Good to know Batteries are still slowly getting better.

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 15:11
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Even after more than 100 years the good old lead acid is still the main choice of car battery for most of us.

In my car weight is important and I don't add it to the car unless I remove the weight from elsewhere.
(Still suffering an identity crisis over fitting a 10kg mini fox-wing )

For this and other reasons I only run one battery and have now been using Exide commercial 4X4 batteries for many years.

I religiously change them every 3 years and over this time they have steadily got better.

The battery has to be suitable as starting /deep cycle and winch capable duty.

I use an N70 in My 4800 patrol and the constant improvement means that the latest XN70ZZLMF now delivers 810CCA with 95AH has excellant vibration resistence and is fully sealed.

(The recently superseeded model was 760cca & 90AH)

Years ago we went down the Orbital path , but I concluded they were to fragile , and 10 years of using well made basic batteries with incremental improvementrs seems to have worked for me.
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 16:09

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 16:09
In the OKA I initially used a large Ca cranking battery. It died in 2 years.
I changed to a large "4WD" battery. It lasted 3 years.
I suspect the wet batteries died from physical abuse (corrugations).

I then fitted a 120Ah Fullriver HGL series AGM (designed for standby power use) and it is still alive and well 6 1/2 years later.

It is also compatible with the AGM house batteries and can be charged by the solar via 2 way a VSR if required, which is a bonus.

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 19:32

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 19:32
I think the basic lead acid and its variants will be with us for a long time Peter.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 21:16

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 21:16
Back in the late 70s & 80s Mazda were fitted with Yuasa batteries, it was quite common to see them with original batteries after 6 or 7 years!

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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 12:35

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 12:35
Bought my 90 ah Fullriver HGL AGM in Jan 07 as under bonnet Aux in 80 series turbo diesel ,3 years in it , then moved it into holden Rodeo for 2 years , then it went into a Jeep Grand Cherokee turbo diesel as a starting battery where it is still going strong even today , so 9 years , but the real kicker is the wifes 2005 Jeep Cherokee Renagade 2.8 turbo diesel came factory fitted with a 'red' top orbital and still going strong 11years on.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 12:39

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 12:39
Some people are insufferable! lol
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Reply By: Member - John - Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 16:35

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 16:35
Robin, with the advances in new battery types, I wonder how long the lead acid type will still be the battery of choice?????
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 19:29

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 19:29
Forever John - well at least a lot longer than most think.

The time to invest in plantation wood was when the paperless office was rolled out - and just like when the new Rotary engine came out eons ago , but the old normal car engine rolled on, and with Lithium batteries not yet really making the grade the common lead-acid will still have a long useful lifetime into the future.

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Reply By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 18:43

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 18:43
Gday
So Robin, when you change the old battery, is it still ok as a back up battery , or just no good for anything?
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 19:37

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 19:37
Hi Muz

The old batteries are virtually good as new - in fact I had my latest old one tested and it was still over 700 crank amps , less than 10% down .
Because I depend on the battery so much and we are often by ourselves I don't like to take avoidable risks - besides the old one will probably still give my tractor a thrill.
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 20:18

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 20:18
.
Robin, I really do find myself agreeing with you on this.
After a lifetime of association with batteries of all types I still feel an empathy with the basic flooded lead-acid battery.
There have been a number of latter-day alternatives but they often seem to bring assorted shortcomings with them, not the least vibration sensitivities!

My brow furrows when I read of other people attaining 6, or 7 years performance from their battery where I have never got far beyond three years. So as you, in the interests or reliability, I replace my batteries at about 3 years and consider my good fortune that they did not die beforehand in some remote location.

I too am running Exides, cranking and deep cycle, but am considering changing to hybrid cranking/deep cycle at the next changeover. Maybe from the Exide 'marine' range. At that point I may also be able to give my fancy dc-dc charging the flick and go to simple solenoid isolation.

Your last line.... "well made basic batteries with incremental improvementrs seems to have worked for me" says it all I believe.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 20:45

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 20:45
That's good Alan and hope it works out the way you wish , just had another trip in which I had to help sort out a failed complex 3 battery system.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 20:54

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 20:54
Yes Robin, my cranker plus two deep-cyclers got complex when I added two BCDC 20 amp chargers and more. It has worked well and I am capable of sorting it out should things go pear-shaped out bush. However, I am a great believer in the value of simple engineering concepts so I would like to demystify it.
Besides, it will be an interesting experiment in battery simplicity.

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Follow Up By: Life Member - Terry 80FTE - Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 21:26

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 21:26
Hi Allan, Gee, think it all through properly before dumping the BCDC chargers, (they do work well), have you had a problem with them?
Are you dropping back to 2 batteries as well?.

Hi Robin, hmmm was it Dennis's car?
I tested my 3 year old Optimas before we left, came up good so took the risk, only to have the crank battery die the first day on the CSR, :(
Had to survive on the aux only until we got down to Kunawaritji community where I bought a new, almost flat, 50 series battery, which got us home ok!
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 07:55

Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 07:55
Hi Terry, At this stage, only "considering". The BCDC's are working OK. The batteries are lasting. Yeah, what am I thinking?? All in the name of experimentation and experience. And something to do when I am at home.
I would still keep 3 batteries. I need the capacity of the auxiliaries as I use no solar.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 20:37

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 20:37
Got 5 years out of a pair of ACDelco Ca batteries in the camper trailer. They struck me as a lot less fussy to live with than the current Ozcharge AGMs. All deep cycle.
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Follow Up By: cobber - Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 16:51

Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 16:51
I agree with the ACDelco batteries have been using them for the past 15 years now and usually change them around 5years, I have 2 in the Land Cruiser so if one did pack it in I can still start the vehicle with the other, The Cray Boats here on the west coast use them because they can take a pounding in rough weather
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Reply By: skulldug - Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 22:05

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 22:05
Surely this post is a troll. Do any of you live in this century? Quarter the life, twice the weight and almost no ability to be discharged. Gotta love those lead acid batteries.

If you don't know what I mean, phone the operator, ask to be put through to an Internet service provider, get a connection and get your great grandkids to explain it all.

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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 22:45

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 at 22:45
And.... The winner is what? Michael.
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Follow Up By: skulldug - Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 09:29

Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 09:29
Michael, I believe the world is going lithium for exactly the reasons I gave above. My rig is actually under weight but not without trying. I chose two 90ah LifePo4 batteries and semi flexible direct stick solar panels. Total weight is around 32 kilos. I also have one as a second battery in my vehicle.

There is a lot of non-sense sprouted about them. I'm well into my fourth year and no explosions, no special chargers, performance is as quoted. They are expensive but cheap solutions can be much more expensive if it puts you overweight or if you need to discharge down as low as 20%

Just my views on where it's all going.

Skull

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 09:49

Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 09:49
Can you enlarge on "no special chargers" pls, Skull?

Feel I need some weight savings too.......my vehicle, that is.:-)

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Follow Up By: skulldug - Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 10:16

Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 10:16
Bob,

I just followed the advice on charging given by the fellow at EVWorks. The 2 x 90s went into my Crusader caravan and I used the same charge mode as the previous AGM. I changed the low voltage cut out setting but can't remember what to.

The same batteries were moved over to my new Crusader when I upgraded and the charger it came standard with had a LifePo4 charge setting. I believe they are common now.

My vehicle battery is just connected as normal to my alternator and it sits on 13.2 unless it's being used.

If there is a down side to these batteries, it's that it's hard to know their state of charge because their voltage drops off quite suddenly at the end. I have set up a shunt and battery monitor in the van. It keeps track of input/output and estimates a percentage.

If you would like good advice from someone who is qualified call PHIL at Solar4rvs. He is easy to understand.

Usual disclaimers - no connection to either company. Just a happy customer.

Skull
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 18:19

Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 18:19
Thanks Skull, appreciate the detail in your follow-up.

Will chase this up when I get home,

Bob

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Follow Up By: Life Member - Terry 80FTE - Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 20:27

Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 20:27
Skull, what battery do you use for your vehicle's main battery?
as I'll be needing a pair for the Cruiser and wouldn't mind a weight loss and performance increase, need more win/wins.
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Follow Up By: skulldug - Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 21:02

Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 21:02
Terry, I haven't changed the main battery. It might be a bit expensive to use a lithium as a starter battery.
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Follow Up By: Life Member - Terry 80FTE - Sunday, Jul 03, 2016 at 22:38

Sunday, Jul 03, 2016 at 22:38
Hmmm!!! The great grand kids still want some inheritance, so it looks like the
Exide lead acid batteries will get a run,
The 80's awesome suspension will handle the weight ok ;)
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 08:11

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 08:11
Check out EV Works website, Terry.

90amphr lithium for $672 plus freight(???) and price on the Powersonic 120amphr from Korr Lighting is now over $500. Don't think that's too big a difference?

My kids aren't worried about their inheritance........yet. :-)

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 08:16

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 08:16
.
............" and to my children I bequeath my beloved Lithium Batteries"............ lol
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 09:21

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 09:21
Ha ha Allan, too funny............!!!

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Follow Up By: Life Member - Terry 80FTE - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 20:35

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 20:35
Thanks Bob, I will consider them for the next round,
I see the advantages of the lithium for the van, but not for the Toyota yet.
I like the flexibility of being able to swap the main and service batteries if needed, and usually do so periodically, attempting to keep them balanced in usage..
Good one Allan Hahaha.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Jul 05, 2016 at 09:01

Tuesday, Jul 05, 2016 at 09:01
No worries, Terry. After more googling did find a number of examples that were in the "HFH" range, about $3.3K, for a 200 amphr unit!!!

The 80's, and 100's, must have one of the most practical battery storage of any vehicle. Easy to service, change etc, and away from all extreme heat sources.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jul 05, 2016 at 14:32

Tuesday, Jul 05, 2016 at 14:32
Hi Terry

Just to let you know why Lithium are unsuitable for the application I described.

It is not price.

Lithium batteries are specifically unable to supply heavy currents for some time like the N70's I reffered to.

Hence they are not suitable for winching for example.

The N70 I brought has a CCA of 810 which means that it can supply that current for 30 seconds and still be above 7.2 volts

No N70 size lithium can do this and is likely to fail as below ->

The simple answer is because you cannot safely extract energy that fast from any lithium-ion battery on the market today (even if some competitors claim a crank amp rating.) Sustained high rate discharges from lithium-ion batteries will cause dangerous electrolyte venting and explosive fires. After such an uncontrolled high rate discharge permanent damage is done to the individual cells. This is a characteristic of the Lithium-ion cell’s chemistry and has been confirmed with our in-house Firing Circuits battery tester - See more at: https://www.lithiumpros.com/crank-amp-ratings-for-lithium-batteries/#sthash.zRT7Myiv.dpuf
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Reply By: Ron N - Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 00:20

Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 00:20
The Lead Acid battery isn't going away anytime soon. It's proven technology, it is able to be constantly improved, and it's fully recyclable.

In some places, 95% of LA batteries are being recycled. America is still building new, state-of-the-art L-A battery factories.

There are more improvements to come yet in the L-A battery field. The addition of silver and calcium to L-A batteries has improved their performance substantially.
There are constant improvements in examining the grain structure of the cast lead, and fine-tuning the lead plate fabrication processes, to improve battery performance.

There is an international organisation called the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC), headquartered in North Carolina.

ALABC are dedicated to enhancing the capabilities of the lead-acid battery to ensure its competitiveness in various energy storage markets.
The next, improved L-A battery of note, will be the Lead Acid/Carbon hybrid battery.

Already, the Bi-Polar L-A battery is in production. Bi-Polar L-A batteries produce power from both sides of the plates - unlike standard L-A batteries that only produce power from one side of the plates.
The result is more power from less weight, more power efficiency - and the bi-polar batteries can be produced on regular battery-making production lines at very little extra cost.

ALABC

As far as current batteries go, I can only relate my own experiences over 5 decades of owning a large array of vehicles, plant and equipment.

I used Cat batteries in earthmoving plant because vibration is a major problem for batteries. Vibration shakes the plates and cracks them, and they fail.
In addition, sludge buildup in the bottom of the case, from lead decomposition, shorts out the plates, and the battery fails.

Cat batteries have plates bonded to the bottom of the case, so they resist vibration better. Cat batteries also have more clearance in the bottom of the case, so the sludge can reach higher levels without shorting the plates.

Heat is also a battery killer. Keep your batteries cool and they will last longer. Most modern engine bays get very hot, and a battery location where that heat can reach the battery is not good.
The ideal battery position is well away from radiator heat, exhaust system heat and turbo heat.

As far as battery brands go, I can state without a word of a lie, that I have had a Japanese Yuasa battery last in a ute for 9 yrs and 6 months - and a Supercharge Gold battery in a ute last for 10yrs and 4 mths.

These were both exceptional life from batteries - most batteries struggle to reach 5 years - but I have no problem recommending both brands, as I've had very good life from these brands repeatedly.

I currently have a Supercharge Gold in my Hilux that I scavenged from "Bombs Away", a car scrapping operation.
I paid $30 for it, and the date of manufacture is July 2009. It's been in the Hilux for nearly 2 years and it still performs admirably.

When I bought this battery, I charged it overnight, using an electronic battery desulfating device called Infinitum.
I swear this little device is well worth the relatively small amount of money it costs.

The U.S. Military use them, so it's not dubious "tinfoil hat" technology - it simply works. The desulfator "pulses" the charge current to break up sulfation, and this prolongs the battery life.

I currently have 3 Exide Extremes, which promise to be good batteries, but I have not yet had them long enough to form an opinion on them or to report on their lifespan.
When a battery manufacturer offers 40 or 48 mths warranty, you can be sure you're getting a very good product.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 08:13

Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 08:13
These a few interesting points in your reply Ron Thanks.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 08:53

Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 08:53
Just a couple of examples of battery longevity. My father in law had an HZ Holden sedan, 253 V8, purchased new. Sold it 7 years later with the original battery.

My late dad had a Datsun 1200 wagon and the original battery lasted well over 5 years. During my working life, have had batteries last from 12 months to less than 3 years, mostly in Landcruisers. As Ron mentioned heat, the later Landcruisers seem to "care" for their batteries somewhat better than the older models, or maybe the batteries are better?

Bob

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Follow Up By: mike39 - Sunday, Jul 03, 2016 at 10:47

Sunday, Jul 03, 2016 at 10:47
Ronn says he has 3 Exide extremes. I also have 3 extremes, one starter, one under the tray and one in the caravan. They are all in parallel wIth a Bosch solenoid between the starter and the 2 aux. ones. When stationary a manual switch bypasses the solenoid to achieve full parallel connection.
The batteries power a 60l Trailblaza freezer on the tray, a 90l Engel van fridge, general lighting and radio. Charging is via the truck alternator, 160w of solar and/or 30a. of 240/12v. 3 stage battery charger from Honda generator.
We remote camp around 4-5 months every winter, these batteries were all purchased at the same time being 2/09/2011. (nearly 5 yrs.)
As I write this we are WA bush camped, no sun and after 1&1/2 hrs. on the battery charger the charging rate is now down from 30 to 7a.@ 14v. after a warm night running the fridges.
Maybe this says why I am still a fan of conventional LA batteries. These 3 have lots of life left given proper charging regimes.
Mike
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 13:03

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 13:03
My RRS still has its original battery in it after 9 years - even starts on cold Canberra mornings. It doesnt like it if I forget about the glow plugs but will start the car - is beginning to struggle a little and if I went on a trip it would be replaced but for my current use is OK. If I get through this winter it will be Ok until next winter.
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Reply By: Member - Blue M - Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 02:42

Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 02:42
I got 3yrs and one day out of the battery in my new cruiser ute.

I got it tested a week before I set off on holidays, it checked out ok.

I guess I was lucky, as I was only 25k from a town, could have been out in the wilderness when it happened.


Cheers.


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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 14:30

Friday, Jul 01, 2016 at 14:30
I hope it didn't come with a 3 year warranty Blue.
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Follow Up By: Member - Blue M - Saturday, Jul 02, 2016 at 16:01

Saturday, Jul 02, 2016 at 16:01
No Robin, I don't think it did.
I just put a new one in at Mullewa in W.A. $245.00 with a slightly larger CCA than what can out.

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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 19:03

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 19:03
Great post! Lots of info and banter! For the moment I think I will still keep buying N70Z Exide Endurance 4x4 batteries. I change both about every 4 years, they are joined in parallel to support my thirsty 90 Litre fridge/freezer. Whe we start to see more Lithium on the rack than lead/acid, it will be time to change. At the moment, battery purchase is a personal choice but new technology in all areas normally becomes cheaper as the costs to develop is recouped. So I look forward to buying cheaper and hopefully more reliable Lithium batteries in the future! Michael.
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Reply By: Batt's - Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 23:15

Monday, Jul 04, 2016 at 23:15
Yes batteries have certainly improved over the yrs but if you only keep them for 3 yrs regardless of the reason then do you really know how much they have actually improved and how reliable they can be over a longer period of time. Not trying to put your claim down but it still seams there is some doubt about how good they can actually because you only trust them for 3yrs which is not very long. Personally I think at least 5yrs would be closer to what the average battery is good for trouble free these days if the correct batteries are being used and maintained. Also you could say luck has something to do with it I have usually had a good run out of batteries where some people have a lot of bad luck.
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