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Old 04-15-2021, 08:27 AM   #1
EasyGoing1
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Default Soldering Bliss...

So i've mentioned that I have this Weller WE1010 that I bought a couple years ago or right soon after they first came out. What I didn't like about it was that I left it on for almost a full 24 hours once so I installed an arduino controlled relay that was programmed to cut power at 45 minutes ... then I didn't like that it didn't have a backlight ... i work in dark-ish conditions quite a bit when im messin with this stuff so I made a solid effort to install a backlight and I actually kind of succeeded ... the iron still works but some of the segments on the display stopped working ... so i figured it was time to upgrade.

I started looking at the WT line which can be quite expensive at around $500 and up for those stations. Amazon only carried one and it was closer to $600 so I decided to look on ebay and see what was out there.

I saw one that had a price on it of $150 complete setup .. I thought that can't be right so I messaged the seller and asked him if it had the iron and everything with it. He responded fairly quickly and said it was a brand new still in the box complete kit ... then I realized that was not a buy it now price, that was an auction... so I wrote back and said "sorry about that i thought it was a buy it now." He responded and said he had it up on buy it now but no one bought it... so I kind of forgot about it till a couple of Fridays ago I was browsing ebay again and that same auction came up only it was going to end in three hours ...

"Alexa, remind me in 2 hours and 55 minutes to check ebay..."

She diligently reminded me as she was told and the price was still at $148 ... so I figured I'd try to snipe the auction at the last second and set my max price to $250 ... thinking hell if I got it at $250 its still a deal ... so right around the 2-0 second countdown I put in my bid at 250 but it came back at 152 or something like that ... the last bidder only had his highest bid at $150 ... so I won the auction and I got the iron ... and sure enough, it was still in the box wrapped in cellophane ...

But I must say ... I haven't really soldered until now ... this thing is amazingly different from the 1010 unit ... it goes from cold to temp in less than 10 seconds and I can solder at 340-ish and it delivers heat RIGHT NOW ... I'm quite impressed with this iron. And it has auto-shutoff and a backlight.

lol
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Old 04-24-2021, 11:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Soldering Bliss...

The Weller WE1010 appears to use 900M style tips or similar, so of course it's going to perform rather poorly (though probably still 100x better than the cheap Chinese clones, which I despise even more.) My guess is, your new WT iron uses T-12 or similar design tips with the heating element built right into each tip. If yes, that's why you're seeing such a big difference. And indeed, irons that uses tips with built-in elements generally tend to perform very well - even the cheap Chinese variants, this time. I have an old CSI 2900 (Aoyue 2900) station with T-12 tips, and it's been the heart and soul of my workbench for the last 9 years.

Anyways, nice score with the eBay bidding.
And yeah, don't be afraid of Auction-style listings - you can get stuff a lot cheaper that way if there is no demand or not many people notice the auction. Buy-It-Now is convenient, but can be more pricey. So if it's not something you need right away, auction listings may get you really good deals.
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Old 04-25-2021, 03:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: Soldering Bliss...

Quote:
Originally Posted by momaka View Post
The Weller WE1010 appears to use 900M style tips or similar, so of course it's going to perform rather poorly (though probably still 100x better than the cheap Chinese clones, which I despise even more.) My guess is, your new WT iron uses T-12 or similar design tips with the heating element built right into each tip. If yes, that's why you're seeing such a big difference. And indeed, irons that uses tips with built-in elements generally tend to perform very well - even the cheap Chinese variants, this time. I have an old CSI 2900 (Aoyue 2900) station with T-12 tips, and it's been the heart and soul of my workbench for the last 9 years.

Anyways, nice score with the eBay bidding.
And yeah, don't be afraid of Auction-style listings - you can get stuff a lot cheaper that way if there is no demand or not many people notice the auction. Buy-It-Now is convenient, but can be more pricey. So if it's not something you need right away, auction listings may get you really good deals.
OK it's interesting that you mentioned the Aoyue ... the VERY FIRST soldering station I ever owned was one of these:




That was about 8 years ago ... I absolutely LOVED that soldering station.. It was a great performer for the money it cost ... but then one weekend while I was gone my house was robbed and someone stole it ... by the time I was able to buy another station, I bought the same one but the quality had gone in the shitter and it absolutely sucked that's how I ended up with the Weller WE1010.

And on the auction this was the first time I had done an auction in well over 10 years ... you're absolutely right ... if you can wait ... then thats the better option. I scored big time in my opinion. That never happens.

Last edited by EasyGoing1; 04-25-2021 at 03:43 AM..
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Old 04-25-2021, 05:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: Soldering Bliss...

Quote:
Originally Posted by momaka View Post
The Weller WE1010 appears to use 900M style tips or similar, so of course it's going to perform rather poorly (though probably still 100x better than the cheap Chinese clones, which I despise even more.) My guess is, your new WT iron uses T-12 or similar design tips with the heating element built right into each tip. If yes, that's why you're seeing such a big difference. And indeed, irons that uses tips with built-in elements generally tend to perform very well - even the cheap Chinese variants, this time. I have an old CSI 2900 (Aoyue 2900) station with T-12 tips, and it's been the heart and soul of my workbench for the last 9 years.

Anyways, nice score with the eBay bidding.
And yeah, don't be afraid of Auction-style listings - you can get stuff a lot cheaper that way if there is no demand or not many people notice the auction. Buy-It-Now is convenient, but can be more pricey. So if it's not something you need right away, auction listings may get you really good deals.
Here are pics of the old and the new both the iron tips and the heating elements ... the new heating element just feel like a brick shithouse ... so much stronger like its just one solid piece of metal.



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Old 04-27-2021, 08:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Soldering Bliss...

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Originally Posted by EasyGoing1 View Post
Here are pics of the old and the new both the iron tips and the heating elements ... the new heating element just feel like a brick shithouse ... so much stronger like its just one solid piece of metal.

https://i.imgur.com/VFAfJHD.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/yQCRGjf.jpg
Hmmm... so it's still a tip-over-the-heating-element design. I never get super-excited about those. But this one being a Weller brand is probably what's helping it a lot. Otherwise, the cheap stations that use 900M clone tips - which also have that tip-over-heating-element design - can be anywhere from mediocre to downright terrible. I even did a write-up a few years ago why I dislike 900M tips here (and in general why I don't like tip-over-heating-element designs.) In my case, I have probably the worst quality 900M tips, because even with the station cranked to the max, the tip just gets warm enough to do leaded soldering and lead-free only for very small solder joints (like thin wires on cheap single-sided boards with thin traces.) Beyond that, it's hopeless.

The CS 2900 I have is a T12 station that's actually truly capable of 75 Watts of power when pushed. It's no match for really high-end stations like JBC that are meant not only for soldering, but also re-work. However, I think T12 do hold a good "middle ground" between really high-end stations.

Anyways, I don't mean to say here that what you bought is not good. Weller does make good soldering equipment, so overall their stuff performs well. However, if you want best bang for the buck, T12 -based stations are where the money's at, still.

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That was about 8 years ago ... I absolutely LOVED that soldering station.. It was a great performer for the money it cost ... but then one weekend while I was gone my house was robbed and someone stole it ...
Sorry to hear that.

I'm surprised why anyone would steal that item exactly. Must have been "above average IQ" thieves. Where I used to go to university was a pretty shady area in some spots... and where I rented my apt. was actually right in the "hood". However, as I had observed the few years prior to that, robberies were a lot more rare there. Most of them happened in the areas that had high student populations, as most thieves and robbers (correctly) assumed that's where they'd find more money. Anyways, long story short, most robberies were of the simple kind - break in, steal any cash, phones, tables, gold/jewelry (if any), and weed (if any... which many people did, lol.) But apart from those, hardly anyone touched the bigger stuff, like TVs and desktop computers, probably because they'd be running a higher risk of getting caught. (Not to mention TVs are hardly worth the resale value these days.)

Last edited by momaka; 04-27-2021 at 08:25 PM..
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Old 04-28-2021, 06:42 AM   #6
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Default Re: Soldering Bliss...

Quote:
Originally Posted by momaka View Post
I have probably the worst quality 900M tips, because even with the station cranked to the max, the tip just gets warm enough to do leaded soldering and lead-free only for very small solder joints (like thin wires on cheap single-sided boards with thin traces.) Beyond that, it's hopeless.
I'm sure you check for this, but I'll mention it for thoroughness ... do you make sure that the tip is not oxidized at all?

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I'm surprised why anyone would steal that item exactly. Must have been "above average IQ" thieves.
I wouldn't go that far ... they did leave my $4,000 MacPro tower sitting on the floor ... THANK GOD FOR THAT! But they did get my guitar which I bought in 1987 - had to save up for it ... but its current value was maybe $20 ... but I'd pay $1,000 to get it back .. it had a lot of sentimental value to me ... that and a hand made Jimbe drum that I bought when I was in Africa. It's been years since that robbery and the thought of those items being gone is still very upsetting.

Quote:
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Anyways, long story short, most robberies were of the simple kind - break in, steal any cash, phones, tables, gold/jewelry (if any), and weed (if any... which many people did, lol.) But apart from those, hardly anyone touched the bigger stuff, like TVs and desktop computers, probably because they'd be running a higher risk of getting caught. (Not to mention TVs are hardly worth the resale value these days.)
I think most robberies are drug money driven... addicts needing to buy their next fix.

I'm wondering if this new Weller delivers heat better because of the surface area from the heating element touching the tip and the tip being much shorter - all that might contribute to the dramatically increased performance I'm getting from it.

Last edited by EasyGoing1; 04-28-2021 at 06:45 AM..
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Old 04-28-2021, 10:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: Soldering Bliss...

there is a temptation to put a spot of thermal paste on the back of that tip!
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Old 04-28-2021, 01:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Soldering Bliss...

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there is a temptation to put a spot of thermal paste on the back of that tip!
That wouldn't actually help, would it? I'm sure that paste breaks down at some point?
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Old 04-28-2021, 01:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: Soldering Bliss...

Had a tech "improve" a Hakko 471 by filing down the heater and after that total fail, he gooped in the thermal paste. Just a hint- it didn't work, the grease can't take the temps and dries out = MESS. After he tossed the desoldering station in the garbage, I dumpster dived and just bought a new heater and it works fine.

Hakko 937, 888 are not great for heat because of the few thou air gap between heating element and the tip. The alumina ceramic has a different thermal expansion rate than the tip. The 888 improved it a bit- but an air gap is still terrible for heat transfer.
All of these tip-over-heater designs rely on the tip's thermal mass to keep heat up.

The new Weller tip looks pretty lean and the end disk must be polished with precise tolerances and it still beats a big air gap.
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Old 04-28-2021, 02:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Soldering Bliss...

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Just a hint- it didn't work, the grease can't take the temps and dries out = MESS.
Thats exactly what I was thinking ... that thermal grease is fine in lower temps like under 100C but I would imagine once you get higher than that, it would break down / dry out ... whatever.
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Old 04-28-2021, 05:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: Soldering Bliss...

Fill it with gallium then
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Old 04-30-2021, 08:43 PM   #12
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Default Re: Soldering Bliss...

lol! he's not trying to bend his soldering iron with his mind!!

yea, seriously thats how those spoon bending magic tricks are done! the spoon is made out of gallium which softens at human body temperature. so after holding the spoon in your hand for awhile and it warms up to body temperature, u can then bend the spoon as u see fit.
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Old 05-01-2021, 12:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: Soldering Bliss...

Well, at least it won't boil off at soldering temperatures and soft enough (with hand temperatures) to spread it around!
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Old 05-01-2021, 12:45 PM   #14
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Default Re: Soldering Bliss...

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Fill it with gallium then
Not sure if you're joking but this will fuck the iron. I very much doubt any of it is made with tungsten which along with tantalum are the only two metals that are resistant to the highly corrosive gallium.
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Old 05-01-2021, 01:00 PM   #15
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Default Re: Soldering Bliss...

Yeah, chances are whatever it's made of will dissolve in the gallium. No different than mercury which would do the same, but mercury boils off at much lower temperature, much closer to soldering temperatures.

Must be mad to use either of the two, and if not, the latter will make you mad...
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Old 05-02-2021, 08:27 PM   #16
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yea, seriously thats how those spoon bending magic tricks are done! the spoon is made out of gallium which softens at human body temperature. so after holding the spoon in your hand for awhile and it warms up to body temperature, u can then bend the spoon as u see fit.
That's not how the kid in "The Matrix" did it ... "There is no spoon ..."

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Old 05-03-2021, 10:50 AM   #17
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Default Re: Soldering Bliss...

I have a tip over heater soldering station and it works just fine. Bought it for 25EUR.|
This is the station. It is sold as Gordak and Hakko too.
https://www.chipdip.ru/video/id000308365
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:52 AM   #18
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Default Re: Soldering Bliss...

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Originally Posted by redwire View Post
The new Weller tip looks pretty lean and the end disk must be polished with precise tolerances and it still beats a big air gap.
So I bought a set of tips for this iron from Amazon ... the tip I was after is a very fine point tip and about 2.5 times as long as the tip I showed in the photo earlier...

What I noticed immediately, was the at 350C, which is what I use the other tip at, heat delivery was awful ... almost unusable when I'm now use to being able to weld a joint in less than three seconds ... this new tip takes 10 seconds or more. I suppose I could crank up the heat, but I got so frustrated with it, I just put the other tip on... but ... it's not a tip for small detail work... the solder tends to hold on to the flat sides and if you angle the iron down, you end up depositing solder onto anything that's next to the tip ... which has the potential to be an "OH SHIT" situation.

Granted, the tip that I bought is not Weller brand as I couldn't find any of their fine point tips on Amazon for this iron... but I'll probably hit up Mouser and see if they have any of those in Wellers brand ... it would be interesting to see if there's any difference in performance among the different tip manufacturers.
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:53 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by televizora View Post
I have a tip over heater soldering station and it works just fine. Bought it for 25EUR.|
This is the station. It is sold as Gordak and Hakko too.
https://www.chipdip.ru/video/id000308365
I like flashy things ... lights ... pristine LEDs with precision numbers on them ...timers that shut it off when I forget ... it's the little things that matter ... ☺
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:06 PM   #20
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Default Re: Soldering Bliss...

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Originally Posted by EasyGoing1 View Post
I'm sure you check for this, but I'll mention it for thoroughness ... do you make sure that the tip is not oxidized at all?

Absolutely.
The tip just takes a very long time to reach a high enough temperature. And I've already verified the electronics in the station were OK too (actually, they weren't in the beginning, as it was a 230V station sold in a 120V market, so I had to add a 2nd traffo in there to get proper 24V output to the tip heater.) Couple that with poor tip finish that doesn't adhere well to solder, along with poor thermal transfer from heating element to tip, and it's a recipe for a very dysfunctional iron.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EasyGoing1 View Post
I'm wondering if this new Weller delivers heat better because of the surface area from the heating element touching the tip and the tip being much shorter - all that might contribute to the dramatically increased performance I'm getting from it.
Probably.
And also depends where the station is getting a temperature feedback from. If there is a sensor close to the tip, it might be able to sense when the tip comes into contact with something cooler so that it ramps up the duty cycle. This is the main advantage of T12 tips/stations: the heating element is also the temperature sensor, and all of it is right next to the tip's front. So temperature feedback is almost instant.

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Originally Posted by EasyGoing1 View Post
That wouldn't actually help, would it? I'm sure that paste breaks down at some point?
Yeah, the oils in the thermal compound will start to burn off / dry out / oxidize at such high temperatures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redwire View Post
Hakko 937, 888 are not great for heat because of the few thou air gap between heating element and the tip. The alumina ceramic has a different thermal expansion rate than the tip. The 888 improved it a bit- but an air gap is still terrible for heat transfer.
All of these tip-over-heater designs rely on the tip's thermal mass to keep heat up.
Exactly!

Not only that, but you also have the tip covering only half of the heating element at best with those stations, while the thermocouple / temp sensor is all the way on the other end of the heater. So essentially, the temp sensor just keeps the heater at a constant temperature, and from there on, those stations rely on the tip to equalize to the temperature of the heater via (poor) conduction, and like you said, the thermal mass of the tip to keep the temperature while soldering. In essence, there is practically no feedback from the tip's temperature to the temp sensor. So thermal recovery when trying to solder something big, is very poor.

With my T12 station, on the other hand, as soon as I touch a large copper plane on a motherboard to desolder a component (say, capacitor, for example), I can instantly see the station ramp up the duty cycle quite a bit more to keep the temperature up where it should be, and it shows the current temperature of the tip on the screen too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redwire View Post
The new Weller tip looks pretty lean and the end disk must be polished with precise tolerances and it still beats a big air gap.
Yup, I imagine that's what's making EG1's new iron perform so well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by televizora View Post
I have a tip over heater soldering station and it works just fine.
Until you have to tackle something serious / big.

Granted genuine Hakko stuff is much higher quality and will work a lot better... but it's still no comparison to T12 for the reasons I outlined above (and also in my thread.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by EasyGoing1 View Post
So I bought a set of tips for this iron from Amazon ... the tip I was after is a very fine point tip and about 2.5 times as long as the tip I showed in the photo earlier...

What I noticed immediately, was the at 350C, which is what I use the other tip at, heat delivery was awful ... almost unusable when I'm now use to being able to weld a joint in less than three seconds ... this new tip takes 10 seconds or more. I suppose I could crank up the heat, but I got so frustrated with it, I just put the other tip on... but ... it's not a tip for small detail work...
Small tips are really only useful for when trying to solder pins that are close together on an IC on thin traces that aren't connected to a big ground plane.
For SMD work, I *never* use a fine tip, especially if the SMD component is attached to a large copper plane. Actually, if there are large copper planes involved, I do the opposite - I take the largest tip possible and put a big fat blob of solder on it. Then I run that over whatever SMD parts needs desoldering. For soldering back on, on the other hand, I use a large tip again, but one that has a sharper edge (so typically a 3 mm chisel) and I don't flood it with solder.

350C is also quite high. I find solder oxidizes fast at 350C (though not terribly fast.) Anything above 350C I reserve only for huge stuff - like trying to remove entire multi-pin connector on a motherboard by flooding the pins with solder (i.e. VGA connectors, serial ports, parallel ports, ATX connectors, and etc.)

On the other hand, 300C might be a bit low (especially in the winter, when my indoor room temperatures are about 10C cooler than the summer.) So I usually stick to somewhere around 315-330C. For thinner single and/or dual layer boards, I may drop that to 270-300C. For cheap crap phenolic PCBs and leaded solder, I even drop down to 250C sometimes to avoid "popcorning" (I hate cheap phenolic PCBs! )

Quote:
Originally Posted by EasyGoing1 View Post
the solder tends to hold on to the flat sides and if you angle the iron down, you end up depositing solder onto anything that's next to the tip ... which has the potential to be an "OH SHIT" situation.
Yup.
That's why I like bevel tips the best. They are basically like a chisel tip, but even less angled / shorter / more stubby. So solder tends to stay very much at the tip's front and not drift back as much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EasyGoing1 View Post
Granted, the tip that I bought is not Weller brand as I couldn't find any of their fine point tips on Amazon for this iron... but I'll probably hit up Mouser and see if they have any of those in Wellers brand ... it would be interesting to see if there's any difference in performance among the different tip manufacturers.

Most likely there will be some.
Cheap tips probably don't have as good of a finish (or made of cheaper materials) and thus don't transfer heat as well. That's why I still prefer the T12 bandwagon - even the cheap tips tend to work very well.

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I think most robberies are drug money driven... addicts needing to buy their next fix.
Yup, pretty much.

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