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post #1 of 176 Old 09-18-2009, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Phew .... so the time has come, has it?

First off, let me start by saying that the information I have read on this site has been a) invaluable and b) worse than crack cocaine. Every time I think I have a design that I like, one of you aholes comes along with something ridiculously kickbutt that I start to reconsider ... and I mean that as a compliment. Seriously, all you guys and gals out there are awesome.

Secondly, I'll be starting off this thread with just my ideas and where I want to go and then you all can offer advice as you see fit. I have no doubts that any questions I have, you will all give me more advice than my puny brain can handle.

I am in the process of demo-ing the basement. I should be done in about a week. The demo-ing is going right down to the foundation, reinsulating and framing. With the help of my uncle (who is a plumber), my uncle (who is an electrician), my uncle (who was a contractor for 20 years), and my dad (who is just annoyingly handy with just about everything), I figure we will do some good work. Once I am done the demo completely, I'll take some pictures for you guys so you can see what I am working with.

The theater size will be about 10.5'w x 22 - 24' long x 7' high (I know .. it sucks). Its actually about 7'4" in height but once the floor and suspended ceiling are in, it will take away a few inches. I dont WANT to do drywall on the ceiling because our taxes will go up as it becomes living space but I will save a bit on height. Really, Id gain about 1.5" or so. Blargh ..already with the indecisions.

The HT will be "closed off" by some thick blackout "curtains" (along the length of 22') during movie time but opened up otherwise as we'd like to keep an open feel to the space. Id like to have two rows of seating (one sofa, one recliners) with the "bar counter" at the back with some stools. The riser wont be able to be that high at all because of the limited ceiling height. I wonder if a 6" riser would even be worth it. That would bring the space to 6'6". Luckily, no one I know is that tall but still. Its certainly not ideal.

I will be building a false wall for "hiding" the speakers behind an AT screen. I have no idea on the size but based on limited ceiling height and the back row, I figure 106" is probably likely. What makes this challenging (cause, ya know, why wouldnt it be?) is that there is a 6" support beam along the width of the 10' theater where the screen is going to go. Which means, the screen at the top (assuming a 3" frame/border along the top) will only be at 6'6" Again, blargh.

To the side, Id LIKE to put a bar but dont know if there will be enough space. Once I do formal measurements, you guys can weigh in on that.

Anywho, just wanted to FINALLY start the thread after about a year of reading and informing and delays and .....

This is definitely going to be a challenge given the restrictions on height but hopefully with the wizardry of some of you, I/we can get around them.

By all means, if you want to give advice, please give it. If you want to tell me what I am doing wrong, please tell me (just be gentle).

Thanks a ton in advance everyone. I hope this journey will be a pleasant one.

LG
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post #2 of 176 Old 09-18-2009, 12:47 PM
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Your theatre plans sound like mine. I just finished about a month ago--12' wide, approx 23' deep and 8' ceiling.

I have 2 rows of seating, back row are recliners and front row is a sofa. The riser is 9"--that was minimum to see over the first row sofa. If I had theatre-style recliners in front I wouldn't be able to see over them properly.

I too was thinking of the curtain idea, but I haven't done that yet. I was also thinking of moveable panels, but I'm not sure how good that would look-or the curtains for that matter.

If you want to see a few pictures, check out my signature at the bottom--I just started working on the website too
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post #3 of 176 Old 09-18-2009, 10:38 PM
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Hey L.G.

Welcome to the madness, and your own personal descent into HT/DIY hell

Your room size is pretty damn close to mine....at 10.5 ft x 20.5 ft x 7.75ft, I almost considered a bowling lane as opposed to a home theater!! I too decided on a drop ceiling...or rather the wife decided we were leaving the current one in place.

Some pics/diagrams (even something done in MS Paint) of a floorplan and what you are thinking would really help and get you a lot more responses. But, just from what you have written, here are some of my thoughts...

You may want to rethink the bar seating at the back if you are planning for 2 rows of seating, or just go with a single row of seating and place your bar area behind that.

To give you an idea of distances, here is the way my room is planned out. I did the stage/false wall and riser scenario. The false wall is about 30 inches off the back wall. I went with 2 rows of old school traditional theater seats, set up with five on the second row and 3 on the front row. The riser is 8.75in high with 23in wide steps to either side. The viewing distance from screen to first row seating is about 12.5 feet and I'm using a 106" 16:9 non-AT screen. That will leave me about 13in to either side of the screen for speaker placement.

Another thing that you might want to consider using, since you want to be able to keep things opened up would be a curtain/hospital tract that you can close things off with when its movie time. Check out the the link to see some pics from HGTV's 24 HOUR DESIGN, in which they tackled an HT and did the just that.
http://www.hgtv.com/decorating/glamo...res/index.html

Hope some of this helps...
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post #4 of 176 Old 09-19-2009, 04:41 AM
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Have you checked out the small theater build thread?

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=996973

I don't see room for a bar on the side wall, unless you are talking a narrow width cabinetry.

The beam up front won't be an issue regarding screen height. You don't want the screen shoved up to the underside of the soffit anyways. The front row seats should have your eyes fall at the 1/3rd mark, up the screen. With my 7'1" ceiling, and the front soffit eating up another 8" of height (and an unplanned for addition of a horizontal screen masking system, eating up another 7"), my 54x96" AT screen ends up with the bottom, 19" off the floor. Coupled with low backed condo sized leather loveseats, front row eyes conviently fall at the 1/3rd mark. My original plan was to push the screen up slightly, 2-3" off the soffit height, for rear seating sightlines.

Low backed seating and offset seating can help deal with sightlines, low ceiling height and riser height. Projector throw is something you want to watch. A short throw projector can be of help, if it places the projector above the front row of seating.

Will you have any need for soffits on the side walls? If so, these will be where the design headaches come from.

If you want a bar, you could do a second row using swivel chairs, like the Fadum theater. The seats would be on a riser, with some room between to swivel and allow you to get into them. This could work well with the open back of your room.
LL
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post #5 of 176 Old 09-19-2009, 05:47 AM
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You could build the suspended ceiling center gridwork row by row, and insert your tiles as you go. You could gain inches of head room by locating the metal gridwork 1.25" from the bottom of the joists. If you located the support wires carefully, you could still keep access to the ceiling above, by sliding a tile overtop of it's neighbour.
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post #6 of 176 Old 09-19-2009, 06:52 AM
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So, it doesn't count as finished space with a suspended ceiling but it does with a drywalled ceiling? That doesn't make any sense...

You really want to go with a real ceiling. Ceiling tiles provide little absorption (mostly in the range of human speech which is exactly what you don't want), almost no room isolation (you'll hear everything upstairs), and just don't look very good most of the time. By the time you pay for the tiles/suspension, you'll have paid for the drywall.

Is this something you are doing yourself?

John

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post #7 of 176 Old 09-19-2009, 07:18 AM
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I think you missed the curtain wall comment...

As for curtains and looks, the Fadum theater has this look (although it is a dedicated room).
LL
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post #8 of 176 Old 09-19-2009, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so here is a layout. Just a couple of things:

The two "dotted lines" that are 9ft and 15ft long, in the HT area are the support I-beams. The 9ft one is 7" thick and the 15ft one is 6" thick (as there is a support beam halfway down it).

The stairs come right out into the middle of the floor. So what I am wanting to do is to take away the last 3 steps, make a 90 degree turn and put the last 3 steps coming out to the left, then framing and drywalling where the old exit was. This, I believe, gives a little more flexibility with the right side of the room.

Thoughts?

Oh, I'll be attaching some pictures shortly and then I will comment on what you have all written.

Thanks guys.
LG

 

basement layout.pdf 98.4033203125k . file
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post #9 of 176 Old 09-19-2009, 08:08 AM
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As a fellow Theater Builder from Ottawa I am interested in seeing this progress.

I will let you know from my past experiences that buying anything locally as far as equipment or furniture will cost you quite a bit more than online. If you would like the safety of having your warranty honored locally, Stereoplus in Olreans are the most reputable and willing to work with you from my experience.

Also for you acoustic materials if you plan on using them, the cheapest place I found was Glass Isofab. you can find there website online which will give you the nearest location to you.

If you need GOM fabric for your room, online is your only bet as in Hull and Ottawa it is twice as much.
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post #10 of 176 Old 09-19-2009, 10:25 AM
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We're talking Ottawa, Canada, right?

We should all get together some time. Or, better yet, work on each other's builds once a month!
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post #11 of 176 Old 09-19-2009, 10:49 AM
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My Theater is finished being built for now, but exchanging information on deals found can be very helpful.
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post #12 of 176 Old 09-19-2009, 11:11 AM
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Have you thought about reversing the room and placing the screen wall on the larger wall where you have bar area listed on the blueprints and then placing the bar area in the smaller alcove area under the I beam labeled 9'?
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post #13 of 176 Old 09-19-2009, 12:38 PM
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That's a much bigger space then I was envisioning.... One idea for open concept: I could see starting the AT screen at the left hand side of the alcove, so the screen is centered. Blackout panel on the front wall to the left of the screen, to match the distance the end of the screen is to the outside wall on the right hand side. This shortens your room but the Bar row uses comfortable swivel seating for double duty.

My front AT space is 59" deep, and hides an alcove. It also hides a pair of large subwoofers that would otherwise be impossible to use in my space.
LL
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post #14 of 176 Old 09-20-2009, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok. Sorry for the delay folks. Had to leave town for the weekend. Well, didnt HAVE to but Metallica was playing in Montreal. They was callin my name.

On to some of the comments:

JohnSteph: It may not make sense but that is the bylaw. If you have a suspended ceiling, it is not considered "liveable" space. But if you drywall it, it becomes liveable and thus, taxes go up. However, upon reflection (and possible approval from the wife), its looking like the drywall ceiling might actually happen.

Collin and Jay: I suppose I should be a little more honest and say Im in Gatineau (Cote D'Azur area). Im still an Ottawa boy at heart but this just happens to be where the house is :P But yes, getting together would be neat if you guys are up for it. Id like to see your theaters so I have some frame of reference. The only thing I have now are pictures of others. Also Collin .. thanks for the advice on saving money online vs local. Its good information.

Bone_pa: I hate you lol You totally threw my world for a loop with that suggestion. BTW...its a GREAT suggestion. I really love the idea. It totally makes sense now that I think about it. Except for ... starting at the back wall of the alcove and moving forward, I would have: the bar (ideally, Id like to do a two piece bar - back bar and bar), then I would have the seating. How many rows then? If I do two, then I still need a riser. If so, then wouldnt my bar have to be on the riser as well?

Tedd: Thats not a bad idea either.

Ugh .. too many options.

Also, after having spoke with my dad about it over the weekend, he also made a suggestion. Since I will have to do the rough in/plumbing for the new bathroom thats in the corner (there is nothing there now), he suggestion moving the washer and dryer into the same room. Make it a bit bigger .. say 7' by 10'. Put the toilet and sink along the outer wall (that the washer is on now), then on the opposite wall, put the washer and dryer in the middle, then on either side, put a counter with cabinets below and some on the walls above for storage. I think its a great idea and it will completely open up the area in back of the stairs.

Thoughts?
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post #15 of 176 Old 09-20-2009, 06:00 PM
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You can see my theater in the link in my theater or this link to my build thread. Pics are on page 2 and 3

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...656&highlight=
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post #16 of 176 Old 09-20-2009, 09:05 PM
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LG

here's kind of what I was envisioning with regard to placing the bar in the back of the room. You could do a bar seating area behind the riser and second row of seating.



I don't think that most people who build bar seating areas place them on the risers. Check out the Pirates of the Caribbean Theater Build...there is a pretty detailed build of the bar seating area if I remember correctly.
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post #17 of 176 Old 09-21-2009, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Collin: I absolutely love your color scheme for the screen wall. The carpet is amazing. Im not much for the red leather but to each their own. Great stuff though.

Im wondering about one thing... we have been planning on putting floating laminate flooring throughout the basement. Would putting carpet be better for acoustics? I guess we could do carpet (if it is in fact better for acoustics) in the theater and then floating through the rest?

Bone: Thats a great idea. I love it. I drew up an updated whole plan. What do you think? Btw .. in the bathroom, on either side of the washer/dryer, there will be a counter with cabinets below and likely some cabinets above as well.

What do you think of the placement of the doors for the bathroom and entrance to the storage? Good placement? Would other places be better?

Another question I have is with the current new layout, given the extra space and such, what is the estimated size of the screen szie I can get in there and how far back would the first row be. Again, Im concerned about ceiling height .. or lack there of. The back row of seats can really only be on a 4" or maybe 6" riser. Is it even worth it?

Thoughts?
LG
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post #18 of 176 Old 09-21-2009, 12:46 PM
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Collin, where did you get that carpet? Love it.

TIL ALL ARE ONE
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post #19 of 176 Old 09-21-2009, 02:08 PM
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I answered you in the PM you sent me...
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post #20 of 176 Old 09-22-2009, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey Collin,

After reading your thread, I was speaking about it with my dad. I had made mention about the fact that you thought the rounded columns would be difficult. My dad made the suggestion of using cement post tubes cut in half.

I dont know if thats actually feasable but it seems like a good idea. I wasnt sure what I wanted to do with columns but I was sure I wanted rounded. I might give that a go and see how it works.
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post #21 of 176 Old 09-22-2009, 07:28 PM
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I also looked into that, you could use them and then veneer the outside. When I went looking at them I couldn't find any that were perfect circles. Most were dented in some way. But if you can make it work all the power to you.
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post #22 of 176 Old 09-23-2009, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah that was the one thing I was worried about .. getting them smooth on the outside. I havent really given it much thought since I have TONS to do even before I start to worry about columns.

Here's something odd: I went to the Berkline site to find out if there is a dealer that sells the product locally. None in Canada and according to the website, none in the USA? That seems strange to me. How on earth would I know if something is comfy or not if I cant sit on it? haha. I sure aint spending that kind of money on theater seats without sitting on them first.

So strange.


EDIT: Was just speaking to a friend of mine here at work and apparently, Sears sells Berkline. Strange that the Berkline website doesnt mention that.
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post #23 of 176 Old 09-23-2009, 08:39 AM
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There was a recent thread in which someone showed the process of building round columns using sonotubes as a form. Don't rememebr the details, but I'm sure a search will come up with something.
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post #24 of 176 Old 09-23-2009, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by advertguy2 View Post

There was a recent thread in which someone showed the process of building round columns using sonotubes as a form. Don't rememebr the details, but I'm sure a search will come up with something.

As it turns out, you are correct

Thanks man. Muchly appreciate it.
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post #25 of 176 Old 09-29-2009, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

Ok. As some of you know, I live in Ottawa, Canada. Our winters here can be pretty rough. As such, good basement insulation is important.

After reading a ton of stuff on the subject, I have essentially read much contradictory information. Even on two different "home improvement" forums .. each gave something different. Its maddening.

So, I come to you people of knowledge.

I will be commencing framing and insulating my basement next weekend. My original plan was to put 1.5" of rigid poly panels (giving me R-7), all sealed up around the edges (thus giving me my vapour barrier), then put 2x3's with R-12 inbetween, giving me an R-19 total insulation value.

Now, Im finding out that some places say the sealed rigid foam is NOT a proper vapor barrier and that I still need a sheet of plastic on the outside of the R-12/framing. When I mentioned that on another site, they turned around and said that is incorrect and that the plastic would in fact be a SECOND barrier and would be detrimental.

Also, one school of people says "insulate right to the floor" (floor is approx 6ft below grade) and the other school of people say "only insulate 4ft down."

Which is it folks? Gimme whacha got?
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post #26 of 176 Old 09-29-2009, 06:06 AM
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For unfinished basement space I belive you only insulate from 4ft up to the top. When your finishing the space you want to insulate the whole cavity.

From watching Holmes on Homes and how he finished off a basement in Canada, they did the rigid panels not only on the walls, but also on the floor. Like you said all the seams sealed. After framing the walls and insulating they used the vapor barrier.

Not sure if your a fan but the work they is impressive. Here is a link to their forum and they may be able to give you the best answer for your climate.

http://www.mikeholmesfanforum.com/phpbb3/
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post #27 of 176 Old 09-29-2009, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oman321 View Post

For unfinished basement space I belive you only insulate from 4ft up to the top. When your finishing the space you want to insulate the whole cavity.

From watching Holmes on Homes and how he finished off a basement in Canada, they did the rigid panels not only on the walls, but also on the floor. Like you said all the seams sealed. After framing the walls and insulating they used the vapor barrier.

Not sure if your a fan but the work they is impressive. Here is a link to their forum and they may be able to give you the best answer for your climate.

http://www.mikeholmesfanforum.com/phpbb3/

Of course, thats blocked here at work. Boo.

I have watched his show and I agree, he does do some good work. He's a bit of a keener but he is good at what he does.

I heard that Bryan Baulmer of Disaster DIY is here in Ottawa this week at some garden show. Be neat to check out what he has to say.
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post #28 of 176 Old 09-29-2009, 07:58 AM
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Ottawa theater builder here too. I had no idea there were so many of us on this forum! I always felt very... north of the norm.

Funny you mention Stereoplus because I live a 5 minute walk from that place. Bought all my speakers there. Too bad they don't carry Denon or I'd have purchased my receiver there as well.

I'll get a thread going at some point but I don't have that interesting of a space to work with - basement was finished upon moving in so I'm retrofitting things into the space so some of what I'd like to have done isn't possible but I don't think there will be too many compromises when it's all said and done. I hope to have it finished this year but painting alone has taken me months to find the time...

Can't wait to see the final product!
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post #29 of 176 Old 09-29-2009, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logic_BomB View Post

Ottawa theater builder here too. I had no idea there were so many of us on this forum! I always felt very... north of the norm.

Funny you mention Stereoplus because I live a 5 minute walk from that place. Bought all my speakers there. Too bad they don't carry Denon or I'd have purchased my receiver there as well.

I'll get a thread going at some point but I don't have that interesting of a space to work with - basement was finished upon moving in so I'm retrofitting things into the space so some of what I'd like to have done isn't possible but I don't think there will be too many compromises when it's all said and done. I hope to have it finished this year but painting alone has taken me months to find the time...

Can't wait to see the final product!


Yeah there are a few of us from Ottawa here. We should definitely do a get together.

I have a lot of questions on a variety of different items and Im sure you other guys in Ottawa are smarter than moi!! :P

Just stuff like wiring and lighting and all that. Im sure I dont know all the options out there so I have been very indecisive.
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post #30 of 176 Old 09-29-2009, 01:14 PM
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Just post all of your questions in here and I am sure they will be answered within the hour...
CollinViegas is offline  
Reply Dedicated Theater Design & Construction

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