Announcing Patent Pending Banana Plugs Called Strike Plugs and an Intro-Discount - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 60 Old 05-01-2015, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Exclamation Announcing Patent Pending Banana Plugs Called Strike Plugs and an Intro-Discount

First of all, Sewell's new patent pending banana plug style called Strike Plugs is out, and AVS Forum visitors get an exclusive 20% off. But why get banana plugs at all?

You already know that good speakers and cable are important to a good home theater, but just as important is what kind of speaker cable termination you use. And there’s more to think of in this case than just sound quality, which is why we love banana plugs. They give you great sound quality, as well as other benefits you can’t get from other connector types. Here are 5 good reasons why you should be using banana plugs in your home theater setup.

1. Don't Second Guess Whether Your Connection is Optimal

When it comes to cable termination, sound quality is most affected by surface area contact. You want to get all strands of the speaker wire to connect with your equipment. You want to take any second guessing out of this process. Bare wire connections can get pulled out, corrode, or get frizzy over time, making it harder to know that you're always getting a solid connection. Banana plugs ensure a secure connection with the maximum surface area for the whole life of the cable.

2. Banana Plugs are Easier to Connect

Connecting speaker wires can be a pain, usually requiring a bunch of stuffing and twisting for each speaker connection. With banana plugs, you just plug the cable into the port, no hassle required, making it easy to set up and swap out gear. This is especially beneficial for multichannel systems or anyone who plans on moving their setup in the future.

3. Keep Your Cable and Equipment Safe

The main worry with bare wire connections is frayed cable. If you’re not experienced handling bare wire, there’s always the odd chance a random strand could escape you and touch something metal, causing a short. Even after you’ve installed your speakers, if there is the slightest chance of them being knocked over by pets, kids, or anyone else, banana plugs are a must. They will keep your cables from tearing or being ripped out, damaging your cable and equipment.

4. Speaker Cable Oxidation Prevention

Speaker cable is made of copper and copper can oxidize very quickly (you'll know when this happens because the beautiful bright copper color will darken) when exposed to air which can ruin your sound quality, not to mention your cable. If you've run precisely measured cables behind a wall and your cable becomes oxidized, you'll be faced with a pretty major pain point. Whether soldered or solderless, banana plugs offer a great solution. They are easier than soldering your cables and any good quality banana plug is gold-plated to protect from corrosion.

5. Aesthetics

Last but not least, banana plugs just make the backsides of your equipment look better. If you’re putting in high quality equipment it’s likely you want it to look good as well as sound good. If you are setting up a system for a commercial setting, you'll want to put your best foot forward. Bare wire connections can look messy and unprofessional. Banana plugs not only give you a solid connection, they also give you a clean installation that looks as nice as it sounds.

Innovation In This Field

Let's face it, banana plugs are kind of a boring product compared to TVs, AVRs, speakers, etc. For this reason, there hasn't been a lot of innovation in this field for a long time. Virtually all brands that sell banana plugs are selling a regurgitated design that's been around for a decade or more. Sewell hasn't been that different, over the years we've taken the best existing designs out there and we've done our best to improve them by sharpening crimping teeth, including an extra vice screw, increasing the gold plating thickness on the connector, etc., but this is about to change.

Sewell is proud to announce a patent-pending banana plug design called Strike Plugs, and AVS Forum is the first place we are announcing it.

The Strike Banana Plug improves speaker cable termination in a number of ways:
  1. The fastest termination method on the market with our patent-pending V-lock. No screwdriver required. No strand-fanning required. Just insert and twist.
  2. Smaller profile than any existing solderless banana plug on the market, allowing you to fit your equipment more snuggly against a wall. Also good for speaker wire ports that are close to each other.
  3. While being short and small, it can accomodate up to 10AWG wire which some much larger plugs don't do.

AVS Forum visitors get an exclusive 20% off Strike Banana Plugs (7 pair or 14 pair) by clicking on this link.
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post #2 of 60 Old 05-02-2015, 11:13 PM
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What's the outer barrel on these? Is it non-conductive plastic like your (excellent) Deadbolt plugs and spades?

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post #3 of 60 Old 05-04-2015, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post
What's the outer barrel on these? Is it non-conductive plastic like your (excellent) Deadbolt plugs and spades?
Currently Strike Banana Plug outer casings are treated with an acid treatment but don't have a non-conductive coating like the Deadbolt Banana Plugs do, but this is slated to change. Although the Strike casings are definitely less conductive than the tips, we still see some conductivity in the outer casing. If the non-conductive coating is a must, I'd continue to buy Deadbolts or Silverbacks (which also have a non-conductive coating).

Thanks a lot for bringing this aspect up-- I've already met with the development team for this product and they are working on implementing the coating for the next production run.
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post #4 of 60 Old 05-04-2015, 08:13 PM
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Thanks. Looks like I'll be keeping an eye out for the second run. I could use some extra bananas.

I do like your Deadbolts though. The springs seem stronger than the generic ones of that style, as well as the m-word ones that started this style. But your pricing is more in line with the generics than the m-words. The ability to go from banana to spade without touching the wire is nice, too. (Assuming one has both the banana and the spade.)

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post #5 of 60 Old 05-05-2015, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post
Thanks. Looks like I'll be keeping an eye out for the second run. I could use some extra bananas.

I do like your Deadbolts though. The springs seem stronger than the generic ones of that style, as well as the m-word ones that started this style. But your pricing is more in line with the generics than the m-words. The ability to go from banana to spade without touching the wire is nice, too. (Assuming one has both the banana and the spade.)
I too will be waiting for the second run. I like the Deadbolts, but if you are using a 12 or 10 gauge speaker wire and they are hanging the tips start bending over time. I've replaced 2 of them already, but I am thinking of possibly moving to spades instead.
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post #6 of 60 Old 05-05-2015, 02:32 PM
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I really like the look and size of these plugs, but I have a practical question. What keeps the wire from falling out the back of the plug? The tip presses down into the wire, but I didn't see anything to secure the wire in place. Doesn't it fall out? Am I missing something? With the quick connect plugs the wire folds over and gets tightened against the top, but the diagram doesn't show anything like that or any set screws for these.
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post #7 of 60 Old 05-07-2015, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by unavol View Post
I really like the look and size of these plugs, but I have a practical question. What keeps the wire from falling out the back of the plug? The tip presses down into the wire, but I didn't see anything to secure the wire in place. Doesn't it fall out? Am I missing something? With the quick connect plugs the wire folds over and gets tightened against the top, but the diagram doesn't show anything like that or any set screws for these.
The conical head inside the barrel of the plug spreads and holds the wire secure, much the same way that our Deadbolt and Ocelot plugs work. The plugs don't have set screws, that wide cone adheres the plugs to the inside of the barrel.
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post #8 of 60 Old 05-08-2015, 06:49 AM
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So the bottom part of the plug screws up against the cone and holds it in place? It'll be interesting to see how the reviews come back on these. As I mentioned before, I do like the look and size of the strike plugs. The short plug is helpful to those of us who have AVR's inside of cabinets with limited depth inside the cabinet.

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post #9 of 60 Old 05-08-2015, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by unavol View Post
So the bottom part of the plug screws up against the cone and holds it in place? It'll be interesting to see how the reviews come back on these. As I mentioned before, I do like the look and size of the strike plugs. The short plug is helpful to those of us who have AVR's inside of cabinets with limited depth inside the cabinet.
Yup, that's basically it. The connection was strong enough for us to use it for our quarterly company tug-o-war. OK not really, but I really am impressed with the strength of the connection.
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post #10 of 60 Old 05-08-2015, 10:22 AM
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Thanks Jared. I've never owned Sewell plugs. I might have to check them out. I hope y'all use at least 12AWG wire for your company T.O.W.

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post #11 of 60 Old 05-08-2015, 05:38 PM
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I just finally ordered some 12 prs deadbolts to replace some older monster bannanas I have....

Is there any time time on the less conductive second run of strike plugs?

Last edited by toddman36; 05-11-2015 at 03:50 PM.
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post #12 of 60 Old 05-09-2015, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sewell Direct Jared View Post
Currently Strike Banana Plug outer casings are treated with an acid treatment but don't have a non-conductive coating like the Deadbolt Banana Plugs do, but this is slated to change. Although the Strike casings are definitely less conductive than the tips, we still see some conductivity in the outer casing. If the non-conductive coating is a must, I'd continue to buy Deadbolts or Silverbacks (which also have a non-conductive coating).
I have been thinking I need to finally add bananas. Do I need to worry about the lack of non-conductive coating on the Strikes? I like the 20% off enticement (it gets close to covering shipping). Or, should I just buy the Deadbolts that everyone seems to like?
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post #13 of 60 Old 05-11-2015, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by toddman36 View Post
I just finally ordered some 12 prs deadbolts to replace some oleer monster bannanas I have....

Is there any time time on the less conductive second run of strike plugs?
Yes-- the timeline to get the non-conductive coating on these outer casings appears to be about 5-6 weeks (that's when we'll have stock to sell). Right now we're in the prototype phase, and we're supposed to have a finished sample ready for testing done in the next couple of days.

I do highly encourage you to try out the Deadbolts if you want for now. They have the non-conductive casings and they are the only plugs on Amazon both with tons of ratings and virtually a solid 5-star average.

https://sewelldirect.com/Sewell-Dead...gs-12-Pair.asp

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post #14 of 60 Old 05-11-2015, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been thinking I need to finally add bananas. Do I need to worry about the lack of non-conductive coating on the Strikes? I like the 20% off enticement (it gets close to covering shipping). Or, should I just buy the Deadbolts that everyone seems to like?
The main worry about the conductive outer casing is that a stray strand from another speaker wire channel could come in contact with the banana plug, aggregating two signals together. There is an infinitesimal chance that if the two aggregated signals are perfectly designed to add up to one really powerful signal, it could hurt your speakers. The chances of the two audio signals to be designed in such a way that the signal is additive to the point of damaging any equipment is virtually impossible. Audio signals (especially when combining left and right audio) have more of a tendency to cancel each other out.

The fact that the Strike plugs terminate in a way to ensure that all strands are locked inside the banana plug, I can say with a lot of confidence that this scenario would never happen unless it was intentional.

Here's another data point: We sell tens of thousands of packs of these plugs every year. They have a very conductive outer casing, and even offer a side-address style of termination which you would imagine leaves a lot more of a chance of a stray strand. All that being said, receiving complaints about this issue is still unheard of within the company.

So, could this be a problem? I guess there is some super small probability number I could throw out, but I would just say 'virtually impossible'. We pride ourselves with being the industry leader on this humble connector, and we are determined to stay that way, so non-conductivity will be implemented in a sample this week without any increase in price to the customer, and mass production on the new units will begin soon after assuming testing goes well.

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post #15 of 60 Old 05-11-2015, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Jared. I've never owned Sewell plugs. I might have to check them out. I hope y'all use at least 12AWG wire for your company T.O.W.
Haha, we actually WOULD use 12 AWG wire if we did a company T.O.W. Our Silverback brand speaker wire is labelled as 12AWG but is actually a lot closer to 10AWG, which would stack the cards against whatever team I was on (since I have princess-peach-biceps).

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post #16 of 60 Old 05-12-2015, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Sewell Direct Jared View Post
The fact that the Strike plugs terminate in a way to ensure that all strands are locked inside the banana plug, I can say with a lot of confidence that this scenario would never happen unless it was intentional.
Thanks. I placed an order for the current Strikes.
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post #17 of 60 Old 05-12-2015, 09:52 AM
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Looks like a cool design and i'm trying to get some on order. I see the discount after clicking the link but when I add to the cart the price bumps back up to the regular price. has anyone been able to order some on the web with the 20% discount Jared mentioned?
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post #18 of 60 Old 05-12-2015, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks like a cool design and i'm trying to get some on order. I see the discount after clicking the link but when I add to the cart the price bumps back up to the regular price. has anyone been able to order some on the web with the 20% discount Jared mentioned?
Thanks for bringing this to our attention-- are you using IE? We just noticed a bug in IE that doesn't allow the discount to carry over to the cart. We'll fix it ASAP.

If you want, try it with Chrome for now. Will update as soon as this is fixed.

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post #19 of 60 Old 05-12-2015, 03:34 PM
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Thanks for bringing this to our attention-- are you using IE? We just noticed a bug in IE that doesn't allow the discount to carry over to the cart.
That must be it, I'm at work and we're locked into IE, an old version even. I'll give it another go when I get home. Thanks!
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post #20 of 60 Old 05-12-2015, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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That must be it, I'm at work and we're locked into IE, an old version even. I'll give it another go when I get home. Thanks!
We figured out that the problem is probably not browser specific afterall. Our promo system on Sewelldirect.com had an overhaul a few weeks ago and we discovered a bug that if you use the link I provided to apply the discount, you have to refresh at least once or visit another page on the site for the promo to be applied in the cart. Sorry about this bug.

The best thing to do is to hit the refresh button once after you've clicked the promo link I provided originally. Please come back here and let me know if that isn't fixing the problem for you.

We are fixing this as we speak.

Another thing to note is that we are also working hard on a website redesign launch very soon. We'll be announcing it here on AVSforum in a new thread when complete.

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post #21 of 60 Old 05-13-2015, 07:36 AM
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The best thing to do is to hit the refresh button once after you've clicked the promo link I provided originally. Please come back here and let me know if that isn't fixing the problem for you.
Still no go.
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post #22 of 60 Old 05-13-2015, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Still no go.
Sorry for the hassle! This is the fail-proof way to make sure the promo gets applied to the shopping cart (and not just the product page):

If THIS doesn't work, it might be a more serious problem. Please report back if this works for you.

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post #23 of 60 Old 05-13-2015, 07:48 AM
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Just wanted to chime in here. While I have no need for any more banana plugs at this time, I do have the Silverbacks and I think they were a great purchase. Sewell makes great products at a great price so I wouldn't hesitate to purchase any of their products if they have the same quality as what I have. And no, I don't have any affiliation with the company nor am I receiving compensation for my opinion....although I wouldn't complain if I did haha.

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post #24 of 60 Old 05-13-2015, 08:33 AM
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Please report back if this works for you.
Still more of the same unfortunately. I cleared my cart, followed your link to input promo code and got the message "That promotion has already been applied to your account." went to product page, original price was crossed out and replaced with discounted price. Added to cart at the original price. I also tried clearing cookies and restarting IE, It accepted the code but the discount did not carry through to the cart.

ended up checking out on my phone using your steps. Thanks for your help Jared, i'm looking forward to some new plugs!
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post #25 of 60 Old 05-13-2015, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Still more of the same unfortunately.
That's really frustrating, sorry about that. All our web devs are working feverishly on QAing the new site, so getting them to work on this bug has been hard. From everything we see for now, this should really work for everyone though.

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ended up checking out on my phone using your steps. Thanks for your help Jared, i'm looking forward to some new plugs!
Sounds great. Let me know how it goes. We're definitely looking for feedback to make future versions better.

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post #26 of 60 Old 05-13-2015, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Just wanted to chime in here. While I have no need for any more banana plugs at this time, I do have the Silverbacks and I think they were a great purchase. Sewell makes great products at a great price so I wouldn't hesitate to purchase any of their products if they have the same quality as what I have. And no, I don't have any affiliation with the company nor am I receiving compensation for my opinion....although I wouldn't complain if I did haha.

Cheers
That is really nice of you to say, thank you!

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post #27 of 60 Old 05-21-2015, 11:28 AM
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strike plugs

So, I used the discount and ordered a set of 7 pairs. They came yesterday (4 days). They are really small, just like in the picture, but have plenty of ID to handle large wire. I was using 12 gauge wire (pre-stripped) and it look me less at 10 seconds to unscrew the plug, insert the wire, and screw it back down. Plugging into my Aperion Audio Versa Grand Bookshelves was flawless, and the plugs worked on the first try.
The only thing that I didn't like was the potential amount of stress on the wires, as the wires are not really "held" by the end of the plug (admittedly my wires had the insulation stripped pass the end of the plug, something that I will correct). I didn't try to yank the plugs out by the wires, but I could see that this could cause the wire to separate from the plug. Overall a very good product.
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post #28 of 60 Old 05-27-2015, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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So, I used the discount and ordered a set of 7 pairs. They came yesterday (4 days). They are really small, just like in the picture, but have plenty of ID to handle large wire. I was using 12 gauge wire (pre-stripped) and it look me less at 10 seconds to unscrew the plug, insert the wire, and screw it back down. Plugging into my Aperion Audio Versa Grand Bookshelves was flawless, and the plugs worked on the first try.
The only thing that I didn't like was the potential amount of stress on the wires, as the wires are not really "held" by the end of the plug (admittedly my wires had the insulation stripped pass the end of the plug, something that I will correct). I didn't try to yank the plugs out by the wires, but I could see that this could cause the wire to separate from the plug. Overall a very good product.
Sorry for the delayed response, we've actually been conversing internally about whether we have options to improve the aspect you mention: you essentially want to tighten as much as possible without stressing out your cables' conductors. In previous prototypes we had a design that sent the conductor over a harder edge inside the plug, and fixing that took us a long way to protecting the speaker wire conductor. So far in our testing of our current solution we haven't run into a problem where a super tight screw-in stresses the conductors noticeably, but we agree that there might be a way to improve the inverted cone (we call it v-lock) mechanism to put less stress on the conductor.

We've definitely done a lot of pull testing and we are pretty happy about how well the speaker wire survives, but we're excited about looking into continual improvement of this little guy.

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post #29 of 60 Old 06-05-2015, 09:18 PM
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What is wrong with Speakon connectors? No risk of shortage and used by all the professional gear.
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post #30 of 60 Old 06-06-2015, 08:45 AM
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Your claim that sound quality is degraded when fewer wire strands make contact with the terminal makes no sense. That would mean that thinner wire creates inferior sound (since that also means that less wire makes contact with surface). Of course we all know that is not true, unless you are running too thin a wire for too long a distance.

I've researched banana plugs extensively while building my home theater, and there is no evidence that they do anything except provide convenience.

In fact, I've spoken with people who swear by NOT using banana plugs because they get in the way of a more pure and direct connection. I am not saying I agree with this, but it just shows how ridiculous the claim in this topic seems.

Last edited by WebEffect; 06-06-2015 at 08:54 AM.
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banana plugs , patent pending , sewell , sewell banana plugs , strike banana plugs

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