Successful antenna install in Bothell, WA! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 11-06-2001, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I live in the Canyon Park area in Bothell and it's notoriously bad for OTA reception. All the antenna installers I spoke to stated it's a crap shoot in this area. But I wanted to get the DTV stations so I went up on my roof and installed a Terk TV55. It didn't perform well at all. I could only get 2 stations intermittently with a maximum of 50% signal - even with a 10db amp.

So I changed the antenna to a Channel Master 4228 (8 Bay Multi-Bow Antenna) and it's working great. I currently have it in a stationary position and I'm getting ABC, CBS and NBC. ABC and CBS are at 75% and NBC is at 93% signal. The HDTV is just jaw dropping. And I'm not using any pre-amp at all.

I may decide to put in a rotor to try and pick up the other DTV channels like FOX and PBS but I haven't decided yet.

Hope this helps any would be antenna hunters in Bothell.

[Renamed thread as per suggestion below:D ]

The opinions expressed here are those of the poster (me) and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or its partners.
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post #2 of 33 Old 11-06-2001, 10:00 PM
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That's Awesome!!

About how far are the towers from you?

Dave
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post #3 of 33 Old 11-06-2001, 10:29 PM
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Congrats!

I recently moved from Lk Forest Park to Shoreline (Innis Arden...south of Richmond Beach) and was worried about OTA reception. We're at the base of a fairly large hill/ridge running N->S along the water, with lots of trees. I stuck a RS yagi on the roof with a CM rotor and pre-amp.

I get a strong signal on all channels except PBS....can't seem to get a good lock.

Cheers and congrats!
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post #4 of 33 Old 11-06-2001, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
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They're only about 14 miles away but there is physical terrain between me and the towers which has made reception in my area almost impossible.

The opinions expressed here are those of the poster (me) and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or its partners.
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post #5 of 33 Old 12-03-2001, 03:13 PM
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RobbyD,

I've been having trouble with my current solution, and am thinking of getting either a CM4228 or 3021...

Where did you get your CM4228? Does anywhere in the Seattle area carry them locally, or did you have to mail-order yours?

Cheers!

Rich
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post #6 of 33 Old 12-03-2001, 04:33 PM
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Hey guys, here is some more North Seattle data...

I'm in Shoreline - at the top of Richmond Beach Road (a few blocks north of Fred Meyers.

I just moved my small Radio Shack 2160 Yagi to the roof, about 25 off the ground, pointing a bit west of south (185-190). I get solid signals on 4/5/7 - 13 is fair and 9 lousy. This is with a cheap RS booster.

I suspect that I can reorient a bit and get 9 to improve but will probably loose 13 (9 was coming in strong when the antenna was in the attic, pointed due south).

I'm thinking of a larger antenna, and would like some data in return (or opinions if no data is to be had ;) )

I'd like to avoid a rotor/rotator, so how is the 'off axis' performance of the Channel Master 4228 (8 bow tie) vs the 4248 (large Yagi)?

FYI, 4/5/7 are at 180 degrees, 9 at 175, 13 at 225. Distances are less than 10 miles for all but 13 which is probably 20.

Rich - Pringle Electronics in Everett has the CM antennas. They quoted me 84.74 for the 4228. (425) 258-6161

tia,
jasg

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post #7 of 33 Old 12-03-2001, 08:00 PM
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JasG,

Thanks for the tip on Pringle...I'll give them a call.

You're really close to where I live...I'm just west of Shoreline CC...I'm currently using the larger RS yagi with a Rotor, and I get solid 4/7/13 with minimal rotation, and 5 is solid (most of the time). I get almost nothing from 9.

If you're looking for off-axis performance, I would stay away from the 4248 (yagi) as that will just increase your directionality. I'm going to try the 4228 or the 3021 as I seem to be fighting multipath issues (lots of low hills around me). I get strong signal most of the time, but with periodic dropouts. I'm pretty sure that the combination of tall trees and low foothills is creating a lot of stray signals.

I'll probably pick up a 4228 or 3021 this weekend and I can let you know how it works out for me.

cheers,

Rich
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post #8 of 33 Old 12-04-2001, 08:59 PM
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Rich,

I decided that since it looks like rain this weekend, I'd forget the instant gratification and mail order a 4228 - cheaper at Warren Electronics, even with shipping.

I'll let you know how it works out for me in a week or so.

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post #9 of 33 Old 12-04-2001, 10:35 PM
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Robby,

Could you describe more where you are located in relation to the hills where you live.

I live on the eastside of a hill that is between me and the broadcast antennas on Queen Anne Hill.

I tried a Radio Shack UHF I think there called Yagi type antenna on analog UHF and did not have good success.

I was curious how bad your reception was before you tried the 4228.

I am encouraged by your success.

Steve
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post #10 of 33 Old 12-04-2001, 10:41 PM
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JasG:

Well, I was going to mailorder from LnL, but now after calling Pringle this morning, I'm going to go pick one up on my own...

Rain shmain...I was on the roof last sat when it was blowing like crazy...Okay, it wasn't that bad (yet) but I was only up for a few minutes swapping my antenna (for a cm3010...waste of time :/ borrowed from a friend)

I have a rot(at)or, so all I have to do is get it up and pointing south...the rot(at)or does the rest. I'll probably grab either a 4221 or 4228 this weekend and let you know how it goes!

cheers,

Rich
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post #11 of 33 Old 12-04-2001, 11:21 PM
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Hey Seattle area guys. I'm in Lynnwood and can either get 4 5 7 9,, or 4 5 7 13, depending on where I manually rotate my 20 year old medium size rooftop VHF/UHF antenna. Can't get a steady 9 and 13 at one position. 9 will go in and out. Shouldn't you be able to get all with a rotor?
Bought my Mits HD5 STB from a sharp salesman/installer at Good Guys Bellevue. He said he's never been able to get all five at once. Since my 30 days aren't up on the HD5, I'm returning it for the Zenith DTV1080 to see if it'll do the trick without experimenting with antennas. Good luck.
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post #12 of 33 Old 12-05-2001, 06:14 AM
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Jiff,

Please report back after you get the Zenith to let us know how it works. I'm going to be picking up a STB after the new year but am still undecided as to which model to get. Being in Kent, your experience could help me out.

Thanks
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post #13 of 33 Old 12-05-2001, 09:56 AM
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Guess I'm pretty lucky being able to set an antenna out the window on my carport and pick up all channels.

Anyone else have a problem with audio on 13 ?? I get the picture fine, but no audio.....
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post #14 of 33 Old 12-05-2001, 11:27 AM
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Actually, I can set my RS double bowtie indoor antenna on top of one of my surround speakers (in my basement!) and get channel 5 solid as a rock...I'd have to fiddle with the direction to pick anything else up though...

I really like having the rotor...I have the CM model with the IR receiver/controller, so I just program my pronto to change the channel on my AccessDTV card (using girder and slinke for IR..actually more complicated but that the gist of it) and to turn the antenna to the appropriate direction. Pretty straightforward one button to set the channel :P

I envy your ease of use though...I have been fiddling with the antenna (type, height, pitch, etc) trying to get channel 5 to be stable, and to get channel 9 at all. I'm at the base of a hill, right along the water in shoreline with lots of trees. I'm sure that I'm getting pretty bad multipath, as my signal strength is quite high, but periodically breaks up (with still high signal strength)

I'm going to pick up a 4221 this friday and see if that helps with my multipath stability issues.

Cheers!

Rich
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post #15 of 33 Old 12-05-2001, 11:29 AM
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oh, and Caspyr,

No, I don't have any issues with audio on channel 13....sound and picture here :P
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post #16 of 33 Old 12-05-2001, 07:04 PM
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Is pringle a local supplier in the Seattle area?
I live in Brier in a low spot with alot of trees. Even with a channelmaster Yagi my receptoion is intermitent. Alot of multipath problems I think. Was thinking of trying a Bowtie.
Sidenote I think we should unite and try to harass KING TV into dropping their endless promo loop and at least rebroadcast thier regular programiing in hd. The loop was interesting for about the first 6 months.
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post #17 of 33 Old 12-05-2001, 08:59 PM
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Hi guys, great thread here.

I receive all channels without adjusting my rotor (yes I am finally making a stand on rotor). But if I need to optimize for a specific channel I am ready.

I am using a Antennacraft MXU59 I bought at Pringles last spring. I also have a radioshack amplifier since I am running the signal to three decoders. I still have Channelmaster envy though. Pringles is a great source in the Puget Sound for top quality antenna goods.

I played with the Radioshack bowtie but it won't get the job done at my place In Lake Hills in Bellevue.

Jiff I receive all locals with a 100 reading on a Mitsubishi SR-HD5 compared to a 80 to 85 with my DTC-100 and I get a good signal (no meter) on all channels with a Panasonic TU-DST50W which has the same problem as Caspyr with the audio on KCPQ.

I don't know what the price difference is between the Zenith and the Mits but it could probably pay for the rotor or Channelmaster antenna with the ability and beam width pick up all locals without moving the antenna.


Check out antennaweb
http://www.antennaweb.org/antennaweb/
see how many degrees of beamwidth you need before you rule out needing a rotor.

Bruceko - Good idea about King but I have called and emailed them more than once. But it did work with KCTS as they now multicast the regular channel along with the HDdigital channel.

Maybe it is time for a new campaign.

JasG. The Channelmaster 4228 is probably a good one to try. That is the antenna I might go for in the spring. Still I like that but YAGI up on the roof like a 50s sci-fi movie lazer beam.

RJW
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post #18 of 33 Old 12-05-2001, 09:10 PM
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Interesting thread. I'm on the south end of Fidalgo Island, near Deception Pass. KCPQ is the only station I get 100% of the time. I get PBS about 50%, and the three major networks less. Sixty mile signal path for me, mostly over water.

Art Shotwell
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post #19 of 33 Old 12-05-2001, 10:36 PM
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yep, good thread.

Wish we could rename it to "Seattle HDTV Tower" , I'm tired of those Boston & Denver geeks getting all the attention ;)

Maybe if we start one, the local stations will take notice...

Rich - I too was up on the roof last weekend, I'll take a weekend off while I wait for my 4228 ($47+ !).

Caspyr - No problems with sound on KCPQ 13 on my SIR T-150, just signal breakup every minute or so. Same thing on 9, but the rest is solid.

Art - from my location, I have the following:

169 degrees - KCTS9 - 8.6 miles (Capitol Hill)
182 degrees - KING5 - 7.3 miles (Queen Anne)
183 degrees - KOMO4 - 7.3 miles
184 degrees - KIRO7 - 7.3
239 degrees - KCPQ13 - 25.2 miles (Bremerton)

My 40" yagi is pointed at 185 or so & I have trouble with the off-beam stations.

wezar - try these sites too:

- get your latitude & longitude here

http://homer.ssd.census.gov/cgi-bin/mapbrowse-tbl/

- then use it at the following site (include ONLY 'DT') to get direction & distance as above.

http://bsexton.com/cgi-bin/tv.cgi

- this site has tower elevations & xmitter power

http://www.metronet.com/~chipk/tv/SEA.html

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post #20 of 33 Old 12-12-2001, 12:38 PM
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Well I decided to give the CM4221 a shot, and picked one up at Pringle in Everett. I decided against the larger 8 bay (4228?) for two reasons....more expensive (not a good reason :P), and more importantly, it wouldn't fit in my car! :P I'm happy with the 4221, and will just have to make some adjustments to get 5 a little more stable.

I upgraded from a RS UHF Yagi (the bigger one), and have a rotor and a winegard pre-amp (UHF). My signal strengths for 4, 5, 7, and 13 were good prior to the upgrade, but channel 5 was prone to lots of dropouts, and the rest were very succeptible to wind and rain (lots of dropouts or unable to lock in bad weather...bad news in seattle :P). I have no luck getting 9 to tune in properly....

After the new antenna install, I get 4,5,7, and 13 with good strength, but 9 is iffy...sometimes it works, but most of the time is just bounces around and won't lock. Channels 4,7, and 13 are rock solid (don't have numbers from a stb, I use accessDTV) but they are at ~90% + each with proper antenna pointing (I have a rotor with remote). Channel 5 is problematic for me, but with proper pointing, I can get it to lock and be stable at ~50-70%....

The upgrade from the rs Yagi to the CM4221 (4 bay bowtie) has really improved my channel stability (at least yesterday when it was clear and not windy). With the RS yagi, when it would get windy, I couldn't pick up anything....I don't know if the 4221 will help with that, but here's to trying! :P

One thing I am going to try is raising the antenna a little further up. I have a 5' mast with a rotor on top, then the cm4221 directly mounted to the rotor. I'll probably get a longer "extension" mast, and mount the antenna partway up that. I can't go too high, as that will cause too much strain on the rotor, but with the bowtie antenna it won't be as much of an issue as it was with the yagi. Would have put it higher yesterday, but it was cold, would have required one more trip out (thought I had an extra mast at home so didn't pick one up), and I'd need a longer coax patch cable to hook it up (I'm out of connectors to crimp on.....got the cable and tool, just no connectors).

Anyway, so far so good :P

cheers,

Rich
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post #21 of 33 Old 12-13-2001, 04:40 PM
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Well, last nite proved to cause trouble as the wind was blowing quite hard. I lost lock on KING, but KOMO, KIRO and KCPQ were alright. KIRO got a little iffy at times, and small rotational adjustments helped to get it back in line (makes me wonder if I had it set "just right" to begin with).

IMHO, the 4221 has greatly improved the stability of my reception on most channels. KING is still a bit of a pain, and KCTS is still a no-show. I haven't had a real chance to tweak the height of the antenna, or try it without the pre-amp yet to see if either of those will help with my tuning of KING.

Cheers,

Rich
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post #22 of 33 Old 12-27-2001, 12:18 PM
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Here is some more Seattle area HD data,

I live in North Kirkland/Bothell, just off the 405 freeway at 160th street. Luckily, I am at the top, rather than the bottom of the hill before you head into Canyon Park. I started with the indoor Radio Shack double bowtie and got very sporadic results. However, when I placed the RS Bowtie next to the window, I got 100% strength on everythig except for FOX KCPQ. So I went and bought the smaller (4 bay) Channel Master from the famous Pringle Electroincs in everett for $37. It works like a charm. I have the thing currently pointing out the window on the top floor of my townhouse...and get 100% strength on every channel without moving the antennae or using a preamp. Eventually, I will get the courage to install the thing on my roof, so that I dont have this coxial cable running all over my carpet to the upstairs bedroom.
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post #23 of 33 Old 01-11-2002, 09:32 PM
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Okay, after waiting about a month for the Zenith DTV1080 STB, I've used it for a week now. Regarding OTA reception;; it did the trick, I get all 5 Seattle area digital signals without rotating the rooftop. 9 (PBS) and 13 (FOX) are about 20 degrees apart and 15 and 20 miles away from Lynnwood, and the Mits HD5 couldn't grab both at one antenna position. You guys on the eastside are fortunate to have all five transmitters lining up due west.
The HD5 beats the Zenith in other regards though, and I'm going to the big DTV1080 thread with my comments.
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post #24 of 33 Old 01-12-2002, 01:46 AM
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I live in Marysville and I am getting NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and PBS. using the CM 4228. Signal stregnth from 75-85. PBS in Seattle is only broadcasting a few hours a day. I think between 3pm and 7 pm. They have an awsome picture. They have two signals an HD and a Digital. FOX is my strongest signal and they are not sending HD but they are sending 480p widescreen. ABC is the worst picture because they are in 750p and my TV does not upconvert it well at all. CBS is awsome when they are in HD and NBC is OK sometimes.

Toshiba 57HX81
Dish Net 6000
8VSB Module
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post #25 of 33 Old 01-12-2002, 12:26 PM
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Wow, everyone seems to be having the opposite problem with stations than me -- I have a large RS Yagi on the roof w/amplifier and rotor, but the only HD signal that comes in strongly is KCTS on 41.1. KING on 48.1 comes in sometimes, but the house is behind a small hill with large evergreen trees (Bellevue -- near 520 & 405). Any suggestions? I am thinking about upgrading the antenna preamp from 10db to 30db. It's maddening -- the Seattle area has plenty of great OTA HD broadcast, and the house is less than 8 miles away from the towers, but the d*mn hill and trees are in the way!

Also, how big of difference is there between the Toshiba DST3000 and new Zenith 1080 for OTA reception? (I am currently using a HTPC w/AccessDTV card for tuner while I wait for my DirecTivo Sat dish)...

Thanks!

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post #26 of 33 Old 01-12-2002, 12:59 PM
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JBWeeks , Have you tried another receiver? The Good Guys has great return policy and you could try out recievers to see if they are an improvement over you PC based tuner. I imagine it will be close to a year before we see a HD based PVR and in that time you could get a lot of value from a non PVR based receiver. Also with the Mits SR HD 4-5 series being closed out you might get a deal.

Rick

RJW
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post #27 of 33 Old 01-12-2002, 04:03 PM
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Well - Im in Mill Creek and have run into similar problems. With the antenna on the roof - the rain gremlins caused too many drop outs. So - the attic seemed to be the next best attemot. In the attic - I lost too much reception. Just at 50% which on my XBR2 means - no reception. I had the two location problem as well

Solution?? Two Antennas! I know it's an overshoot - but - I have two sets of bow-tie arrays in my attic one where I get 4, 5, 7, 9 with great reception - and the smaller one went where I get 13 perfectly. I have the antennas connected via a 75 ohm cable.

With Digital - it seems to be - find a place where the antenna gets good reception and then increase the size until you get a strong enough signal. It may sound crazy - but it worked for me :)

Thanks,
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post #28 of 33 Old 01-12-2002, 06:19 PM
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jbweeks --- I had the Mits HD5, and the DTV1080 OTA reception is narrowly better than the HD5. Different antennas will make a bigger difference for you.
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post #29 of 33 Old 01-14-2002, 03:37 PM
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It's great to hear that you guys are actually getting signal, but I'm having big problems getting a decent signal on most of the stations.

Here's my situation. I live downtown in the Belltown neighborhood, in a 1st floor apartment (with south facing balcony for satellite). I'm ~3 miles from the towers and I can't get a reliable signal. the strangest thing is that I get nothing from 7, but I can get 5 and 4 to lock in with some work. That's strange seeing as they're on the same hill. the results below are the best I've ever gotten with each channel. Note that I can't ever get more than one channel at a time (other than FOX)

Strengths:

4 - 70%
5 - 70%
7 - none
9 - none
13 - mid 80s


I have a CM3021 (the 4 bowtie model), and it doesn't seem to help much, possibly because I have to aim it back through the building. I can obtain the above signal results with an antenna that's nothing more than speakers wire terminated by an F-connector

Any ideas here? I'm mostly concerned about getting channel 7, since they have the majority of the HD content. Should I just try lots and lots of antennas to see which one works best for me?
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post #30 of 33 Old 01-15-2002, 08:21 AM
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Vidkid,

I thought they were not letting anybody in Mill Creek put up OTA antennas.

I am thinking of going to D* from E* because of PQ and HDNET. has anyone done that recently.
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