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Upgrading the Celestron 6SE

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#1 cauletta

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 12:10 PM

Hi all - I was wondering if anyone who has had a 6SE w/ goto mount or similar has any useful advice for some upgrades. In the near-term, I am thinking of upgrading the stock Celestron visual back (93653-a) and the diagonal (94115-a), but am thinking about the best choice that would support future updates that may be in the cards someday (e.g., upgrading to 2 inch eyepieces). I guess my first question is more general, any thoughts on upgrades you did and what did/didn't work well? Second, has anyone upgraded to 2 inch eyepieces on a 6SE and did it impact the slew/what weight impacts slew (I heard the additional weight may mess up the goto functionality)? Third, do you think the Celestron stock VB and diagonal would do well to be upgraded regardless of the 1.25/2 inch decision re eyepieces?

 


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#2 hyiger

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 01:05 PM

The 6SE won't support 2" eyepieces. The visual back is only 1.25". Perhaps a Telerad reflex finder or an attachment for a laser pointer. Another option is the wifi dongle and Star Sense then use a planetarium app on your phone, tablet, laptop to locate targets. 


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#3 barbarosa

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 01:56 PM

I owned a 5 and a 9.25 and I doubt there is much utility in going to a 2" EP with the 6" 

 

There are better visual backs, the Baader Click Lock for one, but why do you need to upgrade? What will a better VB do that the stock one doesn't? 

 

When a camera or a very heavy eyepiece the stock VB had two weaknesses, insufficient clamping force for a heavy load in the diagonal and the payload tends of sag off center.  As an expedient fix, I added another holding screw. Drill a hole slightly under 1/4", thread it with a 1/4 x20 self tapping screw and put in a1/4x20 nylon screw. The plan was to replace the VB later with a Click Lock, which happened much later when a CPC followed my home.


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#4 aeajr

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 02:04 PM

Hi all - I was wondering if anyone who has had a 6SE w/ goto mount or similar has any useful advice for some upgrades. In the near-term, I am thinking of upgrading the stock Celestron visual back (93653-a) and the diagonal (94115-a), but am thinking about the best choice that would support future updates that may be in the cards someday (e.g., upgrading to 2 inch eyepieces). I guess my first question is more general, any thoughts on upgrades you did and what did/didn't work well? Second, has anyone upgraded to 2 inch eyepieces on a 6SE and did it impact the slew/what weight impacts slew (I heard the additional weight may mess up the goto functionality)? Third, do you think the Celestron stock VB and diagonal would do well to be upgraded regardless of the 1.25/2 inch decision re eyepieces?

My first question is to ask what you expect these upgrades to do for you?

 

As advised, this scope won't take 2" eyepieces.  However, the benefit of 2" eyepieces is that they can offer you a wider field of view. No other benefit.

 

You can achieve some of that with a Focal Reducer/Corrector.

https://www.celestro...#specifications

 

Specs say it is compatible with: Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes (C5, C6, C8, C9.25, C11, C14)

 

Since it works with the C6, I presume it will work with the 6SE, but others may need to confirm that.

 

Upgrades often revolve around eyepieces.  What eyepieces do you have now?


Edited by aeajr, 16 January 2023 - 02:04 PM.

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#5 Ice Cube

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 02:06 PM

The 6SE won't support 2" eyepieces. The visual back is only 1.25". Perhaps a Telerad reflex finder or an attachment for a laser pointer. Another option is the wifi dongle and Star Sense then use a planetarium app on your phone, tablet, laptop to locate targets. 

are you sure?  the celestron 2" XLT diagonal for SCT lists the C6 OTA as being compatible

 

https://www.celestro...s=r#accessories

 

i'd think about getting a telrad or rigel type finder and an external power pack.


Edited by Ice Cube, 16 January 2023 - 02:10 PM.

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#6 hyiger

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 02:21 PM

are you sure?  the celestron 2" XLT diagonal for SCT lists the C6 OTA as being compatible

 

https://www.celestro...s=r#accessories

 

i'd think about getting a telrad or rigel type finder and an external power pack.

 I have a neighbor who owns a 6SE and the visual back is 1.25". I have the Celestron 2" XLT diagonal, we tried and it was immediately obvious it wouldn't fit.  Of course you can use an adapter but why bother? There will probably be severe vignetting and the weight off the back will strain the mount. It will also not clear the base of the mount when getting close to zenith. If you want a wider FOV then as others have pointed out, the Celestron Reducer/Flattener might be a better option.


Edited by hyiger, 16 January 2023 - 02:24 PM.

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#7 cauletta

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 02:22 PM

Thank you, all! To answer the question of "what do I expect these upgrades to do for you"? I really just wanted to prepare for a premium eyepiece over the next year and trying to determine if that would be a 1.25 or a 2 inch and then set a goal of a midrange (16mm - 19mm) eyepiece. I believe you can add a 2" visual back to a C6 and then add a 2" diagonal, but maybe I am wrong about that. My main goal when upgrading to a premium eyepiece is to get a wider field of view and better quality from what I already have (listed below). Also curious about the suggestion surrounding a focal reducer. Maybe that is something to look into first.

 

I have (all 1.25"): 

 

  • Plossl eyepieces from High Point Scientific (4mm, 6mm, 9mm, 15mm, and 32 mm) - I really use my 32 and 15 the most and don't really touch the 4mm or 6mm.
  • A 2x Barlow from High Point
  • Celestron 25mm Plossl
  • Celestron Zoom 8-24mm
  • Celestron Star Diagonal
  • Orion 9x50mm correct image right angle finder + stock red dot finder
  • Filters: 12, 21, 25, 56, 58a, an 80a


#8 vtornado

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 02:29 PM

I can't remember the exact size, but the C6 has a baffel tube that will not fully illuminate a wide field 2 inch eyepiece.  That may or may not be acceptable to the O.P.  What this means is that the brightness of the field will fall off from center to edge.  Also the extra distance  from the diagonal will increase the focal lenght of the scope.  So the pickup in field of view is not quite what the eyepiece specs would suggest.  I am unsure

how the extra length and weight of the 2 inches effects the SE mount.  I had my C6

on a GEM.

 

Since this is an f/10 scope, simple two inch eyepieces will work well, and the O.P. does not have to drop a fortune.  

 

Another route to go is to get an f 6.3 focal reducer, and 1.25 inch eyepieces.  I did this.

I preferred the extra wide view vs light drop off on the edge.  It is kind of a pain

if you switch from wide field to moon/planets, in that you have to keep

adding and removing the FR.

 

The celestron diagonal is fine optically.  You would have to spend significantly more money

to get a marginal increase in performace.  It does have a plastic body.   I have used a bino viewer on mine, but I am nervous about one of the ends popping out, allthough this  has not happened yet.  If I observe over pavement, I roll out a

hunk of area rug to protect falling bits.

 

The stock VB can have the diagonal rotate and dump its eyepiece, if the eyepiece is heavy.  There are more secure visual backs, such as the baader twist lock.


Edited by vtornado, 16 January 2023 - 02:35 PM.

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#9 hyiger

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 02:31 PM

 

Thank you, all! To answer the question of "what do I expect these upgrades to do for you"? I really just wanted to prepare for a premium eyepiece over the next year and trying to determine if that would be a 1.25 or a 2 inch and then set a goal of a midrange (16mm - 19mm) eyepiece. I believe you can add a 2" visual back to a C6 and then add a 2" diagonal, but maybe I am wrong about that. My main goal when upgrading to a premium eyepiece is to get a wider field of view and better quality from what I already have (listed below). Also curious about the suggestion surrounding a focal reducer. Maybe that is something to look into first.

 

I have (all 1.25"): 

 

  • Plossl eyepieces from High Point Scientific (4mm, 6mm, 9mm, 15mm, and 32 mm) - I really use my 32 and 15 the most and don't really touch the 4mm or 6mm.
  • A 2x Barlow from High Point
  • Celestron 25mm Plossl
  • Celestron Zoom 8-24mm
  • Celestron Star Diagonal
  • Orion 9x50mm correct image right angle finder + stock red dot finder
  • Filters: 12, 21, 25, 56, 58a, an 80a

 

That scope/mount is just not made for 2" accessories. I went that route on my 8SE and it was more trouble than it was worth. I ended up having to get a longer bar to rebalance the scope and clear the base of the mount. Also tracking suffered horribly because of the additional weight.  

 

As for your collection, you definitely don't need a Barlow if you have a 8-24mm zoom. Also, the maximum magnification of your scope is probably around 300x (in excellent seeing) and at 1500mm focal length that equates to a 5mm eyepiece. I doubt you'll be able to go below 10mm however. 


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#10 Ice Cube

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 02:32 PM

 I have a neighbor who owns a 6SE and the visual back is 1.25". I have the Celestron 2" XLT diagonal, we tried and it was immediately obvious it wouldn't fit.  Of course you can use an adapter but why bother? There will probably be severe vignetting and the weight off the back will strain the mount. It will also not clear the base of the mount when getting close to zenith. If you want a wider FOV then as others have pointed out, the Celestron Reducer/Flattener might be a better option.

 

pretty sure no adapter is required since the 1.25" visual back is replaced with the SCT adapter integrated into that XLT 2" diagonal.  

 

of course, my experience is with the EVO mount which has more headroom for clearance and weight than the SE mount.


Edited by Ice Cube, 16 January 2023 - 02:34 PM.

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#11 hyiger

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 02:34 PM

pretty sure no adapter is required since the 1.25" visual back is replaced with the SCT adapter integrated into that XLT 2" diagonal.  

The threads on the OTA were not 2" it would have required an adapter. Anyway, it's pointless on that scope. 


Edited by hyiger, 16 January 2023 - 02:35 PM.

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#12 Ice Cube

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 02:44 PM

The threads on the OTA were not 2" it would have required an adapter. Anyway, it's pointless on that scope. 

from an old cloudy nights post:

 

https://www.cloudyni...topicfilter=all

 

The rear opening of a C6 is 27mm, the thread around the opening is the SCT 48mm standard.
The rear opening of a C8 is 38mm, the thread around the opening is the SCT 48mm standard.

 

no adapter required.

 

not saying it's the best path, just that celestron's compatibility list isn't quite that broken.


Edited by Ice Cube, 16 January 2023 - 02:52 PM.

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#13 hyiger

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 02:48 PM

from an old cloudy nights post:

 

https://www.cloudyni...topicfilter=all

 

The rear opening of a C6 is 27mm, the thread around the opening is the SCT 48mm standard.
The rear opening of a C8 is 38mm, the thread around the opening is the SCT 48mm standard.

 OK.... fine.... point is 2" accessories on a C6 with a SE mount are pointless. Any further discussion is: BeatingADeadHorse.gif


Edited by hyiger, 16 January 2023 - 03:10 PM.


#14 gpaunescu

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 02:49 PM

The best upgrade I did for my C6 is flocking the OTA; is very useful in areas with light pollution. This I used :

https://www.teleskop....php/info/p2336

 

Also I bought this 2" diagonal:

https://www.astrosho...vity-2-/p,54475

with this adapter:

https://www.astrosho...agonals/p,65327

 

They are matching and have shortest optical path that I found between some 2" diagonals that I look for (not all the vendors specify optical path).

 

If someone ask why this combination, that very simple answer: actually I have also a 2 " diagonal from WO:

https://www.astrosho...-90d-2-/p,65325

For this one was a the adapter; but I manage to make a small scratch on the mirror (don't ask how).

 

What I like and for me it worth is 2" diagonal with 2" 30mm eyepiece; is wonderful view (I have also 0.63x reducer, but I like more the combination of 2" elements).

 

Update:

I forgot an important detail: I have C6 OTA used with an equatorial and manual alt-az mounts; so no restrictions in length of optical train (like there are in 6SE with stock mount).


Edited by gpaunescu, 16 January 2023 - 03:30 PM.

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#15 Ice Cube

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 02:54 PM

the dead horse rises again


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#16 GGK

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 04:24 PM

 

Thank you, all! To answer the question of "what do I expect these upgrades to do for you"? I really just wanted to prepare for a premium eyepiece over the next year and trying to determine if that would be a 1.25 or a 2 inch and then set a goal of a midrange (16mm - 19mm) eyepiece. I believe you can add a 2" visual back to a C6 and then add a 2" diagonal, but maybe I am wrong about that. My main goal when upgrading to a premium eyepiece is to get a wider field of view and better quality from what I already have (listed below). Also curious about the suggestion surrounding a focal reducer. Maybe that is something to look into first.

 

I have (all 1.25"): 

 

  • Plossl eyepieces from High Point Scientific (4mm, 6mm, 9mm, 15mm, and 32 mm) - I really use my 32 and 15 the most and don't really touch the 4mm or 6mm.
  • A 2x Barlow from High Point
  • Celestron 25mm Plossl
  • Celestron Zoom 8-24mm
  • Celestron Star Diagonal
  • Orion 9x50mm correct image right angle finder + stock red dot finder
  • Filters: 12, 21, 25, 56, 58a, an 80a

 

If you want to see how to push the C6 to its widest field limits, see this post from Echolight:  https://www.cloudyni.../#entry12386348

 

The 32mm Plossl in your C6 gives a true field of view (TFoV) of about 1o.  If you want a wider TFoV with your existing equipment you can add a 6.3 focal reducer between the rear flange and visual back.  Check clearance at Zenith first, but I believe the 6SE is OK.  The positive of this option is it's by far lowest cost and does a great job optically.  The negative is it's best to remove the focal reducer when going to high power, so it can be a bit of a pain switching back and forth.

 

The stock Celestron prism diagonal is very good optically and you will likely notice no difference upgrading.  Upgrading the visual back and diagonal, in my opinion, is done for function.  Set screws holding the eyepiece or diagonal barrel are not the best and options with compression rings, twist locks, or Baader's ClickLock are usually preferred.

 

If I was in your position - liking and using the 32mm Plossl a lot, my first purchase would be a 24mm / 68o eyepiece like the UFF or ES68 instead of replacing the visual back and diagonal.  This will make an immediate improvement to your viewing pleasure because it will change the image from ~46X / 3mm exit pupil with the 32mm Plossl to ~63X / 2.4mm exit pupil with the 24mm UFF, keeping the same 1o TFoV.  The higher magnification and darker background sky will make a big difference.

 

Gary


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#17 JOEinCO

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 04:53 PM

 OK.... fine.... point is 2" accessories on a C6 with a SE mount are pointless. Any further discussion is: BeatingADeadHorse.gif

 

For someone who doesn't list a C6 or an SE mount in their trophy list, you sure are confidentshocked.gif 

 

Whatever you do, don't bring your dead horse near my 6SE which has been running a 2" diagonal for years and years.....


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#18 Echolight

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 05:09 PM

1000 words, plus a few.

https://m.youtube.co...h?v=0hiUuL5uTKc

C6 off an SE mount, From rear port back: NO VISUAL BACK IS USED... .63 reducer corrector. SCT Lock Ring. Baader Maxbright, minus nosepiece. APM HDC XWA 20mm Hyperwide. 2.1 degrees true field of view.

28DDB475-4992-46AA-A755-11BAFD1C26BA.jpeg

 

Once installed, I never remove the reducer or disgonal. Baader zoom in a 2.5x 2 inch barlow takes me to 295x.

Here’s that arrangement on the back of a C5 where I routinely hit 275x on the Moon. Estimated reduction on C5 is 0.7, so 875mm focal length.

D7E22ABD-22A1-4008-ABCE-06819D1F21DA.jpeg


Edited by Echolight, 16 January 2023 - 05:38 PM.

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#19 hyiger

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 05:17 PM

For someone who doesn't list a C6 or an SE mount in their trophy list, you sure are confidentshocked.gif 

 

Whatever you do, don't bring your dead horse near my 6SE which has been running a 2" diagonal for years and years.....

Right... and you used this on a Celestron Nexstar Alt/Az mount. I had an 8SE so no I didn't have an 6SE but extrapolating from my experience. 


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#20 vtornado

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 05:26 PM

Right... and you used this on a Celestron Nexstar Alt/Az mount. I had an 8SE so no I didn't have an 6SE but extrapolating from my experience. 

Speculating here ... Perhaps the shorter and lighter tube of the c6 make the mount be able to physically handle two inch eyepieces easier than the 8.  More clearance at zenith,

less torque, less total weight. 

 

On paper the 6 should vignette more due to the smaller baffle.

 

I never tried two inchers on my 6, but I gladly gave up full field illumination for

the extra wide field I got using the FR.  The human eye can deal with imperfect

illumination better than a camera.


Edited by vtornado, 16 January 2023 - 06:02 PM.

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#21 hyiger

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 05:28 PM

Speculating here ... Perhaps the shorter and lighter tube make the mount be able to physically handle two inch eyepieces easier than the 8.  More clearance at zenith,

less torque.

Yes, on my 8SE it was a huge mistake in hindsight until I got a better mount. 


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#22 Mike G.

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 05:58 PM

I have a C6, a C8 and a C9.25.  I do not have an SE mount.  I considered going to a 2" VB on the C6 since I already have 2" diagonals and EP's a plenty.  but for me, the C6 is my GnG scope, so I stay with 1.25" accessories on that, to keep it light and compact. 

But you asked for recommendations, and I would suggest this (my C6 has all these and they were great additions to an already great scope) :

6.3 focal reducer

Celestron Dew Ring (if you live somewhere where dew is an issue)

Flock the OTA as well as the baffle tube

A good dew shield to reduce stray light entering the OTA

Baader Sky Surfer III red dot - I like these much better than Telrads or Quickfinders

A good zoom EP

 

my $0.02 worth


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#23 Echolight

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 06:38 PM

I have a C6, a C8 and a C9.25.  I do not have an SE mount.  I considered going to a 2" VB on the C6 since I already have 2" diagonals and EP's a plenty.  but for me, the C6 is my GnG scope, so I stay with 1.25" accessories on that, to keep it light and compact. 

But you asked for recommendations, and I would suggest this (my C6 has all these and they were great additions to an already great scope) :

6.3 focal reducer

Celestron Dew Ring (if you live somewhere where dew is an issue)

Flock the OTA as well as the baffle tube

A good dew shield to reduce stray light entering the OTA

Baader Sky Surfer III red dot - I like these much better than Telrads or Quickfinders

A good zoom EP

 

my $0.02 worth

Mine’s not on an SE mount anymore either. I bought it on an SE mount, but it didn’t come with a tripod. So I took a left turn.

Deuced and reduced grab and go FTW.

99628833-E924-46AA-A350-E45F214C3AB3.jpeg


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#24 JOEinCO

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 07:14 PM

Yes, on my 8SE it was a huge mistake in hindsight until I got a better mount. 

 

So probably best not to tell people what they can't do with a 6SE. poke.gif 

 

All in good fun.... Clear Skies.... 


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#25 GGK

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Posted 16 January 2023 - 08:17 PM

I can see that the 8SE might be unstable with 2” optics. The instrument capacity of the SE tripod and mount is only 12.5 pounds per Celestron’s specs. The C6 OTA assembly weighs 10 pounds, whereas the C8 OTA assembly weighs 12.5 pounds.

Changing to 2” optics on the 8SE immediately overloads the mount. My C8 with 2” optics, dew shield, and Telrad weighed 15 pounds. (I used it on a 35 pound class GEM)

The C6 with 2 inch optics will be right about where the 8SE is when in stock configuration.

One thing that can help improve the shakes when focusing in this situation is using a stone bag on the tripod. It costs about $15 and is also a nice holder of caps, filters and eyepieces. Mine has three pockets.

Gary

Edited by GGK, 16 January 2023 - 08:18 PM.

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