iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread - Page 167 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #4981 of 5445 Old 04-04-2017, 10:54 AM
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Question WD 1TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive - USB 3.0 - WDBUZG0010BBK-WESN

Has anyone had an experience using an external hard drive, that draws power from the USB connection?

I need another 1T hard drive, and hesitate to buy one if the lack of a separate power function is going to be a problem.

Thanks!
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post #4982 of 5445 Old 04-04-2017, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntheaH View Post
Has anyone had an experience using an external hard drive, that draws power from the USB connection?

I need another 1T hard drive, and hesitate to buy one if the lack of a separate power function is going to be a problem.
I'd recommend asking their support ([email protected]). I have a different unit (the Homeworx HW-150PVR) and it supports powering the hard drive as long as it is rated less than 800mA. My drive is a 2.5 inch SATA drive and it's 700mA. So it will work as long as you don't have a power hungry drive. In the case of the HW-150PVR, they don't regulate the current, so they warn the user that putting a higher rated current device on there can toast the circuit.

Alternatively, you can get a "USB power injector" that will allow you to connect the host and device and give you a receptacle for the power supply, if you don't want it to come from the host device directly. They sell them on Amazon.

Last edited by mdbratch; 04-04-2017 at 11:43 AM.
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post #4983 of 5445 Old 04-04-2017, 12:58 PM
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A few words of caution about USB power injectors. First, many require two USB ports on the host, which makes them useless with an iView, which has only one USB port. (Besides, all they do is parallel the power from two USB ports, which doesn't help if the total power available isn't enough.) Second, most are unswitched, so they supply five volts to the drive even when the iView is off, causing the drive to spin continuously. (Some drives have a "sleep" feature which can overcome this, but the sleep feature can create its own set of problems.)

If you're willing to build it yourself, I did find plans for a switched USB power injector on the web here: https://www.eeweb.com/blog/extreme_c...al-hard-drives.

For the rest of us, a powered USB hub is probably your best bet. These are usually switched - but I've had trouble with some of those too! So far I haven't tried a powered hub I can personally vouch for, but this 7-port hub was recently recommended on the HomeWorX thread, so it might be worth a shot: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DQFGJR4

If the link doesn't take you to a 7-port hub, click '7-port USB 2.0' on the page. (I had some trouble with the page.) The 4-port USB 2.0 hub linked to on that page is not powered; avoid it. (The 4-port USB 3.0 hub is powered, so it would probably work too, but I don't know of anyone who's tried it.)
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post #4984 of 5445 Old 04-04-2017, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
First, many require two USB ports on the host, which makes them useless with an iView, which has only one USB port. (Besides, all they do is parallel the power from two USB ports, which doesn't help if the total power available isn't enough.)
There are different kinds, as you point out. Sorry I didn't make it clear, but I was referring to the kind that allows you to power from an external AC adapter, not from two host USB ports. Obviously, the two USB port kind won't work here since the whole issue is that the host in this case is expected not to have adequate power to provide to the device (can't source enough current). A powered USB hub is a nice, economical alternative and is really the same idea, just with multiple ports.

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post #4985 of 5445 Old 04-05-2017, 02:13 AM
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Like this?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Inateck USB 3.0 to SATA Converter Adapter for 2.5 inch/3.5 inch Hard Drive Disk HDD and SSD, Power Adapter Included(UA1001)

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post #4986 of 5445 Old 04-05-2017, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncsercs View Post
Like this?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Inateck USB 3.0 to SATA Converter Adapter for 2.5 inch/3.5 inch Hard Drive Disk HDD and SSD, Power Adapter Included(UA1001)
That's one of numerous choices if one has a spare SATA drive.
I have a spare 700mA 2.5 inch SATA drive taken from a laptop that I upgrade, and only needed something like this, since the PVR could power the drive without external help:

https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-2-5-I...sata+enclosure

Here's a very simple USB power injector adapter (requires an external AC adapter):

https://www.amazon.com/Mikrotik-5VUS...power+injector

But it's actually cheaper to get this powered USB hub:

https://www.amazon.com/Protronix-Por...power+injector
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post #4987 of 5445 Old 04-05-2017, 02:35 PM
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That's a good price on that powered hub. Have you confirmed that it works on the iView or HomeWorX? (I assume if it works on one, it'll work on the other.)

I got this one last year for about $13: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OM9QMOS

... but it never worked on either the HW or iView.
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post #4988 of 5445 Old 04-05-2017, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
That's a good price on that powered hub. Have you confirmed that it works on the iView or HomeWorX? (I assume if it works on one, it'll work on the other.)

I got this one last year for about $13: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OM9QMOS

... but it never worked on either the HW or iView.
Actually, I haven't tried it, and that's a good point. The hub you linked complies with the USB 2.0 specification, which only guarantees up to 500mA current capacity, which is less than HDDs require. It looks like the Amazon description says 400mA in this case. So it probably would not work powering an external HDD. The USB 3.0 specification is 900mA @ 5V, so that stands a chance. The hub I linked claims USB 3.0, so I'm only supposing it stands a chance of working as long as the HDD doesn't require more than 900mA.

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post #4989 of 5445 Old 04-05-2017, 07:59 PM
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As to why my hub doesn't work, I tested it with a voltage/current checker. Output voltage was 4.9V; a bit low but should be OK. Current drain of my HDD measured <180mA with or without the hub, and the HDD light comes on when plugged into the hub (and when the iView is turned on). But the iView doesn't recognize it.

A clue, perhaps, from Amazon's product page: "Not support Mac OS X." How can a USB hub only work on some OSes and not others?

So I tried it with my Windows 7 PC. When I plugged in the HDD, it installed a device driver, which required a reboot! That never happens when I plug the HDD directly into the PC. I can only conclude the device driver came from the hub itself.

But even after rebooting it still didn't work. And naturally Windows couldn't find an updated driver for it. So for my $13, it basically turned out to be a piece of junk.

I wouldn't expect other powered hubs to have these kinds of issues. Guess I just picked a bad model.
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post #4990 of 5445 Old 04-06-2017, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
As to why my hub doesn't work, I tested it with a voltage/current checker. Output voltage was 4.9V; a bit low but should be OK. Current drain of my HDD measured <180mA with or without the hub, and the HDD light comes on when plugged into the hub (and when the iView is turned on). But the iView doesn't recognize it.
4.9V is certainly within acceptable range of the nominal 5V. However, the < 180mA seems very low for an HDD if it's actually operating. SATA drives I've looked (3.5" and 2.5") have all been higher than 550mA @ 5V right on the hard drive casing label. So maybe when measuring current, you weren't looking at peak usage?

Last edited by mdbratch; 04-06-2017 at 05:50 AM.
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post #4991 of 5445 Old 04-07-2017, 12:10 PM
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It draws 180mA when it's spinning but otherwise idle. Measured current goes up to around 350mA when the heads are moving (i.e., when it's actually recording or playing). The point, though, was that it draws the same current whether powered directly from the iView (where it works) or the hub (where it doesn't, so naturally there's no way to measure "peak" usage in this case).

It's a 2.5" 500GB Samsung HDD. I'm sure HDDs with greater capacity require more current.


BTW, the 400mA current listed on Amazon's page was supposedly for the power adapter:
Quote:
Adapter Output Voltage : 5V Output Current : 400mA Adapter interface : 5.5 mm
... but it's incorrect; the power adapter I received is a 1000mA one. So even if the hub itself is junk, at least I got a decent 5V power adapter out of it.
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post #4992 of 5445 Old 04-23-2017, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QAM View Post
Then don't use the "OK" button (and then the "green" button) to view your recorded program. Use the "Play" button instead. It will go "full screen" automatically. Just have to train yourself to use the "Play" button. It's just too tempting to use that big old "OK" button for starting everything. You'll get the hang of it after a few hundred tries.
It didn't take me a few hundred tries, it's actually the intuitive way to play a video. The problem was the blasted user interface screen which lists "OK" as the way to select a video to play, but not the "Play" button. Thanks for the information, you've saved me a lot of frustration, and moved this $40 piece of junk that much closer to being a real useful piece of consumer electronics (just 80 more problems to go)...

--
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post #4993 of 5445 Old 05-07-2017, 08:02 AM
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ViewTV AT-163 findings so far..........

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Great! Let us know what you find:

  • Menu/System/Information (HW version, SW version, etc.)
  • Any special features (games a la eMatic, menu transparency a la iView, etc.)
  • Any stupidly disabled features, such as time-shifting on the RCA DTA880 boxes
  • And, of course, any bugs

  • Will not always retain scheduled recording times when on standby
  • Tuner 25% weaker than iView-3500STB-II (which of all of these have strongest tuners?)
  • Software has games but no menu transparency
  • Would sometimes lock up when FF'ing through a recorded program

One question: Can you flash the ViewTV AT-163 with software from the iView-3500STB-II?

ViewTV AT-163
SW Version: Sep 3 2014-13:41:13
HW Version: ABL7802-R836-ATSC

iView-3500STB-II
SW Version: 20160815V5.0
HW Version: 78021237836650

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post #4994 of 5445 Old 05-07-2017, 06:43 PM
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Thanks. Only way to know for sure whether cross-flashing will work is to try it. It looks like there's a good chance it will work, since both HW version strings mention the same SoC (7802) as well as whatever the "836" refers to, but there could be other hardware differences that might keep iView firmware from working.

Keep in mind if you cross-flash, you can't go back unless you can get ViewTV to give you a copy of the factory firmware (or ideally, an update). Otherwise, you might want to collect a few other firmware versions (along with the proper remote controls for each) to try, in case iView firmware doesn't work. I'd recommend having at least HomeWorX firmware versions 2.1 and 5.3 on hand as well as the iView.

The Fast-Forward bug was also found in HomeWorX firmware version 5.0. That bug was fixed in version 5.1 and later (the latest for HomeWorX is 5.3).

I've tried a couple of HomeWorXes and an iView 3200; all three tuners have seemed to be in the same ballpark in terms of overall sensitivity (OK), handling multipath (OK), and resistance to overload (poor - I have to attenuate my signals for any of the three to work well in my environment).
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post #4995 of 5445 Old 05-08-2017, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncsercs View Post

One question: Can you flash the ViewTV AT-163 with software from the iView-3500STB-II?

ViewTV AT-163
SW Version: Sep 3 2014-13:41:13
HW Version: ABL7802-R836-ATSC

iView-3500STB-II
SW Version: 20160815V5.0
HW Version: 78021237836650
Just did it with the same SW as on my iView and now the ViewTV works the same which is great except the iView remote operates both of these devices.....

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post #4996 of 5445 Old 05-08-2017, 03:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I'd recommend having at least HomeWorX firmware versions 2.1 and 5.3 on hand as well as the iView.

The Fast-Forward bug was also found in HomeWorX firmware version 5.0. That bug was fixed in version 5.1 and later (the latest for HomeWorX is 5.3).
Where can they be found? I can't find them anywhere........

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post #4997 of 5445 Old 05-08-2017, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncsercs View Post
Just did it with the same SW as on my iView and now the ViewTV works the same which is great except the iView remote operates both of these devices.....
In that case, you may want to try the HW-150 firmware so you can use an HW-150 remote instead of the iView remote. You can buy an HW-150 remote from Mediasonic for $10, or use a programmable remote.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncsercs View Post
Where can they be found? I can't find them anywhere........
PM me an email and I'll send you a copy. Since the iView firmware worked, V5.3 is probably your best bet; but I'll also send V2.1 just in case.
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post #4998 of 5445 Old 05-08-2017, 12:38 PM
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One other thing I've noticed.

The ViewTV tuner seems slightly improved with the iView FW as opposed to the ViewTV FW.

Any reason for that?

Nick

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post #4999 of 5445 Old 05-09-2017, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
PM me an email and I'll send you a copy. Since the iView firmware worked, V5.3 is probably your best bet; but I'll also send V2.1 just in case.
PM sent........

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post #5000 of 5445 Old 05-09-2017, 06:18 PM
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  • Downloaded and extracted FW into folder
  • Copied 5.3 to USB drive and installed to 100% complete
  • Rebooted and displayed black Mediasonic/Homeworx screen w/website name
  • Unit says 'boot' and does nothing else other than showing channel I was on before FW upgrade
  • No response from remote and front panel buttons
  • Unplugging it and replugging it did nothing
  • Tried iView and original ViewTV FW's that worked previously - no response (didn't flash at all)

Am I bricked? I knew I was taking a chance doing this. If I could have downloaded the FW from their website, I would have done the same thing. Oh, well.........

Suggestions?

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post #5001 of 5445 Old 05-10-2017, 06:27 AM
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Since the unit is still tuning in the last channel, it sounds like the remote isn't sending the right codes. You'll have to use a HW-150 remote to do anything. The front panel only works with the original factory firmware.

You said you were using a universal remote, right? Make sure you have it set to a HW-150.
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post #5002 of 5445 Old 05-10-2017, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncsercs View Post
One other thing I've noticed.

The ViewTV tuner seems slightly improved with the iView FW as opposed to the ViewTV FW.

Any reason for that?
The firmware may not have done anything, and you just happened to get better reception after the update.

Or it may be able to adjust the tuner's AGC a bit differently, causing slightly improved performance. We'll probably never know for sure.
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post #5003 of 5445 Old 05-10-2017, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Since the unit is still tuning in the last channel, it sounds like the remote isn't sending the right codes. You'll have to use a HW-150 remote to do anything. The front panel only works with the original factory firmware.

You said you were using a universal remote, right? Make sure you have it set to a HW-150.
Definitely set to a HW-150. No response from front panel buttons I can understand.

When plugging box out and in, reboots and displays black Mediasonic/Homeworx screen.

Unit constantly reads 'boot' and does nothing other than showing channel I was on before FW upgrade.

No response from remote at all - tried power, menu, channel, volume keys.

No response from USB drive so can't flash FW back to anything.

Don't know what else to do. Did everything I could think of..........

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post #5004 of 5445 Old 05-10-2017, 03:03 PM
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Keep in mind the HW-150 doesn't have a front-panel display, so its firmware won't change the display from the default 'boot.'

Does it pop up a box saying "USB device is connected" when you plug in the USB drive?
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post #5005 of 5445 Old 05-10-2017, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Keep in mind the HW-150 doesn't have a front-panel display, so its firmware won't change the display from the default 'boot.'

Does it pop up a box saying "USB device is connected" when you plug in the USB drive?
Yes. "USB device is connected" & "USB device is disconnected"

Using the same USB formatted FAT32 flash drive used earlier with only one file on it.

Flashed with success using "c:\usb_upgrade_all_flash53.bin"

Noticed issues when I got no response from remote, etc.

Then tried with no response "c:\usb_upgrade_all_flash21.bin"

Then tried with no response "c:\usb_upgrade_all_.bin" (from 3500STBII_1511 (20160815v5.0 EPG Fix))

Then tried with no response "c:\usb_upgrade_all_.bin" (from original ViewTV FW)

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post #5006 of 5445 Old 05-10-2017, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncsercs View Post
Yes. "USB device is connected" & "USB device is disconnected"
Good. It really sounds like the firmware is functioning normally except for not responding to the remote. Of course I realize that's an enormous problem as it makes the box useless.

I did double-check the file usb_upgrade_all_flash53.bin, and it is definitely an HW-150 firmware file. So an HW-150 remote should definitely work.

Unfortunately, inserting a thumb drive with a different firmware file will not automatically start a firmware update. It will just say "USB device is connected" and then sit there. Probably a design flaw, but you have to be able to access the menu to re-flash the firmware, and that can only be done with the remote, which doesn't work.

So I can't think of anything you can try, aside from a different remote.

I do have a spare HW-150 remote that I don't need. If you want one to try, PM me a mailing address and I'll box one up and send it.
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post #5007 of 5445 Old 05-11-2017, 01:40 PM
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iView failure

I'm guessing my iView 3500STB11 is toast.
When I turn it on the red power lite comes on > 4 red bars appear > "boot" > "C004" > green signal lite comes on > in a few seconds it shuts itself off (no lites at all).
Considering I've probably used if for fewer than 6 hours of recording time this is depressing.
Any thoughts on what I might do?
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post #5008 of 5445 Old 05-11-2017, 02:56 PM
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If it hasn't been used that much, is it still eligible for return?

If not, try disconnecting the antenna/cable input and see if it will stay on. Also disconnect the USB in case that's part of the problem. If it stays on, do a factory reset from the menu, then reconnect the antenna/cable input so it can rescan your channels.
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post #5009 of 5445 Old 05-12-2017, 11:51 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions JHBrandt.
It is several years old so is not returnable - I just didn't use it for a long time after purchasing it.
You motivated me to try to fire it up with everything disconnected except the HDMI cable and I am able to get to the Program screen, and up and down the menu there, but I cannot access any other menus - the remote just does not communicate properly with the unit. I'll keep playing with it as I think of other ways to tweak it.
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post #5010 of 5445 Old 05-14-2017, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Good. It really sounds like the firmware is functioning normally except for not responding to the remote. Of course I realize that's an enormous problem as it makes the box useless.

I did double-check the file usb_upgrade_all_flash53.bin, and it is definitely an HW-150 firmware file. So an HW-150 remote should definitely work.

Unfortunately, inserting a thumb drive with a different firmware file will not automatically start a firmware update. It will just say "USB device is connected" and then sit there. Probably a design flaw, but you have to be able to access the menu to re-flash the firmware, and that can only be done with the remote, which doesn't work.

So I can't think of anything you can try, aside from a different remote.

I do have a spare HW-150 remote that I don't need. If you want one to try, PM me a mailing address and I'll box one up and send it.
You're not going to believe this.....

  • Using the same USB flash drive from before with no other files
  • Put the iView FW successfully used before
  • Inserted the drive
  • Pulled the wall plug in-n-out several times until 'firmware updating' screen fired up and processed to 100%
  • Unit back to normal

Then flashed back to original ViewTV FW.

Going to leave it this way - Thanks for all your help!
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Nick

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