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HO scale hump yard!

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HO scale hump yard!
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 07, 2006 10:40 AM
hey, i was just wondering if anyone has ever made an HO scale hump yard...

if so can u get pics of it ?
i think a hump yard would be awsome to add to a big HO layout !

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Posted by csmith9474 on Tuesday, March 07, 2006 10:56 AM
I know for a fact that it has been done, but I don't know where to find pics.
Smitty
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Posted by cwclark on Tuesday, March 07, 2006 11:04 AM
there are a few that uses small air jets that blow against the cars to act as a wheel brake retarder....If you plan on building one, then you should but in something like this..a hump yard for models without this type of equipment is impractical ...a car bumped off at a hump in scale gets to rolling down the hump way too fast and usually slams into a car on the siding way too hard that can cause damage to couplers , rolling stock, and causes derailments....chuck

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 07, 2006 11:08 AM
Track Planning for Realistic Operation, Third Edition By John Armstrong illustrates how a hump yard is typically laid out.

As Chuck points out, the prototype has speed retarders to control the descent into the bowel. Modeling a hump yard is a real challenge.

You'll find a hump yard takes up lots of room. Maybe your entire layout area unless you are modeling in Z scale.

The MedinaRailroad Museum is building a model railroad exhibit featuring a hump yard.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 07, 2006 11:35 AM
Yeah, it's a physics nightmare for modeling. You need have each car roll the same as all the others all the time. Models lack momentum because they are so light, so they speed up and slow down much quicker than the real thing.. I seen pictures in old magazines of ones that were suppose to work, but I have my doubts that they were any fun to keep operating or play with. This is a hobby and should be fun. Tinkering with rolling stock all the time don't sound like fun to me. Fred
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Posted by wt259 on Tuesday, March 07, 2006 12:35 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by tyhatts

hey, i was just wondering if anyone has ever made an HO scale hump yard...

if so can u get pics of it ?
i think a hump yard would be awsome to add to a big HO layout !



Allen McClelland had one on the original V&O. I think it was shown in the book on the V&O. He removed it before he moved, a maintenance and operations thing, I believe. There should be a couple of pics, if you can find the book on the V&O.
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Posted by SSW9389 on Tuesday, March 07, 2006 1:27 PM
There have been at least two written up that I can remember in Model Railroader. Check the Model Trains Magazine database for dates.
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Posted by Cox 47 on Tuesday, March 07, 2006 1:51 PM
Don Santel had a working hump yard you can see it on on one of the early Model Rail Roader VCR tapes..Cox 47
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Posted by BigRusty on Tuesday, March 07, 2006 1:53 PM
In the early fifties I spent many a happy hour in the eastern most car retarder's tower in the New Haven's Cedar Hill Yard. The grade up to the hump is an easy grade to push long trains up the hump. The down grade is initially quite steep to kick the cars into rolling. All cars weigh and roll differantly so the retarder keeps a keen eye on the speed departing the hump and hits the retarder button as he deems necessary to prevent a collision. Remember, there is a big differance necessary in determining how much retarding to do depending on whether the car is consigned to the very end of the yard track or to one that is almost full of cars already. Most of the roll is on the flat part of the yard where the cars bump into the preceding string of cars. It is a really interesting project for a large model layout. In my planning for a large New Haven layout I hope to be able to include one. The only ones that I have read about that operated successfully used push button contolled air jets to retard the cars. Weighting the cars uniformly would help, as would free wheeling. If the down side of the hump isn't steep enough to insure a roll that would reach the end of the yard tracks, then I woujld suggest a kicker air jet that would impel them a little faster.

Before I go off half cocked, I plan to build a mockup and experiment with it to see what the variables are that can be adjusted to get optimum performance. If I can't make the mockup work, then I won't consider including it.
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Posted by tomikawaTT on Tuesday, March 07, 2006 8:37 PM
The late Ed Ravenscroft had a fully automatic 4-track hump yard on the HO scale Glencoe Skokie in Phoenix, using timed air jets for retarders. Fast cars got the full benefit of the airflow. Slower cars only got the later portion, and the very slowest cars didn't get retarded since the air was off by the time they reached the retarders.

I'm not sure, but I think Ed's work with that hump yard concept was a direct contributor to the NMRA car weighting RP.
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Posted by RedGrey62 on Tuesday, March 07, 2006 9:19 PM
If I recall, Union Pacific built a model of their North Platte Bailey yard (largest in the world) in a passenger car. I'm pretty sure it was N scale though, and I don't know if it actually operated.

Rick
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Posted by Walter Clot on Wednesday, March 08, 2006 12:01 AM
My yard is about two years away from reality. I was thinking about having a slight slope in it and regulating the car movement by the speed of the locomotive. Maybe by the time I start, someone smarter will have it figured out.
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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, March 08, 2006 10:02 AM
The club I used to belong to had an operating hump yard. At the crest of the hump we had 3 Kadee magnets end to end to make sure we could uncouple, and we used air jets as retarders (since the turnouts were all operated with Del-Aire air machines). Not automated, it was a judgement call on how long to flip the retarder on for. For show purposes we preselected cars that rolled the best and made sure allt he coupler heights were correct, and then basically humped the same cars over and over, after they were all in the yard tracks we ran a switcher to collect the cars at the bottom and then hauled them around the bypass track to do it all over again. In that mode it worked quite well.
Back in the 70's Larry Keeler has a completely automated hump yard with computer control (before you could just go buy a computer anywhere - he had to build the computer first and learn to program it). It was featured in MR at one point. You basically keyed in a portion of the car's number and the software took care of routing it to the proper yard track, and sensors activated the retarders to maintain the proper speed into the selected track - even accounting for how many cars already occupied that track.

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Posted by hmh04 on Saturday, March 12, 2011 11:43 PM

Yes they did, my club is in the process of restoring it, there is a video of it on here and youtube.com . Its not of the whole yard just the west hump. It did work, but it needs lots of rsetoration, and we are slowly working on it. Here is the link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnZpv90vjvE

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Posted by Mike Kieran on Monday, March 14, 2011 9:21 AM

There's also the New York Society of Model Engineers. Check out their website http://www.modelengineers.org.

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Posted by jwhitten on Monday, March 14, 2011 9:24 AM

tomikawaTT
The late Ed Ravenscroft had a fully automatic 4-track hump yard on the HO scale Glencoe Skokie in Phoenix, using timed air jets for retarders. Fast cars got the full benefit of the airflow. Slower cars only got the later portion, and the very slowest cars didn't get retarded since the air was off by the time they reached the retarders.

I'm not sure, but I think Ed's work with that hump yard concept was a direct contributor to the NMRA car weighting RP.

 

It's interesting that you say that-- last night I picked up a MR off the pile at random and wouldn't you know, that was the very issue. It couldn't have even been subliminal selection as the pile was up on a shelf and in no particular order or date, and I just reached up and pulled one out of the middle :-)

John

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Posted by rogertra on Monday, March 14, 2011 1:18 PM

AFAIK, Not a single HO scale hump yard works realistically.   Period! 

Mass and friction don't scale so you cannot have an HO freight cars roll at a scale 5 MPH for say the 12 or more foot length of one of the model  hump yard bowl tracks as it does in the prototype.  The typical HO scale hump yard has rolling stock coming down from the hump at near warp speed, only to grind to a halt some four or five feet into the bowl track.  Nothing like the prototype that comes over the hump at walking speed, gains momentum as it crests the hump to about 10 MPH and then, after passing through the retarders, slows to around walking speed and drifts for several hundeds of feet until it couples to cars already on the track or drifts to a slow halt.

Don't waste you time trying to build a scale hump, it don't work.

Cheers

Roger T.

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Posted by steemtrayn on Monday, March 14, 2011 2:20 PM

Y'mean nobody's come up with a computerized system to regulate the air jets yet? C'mon, I'm sure we have the technology.

Cat
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Posted by Cat on Monday, March 14, 2011 9:52 PM

Motorised box cars and DCC Idea

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Posted by pastorbob on Monday, March 14, 2011 10:58 PM

Larry Keeler had one on his layout here in Kansas City many many moons ago.  All automated.  Really added to the operating sessions, seems to me Larry had it all automated as far as switch controls and operations.

Bob

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Posted by B&O SteamDemon on Monday, March 14, 2011 11:23 PM

I have a hump yard on my layout, after alot of trial and error I have one that works on gravity without air assist.  I have a kadee uncoupler just past the apex on the top of the hill to release the cars down the hill and 2/3 of the way down I have strips of styene inside of the rails with mole skin on them so that the car's wheels rub against them to slow down the cars.  I have this set on an electric motor that opens and closes the strips against the cars to control the speed I use a momentary switch to operate the motor.  I found this works very well and with a little practice is easy to use without all the plumbing needed to run air to retard the speed of the cars.  Granted my hump yard is only 7 tracks but this system works very well.  I use a 2 1/2% grade for the cars to roll down from the apex, also make sure that your cars have at least 3 oz of weight in them so that they can get a good run downhill without stalling on the track.  Remember to use the moleskin as this helps with to keep from rubbing all of the weathering off the wheels when the retarders engage the wheels.  Hope this helps,  I will get some pictures of it here soon, my grandson decided to take underwater pictures of the bathtub with my digital camera.  (grandma left the camera sitting next to the tub after some "cute" baby pictures of a bubble bath and grandson knocked the camera into the tub)  So much for the new camera.

Ray

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Posted by B&O SteamDemon on Monday, March 14, 2011 11:39 PM

rogertra

AFAIK, Not a single HO scale hump yard works realistically.   Period! 

Mass and friction don't scale so you cannot have an HO freight cars roll at a scale 5 MPH for say the 12 or more foot length of one of the model  hump yard bowl tracks as it does in the prototype.  The typical HO scale hump yard has rolling stock coming down from the hump at near warp speed, only to grind to a halt some four or five feet into the bowl track.  Nothing like the prototype that comes over the hump at walking speed, gains momentum as it crests the hump to about 10 MPH and then, after passing through the retarders, slows to around walking speed and drifts for several hundeds of feet until it couples to cars already on the track or drifts to a slow halt.

Don't waste you time trying to build a scale hump, it don't work.

I'm afraid to differ with you on this topic, I have a working hump yard that works on friction not air.  If you see my post on this topic you will note that it does come close to prototypical operation and the cars don't race away at warp speed but they do move I will grant you at a proto speed of about 15-20 mph before hitting the retarders, but the way I have the retarders set on electric motor so that they close and make contact with the wheels to slow the cars down enough to enter my hump yard at about proto speed of 10 mph.  This took me about 3 months of tuning the hump and retarders to get the right combo.  My hill is 2 1/2% downhill grade with the kadee uncoupler mounted just past the apex so that there is no issue of being stuck on the consist.  For the cars coming in and filling the tracks that are nearly full already I leave the retarders on longer to have the cars roll in at about 3-5 mph.  This takes time to learn and get the feel for how long to leave the retarders on to get the cars to roll to the right tracks and distance you want.  It's not hard to build a working hump yard it just takes time and patience to get it working correctly.

Ray

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Posted by jwhitten on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 8:46 AM

B&O SteamDemon

 my grandson decided to take underwater pictures of the bathtub with my digital camera.  (grandma left the camera sitting next to the tub after some "cute" baby pictures of a bubble bath and grandson knocked the camera into the tub)  So much for the new camera.

Ray

 

Actually your camera may be salvageable:

 

Method A

1. If the camera took a QUICK plunge-- less than a few seconds-- say maybe up to 10 (that's a number I pulled out of my hip pocket) your best course of action really is to just shake it off and hope it survived.

 

Method B

1. If the camera is *already* dry (i.e., it got wet-- you didn't know what to do and it's dried out in the meantime), accept your fate-- assess it for usability, it might surprise you. You might just need to clean the lens. Getting it wet again is likely to simply tempt fate.

(If it took a long plunge into the ocean however, that might be another matter, and you might want consider Method C below if it hasn't been too long from the incident)

 

Method C   (This is also the best strategy if your camera gets dunked in sea water)

1. If the camera is still wet and it's been wet for longer than a few seconds-- say 20-30 seconds or longer-- Don't let it dry out yet!!!! (Perform step #2 and put it in a plastic bag and pour water in it if you have to! Especially if it got dunked in sea water)

2. Remove the batteries and memory card (the memory card is probably fine in any case, mine go through the washer & drier all the time :-)

3. Get some distilled water (from any source)

4. Submerse your camera in it and gently agitate it to remove any contaminants from the bath tub (or the ocean, in which case salt is going to be your biggest problem) You may have to repeat this step several times, and especially if it took a plunge into the ocean.

5. Pull it out and roll it around to let all the water drain out -- this is an important step-- work at getting the water out, you can shake it some, etc-- the goal is to try to drain all the water out of the camera now to the best of your ability.

If there are any covers that can be removed with tools you have handy-- *AND* you're good with using them (you are a Model Railroader, right ??) You can remove them now-- just the outer skins and covers, no more, and gently see if you can blow water off the internal parts-- but *only* after you've gotten all the water out and off of the camera. You don't want to introduce water *inside* the camera that was being kept out by seals and covers. Only remove the skins if it seems like you can and you feel like you have the skills to do so. It's an optional step.

6. Put the camera somewhere warm and dry-- I like to put mine on top of the fridge where it gets the warmth from the compressor. Near a sunny window is also good-- on a car dashboard-- but *not* in the direct sunlight (or at least not for long-- and *never* with the lens pointed at the sun in any case-- you can burn out the CCD element), and/or cause the oils and lubricants in the camera to heat up and get runny and they can leak out all over the mechanical or optical parts and do more damage than the water.

  -- Then *don't touch it!* for several days. Seriously, just leave it alone to dry out on it's own. Don't test it, don't put the batteries in it "just to see if it still lights up"-- just leave it alone, let it go for several days or longer to be completely sure its totally and completely dried out inside.

7. Then put the batteries and memory card back in and see if you still have a camera.

 

The biggest issue with getting a camera dunked in any kind of water, apart from the *possibility* of frying the electronics (note that I did *not* say "certainty"! There is hope!) is whether or not it will damage the lens focusing (adjustment) and/or zoom mechanism, and/or the shutter. If the camera is of the "all-in-one" variety you have a much better chance of survivability as many (most?) of those have gaskets and seals that help keep the water out of the mechanisms. If the plunge was swift there's a good possibility that the water didn't even get a chance to penetrate the seals.

If the camera gets dunked in sea water (salt water) the biggest danger is the corrosive action of the salts, which can also begin to remove oils and grease on internal mechanical parts. And of course electricity is more able to flow (conduct) in salt water than fresh water.

(Most people don't realize it but *water* is *not* a very good conductor of electricity. Rather it is the *salts* or other contaminants that are *IN* the water that permit it to be more conductive. You can actually run an electric motor hooked with bare wires to a battery completely submerged with no problems if you're using fresh, distilled water. Sooner or later though,  the motor might begin to rust...)

The goal is to flush out the sea (salt) water with the distilled water as best you can. Again trying to rinse the salts off the camera and innards, without (hopefully) breaching the internal seals.

 

If your camera gets dunked in fresh water-- river or pond water, or dirty bath water-- you don't have the salts to contend with generally, but you do have dirt or perhaps soaps that can get on the optical surfaces and cause problems. Anything that gets on the outside of the camera, including the lens and viewfinder, can be cleaned off. In the case of the lens and viewfinder, use optical grade cloth / wipes and fluids made specifically for cleaning lenses. Lenses often have anti-glare or other coatings to help block out the sun, and/or internal reflections between the various lenses in the optical assembly. You don't want to scratch any coatings or wipe (grind) any off.

Again, if its fresh water, a quick dunking of less than a few seconds and everything is probably going to survive without much problems. Just shake it off and clean the lens. I have several all-in-one digital cameras that I've taken kayaking with me that have survived accidental plunges in the river, or even getting completely submerged while capsized.... (it happens :-) And *ALL* of them are still functional, still working, and I still use them for water-related activities.

 

Hope this helps!

 

John

Modeling the South Pennsylvania Railroad ("The Hilltop Route") in the late 50's
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Posted by DavidP on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 9:30 AM

I have always wanted to build a Hump yard,mainly because of fan visits to yards and watching the hump operate.Operation is limitless, Hump pullers and pushers,inbound yards,outbound yards,car shops and locomotive shops. I often thought about a "Dummy hump" hill as a backdrop and have inbound and outbound yards in and around the hill track,not modeling the "Hump bowl yard"itself.Hump towers in all hump yards are so cool,these can be modeled as backdrops too.I do agree with the impossibilities such as, retarders, pin pulling ,car weight and most importantly Space! A Hump yard is at least 5 miles long by 1/2 miles wide.Only a few modelers or clubs have this room. Hump yards I ve worked in, NS Bellevue, Buckeye, and Conway are very large facilities, I cannot imagine modeling these yards to scale,in any model scale.   

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Posted by AltonFan on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 10:51 AM

N-Scale magazine ran an article a while back about some people who built a modular hump yard in N scale.  Air jets were used for the retarders, which were controlled by a foot pedal.

Dan

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Posted by Train Modeler on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 11:02 AM

For those of you with operating HO hump yards I would like to know more about the uncoupling.  There are a myriad of ways to slow cars down and fine tune the bowl action.   But the facilities to  uncouple anything from a 40 footer to a 80+footer seems difficult while maintaining continual reverse motion and consistent speed of the locomotive.     At least without 5 finger assistance.

Richard

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Posted by B&O SteamDemon on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 12:29 PM

Train Modeler

For those of you with operating HO hump yards I would like to know more about the uncoupling.  There are a myriad of ways to slow cars down and fine tune the bowl action.   But the facilities to  uncouple anything from a 40 footer to a 80+footer seems difficult while maintaining continual reverse motion and consistent speed of the locomotive.     At least without 5 finger assistance.

Richard

On the hump yard I have, I have a kadee uncoupler on the down slope past the apex of the hill and I have the coupler marked on the rails with some "yellow" paint to mark the start and stop of the uncoupler.  Granted my hump yard is small but it's a yard that works.  I usually run the engine slowly going forward and when I uncouple the car(s) to head to the yard it seems to work well, the main thing is making sure the cars have enough weight in them to roll away and not stall going down the hill before reaching the yard.  The consist moves very slowly until the cars cut loose, at that point I stop the train and focus on the rolling cars heading for the yard.  I can store about 12-16 cars per track on the long tracks and about 8-10 cars on the short tracks.  I don't shove the cars with the engine but let gravity take the cars once I uncouple them, so they don't take off right away but build up speed going down the hill, I know this is not a true prototypical hump yard in the delivery of the cars to the bowl but it works and it fits on my layout.  I usually will run 20-30 cars through the hump while breaking up a train.  It took awhile and lots of trial and error to get the hump yard to work right, it's not fancy or very big but it was a personal challenge to me to make a working hump without the use of air but more closely to the real thing with the retarders I use on the hill. 

Hope this answered your question about uncoupling the cars to send them to the yard.

 

Ray

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Posted by Train Modeler on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 2:04 PM

B&O SteamDemon

 

 Train Modeler:

 

For those of you with operating HO hump yards I would like to know more about the uncoupling.  There are a myriad of ways to slow cars down and fine tune the bowl action.   But the facilities to  uncouple anything from a 40 footer to a 80+footer seems difficult while maintaining continual reverse motion and consistent speed of the locomotive.     At least without 5 finger assistance.

Richard

 

On the hump yard I have, I have a kadee uncoupler on the down slope past the apex of the hill and I have the coupler marked on the rails with some "yellow" paint to mark the start and stop of the uncoupler.  Granted my hump yard is small but it's a yard that works.  I usually run the engine slowly going forward and when I uncouple the car(s) to head to the yard it seems to work well, the main thing is making sure the cars have enough weight in them to roll away and not stall going down the hill before reaching the yard.  The consist moves very slowly until the cars cut loose, at that point I stop the train and focus on the rolling cars heading for the yard.  I can store about 12-16 cars per track on the long tracks and about 8-10 cars on the short tracks.  I don't shove the cars with the engine but let gravity take the cars once I uncouple them, so they don't take off right away but build up speed going down the hill, I know this is not a true prototypical hump yard in the delivery of the cars to the bowl but it works and it fits on my layout.  I usually will run 20-30 cars through the hump while breaking up a train.  It took awhile and lots of trial and error to get the hump yard to work right, it's not fancy or very big but it was a personal challenge to me to make a working hump without the use of air but more closely to the real thing with the retarders I use on the hill. 

 

Hope this answered your question about uncoupling the cars to send them to the yard.

 

Ray

Ray,

Thank you very much.    I understand the need to stop the loco and very much like what you've done.    Your trial and error served you well much like the original engineers of hump yards.   And frankly, for just me personally, I think we modelers who want to be prototypical are sometimes too afraid to do things in  a way that works.    A hump yard requires a pin puller as well as an engineer to get the car (s) cut off.   Plus all the automation, etc.    So, if  we as modelers had someone as an engineer and someone else as "pin puller" to help separate the cars manually somehow(TBD) is that more prototypical than making it all automatic?

Richard

 

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Posted by B&O SteamDemon on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 4:36 PM

Richard,

Thanks for the kind words I'm glad you understand how my hump yard works, I spent about 2 months trying to figure out how to design and build the hump yard.  In my first attempts I was quickly reminded about the laws of physics and gravity the hard way, I tried just having some styrene strip inside of the rails to drag on but that didn't work too well or slow the cars down very well and when two of my brass boxcars collided it was ugly.  Hense I came up with the use of a electric motor on a momentary switch that I could hold and apply the styrene  against the wheels to control the speed going into the yard.  I had to also adjust the grade of the downhill run to get a combination that worked well enough and still be functional. 

Ray

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