The Official AVS Antenna and Related Hardware Topic! - Page 25 - AVS Forum
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post #721 of 16261 Old 12-16-2004, 10:15 AM
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KBI doesn't say where he/she is located. Folks, please, at least give us the TV market you're in!

The reason I say that is because KBI may need a different antenna of some sort if he/she has VHF DT signals in the area, particularly in the lower end of the VHF dial. That doesn't mean the actual analog channel number is a low VHF, it means the digital transmitter is low VHF. The Silver Sensor, a stellar performer indoors, cannot pick up low-VHF digital stations at all...it's not designed to do so.

If the OP lives in the Chicago market, the CBS O&O station (WBBM/2) has its digital allocation on channel 3. In Grand Rapids, MI, one of the major stations is on a low VHF channel as well. And here in my home market (Cleveland/Akron, OH), the NBC affiliate, WKYC/3, has a DT channel of *2*.

Now, it's quite likely that KBI doesn't live in a market with low-VHF DT channels, but I thought they'd like to know. If you tell us where you're getting your TV from, city-wise, we'll be able to tell you.

http://www.antennaweb.org/ will also be helpful for YOU to find this information out yourself, and even get a street level map with bearings of the various digital (and analog) stations.
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post #722 of 16261 Old 12-16-2004, 11:15 AM
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Bay area... San Jose, ca 40 miles from SF..

The #1 spot for gaming headphones/headsets/Mic mods/DH 5.1/links & more.
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post #723 of 16261 Old 12-16-2004, 11:58 AM
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Hello all,

I am using a ChannelMaster 4228 for OTA DTV reception 70 miles west
of Chicago, and it gives reasonably good results, given I have a CM
7777 preamp on it and the antenna is in an attic in a small river valley area.

My question is: Which is better: A CM 4228 8-bay UHF, or the DB-8 from
Antennas Direct? I have heard both do very well, but the DB-8 is of better
construction quality. The design on the DB-8 raises an eyebrow:
it has spaces inbetween the dipoles, indicating that: 1. it may not
reflect back signals as good as the 4228 and 2. It may not receive VHF-HI
(channels 7-13) as well as the CM 4228. I have also heard that the yagis
(corner reflectors) don't do as well, with the exception of the DB 91 from
Antennas Direct. My past experience with yagis isn't good in terms
of good reception. Their directionality isn't great, and thus, neither is
their gain.

Thoughts? Ramblings? Wish it were summer? :-)

Gilbert
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post #724 of 16261 Old 12-16-2004, 05:32 PM
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I am new to dish network and this might be a dumb question. I have the 811 receiver and hd package. I am wanting to receive ota networks using a outside antenna but want to use the same cable running from the outside dish . What do I need and where do I hook up the outside antenna.
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post #725 of 16261 Old 12-16-2004, 05:41 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by KBI
Bay area... San Jose, ca 40 miles from SF..

See, NOW I can help you

You have no low-band VHFs. You have the digital half of NBC O&O KNTV, right in your backyard, at DT 12, but you should be able to pick that up even with the Silver Sensor not being a VHF antenna (high VHF, plus the fact it's right now closer to you).

The San Francisco OTA stations could be a challenge to catch indoors, depending on where you are in the SJ area and what kind of line of sight you have towards Sutro.
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post #726 of 16261 Old 12-16-2004, 05:43 PM
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KBI - you might wanna post here for further help:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=357896

This is the San Francisco(/San Jose/Oakland) local market thread, where you can get some help from people with familiarity with the Bay Area.
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post #727 of 16261 Old 12-16-2004, 10:02 PM
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2154

You will be needing a dipexer Channel Master and Winegard both make good ones. However a diplexer has a good deal of loss and unless you have fairly strong reception they may not work well. Give us your zip so we know where you are located in reference to the transmitters. If you can I would highly recommend using a seperate coax for the OTA antenna. Diplexers can cause sevral problems. Even Channel Master techs recommend running a seperate coax if possible.

Depending on your loaction and if you need a preamp or not will determine which type of diplexer may work for you.
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post #728 of 16261 Old 12-16-2004, 11:39 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by jimc705
2154

You will be needing a dipexer Channel Master and Winegard both make good ones. However a diplexer has a good deal of loss and unless you have fairly strong reception they may not work well. Give us your zip so we know where you are located in reference to the transmitters. If you can I would highly recommend using a seperate coax for the OTA antenna. Diplexers can cause sevral problems. Even Channel Master techs recommend running a seperate coax if possible.

Depending on your loaction and if you need a preamp or not will determine which type of diplexer may work for you.

Combined two diplexers might have 0.5db to 1db signal loss; very minor, really.

There can be issues diplexing an antenna signal, but the vast majority of people will be fine if everything is done correctly.

When an OTA signal can be provided over a separate cable, that'd be ideal, but you seem to be using a bit more "scare" in your post referring to diplexers than is really warranted.
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post #729 of 16261 Old 12-17-2004, 06:22 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by sebenste
My question is: Which is better: A CM 4228 8-bay UHF, or the DB-8 from
Antennas Direct? I have heard both do very well, but the DB-8 is of better
construction quality. The design on the DB-8 raises an eyebrow:
it has spaces inbetween the dipoles, indicating that: 1. it may not
reflect back signals as good as the 4228 and 2. It may not receive VHF-HI
(channels 7-13) as well as the CM 4228. I have also heard that the yagis
(corner reflectors) don't do as well, with the exception of the DB 91 from
Antennas Direct. My past experience with yagis isn't good in terms
of good reception. Their directionality isn't great, and thus, neither is
their gain.

If you haven't read the review of the CM4228 at www.hdtvprimer.com yet, do so. It points out that the poor combiner design of the 4228 costs at least 2db of gain that theoretically should be there. The DB8 doesn't have the same problem, so there is probably some slightly better performance. He also states the benefit of the uniform reflective backing.

I've had a bunch of hybrid yagi/corner-reflectors (few people sell pure yagis anymore) and you have to understand how a yagi works. They are very directional at the frequency for which they're tuned. Usually, in the US, that means channel 69. As the frequency drops, the directionality drops as well. Now the 91XG has 28db of front-to-back ratio (at which channel, they don't say, so we'll assume it's channel 69,) which is very good. In comparison, the Winegard 9095P has a maximum of 14db. Obviously, the 91XG is better in this regard. But as gain increases, directionality increases *by default.* The more gain, the more directional. Period.

The problem for most people is that a large number of their channels are in the portion of the spectrum covered by the corner-reflector rather than the yagi in the hybrid. This occurs somewhere in the mid-30s. Below this point, the primary means of getting signal is on the corner-reflector portion of the antenna. Since you can get bounce from a wide angle and still hit the active elements, this reduces directionality a ton.

I think the DB8 is probably a fraction better than the 4228, and given your distance, you may want to try it. It also might perform adequately on hi-VHF for you, as all UHF antennas have *some* gain on hi-VHF, though you often need to aim the antenna off-axis for maximum signal.
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post #730 of 16261 Old 12-17-2004, 08:56 AM
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Hello. I am about 25 miles away from the Philadelphia towers and I am running an XG42 through a Sony ATSC tuner. I seem to be able to pick up all digital stations except for FOX (they are all clustered within 2 degrees of on another). Any suggestions. Thanks.
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post #731 of 16261 Old 12-17-2004, 09:46 AM
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Thanks for the CM 4228/DB-8 info. Now, what is the best 30 dB
preamplifier for under $100? I have the ChannelMaster 7777 now,
but I want even more gain with even less noise. OK, if it has to be over
$100, so be it. Prefer under $100 first.

Gilbert

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post #732 of 16261 Old 12-17-2004, 09:48 AM
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Sorry don't mean to scare anyone. The Channel Master diplexer has a pass thru db loss of .8 DB. Needing 2 that'll be 1.6 db loss. You can always amplify to get over line losses, diplexers, and splitters. However it's a lot cheper to keep the losses at a min.

This gentlemen looks to be a min of 40 miles from the tower to a max of 98. He's going to need all the signal he can get. A gain of 1.6 db may be the difference having dropouts every 30 second or so (unacceptable) or drop outs every 15 to 30 minutes which may be acceptable to some.
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post #733 of 16261 Old 12-17-2004, 11:35 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by sebenste
Thanks for the CM 4228/DB-8 info. Now, what is the best 30 dB
preamplifier for under $100? I have the ChannelMaster 7777 now,
but I want even more gain with even less noise. OK, if it has to be over
$100, so be it. Prefer under $100 first.

You might be able to get less noise, but more amplification isn't desirable unless you've got the longest cable run known to man (think 500'+.) And the 7777 has some of the lowest noise figures I've seen quoted (2.0db.) I'd rate it as top notch.

Your preamplifier can't create signal where there isn't any. It can only amplify what the antenna is receiving. More isn't always better. Sometimes it's just more. Your best bet is to join two identical antennas together in a stack to increase gain, which will get you 3db of *real* gain. All a preamplifier with more db of gain is going to do is drain your wallet.
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post #734 of 16261 Old 12-17-2004, 11:56 AM
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Quote:


My question is: Which is better: A CM 4228 8-bay UHF, or the DB-8 from

Sebenste,
The DB8 may be a little better, but at 70 miles you may need to stack like sregener mentioned. The problem with 8-bays is weight, windload, and they're very difficult to stack. You might consider a yagi/corner reflector like the Antennasdirect XG91 simply for the reason you can upgrade to a stack later if you feel you need more performance. Following is a pic of stacked yagi/corner reflectors which provide consistent reception over mountainous terrain at 65 miles:

And I agree completely that the 7777 is all you need.

Depending on your vhf needs (WBBM is ch. 3), you may have to add a separate VHF antenna mounted underneath similar to the pic. You'd need to have low-band capacity (the vhf in the pic is high-band only). If you want 3 only, I'd get a cut-channel 3. See http://www.starkelectronic.com/delhi.htm The VHF needs to be spaced 60 in. or so beneath the uhf section.
LL
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post #735 of 16261 Old 12-17-2004, 04:16 PM
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Thanks, cpcat et al! Much appreciated. I can't get WBBM-DT 3, BTW...
even with a monster VHF in the attic (I don't own the roof of my townhouse), I can only get a 30% signal, and it takes 41% to lock on my tuner.

Gilbert

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post #736 of 16261 Old 12-17-2004, 04:30 PM
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Wow, I didn't read close enough to see you're in the attic. You are doing *very* well as is if you're receiving Chicago stations at 70 miles. In your attic, you don't really have the issues of the elements to deal with so you *could* consider stacking 2 8-bays, depending on how much room you have up there.

The 5 element channel 3 from Jerrold isn't actually that big for low band VHF and 7.5 dbd gain would give you a good chance from that distance if you were outside. All bets are off from inside the attic, though you seem to be doing well on the uhf side of things.
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post #737 of 16261 Old 12-17-2004, 11:03 PM
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Cpcat,

I took great care in putting this system together, talking with engineers,
looking and reading at various boards and how other dealt with their
issues. I have no room in the attic for a stacked array, horizontal or
vertical. I could replace the CM 4228 8-bay with a DB-8, but I would
like the VHF-HI reception when WLS and maybe WTTW go to channels 7 and 11 respectively for digital. Not saying they will, but rumors are 7
wants to go there when all is said and done. Can't say I blame them!

I have quad-shielded RG-6 for my 75 ohm cable run, and all my RG-6
cables are brand new quad-shielded from wall plate to DTV tuner,
DTV tuner to VCR, and VCR to TV. I can nuke my TV dinner in my nearby
kitchen and still watch WBBM-TV 2 analog without serious interference.
I am completely sold that the extra 3%+ of protection with quad
shielding helps give me my performance. My Winegard monster 16'
VHF-only antenna works very well, too. I can only get WBBM-DT maybe once a month. But...in September, I got WGBH-2 analog from Boston, MA
in E-skip right over WBBM...and a few weeks ago, I got KDFW-4 analog
from Dallas, all from my attic antenna in a low valley near a river 60 miles
west of Chicago. I also had an NBC on channel 3, possibly from
Florida...not sure, though. It wasn't from Madison, WI; it was E-skip, so
who knows what it was. Longest DT DX catch was in September, got
WSJV-DT FOX from South Bend, 160 miles away at 10 KW or some such
ridiculously low power.

Believe me, I can only imagine what I would get on the roof!

Gilbert

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post #738 of 16261 Old 12-18-2004, 05:52 AM
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http://www.egrabow.com/gallery/ch3.htm
If it was an analog NBC 3, see if you can pick it out of the lineup here.
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post #739 of 16261 Old 12-18-2004, 06:02 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by sebenste
My Winegard monster 16' VHF-only antenna works very well, too.

Is there some reason you won't be able to use this for channels 7 and 11?
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post #740 of 16261 Old 12-18-2004, 06:55 AM
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Quote:


I have no room in the attic for a stacked array

I think you might just as well stay put, then. Again, the DB8 may be a small improvement, but it may not be significant to your overall reception.


Quote:


My Winegard monster 16'

I'm confused, too, about why you can't use this for high vhf...and how you are combining the two with the 7777 and managing to get low band from the Winegard and high band off the 4228?
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post #741 of 16261 Old 12-18-2004, 05:45 PM
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Hey guys,

Sorry to confuse you. I'd rather keep it simple up in the attic. I use
the CM 7777 as a diplexer, with the monster VHF Winegard hooked
up to the VHF connector, and the UHF to the UHF connector. But, if I
can get 7-13 off of the 8-bay CM 4228 UHF, then I can use the
Winegard to either point northwest towards Madison, WI, or south
to pick up a station 35 miles south of me.

I agree that I think I'm doing about as well as I can, and a DB-8, from
what it sounds like, may only help marginally. But, I wanted more
opinions, in case I was missing something.

Incidentally, a friend of mine has an HDTV and the biggest Winegard
VHF/UHF combo they make on an outdoor 30' tower, about 60 miles west
southwest of Chicago. He's south of a ridge that really prevents me from
getting any DX from the south or southeast. In any case, using a 20 dB
gain preamp, he can get the higher power WTVO-DT from Rockford
which is northwest of his location by about 35 miles, but none of the
others on lower power STA's. He can, however, get channels 3 and 12
from Champaign, and all of the Quad Cities/Moline IL TV stations over
100 miles away. I coached his setup and he's doing better than I am
by a mile. Oh, to have an antenna like that on a 30' tower! But I will
stop drooling now. ;-) DXing with his setup is fun!

BTW, I use a Zenith HDV420 to pick up the stations to my lousy
TV. I get a 90% or so on WGN-DT, 70% on WLS-DT, WFLD-DT;
an 80% on WYCC-DT with 99 "whopping" KW of juice, and
80% on WPWR-DT. The others are lower power and around 50%.
As a reference, to lock a station, you need a 41% signal to see it
reliably.

The hardest one besides WBBM is WCIU-DT, at 1 KW transmitter power
output and 15.1 KW ERP from Sears Tower. I can get that station
consistently about 1 day a week, otherwise it always breaks up.
But at 15 KW, I think I'm still doing good with my setup. A guy who
has a very similar setup to mine 1 mile east of me in a taller attic
using a CM 4228 UHF and CM 7777 preamp gets WCIU with 60%
consistently. His dad just retired as a chief engineer of a TV station,
so naturally I have been asking him lots of questions. He even built
*his own channel 3 antenna*, bigger and better than what you can buy,
and he gets it from his attic, also 60 miles away, essentially, and in the same low-lying area of the river valley. I'll wait until WBBM heads for
a UHF allocation, though, as I have no desire to try to build my own
monster antenna. Hey, that sounds like it could be a hit Discovery
Channel show for us HDTV and antenna weenies! :-)

Gilbert
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post #742 of 16261 Old 12-18-2004, 07:07 PM
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I bought a zenith silver sensor and I need the best and largest preamp for
this. Does anyone have any info this.


Thank You

Tom

Tom
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post #743 of 16261 Old 12-18-2004, 07:09 PM
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I've used this from Radio Shack and it's worked very well for me:

http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...5Fid=15%2D1170

Mark Vidonic
mark.vidonic@gmail.com
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post #744 of 16261 Old 12-18-2004, 07:17 PM
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Mark I was hoping for something that was in the range of30dB or more.

Tom
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post #745 of 16261 Old 12-18-2004, 08:07 PM
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Quote:


But, if I
can get 7-13 off of the 8-bay CM 4228 UHF, then I can use the
Winegard to either point northwest towards Madison, WI, or south
to pick up a station 35 miles south of me.

This won't likely work on vhf very well due to multipath generated from combining the two antennas without the diplexer (if you diplex them then 7-13 will be removed from the 4228 output). Unless you can find a low band vhf/high band vhf + uhf diplexer, you'd need to run a separate downlead for the Winegard with an A/B switch. You'd most likely not need a preamp on the second downlead because low vhf has much less line loss. Triax might make such a diplexer, I'm not sure.

The other way it might work would be separate low and high band vhf antennas, both input to the vhf side of the 7777 (use a wideband joiner). You could then point the antennas in different directions and their outputs probably won't overlap enough to cause a problem. Again if you only need ch. 3 on low band, use a cut ch. 3 and there would be even less likelihood of overlap.
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post #746 of 16261 Old 12-18-2004, 08:27 PM
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I have a silver star antenna with the zenith amplifier. I pick up my CBS (4.9 miles), my NBC (19.1 miles), and PBS (40.8 miles) stations without any problems. I cannot get any signal on either of the ABC or Fox stations (25.7 miles away). Is there anything that I can do or is there anything that I am doing wrong. I have tried different directions and different heights but to no avail. Thanks for the help.
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post #747 of 16261 Old 12-18-2004, 09:32 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by AkaStp
Radio Shack have a preamp that is rated at 30db. Take a look at the Antenna Accessories page of thier web site for more info (or stop by your local Radio Shack store). Note however that RS preamps have rather high noise figures (that 10dB preamp that Mark Vidonic mentioned has a 7.5-9.5dB noise figure). You might be better off with a preamp from Winegard or ChannelMaster, both of whom have preamps with about 26dB of gain (and low noise figures) and come in UHF-only models as well as UHF/VHF.

No "might" about it; he *will* be better off with something like a Channel Master 7777 or 7775 than with any Radio Shack preamp.
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post #748 of 16261 Old 12-18-2004, 09:44 PM
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The noise figure on a preamp is often more important than the gain figure. The Channel Master 7777 for example has UHF figures of 26db gain and 2db noise. It's not just the 24db difference either. High noise can really kill things.

Pat

While I may link to and mention products as examples, I don't recommend specific products.
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post #749 of 16261 Old 12-19-2004, 03:28 AM
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I bought a zenith silver sensor and I need the best and largest preamp for

Why? You may not need a preamp but a better, bigger antenna in a different location. Preamps overcome line losses and sometimes can hurt more than help. Tell us more about your situation.
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post #750 of 16261 Old 12-19-2004, 03:30 AM
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How can I boost my signal strength?

Jmvaughn,

I'm assuming you mean Zenith Silver Sensor? You may need to go outdoors with something like a 4221 or 4228 even depending on your location. Where are you in central Missouri and what stations are you trying to receive?
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