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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:01 am 
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neologan wrote:
I grabbed an R3 several days ago. I'm very happy with the build quality and performance.

Excellent case, though. I've got to say, however, that it hasn't really made a big dent in noise levels.

In another thread, the point was made that the fans mounted on the main case panels -- back, front, sides, top -- are often the primary determinants of noise. This is an issue I refer to in the Case Basics article --

"Good acoustic damping can reduce the noise by several decibels, and more at higher frequencies. But the need for airflow leaves at least a couple of open fan holes through which fan and HDD noise always come through. The best approach is to get the noise of those components to a minimum first, and then consider whether acoustic damping might help further."

Thicker, sturdier, better damped case panels can help lower the noise of components inside the the case, but the front or back panel fans are practically out of the case anyway, so the direct airborne noise from them cannot be reduced by a better case. If a case provides 10 dB reduction through its panels, then the CPU heatsink fan in its center will benefit... but the open back panel vents lets the sound out directly, so the overall sound you hear from that fan is not -10 dB, it will depend a lot on what direction you measure from. Perhaps from the front, with a closed door on the case, the fan noise will be close to -10 dB. But definitely not from the back.

If you measure the noise of cases from 1m directly behind them and mount the same CPU HS fan in all of them, I doubt we'd see more than a 1 dB difference in SPL among cases, maybe another dB lower for the ones with are heavily damped with sound absorbent materials. Mount that same fan on the back panel, and there'd be no variation in the SPL at all. That's assuming panel vibration is tightly controlled -- for example, if the fan is soft-rubber grommet mounted. (You might then ask, would a long well-damped tunnel though which the fan blows air out help reduce the noise? The answer is no, that tunnel would introduce its own air resonances, which would actually accentuate and amplifiy certain aspects of the fan noise.)

So going back to your LianLi vs Fractal noise perception, it's not a surprise. If noise from vibration in the LianLi was well controlled, and the quality of the fans in the panels of the 2 cases are similar, there's not much reason for any difference. I'd be surprised if there wasn't at least a subtle qualitative improvement -- thin aluminum panel easily pick up vibration from HDDs & fans, and lend a certain level of haze in mid and higher frequencies from overtones.

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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:48 am 
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I can only concur, from personal experience, with MikeC's expert observations: my first silent build long ago (in a Sonata 1 not so far away) weighed some 15 kg and was stuffed with foam and bitumen on all surfaces, yet it was still noisy under load due to the beast within. :lol:

Some five builds (Sonata 2, P180B, CM Sileo 500 (x2), Define Mini) later the only material I now use is tape to plug up unwanted airways (or "dustways"). A tight (opening-controlled, if you will) and robust case with stiff panels is great, but for blissful, lasting quiet you need well-regulated, quiet components as well. Silence, as understood in its ultimate form, might take some more effort with the right materials, but not much, as can be seen from the Puget Systems Serenity Mini in its SPCR review.

Hope you enjoy the R3 - it's no doubt a quality case with a good price/performance ratio, and with the right components probably a quiet one too.

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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:23 pm 
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I'm curious now to know what more i could attempt with my system to get the noise down. Any tips on how to best cut the noise from those protruding front/back fans for better results?

Both are 1450rpm Gentle Typhoons using the R3's fan controller at min setting (not actually sure what voltage that bring them down to actually).

- Perhaps the removal of the front fan could be a possibility?
- Cutting out the fan grill stamped on the back fan may remove some whooshing noise, correct?
- Rubber gromits on the back fan?

I forgot to mention the i have disabled the little 60mm fan in the M12, utterly pointless as the Corsair model doesn't include this anyway.

The Extreme Plus II runs at 20% at idle, which means that 6970 is extremely quiet, too.


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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:55 pm 
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neologan wrote:
I'm curious now to know what more i could attempt with my system to get the noise down. Any tips on how to best cut the noise from those protruding front/back fans for better results?

Start by slowing the fans down further, perhaps using a mobo fan controller -- if it has one. Remove the front fan and see what happens to temps (and noise, of course) -- if the CPU and back panel fans are in line, then they're going to drawing in from the nearest, least impeded vent, which should be the front vents. You might try blocking off all other vents (at least temporarily), especially the ones on the back panel, as air can inflow through those. You actually want the air to come in from the front, so that its flow can have a cooling effect on components.

I would not bother cutting the grill, as it's decently minimal & if the fan speed is low enough, the noise difference will be minimal. As for rubber grommets -- only if you can hear the panel being vibrated and casing noise because of the fan.

A final question is whether the M12 PSU is loud enough to be audible when the system is at idle.

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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:24 pm 
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Das_Saunamies wrote:
And forward-facing, bright-blue LEDs without a door, seriously? How does this fit in a living room or bedroom workspace?

Consider not connecting the (power) LED.


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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:18 am 
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I was debating between the R3, the MIDI, and Solo II and ended up with the Solo II. As was said upthread, for one big video card and not many drives it's probably the best choice if you can swing the $$.
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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:32 am 
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Olaf van der Spek wrote:
Das_Saunamies wrote:
And forward-facing, bright-blue LEDs without a door, seriously? How does this fit in a living room or bedroom workspace?

Consider not connecting the (power) LED.


That's what I do, and have done with the HDD activity LEDs as well - considering that this is a 120 euro case, it should be pretty damn perfect. :P

PS. Fractal Design offers a variety of colours with their R3, LEDs included (red for white being my favourite), for 100 euros. It's a pet peeve of mine that most everyone else still insists on using superbright blue even though it's 2011.

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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:47 am 
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MikeC wrote:
neologan wrote:
I'm curious now to know what more i could attempt with my system to get the noise down. Any tips on how to best cut the noise from those protruding front/back fans for better results?

Start by slowing the fans down further, perhaps using a mobo fan controller -- if it has one. Remove the front fan and see what happens to temps (and noise, of course) -- if the CPU and back panel fans are in line, then they're going to drawing in from the nearest, least impeded vent, which should be the front vents. You might try blocking off all other vents (at least temporarily), especially the ones on the back panel, as air can inflow through those. You actually want the air to come in from the front, so that its flow can have a cooling effect on components.

I would not bother cutting the grill, as it's decently minimal & if the fan speed is low enough, the noise difference will be minimal. As for rubber grommets -- only if you can hear the panel being vibrated and casing noise because of the fan.

A final question is whether the M12 PSU is loud enough to be audible when the system is at idle.


Not sure my Gigabyte board supports fan control other than on one header - shame (unless I'm missing something about how to set it up?). I have an old Coolermaster fan controller i can throw in which might get the noise down a little.

Will try your tips and report on progress later.


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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:47 am 
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Discovered with a few tips found in another thread here that my board has two fan headers with support for PWM. I really need three though, but it's better than nothing.

Also discovered that by far, the M12 is the one causing the excess noise. I can't justify £120 for a new one, so was wondering if it's plausible to replace the fan inside?

*EDIT* the fan in the M12 is this:

Code:
Frame Dimensions                       Bearing  Volts Current Power   Speed  Air Flow Pressure  Noise Weight    Features                           Units Per
        (mm)          Model Part Number    Type     (V)    (A)    (W)    (RPM)   (CFM)    (Inches) (dB/A)  (g)     Available      Safety Approvals    Box      Box Wt. (lbs.)

120 X 120 X 25     AD1212HB-A71GL         BALL     12    0.37    4.44    2200    85.2     0.136   39.1    156        1          UL,CUL,TUV,CE           90       30.80


Perhaps replacing it with the 1450rpm GT, or would that be to slow?


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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:05 am 
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neologan wrote:
Perhaps replacing it with the 1450rpm GT, or would that be to slow?

Probably fine. I replaced the fan in my Corsair HX520W (Seasonic) with a Scythe S-Flex 1600rpm.

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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:38 am 
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neologan wrote:
Discovered with a few tips found in another thread here that my board has two fan headers with support for PWM. I really need three though, but it's better than nothing.


Use one of these: http://www.akasa.com.tw/update.php?tpl=product/product.detail.tpl&no=181&type=Cables&type_sub=Fan%20Cable%20Adapters&model=AK-CB002

I use that for all the exhaust and cooler fans, just need one header (CPU) - and all PWM fans, of course. The Arctic Cooling ones are cheap, quiet and have served me well.

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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:59 am 
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Might get one of those cables - thanks.

Did the mod on my PSU. Put a Gentle Typhoon 1450rpm in place of the ADDA 2100rpm fan. I can finally say that with this mod and the case fans now controlled with speedfan at around 700rpm, the PC is finally down where I've always wanted it to be. It's genuinely almost silent now.

When you get this sort of silence it feels like such a luxury :)

Current setup is:

Gentle typhoon back (6v) and front (4.5v)
CPU fan at 790rpm (controlled to ramp up slowly with speedfan).
6970 with Arctic Cooling Extreme Plus II at 20% fan speed.
The 2TB WD Green HDD suspended in a rubber cage.
The 700w M12 modded with GT 1450rpm fan (the 60mm fan disabled).
And the Define R3 muffling out most of the extrem high end pitches from voltage.

Not sure how the temps will hold out tonight when I game with it, but i see no reason for it to struggle.


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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:32 pm 
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Can you controll non-pwm fans with a non-pwm fans with speedfan?

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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:15 pm 
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Last December I ended up with a system in Solo II: Thermalright Archon with two TY-150, GTX580 with Accelero Xtreme Plus, Seasonic X-660 and three NB-BlackSilentPRO PL-1 @ 650 rpm as case fans. The system is inaudible under the table for low-medium loads and becomes audible only under full load when both PSU's and Archon's fans rise their rpms.

And yes, Archon fits in Solo II, although it might not look like it does. It probably touches the side panel via tips of the heatpipes, but just barely, the side panel locks in place without any interference.


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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:09 am 
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Good to know that fits. What is your motherboard?


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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:08 am 
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neologan wrote:
Might get one of those cables - thanks.

Did the mod on my PSU. Put a Gentle Typhoon 1450rpm in place of the ADDA 2100rpm fan. I can finally say that with this mod and the case fans now controlled with speedfan at around 700rpm, the PC is finally down where I've always wanted it to be. It's genuinely almost silent now.


Well it's good until your PSU burns itself up.

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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:18 pm 
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As a very happy owner of the original Solo, I am impressed by the Solo II. 2x120mm fans at the front is awesome, and I like the PSU on top with it's own intake. That completely removes it from the rest of the system. Even replacing the PSU would be easy with the removable brace. Add the ability to use long graphics cards pretty much sells me on it.

If I were building a new PC, I would absolutely use the SOLO II. A couple of 1,000rpm max fans at the front would help drive enough fresh air into the case to make sure enough air is circulating, I am sure, even with a capable gaming set up. It is a little expensive, but I know it's well manufactured and I have no problems paying for quality products.

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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:44 pm 
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lb_felipe wrote:
Good to know that fits. What is your motherboard?

Asus P8Z68 Deluxe


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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:45 pm 
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Thanks.

You said that the tip of the heatpipes touch the inside of the side panel. Does this contact do some kind of pressure on the panel or is a soft touch?

In other words, can we say that the Archon completely Rev. A is compatible with the SOLO II without any exception?

If you can post pictures, please do so I will be grateful.


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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:37 pm 
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Hey there,

In the review it mentioned that you can technically fit 5 hard drives using sleds and the suspension. Is that really possible?


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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 5:53 pm 
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lb_felipe wrote:
Thanks.

You said that the tip of the heatpipes touch the inside of the side panel. Does this contact do some kind of pressure on the panel or is a soft touch?

In other words, can we say that the Archon completely Rev. A is compatible with the SOLO II without any exception?

If you can post pictures, please do so I will be grateful.

Well, there's no sign of pressure on side panels interior, but it's most likely because the interior side of the panel has very hard noise-cancelling cover unlike some foam-like cover in other cases. Still, it's definitely not a substantial pressure, as the side panels locks in place without any effort.

Pictures can't really tell whether pipes (or TY-150 fans in my case) extend out of case, as it is really a close call. I'd say Archon is compatible.


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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 5:57 pm 
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Nexitus wrote:
Hey there,

In the review it mentioned that you can technically fit 5 hard drives using sleds and the suspension. Is that really possible?


I don't think it's possible, unless you put drives in 5.25'' bay. I recently had some trouble fitting two 2.5'' SSDs and two 3.5'' HDDs into that drive cage. You can either have two 3.5 HDDs suspended or three 3.5 HDDs in Antec's drive racks. In my case one of SSDs had to be left lying on the bottom of the cage without being attached to anywhere, since I wanted to have two 3.5 HDDs suspended to avoid vibration. The second SSD is in drive rack, tucked at top position.


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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 7:05 pm 
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It's unclear why people are so OC about SSD mounting -- you can put them just about anywhere, mounted in anyway. There are no heat, vibration, physical alignment/angle (HDDs want to be "square" to gravity for best wear on bearings) or noise issues. No different, really, from a USB flash drive.

Some methods I've used:

1. zap-strapped to a spare space on a side or bottom panel
2. screwed to the outside of a drive cage
3. screwed to an adapted PCI slot cover, hanging over an unused PCI slot

Other ways I considered --
4. squeezed in atop a 3.5" drive in a No-vibe suspension (or similar DIY)
5. friction fit between back of mobo tray and the cover on that side
6. taped to the top of an optical drive -- there's usually a space above it.

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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 7:10 am 
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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 2:34 pm 
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Nazgul wrote:
lb_felipe wrote:
Thanks.

You said that the tip of the heatpipes touch the inside of the side panel. Does this contact do some kind of pressure on the panel or is a soft touch?

In other words, can we say that the Archon completely Rev. A is compatible with the SOLO II without any exception?

If you can post pictures, please do so I will be grateful.

Well, there's no sign of pressure on side panels interior, but it's most likely because the interior side of the panel has very hard noise-cancelling cover unlike some foam-like cover in other cases. Still, it's definitely not a substantial pressure, as the side panels locks in place without any effort.

Pictures can't really tell whether pipes (or TY-150 fans in my case) extend out of case, as it is really a close call. I'd say Archon is compatible.


Again, thank you.

I just saw that the Archon Rev.A with its 150mm fan is 175mm high. It isn't the tip of heatpipes which achieves the highest level, but the end of its 150mm fan.

What I wonder is whether the closing of side panel makes the 150mm fan to move in its place, that's if it is pushed to down (towards the motherboard) when the panel is placed.


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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 8:44 am 
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I really can't understand all the negativity. I read all the reviews and did the research and if you have a typical system (one 5.25 drive and 1 to 3 hard drives) I'm finding it hard to find any significant faults with the SOLO II. Subjectively, I like the clean design and lack of door (I always keep the door on my P180 open anyway). However, it's the solid build, layout and USB 3.0 ports that sold me.

I ordered one today. We'll see how it works out compared to my current P180.

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 Post subject: fanless PSU in solo ii
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 6:22 pm 
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Perhaps someone can answer this for me. How well would the Solo II work with, say, the Seasonic X-400? Given an 80 W CPU, what would the maximum GPU be?


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 Post subject: Re: fanless PSU in solo ii
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 6:45 pm 
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atmartens wrote:
Perhaps someone can answer this for me. How well would the Solo II work with, say, the Seasonic X-400? Given an 80 W CPU, what would the maximum GPU be?


I'd turn that around and say, why not get the X560 instead and not worry about how much gpu you can put in the case. Same price as the x400, silent for idle/non-gaming use, and the fan starts when gaming (and the minimal added fan noise won't be heard over the game).

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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:02 pm 
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I already own the x-400, and am considering shuffling some parts around and building a new computer. Getting a new, fancy PSU isn't out of the question, but if it's not necessary then I'd save a few bucks by putting a cheaper PSU in the computer which doesn't need to be so quiet.


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 Post subject: Re: I give you the ANTEC SOLO II
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:30 pm 
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Posts: 4637
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Aha. Lawrence's test system had a 125W CPU and a 160W GPU and temps were fine when he added a lower intake fan. So, you could probably put a 200W gpu in there and still be ok temp-wise for the x400.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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