2020 JANUARY 26 - VK NATIONAL NEWS BROADCAST ON VK1WIA
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NATIONAL NEWS FOR WEEK COMMENCING JANUARY 26 - 2020
IN OUR 24th YEAR OF NON STOP NEWS
WIA PRESIDENT VK2GPK GREG. -
WIA SECRETARY VK8ZZ PETER.
The ACMA has published a page on deferral arrangements for payment
of radiocommunications licence fees, for licensees located in
bushfire affected areas. The webpage is at the following
(WIA FRONT PAGE NEWS)
WIA board minutes can be found on wia.org.au click
Hello, this is Greg VK2GPK WIA President.
Bushfires have now decimated vast tracts Australia across most
states, with many tragic deaths of both residents and emergency
services personnel, the loss of thousands of homes, infrastructure,
crops and farm equipment. The short and long term impacts on the
native flora and fauna are at a scale it is difficult if not
impossible to comprehend. The likely economic impacts are only now
beginning to be quantified. Whilst the weather conditions have eased
somewhat with lower temperatures and higher humidity, the fires
continue to burn.
Water supplies are likely to become contaminated from the fire
residue. Smoke is at hazardous levels in many areas. This is hardly
a happy New Year for many.
At my location in regional VK2, the fires have twice come with a
few kilometres from different directions over a two week period.
The whole town has been seen subject to emergency evacuation notices
on each occasion. Whilst my residence has so far been unscathed,
other neighbours have not been so fortunate. The anxiety of not
knowing whether it will be there when you return takes a heavy toll.
And the bushfire season is far from over.
I sincerely thank those in our emergency services who put their own
lives at risk to protect our society. And to the many radio amateurs
that volunteer in different capacities to assist the emergency
What the bushfires have shown the wider population is how fragile
our communications and energy infrastructure are when subject to
extreme events. It was telling to see photos of people queueing to
use the one or two public phones still working in some of the
isolated townships, with no mobile phone, power or internet. The only
phones operating at the time were POTS phones " those still using
100 year old copper line technology. Satellite phones were dropped
into these areas, but some days after they were isolated.
How relevant is Amateur Radio today in Australia for last-resort
emergency communications? In other countries it remains very
relevant, due in no small part to regular natural disasters.
For example, regular ENCOMM tests are held in the US which have two
benefits, one is it educates politicians, the public and emergency
services of what is Amateur Radio and it formalizes the mechanisms
to instantiate an EMCOMM response to a disaster.
Finally, there were comments in a recent Board Comment as to whether
it represented the WIA Board position. The comments by John were
clearly stated as being personal opinion. The views expressed have
never been put to the board and are not endorsed by the WIA board.
All directors are independent directors and are, of course, entitled
to their own opinions.
This is WIA President Greg VK2GPK
Happy New Year and good morning listeners this is WIA Secretary
The election for a number of positions on the Board of Directors
of the WIA will be held in February. Nominations for positions are
now open and I encourage members to nominate. As John VK4JJW said
recently it would be great to have some female board members.
How about some newer members or members with a Foundation Callsign
consider nominating? So, get active and support the institute by
nominating for a position on the Board of Directors. Nominations
must be in writing and the original document must be received by
the close on 31 January 2020, that’s less than 1 week away.
I would encourage some of the ALARA members to consider nominating.
Registrations for the Future of Amateur Radio POLL continue to be
received. The actual POLL should be open to registered participants
commencing early in February.
The first poll will be about Amateur Radio Callsigns, and more
specifically about the use of the 4-letter suffix being used by
Foundation Licensees. There will be a number of options presented
in the poll but it will be up to licenced amateurs to select the best
option for the amateur radio service.
The URL for registration for the future of amateur radio poll is
available in the test edition 1
President Greg VK2GPK spoke in this broadcast about the terrible
bushfires that have beset most of our country. We need to carefully
look at our disaster resilience and to make sure that our
communications networks can withstand disasters such as fire, flood
and cyclones. The recent emergencies are a wakeup call for all of us.
Our local WICEN organisations and clubs need to renew their
association with the Emergency and disaster co-ordinators to ensure
that we are able to best assist in times of an emergency.
I am aware that there were many amateurs who were monitoring the
EMCOMM frequencies over the emergency period. I am keen to hear from
any amateurs who were able to provide any Amateur Radio
communications assistance during that period.
I wish to provide an update on the backlog of Repeater Applications.
This backlog occurred because of Insurance issues, all of which have
now been resolved. The Board have been working with the Frequency
Co-ordination Committee and with our Frequency Assigner. I can
confirm that a large number have now been finalised and submitted
to the ACMA for processing. Clearance of the remainder of the backlog
is currently being finalised.
In closing, It is with a heavy heart that I must report that
Kaye Wright VK3FKDW became Silent Key on 15 January 2020.
Kaye was very active on the air and, until very recently, was an
important and integral part of the WIA Publications Committee.
We express our sincere condolences to Dennis and the extended family.
Kay’s passing is a massive loss to AR and she is very sadly missed.
The Funeral Service to remember the Life of Kaye Wright VK3FKDW (SK)
will be held at Nelson Brothers Funeral Services, 51 Devonshire Road
Sunshine, Wednesday 29th January, commencing at 2.00pm. The WIA
office will be closed during this time.
Amateur Radio Victoria is offering a Foundation to Standard upgrade
course starting on Wednesday February 29 between 6.30 and 9.30.
The venue will be the Amateur Radio Victoria rooms at 40G Victory Pde.
Ashburton and the presenter Peter Cossins VK3BFG who is an
experienced TAFE Instructor.
The course will be nine evenings followed by an assessment evening
which comprises a 1 hour theory examination consisting of
50 multi-choice questions. The Tuition Fee will be $50.00 which is
payable via the Amateur Radio Victoria Website. Payment of the fee
confirms a place.
There will be a charge of $90.00 for the examination and $25 - $60
for callsign allocation which will be payable to the Australian
Maritime College at a later date. The Australian Maritime College is
the authorized Registered Training Organisation for amateur radio
If you have had a reasonable secondary or tertiary education,
accommodation can be made for you to study and also sit for the
Regulations Examination and also the Practical Test which is mainly
on operating procedures. The $90 charge from the AMC covers all
examinations if they are conducted on the same day.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS With thanks to IARU, RSGB, SARL, Southgate AR Club,
ARRL, RAC, NZART AMATEUR RADIO NEWSLINE & the World Wide sources of
West Bengal hams have been said to have successfully tracked down a
teenager who was in the process of being kidnapped by three youths.
The girl, who was released when the trio ran off, had been reported
missing earlier by her grandparents.
It's the time of year a major gathering of worshippers in India
once again uses amateur radio operators to look out for everyone.
The annual Hindu pilgrimage known as the Ganga Sagar Mela is a time
for prayer and spiritual renewal. This year as in previous years,
as hundreds of thousands of worshippers converged at Ganga Sagar
Island, they could again rely on amateur radio operators to help keep
them safe in the massive crowd where devotees have been known to
wander off, lose their way back to friends and family, and, now it
seems, to be prone to kidnap.
Using the special call sign 8 T 2 G, the West Bengal Radio Club
was operating on site with support from the National Institute of
Amateur Radio and the Indian Institute of Hams.
Activities at the cultural and spiritual festival include that
famous dip in the water where the Ganges meets the Bay of Bengal.
From the Sultanate of Oman comes word of the death of its long-time
leader - a notable ham radio operator.
Sultan Qaboos had been the longest tenured monarch in the Arab world.
A 41 AA was credited with transforming the sultanate into a modern
developed state since becoming its ruler in 1970. The Royal Omani
Amateur Radio Society A47RS notes on its webpage that it was created
in 1972 under his patronage.
Various media outlets recalled him as a man of peace. A BBC report
noted that although no cause of death was confirmed, the sultan had
been in Belgium in December seeking medical treatment.
Sultan Qaboos A41AA was aged 79.
ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland have just highlighted the
role amateur radio plays in emergency communications
Amateur radio features in the ITU Guidelines for national emergency
telecommunication plans, published by the Telecommunication
Development Sector (ITU-D)
The ITU Guidelines for national emergency telecommunication plan's
pages 80-81 note:
Radio amateurs have supported communications in emergency situations
on a voluntary basis since the beginning of radio communications.
They are experts in radio communications and have the equipment,
skills and necessary frequencies allocated by ITU (2017d) to deploy
networks in emergency events quickly and efficiently.
One letter suffix call signs
On January 16, 2020 Spain's Official State Gazette carried the
announcement regarding one letter suffix amateur radio call signs
Spain's national amateur radio society URE report they worked on this
for more than 5 years with presentations of numerous preliminary
projects for the development and application of the regulations.
The Resolution of the General Directorate of Telecommunications and
Information Technologies has just been published approving the
definitive list of admitted and excluded applicants and corresponding
radio amateur call signs with a single letter suffix assigned.
DENMARK - GREENLAND
Many Greenland and Danish radio amateur stations are celebrating the
80th birthday of H.M. The Queen of Denmark in these two DXCC entities
Look for special event stations OX 8 0HM and OZ 8 0HM to be active on
all bands until April 16th. A special royal award will be available.
Following updates to the Amateur Radio Regulations in the
Falkland Islands there is a need to revalidate all Falkland Island
amateur radio callsigns. ALL users will be required to reapply for
authority to use Falkland Island callsigns.
UP IN A PUFF OF SMOKE
Grow lights cause interference to ham radio
The Lansing State Journal reports amateur radio operators have been
complaining of interference from marijuana grow lights
The newspaper says:
The rumbling and buzzing would start like clockwork.
Gregg WB 8 LZG noticed the static each evening. The noise made it
impossible to communicate with other amateur radio enthusiasts.
So he built a sniffer antenna and tracked the interference to a
house a few doors down. The problem, Gregg determined, was a
high-powered light used by his neighbour to grow cannabis.
It's legal for Michiganders to grow marijuana in their homes
under certain circumstances. But some amateur radio operators
complain that grow lights are interfering with their signals.
Problems can arise from products that exceed emission limits from
the Federal Communications Commission. The uncertified products,
typically the ballasts that send power to light bulbs, are often
Read the full story on
HAM RADIO OPERATIONAL NEWS - IT'S A CONTACT SPORT
February 16-17 ARRL's International DX CW Contest
CQ WW SSB contest February 22-23
March 2 - 3 International DX Phone Contest sponsored by the ARRL
WIA John Moyle Field Day 2020
Weekend of 21-22 March from UTC 0100 on the Saturday to 0059 Sunday 22.
March 28-29 the CQ World Wide WPX Contest for amateurs world-wide to
contact as many amateurs and prefixes as possible during the contest
The date for the next Harry Angel Sprint will be Saturday
May 2nd 2020. 10:00 - 11:46 UTC.
May 30-31 the CQ World Wide WPX Contest for amateurs worldwide to
contact as many amateurs and prefixes as possible during the contest
The VK SHIRES the June long weekend, which is the weekend prior to the
second Monday of June each year.. making it June 6 - 7 in 2020
IARU HF World Championship July 13-14
TRANS TASMAN LOWBAND CONTEST
Next contest - 17 JUL 2020 - and has the aim of encouraging
Low Band activity between VK and ZL on 160 80 and 40M using
SSB, CW and RTTY OR PSK
RD or Remembrance Day Contest will be August 15 - 16
VOICE from 0800 UTC Saturday October 3 to 0800 UTC Sunday October 4
CW from 0800 UTC Saturday October 10 to 0800 UTC Sunday October 11
CQ WW DX SSB OCTOBER 24-25
CQ WW DX CW NOVEMBER 28-29
December 6 - 8 160 Meter WW
DECEMBER 14 - 15 10 Mtr World Wide
TED POWELL MEMORIAL DX CHALLENGE
4 award periods, each of 3 months starting in January of each
calendar year and 2 categories in the contest,
MOST WANTED and TOP 5.
Top 5 you try and work the 5 most wanted DXCC entity's
Most Wanted you work the most wanted dxcc entity.
The dx entity's in play are those most wanted DURING those
3 month windows.
Complete details can be found at http://contest.fgarc.org.au/
And remember, the CQ 160m DX contest is running this weekend to
2200 UTC the 26th. It's CW only on the 1.8MHz band and the exchange
is signal report and CQ Zone. Note that US stations also send their
State and Canadians send their Province.
All major AUSTRALIAN contests, rules and results, are on the
Contest Section of the WIA website.
The WIA Awards Committee is pleased to announce the expansion of our
WIA DXCC Awards program to include Single Band DXCC Awards across all
9 bands, 160 to 10m.
Participants can now apply for Single Band awards when they have at
least 100 confirmed QSO’s per band.
These additional awards cater for users who may have a “favourite”
band and enjoy the challenge of working towards the best DXCC count
they possibly can on that band.
( Graham Alston, VK3GA WIA Awards Manager, on behalf of the
Awards Committee )
THROUGH THE DX WINDOW
In the world of DX, there's still time to work special event station
TM 70 TAAF which becomes QRT today, the 26th.
The activation commemorates the 70th anniversary of the first
ham radio contacts made with French Southern and Antarctic Lands
while scientific research stations were being built there.
QSL by the bureau or direct. All QSOs will be uploaded to
Log Book Of The World.
VP 2 MCV Montserrat in the Caribbean on air until 2nd February on
CW on the HF bands and logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.
Operating is GB 200 FN until the 3rd of February to commemorate the
200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. QSL direct
to M 0 XIG.
Ali, EP3CQ is QRV as 6 O 1 OO from Mogadishu until February 5.
Activity is on 160 to 6 meters using CW, SSB and FT8.
QSL via operator's instructions.
Gambia, C 5 XW from 28th January " 7th February mainly SSB on
40 " 17m and possibly some CW. QSLs go via the RSGB bureau.
Operator is Russell G5XW
CHATHAM ISLANDS, ZL7.
Chris, ZL7DX is currently QRV on 20 and 6 meters using mostly
digital modes. He plans to be active on other bands soon.
QSL direct to ZL 7 DX.
WESTERN SAHARA, S0.
Station S 01 WS has been active on 17 meters using CW around 1600z.
QSL direct - S 01 WS.
Special call sign ZS 95 SARL celebrates the 95th birthday of the
South African League during 2020. Nany ZS Clubs will sign ZS 95 SARL
(sourced to sarl)
WORLD WIDE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP NEWS
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- IOTA
Members of Radio Club Puebla DX will be active as 6 F 3 A from the
Isla Perez, grid EL52dj, Mexico, between February 11-17th.
Patricia XE 1S PM is said to be Team Leader.
Activity will be on 80/40/20/17/15/12/10/6 meters, and include the
ARRL DX CW Contest (February 15-16th). QSL via XE 1 SY.
The following month, up in Texas, sees the 2020 IOTA Bash.
Details are now on the Island Radio Expedition Foundation web site
and it looks an exciting program at this 'always enjoyable' weekend
in the Texas hill country.
Check it out on: https://irefradio.com/iota-bash
Dinner provided at host Mike AD5A’s Spanish Pass Road Haceinda.
If you find yourself visiting the region this would be a great chance
to meet new friends, share a few beers with IOTA chasers and
activators and hear the great stories that you seldom read about
unless you’re there in person.
It’s a unique opportunity to learn from passionate IOTA people, who
knows, it might even be the catalyst to start planning your next or
first IOTA activation even plan your next OS holiday with IOTA in
All this happens March 28/29 and presenters from our BIG island,
Earth, always seem to make it, this year guest speakers include
Yuri Zaruba UA 9 OBA, President Russian Robinson Club and back in
2017 Craig VK5CE presented 'VK IOTA activating' at this IOTA BASH.
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS - LOW DOWN
The Alexanderson alternator 2019 Christmas Eve transmission on
17.2 kHz from SAQ in Grimeton, Sweden, was heard by more than
SAQ reported conditions were very good, with clear, dry weather, and
the vintage transmitter functioned flawlessly with Lars Kålland SM6NM
at the key to deliver the Christmas message.
SAQ said it was stunned by the number of reports it received " a
total of 426 from 32 countries.
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
IARU Region 1 3760 7110 14300 18160 21360 kHz
IARU Region 2 3750 3985 7060 7240 7275 14300 18160 21360 kHz
WICEN NSW went to air on the BBC World Service when Forward Commander
in Bega, Compton Allen, was interviewed on the BBC World Service's
Digital Planet programme. Allen spoke about the role of WICEN
amateur radio operators working as part of the emergency response in
current bushfire crisis.
Listen to the podcast on the BBC World Service.
ARES Volunteers and “Plan B” Communication Network in Puerto Rico.
Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) volunteers in Puerto Rico
continued over last weekend to report for duty at an American Red
Cross distribution centre and at the Red Cross HQ in San Juan.
The sites are at the ready to provide a “Plan B” communication
backbone in the event the seismic situation worsens.
A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck southwestern Puerto Rico January 7,
fast on the heels of a magnitude 5.8 tremor the day before, damaging
many homes. ARRL Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, told
ARRL this week that the situation is relatively “calm and quiet” for
now and starting last Wednesday, January 22, volunteers began
monitoring from their homes or vehicles, permitting most, including
KP4RF himself, to get back to their jobs and homes.
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS - WORLD WIDE FLOA AND FAUNA (parks) PROGRAM
News from the North of VK7
SOTA and WWFF Parks and Reserves Group meet twice a week from 10:30am
on Monday and Friday At Glebe Gardens Cafe, 166 Henry St, Launceston.
For more details contact AlVK7AN on Mobile: 0417 354 410.
WW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS --- YOTA
(Youngsters On The Air)
A Youth Net meets Saturdays at 0100 UTC on IRLP Reflector #2.
Young Hams Net 3.590 - 7:30pm Victorian time.
Elsa VK6FZEB had recently passed her Foundation Licence at the
VERY young age of 10.
Elsa's interest in AR is simple: she got bitten by the JOTA bug.
For the 2019 JOTA weekend, the WA VHF Group hosted groups and
provided an on-air contact point for other groups. Elsa was keen
to talk to the cubs and scouts and once she got the microphone
in her hand there was no going back.
Congratulations Elsa, and we hope that you have many happy years in
Jenny VK3WQ writing in the ALARA newsletter says VK6FZEB has been
made aware of the ALARA Grants Scheme and now. Elsa will not only
get half the costs for her study at Ham College reimbursed,
plus her licence fee, but she will also receive a free subscription
to ALARA for 12 months.
Details of the Grants Scheme are available on the website
OK, sports fans it's time to tune up, even if you don't suit up.
Our final story is about American football -- and fun on the radio.
Amateur Radio’s Neil Rapp WB 9 VPG scores a touchdown with his
It's no surprise to some football fans that Louisiana State
University bested the University of Oklahoma, and,
Clemson University won against Ohio State December 28th.
For the four college's amateur radio clubs, these Collegiate Bowl
Semi-final games weren't competing against one another for anything.
Louisiana's K5LSU, Ohio State's W8LT, Clemson's WD4EOG and
Oklahoma's W5TC all got on the air for a couple of hours game day.
They were celebrating football and calling attention to their team,
the one that plays on the magnetic field surrounding the planet.
The activations were the brainchild of LSU's Dir. Dana Browne AD 5 VC
who said the event was organized while the students were on holiday
break. The idea was mainly to get on the air and have fun.
The Louisiana station ended up with former ARRL president
Kay Craigie N3KN in the log and at one point scored a 2-meter FM
simplex contact with a 15-year-old new licensee living about
12 miles away.
In ham radio, unlike in football, it's sometimes better to get
reception rather than interception.
2020 Social Scene
VK3 - Melbourne QRP by the Bay Sat Feb 8 from 3pm. (vk3ye)
VK2 - WYONG FIELD DAY 23rd February 2020 (vk2ji)
For those of you who are wavering whether to come to Wyong Field Day
2020 or not here’s a compiled list of 10 reasons to make the trip, in
no particular order.
1. It’s still the largest gathering of radio amateurs in the
southern hemisphere and so you can meet-up with friends old and new.
2. Those wanting to upgrade their licence have the opportunity to
do so with qualified examiners on-site for all levels of VK licence
and for something more exotic, you can even get a US licence as US
Volunteer Examiners will also be at Wyong.
3. Something different this year we are running not one but two
Foxhunts from the racecourse on the Saturday as part of the
“WYONG-WEEKEND” along with the FIELDDAY DINNER, Saturday evening,
where all are welcome.
4. The largest undercover car boot sale around " we have room
for up to 60 cars, there will certainly be some bargains in there to
5. The trader marquee is large and just as important, on a sunny
day, it’s air conditioned, so you can browse in comfort.
6. No meeting of “Hams” is complete without good food and drink
and our caterers will be there to sell you their wares as always and
there’s free tea, coffee and biscuits with a place to sit down inside
race course building to take the weight off your feet when needed.
Those wanting something stronger, can get a nice icy cold amber ale
on the premises as well.
7. Which other ham-fest venue has a railway station with regular
services on its doorstep? It’s just 6 minutes stroll from the station
to the venue.
8. Of course, there’s also normal car parking with disabled
9. Those of you who are looking to learn, both lecture rooms are
now scheduled with two full programs of lectures for your education
10. With all it has to offer Wyong Field day is a bargain at 15
dollars entry - money that goes to the good cause of keeping the CCARC
and all of their repeaters going for another year. Under 18s even get
in for free!
So, come one come all! You’ll regret it if you miss out!
The Wyong Field day takes place from 8:30 am on Sunday 23rd February
at Wyong Racecourse and hour north of Sydney in New South Wales,
Australia. For full details about the Saturday events and everything
around the Field Day on Sunday, take your web browser to
For the central coast ARC, this was Ed VK2JI.
VK4 - Tannum Sands Gathering March 14 (wia)
Gladstone Amateur Radio Club is holding this gathering, a fun
fun at Tannum Sands Holiday & Caravan Park, Millennium
Esplanade Tannum Sands.
This the first such event will include a 2 metre fox hunt,
radio project tinker table from 2pm, Raffles, Auctions and a
BBQ style dinner with dessert.
VK7 - Meet the Voice event, Ross Recreation Centre Sun 22 March (vk7tw)
VK4 - REDFEST 2020 18th April. St. Michael's College
Old Toorbul Point Rd from 8am (vk4tfn)
VK6 - PerthTech May 2 at Bassendean (vk6pop)
VK - WIA Annual Conference, Hobart 8-10 May. (vk7tw)
VK4 - CHARC Theresa Creek Campout Friday 29 til Sunday 31 May (wia)
VK5 - South East Radio Group Annual Convention and
Australian Fox Hunting Championships. June 6-8 (vk5hcf)
VK4 - Caboolture Radio Club HamFest July 11 (vk7jea)
VK4 - CHARC Inc. AGM Weekend Sept 25-27 at Fairbairn Dam (wia events)
VK - ALARAMEET 2020 Bendigo October 2 - 5 (vk5yl)
VK7 - VK7 biennial HamFest November (vk7tw)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
in August 2020 to the end of 2020 we are planning a motorhome tour
of several months from Cairns along the coast of Australia via
Brisbane - Sydney - Canberra - Melbourne to Adelaide (8-10 Weeks)
and via Tasmania (1-2 Weeks) to New Zealand (6-8 Weeks) from
Auckland via Wellington to Christ Church.
I am qrv with Short-wave and 2m/70cm FM and in D-Star.
As a radio amateur (my call is DF6FQ) I am interested in technical
museums, especially radio-, radar-, short-wave radio museums,
communication museums or special amateur radio museums. Are there
amateur radio activities in the sense of amateur radio fairs /
amateur radio events, also regional during my trip and in the area
of my tour?
I am also interested in natural science museums.
If you have an overview of these museums, please send it to me with
the addresses of the museums or dates for 2020.
I am particularly interested in military history topics on the 1st
and 2nd World Wars, in military history museums and especially in
exhibitions or museums dealing with the development of radio,
communication, radar and rocket technology from the begin to 2000.
If you have an address list of such museums or historical sites,
memorials, special exhibitions etc. which are on the route from
Cairns to Melbourne or New Zealand in the second half of 2020, please
send it to me. So far I only know that a German tank of the
1st World War is on display in Brisbane in the Museum of Natural
Thank you very much for your effort.
Vy 73 de
Dr. phil. Jürgen Nimbler
Germany 63796 Kahl
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