Tag Archives: Dennis Dura

An HF “Renaissance”: Militaries reinvests in shortwave communications

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Michael Guerin and Dennis Dura who share the following story from C4ISR.net (my comments follow excerpt):

LONDON — Special operations commands across Europe are ramping up their capabilities with high-frequency communications to ensure connectivity on the battlefield. Leaders there are turning to high frequency communications as a way to optimize properties that provide a low probability of interception and detection.

Special forces in France, Germany, Poland and Ukraine continue to receive high-frequency, or HF, systems as a way to diversify communications plans, industry sources confirmed to C4ISRNET.

Some special operations organizations have selected L3Harris’ AN/PRC-160(V), industry sources said.

Enhancements in HF come at a time when NATO members and partner forces are suffering from a disruption of satellite communications, particularly along the alliance’s eastern flank where Russian armed forces continue to conduct electronic warfare.

In an online presentation to the Association of Old Crows on Aug. 6, Paul Denisowski, product management engineer at Rohde and Schwarz North America, described how communications satellites are vulnerable to antisatellite systems as well as ground-, air- and space-based “kill vehicles.”

“China, Russia and the U.S. have all carried out ASAT tests and many other countries are developing ASAT capabilities,” Denisowski said, using an acronym for anti-satellite. To boost resilience, some commands are turning to high-frequency communications.

During the presentations “Lost Art of HF” and the “Rebirth of Shortwave in a Digital World,” Denisowski explained that HF is making a comeback in local and global communications. This renaissance comes as the result of improvements in a range of fields, including antenna design, digital modulation schemes and improved understanding of propagation.

The market is also helped by reductions in size, weight and power requirements as well as the introduction of wideband data, enhanced encryption algorithms and interoperability with legacy HF sets, he said.

“This means end users are now benefiting from easier-to-use and cheaper solutions featuring improved data performance, audio quality, availability and operation. And because of a lack of infrastructure, HF is less expensive and relatively robust, although solar events may temporarily disrupt HF communications,” he said. Specific upgrades include “Adaptive HF,” which comprises automatic selection of frequency and the establishment of communication through automatic link establishment, or ALE, technology.

The latest technology of its type — 4G ALE — is capable of supporting wideband HF communications, or WBHF for short, providing end users with the ability to “negotiate bandwidth, modulation type, error correction and the number of sub-carriers,” Denisowski explained.

“ALE selects frequencies using link quality analysis, which allows it to listen and determine if a channel is in use and adapt if conditions change,” he said.

He added that HF can now support data rates up to 240 kilobytes per second on a 48-kilohertz channel, particularly useful for more robust communications in hostile environments.

“WBHF has already [been] used in military trials. It’s a technology which is most definitely here and now,” Denisowski said.

[…]The report explained how the U.S. Army and European NATO partners explored such scenarios during a series of joint exercises in 2019 and 2020. “A new need arrives for alternative communication skills, justified through the increasing vulnerability from SATCOM jamming as well as the potential failure of SATCOM as a result of attacks on spacecraft or through the use of anti-satellite surface-to-air missiles,” the report’s author, Jan Pätzold, told C4ISRNET. “The development of alternative skills is important to reduce dependence on SATCOM.”

According to Pätzold, so-called Skywave HF, which bounces signals off the ionosphere, enables beyond line-of-sight communications across “thousands of kilometers” without requirements. HF communications is also ideally suited to supporting local network coverage. “This offers advantages over SATCOM in urban areas, but also in mountainous areas or far north latitudes where no line of sight to existing satellites is possible,” Pätzold said

Click here to read the full story at C4ISR.net.


My comment: What’s old is new again

As I’ve said in previous posts:

The shortwaves–which is to say, the high-frequency portion of the radio spectrum–will never disappear, even though international broadcasters may eventually fade into history. I often think of the shortwave spectrum as a global resource that will always be here, even if we humans are not. But on a brighter note, I expect the shortwave spectrum will be used for centuries to come, as we implement various technologies that find ways to make use of the medium.

HF communications require so little infrastructure to be effective. It’s a global communications medium that carries messages and data at the speed of light with no regard for national borders. Sure, there are reliability issues with HF propagation, but even amateur radio enthusiasts employ weak-signal digital modes that almost seem to defy propagation. I’m certain with the backing of the military, even more robust digital modes will be used (above and beyond ALE).

Even the business world sees opportunity. Case in point: we’ve seen stock traders set up point-to-point HF communications to edge out their competitors who rely on fiber optics.

HF systems are more durable and easier to harden to endure times of intense space weather events that affect our sat networks as well.

But then again, I’m preaching to the choir.

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Radio Waves: Brazil Proposes End of all Ham Radio Exams, Radio Engineer Files Objection to WIPE, Radio in the Malvinas War, and List of 48 Weatheradio Sites in Proposed Closure

Icom IC-756 Pro Transceiver DialRadio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Rob (PE9PE), Bennett Kobb, Harald
(DL1AX), and Dennis Dura for the following tips:


Brazil proposes end of all amateur radio exams (Southgate ARC)

ANATEL, the Brazilian National Telecommunications Agency, recently published a public consultation, CP65, which is available at this link:

In their website, LABRE, the Brazilian Amateur Radio League, was surprised by the CP65 proposal that proposes, among other topics, the extinction of the COER (amateur radio certificate) exam for all classes and replacement by free access to initial class C, as is done today with the Citizen’s Band, as well as access to subsequent classes B and A upon presentation of the Certificate of Technical Course and Graduation in Telecommunications, respectively, or minimum stay of 3 years in each class.

In addition, the aforementioned proposal suggests ending the rules of different prefixes for each of the States of the Federation, remaining only the prefix per class and there would no longer be any special callsigns.

The proposal, in addition to going against what is consensus in the international regulation related to the Amateur Radio Service, is absolutely contrary to the LABRE’s thinking with regard to the minimum requirements to be a radio amateur and also does not match ANATEL’s request for support from LABRE in the revision of amateur radio regulations in Brazil.

For further clarification on the subject, LABRE has already requested a meeting with ANATEL, which will be scheduled soon.

PR7GA

Radio Engineer Files Objection to WIPE (DRMNA.info)

Story by Bennett Kobb:
On September 3, radio engineer Alex Pilosov of Shortwave Solutions filed with the FCC an objection to WIPE, the DRM-based HF station of Turms Tech of New York, presumed to be ready to broadcast from the Armstrong Tower in Alpine, NJ.

WIPE is suspected to be intended mainly for secret, non-broadcast message transmission for private trading clients while broadcasting financial and economic news for the public.

WIPE is not yet operational. The station is waiting on its FCC license, but Pilosov took aim at possible glitches in its license application. He also raises the issue of whether U.S. shortwave stations can legally conduct non-public telecommunications in the broadcast bands in a service limited to broadcasting.

Pilosov is a consultant to HF stations in the Experimental Radio Service, which are not constrained by the broadcast rules; thus he or his clients are prospective competitors to WIPE. This is Pilosov’s second FCC objection. He also filed against the application of Parable Broadcasting for WPBC, a DRM HF station proposed for Batavia, IL.[]

Radio in the Malvinas War (RAE)

In 2020 we celebrate the centenary of radio in Argentina. Such an event can be approached in various ways, since there are several milestones along this century of radio in our country. There are some events that are marked by fire in collective memory.

It is our intention to approach the celebration focusing on an event in which radio was in the spotlight: the 1982 Malvinas War, a conflict waged on various fields: military, economic, diplomatic and, of course, communications, mainly as a means of propaganda.

Most countries over time have recognised the great potential of radio as an effective instrument both in times of war and peace. Historically, Germany was the first country to use this for purely political purposes.

During WWII the broadcasts of Radio Tokyo, Radio Germany, the BBC in London and other stations were used for propaganda and military purposes by combatant nations.

The post-war period and the subsequent Cold War brought along a “war of the airwaves”. During these years, countless stations emerged with their own propaganda styles, looking to advance their social, political and economic systems.

An example of this are the broadcasts of Radio Moscow, Voice of America or Radio Beijing. Along with these stations, others of a clearly political nature emerged, such as Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, that targeted countries in Eastern Europe, as well as nations that became independent after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This group also includes the so-called clandestine stations, which generally broadcast secretly from conflict zones or from nearby regions or using rented transmission sites.

Before April 2, 1982, the Malvinas Islands had one radio station: the Falkland Islands Radio Service (FIBS) – with broadcasts in English. Content aired included locally-produced programs as well as news services of BBC London. It broadcast on 536 khz and 2370 khz.

The AM frequency was intended to cover the Port Stanley area, reaching a little further with SW transmissions.[]

List of 48 Weatheradio Canada transmitting site proposed for decommissioning (Weatheradio Newsletter)

As mentioned in a previous post, Weatheradio Canada is considering shutting down 48 network transmitters across the country. SWLing Post contributor, Dennis Dura, recommends checking out the Weatheradio Canada Newsletter for updates.

He also forwards the following list of sites that are proposed for decommissioning. Click here to download the list as a PDF.


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Radio Waves: Research on Gen Z Listenership, Early Women in Radio, Carlos Latuff Interview, and “Your Next Tech Purchase Should Be a Radio”

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Jeb, Dennis Dura, and Dan Van Hoy for the following tips:


Edison Research: 55% Of Gen Z Listen to AM/FM Radio Every Day But… (Radio Insight)

n their latest Share Of Ear study, Edison Research notes that over 55% of 13-24 year-olds listen to AM/FM radio daily.

However the study notes that these Gen Z listeners spend 50% less of their total share of time listening to AM/FM radio than the average 13+ population meaning they spend less time with radio than older generations. They also mostly listen to AM/FM in the car with 50% of their listening coming in vehicles. The study also notes that these 13-24 year-olds use a radio receiver 50% less than the average 13+ population, and they use their phones for listening 75% more than the average 13+ population with 58% more of their total share of time listening to streaming audio than the average 13+ population. Their share of YouTube listening, which is surveyed only for music and music videos, is 98% higher than the average 13+ population.

The study also notes that 89% of their listening to AM/FM is done through a traditional radio and only eleven percent coming from streaming of broadcast brands.[]

The Women Who Overcame Radio’s Earliest Glass Ceilings (Radio World)

Before the dawn of broadcasting, women were frequently hired as wireless operators, and so it was not a surprise that women’s voices were heard as announcers and program hosts in the early days of broadcast radio.

Sybil Herrold was perhaps the world’s first disc jockey; she played Victrola records on her husband Charles Herrold’s experimental station, which broadcast in San Jose from 1912 to 1917.

In Boston, Eunice Randall’s voice was heard on a variety of programs over AMRAD station 1XE (which became WGI in 1922). In New York City, WOR audiences regularly heard Jesse Koewing, who was identified on the air only as “J.E.K.” while Betty Lutz was the popular “hostess” heard on WEAF.

At WAHG (now WCBS), 16-year-old Nancy Clancy was billed as the country’s youngest announcer.[]

Coffee and Radio Listen – Episode 2 Carlos Latuff (Coffee and Listen)

Carlos Henrique Latuff de Sousa or simply “Carlos Latuff”, for friends, (born in Rio de Janeiro, November 30, 1968) is a famous Brazilian cartoonist and political activist. Latuff began his career as an illustrator in 1989 at a small advertising agency in downtown Rio de Janeiro. He became a cartoonist after publishing his first cartoon in a newsletter of the Stevadores Union in 1990 and continues to work for the trade union press to this day.

With the advent of the Internet, Latuff began his artistic activism, producing copyleft designs for the Zapatista movement. After a trip to the occupied territories of the West Bank in 1999, he became a sympathizer for the Palestinian cause in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and devoted much of his work to it. He became an anti-Zionist during this trip and today helps spread anti-Zionist ideals.

His page of Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/carloslatuff/) currently has more than 50 thousand followers, where of course, you can see his work as a cartoonist and also shows his passion on the radio.[]

Your Next Tech Purchase Should Be a Radio (PC Mag)

As the pandemic drags on, it’s time to return to a slower, older technology, one that frees you from the unending sameness served up by algorithms.

Quarantine has slowed everything down so much that it almost feels like we’re going back in time. The first few weeks were measured in sourdough starter, then in seeds sprouting from patches planted in backyards or squeezed into space on windowsills. Things are quieter now, but maybe too quiet.

Commutes used to be accompanied by music and podcasts piped in through earphones or car speakers. This casual sensory stimulation seems disposable, but it’s one of many small pleasures that have slipped away nearly—but not quite—unnoticed.

That’s why it’s time to return to a slower, older technology that can provide auditory companionship and match the new pace of your days: the radio.

Radios, more affordable and portable than TVs, used to be household staples and a more intimate part of people’s days—a companion in the bath or during a solitary drive or walk. Now they’re mostly found in go bags and as vehicle infotainment center afterthoughts.[]


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Radio Globe: A handy way to explore the world of Internet radio

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dennis Dura, who shares a link to this fascinating project on the excellent Hackday site:

[…]RadioGlobe lets the user tune in over 2000 stations from around the world by spinning a real globe. It works by using two absolute rotary encoders that each have a whopping 1024 positions available. One encoder is stuck into the South Pole, and it reads the lines of longitude as the user spins the globe.

The other encoder is on the left side of the globe, and reads whatever latitude is focused in the reticle. Both encoder are connected to a Raspberry Pi 4, though if you want to replicate this open-source project using the incredibly detailed instructions, he says a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ will work, too.[…]

Just check out this video of Radio Globe in action!

I love it. It’s like a physical version of the amazing Radio Garden website and app.

Hackaday notes that if you want detailed information about this project, the designer made a series of vlog posts about the build. Click here to check it out on his website. Click here to read through build details on Instructables.

Thank you for the tip, Dennis!

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Pizzoloruss’s CityRadio: An Internet radio with a nostalgic & simple interface

Source: Wallpaper.com

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dennis Dura, who shares a link to this radio project by Emanuele Pizzolorusso who wishes to combine a modern Internet radio with old-school city-labeled memory buttons. From Wallpaper.com:

CityRadio, designed by Emanuele Pizzolorusso for Italian design brand Palomar, allows you to access local radio around the world, with a simple – and satisfying – click of a physical button. It’s a contemporary re-imagination of radio’s early history, where city names where displayed to identify frequencies. As travel looks to remain restricted for the time being, get your multicultural fix through the airwaves.

Of course, you can go online and access local radio anywhere fairly easily, but for Pizzolorusso, there’s a certain romanticism to, and interconnection with, the act of listening physical object. ‘In my childhood home there was an old portable radio, one of those appliances that had the names of several European cities on the tuning dials – a feature from the time when one could still listen to stations from foreign countries,’ explains the Italian designer, who is based in Helskinki. ‘The list of those places, which to me as a child appeared so mysterious and exotic, stimulated my imagination and gave that ordinary forgotten object a deep sense of magic.’

Press magnetic keys to access 18 different cities around the world – from Barcelona to Beijing, Nairobi to New York.[…]

Click here to continue reading the full article.

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Radio Waves: RIP Dame Vera Lynn, 1928 London Noises, Repoliticizing VOA, and Shortwave Trading At the Speed of Light

Dame Vera Lynn (1917-2020)

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Tracy Wood, Dennis Dura, David Goren, and Kim Elliott for the following tips:


Obituary: Dame Vera Lynn, a symbol of resilience and hope (BBC News)

Dame Vera Lynn, who has died at the age of 103, was Britain’s wartime Forces’ Sweetheart, and remained one of the country’s most potent symbols of resilience and hope.

With songs such as We’ll Meet Again and The White Cliffs of Dover, she inspired both troops abroad and civilians at home during World War Two.

As Britain’s cities came under attack, her wistful songs, with their messages of yearning and optimism, were heard in millions of British homes.

And 75 years later, the country turned to her once again as it faced another stern test.[]

Click here to read our SWLing Post tribute to Dame Vera Lynn from 2015 which includes a recording made from my Scott Marine Model SLRM.

London street noises 1928 (Sound and History)

THERE ARE NO BBC radio recordings surviving from before 1931, so the job of representing the 1920s falls to this curiosity from the Columbia Graphophone Company. It’s a 12” 78rpm disc made in 1928 in association with the Daily Mail newspaper.

It seems likely that the disc was somehow tied in with a Daily Mail campaign over urban traffic noise. The commentator on both sides of the disc is a man named Commander Daniel and he doesn’t approve of everything he hears in the city streets.

The recordings were made from single, static locations in Leicester Square and Beauchamp Place on Tuesday 11th and Thursday 20th September respectively. Columbia probably used a recording van equipped with a disc-cutter.[]

Repoliticizing Voice of America (The Hill)

When Michael Pack takes over as the first politically-appointed CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, his first task will be to comprehend the bewildering array of international broadcasting entities under the USAGM. This includes two government agencies: Voice of America and Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Martí), and four government funded corporations: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting Networks (the Arabic-language Alhurra and Radio Sawa) and the anti-censorship Open Technology Fund. Within this structure are broadcasting outlets that straddle two entities, such as the Russian-language Current TV. All told, the entities distribute content in 61 languages.

When past that hurdle, Pack must then decide if he wants to maintain the journalistic independence of USAGM’s entities, or if he wants to move them towards advocacy of the administration’s policies.[]

Companies Pitch Shortwave Radio to Shave Milliseconds Off Trades (Bloomberg)

High-frequency traders will famously do almost anything to get the latest market data and send their buy and sell orders a few milliseconds ahead of the competition. They blasted through mountains to build the most direct fiber-optic routes possible between exchanges in a competition that transformed global markets and was made famous by Michael Lewis’s book Flash Boys. Soon, pinging light through glass fiber at more than 124,000 miles per second wasn’t fast enough—the glass slows things down—so traders moved on to microwave transmitters that send signals through the air.

But that has problems, too. Microwaves travel only roughly as far as the eye can see before they peter out and need a signal boost. Now two rival market telecommunications companies have signed a pact that they say will give traders more access to experimental wireless signals which can travel across oceans.

To do that, signals need a longer wavelength—known as a shortwave rather than microwave—that bounces between the water and atmosphere. It’s an imperfect solution. The waves can handle only a fraction of the data that fiber can, carrying about a kilobit per second vs. gigabits. And some signals can be lost.

Raft Technologies Inc., a startup based in Tel Aviv, says the trade-offs are worth it. Raft says it can send data over shortwave from Chicago to Frankfurt in 31.4 milliseconds, which it says is about 4.5 milliseconds faster than the best available fiber route. That’s an eternity in an industry that tends to measure improvements by the thousandth of a millisecond. The company says the signal is about 85% reliable, compared with 100% for fiber. Clients can use a fiber line in parallel as a fail-safe measure.[]


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Radio Waves: Radio Listeners Key to Economy, DXcamp Updates, Coronavirus Hospital Radio, and Hamvention QSO Party

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Dennis Dura, Martin Butera, and Dan Van Hoy for the following tips:


Nielsen: Heavy Radio Listeners Are Key To Restarting U.S. Economy. (Inside Radio)

With 39 states beginning to relax restrictions imposed to diminish the spread of the coronavirus, many Americans are ready to pick up the pieces and get back to their previous lifestyles. An online survey of 1,000 persons aged 18+, conducted from April 30-May 2, found nearly two thirds (63%) say they plan to resume normal activities next month. Conducted by Nielsen, the survey also shows heavy radio listeners are key to driving commerce and supporting the economy since they’re more likely to go out and shop once COVID-19 eases in their market.

Presenting the findings during a client webinar Friday afternoon, Tony Hereau, Nielsen VP of Cross-Platform Insights, summed up the top takeaway succinctly: “AM/FM radio is the soundtrack of America’s re-opening and reemergence.”[]

Marajo Dxcamp updates

Ivan Dias and Martin Butera inform us about their most recent update on the receptions of the last DXcamp on the Amazonian Island of Marajo, in the north of Brazil.

Interesting medium wave receptions from the following link
https://dxcamp-marajo2019.blogspot.com/p/only-log.html

Be sure to visit the official website of the Dxcamp, where you will find a lot of material about this important event
https://dxcamp-marajo2019.blogspot.com/

The Tiny Radio Stations That Lift Spirits in Hospitals (NY Times)

LONDON — Last Wednesday, Steve Coulby, a D.J. for Nottingham Hospitals Radio in England, read out a request from a patient battling Covid-19.

“Brian, you’ve given me an awesome responsibly, as you’ve asked for ‘any jazz,’” Mr. Coulby said. “I have to admit,” he added, “what I know about jazz is limited.”

Mr. Coulby then told his listeners he’d spent much of the day searching jazz tracks online, looking for one that might aid Brian’s recovery, or at least lift his mood. He decided on “Let Me Into Your Heart” by the British singer Isaac Waddington.

“I hope it’s good enough, Brian,” Mr. Coulby said, with a nervous laugh. “To be honest, it’s all you’re getting.”

Britain’s hospital radio stations are one of the less well-known features of its health system: tiny operations, staffed by volunteers, that you would never know existed unless you’d been a patient here.

Patients can normally listen to the shows, which are heavy on chart music and old hits, using headphones connected to an entertainment unit beside their beds. In some cases, the shows are even played out of speakers on the wards or in the emergency room waiting area.

The end of hospital radio has been declared many times over in Britain. Some hospital stations have struggled to raise funds, while the rise of smartphones filled with music and radio apps has meant patients have less need for them. But there are still over 200 such stations, according to the Hospital Broadcasting Association, and some claim they have found themselves more useful than ever during the pandemic, providing a human connections to patients who would otherwise be alone.[]

Hamvention QSO Party Saturday May 16! (Hamvention.org)

Let’s celebrate the many years we have all had at the Great Gathering we call Hamvention. We also want to remember Ron Moorefield W8ILC who never missed a Hamvention and contributed to our club until his recent death.Let’s light up the airwaves with our remembrances of Hamventions of the past! See you on the air! K3LR, Tim Duffy and W8CI, Michael Kalter.

Here is the deal: 12 hour event, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDST on Saturday of Hamvention May 16, 2020.  Operate CW or SSB on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters. The exchange is a signal report and first year you attended Hamvention. If you have never attended Hamvention you send 2020.

Send your score (number of QSOs) to 3830scores.com within 5 days of the event. You can print a certificate on line via www.HVQP.org. More details will appear on the Hamvention QSO Party web site being set up now.

Special bonus: W8BI, the club call of the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA is the host of Hamvention) will be activated by designated DARA members from their home stations. You can add 10 points for each band/mode QSO with W8BI (12 available). So you can earn 120 bonus points (like having 120 additional QSOs).


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