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Vintage Reflector OTA - Commercial or Homemade?

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#51 apfever

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Posted 03 April 2021 - 11:15 AM

It's commercial.  I'm looking at it this way, no regular here or in a much larger CN family, would have built this.  There is definitely some professional grade to this.  The degree of build and degree of altitude can mark a fine line. It's a little rough so none of the above may be correct including this statement.  It looks to be above the USA mid line of 40 degrees,  kinda looks 45ish.

 

It's just like all the smaller normal stuff here, check the date on the motor.  The scope is probably within a few months. The motor drive has that original look. Motor guys will date it even if there's no date on the guys motor.  When I did my 1918 navy ship lathe, the motor guys at practicalmachinist had more conniptions than the lathe guys. I did a resto on that motor 1936 or so and a lot bigger. Beautiful labels on those motors. 

 

Comparing photos in entry #29,  those serrated disc are like a super thick bakelight or specifically a Fiberlight type material that I'd place as manual controls. Sometimes that stuff can wipe up and be pretty. 


Edited by apfever, 04 April 2021 - 09:27 AM.


#52 sunflowerastro

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Posted 04 April 2021 - 10:59 AM

Here are a couple of pictures of the silvered 10 inch primary mirror for the shorter OTA.

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#53 icomet

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Posted 04 April 2021 - 11:53 AM

I looked at the posting of this scope and I am surprised more of you didn't recognize the scope

and the manufacturer. Yes, it is a rare prototype, because the later design looks quite a bit different.

 

This is an example of an early Coulter Odyssey.

 

I was changed to the current, more well known design, because, even though the blue and red

tube versions produced are just about indestructible, this prototype was indestructible, meaning,

one wouldn't ever have to replace his original purchase, putting the company in danger of closing

down the business.

 

Wait for '"Clamchip" to chime in on "Coulter Oddities" before drawing any conclusions.  lol.gif 

 

Clear Skies.



#54 apfever

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Posted 04 April 2021 - 12:45 PM

The scope has absolutely NOTHING to do with Coulter Odyssey.  Both long and short OTA were custom made to match the mount as a single unit. Any relation to Coulter would be a fluke.  

Both OTA have a band to match the mount. Both OTA have the same construction inside, focuser, finder, etc.  I would want to see pictures of the proposed relation.  The scope could date to the 1920's.

 

OK, OK,  you were kidding right?  Right?


Edited by apfever, 04 April 2021 - 01:25 PM.

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#55 Terra Nova

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Posted 04 April 2021 - 10:04 PM

From the looks of it, my bet is that it's either a late Brashear or early Fecker.  Fecker bought Brashear in 1926, and this scope looks like it's from around then.  I would bet that the mirror cell is original.  I'd also urge you, if you can, to acquire the other scope and keep the kit together.  Either that, or find a collector interested in preserving the whole thing and sell what you have to them when they acquire the larger scope.  

 

And, for Rice Cake, don't put it on a dob mount!  lol.gif

I was just looking at Dan Schechter’s Brashear, pictured in this old thread and it (the mystery Newtonian in the current thread) just doesn’t look like a Brashear to me.

 

https://www.cloudyni...hear-reflector/

 

I had a nice phone visit with Dan tonight and I asked him to take a look and give me his opinion, and he agrees. He pointed out a number of differences. A significant difference for example, the actual Brashear has a much more sophisticated secondary diagonal mirror holder.


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#56 apfever

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 09:30 AM

Hey Robert!!! You deleted your post between #53 and #54, no fair! May Mendy scowl. I'm left holding the bag of gullibility, except for the 'Shirley you jest'. 

 

The mount alone as shown in entry #29, without the OTA, weighs in at a little over 500 pounds. The red counterweight is a single 90 pounder plus the threaded shaft. The weight is threaded like a Vixen Polaris style except it is very old square thread. The picture below is a cropped close up of that from entry #29.  The 10" soda lime mirror in entry #52 above was found face down on a pillow on the couch. It was a pillow weight, understandable since it would be a way cool piece of glass to the uninitiated.  The set latitude is 40 degrees, perhaps a fraction under.  The motor is possibly 4-4-22 but that will have to be scrutinized by antique motor guys. DEC shaft is 2-5/8", RA shaft is over 3", RA gear is a little over 1" thick possible bronze, the RA worm is 1.9" diameter and 4.5" long, finder is copper tube heavy, drive linkage is a mass of copper/brass/bronze with manual chain. Very difficult to discern between bronze, brass, and copper due to age and patina. Green base, pier pipe, and RA housing are cast iron with "THICK" being the rule. Bearings are simple direct brass collars but with 2-1/4" deep bore shaft contacts on each DEC end, RA to be determined but appears to be similar. Brass bearings have external oil holes with internal channels for distribution, much the same as engine Babbitt bearings.  The bearing thrust contact (flat face) is a decent size collar but I'm thinking a roller pin bearing with washer races should be added to the upper RA if not DEC as well. The DEC assembly is removed from the housing. The RA assembly is frozen into the mount and a real concern with potential 'one way' construction using pins and rivets - more on this later. The drive gear has been freed in the clutch and smooth but very gummy. 

 

The primary cell is looking to be original but not a well ventilated design. I'm also finding glass chips emanating from the cell so concern there and total removal this morning. The mirror is encased in a full metal band around the edge with a rolled lip to hold the glass. This is very much like a modern secondary holder.  The mirror plate showed no padding in previous pictures and small vent holes by modern standards. The aluminum back plate has no vents and seals the end of the tube off.  This cell could be carved open but more likely kept original and replaced. Unfortunately the sophistication of the secondary has been lost. The spider is as previously shown but no glass or holder. It would be nice to make a secondary system with appropriate looks but modern functions. The finder works. The finder eyepiece is not original but that will get measured to see if the original might be around.  There are parts that have been lost, tossed, or donated over the last 5 years. One loss (might be around) is a dual mirror set up that roughly fits the description of a heliostat. It gets into serious guess work from there. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#57 clamchip

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 09:53 AM

Hey Robert!!! You deleted your post between #53 and #54, no fair! May Mendy scowl. I'm left holding the bag of gullibility, except for the 'Shirley you jest'. 

 

 

I can't make my mind up on this one, half of me says amateur made and the other half is telling me a

commercially made instrument.

I thought it better to remove my in favor of it being amateur made post.

Mendy is in my library and rarely comes up for air. This scope is out of her expertise area anyway.

Robert 

 

post-50896-0-33009700-1455669106_thumb.jpg


Edited by clamchip, 05 April 2021 - 10:05 AM.

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#58 ccwemyss

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 10:42 AM

So Neil, are we to take it that this scope combo has become one of your projects now? If so, it should be fun to follow.

 

How's the Unitron 152 coming? The last we heard about that was the removal of the tray light. Any reports on how it performs on the sky?

 

Chip W. 



#59 apfever

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 11:02 AM

Pictures have to wait for me to fill a card. My XD cards are wearing out and I need to minimize the transfers.

 

I just did the mirror, it's OK, NO issues, tons of pictures. The primary is green plate (soda lime?), cast disk, about 1/32" under 10" diameter, 1.5" thick. The edges are more rounded that flat beveled. The glass appears to be identical to the faster mirror found on the pillow which was also a hair under 10".  The P. A. Clausing sticker is in good shape, Beryl coating. This appears to be a recoat. The owners name is engraved on the back "MEYERS".  The engraving is typical of recoaters, not so typical for first time coatings, and hardly ever done by owners. Anything remains possible. The Meyers family is confirmed by the seller who's late husband was friends with. It goes back at least two generations, with likely a third to the initial owner. History is flakey.

 

The seller to me is staying active on the scope. She is interested is the restoration and we are hopeful of seeing each other perhaps this summer.  She and her family travel through Colorado a few times each year, within a few minutes of me. More history to come and I will pursue further input. 

 

The mount is apart except for the RA assembly. I've already had one friend look at it and the RA is going to be a pretty serious issue. Porta Lift to get it loaded in the truck, and forks on the tractor to get it into the barn shop. Construction inquiries are more than welcome.  I have two files of disassembly pictures on the comp already. The green paint is original, the white paint is a later overcoat and has to go.  The setting circles are heavily engraved and professional as are a lot of other parts and machining. I'd like to limit further guessing on 'commercial or ATM' to those that come look at it  unless you see some serious insight. 

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#60 apfever

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 11:29 AM

Hi Chip,

 

The Uni is done, mount and tripod full resto, the OTA needed nothing but cleaning. It's too big to set up in the house and Winter viewing isn't my forte. Spring just blew open this last week after months of intense snow up to about a week ago. I have the Uni 152 and Monolux 4380 to finish optical checking. The last week of great weather has been occupied by getting the current scope in an open bed pickup, and worked on. I've also been fried from the trip as in hitting the wall bad. Day 3 was wake up with sparkles and fuzzies, and feeling really really bad to being concerned. Am I not as young as I used to be?  Clouds and rain for a couple of days, and then we'll see - pun unintended. 

 

Here's some more of the current one. An amazing amount of bolts holding things, with adjustments to position them. Then pins and rivets added after bolting in place.  Some parts have bolts both outside and inside the pier. I hate to replace original items that can be saved. Maybe some wiring, ya think?  

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#61 sunflowerastro

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 03:00 PM

Hey Robert!!! You deleted your post between #53 and #54, no fair! May Mendy scowl. I'm left holding the bag of gullibility, except for the 'Shirley you jest'. 

 

The mount alone as shown in entry #29, without the OTA, weighs in at a little over 500 pounds. The red counterweight is a single 90 pounder plus the threaded shaft. The weight is threaded like a Vixen Polaris style except it is very old square thread. The picture below is a cropped close up of that from entry #29.  The 10" soda lime mirror in entry #52 above was found face down on a pillow on the couch. It was a pillow weight, understandable since it would be a way cool piece of glass to the uninitiated.  The set latitude is 40 degrees, perhaps a fraction under.  The motor is possibly 4-4-22 but that will have to be scrutinized by antique motor guys. DEC shaft is 2-5/8", RA shaft is over 3", RA gear is a little over 1" thick possible bronze, the RA worm is 1.9" diameter and 4.5" long, finder is copper tube heavy, drive linkage is a mass of copper/brass/bronze with manual chain. Very difficult to discern between bronze, brass, and copper due to age and patina. Green base, pier pipe, and RA housing are cast iron with "THICK" being the rule. Bearings are simple direct brass collars but with 2-1/4" deep bore shaft contacts on each DEC end, RA to be determined but appears to be similar. Brass bearings have external oil holes with internal channels for distribution, much the same as engine Babbitt bearings.  The bearing thrust contact (flat face) is a decent size collar but I'm thinking a roller pin bearing with washer races should be added to the upper RA if not DEC as well. The DEC assembly is removed from the housing. The RA assembly is frozen into the mount and a real concern with potential 'one way' construction using pins and rivets - more on this later. The drive gear has been freed in the clutch and smooth but very gummy. 

 

The primary cell is looking to be original but not a well ventilated design. I'm also finding glass chips emanating from the cell so concern there and total removal this morning. The mirror is encased in a full metal band around the edge with a rolled lip to hold the glass. This is very much like a modern secondary holder.  The mirror plate showed no padding in previous pictures and small vent holes by modern standards. The aluminum back plate has no vents and seals the end of the tube off.  This cell could be carved open but more likely kept original and replaced. Unfortunately the sophistication of the secondary has been lost. The spider is as previously shown but no glass or holder. It would be nice to make a secondary system with appropriate looks but modern functions. The finder works. The finder eyepiece is not original but that will get measured to see if the original might be around.  There are parts that have been lost, tossed, or donated over the last 5 years. One loss (might be around) is a dual mirror set up that roughly fits the description of a heliostat. It gets into serious guess work from there. 

The glass chips in the primary cell are from the shattered secondary. I removed the primary from the cell but I might not have cleaned all of the secondary chips from all of the nooks and crannies of the cell. Pieces of the secondary holder are still in the box of the parts that I took home. I would like to duplicate that secondary holder and then send the original to you.



#62 Terra Nova

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 07:49 PM

I can't make my mind up on this one, half of me says amateur made and the other half is telling me a

commercially made instrument.

I thought it better to remove my in favor of it being amateur made post.

Mendy is in my library and rarely comes up for air. This scope is out of her expertise area anyway.

Robert 

 

attachicon.gifpost-50896-0-33009700-1455669106_thumb.jpg

I loved that book. I checked it out of my high school library many times.


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#63 apfever

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 08:00 AM

The mirror cell is original to the scope so hopefully someone will recognize it. I have it apart to nuts and bolts and was THAT interesting. The cell alone is 10 pounds. The parts were cast and machined specifically for a mirror cell. I doubt this is a one off assembly so there should be more cells out there for 10" mirrors, possibly similar scaled cells for other sizes.  The way it is constructed leads me to believe any production modifications would be minimal. Any other cells should be easily recognized, including different sizes. 

 

Entry #22 states the cell was added later and that there are more conventional mounting bolts on the tube ring. I originally agreed with this but it turns out the perimeter bolts are for keeping the mirror centered in the tube.  I'm having a difficult time organizing my thoughts to make a fluid presentation. Hand on is easy, pictures and words are tough right now. I need to start with this and the OTA tube - which is one picture I didn't do. This will get posted through the day, so feel free to ask questions as it goes. 

 

P1010017.JPG

 

The other mirror in the background is NOT this scope. This scope is a 10" F7.6 and the mirror is installed in this picture.  The other mirror is an 8" F8.1 that I thought I would have to use until the original was discovered. 


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#64 apfever

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 08:32 AM

The mirror sits directly on three metal set screws in the steel plate. It is retained by a steel ring that has a lip machined into the top. The retaining ring is held to the plate by 6 screws that go into a lip machined into the plate. That steel mirror plate is much thicker inside, very pretty inside, and one nice machining job. Pictures to come. One of the 6 screws is obvious toward the right, I circled another in green on the left.  The mirror is positioned against the retaining ring lip by adjusting the three set screws it sits on. 

 

This is a direct three point 'push pull' collimation system. The three red arrows point to the dome tipped collimation screws. The green arrow points to the center pivot bolt that is rigid to the mirror plate. The head of the center bolt pivots in a hole in the aluminum back plate. There are no springs. This requires collimation to be done by simultaneously loosening one screw while tightening another,  making sure each collimation screw is just snug when done. 

 

There are three card type paper shims  between the side of the glass and retaining ring. 

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Edited by apfever, 07 April 2021 - 08:35 AM.

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#65 apfever

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 09:14 AM

Retaining ring off.  Mirror off.

 

I think David is right about no damage to the glass. I did a close examination. This one is going to Swayze. 

 

The retaining ring is not a thin band with rolled lip. It is a 1/8" thick steel ring that was machined out on the inside face, leaving a lip at the top to hold the mirror. The sidewall is 5/64" thick while the lip end remains 1/8" thick. This leaves a 3/64" wide lip to hold the mirror. 

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#66 apfever

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 09:34 AM

The Mirror.  A tiny glitch on the name.  The lady who had the scope said it came from the Meyers/Myers that lived behind them.  Now I'm not sure of the spelling. The etching may have been abbreviated by the coater. The label is in good shape. No dates, no other inscriptions so far. The lady was not particularly close friends with the Mr. Myers but her late husband was. The Myers moved about 5 years ago when Mr. Myers passed away.

 

Myers was about 50ish but that is a rough guess, maybe 60's or 40's. The scope was passed to him through family so at least one generation back, probably two. 

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#67 apfever

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 11:03 AM

Mirror plate unscrewed from the center shoulder bolt.  This was very tight. It took about an hour to get this apart without damage. There was no thread locker or corrosion, just tight. It unscrewed by hand once it popped loose. The mirror plate was turned on both sides to 0.355" thick before being hollowed out. The general center area is 0.170" thick. The center boss and edge lip are integral to the plate. The boss' for the mirror support screws seem to be spot welded on. The back of the plate is completely flat. 

 

The mirror support set screws are factory dome topped. I saw no signs of damage on the back of the mirror but sheesh. This is like resting your mirror on three ball bearings. 

 

The back plate is 0.705" thick cast aluminum, machined on the face of the ribbing and mounting lip. 

 

 

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#68 apfever

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 11:22 AM

This is where it became interesting. The large center bolt has a setscrew that goes through it. A copper disc is captive on the end of the setscrew but still free floating. This allows pressure to be adjusted on the brass ring inside the hub. The brass ring then presses on the pivot bolt head. This holds the pivot bolt securely in the bottom of the hub. The bore in the hub is a two step hole so the pivot bolt head is held captive on a lip. 

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#69 apfever

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 11:27 AM

No clunky wobbles on a regular bolt head.

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Edited by apfever, 07 April 2021 - 11:31 AM.

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#70 apfever

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 02:28 PM

The end ring is 100% copper pipe 11-3/8" O.D., 2-9/16" deep, 9/16" thick wall. This was machined into a top hat configuration with the inserted part a close fit to the inside of the OTA.  It is held in place by 14 rivets. There are two sets of 6 rivets each plus two more to hold the handle. I'm not replacing this. I wouldn't want to. It gets stripped and shined. I'm hoping to find some patina tone under the paint. 

 

The red arrow points to one of three round tip set screws evenly spaced around the tube. The boss' are non ferrous and appear to be copper or brass.  These align with the edge of the mirror plate and keep the mirror centered in the tube. Brilliant. I've always thought about something like this every time I work with a spring loaded cell that has the mirror suspended on the end of twig bolts. 

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Edited by apfever, 07 April 2021 - 06:00 PM.

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#71 apfever

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 04:38 PM

Last ditty on the cell.

 

The cell is a slip fit into the end ring and bolts tight with six 1/4-28 NF bolts. This seals the end of the tube from any ventilation. There is no antique style access door on the side of the OTA.  The retaining ring further encloses the mirror in a second isolated unvented chamber within the OTA. The primary is essentially insulated. 

 

A conventional cell could be bolted to the back of the OTA. There is only 1/8" clearance between glass and OTA end ring. I just checked a bunch of my 10" cells and none of the mirror plates will work. There is 0.042" clearance between end ring and original mirror plate. This is looking like a 3 point silicone glue job and custom cell. 

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#72 apfever

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 05:03 PM

M MMM Motor.   

 

5" X 5" X 6" body,  5 X 5 X 7 with shaft. 

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#73 apfever

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 05:50 PM

Parenthesis are cast into the copper label.  The H.P. and RPM are X-ed out.  The X over seems to be as old as the rest. 

 

Down the Left side:

1/20  (H. P.)

CONT  (HRS)

50  (oC)

345  (FRAME)

(STYLE)  410576

 

Down the right side: 

(VOLTS)  110

(AMPS)  1.4

(CYCLES)  60

(R. P. M.)  1725

3862901 (SERIAL)

 

I placed a red dot by an interesting casting in the label. There is a number with what looks like a date in parenthesis under it. A date cast into the label doesn't make sense to me for identifying a motor manufacture time. It is as follows:

 

  3704

(4-4-22)

 

I haven't had any luck finding a manufacture time line. I spent about an hour on the net so far.  

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#74 apfever

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 06:12 PM

The motor has to have a nudge to get going but runs OK after that. There is very slight side play and about 1/16" thrust slop. I would like to get a rebuild on this just from looking at the wires. I'm not about to take it apart, I don't motor.  Suggestions more than welcome. I'll check some local shops in Denver but recommendations PLEASE. 

 

That's all for today.

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#75 Sean Cunneen

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 07:10 PM

My sleuthing has uncovered that Westinghouse began in Springfield Mass in 1915 and was known as Westinghouse electric and manufacturing until 1945... So 1922 is certainly possible. I however would not put any power to it again... The wire insulation was iffy the day it was built.


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