March 27 - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
THE BEST NEWS YOU'LL GET ALL WEEK
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NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING MARCH 27 2016.
IN OUR 21st YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
WIA - Solidarity with Belgium. -
WIA responses to ACMA repeater licence delays. -
WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH with a reminder for us all. -
WIA President addresses Waverley Amateur Radio Society. -
THESE STORIES AND MORE IN THIS EDITION OF NEWS FROM THE WIRELESS INSTITUTE
OF AUSTRALIA 2016 AND FOR WEEK OF MAR 27
Solidarity with Belgium - our thoughts are with you
The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) has sent a sympathy message to our
colleagues in Belgium, a country hit by the recent terrorist bombings.
The two nations have been close since World War 1, where Australian soldiers
fought with them, and repeated the effort in WWII.
Through its IARU member society UBA (Royal Belgian Amateur Radio Union), it was
part of the WIA ANZAC 100 program, to commemorative the Centenary of the
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs).
The letter was to Philippe Haverhelst ON8PV, who told us about how many
Australians now visit Polygon Wood, the 'Brothers in Arms' memorial and stop
at the ANZAC Rest Cafe, often tracing the footsteps of family members who served
in the area.
To honour the Polygon Wood and its memorial, a commemorative callsign OP0PPY was
activated on April 25, 2015 - ANZAC Day.
The WIA letter of sympathy reads:
"We are saddened to hear the news of the terrorist attacks in your country. This
is a short note is to say that our thoughts and prayers are with you, the Belgian
people and those who have been lost or injured by these despicable acts.
"We stand in solidarity with the Belgian people as we have done in years previous
It was signed by Fred Swainston, Vice President, Wireless Institute of Australia.
More on the ANZAC 100 involvement by that and other stations can be read at:
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
WIA responses to ACMA repeater licence delays
Earlier the Wireless Institute of Australia advised that a number of applications
for repeater licences faced a delay, due to the processing needed by the ACMA.
The new SPECTRA system and staffing matters had caused lengthy delays in
handling repeater applications, which can be new licences, amendments to
existing licences or re-location issues.
The WIA has received many inquiries from repeater applicants asking why their
request through the WIA was taking so long.
Currently new applications are being forwarded by the WIA to ACMA quite quickly.
The WIA Board has been aware of what is basically an ACMA resourcing issue, and
decided to take two actions in response. The WIA only makes a frequency
recommendation, checks that the application is complete and then passes all the
information over to ACMA.
An invoice from the ACMA is to be issued when it reaches the stage of approval
The WIA is again to talk to the ACMA about the delays currently being faced.
In the meantime, to help all repeater licence applicants, the WIA website has a
progress report of each application it receives.
The WIA website will record the progress through the WIA, including the receipt,
progress being made, and it being sent to the ACMA for its checks and issue.
The WIA is unable to record when the ACMA decision is made, but at least repeater
applicants will know the status of their application through the WIA repeater
The alternative to using the WIA system is to engage an expensive private
frequency assigner, who may be able to get a repeater licence application
approved by the ACMA quicker.
This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH with a reminder for us all.
You may remember, in the first broadcast of the New Year, I waxed lyrical about
that Scots expression - Auld Lang Syne - which is about remembering "times gone
Back then, I introduced the idea of "Bring Them Back", about reconnecting with
amateurs you knew "back in the day" and encouraging them to return to the
airwaves, even if they let their licences lapse.
From the ACMA's register of amateur licensees, it is clear that there are many
amateurs who pay their licence fees year-in and year-out, but are not heard on
the air, and are rarely - if ever - seen at hamfests or club meetings.
It is apparent though, that they maintain an interest in the hobby, but choose
to be, or perhaps have to be, inactive for one reason or another. Likewise, there
are those who let their licence lapse, and have no current callsign, but their
interest in amateur radio smoulders beneath the surface nevertheless.
It occurred to me quite some time ago that, if these amateurs could be encouraged
to revitalise their once-burning interest, the hobby would be all the better for
If, as individuals, we could track down one or two "lapsed amateurs" and
encourage them to get that old spark back, get a new callsign and explore what's
new in amateur radio today, the ranks of amateur radio would rise and the
airwaves would fill with enthusiastic signals.
Remember - activity begets activity.
If you think about it, there are many situations where you know, or discover, a
colleague or acquaintance once held a callsign - they may well be amenable to
being encouraged to return to amateur radio.
I'm here, once again, to remind you of the Bring Them Back project for 2016.
There are more situations where individuals may have let their interest in
amateur radio lie dormant, and I've only outlined a few. Look out for the
opportunities - you'll be doing something positive for the hobby.
Get cracking !
This is WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH for VK1WIA News.
WIA president speaks at Sydney radio club
The Waverley Amateur Radio Society, in Sydney's east, had an interesting
presentation from the President of the Wireless Institute of Australia,
Phil Wait VK2ASD, at a meeting on Wednesday March 16.
While the WIA was founded in 1910, the Waverley Amateur Radio Society at
Rose Bay is Australia's oldest continuously licenced radio club. It began in
1919 and is expected to celebrate its centenary in grand style.
The WIA will proudly promote the Waverley Amateur Radio Society's 100th
Introducing the guest speaker was club President, John Harper VK2LJ, who
described the occasion as an opportunity to hear the latest.
Then WIA President Phil Wait VK2ASD began telling how it has been a busy time
in making submissions, and meeting with those responsible for changes in the
way spectrum is regulated. Waverley Amateur Radio Society members heard about
likely changes flowing from the Spectrum Review. The WIA is seeking greater
recognition for Amateur Radio, and to highlight and enhance its benefit to the
In another review, the WIA is wanting to overhaul the Amateur Radio Licence
Condition Determinations, to reflect more contemporary internationally aligned
These changes would not only make Amateur Radio a more relevant and attractive
activity, said Phil VK2ASD, but making it better placed to play a role in the
drive for innovation and experimentation.
Another WIA Director will 'hit the hustings' in April
A very interesting and topical talk will be given by WIA Director Roger Harrison
VK2ZRH at the St George Amateur Radio Society.
Roger says his working title for his talk is:
"Everything You Want to Know About the Future of Amateur Radio in VK, and
The government's Spectrum Reform program will see a new Radiocommunications Act
that will change the whole landscape of licensing, competition for and access to
spectrum, and its use, the allocation of frequency bands, and the regulation of
users and applications.
The whole radiocommunications industry - including Amateur Radio - is facing a
"perfect storm" of challenging change.
Roger VK2ZRH has been centrally involved with the WIA's response to the
government's program of consultations over the past two years.
On this broadcast over the past 2 weeks he and President Phil reported on their
attendance at the Australian Communications and Media Authority's industry
conference, RadComms 2016.
He promises to give those in the audience something of an "insider's view" of
what might be ahead.
Meanwhile, as a WIA director, Roger VK2ZRH has also worked on the reform of the
WIA National Office operations, in preparation for the new landscape of Amateur
Radio licencing and licence conditions.
Roger reports he has almost finished knitting his flame-retardant suit for the
occasion expecting his talk will result in some questions.
Be at the at St George Amateur Radio Society clubrooms, Donnelly Park,
Kyle Parade, Connells Point near South Hurstville, for the start at 7.30pm,
Wednesday April 6.
HAMS ACROSS AUSTRALIA.
VK4 - QNEWS
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If you are in the Great South East of VK4 early April then does the
Redcliffe and District radio Club have a deal for you!
Late notice I know BUT their annual REDFEST Convention is NEXT weekend
SATURDAY 2nd April, St Michaels College AS YOU HEAD TOWARDS BRIBIE.
Full details are available on the R@DRC club section on the main WIA website
and we will have more for our QNEWS viewers in this week's local QNEWS.
(sourced to Kevin VK4UH)
Latest Aussie pico balloon afloat
After being launched last Sunday from Melbourne the pico balloon PS-62 with an
Amateur Radio payload headed north through Victoria, then directly over
Wagga Wagga in New South Wales before leaving the Australian mainland at
This time Andy VK3YT reports that the solar power balloon only has a 30 metre
JT9 transmission, but that didn't reduce the enthusiastic trackers who reported
its elevation, speed, direction and location.
He has launched many balloons over the last two years, including achieving
flights that circumnavigated the southern hemisphere.
From the launch of PS-62 its every movement was tracked in VK2, VK3, VK4 and VK5.
Among the regulars also tracking it in New Zealand are Ian ZL3OF, Murray ZL3MH
and Bob Sutton ZL1RS.
The high altitude flight balloon PS-62 did a long hairpin loop while off
Australia over the Tasman Sea. Its path was loopy, sharply turning to the west
while between Australia and New Zealand, and by Wednesday night was thought to
have been lost in the water.
Meanwhile a balloon, but some 1 meter in width, has successfully circumnavigated
the Northern Hemisphere, WIA International News Reporter Jason will talk more
on this after our next "official" ID break.
(Jim Linton VK3PC)
Silent Keys are best sent to AR Magazine and your local state or club news
rather than this WIA National News Service.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club, ARRL,
Amateur Radio Newsline, NZART and the WW sources of the WIA.
INTRUDERS ON TRAINS
Man in trouble for cell phone jammer on public train
A 63 year old financial analyst is facing serious charges in the USA, because
he used a cell phone jammer on a public train.
Seems he hated people talking on their phones so much that he decided to use
the jammer anyway.
The man opened a beer and surveyed the car, scowling as he saw another rider
talking on a cell phone a few feet away. He pulled a clunky black device topped
with five antennas from his pocket and switched it on.
Almost instantly, commuters who had been talking on their phones had their
signals go silent.
So here in VK no Jammers NOR Beer please! Both illegal particularly the
green bottles on trains!
INTRUDERS OVER THE HORIZON
The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Monitoring System (IARUMS) has
reported a spate of over-the-horizon (OTH) radar signals on various Amateur
Radio HF bands - exclusive and shared.
Many of these signals are being heard outside of the Region 1 confines.
A 50 kHz wide Russian OTH radar has been heard in the evening on 80 metres,
often in the CW part of the band.
An "often long-lasting" Russian OTH signal about 13 kHz wide is being heard on
the 7 000 - 7 100 kHz segment of 40 metres, while some digital traffic (FSK or
PSK) and a "Codar-like radar from the Far East" are being heard in the
7 000 - 7 200 kHz segment as well as non-amateur CW transmissions.
The same OTH radar being heard on 40 meters also is appearing on 20 meters,
along with digital traffic in FSK or PSK and on CW and broadband OTH radar
signals from China.
Broadband OTH radars from China, Australia, Cyprus and Turkey have been
monitored in 15 meters it is said. On 10 meters, radars from Iran with FM CW
and different sweep rates have been monitored, as well as fishery buoys on CW,
and taxi operations on voice from Russia.
Yes the bands aren't dead! but these are signals we DON'T want to hear!
OVER THE HORIZON - AND BACK THE OTHER WAY
UK student balloon flies around the world
On Monday, March 21, 2016 the UBSEDS14 balloon, launched by University of
Bristol students, completed its circumnavigation of the Northern Hemisphere
Watch out Andy the balloon wars are on HiHi
The University of Bristol Students for the Exploration and Development of
Space (UBSEDS) launched their balloon on Monday, March 8, powered by a single
AA Lithium Energiser Battery (LR91).
During the flight at an altitude of about 11,500m the balloon has been
transmitting telemetry data at 4 minute intervals using 5 dBm output of
Contestia 16/1000 on 434.600 MHz USB.
Additionally the payload has the capability for 144 MHz APRS.
This balloon has a diameter of 1.5m and the payload weighs just 21.3 grams.
The team have managed to employ sophisticated Geofencing technology to prevent
the balloon transmitting when over certain countries and also to select
different APRS frequencies depending on the territory being overflown.
Who and Where are our broadcast stations?
Others may very well be unauthorised editions.
OPERATIONAL NEWS 2016
CQWW WPX SSB Contest this weekend 26 and 27 March.
Harry Angel 80 mtr sprint (WIA) Saturday 7th May.
QRP Hours contest on 9th April
10-10 INTERNATIONAL SUMMER CONTEST Aug 6 - 7
Remembrance or RD Contest August 13-14
36th ALARA Contest is on the last full weekend in August, Aug 27-28.
ANZAC Award Certificates
The WIA announced the ANZAC 100 program at its Sunshine Coast Queensland annual
general meeting in May 2014, and then kept WIA members up with the details as
they evolved. Next week we will look at this in detail.
VK5 National & Conservation Parks Award 3rd year anniversary.
The VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award is celebrating its 3rd birthday
this year. And to celebrate the event, a special activation weekend is being
held on Saturday the 2nd and Sunday the 3rd April, 2016. Amateurs are
encouraged to take part as either park activators or park hunters over
Previous anniversary weekends have proven to be extremely popular. So far this
year, a total of 11 amateurs have registered to participate. A total of
33 different National and Conservation Parks across South Australia are to be
activated and put on air.
The event is now under 2 weeks away. So if you do intend to activate a park,
please register with Paul VK5PAS, by sending an email with your planned
activations to email@example.com. Please don't leave it to the last minute.
A spreadsheet is being maintained of all intended park activations, which
serves a number of purposes. It will assist with preventing double up
activations of the same park, act as a reference point for those hunting the
parks over the weekend, and will assist in preparing some stats at the end of
A reminder, the special activation weekend is Saturday the 2nd April and
Sunday 3rd April 2016.
More information can be found on the VK5 Parks Award website at
Best 73 and thanks for listening.
I'm Paul VK5PAS, the VK5 Parks Award Manager.
SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS, DX, BEACON REPEATER AND NET ADVICE
Have YOU VK0EK in the log?
When the team arrived on Heard Island the rosy light of sunset danced on
snowy Mawson Peak a nearly-full moon shone in the north, and the silvery
slopes of Big Ben stood sentinel over Atlas Cove.
All was quiet awaiting the MASSIVE RF to come..
Bill Mitchell, AE0EE has also supplied an impressive log of contacts
for their maritime mobile operation as ZL/ZS9HI/MM on their way to Heard
5011 unique stations, representing 101 DXCC entities.
The top 5 entities worked were K, DL, UA, I and UR
SOTA world-wide AM activity weekend
On the coming weekend of 1/2/3 April the SOTA community will be heard making
contacts using AM - just for fun - a bit like a prelude to the well
established AM for ANZAC Day event.
This weekend has been endorsed as a world-wide AM activity period within the
SOTA community. So you may even hear DX AM signals.
More in Special Interest Group news during this newscast.
Bogdan, SP2FUD and Zenek, SP2GCJ will be on the air as C5FUD and C5GCJ,
respectively, from Brufut in the Gambia until 1st April. Activity will
be on 10 to 80m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. This includes a possible
entry in this weekend's CQ WPX SSB contest. QSL to their home callsigns.
Bill, K1CN is on the air as C6AMM from Harbour Island in the Bahamas,
IOTA NA-001, until 3rd April. Activity is holiday style on the 6 to 40m
bands using mostly SSB with some CW. QSL direct to his home callsign.
AM and CW on Anzac Day
The Tableland Radio Group (TRG) is once again requesting Radio Amateurs in
Australia and New Zealand to use the old radio modes that were used by our
Service Men and Women in the many wars and peace keeping missions.
One of the first recorded was the use of radio in the capture of German
New Guinea and continued to Gallipoli, Middle East and the Western Front
just over a hundred years ago.
The idea for this event come from a conversation between Mike Patterson VK4MIK
and an ex Australian Coast Watcher Lionel Veale about the use of the ATR4A
radio transceiver. Lionel had used these radios whilst on HMAS Paluma and
missions to Wewak, Long and Umboi Islands during World War 2. It was obvious
that a lot of radio Amateurs had joined up and a lot of our service people
were radio operators or technicians. It seemed natural that we could give a
special amateur radio salute to those that served on Anzac Day by using the
old radio modes.
Over the last few years we have seen Amateurs operate from ex HMAS Castlemaine
and Diamantina plus from former defence sites such as the Command Bunker in
Townsville, Australian General Hospital at Rocky Creek, RSL Club down the
road apiece from me here in in Ingham to name but a few.
it is not a contest and merely means changing to the AM mode from SSB on
regular nets and trying CW on Anzac day.
The RSL have been advised and the feeling was that it was a good and novel
So again we see how great ideas can grow to fruition, just by a quick QSO.
It brings to mind how the Harry Angel Memorial Sprint, originally held on
ANZAC Day was kicked off in a conversation with VK4AED Brian, also Silent Key
VK4BBS another 'Brian' and our own news Editor Graham VK4BB.
(Mike Patterson VK4MIK Tableland Radio Group)
Hiro, will be active in Tonga as A31MM during the CQWW WPX SSB
Contest, taking place this weekend March 26 and 27. He will work a
Single-Op/All-Band/Low-Power entry. QSL via EA5GL or LoTW.
Your digital copy of AR magazine
The digital Wireless Institute of Australia monthly magazine is available for
download by any financial WIA member who has registered with MEMNET and obtained
their member password. Financial members can go to the WIA website and download
the digital Amateur Radio magazine.
Under the drop down "For Members" select "AR Magazine" you can then select any
month's edition to download using membership number and password.
To draw initial attention to the latest edition of Amateur Radio being released,
a courtesy email was issued to all members with a link to the current months
AR magazine page on the website.
However, any WIA MEMNET member can go directly to the page on the WIA website
and download a digital Amateur Radio magazine without the courtesy email.
On the cover is the SOTA station set up by Andrew VK1AD portable VK3 on Mount
Hotham, and an interesting report on that activity is inside.
"The WIA President Phil Wait VK2ASD frankly talks about the change management
process that was set, and agreed, by the WIA Board of Directors in 2015. It
included a new Executive Administrator Bruce Deefholts VK3FBLD, for the
restructured office. During this change came the resignations of a Director,
and two Treasurers - one after a very short term.
In the Letter to the Editor section former Treasurer, Chris Chapman VK3QB, raises
a number of issues.
The WIA Board of Directors response letter is also published.
In other content, the GAP Titan II antenna is reviewed by Peter McAdam VK2EVB,
and the spark gap signal of submarine HMAS AE2 that changed ANZAC history, is
written by Michael Charteris VK4QS.
The WIA talks about Amateur Radio - past, present & future, after being invited
to write in the Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy.
Amateur Radio magazine also has special interests, events and club news.
I'm Barry Robinson VK3PV, and you are listening to VK1WIA.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- ATV (Every pixel tells a story) - Video
Vintage TV report on VI6VIP
A TV news report exists on the interweb about a special event amateur radio
station VI6VIP at which hams in VK6 Perth area legally worked the coastal
radio station, call sign VIP, using crossband HF in November 1992
The radio amateurs used the ham bands and VIP used a coastal radio HF frequency.
Actual contacts to VIP are not shown, but some well-known VK6 Amateurs at the
time appear in the video which is not the best quality.
The original coastal station VIP opened in 1912 at Wireless Hill in Perth
where video was made.
Google VI6VIP 1992 Wireless Hill
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- CW
FISTS Club - East Asia www.feacw.net
FISTS Club - Australasia www.fistsdownunder.org
FISTS Club - UK & Europe www.fists.co.uk
FISTS Club - Americas www.fists.org
FISTS Down Under founder honoured
For his vision in June 1998 to form a FISTS Club for Australasia and
considerable voluntary work since, Ralph Sutton ZL2AOH has been made
FISTS Down Under Life Member.
A humble Ralph of Wellington New Zealand said: "I'm gobsmacked. I never
considered what I did was for anything else than my own pleasure. Seeing it
grow and creating dozens of new friends was reward enough."
The New Zealand Chapter was formed in 1998 to provide a similar service to
Australasia, with Ralph ZL2AOH as the VK/ZL representative.
He was editor of the monthly newsletter for those with a common love of
Morse code, which is devoted exclusively to CW operators and CW operating.
FISTS has Amateur Radio activities including nets, ragchewing, awards, QRP,
contesting and of course, Elmering others by patient sending.
(ZL2AIM FISTS President and Jim Linton VK3PC)
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- QRP and WEAK SIGNAL COMMUNICATION
QRP Hours contest on 9th April
The annual QRP Hours contest will run on 9th April on 80m.
This is a contest for the QRP operators though higher powered stations are
welcome to join in and hand out contacts to the QRPers.
We will visit this in detail next week
(Andrew VK1DA VK2UH)
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- RESCUE RADIO
IARU REGION 3
Emergency Centre of Activity (CoA) frequencies
3.600, 7.110, 14.300, 18.160 and 21.360 MHz
Ham Radio does saves lives
The Norwich Bulletin in the USA describes how Amateur Radio operators have
saved lives and property
The item is written by Larry Wolfgang WR1B who has been a licensed Amateur
Radio operator since he was 16 years old. He enjoys many aspects of
Amateur Radio, including two way communications with other Amateur Radio
operators, or hams, across the US and around the world.
For the last 33 years, Larry has worked for the American Radio Relay League in
Newington, where he has been a technical editor with a number of editing
He also enjoys preparing for emergency communications situations and helping
provide public service communications for many local running events, bicycle
races, and other events.
Read the story on
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- SUMMITS ON THE AIR
SOTA worldwide AM activity weekend
On the coming weekend of 1/2/3 April the SOTA community will be heard making
contacts using AM - just for fun.
Most modern radios will produce a reasonable AM signal and it is possible to
make AM contacts even with the low power that most SOTA summit activators use.
A few tried AM in April last year and found it was good fun, with many
callers joining in just to try the mode, many having not used AM for some
years. Hearing AM signals on 40m makes voices were mostly clear but at some
times of the day there can be quite noticeable selecting fading, something
completely missing on ssb. On VHF bands (6m and 2m) AM signals were clear
with uncritical tuning, but some had more background noise than they would
have on FM.
On 40m there is an AM net on 7125, some members of which are crystal locked.
SOTA calls on that frequency for contacts with AM net members as well as on
other frequencies higher in the Australian band allocation. 7140-7200 is
suggested as a starting point for general calling, other than 7125.
On 80m there is often good propagation supporting contacts up to 1000km for
low power stations. A SOTA activator on 80m could well make many AM contacts
after sunset. SOTA apologise in advance for using twice as much bandwidth
as a well aligned SSB signal, it won't be for long!
This weekend has been endorsed as a world-wide AM activity period within the
SOTA community. So you may even hear DX AM signals.
You don't have to be a member or register to make contacts with SOTA stations. Just respond to CQs, hand out signal reports and join in the fun. See you on AM on the weekend of 1st to 3rd April.
SOCIAL SCENE 2016
April 2 VK4 REDFEST see Redcliffe Club Page under clubs on wia.org.au (4uh)
April 10 VK3 Darebin Park for the ARDF Day (vk3www)
April 17 VK6 HARGfest 96 Gladys Road Lesmurdie open to public 10am (vk6zms)
April 30 vk6 PerthTech (wia)
Ap-May 29-2 VK4 Clairview Gathering check Mackay ARS website. (theTARCinc)
May 7 VK3 Moorabbin & District Radio Club HamFest, Mulgrave. (VK3GL)
May 27-29 VK9 WIA AGM this year on Norfolk Island (wia.org)
June 3- 5 VK4 Central Highlands Social Gathering Theresa Creek dam (wia)
June 4 VK4 BARCfest Mt Gravatt Showgrounds. (vk4atc)
June 11-13 VK5 VK Foxhunting Championship & SERG convention Mt Gambier(VK5HCF)
July 9-10 VK3 GippsTech 2016 Churchill (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sep 23-25 VK4 Central Highlands Amateur Radio Club AGM weekend
Lake Maraboon Holiday Village, near Emerald. (theTARCinc)
Sep-Oct 30-3 VK4 Cardwell Gathering Long Weekend, Beachcomber Motel(theTARCinc)
Nov 6 VK5 Adelaide Hills Amateur Radio Society HamFest 8am! (VK5KC)
March 26 VK3 EMDRC HamFest, Great Ryrie Primary School, Heathmont (VK3BQ)
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