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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 21, No. 40
October 11, 2002


* +Letter pitches CC&R bill to House members
* +ITU draft Recommendation sets limits on 70-cm spaceborne radars
* +FCC's Hollingsworth attempts to define "good amateur practice"
* +Politics continue to sidetrack FCC nomination
* +Shuttle camera has ham radio origins
* +Ham radio-in-space pioneer Thomas Kieselbach, DL2MDE, SK
*  Solar Update
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     ARRL to sponsor emergency communications course seminar at Pacificon
    +ARRL conducts VHF/UHF contesting and awards survey
     FCC terminates communications emergency
     New West Texas Section Manager named
     KB5HAV appointed assistant manager of Hurricane Watch Net
     Amateur Radio glossary, abbreviations available on ARRL Web site
     New W5 QSL Bureau address

+Available on ARRL Audio News



The sponsor of the CC&R bill, HR 4720, and the only two amateurs in the US
House of Representatives are pitching colleagues to sign on as cosponsors.
HR 4720 is aimed at providing relief to amateurs faced with private deed
covenants, conditions and restrictions--CC&Rs--in erecting antennas. The
letter went out last week to all members of the US House.

"Your co-sponsorship of this bill is an opportunity to show your support
for more than 670,000 licensed radio amateurs throughout the United
States," says the letter signed by representatives Steve Israel (D-NY),
Mike Ross, WD5DVR (D-AR) and Greg Walden, WB7OCE (R-OR). Israel introduced
the measure last May, with Walden and Rep Pete Sessions (R-TX) as original

Visit the US House of Representatives Write Your Representative Service
Web page <> for information on how to
contact your representative. The ARRL requests those writing or e-mailing
members of Congress--whether or not they are supporting this
legislation--to copy ARRL on their correspondence--via e-mail to or via US Mail to CC&R Bill, ARRL, 225 Main St,
Newington, CT 06111. Correspondents should include the bill number, HR
4720, as well as their name and address on all correspondence.

For more information, visit the HR 4720, The Amateur Radio Emergency
Communications Consistency Act of 2002 page on the ARRL Web site

As of this week, HR 4720 has attracted 30 cosponsors, although one of
them, Rep Patsy Mink (D-HI) died September 29. The latest to express
support for the measure include representatives Jo Ann Davis (R-VA), Zoe
Lofgren (D-CA), Marion Berry (D-AR), John Olver (D-MA) and Dennis Rehberg

The "Dear Colleague" letter from Israel, Ross and Walden points out that
hams "regularly provide emergency communication when regular
communications channels are disrupted by disaster" and support
governmental and private relief organizations. It further notes that with
the growth of planned communities, hams "have begun to fall under an array
of inconsistent regulations, making it increasingly difficult to operate."
The CC&R bill, called "The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications
Consistency Act," was introduced "to ensure the continued viability of
Amateur Radio through consistent application of federal regulations," the
letter said.

HR 4720 would require private land-use regulators--such as homeowners'
associations--to "reasonably accommodate" Amateur Radio communication
consistent with the PRB-1 limited federal preemption. PRB-1 now applies
only to states and municipalities. HR 4720 has been referred to the House
Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee, to which Walden recently was


A just-completed draft revision to an International Telecommunication
Union (ITU) Recommendation could result in reining in the potential for
interference to amateur and other services from synthetic aperture radars
(SARs) on 70 cm. Agenda item 1.38 at World Radiocomunication Conference
2003 (WRC-03) will consider a request to allocate up to 6 MHz of spectrum
for SARs in the band 420 to 470 MHz to be operated by the Earth
Exploration Satellite Service (Active)--EESS-Active. At issue is whether
the EESS allocation could be established without interfering with
incumbent services, including radiolocation and amateur.

"ARRL and IARU (International Amateur Radio Union) will continue to oppose
SARs operating in the most active portions of the amateur 70-cm band,"
said ARRL Technical Specialist Walt Ireland, WB7CSL. The spaceborne SARs
would be used to measure soil moisture, tropical biomass and Antarctic ice
thickness, and to document geological history and climate change. EESS
proponents contend that the best center frequency to penetrate jungle or
forest canopies is 435 MHz.

"There is some hype starting up at this late date that gives the
impression that the sky is falling," Ireland said, referring to recent
reports in the Amateur Radio news media that, among other things,
incorrectly claim that EESS proponents are seeking "exclusive use" of 430
to 440 MHz and that the EESS issue is a new one.

While some occasional interference from SARs to amateur systems would
appear inevitable, Ireland said, efforts to minimize the impact of the
EESS (Active) operations have been under way for several years. "Although
the SAR interference criteria limitations in the revised Recommendation
SA.1260 automatically would eliminate three of the SARs, amateurs can
still expect to receive interference from some of the remaining SARs on a
limited basis if WRC-03 allocates frequency spectrum between 420 and 440
MHz to EESS (Active)," he continued, "especially if the allocation is made
primary." The revised draft would keep four of the proposed SARs and
eliminate those with peak radiated power levels from 400 W to 10 kW--that
is, average power levels above 25 W, he explained.

Work on the major rewrite to ITU Recommendation SA.1260, hammered out by
ITU-Radio Sector Working Party 7C over the last several years, wrapped up
October 4 following a weeklong meeting. The draft recommendation sets
interference criteria limitations for SARs to be operated by EESS (Active)
in the 70-cm Radiolocation and Amateur and Amateur-Satellite Services
band. Ireland represented the ARRL on the US Delegation to ITU-Radio
Sector WP 7C. Ken Pulfer, VE3PU, represented the IARU. For the past two
years, Pulfer has been chairing the drafting groups that worked on the
revision and brought it to its present status--along the way incorporating
protection for amateurs.

SARs and the Amateur Service can coexist at 430 to 440 MHz "by taking
appropriate technical and operational measures," the draft revision
states. The Amateur Service is primary at 430 to 440 MHz in Region 1 and
secondary in Regions 2 and 3, which includes the US.

"It should be remembered, however, that an ITU-R recommendation is just
that--a recommendation, not a regulatory instrument," Ireland cautioned.
He notes that 18 sharing or compatibility studies--in which the ARRL and
the IARU have actively participated--have been conducted during the past
seven years--eight of them completed in the past two years.

During the Conference Preparatory Meeting next month as well as at WRC-03
next June in Geneva, the ARRL has pledged to maintain its stance against
egregious interference from SARs to Amateur Radio. The US also has
expressed opposition to SARs that could interfere with its radiolocation
systems in the band.

Earlier this year, the FCC's WRC-03 Advisory Committee and the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration's Radiocommunications
Conference Subcommittee recommended no change to the Table of Allocations
in the band 420 to 470 MHz as the US position. Both panels determined that
SAR transmissions could periodically impact amateur reception and even
held "the potential for significant interference."


FCC Special Counsel Riley Hollingsworth has endorsed a list of several
points that he feels help to define the concept of "good amateur
practice." Section 97.101(a) of the Amateur Radio Service rules refers to
"good engineering and good amateur practice"--considered to refer to
maintaining the highest standards of engineering and on-the-air
comportment. But the rule lacks specifics.

"Good amateur practice is a hard thing to define," Hollingsworth conceded.
"I'd have to say it's operating with the realization that frequencies are
shared, that there's going to be occasional interference and that's no
reason to become hateful and paranoid."

Hollingsworth says amateurs have to realize that more people than ever are
listening in, especially since September 11, 2001, and that amateurs
always need to remember that "our rights end where another person's

A Michigan Amateur Radio club has been credited with distributing a list
of "Riley-isms" culled from Hollingsworth's various talks at conventions
and hamfests and club meetings around the US. Hollingsworth--who verified
that he had been cited accurately--says his various comments represent an
effort to flesh out what "good amateur practice" consists of for
considerate the Amateur Radio operator. According to Hollingsworth, good
amateur practice means:

* giving a little ground--even if you have a right not to--in order to
help preserve Amateur Radio and not cause it to get a bad name or hasten
the day when it becomes obsolete.

* respecting band plans, because they make it possible for every mode to
have a chance.

* being aware that we all love Amateur Radio, and there's no need to
damage or disgrace it just to save face.

* keeping personal conflicts off the air. Settle your arguments on the
telephone, the Internet or in person. Just keep them off the air.

* cutting a net or a contester a break, even if you don't have to and even
if you have no interest whatsoever in nets or contesting.

* realizing that every right carries responsibilities, and just because
you may have a right to do certain things doesn't mean it's right to do
them in every circumstance.

* you don't "own" or get preference to use any frequency.

* not operating so that whoever hears you becomes sorry they ever got into
(or tuned in on) Amateur Radio in the first place.

Hollingsworth notes that the list "doesn't touch on a lot of other
technical issues, such as using 1500 W when your signal report received is
40 over 9." Good amateur practice, he said, "just means a lot of things
that can't always be quantified."--thanks to Riley Hollingsworth


Word from Capitol Hill is that the nomination of Democrat Jonathan
Adelstein to the FCC quite likely is dead for this year. Senate
Republicans, still feuding with Democrats over judicial nominations, have
placed anonymous holds on Adelstein's nomination--even after his July
approval for a floor vote by the Senate Commerce, Science and
Transportation Committee.

A "hold" is a request by a Senator to the party leadership asking that a
certain measure not be taken up on the floor. Typically, a hold serves as
a bargaining chip to force the leadership to call up another piece of

Adelstein is a former aide of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD),
long a lightning rod for Republican complaints for stalling congressional
action. More recently, the partisan feuding exploded into outright
accusations after Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
pulled from consideration the nomination of Dennis Shedd--a former top
aide to Sen Strom Thurmond (R-SC)--to a federal judgeship. The move
brought the 99-year-old Thurmond--a 48-year Senate veteran who's stepping
down in January--to the floor to denounce the absent Leahy, who, he said,
had promised a vote on Shedd before adjournment. "I am hurt and
disappointed by this egregious act," Thurmond declared.

Earlier this year, Judiciary Committee Democrats defeated the nominations
of Federal Judge Charles Pickering and Texas Supreme Court Justice
Priscilla Owens to the Fourth US Circuit of Appeals. At this point, all
pending judicial and executive nominations, including Adelstein's, are in
doubt. With time running out on this Congress, no Judiciary Committee
meetings scheduled to consider nominations and the election looming, it's
unlikely a compromise will be reached.

The White House posted the nomination of Adelstein last February to
complete the remainder of a five-year Commission term that expires next
June 30.


Live video from a camera attached to NASA's shuttle Atlantis provided an
unprecedented view of a space shuttle launch October 7. Designed and built
by Ecliptic <>, the RocketCam Imaging
System was attached to the skin of the shuttle's large external fuel tank.
AMSAT's <> Jan King, W3GEY, is Ecliptic's chief
technical officer.

According to AMSAT's Tom Clark, W3IWI, King and another AMSAT
stalwart--Gordon Hardman, W0RUN--developed the launch camera's prototype
some years ago in Boulder, Colorado. According to an Ecliptics news
release, the aft-facing RocketCam provided NASA's launch team and an eager
world-wide audience with dramatic live, color video of the entire launch,
starting 10 minutes before liftoff and continuing through separation of
the shuttle's solid-rocket boosters and the jettisoning of its empty
external fuel tank. The RocketCam transmission ceased some 15 minutes
after liftoff when the tumbling external tank burned up during reentry
into Earth's atmosphere above the Indian Ocean.

Ecliptics says its unique camera system is employed regularly by Boeing on
its Delta II and Delta III rockets and by Lockheed Martin Astronautics on
its Atlas 2, Atlas 3, Atlas 5 and Titan IV rockets.

King was the project manager for the AO-7 satellite, which recently came
back to life following a silence of some 21 years. King and Hardman were
the primary AMSAT-NA people behind the AO-10 satellite.

Hardman and his wife Molly, W0MOM, are now principals in Crosslink
<>, which makes the Alpha series of
amplifiers. The Atlantis takeoff video is available from the Ecliptic Web
site <> or from
the NASA Human Spaceflight Web site


Thomas Kieselbach, DL2MDE, of Wessling, Germany, died October 8.
Kieselbach was among the founders and early supporters of the Amateur
Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program and a ham
radio-in-space pioneer. He served as technical director for ARISS-Europe
and represented Europe on the ARISS Technical Committee. In that role, he
was directly involved in developing a Phase 2 ARISS project for the ISS.
According to ARISS Vice Chairman Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, Kieselbach
suffered a fatal heart attack while sailing.

"On behalf of the ARISS International Team, I would like to express my
sadness in the loss of a true friend and outstanding technical ham," said
ARISS Board Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO. "As one of the founding
delegates of ARISS, he challenged our team to push the technical limits of
Amateur Radio in space." Bauer also expressed condolences to Kieselbach's
wife, Gaby, and to his family.

Retired from an engineering career in the space industry, Kieselbach's
Amateur Radio activities centered on satellites and manned space flight.
Bauer said he first became acquainted with Kieselbach's outstanding
technical abilities in 1985 during the STS-61-A German Spacelab-D1 space
shuttle flight. "During this mission, he flew the first set of German
Amateur Radio hardware on a human spaceflight," Bauer said, referring to
the first SAFEX (Space Amateur Funk EXperiment) project, which Kieselbach
had personally constructed.

"One of the most impressive parts of this system was the external antenna
that was mounted on the outside of the Spacelab module," Bauer recalled.
"He was the first to fly an external antenna on a human spaceflight

Kieselbach's work "blazed a trail for Mir and ISS," Bauer said. Kieselbach
developed the SAFEX ham repeater-in-space program aboard the Russian Mir
spacecraft. His "Digitalker" digital voice recorder aboard Mir was used to
transmit holiday messages from space in 1996. Bauer also cited
Kieselbach's role in the STS-55 German Spacelab-D2 space shuttle flight in
1993 that was the first to include US and German-build ham gear. "We thank
him for his technical ideas and vision," Bauer said.

Fellow German ARISS team member JŲrg Hahn, DL3LUM--who described
Kieselbach as his best friend--expressed shock at learning of Kieselbach's
death. "He had always the spirit of a pioneer with regard to new
technology," Hahn said. "I will really miss him."


Propagation guru Tad "Walking on the Sun" Cook, K7VVV, Seattle,
Washington, reports: All indices were up this week. Average daily sunspot
numbers rose by more than 4, and average solar flux was up by nearly 16.
There was a great deal of geomagnetic activity. Average daily A index was
up more than nine points. There really wasn't a day this week that
geomagnetic indices didn't indicate storminess. The most active day was
October 4, when the planetary A index was 48.

The third calendar quarter ended a week and a half ago, so it is time to
review some of the averages. Average daily sunspot numbers for the past
seven quarters were 147.3, 164.8, 170.4, 198.1, 178.3, 165.3 and 193.5.
Average daily solar flux for those same quarters was 164.4, 166.7, 175.5,
219.1, 203.9, 156.4 and 178.1.

Average daily sunspot per month January through September was 189, 194.5,
153.1, 144.4, 204.1, 146, 183.5, 191 and 206.4. Average solar flux for
those same months was 227.3, 205, 179.5, 141.1, 178.4, 148.7, 174.4, 183.9
and 175.8.

Over the next few days look for the geomagnetic indices to quiet and solar
flux to rise slightly to 175.

Sunspot numbers for October 3 through 9 were 81, 98, 155, 126, 143, 128
and 226, with a mean of 136.7. The 10.7-cm flux was 145.9, 157.5, 155.1,
161.7, 163.8, 165.4 and 167.2, with a mean of 159.1. Estimated planetary A
indices were 33, 48, 29, 19, 39, 34 and 22, with a mean of 32.



* This weekend on the radio: The YLRL Anniversary Party (CW), the 10-10
Day Sprint, the Oceania DX Contest (CW), the EU Autumn Sprint (CW), the
Pennsylvania QSO Party, the FISTS Fall Sprint , the Iberoamericano
Contest, and the North American Sprint (RTTY) are the weekend of October
12-13. JUST AHEAD: the YLRL Anniversary Party (SSB) is Oct 16-18. The
JARTS World Wide RTTY Contest, the ARCI Fall QSO Party, the Worked All
Germany Contest, the Asia-Pacific Sprint (CW), the RSGB 21/28 MHz Contest
(CW) and the Illinois QSO Party are the weekend of October 19-20. See the
ARRL Contest Branch page <> and the WA7BNM
Contest Calendar <> for
more info.

* Correction: A number in the story "Whitson Wows 'Em from Canada to
California" in The ARRL Letter, Vol 21, No 39 (Oct 4, 2002) demonstrates a
deficient knowledge of West Coast geography on the part of us East
Coasters. Hacienda Heights, California, is located approximately 18 miles
east of Los Angeles. Our report had greatly inflated that distance.

* ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration:
Registration for the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level II
(EC-002) and Antenna Modeling (EC-004) courses opens Monday, October 14, 4
PM Eastern Daylight Time (2000 UTC). Registration will remain open through
Sunday, October 20. Classes begin October 21. Antenna Modeling students
now have up to 16 weeks to complete the course. If you have not yet cast
your vote in the C-CE new course survey, visit the CCE Course Survey Web
page <<>> before midnight
EDT on October 27. To learn more, visit the ARRL Certification and
Continuing Education Web page <> and the C-CE Links
found there. For more information, contact Certification and Continuing
Education Program Coordinator Howard Robins, W1HSR,

* ARRL to sponsor emergency communications course seminar at Pacificon:
The ARRL will offer a free Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course
(ARECC) seminar October 18 in conjunction with Pacificon--the ARRL 2002
Pacific Division Convention. This seminar is designed to increase
awareness of the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course; it will
not include the Level I course itself. It's geared to certification
mentors, certification instructors, certification examiners and anyone who
wants to know more about these volunteer positions. "With Level I
emergency communications training being offered nationwide under the
homeland security grant from the Corporation for National and Community
Service, we hope to have all ARECC team players reading from the same page
to ensure success under the federal grant guidelines," said ARRL Emergency
Communications Course Manager Dan Miller, K3UFG. The seminar will be held
Friday, October 18, 1:15 until 5:15 PM, in the Los Medanos room of the
Airport Sheraton Hotel, 45 John Glenn Drive, Concord, California. Seating
may be limited. Contact Miller at ARRL Headquarters if you plan to attend
(; 860-594-0340; fax 860-594-0259). Seminar attendance does
not include admission to Pacificon, which is October 18-20. For more
information about Pacificon, visit the Pacificon 2002 Web site

* ARRL conducts VHF/UHF contesting and awards survey: As part of an effort
to boost participation in ARRL-sponsored VHF/UHF operating events and
awards programs, the League is surveying a random sample of routine
top-scorers as well as average participants and clubs that regularly
participate in VHF/UHF competitions. The ARRL seeks input on the drop in
contest participation and the best ways to address the trend. "We'd also
like to hear from you about the ARRL VHF/UHF awards program in general,"
said ARRL Membership Services Manager Wayne Mills, N7NG. "Our interest is
in gathering information we can use to improve the participation and
quality of both the various ARRL VHF/UHF contests and the ARRL VHF/UHF
awards programs." The survey is organized into several areas of inquiry,
the first dealing exclusively with contesting. It also seeks opinions on
improvements or additions to VHF/UHF contesting that might attract more
operators and on the awards program. The survey is available on the ARRL
Web site <>.
Participants are encouraged to provide as much detail as necessary.
Surveys should be completed and returned by October 31 via USPS mail to
VHF/UHF Survey, c/o Wayne Mills, N7NG, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington CT
06111. The ARRL encourages copying and distributing blank surveys to
others who might be interested in VHF/UHF contesting. A summary of survey
results will be available in the future.

* FCC terminates communications emergency: At the request of the ARRL, the
FCC terminated its declared communications emergency, effective October 10
at 1700 UTC. The FCC ordered the communications emergency during Hurricane
Lili, which affected several Gulf Coast states. The FCC has announced that
amateurs may resume routine use of the frequencies 3873 kHz and 7285 kHz,
plus or minus 3 kHz. "The Federal Communications Commission wishes to
thank everyone for their cooperation and dedicated amateur service," said
Joseph P. Casey, chief of the Technical and Public Safety Division within
the FCC's Enforcement Bureau.

* New West Texas Section Manager named: ARRL Field and Educational
Services Manager Rosalie White, K1STO, has announced the appointment of
John Dyer, AE5B, of Cisco, Texas, as ARRL West Texas Section Manager. The
appointment was effective October 8. Dyer will complete the remaining term
of outgoing SM Lee Kitchens, N5YBW, which ends June 30, 2003. Kitchens,
who had served as West Texas SM since July 2001, stepped down citing
business and family responsibilities. Dyer, an ARRL Life Member, has been
licensed since 1961. He has served as Callahan County ARRL Emergency
Coordinator and District 3 Emergency Coordinator since 1999. He currently
serves as president of the Key City Amateur Radio Club (an ARRL-affiliated
club). His family members also are radio amateurs. His wife Carla is
K5RLA; his son John is KB5CUL, and his daughter Kathy is KB5CUN. Members
may contact Dyer via e-mail <>;.

* KB5HAV appointed assistant manager of Hurricane Watch Net: Hurricane
Watch Net <> Manager Mike Pilgrim, K5MP, has announced
the appointment of Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, of Pearl, Mississippi, as
assistant net manager. "Since April when I assumed the helm, we had not
named a successor to my former role," Pilgrim said this week. "Well, based
on all the activity over the past two weeks, and with full awareness and
appreciation for the yeoman's effort and results produced by Bobby in my
absence, it is with great pleasure that Bobby has accepted the invitation
to be my assistant." Graves, who handled the HWN solo during Hurricane
Lili in late September and early October, said he was pleased and honored
to accept his new HWN responsibilities. "I look very much forward to
working with Mike in helping the Hurricane Watch Net grow stronger as well
as take it to newer heights," he said. Assistant Amateur Radio Coordinator
Julio Ripoll, WD4JR, at the National Hurricane Center's W4EHW, praised
Graves' work during hurricanes Isidore and Lili. "Your performance was
outstanding, and your professionalism, both on-the-air and off, is an good
example for all to follow," he said. Pilgrim thanked Graves for "stepping
up to the challenge" and said he and Graves already were working on
developing a strategy for "continuing a harmonious and effective
leadership" of the HWN.

* Amateur Radio glossary, abbreviations available on ARRL Web site: A
glossary <> of Amateur Radio and
electronics terms and a list of abbreviations
<> found in ARRL publications
now are available on the ARRL Web site. The glossary covers the range of
terms from "Alternating current (ac)" to "Yagi antenna" and "73." The
abbreviations cover the field from "a"--the abbreviation for "atto," the
prefix for 10 to the minus 18th--to the Greek letter Omega, the symbol for
ohm(s). Also posted is a list of corrections that will appear as
"Feedback" <> items in QST. The posting
of the glossary, abbreviations list and "Feedback" came about as a result
of suggestions from members and should prove especially helpful and
convenient to newcomers to Amateur Radio.

* New W5 QSL Bureau address: The new address for the ARRL W5 Incoming QSL
Bureau is O.K.D.X.A, PO Box 2591, Claremore, OK 74017-2591 73.

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

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential news of
interest to active amateurs. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely,
accurate, concise, and readable. Visit ARRLWeb at for
the latest news, updated as it happens. The ARRLWeb Extra at offers ARRL members access to
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Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or
in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to
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The ARRL Letter

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.

Much of the ARRL Letter content is also available in audio form in ARRL Audio News.

Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League.

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