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Upgrading from 8" to 10" reflector

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#1 Promentory

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 08:19 PM

Hello all, I have been observing for just shy of a year. Still a beginner, but I'd like to change out my scope. I currently own a skywatcher 200p F5, mounted on a CG5 and 2" tripod. I love the scope, and have done quite a few upgrades, but have been humming and hawing about using a dobsonian mount vs eq mount. I enjoy the fact that I can stand and observe, and the slow motion controls are awesome, especially for planetary and lunar observing. But it can take me into some pretty funky positions. I thought about just building my own dob mount, but am curious if I can find a 10" package with good optics by todays standards and great build quality. 

 

As far as I've seen, in Canada, the most popular 10" scopes that shops carry are the skywatcher classic, and the explore scientific firstlight. I don't think truss or collapsibles appeal to me. My preference from those two would be the firstlight, it looks like a great scope. Brand new, it would run about $1000 CAD. If I made the switch, I plan to sell my skywatcher with EQ mount and aluminum tripod, low profile focuser, and 2" steel tripod, which would cover about half of the purchase. 

 

I'm also not looking for accessories. I currently have a telrad, and plan on a RACI, 30, 25, and 10 mm plossl', 31.5 90 deg speers waler, sky mentor 8-24mm zoom, TV nagler 17 t4, and a 14mm delos. I plan to sell the 14mm delos (was comparing naglers to delos), and grab a 10mm delos to fill the 2mm exit pupil. The rest of my goal eyepieces will be acquired slowly as I watch the used market here in canada. 

 

So I suppose I am just wondering about other members opinions, and how the dob mount will compare to using an EQ. I'd like this to be a "long time" purchase, so a well built scope is preferable, but I am guessing mass produced scopes are all close in quality. I'd also like decent optics, but am willing to replace the secondary somewhere down the line if need be. Lunar and planetary are what I observe the most being in a light polluted city, but I have the chance to get out to darker skies occasionally so it would be a jack of all trades. I will continue to watch the used market, but its a scarce market. Thank you, any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated!

 

 



#2 Barlowbill

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 12:02 AM

Since smarter folks than I have not yet answered, I will.  I have an 8" Dob.  I have read that  upgrading 2" isn't that much.  I would never buy a 10" because I don't think it would improve my views very much.  I think a 12" would make it noticeably  better than an 8".  This opinion is based only what I have heard here on CN.  I have only viewed thru an 8".  


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#3 izar187

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 01:04 AM

Hello all, I have been observing for just shy of a year. Still a beginner, but I'd like to change out my scope. I currently own a skywatcher 200p F5, mounted on a CG5 and 2" tripod. I love the scope, and have done quite a few upgrades, but have been humming and hawing about using a dobsonian mount vs eq mount. I enjoy the fact that I can stand and observe, and the slow motion controls are awesome, especially for planetary and lunar observing. But it can take me into some pretty funky positions. I thought about just building my own dob mount, but am curious if I can find a 10" package with good optics by todays standards and great build quality. 

 

As far as I've seen, in Canada, the most popular 10" scopes that shops carry are the skywatcher classic, and the explore scientific firstlight. I don't think truss or collapsibles appeal to me. My preference from those two would be the firstlight, it looks like a great scope. Brand new, it would run about $1000 CAD. If I made the switch, I plan to sell my skywatcher with EQ mount and aluminum tripod, low profile focuser, and 2" steel tripod, which would cover about half of the purchase. 

 

I'm also not looking for accessories. I currently have a telrad, and plan on a RACI, 30, 25, and 10 mm plossl', 31.5 90 deg speers waler, sky mentor 8-24mm zoom, TV nagler 17 t4, and a 14mm delos. I plan to sell the 14mm delos (was comparing naglers to delos), and grab a 10mm delos to fill the 2mm exit pupil. The rest of my goal eyepieces will be acquired slowly as I watch the used market here in canada. 

 

So I suppose I am just wondering about other members opinions, and how the dob mount will compare to using an EQ. I'd like this to be a "long time" purchase, so a well built scope is preferable, but I am guessing mass produced scopes are all close in quality. I'd also like decent optics, but am willing to replace the secondary somewhere down the line if need be. Lunar and planetary are what I observe the most being in a light polluted city, but I have the chance to get out to darker skies occasionally so it would be a jack of all trades. I will continue to watch the used market, but its a scarce market. Thank you, any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated!

Build a dob mount for your 8".

https://www.instruct...ELESCOPE-MOUNT/

Or assemble an alt-az pipe mount head to go on top of your CG5 tripod perhaps.

If the go-to mount detaches from the tripod to allow this.

https://www.google.c...DJkqMp1RVoLseM:

This ota on a simple alt-az mount works for very comfortable one position seated viewing.

The tube rings on your ota allow for adjusting to your perfect focuser position angle.

An 8" f/5 on an alt-az mount makes a great compact scope.

Mine can stand up in the corner of my vehicles, with mount on floor behind a seat.

 

Just 8" to 10" is not enough of an improvement in resolution. IMHO+E 

12" is the better next step, newt for newt.


Edited by izar187, 20 October 2019 - 01:05 AM.


#4 MalVeauX

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 04:12 AM

I think between them, I would choose between an 8" and 10" when getting a scope, but not upgrading from an 8" to 10". 8" for less weight and easier mounting options. 10" to get more aperture for similar weight without stepping into a whole new class of weight by going a little larger. 10" is about as big as you can go before things get really "heavy."

 

12" is noticeably brighter, more resolution, and significantly more weight. If you truly want an upgrade for your money, I would push towards a 12". After 12", the weight goes nuts without a costly/custom/ultralight build.

 

Very best,



#5 sg6

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 04:48 AM

The general opinion is that to see a difference the increase needs to be 2x the area. 8 > 10 is "only" a 56% increase (10/8)2

so you could find the change not as significant as required.

 

8 to 12 is a 225% increase in area so should be a noticable improvement. So would in keeping suggest you consider a 12" over a 10". Unfortunatly more cost and could be inconveniently bigger. Size becomes an issue eventually. If one feel too big and doesn't get used it doesn't matter how big it is.

 

If you go larger then the focal ratio tends to get faster and that brings in better eyepieces and more general day to day maintainance, which again can make it all a pain to use. Its often ignored that there is more then just aperture and magnification. Ease of use is I suspect a much greater aspect then is talked about, read the assorted posts of things just not working - there are LOTS. And if not fairly easy people give up.



#6 Tony Flanders

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 06:38 AM

In general, I prefer Newtonians on Dobsonian mounts to the same tubes on equatorial mounts -- hard-core planetary viewing being a possible exception to that rule. Dobsonian mounts are much lighter than comparably stable EQ mounts, and also eliminate the issue of tube rotation.

 

On the downside, normal Dob mounts don't track targets automatically. You can fix them up to do so in various ways, but except in really big apertures, it probably makes more sense to use an EQ mount if motorized tracking is a high priority -- as it might be, for instance, if you're trying to sketch a planet at high magnification.

 

Since 10-inch solid-tube Dobs are readily available at very modest cost, selling your current scope and buying a 10-inch Dob instead would indeed be the low-effort approach to switching. But you could build a Dob mount for your current 8-incher for considerably less money.

 

The difference between 8 and 10 inches isn't huge for most targets, but it happens to make a big difference for viewing globular clusters, which are among the sky's best targets for scopes that size. In general, solid tubes make most sense for most people up to 10 inches of aperture, but some kind of truss design becomes a lot easier to handle round-about 12 inches of aperture.


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#7 SeattleScott

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 11:00 AM

Upgrading might not be worth it simply based on aperture but the improvement in ergonomics could make it worthwhile. Have to get used to using a chair though. Tube will also be considerably bigger and heavier. Won’t go quite as wide.

Scott

#8 Promentory

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 12:14 PM

Thanks for all the responses. The idea of building an alt az mount for my tripod is intriguing. I would enjoy being able to use my scope seated or standing. I think with that configuration I would have the height adjustment in my tripod to do either.

 

The one 12" scope I could see being realistic is the skywatcher flextube 300p. Even then I would have to see it in person before committing to the purchase. It looks hefty, and storage could be an issue. 

 

I haven't got into any aperature fever yet being in a city. I also prefer a grab and go setup, later in life when I'm situated and it's reasonable I could go the route of owning a big dob. The flextube skywatchers are intriguing, I'll have to read a bit more about them, maybe see if I can stop by a shop next time I'm in Toronto. 

 

Thanks again! I think I'll sit tight and watch the used market and enjoy what I have for now. I'll keep reading and if anything comes a long that is too good to pass up I'll make the decision then. 



#9 MrRoberts

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 02:04 PM

I started with an Orion XT8Plus DOB about 8 years ago. Sort of wish I still had it. Anyway, soon afterwards another acquaintance bought an 10i and another a 12" (both solid tubes). I really loved the brighter views that the 10" had, but I wasn't in a position to trade up. The 12" associate really loved the size/weight of the 10. Eventually he sold his 12" DOB for an C-11 SC and I sold my 8" DOB for a C-8/E. I recently sold my 15" Obsession Classic.  But storage/size/weight made it more than my new location (apt) and old body could handle. I still have the C-8/E and now an Esprit 80 on an Ioptron AZPro mount along with a MOD 3 night vision oncular. I am pondering the purchase of a CEM40 to go with the Esprit 80 and/or C-8/E for AP, but I sort of miss the light bucket views. These days I have been thinking of getting one the XT10G units.

I know this doesn't really answer your question, but one more experience added to the others here may help you make the judgment call. I think the approx. 50% more reflective surface area would be a bonus and still be able to take it to darker sites.

If cost is an issue than buy all means build a dob base for your current tube and get an observing chair and good ep's.

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#10 vtornado

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 04:56 PM

I had an 8 inch f/5 eq like yours, I had an 8 inch f/6 dob, and now own a 10 inch f/5 dob.

 

Here is my line of reasoning.

 

I bought the 8 inch f/5 because it was the largest scope I could mount and have tracking.  Worked well in the

role, was very nice for out reach, where the target would stay in view for 15 minutes or more.  ( I didn't do a great

job polar aligning it). I used a Sky view pro head, and a 2 inch steel leg tripod.

This mount was a little undermounted. .  A breeze was not good for viewing.  And as you noticed, moving the

scope through a large arc of sky caused the eyepiece to end up in a funky position.  Loosing the tube rings

to rotate the tube, was tricky without throwing the balance off.   Wilcox rings would fix this, but they are

expensive.  Home made rotating rings are possible but I never took the time.

 

I had to put public outreach on hold because of job and family commitments.  so this setup just was gathering

dust.  It was too heavy to drag out and set up.   I started making excuses for not bringing it out.

I sold this tube just a month ago.  I kept the mount for other purposes.

 

 

A few years ago, a 10 inch f5 solid dob came up for sale at a good price used close to me.

I bought it realizing I could flip it if I didn't like it and not lose very much.  So I took the gamble.

 

Some of my favorite targets in my light polluted skies are globs, and planets.  The 10 inch did better

on both than the 8 inch dob.  So I kept the 10 and sold the 8.   I am not sorry I did.  If I had to buy the 10 inch brand new  at retail pricing I would not have made the move.

 

The 10 on the dob mount is much easier to setup, and is much more stable than the 8 on the tripod.


Edited by vtornado, 21 October 2019 - 05:00 PM.

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#11 SeattleScott

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 05:14 PM

Wilcox rings are expensive?!? I paid $30 for mine, which I thought was a lot of money for a Wilcox ring.

Edited by SeattleScott, 21 October 2019 - 05:20 PM.

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#12 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 05:29 PM

My friend Jack made a set of Wilcox rings for his 8 inch F/5  from a 5 gallon plastic bucket and a large diameter hose clamp.

 

Of course right now he has my 10 inch Dob... Which he seems to be liking..

 

Jon

 

 



#13 Myk Rian

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 05:52 PM

I have an 8" and the only thing I found to beat it is my 13.1".

The difference between the 8 and 10 isn't worth the upgrade, IMHO.



#14 Astro-Master

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 07:00 PM

I've seen quite a few  used 12" Dob's for sale on CN for prices the same or cheaper than 10" Dob's.  My guess is a lot of older observers are tired of the extra weight of a 12" and are downsizing to a 10".

 

You didn't give us you age or your ability to carry heavy objects.  Forty years ago when I was 33 years old I bought a used 12.5" Starliner telescope. The tube was 70lbs. and 6 feet long the mount was over 150lbs. and the counter weights another 60lbs.  After about 10 years my back had enough.

 

I made some aperture masks 10" and 8" in diameter for the 12.5" scope to see the difference between an 8" and a 10" scope.  The 10" still showed most objects pretty well, but the 8" was just to dim on galaxies and globulars IMHO.

 

The 12" Dob's today are much lighter than my old Starliner, so if you are in good shape buy a used 12 Dob on CN and go for it.  You could keep it for years and sell it for about what you paid, if you take care of it.


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#15 stargazer193857

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 10:44 PM

An 8" f5 will fit in a small car trunk, so the seats can be used for friends and family.
8" f6 will take up some trunk plus two car seats.
10" f5 will take up 3 car seats, making for lonely observing.

The 8"f5 dob is the cheapest option, and fun to build.

Galaxies will look noticeably better in a 10" vs 8". Globular clusters will look a lot better. You could sell your 8" or mount to start the 10", but I would keep both long enough to compare.

The 10" should be moved in two pieces. The 8" can be moved in 1 piece. I rehurt my back trying to move a 12", but I admit the view was temptingly nicer.

#16 ALman

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 03:33 AM

I have to say that I agree that the difference between an 8" and a 10" is pretty marginal. I'd go the 8". Fits on more things. Easier to carry. Accessories are just a bit cheaper (Solar filters etc...). I think 12" is where you trade the convenience for the aperture. Overall, bigger eyepieces and portability make the biggest differences for most people wanting to get more out of their dob. And at the end of the day, what ever gets the scope out more often has gotta be an improvement. 

 

Cheers,


Edited by ALman, 24 October 2019 - 03:33 AM.


#17 Promentory

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 08:51 AM

I had an 8 inch f/5 eq like yours, I had an 8 inch f/6 dob, and now own a 10 inch f/5 dob.

 

Here is my line of reasoning.

 

I bought the 8 inch f/5 because it was the largest scope I could mount and have tracking.  Worked well in the

role, was very nice for out reach, where the target would stay in view for 15 minutes or more.  ( I didn't do a great

job polar aligning it). I used a Sky view pro head, and a 2 inch steel leg tripod.

This mount was a little undermounted. .  A breeze was not good for viewing.  And as you noticed, moving the

scope through a large arc of sky caused the eyepiece to end up in a funky position.  Loosing the tube rings

to rotate the tube, was tricky without throwing the balance off.   Wilcox rings would fix this, but they are

expensive.  Home made rotating rings are possible but I never took the time.

 

I had to put public outreach on hold because of job and family commitments.  so this setup just was gathering

dust.  It was too heavy to drag out and set up.   I started making excuses for not bringing it out.

I sold this tube just a month ago.  I kept the mount for other purposes.

 

 

A few years ago, a 10 inch f5 solid dob came up for sale at a good price used close to me.

I bought it realizing I could flip it if I didn't like it and not lose very much.  So I took the gamble.

 

Some of my favorite targets in my light polluted skies are globs, and planets.  The 10 inch did better

on both than the 8 inch dob.  So I kept the 10 and sold the 8.   I am not sorry I did.  If I had to buy the 10 inch brand new  at retail pricing I would not have made the move.

 

The 10 on the dob mount is much easier to setup, and is much more stable than the 8 on the tripod.

 

This is part of my reasoning as well, comfort of viewing. I've never used a dob mount, but in my mind sitting and looking through the eyepiece and panning the sky seems to beat the eq mount. I've tried panning with the eq mount, and its a little awkward. You mention a 10 being more stable, if balance is correct, does a dob mount manage heavy eyepieces well? I can see a nagler 31mm and possibly the 12 and 17 92 degree explore scientific in my eyepiece case. 

 

I've seen quite a few  used 12" Dob's for sale on CN for prices the same or cheaper than 10" Dob's.  My guess is a lot of older observers are tired of the extra weight of a 12" and are downsizing to a 10".

 

You didn't give us you age or your ability to carry heavy objects.  Forty years ago when I was 33 years old I bought a used 12.5" Starliner telescope. The tube was 70lbs. and 6 feet long the mount was over 150lbs. and the counter weights another 60lbs.  After about 10 years my back had enough.

 

I made some aperture masks 10" and 8" in diameter for the 12.5" scope to see the difference between an 8" and a 10" scope.  The 10" still showed most objects pretty well, but the 8" was just to dim on galaxies and globulars IMHO.

 

The 12" Dob's today are much lighter than my old Starliner, so if you are in good shape buy a used 12 Dob on CN and go for it.  You could keep it for years and sell it for about what you paid, if you take care of it.

 

I am 28 years old, in relatively good shape. Thank you for your input. I have been looking at the flextube skywatchers, and a 12" on a dolly seems like a breeze. Even when I compare a 10" on a dob, that is only two pieces I have to take out. With my 8", it usually takes minimum three. Scope, tripod, eq mount, counter weights.  



#18 Sky_LO

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 11:35 AM

Hello, I recently upgraded from an xt8 to an xt10i 

The views are incrementally better - not a lot better, but a bit better.

Weight is still manageable for me. 

Plus I like the extra finding ability you get with the computerized hand controller. 

Way faster to find targets and you still get the feel of searching.       

Maybe the consensus is not to upgrade from an 8 to a 10 

But an upgrade is an upgrade !!    

 

-Lauren


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#19 whizbang

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 07:14 PM

Aperture is King.

 

A 10 will show faint fuzzies better than an 8.  (For that matter, a C9.25 will show faint fuzzies better than a C8).

 

Is it worth upgrading?  Yes, I think so.

 

And an XT10i like Sky LO has is a killer scope.  It is worth the upgradetoa XT10i  just for the PUSH TO.



#20 vtornado

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 03:31 PM

The stability in a dob is that the bulk of the weight on the dob is at the very bottom of the setup.

The mirror and base.   On a tripod mount the majority of the weight is three foot ( or more) off the ground.

(Tube, mount head and counter weights).  The weight being at the bottom also makes the dob easier to manually move.

There is no way I am going to pick up a 8 inch reflector on an EQ mount.  The setup is 60+ pounds, and

the weight is at the top.  I live in a wooded area and frequently have to tree dodge.  I'm not going to move the

10 inch dob 100 feet, but 25 is doable without disassembling it.

 

 

I don't have hand grenade eyepieces.  My biggest is a GSO 2 inch super view.  My AD10 handles it fine.  However if whatever 10 inch  you choose to get has trouble with your eyepiece, you can add a simple counter weight which

is a few welders magnets wrapped in tape so they wont scratch the tube.


Edited by vtornado, 28 October 2019 - 03:40 PM.


#21 AstroVPK

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 07:35 PM

Simple math - you'll see the same (extended) objects about 0.49 mag/sqarcsec brighter in the 10" than in the 8" at the same magnification. I think you'll see far more if you put the extra money towards gas.... The bigger scope buys you more surface brightness while the darker skies buy you more contrast. More contrast usually wins....


Edited by AstroVPK, 06 November 2019 - 09:50 PM.


#22 stargazer193857

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 09:49 PM

Gas to a dark sky site is $20 round trip. Five trips and that is the upgrade right there. Drive time is a bigger factor. And when you get set up and look in the eyepiece, there is more to enjoy in the bigger aperture. With the 8", you might decide to go home early.


The best reason to not get a 10" is because it is too heavy for you. You like to dodge trees or carry it far from your car.
Well, one more good reason to not get it is you have standard sized car and want to bring a friend.

Edited by stargazer193857, 06 November 2019 - 09:52 PM.


#23 AstroVPK

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 09:58 PM

Maybe, but you could just drop the magnification by a factor of 1.25 and lo & behold, you're back at the same SB as with the 10". Do you really see a huge difference between 80X & 100X? Now if you jump from 8" to 16", there's a huge difference between how the same object looks at 100X & 50X - that's a good upgrade IMO.

 

Gas to a dark sky site is $20 round trip. Five trips and that is the upgrade right there. Drive time is a bigger factor. And when you get set up and look in the eyepiece, there is more to enjoy in the bigger aperture. With the 8", you might decide to go home early.


The best reason to not get a 10" is because it is too heavy for you. You like to dodge trees or carry it far from your car.
Well, one more good reason to not get it is you have standard sized car and want to bring a friend.



#24 precaud

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 10:32 PM

If you have a 10" dob, you won't use the 8" very often...


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#25 Mr. Mike

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 06:50 AM

If you have a 10" dob, you won't use the 8" very often...

I agree - but is it really worth the upgrade for extra 2 inches?  If anything, once you start to get into larger aperture sizes then doesnt the size increase have to get larger too between one scope to the next?  I hope Im asking that right! :)




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