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  1. Well at last I have started on the baseboards. I have completed the two straight boards, just have to cover with roofing felt. I am fortunate that a neighbour is going to give me a hand as far as raising them off the ground, about 2 feet high. I just got the two loops at each end to sort out. So still a lot to do before anything runs.
    4 points
  2. Hello together! I wanted to give you a sign of life from me again. At the moment I'm finishing the wiring of the layout with the 10 boosters. I've also reached the last level indoors. With kind regards Thomas
    2 points
  3. Hello, I was wondering if someone may be able to point me in the right direction of a basic radio control set up? I have limited experience with soldering so I'm just looking for something basic - my layout is still at the planning stage and won't be prototypical - so I'm looking for the easiest locomotive to convert. Thanks!
    2 points
  4. A little video update.
    2 points
  5. frustrating day soldering rails that have been outside for 11 years. I did the vast majority of it inside at my desk, but that didn't make it any easier. By late afternoon I was ready for track relaying. I persisted and got the track down the full length of the straight, soldering in the last bonds that I couldn't do inside. There's still more to do, but we are away for the weekend, so it will have to wait. Monday's running session may be a bit different.
    2 points
  6. Without it becoming quite a substantial structure I suppose the only suitable material for a waist level railway is timber when there is no raised bed or wall in the garden that you can build a railway around. Take care with building and treating the wood and you should get a fair number of years out of it but be prepared for maintenance (quite enjoyable) and perhaps eventual replacement (a pain!). Wood does twist and warp and it soon becomes evident when you view trains running. There is an external grade MDF board now available that is supposed to withstand water/moisture (can't remember the exact claims) that has been mentioned on the forum before which might be worth investigation though I have no idea of the price. Such things don't normally come cheap. Wherever possible, blocks are by far the most suitable material if time is taken to lay them carefully but I make no claims as to having been that careful with mine. Whichever material you decide on just make sure that you build it as flat and level as possible (along and across) otherwise you'll be returning to this thread with a greater undertsanding of why it was posted in the first place LOL!
    2 points
  7. My track has been down for a decade. There are places where the baseboards have turned to paper! Trains run over them fine even though the track is basically unsupported. More of a problem is where the baseboards have sunk. I cannot see with the naked eye that one section of board is lower than the next so the gradient is very small. But some of my trains really struggle on these unintended climbs.
    2 points
  8. I'm an advocate for keeping it simple which is the reason I chose to go down the single line route with a passing loop. I added the terminus station later on but I rarely use it if I'm honest - much preferring to use the main loop. I could instead have added extra roads on the terminus boards and used it as a storage yard/feeder for the main part of the layout. I often allow a train to run round and round for some time, even leaving it doing so while I go off and do something else. Although there are garden layouts that obviously prove me wrong, I don't think the garden is the place for a 'railway layout' of the type more generally seen indoors. I think a lot of people have become disillusioned with garden railways because they were expecting to be able to build a typical indoor layout outdoors and underestimated just what a massive undertaking that can be.
    2 points
  9. Hi guys, at last all the boards are up and painted. All I have to do now is apply the felt to cover boards. I was very tempted to put a circle of track out and run a train. The sun went in and I could feel it getting cooler. I am glad I have finish the paining of the undersides of the boards. Trying to move about under the boards and paint. I have never know so may joints and limbs give me cramps all at the same time. One of the joys of getting senile. I need another good day weather wise so I can cover all in felt. As the weather our way looks very mixed for next few days. Then it will be hammer up finger end pinning the track down. I will be keeping it very simple this year tosort out what its like running outdoors.
    1 point
  10. After a frustrating morning failing to get an Arduino to respond to DCC commands I switched to track remodelling for the afternoon. Emble Junction had two turnouts removed and replaced by a single slip. Trains can no longer snake through the three turnouts on the outer line which was always lovely to see. But the track layout is far more attractive.
    1 point
  11. Having a look online I can't seem to find an image of the dummy car with the body off. But in its simplest form, the wiring for the lights would look like this. if the lights are controlled buy the decoder my best guess would be that the connection to the locomotive would end up going to the pcb and then to the decoder. If they are dumb then the connection to the locomotive would most likley just go to the pickups. Not having one nor anything similar I couldn't tell you exactly how it works but this would be my best guess.
    1 point
  12. Unfortunately I can't answer your question with any definite answer but I would suggest it would be one of the following reasons. a). Scotrail trying to claw back some of the money they will be losing by running shorter trains. I seem to recall they were considering doing this anyway? The shorter trains also have the advantage to Scotrail of pitting the passengers against the drivers. b). Something in the rules that says that the connecting or disconnecting of units is not part of their daily duties and as such should be made as an additional payment or similar, so something that drivers can't indulge in when working to rule. Total guesses, somebody must know for sure?...
    1 point
  13. If there's one thing I'm not short of (other than Hornby A4's) it's Bachmann class 37s! However, some of them are a good few years old now and although they're all operational some of them run more smoothly than others so it's just a case of me determining which one(s) would make the best donor(s), taking into consideration the potential for swapping loco bodies around.
    1 point
  14. I would also like to find out the same. I have seen a couple of options on the market (although they all seem to be sold out or discontinued) and they seem to be around £100, which to me seems excessive considering you can buy remote control cars, etc, for less than £20 which should have all the stuff required in them (although charging the batteries through the track would add an issue / expense). It's not much money when compared to DCC but I just don't want to feel I'm massively over paying for something. In terms of which locos to convert. Any of the old Lima bogied diesels should be OK as they have a mountain of room inside their bodyshells and most can be made to run pretty smoothly - they also emit quite a nice motor growl as well. I've been trying to convince my friend who is an electrical engineer to 'knock something up'. He says it would be quite easy, but he can't see any money in it. I will try again though.
    1 point
  15. The first set of blocks are laid so I stuck some track on top and sent a train down as a test. The roofing felt isn't glued, the track isn't glued or pinned yet and I had to use a temporary board to run off. It was really just to get something working - anything. By the time I did that, it had gone dark. So all I've got to prove it is a grainy video. I'll stick it up anyway and try to get some better footage in the light.
    1 point
  16. Since last posting I have made considerable progress and have fully completed the fiddle yard: Each road can hold a 5-6 coach long train and the return loop can hold a 12 coach train when not in use. Each track can be isolated individually to allow 5 trains to be operational at any one time. Because each half is separated by a return loop two trains can run at once if I cut the line in half. This also means that I can run trains without having to clean the whole line if I dont want to use half. Something else that's new is the Hornby HM6000 controller. My old H&M controller has started to falter and so I thought Id try something a little different this time. A while ago I created a similar Bluetooth controller with an Arduino but It was quite clunky and so I reverted back to a regular controller. The benefit of the Bluetooth controller outside is that I can move around whilst still being in control and this Hornby one does a pretty good job at it. I can control the trains all the way from inside the house with the controller at the other end of the garden. The inertia control is also a very cool feature that is not gimmicky at all. The other features like the sound are not very good although the horn I find myself sometimes using. We will have to see how it holds up in the long term but from what I can see its rather good for the price (if you exclude the fact that you have to buy the power supply separately). Unfortunately, I feel like it is something we have come to expect with Hornby.
    1 point
  17. I was hoping to get some video today using my camera wagon. Unfortunately, after trying to charge up the Mobius camera I found it wasn't accepting a charge. Fortunately, replacement cells are not expensive and a bigger one can be fitted 820mAh instead of 520mAh (more than half as big again) costing only £7. In the mean-time I have my other action camera (a Drift2) which is bigger and isn't quite as suited to sitting in the wagon. Why do I have two? One for the front of my bike and one for the back. Yes, it has caught some bad driving and some quite close passes. Neither has been much use since I don't commute since Covid came along, other than on the model railway. I have got some footage so I'll try editing and get a video update for the weekend.
    1 point
  18. Honestly I think you are better off saving the money and getting regular ply, then seal it with a fence paint and then potentially covering with felt. One of the advantages of felt is that it is able to cover any imperfections or rough edges of the wood; and as Chris said, it looks a little like ballast without having to put in much effort. With this said no method is the be all and end all and you should feel welcome to try any new method you want.
    1 point
  19. I'm adding a layer of felt to the long thin board. The ply under that felt is as goo as the day it went in, 12 years ago. I've found that the key is to ensure that water cannot get to the sides of the boards. As long as the felt hands how below the bottom of the board I don't have any issues. Also joins in the felt have to overlap. The only issues I've had is when I've not followed those rules. Personally I like the look of the felt, preferring it to wood. It has the appearance of ballast. While helping yesterday my friends decided that he liked the texture so much he will use felt in the depot of is loft layout. You can paint it with enamel if you are so inclined. Yes to bracing. I use Aluminium T orders either from old conservatory roofing or greenhouses. Lightweight and strong.
    1 point
  20. No not at all. I'm probably in the minority when it comes to not being all that concerned about liveries and allocations and to be perfectly honest I'm modelling something in the garden that I know very little (aka nothing) about. I've never been on a train in Scotland in my life but I just try to recreate a sense of the single line through remote surroundings with the reverberations of class 37s!! The attic layout is a slightly different story but even up there ANY class 56, 58, 60 is fair game for the MGR workings, though I don't allow 60s on HTA's as that was after my time. The first steps always the hardest as they say but Iain's right, start with acrylics and you can remove it quite easily if it doesn't please you.
    1 point
  21. Use acrylic paints and its easily removed if you don't like what you've done.
    1 point
  22. Ah, now that makes perfect sense. I knew there had to be a reason and I guess if you cut them from one block it would either make the supporting piers too thick or to fragile for reliable support. I'm learning stuff everyday.
    1 point
  23. Hi, the arches will go with the join on the block at the highest point of the arch. It just makes the join between blocks a little less obvious than having them all the way down to the ground. For that I need to join them first before getting the core-cutter on them. The other, more honest answer is "copying Mick." 🤣
    1 point
  24. Slight drift here, but... When I was a kid back in the 70's / 80's my uncle used to be the guy who repaired, overhauled and restored all the steam engines for Carters Steam Fair. Many a childhood winters day would be spent cycling over to White Waltham. First for a look around the airfield, then for a trip up on to the bridge to watch the trains going up and down the GW mainline before finally popping into Carter's place for some quick chat and if we were lucky a go on the shooting game. Happy memories...
    1 point
  25. Sounds like you've had a busy day, look forward to seeing the pictures. Thanks for the answers to my questions above. Fair point about the sound on the ETHEL. I hope I don't come across as too anal about liveries, allocations, etc. It's just that it is that side that interests me in this hobby. When I eventually get the layout built it will be the operation of the right locos on the right trains and trying to figure out what locomotives I can use on which service after a simulated locomotive failure that will keep me going. Believe it or not I already have a full timetable with the locomotive diagrams and staffing duties worked out, with each depot's staff only 'signing' the correct selection of motive power etc. This also leads on to the correct formation of stock and locomotives in regard to braking etc. The big thing being when I'm forced to use a 'no-heat' locomotive on a service train. One day I might be as brave as you and pick up an airbrush once more. I did this back in my youth with very dyer results! I plan to operate the period from 1978-1993 so a two-tone green Bachmann class 25 that I picked up on ebay for £30 one Saturday morning will probably be the first candidate, although I will probably try with some old spare Lima bodyshells first.
    1 point
  26. The first three blocks glued by this method. Everything that follows depends on the success of this stage. There are seven blocks, the leftmost I'm not putting an arch in due to its shape. That leaves six blocks with five arches. I'll glue them in two sets of three to make them manageable and do four of the arches. I've got a few ideas for putting them together. Either turning them over on the 12mm ply then sliding them off into position or leaving them upside down and using my supply of massive zip ties to brace them tightly to the ply and lower them into place. Edit: I've been out to check, six do fit on that strip of ply and feels like they are within my lifting capacity so one helper should be enough. I flattened the tops of the first three before gluing and they fitted together much better than the next three, so obviously the filing first is useful.
    1 point
  27. What do they call those sleepers you can buy....is it phosphor bronze? I have some strips somewhere that I used years ago when I built my first sectional railway. Cut one of the strips to the width of a sleeper, glue it in position in place of the last plastic sleeper and then solder the rail ends to the sleeper. It makes them much more secure and less prone to damage. You just have to remember to cut the conductive outer layer part way to prevent short circuits.
    1 point
  28. I dinked my track when removing the lift out section. No point fixing the track. Easier to replace. One advantage was, that although the section to the viaduct is short I had used two pieces of track. Replacing with one length means there are a couple less track bonds to fail. I took the opportunity to realign all four of the track ends to improve running through this notorious derailment black spot. Hopefully it will be sorted for this years running season. This afternoons and evenings sessions will be a good test.
    1 point
  29. With DCC I can run more than one train per track. The max I've had looping a round Amblethorpe is 6. I think there were 4 drivers present at the time. Most of the time I'll peak at 3 trains looping. It adds a bit of fun when two people are driving trains on the same line and have to ensure that they don't catch up with the other train.
    1 point
  30. I think if I was going to operate 'on the ground' I would definitely go with concrete blocks, but I'm thinking that even though I'm 'only 50', I'm already suffering when working at ground level and so waist height I think would be better for me. I did realise after I posted the above that it was a silly thing to say as you can't use concrete blocks at waist height!! 🤣🤣🤣
    1 point
  31. I would do everything you can do to get it as flat and level (and straight) as possible. Every single bump will annoy the hell out of you believe me!
    1 point
  32. I've had a break from running trains today as I've been doing a bit of renovation to some areas at the side of the track. The photo below shows one such area just beyond the spring points closest to the shed. The log roll that was previously butted up to the track base had rotted away and so I removed it and replaced it with some pallet timer, coated in preservative and set into a bed of mortar. I've installed it slightly further from the track and infilled with stone chippings. I've also done a further section of parapet walling on Stack Gill viaduct using the same mortar mix as before. I am quite pleased with how the first section turned out and it feels nice and solid so hopefully it will stand up to the attention it receives from the pigeons. Moving on to this evening and I've been up in the attic with the airbrush finishing off the batch of locos I started weathering the other day as well as some coaches. First of all is 37026 LOCH AWE in BR Blue followed by 37415 in Inter-City livery 37427 HIGHLAND ENTERPRISE in Regional Railways SCOTRAIL livery and the superb sounding 37248 LOCH ARKAIG in West Coast Railways livery I've also done the 6 coach West Highland Railways rake, a BR Parcels van and ETHEL 2 seen below behind 37026.
    1 point
  33. It’s wonderful to watch the variety of locos running over Worsley Dale. I much admire all your efforts and time you must spend in keeping your garden looking so pristine
    1 point
  34. Variety is the spice of life, as they say. Everyone is different I suppose and will have different wants from a layout. The only thing I'd say to people starting out on a garden railway is to go into it with their eyes open, research first and decide very carefully what they want out of it and how to achieve that. Part of that can be advising on how experienced people use their own garden railway differently to how they envisaged. A general point I thought about on the YouTube thread is that there is as much bad info in some sources as there is good and little to contradict or evaluate the advice. This form of forum has gone out of fashion, but I think it is still the best way of bringing experience together and putting information in a persisting, accessible and discussable format.
    1 point
  35. Hello and welcome. 47401 has been know to visit Colwick Station.
    1 point
  36. I didn't have quite so much video footage as I thought but I've put a few minutes worth together here. That's probably just as well because the sound from these two is pretty overpowering and can become monotonous after a while when viewing on video. You really do need to be lineside to appreciate them fully - simply amazing. As I've mentioned in the video description, they fill the garden with sound and in places you can hear it reverberating off the garden fencing even though you are some distance away. You often hear them long before they come into view as you'll see.
    1 point
  37. Homage to Paul Riley After spending yesterday evening watching an RCTS Zoom presentation of the late Paul Riley's BR steam photos, I realised that in order to look like period 1960s photos, it helps if the colour has a faded, 'period' look. So I've reworked my last set of pictures by reducing the colour element by about 25 per cent in the hope that this makes them look more realistic. Perhaps colour accuracy and scene authenticity aren't quite the same thing. I think the faded look adds something to the atmosphere and makes it look less like a shiny heritage railway. The first photo shows shows the difference:
    1 point
  38. The APT has had a run in the garden. I shoved a 2 minute video together very quickly, I didn't have the time to edit it properly with intro.
    1 point
  39. A STONE BUILT OO GAUGE GARDEN RAILWAY VIADUCT FOR LESS THAN THE COST OF A DECENT WAGON! by MICK NORFOLK For me one of the most fascinating aspects of model railways are the civil engineering structures such as bridges and viaducts. On an indoor layout these are typically constructed of card or other lightweight materials over a wooden framework or former and are often finished to a high level of detail. However, for an outdoor layout we need something much more resilient from which to build our structure, something that can withstand the rigours of extreme weather, and in my opinion one of the most durable and visually realistic products we can use is stone, or more accurately, a standard lightweight building block. An outdoor layout isn't normally finished to the same high level of detail that we have come to expect from a similar layout housed indoors and so construction techniques are often quite different. I would imagine there are very few indoor models constructed using a mixture of sand and cement, certainly none that would be easily transportable, but such materials are the minimum requirement for extended outdoor use. Although the technique mentioned here would be equally suited to the construction of a variety of bridges, for the purpose of this article we will be concentrating on the construction of a stone viaduct. However, before we take a look at just what's involved it may be of interest to look back at my earlier attempt at making an OO gauge model railway viaduct from plywood so that you can understand why I would now highly recommend the use of stone. Sounding much like the title to a classic song, back in the summer of 2009 I finally realised my ambition of one day being able to construct a large model railway layout and from the outset I had decided that the layout, to be located by necessity outdoors, had to incorporate a viaduct. I had never built a model railway before but decided that the viaduct itself would be constructed from exterior grade plywood. The photograph below shows that particular viaduct under construction despite the fact that it appears to be more in a state of demolition. As you can see from the above photo, the main structure of the viaduct was constructed from 9mm exterior grade plywood with the arches cut out using an electric jigsaw. Plywood spacers joined the two sides together creating the inner arch walls and short sections of plastic guttering formed the curved roof of the individual arches. The viaduct was constructed in two separate sections, the longer section consisting of 11 arches and the smaller section with just 5. A short over-bridge, designed to resemble that spanning a waterway, connected the two sections together into one long structure with an overall length of 10 feet 6 inches. The full extent of the viaduct can be seen in the following photograph, again taken whilst still under construction. In an effort to make the viaduct look more realistic and in order to help protect it from the weather, I decided to cover the facing side of the plywood with a thinly applied coat of exterior grade Polyfilla. This was done with limited success but while I was happy with my first attempt it was clear the the plywood structure would be susceptible to the rain and so whenever the layout wasn't in use the viaduct itself was covered by a large tarpaulin to prevent the track bed becoming waterlogged. The final photograph shows the Polyfilla covering I applied to the plywood sides which did give the effect of the stone structure I was looking for but also highlights my rather crude attempt at adding a girder bridge across the central span. Rather abruptly, an unforeseen house move meant that the entire layout had to be dismantled before it ever reached completion and the plywood viaduct itself was consigned unceremoniously to the local recycling depot. The good news was that the move of home enabled me to begin the construction of a new outdoor OO gauge layout, one that would again include a viaduct, but with previous experiences to hand it was decided this time to build in a more robust material. My first thoughts for a new viaduct were that it might be possible to cast one completely in concrete. I've seen descriptions of structures made that way before using wooden shuttering to constrain the concrete mixture and polystyrene block formers for the arches which are later removed once the concrete has set sufficiently but it seemed like a lot of work with no guarantee of a perfect finish. Could there be an easier way...? I had almost resigned myself to building a viaduct out of cast concrete when a member of the OO Garden Railway forum suggested the use of Thermalite blocks for the track base I was building at the time. The track base required raising just a few inches off the ground and concrete foundations to such depth would have looked unsightly and so following that member's advice I purchased several lightweight Celcon aerated blocks which were described as being suitable for outdoor use. I hadn't realised just how lightweight those blocks actually were, or how easily they could be cut using just an old saw. It soon became apparent that they could also easily be shaped using a coarse file or rasp. It was then that I had the idea of using this type of building block to construct my new viaduct. It would hopefully be structurally very sound and in addition it should be fully weatherproof. A number of lightweight standard Celcon aerated blocks were purchased from my local DIY superstore and at less than £1.40 each they ultimately proved to be a very economical way to build a substantial viaduct structure. I decided to use the blocks in their upright position standing them on their shorter edge. The central section of each block would form a viaduct pillar and a narrow section from the lower two-thirds part of each edge would be cut out to create an half-arched shape leaving the cut block resembling the letter 'T'. The photograph below indicates where those cuts were to be made: As already mentioned, the blocks can be cut with very little effort using an old handsaw but that's just my personal tool of choice and I would imagine that most other types of saw would be equally suitable. A straight cut is made with the saw from the base of the block up to the line previously marked some two-thirds of the way up the block before an angled cut is made from the edge of the block to the recently cut line enabling the edge section of the block to be completely removed. You should eventually end up with something like this: The 2 edge sections can be put to one side - you might find a use for them later. Once you've completed a few more blocks and placed them side by side you'll find you have something that's just beginning to resemble a viaduct type structure. Okay, it's not quite a viaduct just yet but I'm sure you can see we're getting somewhere. How you progress from here is a matter of personal preference but I'll describe the way I chose and leave you to decide what's best for yourself. In a similar way to building a brick or block wall stand the cut and shaped block on end and cement the next block up to it. If your ground is soft then you may need to add a shallow concrete footing to prevent later ground movement disturbing your viaduct but because my ground was very rocky I simply added a good layer of mortar around the base of the pillars to secure them in place. You may find that one of the modern contact adhesives is sufficient to hold the blocks securely together at the top but in this instance I chose to mortar them in position. As you can see above, the first 5 blocks have been cemented in place with a narrow mortar gap between them whilst one full block on edge simply prevents any sideways movement until they have thoroughly dried. The base of the pillars is packed around with a mortar mix to hold them securely. Once the blocks have dried you are left with a very solid structure and you can begin using a coarse file or rasp to round out each individual shaped archway. Continue adding further blocks and rounding out the arched shapes for the full length of your viaduct. The more blocks you cement together the more impressive your viaduct begins to look, especially from the more unusual viewing angles. To improve the appearance of the flat top of the viaduct I cut small individual sections of aerated block and glued them in place to create a narrow overhanging ledge and rising sidewalls. These can be seen in the above photograph before being easily shaped using nothing more than a sheet of sandpaper. To prevent the top of the viaduct becoming waterlogged, drainage holes were drilled at an angle downwards through the top of the viaduct so that they emerged on the sidewalls above each viaduct pillar. Once completed the whole viaduct was then treated with a water repellent solution suitable for application to bricks and blocks in order to limit water ingress. You can see where the drainage channels, drilled at an angle into the top surface, emerge through the sidewalls of the viaduct at the top of each pillar in the photograph below. If all goes to plan you should end up with a very solid viaduct that will withstand all that winter has to throw at it without the need for the protection of a tarpaulin covering and be ready for running again the following Spring. Mick The above text and accompanying photographs are the copyright of the author, Mick Norfolk, and should not be reproduced without prior permission.
    1 point
  40. Spotted this on my bike ride today. Not sure what class it is, but definitely a 3-car EMU.
    1 point
  41. Hi, have made some improvements, smaller magnets (2mm dia x 3mm long) these can be better concealed and allow the loco to pull away without assistance. I have also remade the buffer stop in plastic and concealed the wires, still prototype stuff but works well. Just needs a bit more refinement. regards to all Steve
    1 point
  42. With a 5 year old being in control of trains outside, on a raised base where a derailment could be a bin bag job for the poor train involved, I got thinking we need some protection. I'll give our little boy credit, he's very mature for his age and treats the trains as models where as some of his friends might not be so gentle and on the ball. However, even I've had a near miss when a coach came free and I wasn't paying attention. I've looked at various solutions, most of which require purchasing something or another but decided to try and use things I already have. Plastic netting (left over from our Protectapet fence) Large cocktail sticks Outdoor fence paint Cable ties Staple gun and staples Due to the way the plastic netting bends the outside of the corners only requires a couple of posts to keep it tight. The inside requires double. It might not be the best looking but providing the cocktail sticks hold out it will require no maintenance.
    1 point
  43. Looking forward to seeing it progress in the New Year Barry. The photo including the snowplough is pretty apt this morning by the way- could you send it down this way?
    1 point
  44. Who would have thought that India Pale Ale would work like that? 😉
    1 point
  45. From the album: Worsley Dale

    Awaiting departure for Cattle Leys, 37025 'Inverness TMD' stands alongside the platform at Shieling Bridge with loaded OTA wagons.
    1 point
  46. From the album: Worsley Dale

    Watch House tunnel runs beneath the path leading to the central part of my garden and here we see 37025 as it emerges from the tunnel hauling a rake of 12 loaded OTA wagons.
    1 point
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