Buiding a Mini Tower Clock

Discussion in 'Clock Construction' started by WMello, Jan 31, 2016.

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  1. WMello

    WMello Registered User

    Jan 30, 2016
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    I'm building a mini Tower Clock.
    Yesterday was able to put it to run for the first time.

    First Tick:

    [video=vimeo;153618252]https://vimeo.com/153618252[/video]

    Wagner
     
  2. FDelGreco

    FDelGreco Registered User
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    Nice job. This looks like the John Wilding tower clock movement -- he has a book on how to make it. Is that what you used? I've only seen one other example.

    Frank
     
  3. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Hi Frank, thank you.

    Yes, it is based on the John Wilding book.

    Wagner
     
  4. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    very nice work!
     
  5. GregS

    GregS Registered User

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    I really enjoyed your videos. Beautiful work! Do you plan to run it daily when complete? Where you put it?
     
  6. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Hi GregS, thank you.

    The idea is to run it continually. There still a lot to do. When complete it will go somewhere in the house, probably by the (never lit) fireplace.

    I have plenty of pictures and some videos of the construction. Do you guys think it ok to post it here ?

    Wagner
     
  7. scottmiami

    scottmiami Registered User

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    Awesome!

    Yes, please post. I for one would love to see them.
     
  8. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    I think it would be great if you add your details and videos here.
     
  9. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Moderator
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    Wagner,
    Beautiful work and I love the details like the finials. It is definitely something to put on display and enjoy. It will be interesting to see what you come up with for a case. Feel free to post as many pictures and videos as you can.
    Gret job,
    Allan
     
  10. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Ok, here some.

    Pinions
    WheelCutting 065.jpg

    Pinion Cutting
    [video=vimeo;135307008]https://vimeo.com/135307008[/video]

    Depthing Tool
    Depthing 000.jpg

    Wheel Cutter
    GearCutter 002.png

    Main Wheel
    MainWheel 001.png

    Ratchet Wheel
    RatchetWheel 001.jpg

    Clicker + Spring
    ClickSpring 003.jpg

    Barrel
    Barrel 002.jpg

    Barrel 011.jpg

    More to come.

    Wagner
     
  11. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    #11 WMello, Feb 1, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
    Bearing Cocks + Plate + Pinion Spools + Wheel blank
    Parts 003.jpg

    Main Wheel Cutting

    [video=vimeo;140582441]https://vimeo.com/140582441[/video]

    Main Wheel crossing
    MainWheel 004.jpg

    Rotary table setup (we do what we have to do)
    LanternPinion 002.jpg

    Drilling Lantern Pinion spool
    LanternPinion 009.jpg

    Main Wheel (again)
    MainWheel 009.jpg

    Lantern Pinions
    LanternPinion 014.jpg

    Wagner
     
  12. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Collets + Wheel blanks
    Collets 001.jpg

    2nd + 3rd Wheels
    2nd3rdWheels 001.jpg

    Wheels
    Wheels 001.jpg

    Frame
    Frame 005.jpg

    Assembly 001.jpg

    Clicker
    [video=vimeo;148558019]https://vimeo.com/148558019[/video]
     
  13. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    2nd Arbor
    2ndArbor 003.jpg

    3rd Arbor
    3rdArbor 003.jpg

    Escapement Upright
    Upright 003.jpg

    Pendulum Support Apron
    Apron 002.jpg

    TowerClock 016.jpg

    Escape Wheel
    EscapeWheel 014.jpg

    The cutting
    EscapeWheel 999.JPG

    Crossing on the CNC
    EscapeWheel 015.jpg

    Finials
    Finial 007.jpg

    Finial 009.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  14. ccwk

    ccwk Registered User
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    Hello Wagner,
    Congratulations on a great looking project, and such a high standard of workmanship

    Looking forward to more pictures
    Thank you for sharing

    Conwae
     
  15. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User

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    Beautiful!.

    Thanks for including the pic of your rotary table. It's things like that that keep me mindful that we live in the same universe. :)
     
  16. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Just curious, what sort of machine control software are you using? Are you using a CAM package to convert drawings in to machine codes or doing everything in G&M codes or something similar?
     
  17. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Hi Conwae, Martin, Jim, thank you.

    Jim, I use CamBam to process drawings into G-Code. Except for the wheel cutting; for this I wrote simple code in C to produce the G-Code.

    Wagner

     
  18. tok-tokkie

    tok-tokkie Registered User

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    I am laughing at myself having watched the finial making vid.. I have a cnc machining center with 4th axis (rotary table) but had never thought of mounting a lathe tool in a vice and the workpiece in the spindle. So obvious once your eyes have been opened. Why could I not have seen that for myself?
    Many thanks.
     
  19. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Thanks for the information regarding using CAMBAM. I have been using SpectraCam since about 1992 and have more recently started using SheetCam on my newer CNC mill. I like SpectraCam as it is a very simple and easy to use program that is ideal for what I do, namely make clock parts for projects. That said, it only runs on older machines as it requires a dongle on a parallel port and for some reason will not recognize current add on parallel ports in more modern machines. So, I am looking at other programs. Appreciate your information and really nice work on your clock!
     
  20. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Hi Tok-Tokkie,

    About lathe operations on a CNC Mill, I saw in Youtube somebody doing it; marvelous idea.

    Cutting the Finials
    [video=vimeo;143555910]https://vimeo.com/143555910[/video]

    If you look closely, you will see that there was a problem on the Z axis; a case of bad "wandering Z". After the video was done, I've fixed it and run the parts a second time.

    Escape Arbor
    EscapeArbor 001.jpg

    TowerClock 019.jpg

    Motion Work
    IntMotion 002.jpg

    Depthing
    Depthing 001.jpg

    Crutch
    Crutch 003.jpg

    Crutch 006.jpg
     
  21. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User

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    Have you tried using an older version of windows running in a virtual machine? That's working for a lot of guys who had similar problems printing decals on ALPS MD printers.
     
  22. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    SpectraCam will run on more recent Windows machines. The parallel port dongle requirement is the real problem on more recent machines. Parallel ports have not been part of PC for a long time now and the add on parallel port cards do not work with this silly dongle. I have gone though 4 old model PC's in the last 10 years keeping this machine in service. It is a great machine, little used, that I bought new, and it was quite expensive.

    I have a request in to the company who now owns the well outdated product support to see about getting a non dongle upgrade SW, their last version does not require a dongle but rather uses a SW key.

    I was running the DOS machine controller in a virtual window yesterday on WIN 98. By the way, that is not advised on machine control as often WIN will do one of its interrupts, and that may well result in making scrap.....but it works fine with many SW packages....

    Martin, thanks for the thoughts on this. I just need to get rid of the required dongle SW and move on. My end goal is to get both my machines speaking the same language(s) and using application SW that is cross platform compatible.
     
  23. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Suspension
    Suspension 002.jpg

    Suspension 003.jpg

    Bevel Gears
    BevelGear 005.jpg

    Take Off Arbor
    TakeOffArbor 002.jpg

    TakeOffArbor 003.jpg

    Depthed and Planted
    TowerClock 021.jpg

    The beginning of the Keys
    Keys 001.jpg
     
  24. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Simulation
    PalletGif.gif

    Parts
    Parts 006.png

    Pallet Frame
    Pallet 003.jpg

    Pallet 007.jpg

    Crank and Key
    Keys 003.jpg

    Maintaining Device
    Maintaining 001.jpg
     
  25. Phil Burman

    Phil Burman Registered User

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    Very impressive piece of work, congratulations. How long has it taken you to get to this stage. I find the industrial nature of this type of clock sits well with my leaning towards all things mechanical. Another project added to the list.

    Well Done

    Phil:)
     
  26. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    #26 WMello, Feb 3, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
    Hi Phil, thank you,

    I've been working on this since September; nights and weekends.

    Those are all the pictures of the progress so far. Today had to remake the maintaining device frame; the one in the picture ended up too short.

    Received today 25 or so Lbs of lead for the weight and pendulum bob. If everything goes well will melt/cast it on the weekend.

    Wagner
     
  27. tok-tokkie

    tok-tokkie Registered User

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    I am interested in how you made the gear tooth fly cutters. I am wondering if you used the cnc to grind the profile onto the fly. If so details would be appreciated.
     
  28. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Hi Tok-tokkie

    Yes, I've milled the cutter profiles on the CNC.

    I've used two methods, one shown on this video:

    [video=vimeo;134848702]https://vimeo.com/134848702[/video]

    After it the disc is cut like this:
    Cutter1.jpg
    ClockWheelCutCNC 006.jpg

    Cutter1b.jpg

    This did not work very well. My CNC spindle is too fast for steel (8000 RPM min) and with the problem I had of the Z axis wandering (see post #20) the sides of the cutter ended up not exactly symmetrical.

    The second method is to cut the profile directly on the blank.

    The blank is mounted on the CNC vise inclined to 10 degrees upward to create the relief angle.
    I've used a 1/8" 4-flute end mill, shallow cuts and slow feed rate.

    Cutter2.jpg

    The relief is ok in most of the profile, but the faces marked in RED here are "improved" by hand with files ad a rotary tool grinder.

    Cutter2c.jpg

    Cutter2b.jpg
    GearCutter 002.png

    The cutters are made of W1 tool steel and water-hardened afterwards.

    Wagner
     
  29. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Forgot to mention:

    The CNC must be configured for "Exact Stop" G09/G61

    Wagner
     
  30. tok-tokkie

    tok-tokkie Registered User

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    Thanks for the video and the explanation and comments.
    I cut both involute and cycloidal teeth but I did it by drawing the whole gear and profile cutting it from brass plate (wheels) or silver steel (British term - you call it something else) for pnions with a 1mm end mill. Worked OK but I should have done a roughing cut leaving about 0.1mm for a finishing cut - I did it as a single cut with shallow downstep so it took a few passes to get the full depth. To make wider gears I cut several and laminated them together.
     
  31. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Maintaining
    Maintaining 005.jpg

    Hands
    Hands 001.jpg
     
  32. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Hello Wagner,

    WOW! Not only is your workmanship first class but your photos are equally impressive.

    You mention nights & weekends - is your day job machining related?

    Many thanks for documenting this excellent build so well and sharing it with us.

    :thumb:
     
  33. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Hi jhe.1973, thank you

    My day job is writing software. Machining is just a hobby.

    I wander what do you guys use for finishing hands.
    Heat blued steel, gun blue, painted brass is ok ? What paint ?

    Wagner
     
  34. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    I greatly prefer bluing with heat. After getting the colors right I coat the hands with a very thin coating of clear lacquer to prevent rust. It is not quite as nice as uncoated but rust is worse
     
  35. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Working on the Weight, Pendulum and Pulleys
    Weight 002.jpg
     
  36. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    #36 WMello, Feb 21, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
    Still working on it

    ?temp_hash=23414e0534b7d093e1defc90500d843d.jpg


    ?temp_hash=23414e0534b7d093e1defc90500d843d.jpg


    Finial cutting, real time.
    [video=vimeo;156194285]https://vimeo.com/156194285[/video]
    Boring... skip to the end.

    Wagner
     

    Attached Files:

  37. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Weight
    Weight 008.jpg

    Weight 007.jpg

    Pendulum Bob
    Pendulum 005.jpg

    Wagner
     
  38. doc_fields

    doc_fields Registered User

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    Great job! I admire your machining skills. Just wondered if you are installing stopworks for the weight; that finial on top sure could poke something if cranked too high!:D:D I like the pulley structure you've created and fastened to the weight, never thought of that.............................doc
     
  39. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Hi Doc, thank you,

    Stops for the weight are not in the plan, but I will think about it.
    I already poked myself with the finials a few times...

    Wagner
     
  40. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    State of the Thing
    [video=vimeo;157870857]https://vimeo.com/157870857[/video]
     
  41. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Research

    In order to make 2 small dials for the clock,fancy font, fine lines. Testing several methods:

    1 - Hand paint/hand engrave.
    No way; I can't even hand write my name on a presentable way.

    2 - V bit engrave on the CNC.
    Hard to make plate level/flat on the Z axis. Engraving too wide/bold.

    3 - Diamond drag-engrave.
    Engraving too shallow; no depth for paint filling

    4 - PNP blue toner transfer resist, acid etching.
    No good result so far with clothes iron; waiting for pocket laminator arrival.

    5 - Dry film photoresist, acid etching.
    No good result so far; too many variables (exposure, developer ...); waiting for pocket laminator.

    6 - Paint resist, drag engrave CNC, acid etching.
    The best result so far.

    7- Water slide transfer...

    Here some results for method 6:

    Resist candidates:
    DialTest 008.jpg

    Drag engraved samples
    DialTest 001.jpg
    # 2 didn't survive engraving.

    Detail
    DialTest 004.jpg

    Acid bath. Ferric chloride 1 hour 15 minutes.
    DialTest 009.jpg
    #6 didn't survive acid, #5 did not go well. (the stamped numbers are wrong)

    Cleaned of resist layer
    DialTest 010.jpg

    Paint filling
    DialTest 012.jpg

    Detail for #7
    DialTest 016.jpg

    Sand paper cleaned
    DialTest 017.jpg

    Detail #1
    DialTest 019.jpg

    Detail #7
    DialTest 022.jpg

    The winner
    DialTest 023.jpg

    The engraver
    DialTest 026.jpg

    I will try the Water Slide transfer method, and again the PNP and Dry Photoresist methods when the pocket laminator arrives.

    Wagner
     
  42. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User

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    #42 MartinM, Mar 7, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
    Unless there's some product and process out there that I haven't seen, the waterslide decal route isn't going to work. Whether you use inkjet paper or paper designed for laser/ALPS wax, the 'paper' used would need to be cut by hand. Honestly, my best experience with etching was with a combination of rub-on transfers and a sharpie ultra fine permanent marker.
    I believe there are certain laser printers that can print on solid sheet metal as they have a flat paper path. I believe you need to polish the edges of your material to keep from scratching the printer's drum. Some folks have had good luck printing in reverse (and negative as you've been doing) on photo glossy paper using solid black and then transferring the toner from the paper to your board with an iron or by running through a thermal laminator if the material is thin enough.
    If you know someone with a vinyl cutter, they may be able to recreate your mask without too much effort and it'll be essentially perfect and last longer than you need it to for the etching you're doing.

    ETA. Have you tried Nikolas lacquer? The stuff is in a whole different class from all the other rattle can lacquers. I can scratch off the average clear lacquer applied on freshly polished and cleaned brass with a fingernail. Nikolas is a much more durable and industrial product.
     
  43. tok-tokkie

    tok-tokkie Registered User

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    I agree with the difficulty of V-bit engraving. To overcome the depthing difficulty I clamped the work, did a facing cut to level it in Z then the engraving.

    I am interested in knowing the dive weight you are using - weight, distance of fall and duration of fall. A 1 sec pendulum; what is the swing, I saw the swing scale but is it degrees or inches? Why I am interested in the drive weight is I am building a 1 second clock where something is changing such that I am having to increase the drive weight with the passage of time. It was running on a pretty low weight but now it is much greater. From the action of your clock you have quite a bit of excess weight so the action is very crisp.
     
  44. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Hello MartinM and Tok-Tokkie, thank you for your comments,

    Martin, I don't have much hope on the waterslide decal, but will try anyway. The toner transfer method did not work well for the fine lines and small characters, even using a commercial paper/film (PNP blue); I have a laminator arriving this week and will try again.

    The photoresist film is the more elegant method, but has too many variables like exposure time, UV light power/distance, developer solution concentration/time. The printing on the film was clear and crisp, but the transfer/exposure/develop was not really good on any sample (I did 7 combinations). Will try again having the laminator to improve transfer.

    I think the Dykem Steel Blue + CNC drag engraving + etching method test produced good results, like on the sample #7 above. Note that the images where not printed; the blue resist (Dykem) was removed by dragging (scratching) a diamond engraver over the plate surface. I've used a CNC machine with the spindle off, but the same result can be had by hand, if one has good coordination. The engraver pressure was made constant by the a spring.

    I have used Nikolas lacquer before for other purposes, thank you for the tip, will try to get a new can.

    Tok-Tokkie, the scale seen in the video is in degrees; the swing now is about 3.6 degrees. The weight is 18 Lbs and it falls 1.3 inches per hour (2.5 inch diameter barrel, 6 hours per turn); I am using one pulley, so two-fall configuration and 0.65 inches per hour. The mechanism will drive a large dial via the bevel gears and a long shaft, so the weight must be significant.

    Wagner
     
  45. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User

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    Wagner,

    It occurs to me that you may be able to use a local circuit board maker. Their equipment is usually quite good for producing crisp, clean images on copper. I'd expect Brass to be quite similar where their equipment was concerned. Even if they can't help with a photoresist solution, they may be able to do a silkscreen that is passable.

    http://www.thomasnet.com/virginia/printed-circuit-boards-pcb-5970603-1.html
     
  46. tok-tokkie

    tok-tokkie Registered User

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  47. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Hi Martin, Tok-Tokkie,

    Martin, that's a good idea, maybe worth of pursuing.

    Tok-Tokkie, thank you for the links; beautiful work, I'm almost ashamed of showing my stuff.

    Here my attempt at direct cutting the engraving on the CNC:
    DialTest99.jpg

    The larger part was engraved on the Cnc with a 60 degree "v" bit. The upper part was done with the Dry Photoresist film.

    Thanks to you I've just ordered some 30 degree bits and will try the direct engraving path again. I've noticed the flat milling of the blank top to make it "level".

    And yes, the weight falls 0.65 inches per hour, drawing 1.3 inches of cable from the drum.

    Wagner
     
  48. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Pulley
    Pulley 002.jpg

    Washers
    Washers 001.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    Engraving
    Engraving 002.jpg

    Engraving 003.jpg

    Engraving 006.jpg

    Engraving 008.jpg

    Engraving 010.jpg
     
  49. WMello

    WMello Registered User

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    Seconds Dial (First Option)
    Engraving 013.jpg

    Engraving 015.jpg
     
  50. WMello

    WMello Registered User

    Jan 30, 2016
    152
    14
    18
    Herndon, VA
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    PNP blue toner transfer resist
    C118120.jpg
    Two of the best results. Don't bother etching, too many flaws.

    Dry film photoresist
    CAM01122.jpg

    C123125.jpg
    A lot of flaws. The second one deserves etching.

    C126127.jpg

    I really don't like the chemical processes; there is too many variables. But the Photoresist is worth trying harder.

    I've tried my best to clean the brass plate before applying the film and used a good grade laminator, at the recommended temperature.

    By the way, I found out that fancy dish soap leaves a disgusting layer of oils on the washed piece.


    Wagner
     

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