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Posted (edited)

Hi Everyone,

I thought I start this topic, to gather as much information as we can, in the hope for an ultimate recipe, to eliminate the vibration of the needle.

I'm far from expert in this topic, so every input would be greatly appreciated.

I'm aiming to start the experiment next week, where I'm willing to test the the following variables on a freshly rebuild machine with a stainless steel 41.3mm (1 5/16") glycerine filled gauge:

- Water filled / air filled capillary tube

- Length of capillary tube (short straight / short single coil / longer 5-10 coils)
I would appreciate some input on theoretically ideal length, if such exists.

- Height of gauge in reference of sampling point.

- Sampling point: boiler in-feed / outfeed
Sorry I'm not planning to test the pump outfeed (T piece on PTFE tube), as I can't see it any chance for it being any better by going closer to the vibratory pump.

- Routing
I would also appreciate some input on this.

I'm open to test other reasonable variables too, feel free to give suggestions

For your reference, I attach photos of my actual kit.

Also link a couple of videos I made last year

Bad one:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1L7AMSugEXKaGLcr-v-F42RROKnk1gIBC/view?usp=drivesdk

Good one (I suppose):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1XolCMfJ8JVIQKaKB8Ju-BlzN5GO1QZ0J/view?usp=drivesdk

 

Thank you in advance for all your support and expertise.

Peter

 

 

 

IMG_20191201_141639_HDR.jpg

IMG_20191014_230012_HDR.jpg

IMG_20191014_230048_HDR.jpg

IMG_20191014_230039_HDR.jpg

Edited by FairRecycler

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I like your approach for making an adapter for OPV. Unfortunately for other points I cant say much, maybe only I would use quality gauges like Orman or similar. Do you sell them?


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1 hour ago, L&R said:

I like your approach for making an adapter for OPV. Unfortunately for other points I cant say much, maybe only I would use quality gauges like Orman or similar. Do you sell them?

Hi,

Thank you.

Thanks for your suggestion, I'll look into that. 

If anyone have a surplus branded gauge laying around, which I could borrow for a few weeks for testing, that would be great.

Yes these are available on here and on eBay too.

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I notice that everybody seems to use thin bore capillary tube for their gauge. Has anybody tried 6mm PTFE tubing?

 

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Why don't you just use the spare connection on the steam valve found on the Gaggias without the OPV? It wouldn't be too difficult to remove the ball and spring and find a suitable adapter for the capilliary tube. It would then be a straight swap.

3534.Jpg.9d3f4a1146badee955b11fb520386213.Jpg

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Good idea for a thread.

 

As i don't like the idea of meddling with the boiler safety valves in these espresso machines, and, still can't get my head around using the PRVs to control pressure in the puck, i am looking myself at putting a pressure gauge on my Classic.

I've seen a few attempts and mostly, they  all work on the principle of taking a tap from the pump discharge and mounting the capillary tubed gauge low down in the machine.

I have a few issues with this.

A) Taking the pressure tapping from the pump side of the boiler is not, i think, best practice. It exposes the gauge to the vibrations and shock from the pump and is as far away from the group head (where you want to be) as possible.

B) Capillary tubing is so small that normal flow into/out of it isn't going to happen. However, i don't think zero flow happens either. Its a dead space/void in the flow path and that's always a bad idea where hygiene or hold up is an issue. I think you will have some movements of fluid but it will be by convection, vibration etc and will be slow. Its a bug pot imho.

C) Putting the Gauge low is again a problem for the issues noted in (B) I see it is common to tee off in a manner which is not free draining, usually with the tee pointing down from the pump tap. Another sump created with a dead head.

 

I have looked to see how other manufacturers have added pressure gauges to their machines and how they resolve the issues noted above.

Sage, in their Dual boilers take the pressure tap on the boiler side of the system from the multiport block valve (3 way solenoid).

Here is a good video showing the guts of the DB:

You can see that the pressure tap is a large bore tube, which is mounted at a high point and is free draining.

This solves the issue of fluid hold up and void space. It is free draining and it is on the boiler side, which, i think, is key to better measurement and a smoother reading. I think the boiler acts as a reservoir damper and reduces pressure gauge twitch.

 

Gaggia have a gauge on the TS. It is low slung though, and its a capillary  tube design, not free draining.

See here: https://www.cafeparts.com/Espresso-Machine-Parts/Gaggia/Ts-Boby-And-Hydraulic-Circuit?itemid=9393

However, it is mounted directly to the boiler. I think this solves the shock/twitch problem and any bugs growing in the void space are sanitised by the boiler steam and heat. I prefer the DB approach but this one does work obviously.

So how to do this in the Gaggia and resolve the issues above?

This guy:

 

Took his tapping from the steam valve. Of all of the places i have seen to tap of on a Gaggia, this is my favorite. It is clean, sanitary and has the boiler reservoir in use for shock reduction on the needle. It is really, like the Gaggia TS.

Another user did something similar, but (i think) much better: 

http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/index.php?topic=582.0

Still not perfect as the tubing is falling to the gauge instead of away, but its good. Plus the gauge is high on this attempt.

 

Here is another solution, but not for the best:

I like the gauge fitting etc, but it fails on all of the points i noted above and is not a good idea i think. It suffers from hold up and is on the wrong side of the boiler.

 

I think the best approach is the Sage DB, but without remanufacturing the valve block footprint, its not possible.

So i would take the tapping of the steam valve or any other boiler port (make one yourself!) and run a normal tube without kinks, up to the gauge which is mounted at a high point above the boiler tapping. I've been looking for slim, vertical pressure indicators,  but they are not common.

 

I shall watch this thread with interest!

 

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Very good idea Norvin, actually I have some old brass valves from Gaggia Coffee laying around will try to braze a capillary tube to the extension cap to see how it will work.

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Actually,

On the 2015 V2 models, simply tee into the steam valve feed hose with a std compression fitting tee and use the same tubing to route to the gauge.

Easy enough. It's the gauge position and mounting which is the difficult bit.

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10 minutes ago, L&R said:

Very good idea Norvin, actually I have some old brass valves from Gaggia Coffee laying around will try to braze a capillary tube to the extension cap to see how it will work.

Good idea, but for those without brazing equipment there shouldn't be a need to braze anything. There is an internal thread in the valve (1/8 BSP?), it should be possible to find a standard adapter to fit this at one end with an external thread at the other end (1/4 BSP?) to fit the capilliary tube fitting.

 


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This thread will be a problem I don't think it is common, better to use some brass solder stick and a propane torch they are small and will be easy to be welded  together.


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Posted (edited)

It's good that we can take some of our conversations onto an official thread @FairRecycler.

9 hours ago, FairRecycler said:

Just to be clear, the first video should worry anybody who's doing an install -- a glycerine filled gauge that is vibrating pretty badly. Do you have a guess at the reason for that? 

Routing 1: I believe that @MartinB has suggested that the best route is one that goes to the right of the boiler. However, because of the distances involved, this basically means you have to bend the capillary tube close to 90 degrees if you're going to mount it to the left. Cue @ratty in here who just answered my question this morning about the 90 degree bend issue.

I've stolen his pictures below so we have an immediate reference image. However, I also think that his gauge is different---on the glycerine ones you use, I think the distance to the boiler is much more limiting. Also, if I had to guess, his gauge is more centred. 

IMG_20200702_081129.jpg.1a30dbb1846838cae521858dfada5842.thumb.jpg.fb9dc1c81033ee078a9e0a711e4e49a2.jpg

Routing 2: One idea that I have not seen discussed, for those that use a T-junction, is to simply move the T-junction further downstream from the pump. Most installs I assume people are cutting their pump-to-OPV pipe and just choosing a location. Some people cut it closer to the pump, some further away. Has anybody tried to simply extend the pump-to-OPV piping and attach the T-junction further away?

It could be that this has little effect because the vibrational issue seems to be a function of the flow itself and not the actual vibration of the pump in the Gaggia case.

Length of capillary tube: Unfortunately I bought a gauge from shock_waves_shop recently had entered into a debate with him about the shortened capillary tubes. It is unclear to me the magnitude of the effect of a longer coil, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that a longer coil leads to reduced flutter. Here are a number of people who note that replacing their capillary tubes with a longer version reduces vibrations.

If you are curious the snubber that was linked a bit lower is here -- I believe a 1/4" male to 1/4" female porous snubber; basically a valve with a porous medium in it that should reduce the vibrations. It would probably cost about £10-15 more to install once you deal with all the pipe changes. 

The post by HB here explains how flutter is a function of the vibration pump and notes the difference in flutter observed over different machines. 

Wet/dry capillary tube: In your various install guidance @FairRecycler you note the importance of filling the capillary tube with fluid in order to eliminate air. This is slightly opposed to the links above that have noted that people have taken efforts to dry their capillary tube using a heating gun or butane torch. However, it is not clear to me the effect of either suggestion. See below on the fridge discussion, but it seems you either want a completely liquid filled or completely air filled tube and that's essentially it. If this is the case, then your suggestion is not contradictory to the advice of trying to remove all liquid.

Block on the radiator: As most people have noted, you have a unique design of a block on the radiator rather than a T-junction from pump-to-OPV. Again I don't have a huge insight into this choice; as noted, it seems more stable because it is further away from the pump, so at worst, it doesn't seem to hurt. At best, it helps a lot. But the video you linked of the needle flutter (your "bad" video) is interesting because it shows that this isn't a simple fix.

If the effect of the snubber is to essentially remove non-uniformities in the flow, then placing your block after the OPV might have a positive effect. I'm not sure.

Tapping into the steam valve: @hugoread has done it and might comment: https://coffeeforums.co.uk/topic/48961-gaggia-classic-pressure-gauge-install-video/

Also see this reference by the Polish blogger and includes clear images of how the tapping can be done: https://gaggiaclassicmods.blogspot.com/2015/12/manometr-raz-jeszcze-podaczanie-do.html

Crucially, note that the blogger stated that he did the steam valve mod because his previous T-junction pump-to-OPV gauge indicated -2 bars less than expected. This was later discovered to be an issue of a malfunctioning gauge, not because of the position.

Scientific literature: I tried to turn to the scientific literature for guidance. The main application area for capillary tubing and vibration that is discussed and that might be applicable for us is for minimising noise from refrigerators. For example [1], [2], [3]. However, I'm not sure the applications/results are exactly the same. In the fridge, the capillary tubing is used to pass through the liquid so that it is compressed and pressurised, then moved into an expansion chamber where it turns into a gas. Basically, if I understand the research, then the main theory is that noise is primarily created due to bubbles created at the capillary tubing inlet, which are then 'released' at the outlet and so this produces the noise. 

The work, for example, by Daniel Hartmann [2] above and also these people seek to change the inlet to reduce this issue -- i.e. either reduce the diameter of the capillary inlet or lengthen it. 

I do not know how this 'jives' with the above questions, but there is some reason to believe that the main vibrational issue is can be dealt with by 'pre-treating' the flow prior to entering the capillary tube, and that this can have a larger effect than what you do with the capillary tubing itself. 

 

Edited by phario
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Is there room to fit a 0-20 bar Pressure Gauge Snubber to the back of the gauge before connecting the capillary. 

PIC_PR_910_12_100_en_us_63241.jpg.png

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Posted (edited)

Capillary tubes are primarily for Gauge positioning. The best place for the gauge is on the vessel itself. (mostly).

The longer the tube, the greater the lag between action and response. This may be explaining why some notice a difference in needle twitch. 

Coiling the capillary tube can be a way of providing heat loss (or gain) which will effect the readings accordingly.

 

I suspect the main difference people are seeing in needle response may be down to some localised flooding in the capillary tubes, with those flooded systems behaving worse then the non flooded ones ( you can't compress fluid)

If you are trying to come from the pump side, perhaps an expansion chamber is needed ( which is the boiler in effect) to dampen out the hydraulics coming off the pump.

In the OP's instance, the brass block is a great idea but on the wrong port. If it was on the solenoid port, you would have the boiler as a buffer.

Edited by Blue_Cafe

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Nightrider_1uk said:

Is there room to fit a 0-20 bar Pressure Gauge Snubber to the back of the gauge before connecting the capillary. 

 

Moving on this idea, does anyone know what type of snubber might work with the least number of extra attachments/tube conversions from the normal T-junction route? If I understand correctly, it's silicone tubing with 6mm internal diameter and 9mm external diameter.

Edited by phario

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Posted (edited)

I tested (non-scientifically) adding additional tubing from pump to T fitter to opv and this seemed to have extremely minimal effect. 

https://streamable.com/wg4ld3

The video is misleading because of the camera frame rate. The needle is bouncing very rapidly between the bounces and you're not seeing it. The flutter is about 0.5bars in extent. 

Previously when operating this gauge I had about the same (smaller) fluttering as was observed in @ratty recent thread. Then something happened (I've no idea what) that caused a change to worsen the flutter. Air/water mix getting in? Who knows. It's tricky. 

I wish I had the money/time/patience/desire to conduct a proper test. 

Edited by phario

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As long as you have the tap on the pump outlet, the pressure gauge will likely twitch.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Blue_Cafe said:

As long as you have the tap on the pump outlet, the pressure gauge will likely twitch.

Well...haven't we established that? See the various references in the thread that have discussed the effects of the vibration pump. 

Multiple people have tapped into the pump and observed different levels of vibration. So the question is whether that can be minimised and to what extent and via what factors... 

I apologise as I guess I have not been writing very clearly. 

Edited by phario

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7 minutes ago, phario said:

Well. Yeah.(?) 

The point is that multiple people have tapped into the pump and observed different levels of vibration. And to understand whether that can be minimised and to what extent and via what factors. 

I thought in my first post I gave some references that did clearly note that the vibrating pump was the main culprit. 

Maybe I've not been clear enough. 

Maybe I don't read enough lol, sorry. My bad.

I like the experimental approaches. Tinkering is a dying art.

 

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Posted (edited)

This may help..

Here is a picture of my OPV setting gauge

P1110682.thumb.JPG.df3fdfd055ce7485096a1ec656aa566b.JPG

 

There are two ball valves, one controlling flow out of the outlet and one controlling flow to the gauge. To use it I start with both valves open and start the pump. Once water flows out of the outlet (purging the air) i shut the valve. Pressure builds up and registers on the gauge. At this point the needle vibrates wildly, I slowly close the ball valve to the gauge and the oscillations die down and stop completely when the valve is shut. I mention this because there is a sweet spot just before the valve is closed when there is very little oscillation (and it's not a glycerine filled gauge). That may be a possible answer to the problem, find a way to restrict the size of the connection to the gauge.

Edited by Norvin
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31 minutes ago, Norvin said:

This may help..

Here is a picture of my OPV setting gauge

There are two ball valves, one controlling flow out of the outlet and one controlling flow to the gauge. To use it I start with both valves open and start the pump. Once water flows out of the outlet (purging the air) i shut the valve. Pressure builds up and registers on the gauge. At this point the needle vibrates wildly, I slowly close the ball valve to the gauge and the oscillations die down and stop completely when the valve is shut. I mention this because there is a sweet spot just before the valve is closed when there is very little oscillation (and it's not a glycerine filled gauge). That may be a possible answer to the problem, find a way to restrict the size of the connection to the pump.

Norvin, this is excellent.

This post is maddening for the simple reason that I saw a setup where someone installed a flow limiter in a non-Gaggia machine in order to limit needle flutter and I never clocked its possible importance. In your ball valves, how small is the sweet spot? Do you envision this might be a permanent solution for built-in gauges?

By the way, regarding the theory of using the steam valve in order to reduce vibrations, this is exactly what this person does. The resultant flutter is about the same as I've seen for other pump-OPV T-fitter installs. See the video here. Based on this single video, it's not obvious that the steam gauge location fixes things.

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14 hours ago, Nightrider_1uk said:

I notice that everybody seems to use thin bore capillary tube for their gauge. Has anybody tried 6mm PTFE tubing?

 

Good question, I think it worth to try. I'll include this one too.

 

13 hours ago, Norvin said:

Why don't you just use the spare connection on the steam valve found on the Gaggias without the OPV? It wouldn't be too difficult to remove the ball and spring and find a suitable adapter for the capilliary tube. It would then be a straight swap.

3534.Jpg.9d3f4a1146badee955b11fb520386213.Jpg

It is probably the best tapping point.

I only have one concern from a manufacturing perspective, it needs - in most cases - a new steam valve, and that's well more expensive than such a kit should be :(

I was thinking of a piggyback for the steam valve, but then the cutout for the knob won't line up :(

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, phario said:

Norvin, this is excellent.

This post is maddening for the simple reason that I saw a setup where someone installed a flow limiter in a non-Gaggia machine in order to limit needle flutter and I never clocked its possible importance. In your ball valves, how small is the sweet spot? Do you envision this might be a permanent solution for built-in gauges?

By the way, regarding the theory of using the steam valve in order to reduce vibrations, this is exactly what this person does. The resultant flutter is about the same as I've seen for other pump-OPV T-fitter installs. See the video here. Based on this single video, it's not obvious that the steam gauge location fixes things.

The sweet spot is just before the valve closes completely, so it must be pretty small. Arranging some set up where you could drill out an obstruction in the line (e.g a washer or plug) with successively larger drills will probably work. Once you find the right size, it could probably be replicated for others. You could also try pinching the capilliary tube, but that is risky.

Edited by Norvin
more info

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22 minutes ago, phario said:

Norvin, this is excellent.

This post is maddening for the simple reason that I saw a setup where someone installed a flow limiter in a non-Gaggia machine in order to limit needle flutter and I never clocked its possible importance. In your ball valves, how small is the sweet spot? Do you envision this might be a permanent solution for built-in gauges?

By the way, regarding the theory of using the steam valve in order to reduce vibrations, this is exactly what this person does. The resultant flutter is about the same as I've seen for other pump-OPV T-fitter installs. See the video here. Based on this single video, it's not obvious that the steam gauge location fixes things.

Well that's an interesting video huh.

He's pumping against a dead head in both scenes. Well, no, if it's operating correctly, he's actually pumping against the PRV setting which should be opening. 

This might explain the fact that the needle at the portafilter is steady as it's essentially static.

The needle bounce might be the PRV opening and closing?

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14 hours ago, Blue_Cafe said:

Good idea for a thread.

 

As i don't like the idea of meddling with the boiler safety valves in these espresso machines, and, still can't get my head around using the PRVs to control pressure in the puck, i am looking myself at putting a pressure gauge on my Classic.

I've seen a few attempts and mostly, they  all work on the principle of taking a tap from the pump discharge and mounting the capillary tubed gauge low down in the machine.

I have a few issues with this.

A) Taking the pressure tapping from the pump side of the boiler is not, i think, best practice. It exposes the gauge to the vibrations and shock from the pump and is as far away from the group head (where you want to be) as possible.

B) Capillary tubing is so small that normal flow into/out of it isn't going to happen. However, i don't think zero flow happens either. Its a dead space/void in the flow path and that's always a bad idea where hygiene or hold up is an issue. I think you will have some movements of fluid but it will be by convection, vibration etc and will be slow. Its a bug pot imho.

C) Putting the Gauge low is again a problem for the issues noted in (B) I see it is common to tee off in a manner which is not free draining, usually with the tee pointing down from the pump tap. Another sump created with a dead head.

 

I have looked to see how other manufacturers have added pressure gauges to their machines and how they resolve the issues noted above.

Sage, in their Dual boilers take the pressure tap on the boiler side of the system from the multiport block valve (3 way solenoid).

Here is a good video showing the guts of the DB:

You can see that the pressure tap is a large bore tube, which is mounted at a high point and is free draining.

This solves the issue of fluid hold up and void space. It is free draining and it is on the boiler side, which, i think, is key to better measurement and a smoother reading. I think the boiler acts as a reservoir damper and reduces pressure gauge twitch.

 

Gaggia have a gauge on the TS. It is low slung though, and its a capillary  tube design, not free draining.

See here: https://www.cafeparts.com/Espresso-Machine-Parts/Gaggia/Ts-Boby-And-Hydraulic-Circuit?itemid=9393

However, it is mounted directly to the boiler. I think this solves the shock/twitch problem and any bugs growing in the void space are sanitised by the boiler steam and heat. I prefer the DB approach but this one does work obviously.

So how to do this in the Gaggia and resolve the issues above?

This guy:

 

Took his tapping from the steam valve. Of all of the places i have seen to tap of on a Gaggia, this is my favorite. It is clean, sanitary and has the boiler reservoir in use for shock reduction on the needle. It is really, like the Gaggia TS.

Another user did something similar, but (i think) much better: 

http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/index.php?topic=582.0

Still not perfect as the tubing is falling to the gauge instead of away, but its good. Plus the gauge is high on this attempt.

 

Here is another solution, but not for the best:

I like the gauge fitting etc, but it fails on all of the points i noted above and is not a good idea i think. It suffers from hold up and is on the wrong side of the boiler.

 

I think the best approach is the Sage DB, but without remanufacturing the valve block footprint, its not possible.

So i would take the tapping of the steam valve or any other boiler port (make one yourself!) and run a normal tube without kinks, up to the gauge which is mounted at a high point above the boiler tapping. I've been looking for slim, vertical pressure indicators,  but they are not common.

 

I shall watch this thread with interest!

 

Thank you for the lot of details

A/ totally agree, this made me make the piggyback to the opv.

B+C/ Thank you for the explanation, I got it now.

Sage/ Yes the front layout allows you to do so. Lucky, unlike the Classic :(

Gaggia TS/ I wouldn't mix in HX machines as those boilers half empty, or half full depending on your point of view :) So tapping to the top of the boiler eliminates the water issue in the tube.

"This guy's" Classic on YouTube/

Unfortunately not many Classic in use has this old type of steam valve. :(

just below that, my version:

As in that time I was stick to the water filled tube, I didn't wanted to let the hot water to the gauge as most of them not rated for such a temperature. I never thought of the cooling effect of the coils, my bad. I'll definitely try one with a sufficient coil size, tapped to a piggyback at the boiler outfeed. This would - unlike the steam valve tapping - allow a self draining system too.

Thanks again

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Posted (edited)

And since we might be in the mood for contradictory videos: 

 

That's a dry pressure gauge mounted as close as possible to the pump with almost zero flutter I can see in the video.

Same author as the one who mounted it direct to the steam gauge with the flutter.

 

Edited by phario
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