having guiding problems


Alan Voetsch <alanv12952@...>
 

Hey all,

Still getting familiar with the new 1200 which arrived in late Oct. Had a few
opportunites (weather has sucked since mid-Sept) to use the FS-102 for a few comet shots
and managed to do the meridian delay alignment routine. There were no problems during
this time, other than operator errors.

My 12" LX200 'R' OTA arrived about 10 days ago. At this point it is balanced in both
axis', and OTA is collimated. Last night had some clearing so i tried to image the HH. I
am shooting film (OM-1) at prime focus and using a standalone ST-4 (no computer in my
observatory) and Taurus Tracker III OAG to guide.

All attempts to guide failed until I did the calibration at 0.5 speed, and guiding at
0.25. These settings worked for about 90 minutes, then the guidestar was lost. Actually i
think it's more a case of the ST-4 moving the GS TOO much, until it's off the chip. I may
try .25 for both next chance I get.

I plan to check RA and Dec backlash to see if either of those are a problem. I did not
stay out in the observatory the whole time, but I did notice that there were some large
spikes where the correction indicated was 'E' for a couple times, then it would settle
down to 1-4.

This OAG and ST-4 have worked well with the previous scope, a stock 12" LX200 classic.

So, I'm hoping that someone who has used a similar setup may have some areas for me to
check. Like I say, I am used to setting the the ST-4's parameters for a fork mounted
LX200 and possibly I am using a setting incorrectly. Last night i used 5 second exposure,
boost of '2', average, no backlash adjustment, cal '3' both ways, scintillation '4', and
a correction after each exposure.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Alan

Astrophotography: http://www.pbase.com/avoetsch12952


Joe Mize
 

Alan, you are an ol' warhorse, still using an ST-4 and film!!! Talk about being a rarity, I wonder how many out there are still
film based.

Looks like you're heading in the right direction, check your AP documentation and use the recomnded Guide speed settings, 1x. I
also was stuck in the 0.5x mode until Roland said to use 1x for guiding. It works.

Then go to the Backlash settings section and check what it should be, if I remember correctly mine says 0.3 in DEC, 0.0 in RA.
Since you have a newer AP1200 you my have a different setting recomendation in the documentaion. Once you've performed the
tests 'visually' confirming your star doesn't jump or hesitate when reversing direction then calibrate your ST-4.

Your ST-4 settings sound pretty good to me except for the Cal Time. But that's dependant upon your optics so try to get the
highest Cal Time without running the star off the chip in either direction. You may find one axis requires a longer drive time
than the other. Good Luck...joe :)


"May You Go Among The Imperishable Stars"

Joe Mize
StarFields Observatory http://www.cav-sfo.com/
Chiefland, FL 29:24'33.4"N 82:51'37.7"W

------- Original Message -------
From : Alan Voetsch[mailto:alanv12952@...]
Sent : 12/9/2007 1:41:56 PM
To : ap-gto@...
Cc :
Subject : RE: [ap-gto] having guiding problems

Hey all,

Still getting familiar with the new 1200 which arrived in late Oct. Had a few
opportunites (weather has sucked since mid-Sept) to use the FS-102 for a few comet shots
and managed to do the meridian delay alignment routine. There were no problems during
this time, other than operator errors.

My 12" LX200 'R' OTA arrived about 10 days ago. At this point it is balanced in both
axis', and OTA is collimated. Last night had some clearing so i tried to image the HH. I
am shooting film (OM-1) at prime focus and using a standalone ST-4 (no computer in my
observatory) and Taurus Tracker III OAG to guide.

All attempts to guide failed until I did the calibration at 0.5 speed, and guiding at
0.25. These settings worked for about 90 minutes, then the guidestar was lost. Actually i
think it's more a case of the ST-4 moving the GS TOO much, until it's off the chip. I may
try .25 for both next chance I get.

I plan to check RA and Dec backlash to see if either of those are a problem. I did not
stay out in the observatory the whole time, but I did notice that there were some large
spikes where the correction indicated was 'E' for a couple times, then it would settle
down to 1-4.

This OAG and ST-4 have worked well with the previous scope, a stock 12" LX200 classic.

So, I'm hoping that someone who has used a similar setup may have some areas for me to
check. Like I say, I am used to setting the the ST-4's parameters for a fork mounted
LX200 and possibly I am using a setting incorrectly. Last night i used 5 second exposure,
boost of '2', average, no backlash adjustment, cal '3' both ways, scintillation '4', and
a correction after each exposure.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Alan

Astrophotography: http://www.pbase.com/avoetsch12952



To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links


Alan Voetsch <alanv12952@...>
 

Hey Joe,

--- "jmize@..." <jmize@...> wrote:
Alan, you are an ol' warhorse, still using an ST-4 and film!!! Talk about being a
rarity, I wonder how many out there are still
film based.
There's still a few of us left on APML, not many though. I think the total number is...7.

Looks like you're heading in the right direction, check your AP documentation and use
the recomnded Guide speed settings, 1x. I
also was stuck in the 0.5x mode until Roland said to use 1x for guiding. It works.
OK. So, I should use 1x to calibrate AND guide. That's one I haven't tried, maybe I
out-smarted myself, not the first time. ;-)

Your ST-4 settings sound pretty good to me except for the Cal Time. But that's
dependant upon your optics so try to get the
highest Cal Time without running the star off the chip in either direction. You may
find one axis requires a longer drive time
than the other. Good Luck...joe :)
I usually use '5' but something went wrong last night so I went with '3' to save time. I
will go back to 5.

Looks like I can also do a PEM run, that may help with the guiding spikes.

Thanks Joe,
Alan



Astrophotography: http://www.pbase.com/avoetsch12952


Joe Mize
 

There's still a few of us left on APML, not many though. I think the total
number is...7.
Alan, APML must be Snooz Time. It sure was fun during the film era.
Looks like you're heading in the right direction, check your AP
documentation and use
the recomnded Guide speed settings, 1x. I
also was stuck in the 0.5x mode until Roland said to use 1x for guiding.
It works.

OK. So, I should use 1x to calibrate AND guide. That's one I haven't tried,
maybe I
out-smarted myself, not the first time. ;-)
Yes! The numbers generated in Calibration are used to Guide. If you Cal at
1x and Guide at 0.5x then you'll have trouble Correcting, and visa versa.
The Cal numbers say you will move x pixels per second at 1x speed, if you
use 0.5x speed then you'll be undercorrecting big time.
Your ST-4 settings sound pretty good to me except for the Cal Time. But
that's
dependant upon your optics so try to get the
highest Cal Time without running the star off the chip in either
direction. You may
find one axis requires a longer drive time
than the other. Good Luck...joe :)
I usually use '5' but something went wrong last night so I went with '3' to
save time. I
will go back to 5.
Whatever gets you the largest move across the ST-4 chip without running off
the chip will generate 'more accurate' Cal numbers.

Looks like I can also do a PEM run, that may help with the guiding spikes.
DON'T. What I'm hearing on the AP group is that A-P is now applying
individual mount PEC's to each mount before they leave the AP Labs. All you
need to do is turn it on.
You can use the AP-PemPro to run a series of worm cycles to see what your PE
is 'without' PEC being on. Then run another series 'with' PEC turned on and
see the difference. People are reporting the advertised <4arc.sec without
PEC and some are reporting ~2arc.sec with PEC turned on.
I'd highly advise you purchasing the full version of PemPro so you can
Refine the already loaded PEC even further. I have mine down in the
0.1arc.sec Peak to Peak. You cannot Refine the PEC with the AP-PemPro
version. On 'very' stable nights I can image 5mins without guiding, at
other times I'm fighting air turbulence.
If you do buy PemPro I suggest you make 10 complete cycles of the worm.
PemPro says you 'can' get a good result with as little as 6 worm cycles. I
use 10 cycles to get the best possible curve. Something for you to do
during the Full Moon cycle.
You're going to Love your AP1200...joe :)


Thanks Joe,
Alan



Astrophotography: http://www.pbase.com/avoetsch12952



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Alan Voetsch <alanv12952@...>
 

Hey Joe,

--- Joe Mize <jmize@...> wrote:
Alan, APML must be Snooz Time. It sure was fun during the film era.
We get a lot of DSLR and CCD posts, but there still are some who shoot film. Actually, it
averages out to be about as busy as this list.

I usually use '5' but something went wrong last night so I went with '3' to
save time. I
will go back to 5.
Whatever gets you the largest move across the ST-4 chip without running off
the chip will generate 'more accurate' Cal numbers.
I've asked that one before and the previous answer was that ST-4s aren't like that,
201XTs OTOH....

DON'T. What I'm hearing on the AP group is that A-P is now applying
individual mount PEC's to each mount before they leave the AP Labs. All you
need to do is turn it on.
Tell me more, I assumed that was always on. If not, where is it located so I can turn it
on.

Right now, I seem to have the ST-4 working well. I calibrated with 1x and guiding with
the same.

Alan






Astrophotography: http://www.pbase.com/avoetsch12952


Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 12/9/2007 1:09:22 PM Central Standard Time,
alanv12952@... writes:


All attempts to guide failed until I did the calibration at 0.5 speed, and
guiding at
0.25.
You MUST calibrate at 1x, otherwise you may not get good cal numbers. With
the ST4 guider, you are working basically blind, so it won't be easy for you to
figure out what is going on. You might want to place an eyepiece into your
telescope while the ST4 is guiding, so you can see what is really happening,
instead of relying on the numbers on the guider screen. Otherwise you will be
forever groping in the dark, not knowing cause and effect.

Calibration at 1x is needed to get the proper amount of movement on the guide
chip. Just make sure that the cal time is long enough to get 50 or so pixel
movement, but not too long to run the star off the chip. You can then adjust
the guide speed to 1x, .5x or .25x if you wish to slow down the movement,
however .25x is almost never needed unless you have settings that are somehow
screwy.

While the ST4 is calibrating, LOOK through your eyepiece so you can
understand what is happening. Again, if you don't do this at least once with your
setup, then you will be forever wondering what is happening. If you do use an
eyepiece, and things don't look right, then at least you can explain to all of us
what you are seeing. Right now you can only say that something is not working
right, so that leaves all of us to guess. Take the guesswork out of the
equation and LOOK! (that advise is for anyone who has any guiding issues with their
equipment, no matter what equipment you are using).

Roland Christen




**************************************
See AOL's top rated recipes
(http://food.aol.com/top-rated-recipes?NCID=aoltop00030000000004)


Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 12/10/2007 1:59:26 PM Central Standard Time,
alanv12952@... writes:


Thank you for the guidance. I will attempt to view the ST-4 calibration at
next
opportunity.

Another question: should i run a 'PEM' routine before the above? I have not
yet done so.

Alan
Not necessary unless you want to do unguided imaging. PEM is for periodic
error compensation. That means during any unguided imaging, you can drastically
reduce the priodic error (which is a very slow moving error that crops up after
tracking for a fairly long time period within the 6.4 minute worm cycle). The
error is small to begin with, between 3 and 5 arc seconds, so there is no use
trying to chase your guiding problems with yet another issue - an issue that
really does not affect guiding one iota.

Rolando



**************************************
See AOL's top rated recipes
(http://food.aol.com/top-rated-recipes?NCID=aoltop00030000000004)


Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 12/10/2007 2:00:09 PM Central Standard Time,
winfij@... writes:


I've been calibration/guiding in Maxim at 0.5x since I was concerned
about what the minimum move time for the mount would be when doing
small corrections at the (relatively) high speed of 1x.
Running at 0.5x means the correction durations would be twice as long
as at 1x for a given guide star error.

What's the minimum move duration the mount (AP900) can reliably
perform at 1x?
Minimum move is around 8 milliseconds, which means this:
8msec = .008 sec.
1x = 15 arc sec per sec.
Therefore 8 miliseconds at 1x = .008x15 = 0.12 arc seconds.

Rolando


**************************************
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Alan Voetsch <alanv12952@...>
 

Roland,

Thank you for the guidance. I will attempt to view the ST-4 calibration at next
opportunity.

Another question: should i run a 'PEM' routine before the above? I have not yet done so.

Alan

--- chris1011@... wrote:
You MUST calibrate at 1x, otherwise you may not get good cal numbers. With
the ST4 guider, you are working basically blind, so it won't be easy for you to
figure out what is going on. You might want to place an eyepiece into your
telescope while the ST4 is guiding, so you can see what is really happening,
instead of relying on the numbers on the guider screen. Otherwise you will be
forever groping in the dark, not knowing cause and effect.

Calibration at 1x is needed to get the proper amount of movement on the guide
chip. Just make sure that the cal time is long enough to get 50 or so pixel
movement, but not too long to run the star off the chip. You can then adjust
the guide speed to 1x, .5x or .25x if you wish to slow down the movement,
however .25x is almost never needed unless you have settings that are somehow
screwy.

While the ST4 is calibrating, LOOK through your eyepiece so you can
understand what is happening. Again, if you don't do this at least once with your
setup, then you will be forever wondering what is happening. If you do use an
eyepiece, and things don't look right, then at least you can explain to all of us
what you are seeing. Right now you can only say that something is not working
right, so that leaves all of us to guess. Take the guesswork out of the
equation and LOOK! (that advise is for anyone who has any guiding issues with their
equipment, no matter what equipment you are using).


Astrophotography: http://www.pbase.com/avoetsch12952


John Winfield
 

I've been calibration/guiding in Maxim at 0.5x since I was concerned
about what the minimum move time for the mount would be when doing
small corrections at the (relatively) high speed of 1x.
Running at 0.5x means the correction durations would be twice as long
as at 1x for a given guide star error.

What's the minimum move duration the mount (AP900) can reliably
perform at 1x?

John


--- In ap-gto@..., chris1011@... wrote:

In a message dated 12/9/2007 1:09:22 PM Central Standard Time,
alanv12952@... writes:


All attempts to guide failed until I did the calibration at 0.5
speed, and
guiding at
0.25.
You MUST calibrate at 1x, otherwise you may not get good cal
numbers. With
the ST4 guider, you are working basically blind, so it won't be easy
for you to
figure out what is going on. You might want to place an eyepiece
into your
telescope while the ST4 is guiding, so you can see what is really
happening,
instead of relying on the numbers on the guider screen. Otherwise
you will be
forever groping in the dark, not knowing cause and effect.

Calibration at 1x is needed to get the proper amount of movement on
the guide
chip. Just make sure that the cal time is long enough to get 50 or
so pixel
movement, but not too long to run the star off the chip. You can
then adjust
the guide speed to 1x, .5x or .25x if you wish to slow down the
movement,
however .25x is almost never needed unless you have settings that
are somehow
screwy.

While the ST4 is calibrating, LOOK through your eyepiece so you can
understand what is happening. Again, if you don't do this at least
once with your
setup, then you will be forever wondering what is happening. If you
do use an
eyepiece, and things don't look right, then at least you can explain
to all of us
what you are seeing. Right now you can only say that something is
not working
right, so that leaves all of us to guess. Take the guesswork out of the
equation and LOOK! (that advise is for anyone who has any guiding
issues with their
equipment, no matter what equipment you are using).

Roland Christen




**************************************
See AOL's top rated recipes
(http://food.aol.com/top-rated-recipes?NCID=aoltop00030000000004)




teche70
 

"Not necessary unless you want to do unguided imaging"
How long could you go, unguided, with the Mach1 mount...under 800mm
FL.?

Todd


--- In ap-gto@..., chris1011@... wrote:

In a message dated 12/10/2007 1:59:26 PM Central Standard Time,
alanv12952@... writes:


Thank you for the guidance. I will attempt to view the ST-4
calibration at
next
opportunity.

Another question: should i run a 'PEM' routine before the above?
I have not
yet done so.

Alan
Not necessary unless you want to do unguided imaging. PEM is for
periodic
error compensation. That means during any unguided imaging, you can
drastically
reduce the priodic error (which is a very slow moving error that
crops up after
tracking for a fairly long time period within the 6.4 minute worm
cycle). The
error is small to begin with, between 3 and 5 arc seconds, so there
is no use
trying to chase your guiding problems with yet another issue - an
issue that
really does not affect guiding one iota.

Rolando



**************************************
See AOL's top rated recipes
(http://food.aol.com/top-rated-recipes?NCID=aoltop00030000000004)


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


Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 12/10/2007 10:05:03 PM Central Standard Time,
teche70@... writes:


How long could you go, unguided, with the Mach1 mount...under 800mm
FL.?
That will depend on how well drift aligned that you are. You can get the
periodic error down around 1 arc sec, so if you have less than 1 arc sec drift in
both axes for X minutes, then you will have 1 arc sec tracking for X minutes
and you will be able to go unguided for X minutes..

Rolando


**************************************
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Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 12/11/2007 11:57:43 AM Central Standard Time,
alanv12952@... writes:


I have to ask, because NOT getting rid of the periodic error is contrary to
everything
I've ever heard. So, why would I not want to drastically reduce the error?
Because it is drastically so low to begin with. What mount are you coming
from?

If you want to reduce periodic error just for the fun of it, then by all
means do so. Just do it and see what your results are.

Rolando


**************************************
See AOL's top rated recipes
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Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 12/11/2007 12:30:03 PM Central Standard Time,
rgr@... writes:


for those autoguiding through a narrowband filter with an SBIG camera,
good PEC is critical. It will allow you to increase the autoguider exposure
time to get a guide star through the narrowband filter.
Yes, that is true indeed.

Roland


**************************************
See AOL's top rated recipes
(http://food.aol.com/top-rated-recipes?NCID=aoltop00030000000004)


Alan Voetsch <alanv12952@...>
 

Hey Roland,

--- chris1011@... wrote:

Another question: should i run a 'PEM' routine before the above? I have not
yet done so.
Not necessary unless you want to do unguided imaging. PEM is for periodic
error compensation. That means during any unguided imaging, you can drastically
reduce the priodic error (which is a very slow moving error that crops up after
tracking for a fairly long time period within the 6.4 minute worm cycle). The
error is small to begin with, between 3 and 5 arc seconds, so there is no use
trying to chase your guiding problems with yet another issue - an issue that
really does not affect guiding one iota.
I have to ask, because NOT getting rid of the periodic error is contrary to everything
I've ever heard. So, why would I not want to drastically reduce the error?

Many thnaks,
Alan




Astrophotography: http://www.pbase.com/avoetsch12952


Ray Gralak <rgr@...>
 

Hi Roland,

If you want to reduce periodic error just for the fun of it,
then by all
means do so. Just do it and see what your results are.
I've experimented with various levels of periodic error in my 1200GTO mount
(not only did I reduce PE but I made it artificially higher for testing by
loading an appropriate PE curve). Using a 5-second autoguider cycle just by
turning on PEM reduced FWHM by 0.15 arc-seconds when going from 3.0 arc-sec
PE to 0.5 arc-sec . The stars looked just as round in each case, but the
FWHM of the stars with PEC on were tighter.

Also, for those autoguiding through a narrowband filter with an SBIG camera,
good PEC is critical. It will allow you to increase the autoguider exposure
time to get a guide star through the narrowband filter.

-Ray


Dean S
 

I'm also having some guiding issues with my new 1200.

I'm using an STV with guide scope at 350mm. I have been using either Auto
tracking, or if the guide star is dim, I use manual with longer exposures,
3-5 secs. I have tried the Aggressiveness settings at .5 to 1.

I calibrate the STV using the Auto mode with the mounts guiding spped at .5

My problem is over correcting, mainly in the RA. So far, 2 nights only, I
have had much better results going unguided 4 minute exposures with PEM on.

Someone suggested I try using the mount at 1x guide speed but this seems
opposite of what I want.

Can someone offer some suggestions on what to try? I honestly have never
used the STV in much more than Auto in the past and really have always
battled this to some degree and blamed it on the mount. I know that is not
the case now :)

Thanks,
Dean

----- Original Message -----
From: <chris1011@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 1:33 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] having guiding problems


In a message dated 12/11/2007 12:30:03 PM Central Standard Time,
rgr@... writes:


for those autoguiding through a narrowband filter with an SBIG camera,
good PEC is critical. It will allow you to increase the autoguider
exposure
time to get a guide star through the narrowband filter.
Yes, that is true indeed.

Roland


**************************************
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(http://food.aol.com/top-rated-recipes?NCID=aoltop00030000000004)






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Dean Salman <cluster@...>
 

I have been wanting to get the PE in the mount but I can't seem to
get it working, I wonder if it is because I am under sampled. I kind
of gave up since I can do 20 second exposures ok.


--- In ap-gto@..., "Ray Gralak" <rgr@...> wrote:

Hi Roland,

If you want to reduce periodic error just for the fun of it,
then by all
means do so. Just do it and see what your results are.
I've experimented with various levels of periodic error in my
1200GTO mount
(not only did I reduce PE but I made it artificially higher for
testing by
loading an appropriate PE curve). Using a 5-second autoguider cycle
just by
turning on PEM reduced FWHM by 0.15 arc-seconds when going from 3.0
arc-sec
PE to 0.5 arc-sec . The stars looked just as round in each case,
but the
FWHM of the stars with PEC on were tighter.

Also, for those autoguiding through a narrowband filter with an
SBIG camera,
good PEC is critical. It will allow you to increase the autoguider
exposure
time to get a guide star through the narrowband filter.

-Ray


Joe <joes_ap@...>
 

Dean,

I think I might know who suggested guiding at 1X...seriously,
although I don't have a lot of experience with my AP 900, I
calibrate and guide at 1X and get very good results. I generally
try to use a short guide exposure and a high aggressiveness
setting. If the sky is steady, and my guide star relatively bright
(which allows me to use short guide exposures), my mount will stay
glued to the guide star. If the sky is not steady, or if my guide
star is dim, (or combinations of both) I may back the aggressiveness
off a little. Perhaps some more-experienced users have a better
approach, but I like the 1X guide rate. I think it is worth
trying.

One other thing...I use self guiding with an SBIG ST-2000XM and not
an STV for guiding.

- Joe

--- In ap-gto@..., "Dean S" <dean@...> wrote:

I'm also having some guiding issues with my new 1200.

I'm using an STV with guide scope at 350mm. I have been using
either Auto
tracking, or if the guide star is dim, I use manual with longer
exposures,
3-5 secs. I have tried the Aggressiveness settings at .5 to 1.

I calibrate the STV using the Auto mode with the mounts guiding
spped at .5

My problem is over correcting, mainly in the RA. So far, 2 nights
only, I
have had much better results going unguided 4 minute exposures
with PEM on.

Someone suggested I try using the mount at 1x guide speed but this
seems
opposite of what I want.

Can someone offer some suggestions on what to try? I honestly
have never
used the STV in much more than Auto in the past and really have
always
battled this to some degree and blamed it on the mount. I know
that is not
the case now :)

Thanks,
Dean


----- Original Message -----
From: <chris1011@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 1:33 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] having guiding problems


In a message dated 12/11/2007 12:30:03 PM Central Standard Time,
rgr@... writes:


for those autoguiding through a narrowband filter with an SBIG
camera,
good PEC is critical. It will allow you to increase the
autoguider
exposure
time to get a guide star through the narrowband filter.
Yes, that is true indeed.

Roland


**************************************
See AOL's top rated recipes
(http://food.aol.com/top-rated-recipes?NCID=aoltop00030000000004)


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



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Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 12/13/2007 7:14:43 AM Central Standard Time,
stuart.j.heggie@... writes:


Roland insists we should use 1x for guiding.
Well, I insist that calibration should be done at 1X. After that, you can
guide at 1x or .5x. (guiding at .5x is the same as putting the agressiveness at
50%).

Rolando


**************************************
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