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Personal Introduction and Evolution 9.25 Observations

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#1 parebal0

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:48 PM

Greetings all..

 

Just a brief introduction of myself, and some general observations, yes, pun intended, about my new 9.25 Evolution. 

 

I have been observing the skies since I was 13, and still can feel the chill up my spine upon my first viewing of Saturn through my 60mm, Sears refractor.....I was throughly hooked.  I graduated to a Tasco, 60mm, equatorial mount, refractor purchased in the Cave Optical store in LA.  That should date me sufficiently. 😊.  Moving onward for to 1976, and I purchase the scope of my dreams, the 89mm Questar.  I have had many wonderful nights with it at Fremont Peak, in California, and as a primarily visual observer, found it to be a most adequate scope for most of my life.  (Felt pretty inadequate after scaling John Dobson's 10 foot ladder to look through his mega light bucket atop Fremont Peak!)  With the Questar reference, maybe some old time observers from Fremont Peak will remember me.  Yes, I still own the Questar, and cherish all the wonderful celestial memories it has given me.

 

So, fast forward to Tuesday of this week and my newly delivered Evo 9.25.  Living in Atlanta for the past 20 years has presented its observational challenges to me, but it was time to make the jump to light speed, and my "need" for the scope's technology. 

 

First, let me thank everyone on this particular forum for all your insight and recommendations.  I have been comparing manufacturers and scope sizes for the past month, and have found this forum to be incredibly helpful. 

 

Second, some general thoughts about my scope, Pegasus.  Yes, I like to name inanimate objects, especially one's which enhance my understanding of the world we inhabit. 

 

The scope's aperture is great to work with, and coming from 89mm to 230mm, is a real treat, even if I have had only 1 decent night of observing in 3.  Observing Europa's transiting shadow last night, in transparency and seeing conditions bordering on trying to see through the LaBrea tar pits, was very unexpected.   At some point in the near further, I do plan on honing my planetary and lunar astrophotography skills, but have a long way to go to even meet the wonderful planetary photos presented in this forum.

 

The mount is surprisingly stable given the single fork, and with all the positive recommendations for the use of Celestron's suppression pads, scope vibration is truly minimal.  With its 3 primary components, tripod, mount and OTA, it is very manageable.   Im looking most forward to join some of the local clubs and utilizing their dark sky locations. 

 

I'm dealing with the WIFI, to IPad issues that I've been reading about with great interest here.  The delayed responses and overzealous slewing, when the iPad seems to have lost its connection, are disconcerting, but certainly a first world problem that I will work on resolving.  Considering the manual world I have come from, with RA and Dec circles, the Evo is still a major technological advancement for me.

 

It is my goal to become a contributor in whatever way I can on this very energetic forum, in the hopes of fostering continued learning and satisfaction with this wonderful science which I do enjoy so very much.   I have read a number of very helpful comments from Peter, so thanks to him, and as I am also a Peter, I will ensure I sign my name as Peter A. to avoid any confusion. 

 

Again, thanks to all, and 10/10 skies to everyone..... Peter A.



#2 skaiser

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:10 PM

Peter

 welcome to the wonderful world of the evolution system.

i too started in my teen years with a manual guided scope and just last year also bought a evolution 9.25 , along with the starsense for these older eyes for easier setup.

a truely great system with its share of bugs, but worth it.

i guess I may be a lucky one with very few wifi connection issues with my iPad Air and skysafari pro.

It seems that the wifi signal is sensitive to being overwhelmed by too many local signals.

good luck with your system. As you can see it's almost overwhelming the amount of information available on this sight, let alone the many others out there.

don't be shy about asking questions, we're here to help each other.



#3 parebal0

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 12:43 AM

Peter

 welcome to the wonderful world of the evolution system.

i too started in my teen years with a manual guided scope and just last year also bought a evolution 9.25 , along with the starsense for these older eyes for easier setup.

a truely great system with its share of bugs, but worth it.

i guess I may be a lucky one with very few wifi connection issues with my iPad Air and skysafari pro.

It seems that the wifi signal is sensitive to being overwhelmed by too many local signals.

good luck with your system. As you can see it's almost overwhelming the amount of information available on this sight, let alone the many others out there.

don't be shy about asking questions, we're here to help each other.

 

Thanks very much for your welcome Skaiser, and very cool you have an Evo 9.25 as well.  I'm sure there are hundreds of them within this forum as they seem to be a very popular scope.  Was out again tonight dodging the clouds but still had some very good views of Jupiter and M13.   Still stuck with my wifi problems but remembered to invoke airplane mode on my Apple Watch tonight which seemed to have helped a bit.  Having way to much fun with this huge mirror!   Peter A.



#4 BlueAstra

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 03:53 AM

Hi Peter,

Looks like I'm also travelling a well trodden path! I to received my Evolution 9.25 last week. I got it as a portable system to use at my local club or at dark sites. I also use it in the garden while my home observatory based system is doing its thing.  I tried it for the first time last night, with some good views of Jupiter. I've managed to pick up a Starsense unit second hand to aid my old eyes, but haven't tried it yet. I also got a Baader click lock adapter (second hand) on the back of the SCT for easy attachment of accessories. I've tried iPad control, which is great when it works, but I get occasional trouble with the movement controls being laggy. I mainly use the HC now. I'm also looking into wired computer control of the system. Looking forward to learning more about the system.

Graham



#5 parebal0

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 01:27 PM

Hi Peter,

Looks like I'm also travelling a well trodden path! I to received my Evolution 9.25 last week. I got it as a portable system to use at my local club or at dark sites. I also use it in the garden while my home observatory based system is doing its thing.  I tried it for the first time last night, with some good views of Jupiter. I've managed to pick up a Starsense unit second hand to aid my old eyes, but haven't tried it yet. I also got a Baader click lock adapter (second hand) on the back of the SCT for easy attachment of accessories. I've tried iPad control, which is great when it works, but I get occasional trouble with the movement controls being laggy. I mainly use the HC now. I'm also looking into wired computer control of the system. Looking forward to learning more about the system.

Graham

Thanks for your reply Graham, and yes, well trodden path indeed!  Very cool that you received your 9.25 last week too.  Very nice on your Starsense purchase and cool on the Baader click lock adapter.  Will have to check one of these out as I start to compile my accessories.  Sorry to hear about your iPad problems, and it is just frustrating, as when it does work, it is just great to have all the functionality the iPad and SS5Pro provides.  Many days of thunderstorms and cloudy weather settling in here, so will spend time reading more Cloudy Nights and listening to my RA and Dec motors whir.... Peter A.



#6 skaiser

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 02:49 PM

In case you haven't already read about it, this subject posting

NexStar Evolution 9.25 HC Bracket

has some tips on ways to hold your standard Hand Control or the Nexstar hand control on the Evo9.25.



#7 Spacefreak1974

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 03:33 PM

The one tip about the WIFI i've heard everyone use with great success is to forget your home network first before trying to connect to your scope. This method worked flawlessly with mine. I actually was skeptical of the WIFI/Skyportal thing for over a year with my Evo 8 until I tried it a couple months ago and I really like it

 

Congrats on your scope!

 

Jon



#8 parebal0

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 03:41 PM

In case you haven't already read about it, this subject posting

NexStar Evolution 9.25 HC Bracket

has some tips on ways to hold your standard Hand Control or the Nexstar hand control on the Evo9.25.

Thanks very much for the tip, and I will certainly check out that posting.  The tripod leg mount is just ok, and will certainly see if there is a better mounting method for me.  Peter A.



#9 parebal0

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 03:45 PM

The one tip about the WIFI i've heard everyone use with great success is to forget your home network first before trying to connect to your scope. This method worked flawlessly with mine. I actually was skeptical of the WIFI/Skyportal thing for over a year with my Evo 8 until I tried it a couple months ago and I really like it

 

Congrats on your scope!

 

Jon

Really appreciate the advice on forgetting my home network Jon.  I think I have tried about everything else I've been able to find on the subject, with the same frustrating latency issue persisting.  Will keep you posted as to my success.  And thanks on my scope!  Peter A.



#10 Noah4x4

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 05:27 AM

With Evolution WiFi you fall into one of two camps. It either works fine or it doesn't.  I have tried everything at home and it won't stay connected. Yet, drive 100 miles to a dark sky site away from urban WiFi clutter and it works fine.

 

British Telecom (in the UK) now claim to supply the world's most powerful wireless smart hub. Each contributes a little bandwidth to its (free) 'public network' that is shared by all BT broadband subscribers. Sounds like a solution, but instead it is the menace. BT has admitted to me (after tests on my system) that its 'public network' is so powerful it is intermittently overwhelming my smart hub's signal and also my telescopes feeble (direct connect) signal. Hence once beyond 10 yards outside from my house my devices (like my Android device) repeatedly want to connect to that. I can 'forget' my home network, but because the 'public network' is bounced off the dozens of local smart hubs that surround me, I have yet to find a way of escaping from its clutches, that is until my BT contract runs out. But if I then change ISP, how long before my new supplier adopts the same overwhelmingly powerful technology?  My conclusion is WiFi control is superb in the 'Great Outdoors' of the USA, but limited in many locations in overcrowded urban Great Britain. 

 

But that doesn't limit my enjoyment of my Evolution scope that works fine with a HC. I realise now that all I am really missing is the 'blip blip' of a cursor in an APP, but I gain better 'night vision' by not looking at a bright (red) tablet screen). I can also simply use SkySafari offline and never suffer any WiFi woes. I also love StarSense. I just wish Celestron would fix its 'bug' when used with a wedge. The desire to polar align my scope on a wedge is another reason for discarding WiFi. There is currently no polar align (on wedge) routine in either SkyPortal or SkySafari.  However, a Nexstar + HC works fine.

 

 Welcome to the brilliance, yet challenges and idiosyncracies of Celestron scopes.



#11 parebal0

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 12:20 AM

With Evolution WiFi you fall into one of two camps. It either works fine or it doesn't.  I have tried everything at home and it won't stay connected. Yet, drive 100 miles to a dark sky site away from urban WiFi clutter and it works fine.

 

British Telecom (in the UK) now claim to supply the world's most powerful wireless smart hub. Each contributes a little bandwidth to its (free) 'public network' that is shared by all BT broadband subscribers. Sounds like a solution, but instead it is the menace. BT has admitted to me (after tests on my system) that its 'public network' is so powerful it is intermittently overwhelming my smart hub's signal and also my telescopes feeble (direct connect) signal. Hence once beyond 10 yards outside from my house my devices (like my Android device) repeatedly want to connect to that. I can 'forget' my home network, but because the 'public network' is bounced off the dozens of local smart hubs that surround me, I have yet to find a way of escaping from its clutches, that is until my BT contract runs out. But if I then change ISP, how long before my new supplier adopts the same overwhelmingly powerful technology?  My conclusion is WiFi control is superb in the 'Great Outdoors' of the USA, but limited in many locations in overcrowded urban Great Britain. 

 

But that doesn't limit my enjoyment of my Evolution scope that works fine with a HC. I realise now that all I am really missing is the 'blip blip' of a cursor in an APP, but I gain better 'night vision' by not looking at a bright (red) tablet screen). I can also simply use SkySafari offline and never suffer any WiFi woes. I also love StarSense. I just wish Celestron would fix its 'bug' when used with a wedge. The desire to polar align my scope on a wedge is another reason for discarding WiFi. There is currently no polar align (on wedge) routine in either SkyPortal or SkySafari.  However, a Nexstar + HC works fine.

 

 Welcome to the brilliance, yet challenges and idiosyncracies of Celestron scopes.

Thanks for the welcome Noah and certainly understand your frustration with celestrons wifi.  Fortunately today, I had a major break through with the iPad SkyPortal update.  Prior to the updated SkyPortal install it was much worse than SS5Pro, and I couldn't go 30 seconds without having my iPad freeze up and basically no connectivity to the scope.  My connect time to the scope now is only 2 seconds with SP and during 3.5 hours of observing tonight, I did not have 1 freeze or 30 seconds of uncontrollable slewing!  Only downside is.....I want the update done to SS5 now in the hopes that it corrects its abhorrent behavior.  In the meantime, I will work with SP, and let them know about my success and encourage them to port the changes over to SS5 asap!  Let me know if you have success with the iPad SP update.  Peter A.



#12 Noah4x4

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 01:40 AM

I use an Android tablet. I-Pad versions are always updated first. However, I don't think my issues are software. My first generation Evolution's WiFi aerial is a pathetic ribbon on the PCB. It's not powerful enough.

#13 Spacefreak1974

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 08:00 AM

My iPad would not even present the opportunity to begin alignment using Skysafari Pro. I emailed SkySafari and they thought I was nuts. I may try it again, but SkyPortal is fine

 

Jon



#14 Noah4x4

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 11:13 AM

My iPad would not even present the opportunity to begin alignment using Skysafari Pro. I emailed SkySafari and they thought I was nuts. I may try it again, but SkyPortal is fine

 

Jon

Hi Jon,

 

SkySafari  doesnt list specific Celestron scopes. You simply need to set it to 'Celestron WiFi'. Then it should work fine.



#15 Spacefreak1974

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 11:53 AM

 

My iPad would not even present the opportunity to begin alignment using Skysafari Pro. I emailed SkySafari and they thought I was nuts. I may try it again, but SkyPortal is fine

 

Jon

Hi Jon,

 

SkySafari  doesnt list specific Celestron scopes. You simply need to set it to 'Celestron WiFi'. Then it should work fine.

 

I did...wouldn't present the opportunity to align stars like on Skyportal. It asked me.."Are you sure you want to align on Jupiter". Kinda stupid. It should have been the same method as on Skyportal


Edited by Spacefreak1974, 25 May 2017 - 11:54 AM.


#16 chuckscap

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 06:21 PM

Congrats on your Evolution 9.25!  It's a really nice telescope.  I am one of the lucky ones who have had no issue with my Wifi.  In addition, Starsense has been truly amazing.   I use a cheap mini-Ipad I bought at Walmart for $168 and everything seems to work just fine.  I also have the SkySafariPro app installed on it, but have been happy with SkyPortal so far, maybe in a couple of weeks when the weather clears.   

 

One thing to look out for, either your C9.25 is going to be balanced severely front heavy, or it won't clear at zenith. If it's really front heavy be very very careful you're supporting it when you loosen the alt clutch.  I've somewhat overcome that by purchasing a  3 lb.  $15 tripod counterweight from BH Photo and installed it on the handle.   I've replaced my very nice C9.25 on my mount with a TEC 7 Mak (which I've wanted forever), but it has the same issue.  Photo below, counterweight is on the bottom part of the handle.

 

TEC%207%20Evolution%20zenith%202_zpsrcor


Edited by chuckscap, 26 May 2017 - 06:24 PM.


#17 parebal0

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 06:42 PM

Congrats on your Evolution 9.25!  It's a really nice telescope.  I am one of the lucky ones who have had no issue with my Wifi.  In addition, Starsense has been truly amazing.   I use a cheap mini-Ipad I bought at Walmart for $168 and everything seems to work just fine.  I also have the SkySafariPro app installed on it, but have been happy with SkyPortal so far, maybe in a couple of weeks when the weather clears.   

 

One thing to look out for, either your C9.25 is going to be balanced severely front heavy, or it won't clear at zenith. If it's really front heavy be very very careful you're supporting it when you loosen the alt clutch.  I've somewhat overcome that by purchasing a  3 lb.  $15 tripod counterweight from BH Photo and installed it on the handle.   I've replaced my very nice C9.25 on my mount with a TEC 7 Mak (which I've wanted forever), but it has the same issue.  Photo below, counterweight is on the bottom part of the handle.

 

TEC%207%20Evolution%20zenith%202_zpsrcor

Hi Chuck!  Thanks very much for the welcome, and very appreciative of all your advice.  I will certainly keep an eye out on my nose heavy scope,  I usually balance it such that its weight is neutral, and try to avoid looking at objects within a few degrees of the zenith, knowing I will hit the diagonal on the mount.  

 

Im most happy that you have not had any SkyPortal issues, and until the latest iPad SP update, mine was horrible at best.   I would be curious to know how reliable SS5Pro is for you once you get some use out of it.  I really do like the SS5 so much better than SP.

 

Great looking Mak, and what a wonderful aperture size as well.   I had always dreamed of owning a Questar 7, but am most happy with my Evo 9.25.  I will never let go of my Questar 3.5, as I've been its original owner since 1976.  I love visual observing but plan to do some serious lunar and planetary photography.

 

Thanks again for the welcome and clear skies to you and that great looking Mak!   Peter A.



#18 laroobien

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 10:01 PM

 

In case you haven't already read about it, this subject posting

NexStar Evolution 9.25 HC Bracket

has some tips on ways to hold your standard Hand Control or the Nexstar hand control on the Evo9.25.

Thanks very much for the tip, and I will certainly check out that posting.  The tripod leg mount is just ok, and will certainly see if there is a better mounting method for me.  Peter A.

 

The leg mount connects well with the evo mount handle, just perfect I should say.



#19 Mooninite

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 09:36 PM

Hello, I just bought one and It comes tomorrow. My first big telescope the 9.25 ! 



#20 parebal0

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 10:24 PM

Hello, I just bought one and It comes tomorrow. My first big telescope the 9.25 ! 

Excellent!  Welcome to the Evo 9.25 Universe!  I certainly hope you have clear sky's tomorrow.... Peter A.


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#21 Kashmir

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 03:23 AM

Hello Pete, also an Evo 9.25 user and have now had mine a number of years. My Wi-Fi seems to work OK when I use it but then I do observe out of town so maybe away from Wi-Fi clutter. I added Starsense and a feathertouch focusser which are both useful mods especially the focusser. Starizona do a bracket for the EVO HC which is reasonably good allowing you to attach the HC to the fork of the mount, the bracket though is quite brittle so its easy to snap the clamp edge but it certainly superglues back together and stronger!

I have so enjoyed the Evo 9.25 and at the end of last May we had exceptional seeing conditions in my part of the UK resulting in one of the best evenings astronomy I have ever had. Some of the views of the globs were outstanding and it felt like the scope was ripping apart the heavens. I totally agree about the versatility mentioned here as set up and tear down are pretty quick and travelling to a dark site with a big EVO is not that much of a heft to get into the car and go. Cool down can be a bit tedious at times but hey ...not all things can be equal in the scope world. I hope you get a lot of enjoyment from your scope as even without WiFi its a great performer.

#22 Mooninite

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 11:25 AM

Thank you Peter, sadly its overcast and misty outside today hahaha ugh hope it burns off later. I will use this time to get familiar with its settings and functions after work. I jumped from a small 70mm refractor scope to this monster lol I looked at a 6" 8" 9.25 10" and even a 12"  from all kinds of brands. I finally went with the Evolution 9.25. I wanted the biggest scope that I could travel with form camping. Any tips would be appreciated. Im new to this site so I hope this is the correct place to be asking these questions.



#23 parebal0

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 11:44 AM

Thank you Peter, sadly its overcast and misty outside today hahaha ugh hope it burns off later. I will use this time to get familiar with its settings and functions after work. I jumped from a small 70mm refractor scope to this monster lol I looked at a 6" 8" 9.25 10" and even a 12"  from all kinds of brands. I finally went with the Evolution 9.25. I wanted the biggest scope that I could travel with form camping. Any tips would be appreciated. Im new to this site so I hope this is the correct place to be asking these questions.

Very cool that you came from a relatively small scope.  My 40 year old questar only has 19mm on your refractor, so I can certainly relate to your aperture increase.  Agreed on your assement of practical scope size as I will be traveling with mine too.  But if I lived out west, I would have built an observatory with as big a mirror as I could have afforded!  The skies here in the southern US are not made for astronomy.    Hope the weather clears up for you as Jupiter and Saturn have been marvelous viewing.  From my perspective, you are in the right place for questions so put them out there!  crazy.gif   .... Peter A.



#24 parebal0

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 11:49 AM

Hello Pete, also an Evo 9.25 user and have now had mine a number of years. My Wi-Fi seems to work OK when I use it but then I do observe out of town so maybe away from Wi-Fi clutter. I added Starsense and a feathertouch focusser which are both useful mods especially the focusser. Starizona do a bracket for the EVO HC which is reasonably good allowing you to attach the HC to the fork of the mount, the bracket though is quite brittle so its easy to snap the clamp edge but it certainly superglues back together and stronger!

I have so enjoyed the Evo 9.25 and at the end of last May we had exceptional seeing conditions in my part of the UK resulting in one of the best evenings astronomy I have ever had. Some of the views of the globs were outstanding and it felt like the scope was ripping apart the heavens. I totally agree about the versatility mentioned here as set up and tear down are pretty quick and travelling to a dark site with a big EVO is not that much of a heft to get into the car and go. Cool down can be a bit tedious at times but hey ...not all things can be equal in the scope world. I hope you get a lot of enjoyment from your scope as even without WiFi its a great performer.

Thanks very much for all your suggestions!  My wifi has been very solid ever since the last SS5 pro update.  It has made my viewing experience a real joy.  You perfect night of seeing sounds marvelous!   I may have to drive to the Weetern US to find such good conditions, as the South can be a real challenge just to see a dark patch of sky.  Thanks  again for your helpful message.... Peter A.



#25 Mooninite

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 09:28 AM

I live at the beach and summer is when the clouds are the worst. Oh well at least I can drive to the mountains. I love the desert in the winter. That has nice views and no light pollution. This was the package I bought below. I looked everywhere online and think this was a great deal. Any suggestions on the eye pieces it comes with would be great. Thank you.

 

http://www.highpoint...ndle-12092-bun1




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