News: or call

==How to Get The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly from
ARRL HQ. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for e-mail
ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site You'll have an opportunity during
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The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these sources:

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