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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 20, No. 45
November 16, 2001


* +"Big Project" seeks more pilot schools
* +Winners announced in vice director balloting
* +Ducie Island is newest DXCC entity
* +Hams activate following NYC air crash
* +Amateur Radio responds to Michelle's fury
* +ISS crew chief enjoys good run of school contacts
* +Ham-sailor officially completes global sail
*  Solar Update
     This weekend on the radio
     Jean Butler, wife of Southeastern Director Frank Butler, W4RH:
     North Korea (P5) is on the air
     Florida amateurs to participate in meteor shower test
     Amateur Radio shines during NPR broadcast
     FCC announces mail changes for Gettysburg office
     Operations accepted for DXCC credit
     Vote on QST Cover Plaque Award
     Earl H. "Howie" Mann, W2FR, SK

+Available on ARRL Audio News

Editor's note: While ARRL Headquarters will be closed Friday, November 23,
The ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News will be distributed as usual that day.


The ARRL Amateur Radio Education Project--"The Big Project"--is seeking
additional pilot schools. The Project, the educational initiative of ARRL
President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, is aimed at providing a turnkey Amateur Radio
curriculum, equipment and resources to schools. It already has pilot schools
in Texas and Georgia. 

Big Project Coordinator Jerry Hill, KH6HU, says additional pilot schools are
needed to help in developing the curriculum and setting up the program on a
national scale. "These can be schools that already are using Amateur Radio
in their curricula," said Hill, who came aboard as Project Coordinator in

Schools selected to participate will help to shape the project's ultimate
design, which will include classroom materials and resources as well as
Amateur Radio equipment to establish a school station. In addition, teachers
currently using Amateur Radio in their classrooms are eligible to apply for
progress grants to help them continue their efforts.

Hill said he's hoping to recruit several schools that offer a good
demographical and geographical representation of US schools. DeGolyer
Elementary School <> in Dallas, Texas, and Richards
Middle School <> in Lawrenceville,
Georgia, already have been designated as pilot schools. The ARRL Education
Project already has supplied DeGolyer with a HF/VHF/UHF transceiver plus
antennas and accessories for its K5DES club station. Richards Middle School
is working closely with the Gwinnett Amateur Radio Society.

Hill concedes the program's success depends both on funding and the
participation of sufficient schools. But the primary focus right now is on
the educational aspects.

"The goal of the Amateur Radio Education Project is to improve the quality
of education by providing an educationally sound curriculum focused on
wireless communications," Hill said. "The project emphasizes integration of
technology, math, science, geography, writing, speaking and social
responsibility within a global society." Hill said the program will be as
much hands-on as possible. Teachers will be able to use the ARRL Amateur
Radio Education Project as a complete classroom curriculum, an enrichment
program or as a before or after-school activity.

In addition to gleaning practical knowledge from the pilot schools, Hill's
own "big project" in the months ahead will be to develop the actual
curriculum. He'll be working with a core of at least six teachers--all of
whom have been using Amateur Radio in their classrooms for a long time--to
develop the materials students will use. He's also invited the assistance of
educational professionals on the college and university level.

Schools interested in applying to become a pilot school should visit the
ARRL Amateur Radio Education Project Pilot School Application page,
<>. Teachers now using
Amateur Radio in the classroom are invited to apply for progress grants to
assist them in maintaining their stations or enhancing their programs. See
the ARRL Amateur Radio Education Project Progress Grant Application page,

Donations large or small from individuals and organizations targeted for The
ARRL Amateur Radio Education Project are encouraged. Donations in the form
of cash or securities may be sent to the ARRL Amateur Radio Education
Project, c/o ARRL Development Officer Mary Hobart, 225 Main St, Newington,
CT 06111. For more information, contact Hobart,;
860-594-0397, to discuss details.


Ballots were counted November 16 at ARRL Headquarters in contested races for
vice director in three ARRL divisions for the 2002-2005 term. The Committee
of Tellers has certified the results of these contested elections.

In the Pacific Division incumbent Vice Director Bob Vallio, W6RGG, of Castro
Valley, California--a retiree--garnered 1924 votes to beat back a challenge
from physician Gerald D. Griffin, K6MD, of Pacific Grove, California.
Griffin polled 1225 votes.

A ham since 1952, Vallio, 65, was SM and, previously Section Communications
Manager of the East Bay Section and is completing his second year as Pacific
Division Vice Director.

In the Southeastern Division, Georgia SM and retired TV traffic coordinator
Nelson E. "Sandy" Donahue, W4RU, of Atlanta, Georgia, outpolled West Central
Florida Assistant Section Manager and computer programmer-analyst Paul J.
Toth, NA4AR, of Seminole, Florida, 2783 to 2305. They were contending for
the seat being vacated by Vice Director Evelyn Gauzens, W4WYR, who decided
not to seek a new term after 22 years of service. 

A frequent hamfest and convention attendee, Donahue, 56, is in his third
term as Georgia SM and has been an Assistant Director since the mid-1980s.
He's been a ham for more than 40 years.

In the Southwestern Division, San Diego Section Manager and train operator
Tuck Miller, NZ6T, of National City, California, defeated electrical
engineer Edward J. "Ned" Stearns, AA7A, of Scottsdale, Arizona. The vote was
2485 to 2208. Miller thus gains the vice director's position being vacated
by Art Goddard, W6XD, who ran unopposed for director upon the retirement of
Fried Heyn, WA6WZO. Heyn has served as director since 1984.

A ham since 1991, Miller, 48, has served as San Diego SM since 1998 and is
active in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service.

Vallio, Donahue and Miller all are ARRL Life Members.

In addition to Goddard, those unopposed for directors' seats were incumbents
Jim Maxwell, W6CF, in the Pacific Division; Walt Stinson, W0CP, in the Rocky
Mountain Division, Frank Butler, W4RH, in the Southeastern Division and Coy
Day, N5OK, in the West Gulf Division.

Vice directors' positions who went unchallenged in this election cycle were
incumbents Warren G. "Rev" Morton, WS7W, in the Rocky Mountain Division; and
David Woolweaver, K5RAV, in the West Gulf Division.

All unopposed candidates were declared elected. New terms for all successful
candidates begin at noon January 1, 2002, and run for three years.


You might never have heard of it before, but Ducie Island in the South
Pacific is the latest DXCC entity--the 335th, according to ARRL Membership
Services Manager Wayne Mills, N7NG. A DXpedition was en route. Starting at
0000 UTC on November 16, 2001, Ducie Island became eligible for DXCC credit
as a result of a favorable vote to accept the Pitcairn Island Amateur Radio
Association (PIARA) as an International Amateur Radio Union member-society

PIARA filed its application for IARU membership last March, and the matter
went to a world-wide vote of IARU member-societies in June. Votes were
counted this week, and PIARA's application was approved. Under DXCC rules,
an entity that hosts an IARU society is considered a "political entity." 

Mills emphasized that only contacts dated November 16, 2001, and later will
count for DXCC. For the moment, that point is a bit academic, however, since
the DXpedition team has been delayed in reaching Ducie. The island has been
activated previously for the Islands On The Air program (it's IOTA OC-182),
but Mills says those earlier contacts will not count for DXCC.

The group will use a VP6 call sign--to be announced. Some operation is
planned on all bands, 160 through 6 meters (there will be a 6 meter beacon
on 50.110 MHz) on CW, SSB and RTTY. Log checks will be available on the DX
Cluster from Japan Web site, <>. 

Pilot station Bill "Dr Bill" Avery, K6GNX, said the team was expected to
arrive on Ducie early on November 17. The DXpedition operation should last
about five days. Ducie is located east of Pitcairn Island, perhaps best
known among hams as the home of Tom Christian, VP6TC, who's PIARA president
and head of the Ducie DXpedition team.

Other DXpedition members are Kan Mizoguchi, JA1BK; Dave Brown, VP6DB; Mike
McGirr, K9AJ; and Vince Thompson, K5VT, plus JA1SLS/VP6BB, JF1IST, and

The QSL manager is Garth Hamilton, VE3HO, PO Box 1156, Fonthill, ON L0S 1E0,
Canada. All 50-MHz QSL requests go to JA1BK.

Ducie Island, about 2.5 square miles, is surrounded by water 3000 meters
(9800+ feet) deep and visited only rarely. Due to ecological concerns, only
one group may be on the island at a given time. The CQ zone for Ducie is 32;
the ITU zone is 63.

More information is available on the JA1BK Web site


The Amateur Radio Emergency Service promptly activated in the wake of this
week's disastrous plane crash in New York City. Hams responded to support
Salvation Army and American Red Cross relief operations after an American
Airlines flight went down November 12 in a residential area of the Borough
of Queens, near JFK International Airport.

Officials say 265 people died in the air disaster, which came two months and
one day after the World Trade Center terrorist attacks in New York City.
Investigators say the crash appears to have been related to mechanical

Queens District Emergency Coordinator Mark Phillips, KC2ENI, said that ARES
had been planning on up to three days of Amateur Radio support at the
request of the Salvation Army Team Emergency Response Network--SATERN.
Conventional communication systems returned to service the evening of the
crash, however, and ham radio support operations were able to stand down.

The American Red Cross Emergency Communications Service in Queens also
activated immediately after the crash. ARC ECS President George Sau, WB2ZTH,
reports that members were dispatched with Red Cross disaster action teams to
the crash site.

SATERN Amateur Radio Liaison Officer Jeff Schneller, N2HPO, said telephone
cables had been destroyed by the crash, cell phone communication "was spotty
at best, the Nextels were not working most of the time, and power was cut
off to the entire area." SATERN supplied several radio operators plus a net
control station. The Rockaway Emergency Coastal Weather Alert also supported
the activation. 

Schneller contacted the ARES DEC and SATERN members and notified the
Electchester VHF and Broadcast Employees Amateur Radio Society of the
intended operation. Both groups volunteered had their repeaters during the
World Trade Center disaster and did so again November 12. SATERN responders
were able to put their "field packs"--used recently for the World Trade
Center disaster--into use for the plane crash support operation.

Sau said his ARC Emergency Communications Service was able to immediately
provide emergency communication via a UHF repeater as well as on simplex. As
a result Red Cross support personnel at the crash site, the temporary
disaster Family Information Center at the JFK Ramada Inn, the established
Red Cross shelter at Public School 114 in the Rockaways, and the Queens Red
Cross chapter operations base were able to remain in contact. 

Most of the victims on the plane were bound for the Dominican Republic. Sau
said some group members were able to use their fluency in Spanish to support
the disaster action team translators at the Family Information Center. Sau
said the ARC ECS stood down at around 8 PM. 

As he did following SATERN's World Trade Center activation, Schneller
advised all amateurs to get involved in ARES or SATERN and to take the
emergency communications courses offered by the ARRL


Amateur Radio had an extensive emergency communication role during Hurricane
Michelle. The late-season storm, boasting winds of up to 135 MPH, swept
across Cuba and the Bahamas November 3-5. The Hurricane Watch Net
<> and W4EHW at the National Hurricane Center
<> in Miami teamed up to provide forecasters with
real-time surface reports. At one point, ham radio was a primary means of
communication between Cuba and the outside world. Amateur Radio also was
used for the first time to communicate directly with a hurricane hunter
aircraft as it was in the eye of a hurricane over land.

The storm had lingered as a tropical depression for almost a week, drenching
Nicaragua and Honduras before drifting into the Caribbean and regaining
strength as a powerful Category 4 hurricane dubbed Michelle. It then tracked
northward toward Cuba and intensified. The Hurricane Watch Net and W4EHW
activated Saturday, November 3, to collect and relay essential weather data
via ham radio. The HWN operates on 14.325 MHz whenever a hurricane is within
300 miles of projected landfall in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of

Anticipating a communication disruption, Hurricane Center Director Max
Mayfield requested that W4EHW establish a backup ham radio link with Havana.
In addition, permission was secured from the FCC for W4EHW to operate SSB on
the Cuban Emergency Net frequency, which is in the US 40-meter CW subband.
W4EHW Assistant Amateur Radio Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4JR, said a
primary W4EHW operation remained on 20 meters, and additional operators were
added to each shift. 

As Michelle moved over the mainland of central Cuba, "Ham radio was the only
form of communication left operating to and from Cuba and within the center
part of island nation," Ripoll said. W4EHW on 40 meters then became the only
source of current hurricane advisories, and the information was relayed by
Cuban amateurs on HF and VHF.

Ripoll says that during Michelle, W4EHW conducted some pre-planned
on-the-air testing with the Hurricane Hunter Airplane NOAA-42, piloted by
Captain Dave Tennesen NL7MT. The aircraft made several eye penetrations and
perimeter passes as the hurricane was over Cuba. Ripoll said W4EHW could
barely hear the Hurricane Hunter until both stations moved to 40 meters.
Ripoll said the on-the-air tests also checked out a new HF antenna on the

As Michelle moved into the Bahamas, hams and boaters there sent reports
throughout the day on Monday, November 5. Ripoll said that one of the most
important communication from the Bahamas came from Wayne Wilkinson,
KC4CYK/C6A, on his 42 foot sailboat docked at Highbourn Cay. By then, Ripoll
said, hurricane forecasters were considering lowering the warnings, but
after Wilkinson called in with winds gusting to 115 MPH, the warnings
remained up a while longer.

The Hurricane Watch Net and W4EHW secured operation later on November 5.
Ripoll and Assistant HWN Manager Mike Pilgrim, K5MP expressed their
appreciation for the dozens of volunteers who participated as well as for
the clear frequency. 

The Northern Florida Emergency Net also activated during Hurricane Michelle.


International Space Station crew commander Frank Culbertson, KD5OPQ, has
fielded questions from students at seven schools since the end of November.
These included a morale-boosting contact with New York City's Public School
234, whose students are in temporary quarters after the September 11 World
Trade Center attacks. 

Ten students in Francine Cornelius's computer class posed 20 questions
during the 10-minute contact November 7. Student Renee Otto asked Culbertson
how New York City looked from space on September 11. Culbertson described
the smoke from the site as it looked from space. "It's sad that you've had
to move from school to school, but we're proud that you're continuing to
work and take your education seriously," Culbertson told the students. PS
234's normal campus is only two blocks from "Ground Zero." 

The nearly 700 students and faculty had to be evacuated on September 11.
Principal Anna Switzer said the students were grateful for the opportunity
to chat with Culbertson, who operated at NA1SS.

The previous week, on October 29, 17 fifth graders at Protsman and Kolling
elementary schools in St John, Indiana, spoke with Culbertson, who told one
student that sunrise "is gorgeous from outer space." John Gianotti, W9WY,
acted as control operator for the direct QSO.

On November 1, Culbertson spoke with 10 mostly teenaged students at Sanilac
Career Center in Peck, Michigan. Electronics teacher Ted Davis, KF8ZO,
pulled double duty as radio operator for the direct contact. 

Students at Carmel, Indiana's, Woodbrook Elementary School, including
Culbertson's nephew, Tom, were up November 2. Culbertson told Woodbrook
students that while he will miss the International Space Station when he
leaves in December, he is looking forward to being reunited with his family.

On November 6, students at Kenosha, Wisconsin's Tremper High School enjoyed
their 10 minutes with Culbertson, who later praised the students'
intelligent questions and thanked ARISS relay Tony Hutchinson, VK5ZAI, in
Australia, who facilitated the contact.

Students at Phillips Middle School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina,
interviewed Culbertson November 9. Seventh grade science teacher Barbara
Pedersen, KE4JZM, operated the station for her students. "It brings the kids
so much closer to the space program" Pedersen said. "It makes it so much
more real. The kids were so excited."

All of the ham radio contacts were arranged as part of the Amateur Radio on
the International Space Station--or ARISS--program.


Ham radio's senior sailor David Clark, KB6TAM, this week officially
completed his solo round-the-world sail--becoming the oldest person to do
so. But Clark does not plan to celebrate his accomplishment until he returns
to his starting point in December.

Clark, who's 77, arrived in Great Inagua, the Bahamas, earlier this week,
technically completing the circumnavigation that began in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida, in December 1999. He had spent much of the Atlantic hurricane
season in Trinidad. Clark is due back in Fort Lauderdale on December 7 for a
gala celebration. He was scheduled to depart Great Inagua November 15 on his
way to Nassau. Earlier in the month, he managed to avoid a confrontation
with Hurricane Michelle, which raked Cuba and parts of the Bahamas. 

Clark has been using ham radio while under way. He's kept in touch with Eric
Mackie, 9Z4CP, whom he got to know in Trinidad. Clark's wife, Lynda, reports
that Fred Moore, W3ZU, has been able to patch calls via ham radio to her a
couple of times. 

Among those greeting Clark when he arrived in St Croix last week was ARRL
Virgin Islands Section Manager John Ellis, NP2B. Ellis, who says Clark "gets
around like someone who is 37," had dinner with the ham-sailor during his St
Croix stopover and introduced him to the amateur community there.

Once in Nassau, Clark plans to again play clarinet for his friend Eloy
Roldan at the Poop Deck restaurant until it's time for him to leave for Gun
Key or Bimini--a scant 12 hours from Fort Lauderdale. 

"It's getting really exciting!!" Lynda Clark enthused in an e-mail dispatch
this week. 

Clark's sailing companion--his dog Mickey--was lost and Clark himself nearly
died after his first sailing vessel, the Mollie Milar, sank last February
off South Africa. Clark bought another sailboat that he named Mickey and
resumed his quest in April.

For more information on Clark's journey, visit the David Clark Web site,


Sun worshipper Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Average
sunspot numbers and solar flux rose this week. Daily sunspot number averages
were up nearly 48 points, and average solar flux was up nearly six points.
Geomagnetic indices finally settled down, conditions were quiet, and the
planetary A index was in the single digits on every day. 

Monday was very quiet, with a planetary A index of two, mid-latitude A index
of one, and both planetary and mid-latitude K indices at zero or one for
most of the day. Combined with a rising solar flux, this was a good day for
HF propagation.

Solar flux is expected to decline over the next few days. Predicted flux
values for Friday through Monday are 205, 205, 195 and 190. Solar flux
should rise above 210 again after November 23. 

No geomagnetic disturbances are expected over the next few days, which
should be good for the ARRL November Sweepstakes phone weekend. Besides the
contest, this weekend will be good for watching the Leonids meteor shower.
This will be one of the best displays in years. It occurs Sunday morning
across North America around 0900-1100 UTC, and around California and the
Pacific at 1100-1500 UTC.

Sunspot numbers for November 8 through 14 were 216, 175, 258, 222, 252, 234
and 222, with a mean of 225.6. The 10.7 cm flux was 247.8, 270.8, 245.9,
234, 227.3, 231.6 and 217.2, with a mean of 239.2. Estimated planetary A
indices were 5, 4, 6, 4, 2, 3 and 3, with a mean of 3.9.



* This weekend on the radio: The ARRL November Sweepstakes (SSB), the North
American Collegiate ARC Championship (SSB, held in conjunction with November
Sweepstakes), the LZ DX Contest (CW), the Carnavales de Tenerife Contest,
and the RSGB 1.8 MHz Contest (CW) are the weekend of November 17-18. JUST
AHEAD: The CQ Worldwide DX Contest (CW) is the weekend of November 24-25.
See the ARRL Contest Branch page, and for more info.

* Jean Butler, wife of Southeastern Director Frank Butler, W4RH: Jean
Butler, the wife of ARRL Southeastern Director Frank Butler, W4RH, died
November 13. A retired elementary school teacher, she had suffered a stroke
two years ago. Prior to her illness, she had often accompanied her husband
on trips to conventions, committee meetings and International Amateur Radio
Union (IARU) Region 2 conferences. "Jean was a friend to many on the ARRL
Board and was well known throughout the Southeastern Division through her
support of Frank," said ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ.
"We will miss her." Outgoing IARU Region 2 President Tom Atkins, VE3CDM,
called Jean Butler "a gracious lady who will be missed by everyone." The
funeral was set for November 17, 11 AM, at the First United Methodist
Church, 103 First Street, Fort Walton Beach, Florida (32548). Memorial
donations were invited to the church's music ministry. 

* North Korea (P5) is on the air: North Korea, the DXCC entity that tops
everyone's most-wanted list, was activated this month by Ed Giorgadze,
4L4FN, of the Republic of Georgia. The operation has not yet been approved
for DXCC credit, however. On the basis of oral permission from North Korean
authorities, Giorgadze has been operating as P5/4L4FN since early this
month. Bruce Paige, KK5DO, reports that 4L4FN now is awaiting written
permission from the North Korean government--something that's required for
ARRL DXCC credit. As a result, it's possible the recent contacts will not
count for DXCC. Paige is posting P5/4L4FN operating news on his Web site
<> and to other DX news sites. 

* Florida amateurs to participate in meteor shower test: Amateur Radio
operators in Florida will cooperate with their state's Division of Emergency
Management to test communication systems during the Leonid meteor shower.
The tests will be conducted during a 12-hour period centered around the
expected peak of the meteor shower, 9 PM on Saturday, November 17. The
Leonid meteor shower this weekend is expected to be even more intense than
last year's, and some experts believe the potential exists for it to disrupt
communication systems--including terrestrial and satellite. Additional
details are on the ARRL Web site <>.

* Amateur Radio shines during NPR broadcast: Amateur Radio was in the
national spotlight during the November 13 "Tech Tuesday" segment of National
Public Radio's "Public Interest" program. The show originates from WAMU-FM
in Washington, DC, and is carried by some three dozen US public radio
stations. Two well-known hams were the featured guests of program host Kojo
Nnandi--Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Board Chairman
Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, and Automatic Position Reporting System guru Bob
Bruninga, WB4APR. Both men are involved in technical professions, and both
credited Amateur Radio with inspiring their career choices. During the
program, Bauer and Bruninga covered a wide swath of common Amateur Radio
activities, including digital modes. The lively, informative segment was
complemented by a series of callers--most of them also Amateur Radio
licensees--who offered additional insights into ham radio or who wanted to
share a story. The program segment remains available on the WAMU Web site
<>. Click on "Public Interest" in the program directory. 

* FCC announces mail changes for Gettysburg office: Effective immediately,
the FCC is diverting mail, courier and hand deliveries for its Gettysburg,
Pennsylvania, office to rear entrance, 35 York St, Gettysburg, PA 17325. the
FCC said the US Postal Service will continue to accept mail addressed to
1270 Fairfield Road, Gettysburg--the building's physical location. The FCC
said the changes were necessary to protect the health and safety of its

* Operations accepted for DXCC credit: Several DX operations have now
received approval for DXCC credit. They are: ZK1NJC, North Cook Island; T5X,
Somalia; OJ0VR, Market Reef; and HK5QGX/0M, Malpelo Island. Those who
previously submitted these entities and were denied credit may contact DXCC
<>; and have their records updated without having to resubmit
cards. For more information, contact ARRL DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L,

* Vote on QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award
for October was Nick Powell, NH6ON, for his article "A Ham's South Pole
Adventure." Congratulations, Nick! The winner of the QST Cover Plaque
award--given to the author of the best article in each issue--is determined
by a vote of ARRL members. Voting takes place each month on the Cover Plaque
Poll Web page, <>. As soon as
your copy arrives, cast a ballot for your favorite article in the November
issue of QST. Voting ends November 30. 

* Earl H. "Howie" Mann, W2FR, SK: Howie Mann, W2FR, of Liverpool, New York,
died October 27. He was 80. A radio operator in the Navy during World War
II, Mann was an Eastern Area net control station for approximately 35 years.
He became a Transcontinental Corps Director, chairman of the Eastern Area
staff of the NTS in the 1970s and served as the Second Region Net manager.
An ARRL member and member of the A1 Operator Club, Mann was an active DXer
with 356 countries confirmed. "W2FR was truly a legend in his own time and
one of the nicest people you could ever have the pleasure knowing," said
Western New York ARRL Section Manager Scott Bauer, W2LC.

The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American
Radio Relay League--The National Association For Amateur Radio--225 Main St,
Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259; Jim Haynie, W5JBP, President

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The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.

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