Improving Car Reception - Antenna Talk - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 90 Old 06-24-2007, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TydalForce View Post

OK My last experiment, I SWEAR

I found what appears to be an awesome AM/FM Antenna from Firestik (they make lots of CB equipment)...

http://www.westcoastmall.net/firesti...-antenna/212/p (also comes in a 4-foot version)

Combined with a "Trunk Lip Mount" so I don't have to drill....
http://www.westcoastmall.net/firesti...ip-mount/257/p

And some cable:
http://www.westcoastmall.net/firesti...ex-coax/1642/p

And I just might have myself a solution that doesn't totally suck. According to the specs, it looks like I should have no problem attaching that mount to my trunk (center, closest to the rear windshield) and then running the cable into the trunk and through the car to the stereo. Although it might block the trunk from opening slightly, it looks like it'll be within a tolerable limit.

I'll keep everyone who still pays attention to this thread posted. My gosh, I hope *somebody*'s finding this useful or interesting!

man i was under the impression from your previous postings that the amplifier solved your problems. so i ordered an amplifier as well... i guess that didn't do the trick?
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post #32 of 90 Old 06-24-2007, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tipton View Post

man i was under the impression from your previous postings that the amplifier solved your problems. so i ordered an amplifier as well... i guess that didn't do the trick?

The amp helps, definitely. And I plan on keeping it in the line. However, if you're not receiving a signal there's nothing to amplify.

I live just outside Philadelphia, so my average daily commute to and from work is perfect. However, my weekends have me traveling out to Lancaster -- out of the Philly area, and into another. It's that drive that irks me the most since my route has lots of ups and downs, around bends, etc. All the stuff that gets in the way of radio reception, on top of the distance. I notice the amp improves things in some spots, but not in others.

Digital reception in the car is a lot like digital reception for you TV. Except you're moving!

Which amp did you get? And what kind of antenna is already built into your car? And, I suppose, which HD Radio are you using?

I don't think buying the amp is a bad idea. It's easy to install, inexpensive, and you should notice an improvement. I, however, am never happy with things and insist on perfection. And I just hate the antenna on my car because I *know* it could be better! I didn't know these "lip mount" things existed, and while researching them I found the Firestik AM/FM Antenna too. I couldn't resist...
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post #33 of 90 Old 06-24-2007, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TydalForce View Post

The amp helps, definitely. And I plan on keeping it in the line. However, if you're not receiving a signal there's nothing to amplify.

I live just outside Philadelphia, so my average daily commute to and from work is perfect. However, my weekends have me traveling out to Lancaster -- out of the Philly area, and into another. It's that drive that irks me the most since my route has lots of ups and downs, around bends, etc. All the stuff that gets in the way of radio reception, on top of the distance. I notice the amp improves things in some spots, but not in others.

Digital reception in the car is a lot like digital reception for you TV. Except you're moving!

Which amp did you get? And what kind of antenna is already built into your car? And, I suppose, which HD Radio are you using?

I don't think buying the amp is a bad idea. It's easy to install, inexpensive, and you should notice an improvement. I, however, am never happy with things and insist on perfection. And I just hate the antenna on my car because I *know* it could be better! I didn't know these "lip mount" things existed, and while researching them I found the Firestik AM/FM Antenna too. I couldn't resist...

haha, i know that area. i don't know if there is anything you can do outside of getting one of those huge ass antennas i see truckers get on their cars. one that is like 12 feet tall.

right now i have an AM station that on some days comes in fairly well, on others it goes in and out and is hard to lock. my favorite sports talk shows are on that station so since i can always get a small HD signal but sometimes can't get it to lock i'm hoping the amplifier does the trick. i just have the JVC hd head unit with my standard car antenna. i got the same amplifier that you linked earlier in this thread.
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post #34 of 90 Old 06-24-2007, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tipton View Post

haha, i know that area. i don't know if there is anything you can do outside of getting one of those huge ass antennas i see truckers get on their cars. one that is like 12 feet tall.

right now i have an AM station that on some days comes in fairly well, on others it goes in and out and is hard to lock. my favorite sports talk shows are on that station so since i can always get a small HD signal but sometimes can't get it to lock i'm hoping the amplifier does the trick. i just have the JVC hd head unit with my standard car antenna. i got the same amplifier that you linked earlier in this thread.

Yes, this is the closest to a "huge ass antenna" I feel comfortable putting on my little Subaru Legacy. It also comes in a 4 foot version; i think that'd be pushing things a bit ;-}

Start with the amp. Is your antenna the traditional "metal stick" style? Or on-the-windshield like mine? Or the slanty off-the-roof Euro style?

If it's any of the non-windshield kinds, you've got some flexibility in replacing it should you decide to do so, since there's already a hole drilled through the body. You might be able to get a better antenna.

And since you specifically mentioned AM... check this thing out:

http://www.westcoastmall.net/accesso...antenna/1943/p
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post #35 of 90 Old 07-02-2007, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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For anyone still paying attention....

My new super antenna and equipment arrived today. It took me a little over an hour to unpack everything, set it up, install it, and test. In fairness, about 15-20 minutes of that was me trying to put everything together with the wrong bolt. Duh...

18' of cable, could have used another foot or two. In order to tuck away all the wires, I had to skip the signal amp. If I decide I want to keep the amp, I can just move it somewhere else.

Without the Amp, already I'm seeing an improvement in FM Reception. Sweet.
AM reception, analog sounded quieter. With the amp, it sounded good.
But, without the amp, as I was driving around my neighborhood, this one station (Skin Radio WHAT) was picking up the digital. Normally, along this route, I'd maybe pick up the analog but no HD. That I was picking up this much HD was quite impressive.

Now the car's in the shop for maintenance and service, so I won't be able to drive it around a lot for a day or two. But so far, I'm impressed and happy!
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post #36 of 90 Old 07-02-2007, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisW6ATV View Post

There are certainly no-drill antenna mounts of many types for ham radio antennas, but I have never seen an AM/FM broadcast antenna that fits any of these mounts.

Tydal-

The Firestik products you found are exactly what I had in mind when I made the comment above. I did not know such an antenna existed, and I am glad to hear that it is working well so far.

Chris

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post #37 of 90 Old 07-03-2007, 04:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm rather annoyed with myself for taking so long to find the things, and I'm disappointed that westcoastmall was the only place I could *find* Firestik's AMFM Antenna (they don't even have it on their own website!) But it was very easy to install, feels secure, and so far sounds great.

I think I need to get one of those "springs" though. The antenna hits the roof of the car when I open the trunk, and it sticks up 3 feet. I'll post a couple photos later...
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post #38 of 90 Old 07-03-2007, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
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If anyone's interested in what it looks like installed,
http://www.tydalforce.net/hdjump/antenna there's 3 photos
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post #39 of 90 Old 07-04-2007, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TydalForce View Post

If anyone's interested in what it looks like installed,
http://www.tydalforce.net/hdjump/antenna there's 3 photos

Wow now you're getting serious! How did you run the cable into your car so it doesn't leak?

I found one more inside antenna that might work: http://www.tmtuning.com/HOME/catalog...lt_product=873

Otherwise I'm going to do with the drill a 1/2 hole in new looking car's roof. I'm over it, I just want reception.
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post #40 of 90 Old 07-04-2007, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zip-Lock View Post

Wow now you're getting serious! How did you run the cable into your car so it doesn't leak?

Well, the cable is your average thickness for antenna cable, and it's just looped around and feeding over the weatherstripping.

I should take a picture or two of the inside, and maybe even scan the install instructions for the mount kit.

In all honesty, I can't say that it doesn't leak. I have to keep an eye on it ;-}

So far, reception is noticeably better than the stock antenna + amp. The cable wasn't quite long enough to use the amp where it's been, so I need to get creative. I do want to put the amp back on and then I think I'll be done.

I didn't find the one you found during my research, but I suspect it would give the same results as the other inside-the-car kits; reasonable, but not great. They weren't better than my stock antenna.
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post #41 of 90 Old 07-05-2007, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Zip-Lock View Post

Wow now you're getting serious! How did you run the cable into your car so it doesn't leak?

A standard feature of mounts like the one Tydalforce used is that they route the coax cable in an S-shaped path over the lip of the trunk to avoid creating a leak spot.

Chris

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post #42 of 90 Old 07-05-2007, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TydalForce View Post

I think I need to get one of those "springs" though. The antenna hits the roof of the car when I open the trunk, and it sticks up 3 feet.

The spring is a good idea, partly because it will reduce stress on the mount when driving and/or opening and closing the trunk. However, it may increase, not decrease, the "boing-boing" of the antenna hitting the car's roof, unless you get in the habit of holding the trunk lid and raising it slowly.

Chris

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post #43 of 90 Old 07-06-2007, 04:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I need the spring; if I open the trunk - even slowly - when it's at the completely open position the antenna is pushing against the roof of the car. I don't like that stress, and I can see myself one day forgetting and letting the trunk fly open...

Spring will be here Monday according to UPS ;-}
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post #44 of 90 Old 07-07-2007, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Spring came yesterday. Surprise! Easy enough to install.

To my surprise, it actually seems to be improving reception! Maybe it's the extra height, or the extra bit of metal... but it made a difference. I'm happy (c:
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post #45 of 90 Old 07-07-2007, 01:35 PM
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Excellent. Yes, the extra length could improve reception, especially on FM.

Chris

"It's [expletive] lame to watch Jaws, a film that uses the 2.40 ratio as well as any ever produced, in the wrong format on HBO." -Steven Soderbergh, Oscar-winning director

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post #46 of 90 Old 07-07-2007, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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The thing's only like 3-4 inches so I didn't expect it to have any impact... oh well, i'm not complaining! ;-}
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post #47 of 90 Old 07-23-2007, 06:44 AM
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Yesterday I tried an eight foot long boat am/fm antenna I just picked up for my sister-in-laws Searay. I could not drive around but did find that it picked up 5 more FM and 2 more AM stations than the PT Cruiser's OEM antenna. Too bad you can't drive around with one of those bad boys mounted to the trunk.

Richard
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post #48 of 90 Old 08-26-2007, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
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An update, since this thread was recently mentioned in another....

I have the signal amp hooked up to my new big antenna. Sometimes it helps, except when I'm really close to the transmitters. When I'm close, the digital drops out and the analog has static. Simple signal overload; turning off the amp clears it right up.

Getting farther away though, I'm not sure how much the amp does for me. Sometimes it seems to help, sometimes I get the impression it's just introducing more noise and making things worse. I can't quite tell, other than to say that there's no easy answer on this one.

My next experiment will be to get a Y-adapter for the antenna and see what happens when I hook up both the new antenna and the factory antenna. I figure it'll either bring in more signal, or I'll be getting 2 signals that only manage to confuse the receiver :b
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post #49 of 90 Old 08-26-2007, 07:42 AM
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Thank you for the update. Although I have had my Radiosophy for a number of weeks now, I am still getting a feel for mobile HD since I have only had that for a few days now. I do have an OEM cowl mount antenna on my Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. I have not had good experiences in the past with amplifiers, so I will probably avoid those. I thought about this until I realized it has been discontinued http://www.ccrane.com/antennas/auto-...o-antenna.aspx
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post #50 of 90 Old 08-26-2007, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I just ordered the Y-Adapter; Advance Auto didn't have them in-store when I stopped by this afternoon. For kicks, I also ordered Pyramid's antenna amp. It's only $7 so I figure I might get lucky, and if not no big deal. Hopefully at least this one will be easier to tuck away somewhere accessible.

The antenna I've got is great for FM, but does a lousy job of AM without the amp. AM HD seems OK, but Analog sounds weak until I push that button...
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post #51 of 90 Old 08-27-2007, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyg View Post

Is the problem the car antenna, or is it really the electrical/ignition noise when the engine is running? With the engine off, and the igntion key in the "aux" position does the radio and the original stock antenna receive signals any better?

My car is this way. In fact it did it in my old car too.. I have an amp and speakers but have the sub cut off when listening to sports radio.. Does anyone know a way to get it to actually work right? Right now I can only listen to FM because when the car is running the AM is completely trash.

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post #52 of 90 Old 08-28-2007, 04:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm blanking on which one is which, so research a smidge...

There are Electrical noise filters, that'll hook up to the power feeding the equipment. I think this is what you want, to filiter out the alternator noise.

There's also a noise filter that goes on the antenna line. It breaks the Ground connection I think.

Crutchfield has both, as do many others...
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post #53 of 90 Old 08-31-2007, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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The Y-Adapter, to combine both antennas, wasn't the greatest of ideas.

There were a few spots where it held onto the reception when I'd normally expect it to drop out. And, in fact, I think it overall did a better job of holding onto the digital reception (though there were a few abnormal drops). But when it was on analog, it was pretty snowy. So I've disconnected it.

Next up is to try the new amp. It's bigger than I expected; about the same size as the other one I already have. But, the old one was slightly damaged anyway so hopefully this'll all work out (c:
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post #54 of 90 Old 09-03-2007, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TydalForce View Post

I'm blanking on which one is which, so research a smidge...

There are Electrical noise filters, that'll hook up to the power feeding the equipment. I think this is what you want, to filiter out the alternator noise.

There's also a noise filter that goes on the antenna line. It breaks the Ground connection I think.

Crutchfield has both, as do many others...



Were you telling me? If so please let me know and I'll buy both just incase..

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post #55 of 90 Old 09-03-2007, 07:18 PM
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Automobile AM radio interference is usually caused by poor shielding of the spark in the ignition system. Check to see that your engine block is grounded properly to the car body, and that the hood is also grounded well. Dirt on the ground terminals, causing a poor connection, may be part of the problem.

Also check to see if the radio itself is properly grounded as is the antenna coax shield.
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post #56 of 90 Old 09-04-2007, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
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If noise is coming through the antenna (through the ground connection, noise on radio but not CD), you need an antenna noise filter like this one:

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-Rd4Eu5q...fo&i=003AS100#

If you're getting noise when the engine is running, that gets worse as you accelerate, you need an electrical system noise filter, like this one:

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-Rd4Eu5q...A&search=noise

Those aren't specific recommendations but they're a good starting point. The "Crutchfield hands-on research" does a good job of explaining why you'd want them.
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post #57 of 90 Old 09-04-2007, 07:48 AM
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I have a 2007 Honda Hybrid, it has the stock radio and stock "power antenna" mounted above the rear window, when I connected my Directed "car connect" http://www.crutchfield.com/S-Cq8qfWf...650&I=60744000 it had lousy reception even for local stations that were transmitting 5 miles away, long story short. I did the "I think I need a better antenna" so I went ahead and drilled in my fender and mounted a 31" stick, great reception. I worked with Ibiquity and Honda on trying to resolve my antenna issue before drilling. and that was my solution I wish I would have done the trunk mount instead. I live in Wheeling WV and work in Pittsburgh PA, thats a 62 mile one-way drive. So I have lots of fringe reception to deal with and the fender mounted antenna was the only option (at that time), I even tried to replace the factory antenna/mast and leave the factory mount with one of those "cellular look-a-likes" it did improve reception, not enough so I drilled and left the cellular look-a-like installed, it looks better, even though it does nothing
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post #58 of 90 Old 09-04-2007, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Ouch, sorry you had to drill! I'm surprised, actually. It sounds more like a bad connection with the "Car Connect" than anything. How was your analog reception on the stock equipment before you began?

What fender-mount did you get? How's that working for you?
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post #59 of 90 Old 09-04-2007, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TydalForce View Post

Ouch, sorry you had to drill! I'm surprised, actually. It sounds more like a bad connection with the "Car Connect" than anything. How was your analog reception on the stock equipment before you began?

What fender-mount did you get? How's that working for you?

Sorry for hijacking but I'm in the same boat

My stock rec. was perfect for AM but not after aftermarket radio.. It's been like this the last 2 cars I've replaced the stock radio. I have it done at CC so....... When I have the key turned to ACC or whatever it is before the next position, the AM is still bad but understandable at times.. But when the car is turned to the next position (sorry I don't know the technical term, but the electric windows work) the AM is complete static and stays the same way when the car is running only a hum is there but it doesn't get louder the faster I go..

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post #60 of 90 Old 09-05-2007, 09:01 AM
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Danieloneil01, Sounds like the problem is in your spark plugs, depending on the make, model & year, you ,might have non-resistor plugs, you need resistor plugs. But you also need a better ground for your radio’s antenna. run 16 gauge single conductor medium to heavy jacketed wire to the back of your radio and attach it to the chassis, that’s why you have a constant hum. "ground loop" on your AM radio stations. The antenna isn't fully grounded and this will cause the Hum. In short positive power is not fully discharging to the ground circuit and since it has no place to go it disperses through all the circuits in your radio, including speakers.
TydalForce I though it was the antenna connection as well, but the “car connect” needed a special adapter plug for the Honda, because Honda and Toyota radios have a 3-wire 18 gauge single con that runs to the radio. “No round gauge” and this wire carries voltage to the antenna very low voltage and returns, this is supposed to carry the RF from the antenna to the radio. Nobody has “officially” told me this but when you have a volt meter and a little experience…This scenario works perfect with factory installed radios but not after markets including the JVC-KDHDR1 and the ‘Direct Connect” my reception was dismal at best because I believe that this configuration my actual antenna was the wire itself RF never made from antenna mast to the radio. Honda told me that nobody else complained about radio reception, and I can believe that this is true. Because most people are interested in satellite radio or their MP3 portables connecting the aux.
So I went to the local Auto Zone and purchased a GM type 31” mast fender mount
Metra Electronics Corp. - 44-GM93 http://www.metraonline.com/products.aspx after I purchased this antenna I laid it on my dashboard and connected it to the “direct connect” immediately there was a drastic improvement I was even picking up stations 30 miles away on my factory radio as well. So I drove to Pittsburgh with this antenna sticking up between my driver and passenger seat inside the car and I was really impressed with the reception, My 2 HD stations locked in 45 miles from the transmitter site. So I went ahead and made the commitment and drilled in the driver side fender and ran the “RG” cable to the radio, there is no easy way to penetrate through the Honda’s firewall so its better to come around it. There is a access way that the cable fits perfect to the dashboard. And I have been satisfied ever since with my radio reception
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