News

SKYWARN ACTIVATION ALERT 6/6/2014

NWS AMA has requested SKYWARN activation at 3:00 PM today. NCS will be KE5ZRT, KF5TCY, & KD5ROK. All participating stations please check-in on any Caprock Intertie linked repeater system as you are available.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT VIDEO UPDATE FROM NWS AMA

CLICK HERE FOR THE CURRENT HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK

CLICK HERE TO RECEIVE SKYWARN ALERT MESSAGES TO YOUR CELL PHONE ***This, along with on-air notifications, is our official PARC ARES SKYWARN notification system.


Bike MS: Valero Ride the Rim, June 21-22 2014

Saturday and Sunday June 21st & 22nd

For us Amateur Radio operators, the Bike MS event serves two purposes. First and foremost, it is a fun time to get together and give back to the community. We always have a lot of fun with this event each year. Second, and also equally important, it is practice for an actual emergency situation in which Amateur Radio operators would be called upon to provide emergency communications. For more information, visit the Event’s Website

Enjoy the weekend and put your hobby to a good use for a wonderful cause. Helping with the Bike MS Valero Ride the Rim is where the true spirit of amateur radio thrives. Let’s keep active with public service events and keep amateur radio alive and useful!

Bike MS Valero Ride the Rim encircles the picturesque Palo Duro Canyon. Second only to The Grand Canyon, Palo Duro Canyon is one of the seven wonders of the south. The routes include fully-stocked rest stops every 10-12 miles, a great lunch stop each day and safety provided by volunteer nurses, HAM radio operators, law enforcement and motorcycle escorts and bike repair courtesy of OE Sports and Sun Adventure Sports. We start, finish and overnight from the beautiful campus of West Texas A&M University, with a trip down into historic Palo Duro Canyon State Park on day two.

2014 Schedule of Events

REST STOP LOCATIONS AND COORDINATES 2014

FINAL revised map 2014

Bike MS APRS Map

FINAL Radio communicator welcome packet 2014

Click for Larger Image

Click for Larger Image

Day One starts Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m., on the campus of West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. The route makes a loop around the rim of Palo Duro Canyon. Route options include 35 miles, 75 miles and a century (105 miles.)

Day Two begins Sunday morning at 8 a.m. on the WTAMU campus. Riders have the choice of a 25-mile or 50-mile route. Both routes take riders to the entrance to Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Riders will be bused in to the state park for brunch and photo opportunities and then bused back out to ride back to the WTAMU campus.

Meals

  • Free lunch/snacks—rest stops catered (generally sandwiches, mixed nuts, fruit, etc.), but bring a sack lunch in case your duties at the rest stops and along the route prevent you from eating the meals provided.
  • Free dinner Saturday evening at WTAMU
  • Free breakfast Sunday morning at WTAMU
  • Free brunch Sunday in Palo Duro Canyon
  • Free lunch Sunday afternoon at WTAMU

 

I want to thank everyone for helping with the 2014 Bike MS Valero Ride the Rim event. Enjoy the weekend and put your hobby to a good use for a wonderful cause.

To volunteer for an available position, call Chris Seright, KE5ZRT, at 806-231-4227 or email: KE5ZRT@gmail.com

We need volunteers for Net Control Operators, Rest Stop Communicators, Sweeper Truck Communicator, and Safety and Gear (SAG) Communicators. SAG Communicator is our hardest volunteer position to fill. The MS Society is providing all of their own Safety and Gear (SAG) vehicles and drivers due to liabilities. Again, due to liabilities, a SAG driver cannot communicate via radio, phone, or otherwise while transporting a rider. We desperately need to place a communicator in each of their vehicles if possible. A 70cm HT and a mag mount antenna will be sufficient. This is a great way to participate without spending your own gas money!

 

Day One Location Time Call Sign Name
Net Control A Approximately 100 yards behind the lead cyclist(s) to mark the race on APRS 06:00 KD5ROK Cory and Veronica Elliott
Net Control B Assigned rest stops 06:00 KD5DYP 

KF5QDD

Adair and Mysti Winter
Sweeper Approximately 100 yards behind the tail cyclist(s) to mark the race on APRS 06:00 KE5ZRT 

KF5TCY

Chris and Sarah Seright
RS 1 Miles from start: 13.9 

Identifier: At “Home  Elevator company” gravel parking lot

06:00 KD5DYP 

KF5QDD

Adair and Mysti Winter
RS 2 Miles from start:  23.5 

Identifier: Will be near curve in road where 1258 and Parsley road meet. Gravel road leading to big, red equestrian barn, behind windmill.

06:30 W5FQZ Levi Knebusch
RS 3 Miles from start: 36.2Identifier: Intersection of FM 1258 and County Road 6. Gate has sign identifying the ranch behind it.  Also by a windmill. 07:00 KC5HQY Daniel Blount
RS 4 Miles from start:  45.8 

Identifier: Northern Natural Gas: Claude Compressor Station

07:30 KF5MUA Bill Lewis
RS 5 Miles from start: 52.6 

Identifier: SAG stop; pull off shoulder area. This is a large dirt pull off area on the west (right) side of the road. You can also see a dirt road going up the hill just slightly to the south on the same side of the road. This location is IMMEDIATELY before beginning the descent down into the canyon. There is a road grade sign here.

08:00 N5BNU John Kimber
RS 6 Miles from start: 58.1 

Identifier: This is a large dirt pull-off area at the bottom of the canyon on Hwy. 207 on the west (right) side of the road. There is a gate identifying “Red Rock Ranch.” Set up SOUTH of the gate. Gate should not be blocked. There is plenty of room.

08:30 W5RAW Raymond Winter
RS 7 (Lunch) Miles from start: 61.6Identifier: Top of hill in graveled shoulder curve on west (right) side of 207. Same as last year (was rest stop 6 last year). This is also lunch. 09:00 KF5IDK Kim and Jinnee Parr and TX Militia Volunteers
RS 8 Miles from start: 72.4 

Identifier: This is just west of where 285 dead ends and turns west (left) at Wayside. The rest stop is located at the town gas station—a blue-gray building also known as Watson Oil Co.  Stamped event post cards are available here. When rest stop closes please deliver post cards to the gas station or the home next door and they will mail them.

09:15 KD5DYP 

KF5QDD

Adair and Mysti Winter
RS 9 Miles from start: 81.3 

Identifier: Entrance to Ceta Canyon, on the northeast shoulder of 285.

09:30 KB5WUF David Hundley
RS 10 Miles from start: 92.4 

Identifier: South side shoulder of Lawrence Rd (Where I-27 and frontage road meet), directly east of the TxDOT parking area.

09:30 KF5TTJ Jerry Lister
Day Two Location Time Call Sign Name
Net Control 06:30 KD5DYP 

KF5QDD

Adair and Mysti Winter
Sweeper 06:30 KE5ZRT 

KF5TCY

Chris and Sarah Seright
RS1 Miles from start: 23.76 

Identifier: South side shoulder of Lawrence Rd (Where I-27 and frontage road meet), directly east of the TxDOT parking area.

06:30 KD5ROK Cory and Veronica Elliott
SAG Crew Location Time Call Sign Name
Supply 1 06:30 KF5CBS Bill Brownlee
Supply 2
SAG 7 RS 6-7 06:30 KF5CBT Matthew Carter
SAG 3 with Tammye Jackson 06:00 KF5TII David Lister
SAG 9 RS 8-9 KE5ZTZ Tony Ralf
SAG 12 roving 06:00 KC5EZO Don Brostow
SAG 13 roving 06:00 KF5NKV Matt Kirkpatrick
Tour Director KF5CBR April Brownlee
Repeaters Frequency PL Tone
Amarillo 444.200 88.5
Canyon 443.650 88.5
Wayside 444.575 88.5
Talk Around 146.520

 


AAR: Red Cross Disaster Drill 3-1-14

The PARC ARES group participated in a statewide Red Cross disaster drill today by providing local UHF communications from disaster relief assessment teams to the local Red Cross HQ, and HF communications from the Texas Panhandle Red Cross group to the East Texas chapter which was supported by the Smith County ARES team. We had some successes, and some failures as well, but we learned from our mistakes and I look forward to supporting future Red Cross activity. More importantly, we were able to establish a working relationship with Monica Lea, the new director of the panhandle chapter. Monica has invited us back to support an upcoming wildfire drill, and a large statewide shelter drill in June. The shelter drill will occur in simultaneously in all Texas Panhandle counties and we will need operators to assist from each county for the event to be a success. I will provide more information very soon.

I invited the AAN9TXA Amarillo DHS/TSA MARS team to shadow our event as a learning experience. The TSA MARS team trains to provide emergency communications during disaster events at a federal level. Because of a scheduling conflict with the PARC monthly meeting, and the Elk City hamfest, and last minute cancellations, we had a lack of ham volunteers. The ham radio licensed MARS operators eagerly volunteered to assist in this drill. Their assistance was greatly appreciated and and they did an excellent job.

I want to personally thank all who participated and encourage others to volunteer for future events.

Participants:

  • KD5ROK Cory Elliot, ARES Volunteer
  • KE5ZRT Chris Seright, ARES Volunteer
  • KF5TCY Sarah Seright, ARES Volunteer, DHS/TSA employee, Super Amazing Wife
  • KF5PUU Sharon Buckley, AAN9TXA DHS/TSA MARS team member
  • KF5PUQ Ricky Davis, AAN9TXA DHS/TSA MARS team member
  • N9RTT John Cummins, American Red Cross volunteer

Special thanks to WR9B Robert Bruse for the use of his backyard repeater which provided excellent HT coverage for the neighborhood we worked in, and KE5WRT James Hiers and K5KBV Ed Krizan for loaning HT radios for the event.

73 de KE5ZRT

 

 

 

 


Update: Red Cross Disaster Drill Saturday 3/1/14

AMARILLO, TEXAS — The Panhandle is home to some of the nation’s fiercest weather and the Amarillo Chapter of the American Red Cross will be conducting a tornado disaster drill this Saturday.

The Texas Panhandle Chapter of the American Red Cross, along with over 20 other Texas Red Cross chapters, will take part in the statewide simulated disaster response test. The group participated in a similar drill in 2011 along with limited PARC ARES assistance.

More than 600 disaster assessment volunteers will participate in the scenario. Those volunteers will handle mock conditions after reports of dangerous storms.

Other American Red Cross chapters participating are in Beaumont, Austin, Fort Worth, Corpus Christi, Victoria, Dallas, Pampa, El Paso, Houston, Waco, Kerrville, Wichita Falls, Orange, Brownwood, Bay City, San Antonio, Tyler, Harlingen, Midland, Denison and Texarkana.

The Panhandle Amateur Radio Club (PARC) Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) Group will be assisting with this drill.

The PARC ARES group is proud to be able to assist the Amarillo Red Cross in this drill. Additionally, we look forward to assisting the chapter in selecting and assembling their own radio equipment, and we are eager to assist with training Red Cross volunteers to become new ham radio operators as well.

Please contact Chris Seright, KE5ZRT, to volunteer to assist with this drill. 806-231-4227, KE5ZRT@Gmail.com

We will operate locally on the PARC W5WX UHF repeater, and report at the end of the day to Red Cross HQ in Dallas on 40M SSB phone depending on operating conditions.

Updated 2/25/2014

Here is the general schedule for the drill. For those that have volunteered, I am super grateful! We will utilize the PARC UHF repeater 444.475/449.575 PL 88.5 for local communications.

Day of the Exercise

0800–The Exercise Controller, support volunteers, DA Supervisor, HAM supervisory workers report to the Amarillo office at 1800 S Harrison St. The Controller and support volunteers prepare exercise materials and place signs in the neighborhood. The DA Supervisor prepares street sheets, maps, and other applicable information for the DA Teams. HAM supervisory workers will set up any necessary equipment.

0900–The DA Teams and radio operators arrive and receive their briefing and materials. They depart to begin their assessments.

1200–Teams return to the headquarters for a brief AAR and lunch.

1400–DA Supervisors submit the final 5233 form to the Disaster Program Manager and information is transmitted to HQ via HF relay


2014 SKYWARN Storm Spotter Training

Krissy Scotten, Warning Coordination Meteorologist NWS AMA, will be presenting a SKYWARN certification class for the PARC ARES group on Tuesday February 11th at 19:30 at the AES Building located at 1900 Line Avenue in Amarillo, TX. This class will be open to the public. If you are unable to attend the SKYWARN Training scheduled for our ARES meeting, the 2014 Spotter Training Schedule is available here.

SKYWARN is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service’s (NWS) severe weather spotting program with nearly 290,000 trained volunteers nationwide. Since the late 1960s, trained SKYWARN spotters have helped support the NWS’ primary mission of protecting life and property through the issuance of severe weather warnings. These dedicated citizens help keep their local community safe by conveying severe weather reports to their local NWS Forecast Office. SKYWARN spotters are integral to the success of our Nation’s severe weather warning system.

Every year the NWS conducts SKYWARN spotter training sessions. The NWS currently has 122 Weather Forecast Offices across the nation, each with a Warning Coordination Meteorologist, who is responsible for administering the SKYWARN program in their local area. There is no charge and a typical class takes about 2 hours to conduct.

Storm Spotter certification is required every two years, but please consider attending this class even if your certification has not expired. If you are not currently a SKYWARN spotter and you are interested in joining our volunteer group you are welcome to attend this training as well.

SKYWARN® is a registered trademark of NOAA’s National Weather Service.  Rules for the usage of the SKYWARN name and logo are available here.

For more information about SKYWARN, please click here.

If you are interested in joining ARES, please click here.

If you are interested in Amateur Radio, please click here.

 


January Ham Cram Results

Four individuals attended the Ham Cram on January 11th. One gentleman left early due to prior engagements and of the three that completed the study session, two (a husband and wife couple from Spearman) successfully obtained their Amateur Technician Class Operator Licenses. Congratulations to Clay and Crystal Scribner! We look forward to meeting you on the air. The next Ham Cram study session will be April 12, 2014.

I am grateful to Carl Jeans N5YXN, John Laur KF5SAB, John Ashcroft K5FS, Dan McCabe WA8YYE, Sarah Seright KF5TCY,  and Brad Miskimen N5LUL for their assistance.

73 de KE5ZRT Chris Seright

 


November ARES Meeting – Audio Recording

PARC had a fantastic turnout to the ARES meeting held November 12. Thanks to everyone who came and for the renewed interest in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service. If you were unable to attend the meeting, an audio recording of the meeting is available below.

Presentation by: Troy Reno, DEC, WTX

PanhandleARES-2013-11-12


ARES Meeting 11/12/13 7:30 PM

Please note the important upcoming ARES meeting and attend if you can!

There will be a meeting of the Panhandle ARES on Tuesday, November 12 at 7:30pm in the Amarillo Emergency Services building at 1900 Line Avenue. Troy Reno, our newly appointed District Emergency Coordinator (DEC), will be here to meet us and review the recent Borger Emergency Preparedness drill. He would like to meet all those who are involved in ARES, Skywarn and/or interested in supporting the hospital amateur radio Stations. Troy has been around the Panhandle meeting the county EC’s and checking out the hospital facilities. We would like to get as many of those interested in ARES and hospital support (RAC) there to meet Troy.

Hope to see you there.

 

 


Ham Cram Results 12/8/12

Please join me in congratulating the new amateur radio operators that attended the December Ham Cram class on Saturday December 8th. Justin Baker of Amarillo, Phillip Holmes of Pampa, Sarah Yung of Amarillo, and Adam Snow of Perryton all attended the study class and all passed the Amateur Technician Exam! Additionally, David Doan of Amarillo passed the Amateur Technician Exam and Arthur Castillo of Amarillo upgraded to Amateur General Class! The first-time pass rate of this class was once again 100%.

I would like to thank all of those who helped make this event successful. Carl Jeans N5YXN unlocked and relocked the building for us. Dan McCabe WA8YYE and RC Harkness K5ORC stopped by the class to introduce themselves to the potential new hams, and I am especially grateful to Dan for teaching a portion of the class for me. Neal Lowe W5PVI and John Laur KF5SAB were the other 2/3 of the Volunteer Examination (VE) team and I am especially thankful to John for two reasons: John brought two of his friends to test for the Tech and General Exams, and John was a real help in putting together my first test session to serve as the fill-in liaison. Finally, I am grateful to Derek Vaughan KF5QCZ, of the Regional Advisory Council, who continues to support amateur radio in his efforts to train hams to serve as emergency communicators in all of the Texas panhandle hospitals.

I believe that the local amateur community gained some young and enthusiastic ham radio hobbyists this week!

The next Ham Cram study session will be Saturday, March 9th, pass the word!

73 y’all, KE5ZRT


Next Ham Cram 12/8/12

Attend a 6-Hour “Ham Cram” amateur radio Technician Class Operator license study session sponsored by members of the Panhandle Amateur Radio Club. This course will provide participants with everything they need to know to pass the Technician Exam. Every question in the question pool is covered.

Registration fee: $25 (non-refundable)

We will take a working lunch and pizza will be provided–you are welcome to bring a sack lunch if you prefer and a microwave is available. Bring a photo ID and $15 (cash, check, or money order) if you plan to take the Technician Exam following the study session. The test fee is separate from the $25 non-refundable class registration fee. Also, you may want to bring a calculator (not a smartphone) for use during the exam.

For successful completion of the exam, YOU MUST STUDY PRIOR TO THE CLASS! 1/2 hour per day of study for a week or two should be sufficient familiarization of the materials.

CLICK HERE for a free .pdf downloadable study guide.

CLICK HERE for free online practice tests.

Contact instructor Chris Seright for any questions or assistance KE5ZRT@gmail.com

Register Here


Tour d’ Cotton Bicycle Race Fundraiser

Correction: Saturday October 6, 2012

Volunteers Needed!

Tour d’ Cotton is a fund raiser of Childress Theatre Company, a nonprofit corporation, dedicated to the restoration of the historic Palace Theater in Downtown Childress Texas. For more information about the Palace Theatre please click here.

 The Tour d’ Cotton consists of 3 simultaneous bicycle races with distances of 60 miles, 30 miles and 8 miles. Each race begins at 0800, 0815, and 0830 respectively. We are looking for volunteer ham radio communicators to assist with communications at the rest stops. APRS support of the event would also be greatly appreciated.

Enjoy the weekend and put your hobby to good use for a great cause. helping with this event is where the true spirit of Amateur Radio is. Let’s keep active with public service eevents and keep ham radio alive and useful!

For us Amateur Radio operators, the Tour d’ Cotton serves two purposes. First and foremost, it is a fun time to get together and give back to the community. We always have a lot of fun with this event each year. Second, and also equally important, it is practice for an actual emergency situation where Amateur Radio operators would be called upon to provide emergency communications.

Traditionally, we meet at Dawson’s Family Restaurant at 1709 Ave F NW in Childress before the race at 0630 to finalize the communications plan over a plate of biscuits and gravy.


To volunteer please contact:

Jim Moody, AF5S, 940-585-1168 jim.moody.jr@gmail.com

or

Chris Seright, KE5ZRT, 806-231-4227, KE5ZRT@gmail.com

 

Childress Repeater Information: 146.960 (-) with no PL tone.



ALS-600 Amp For Sale

PARC has decided to auction an Ameritron ALS-600 solid state amplifier. The amp is in good working condition and retails new for $1,500. Click here for a complete description of the amp. Contact PARC Treasurer Henry Janhsen henryj_tx@yahoo.com to place your bid. The winning bid will be announced at the next PARC meeting 10/6/12.


Tri State Fair Parade

For the 3rd consecutive year, the PARC will have a float in the parade.   The parade begins at 10:00 am on Saturday September 15th on Polk St in Amarillo. Contact KE5ZRT for details or to volunteer.


ARES Leadership Vacancies

The PARC ARES Group is looking to fill numerous vacant leadership positions within District 1 of the West Texas (WTX) Section.

Since Bob Sanders, N5TBD, has left our area, we still have not filled his position as District Emergency Coordinator and PARC ARES Committee Chairman. Additionally, we have many counties in the Texas Panhandle that are not represented by an Emergency Coordinator including: Dallam, Ochiltree, Lipscomb, Roberts, Oldham, Carson, Gray, Wheeler, Armstrong, Donley, Collingsworth, Parmer, Castro, Swisher, Briscoe, & Hall.

District Emergency Coordinator (DEC)

The ARRL District Emergency Coordinator is appointed by the SEC to supervise the efforts of local Emergency Coordinators in the defined district.

Requirements:
Technician class license or higher; Full ARRL membership.

Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate the training, organization and emergency participation of Emergency Coordinators in your district of jurisdiction.
  • Make local decisions in the absence of the SEC or through coordination with the SEC, concerning the allotment of available amateurs and equipment during an emergency.
  • Coordinate the interrelationship between local emergency plans and between communications networks within your area of jurisdiction.
  • Act as backup for local areas without an Emergency Coordinator and assist in maintaining contact with governmental and other agencies within your area of jurisdiction.
  • Provide direction in the routing and handling of emergency communications of either a formal or tactical nature, with specific emphasis being placed on Welfare traffic.
  • Recommend EC appointments to the SEC.
  • Coordinate the reporting and documenting of ARES activities in your district of jurisdiction.
  • Act as a model emergency communicator as evidenced by dedication to purpose, reliability and understanding of emergency communications.
  • Be fully conversant in National Traffic System routing and procedures as well as have a thorough understanding of the locale and role of all vital governmental and volunteer agencies that could be involved in an emergency.
  • Encouraged to earn certification in Levels 1 and 2 of the ARRL Emergency Communications Course.

Emergency Coordinator (EC)

Emergency Coordinator’s Manual

The ARRL Emergency Coordinator is a key team player in ARES on the local emergency scene. Working with the Section Emergency Coordinator, the DEC and Official Emergency Stations, the EC prepares for, and engages in management of communications needs in disasters.

Requirements:
Technician class license or higher; Full ARRL membership

Responsibilities:

  • Promote and enhance the activities of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) for the benefit of the public as a voluntary, non-commercial communications service.
  • Manage and coordinate the training, organization and emergency participation of interested amateurs working in support of the communities, agencies or functions designated by the Section Emergency Coordinator/Section Manager.
  • Establish viable working relationships with federal, state, county, city governmental and private agencies in the ARES jurisdictional area which need the services of ARES in emergencies. Determine what agencies are active in your area, evaluate each of their needs, and which ones you are capable of meeting, and then prioritize these agencies and needs. Discuss your planning with your Section Emergency Coordinator and then with your counterparts in each of the agencies. Ensure they are all aware of your ARES group’s capabilities, and perhaps more importantly, your limitations.
  • Develop detailed local operational plans with ”served” agency officials in your jurisdiction that set forth precisely what each of your expectations are during a disaster operation. Work jointly to establish protocols for mutual trust and respect. All matters involving recruitment and utilization of ARES volunteers are directed by you, in response to the needs assessed by the agency officials. Technical issues involving message format, security of message transmission, Disaster Welfare Inquiry policies, and others, should be reviewed and expounded upon in your detailed local operations plans.
  • Establish local communications networks run on a regular basis and periodically test those networks by conducting realistic drills.
  • Establish an emergency traffic plan, with Welfare traffic inclusive, utilizing the National Traffic System as one active component for traffic handling. Establish an operational liaison with local and section nets, particularly for handling Welfare traffic in an emergency situation.
  • In times of disaster, evaluate the communications needs of the jurisdiction and respond quickly to those needs. The EC will assume authority and responsibility for emergency response and performance by ARES personnel under his jurisdiction.
  • Work with other non-ARES amateur provider-groups to establish mutual respect and understanding, and a coordination mechanism for the good of the public and Amateur Radio. The goal is to foster an efficient and effective Amateur Radio response overall.
  • Work for growth in your ARES program, making it a stronger, more valuable resource and hence able to meet more of the agencies’ local needs. There are thousands of new Technicians coming into the amateur service that would make ideal additions to your ARES roster. A stronger ARES means a better ability to serve your communities in times of need and a greater sense of pride for Amateur Radio by both amateurs and the public.
  • Report regularly to the SEC, as required.
  • Encouraged to earn certification in Level 1 of the ARRL Emergency Communications Course.

To volunteer to serve in one of these vacant ARES leadership positions, please contact Assistant Section Manager/Assistant Emergency Coordinator/PARC ARES Vice Chairman Carl Jeans, N5YXN carl.jeans@att.net


2013 Bike MS Rest Stops

Http://APRS.BikeMS.net

Shows the preliminary DAY 1 locations of the 2013 rest stops.


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