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AllenWL

Mechanical Power. Doing things Better, Faster

90 posts in this topic

a better than wolves crossover to tfc would be aewsome :o

it would fit quite well with some modification i guess =/

http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/253365-152-sspsmp-better-than-wolves-now-with-hardcore-brewing-total-conversion-v489phillip-upd-jan-17/

The ideas presented in BTWs would suit this modification. However their crafting methods would be unfitting of TFC. Lot's of microcrafting, opposed to construction via player involvement.

There would need to be a way of doing advanced carpentry. I suppose you could have a Carpentry Bench with tool slots (Saw, chisel/hammer, bore, etc). You place in plank blocks and your tools. Then are presented with a screen similar to knapping. Saws will slice entire rows off. Bores place holes, but take a lot of damage. Chisels can only remove blocks 2 spaces from the outside-most edge. Complex... but fittingly so of machinery. Doing things as efficiently as possible with the bigger tools saves you on durability and metal.

 

A lot can be achieved with some wood and whole lot of carpentry skill. There is a guy on youtube that made a lathe from an old flywheel using mostly hand tools.

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a better than wolves crossover to tfc would be aewsome :o

it would fit quite well with some modification i guess =/

http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/253365-152-sspsmp-better-than-wolves-now-with-hardcore-brewing-total-conversion-v489phillip-upd-jan-17/

 

And will also never happen due to FlowerChild's stubbornness in regards to his mod. Especially note that BTW was purposefully written so that it is not compatible with any mods written using forge.

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Well B78 has pipes, so I believe that it is safe to assume they eventually plan to add machines of some sort in the near future.

 

The only problem I see with adding machines is if they are too powerful.

Useful machines that help out in a pinch and take care of the tedious stuff are great,

but things that replace everything and make every tech you went by so far redundant, kinda make the game a 'rush for the end and play in creative mode with health' thing

So I think mechanical power could be a good addition

 

 

 in a gui on the main block.  

I think we should try to use as less GUIs as possible.

While it makes everything easy to use and control, it makes the game less immersing and more of a 'click, click, click, done' thing.

I think it would be much more fun and preferable to have to control most things without GUIs, using levers and such

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Ah, this post makes me happy. I've been wanting to add mechanical power for a while, but I've had a bit of a mental block in terms of what to use it for. I'd like to have multiple stages of it, a mid-ish game stage involving wooden wind mills, axles and other devices and a later more advanced version involving steam power and steam pistons. Human crank power probably won't be a thing though, because the point of most of this stuff is automation.

 

The foundation for steam pipes exists in b78, but they most likely won't be released with it, only in the creative menu, and not fully functioning. As the mechanical power system is developed, I'll implement them into the game.

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The hand-crank really only should be used as a last resort or to charge a gravity battery. Direct power of most of the machines would silly.

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Well, since dunk cleared steam as a potential power source. Time to start thinking about how to harness it within TFC.

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Human crank power probably won't be a thing though, because the point of most of this stuff is automation.

 

Would make a good last resort thing, like when that elevator is halfway up, and the windmill gets ripped off in a storm or something.

Or for simple things you want to shut on and off.

 

Well, since dunk cleared steam as a potential power source. Time to start thinking about how to harness it within TFC.

I think we should remove redstone competently, and replace all mechs with steam/axle power. Buttons and levers could be used to turn a block on or off.

 

I also think we should divide stuff between steam and mill powered, so even with steam power, you don't abandon your early stuff or get rid of them.

Like, grain mills, saw mills, and stuff can use 'mill' power, and power hammers, pistons etc can use steam power, and pumps, pulleys, and so on can use both.

 

Mill power would be good for continuous, steady output, while steam can be used for powerful, but energy-consuming and limited(as in needs fuel to keep on using) power.

Also, steam should be more stable then mill, but be  more dangerous,

so while a windmill/axle system can break somewhat often in bad conditions(say, storms) they won't do much other then one or two axles/windmills popping off.

On the other hand, steam engines and pipes won't break easily, but when they do, or you break them while powered, the would explode, breaking more stuff and doing a lot more damage.(so hypothetically, breaking one block in a line of pipes(all fully powered and operating) can cause a chain reaction the blows up the whole thing)

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Sounds a bit complicated, Allen. The biggest draw back to steam is water supply*. I haven't encountered too many elevated water sources to tap into (Yay for aqueducts and terraced farms). Having to keep the mechanisms oiled could be a decent draw back. Requiring a little lovin' from the player as it runs. Every day/half day or maybe have an internal oil reservoir you need to top up every so often. When there is no lubricant the engine would halt it's function and begin to overheat. Catastrophic failures would be a pain, but if the boiler has a little pressure tap on it there should be no problems. If the boiler is running but the engine's piston is shut down, no lubricant is used up. That way power can be acquired on demand at the expense of fuel.

 

The key to getting mechanical power running in this game would be set up in external factors. Would there be elevated water source blocks to run water mills and fill steam engines? Would I be able to tap into the water table with a well to gain remote access to water for steam? Another thing to consider would be using rubber for connecting various rotors, which would save much iron from becoming drive shafts in high torque applications. Would we be able to step up/down power? Send power from a steam engine through a gearbox into the old wooden system? Then what would the power units be? Torque/tick (Torque being semi realistic but game-ified), would give the easiest access to real-world data, and allow us to use a 1-8 size gears and pulleys with-out complex math. Materials could be limited to certain torque loads before destruction, based on their size (if applicable) and their ability to withstand angular deformation. Once the game has the environment and the base units set out, filling in all the different sources and consumers of mechanical power is much easier.

 

Edit: *In TFC.

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Water for boiler could either be pumped or could be cooled down from steam and circulated.

 

The idea about "lubrication" is similar to my idea of each machine having "machine parts" slot that would contain a specific item that would affect how well machine works and this item would take durability damage as the machine works. This would simulate need for maintenance and give some way to "upgrade" the machines.

 

Redstone should remain as form of control mechanism. Mechanical power / steam should be used to provide power while redstone is used to turn stuff on or off. There is already simple logic in vanilla MC so this can be repurposed. For example automatic door opening would require bits of mechanical power to actually work and redstone to open/close the door. This would simulate simple mechanics that would be done with strings/wires/cogs IRL.

 

I also think the mechanical power should be build all around idea that you cannot (easily) store it and it's transport is far from perfect. First versions of Buildcraft were like this, but I think the implementation was bad and competition from other mods forced it to change. Most mods nowadays are extremely boring, because you don't have to worry about differences between stuff making power and stuff consuming it. I think challenge stemming from those differences would be really fun. But this would require tons of time spent thinking about how it should work and implementing lots of features that allow you to control the whole contraption.

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The ideas, Allenwl and I are trying to hammer out are mostly based on the machinery;

 

The power system would have 2 values; To keep them from being crazy complicated here is a rundown on how they should work

 

Horsepower- speed of power (determines the rate of cycles)

 

Torque- strength of power (determines how much the machines can do per cycle)

---

 

For gearing it is going to be fairly simple since for sanity's sake the numbers should be fairly low. We are dealing with wind and water here, not big block engines.

 

Torque ^ gear- halves horsepower, but doubles torque

 

HP^ gear- halves torque but doubles HP

------------------------------------

Power is transmited via basic axels 

 

Strait axle- made of wood and wrought iron, loses no power over distance

 

Beveled gear- made of wood and steel, loses a small amount of power. Allows 90* turns in a power system

-------------------------------------

For simple applications like doors and such

 

Just stick with redstone

------------------------------------

Power storage is vary difficult and resource intensive (you are storing mechanical force, not electricity)

--------------------------------------

Pulleys simply reduce the effects of mass on the machine blocks that power things.

 

An elevator with many pulleys takes less torque to lift than one without.

 

 

 

Hope this clears up a lot of confusion. We need to keep this as simple as possible, not try to make it as complex and close to real as possible

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I really think you are still overcomplicating it. I don't think there is need for speed. Horsepower/torque is enough.

 

There would be 2 parts of mechanical system: axles and gearboxes. Gearbox is block that has one input and 5 outputs. Axles connect output of one gearbox (or generator) to input of another gearbox (or machine). Gearboxes and axles made from different materials would have different durability. Wood would allow for only low horsepower while metals, especially steel would allow for HP produced by steam engine. Each gearbox would also produce a small loss in horsepower. The fact that gearbox has only one input means you cannot combine HP from different generators, or creating loops in power transfer, making implementation extremely simple. You could also easily simulate some kind of load on the system, which would affect loss of energy, wear of machines/gearboxes/axles or breakage probability. You could also relate length of axle and load it can bear. So steel axle at distance of 8 could handle lower load than steel axle at distance of 3.

 

And like I said, no way to store horsepower. Or at least not in a way that allows you to put it in between generator and machine, but more like parallel to the generator. For example, Flywheel machine for storing mechanical power would work like this: It has one input and one output. If it isn't receiving redstone signal, it accumulates energy, but it doesn't output it (eg. output is disabled). And when it is receiving redstone signal, it outputs the energy, but doesn't accumulate it (eg. input is disabled). This would make it interesting, because you cannot just use it as buffer between generator and machine, just like other power mods.

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As steam power currently stands (in planning): a brass boiler and iron/steel furnace heat water into steam. This steam flows through brass pipes to a piston. This piston is attached to a shaft which drives a fly wheel. This turning power is used for mechanical work.

 

There are no plans for an explicit "engine"

 

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There are plenty of ways to store mechanical power.

 

The most common historically was a gravity battery, used in everything from cranes to catapults. 

 

The reason you need 2 factors for determining mechanical power is for the sake of complexity (if that makes sense).  Having a windmill power an elevator vs, a steam Stirling engine. If there is no speed difference then both the windmill and engine will move it the same, if there is a speed difference you can gear the machine to move heavier loads but much slower. Or move light loads faster.

 

also by having a speed factor you can make the steam engine produce power and speed faster the hotter it is. (at the risk of exploding :P

 

The axle loads and gears breaking is only going to cause the mechanical system to be overly complex. not to mention memory intensive. There was a mod i used to play called rotary craft, it had a setup basically identical to what you are suggesting. It would cause massive lag on slower computers due to every block in a machine setup having to calculate load, rotation, torque, and durability of every shaft, gear, and transmission block. although the flywheel would be a nice buffer storage piece to add.

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I think having both speed and power is going to complicate it too much.

 

And your idea is going to produce even more lag than mine. Mine would be much simple than that simply because there are only 2 components (axle and gearbox), the power distribution forms a tree (eg. extremely simple structure to traverse) and thanks to loss over distance the each power network would be fairy small.

 

And I wonder how can you call mine idea identical to rotary craft because mine would not have speed and torque, but just torque and load calculation would be simple addition with tree traversal. It is yours idea that is identical to it.

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Horsepower is more of an extraction to proper measurement. To say an Engine can produce X Horsepower is no different to saying Y Torque/tick (or second if you want to keep the 4th wall strong). While it is a fitting measurement to use with steam boilers/engines, working in kilowatts is much easier.

@Euphoric, can't have power without speed.

 

This is a long-legged post. Please be kind, have a tea, and I thank you for your time.

 

On base units and power transmission:

Working with torque primary output just seems easiest. Engines could have a force/tick output. Which would be the "power" of the engine in simplest form, using real-world time is just an extrapolation for believability. Depending on the gearing attached to the flywheel the force is converted into torque. Given we can slab blocks and do other cool things, having gears/pulleys sized 1-8 seems feasible. Through the simple formula Torque = Force x radius. That torque can then be transmitted down a line, whatever it may be. To another gear of different size. Allowing power to be broken down. Exchanging torque (therefore Force) for RPM. and vice versa. Some materials may work better at high RPM, others at high Torque. If the force in a system is too high (eg it can't complete power transmission) then shafts or belts can snap if they pass their sheer limit (A single averaged number is better than the handful realistically required). RPM is a bit more difficult to define, and would need to come from the machine itself, opposed to relating to the power generation.

 

Some reverse design may be necessary (starting with engines and tier ending machines) to define the applicable materials, shear limits and therefore RPM of the machines themselves.

 

Low tech sample of this Unit System in practice:

While the classic wheel style waters mills would be hard to implement in TFC at the moment, they're resource friendly, simple and an easy place to start.

In the 'undercut' style, the mill produces high torque but low RPM (Basis: Large volume of water in the blades, slow moving current). The use of larger wooden parts in the system would work best, such as 'full' logs, or size 6+ gears. A large wooden gear transferring power from the mill into a large log shaft maintains a system of High Torque Low RPM. At areas in you mill you could then have Gears placed on the Log Shafts (or have belts coming directly off the shaft?) onto a smaller gear. Allowing you to run something like a Quern quickly, but still at high enough torque (machines may need a certain amount of Force to run). Using your smarts, or trial and error, the player could find out which of the 8 gear sizes provides enough Force, but the highest RPM for maximum production. Once a member of the system pulls power (Gears/belts could be disengaged/slackened to isolate a member) the available torque is reduced/dispersed appropriately. Provided your primary wooden drive parts are all 'large', the force of a single watermill would not beat the shear limit (Material Shear Strength x Radius?) of the part and cause destruction.

 

As a note here: Torque or Force doesn't need to be "Used Up" in moving parts. As long as there is no jam in the system, the torque will just dissipate through friction. Should you connect a shaft of gear to something that can get stuck or is locked in place. Bad news for your weakest member!

 

Addressing resources:

Starting with wood systems is great, because eager plays can whet their appetite for machinery as early as copper or bronze. Copper bearings could be used to limit the amount of wood-abuse. I wouldn't condemn the sheepless to go with-out windmills (If applicable). If needed a large amount of paper would do.

Moving onto higher tech and steam gives the primary advantage of moving the power source (Steam) opposed to the power itself. Saving whatever headaches may occur from players dealing with torque distributions and whatnot. Using larger boilers, much more power can be stored. Starting brass like Dunk said is believable and accessible enough. Perhaps ceramic (Brick/Fireclay?) furnaces are an option for a less efficient (lower burn time) option.

Water, as is, needs some world gen changes I think... With some of this stuff added in, pulleys and ropes could be made into wells, and water left as-is. Collected in rainstorms or tapped from another water source below. gamey Players could dig from the ocean all the way inland to make a remote well if it doesn't require a source block below :P.

I guess Steam goes here, it's still a resource. Running the steam system in Litres (1 dm3) is the most simple stab I can take. 1 bucket of water is normally 1 block, that amounts to 1000 litres! Which may completely cure my water problems! 1000L is also ~1 ton, not exactly believable. Whatever you configure to be 1 bucket in litres could then be converted into a quantity of steam of your choice, research or balance depending.

 

Managing steam as a resource:

Chokes could limit power by limiting steam flow (simple wrench-able pipe segments?) by pressure or volume, allowing slightly more advanced control over the system. Vessels (boilers/pipes/engines/tanks) could have a 'pressure' value depending on the quantity of steam, and the heat of the contents. Steam would flow towards the lowest pressure system, until it is normalised. Simplified, from the boiler. The "Exhaust" of steam engines could be connected up into a pipe (should you have the resources), and fed back into a water tank/cooling tank. This would also save you on Water Worries. As long as the boiler is pressure regulated (emergency exhaust valve), and is highest pressure body, there is no need to worry about catastrophic failure. Steam vessels/tanks could be used to capture and move steam between systems (It's a battery! For steam!). Cooling down like other TFC items, lowing the quality of the steam if left for too long. Pressure valves and other dials would look really good amongst the background of TFCs visual treats. Pressure systems!

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@Euphoric, can't have power without speed.

Yeah, right. What I'm trying to say is that speed would be constant within the system. Just torque will change. And different speeds would only be within machines. This will simplify the whole system both for user and for implementation. Because you don't have to worry about different speeds withing different parts of the system.

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As steam power currently stands (in planning): a brass boiler and iron/steel furnace heat water into steam. This steam flows through brass pipes to a piston. This piston is attached to a shaft which drives a fly wheel. This turning power is used for mechanical work.

 

There are no plans for an explicit "engine"

 

Posted Image

Posted Image

 

Say, what if we use 2 steam power?

One is pure steam power, transported via pipes

another is 'converted power', steam power tat is converted into old-tech axle/gear-moved power via the flywheel

 

Sounds a bit complicated, Allen. The biggest draw back to steam is water supply*. I haven't encountered too many elevated water sources to tap into

And that's where the water pumps come into play :D

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The thing is, without a speed variable the mechanical power would operate no different than redstone. Its either on or off.

 

 

If we are going to have mechanical power it needs to be at the most complex when we first start. If suddenly down the rode dunk wants to add speed to the machinery it would be more complex than simply starting off with it.

 

Kind of like the useless metals we have, yea they are there but for simplicity sake, so he doesn't have to break world gen when he wants to use them.

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The thing is, without a speed variable the mechanical power would operate no different than redstone. Its either on or off.

What? How? Explain your logic. Because it doesn't make a single bit of sense to me. Each bit of the network would have torque property that would change according to generator. Also current redstone has 16 states, not just on/off.

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Redstone has varying intensities, (like your torque only idea), if the threshold for activating something like a piston is reached it toggles the state of the object. At this point it doesn't matter how much intensity you have as long as it is at or above the minimum to run a machine.

 

Possibly out of simplicity we can avoid using torque horsepower all together. Like starxephir suggested we can use Kw. Which is also a measure of power. It is not based on speed but rather the potential for work. The power sources would provide varying amount of kw/tick, the gear boxes used to power each machine would be used to adjust speed/power ratios accordingly. 

 

-p.s.

Torque is merely a measure of rotational force- it only measures the strength of a turning object, not how fast or how much work is done. 

Horsepower is a measure of work in set amount of time

RPM is rotations per minute- again useless without torque-as it is a measure of speed, not strength

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I thought of an easier way(sort of) to determine speed/power

 

Make different axles give different power/speed.

 

To clarify, a handcrank can move say, wood axles only, and trying to move other power by wood axles will break them.

 

Windmill/waterwheel power needs bronze axles to move, and bronze cannot be moved by another thing.

 

Horsewheel needs iron axles, steam flywheel needs steel.

 

Make it so each axel can only be powered by things of the same level, and make machines use only few axles.

The better the axle the more power/speed the machine gets.

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The problem with that Allen comes into resource grind. Something I don't like too much about most "tech" mods. Resource grind and 'tier' advancement. Mostly in self-serving mods like IC2 (Oh look, I spent forever getting stuff, now I can get anything from nothing, but I no longer need anything!). OH you need to make This machine, with That much power, then squeeze 20 McGibbons into MicroMcGibbons to squeeze into McGibbon Crystals! Then you can make That Power Gen 2.0 so you can start using That Machine 2, but WAIT now you need two stacks of iron! Maybe I'm too critical. I just hate on IC2 because I think it is poorly designed. Mostly the foundation, and how it ignores almost everything in the base game.

 

Making whole axles out of Iron for a 'horsewheel' will just bring complaints. Many people will throwing to "real life" examples just using wood. A large log can carry a lot of power. I mean, A LOT. If the horse was to break out into sprint (or get caught in a tornado), other pieces of the mechanism would break before the shaft. That would put much too stress on a wooden shaft. Putting resource limits, using metal bushes would be kinder to gameplay. Saves of materials a little. Only the part that actually does any work (where parts contact) is required to be made of the limiting resource. It would give the whole mechanical power system a real medieval feel. To keep the game world grounded despite having access to cool machines like steam engines. If we ever had a reason to need high Force through a shaft, sure give the player a slap on the resource wrist. It's probably worth it. Grinding corn? Not worth it.

 

Also I suppose larger wooden parts may have "inertial" losses. Once it gets spinning it transfers power just fine, and then has to wind-down. Metal parts no observable inertia effects. Giving them additional benefit for the resource cost.

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We could always use a constant rpm from power sources, with the final output determined at a GUI in the mechanical input block on a machine.

 

This would give the benefits of having a dual variable system and the simplicity of transfer of a mono variable system.

 

We could make the axle blocks need a coupler, with each coupler having a max load. Starting with tin, and working up to red/blue steel.

If the max load of the coupling is exceeded, it will start taking damage until it breaks, which gives a broken coupling. A broken coupling can be melted down for half its value in metal.

 

 

 

 

Edit--

 

This might make long runs of machines get incredibly expensive, but that is sort of the idea. Machines should be mid-late game. Not the first thing you build when you spawn. But axles can be made from stone and wood. This isn't precision engineering, its medieval machinery.

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Keeping it in the vein of "Medieval Machinery" is a valuable point. If things get too advanced they would be the risk of things getting a bit 'steampunk'ish. Unless that is the intent for the endgame, things should look real minimalistic. Lots of wood with iron bands. Things fastened with hammered rivets. The problem with this though is that medieval tech seems hard to implement in a game. Lots of natural energy, and material tension. Ropes, winches, counter weights, levers, gears and catches. Lots of fun stuff... Buuuut this is more stuff that blocks and items should look like they're made out of, rather than tools the player can manipulate. Hell, recreating medieval machinery would be so big, it would need it's own mod.

 

The images Dunk posted earlier look Post-Watt. 19th century stuff. I can understand the usage of Newtonian ideas in time periods before his existence. To us Newtonian physics is just how the world is. I read somewhere the game was supposed to be ~1500 AD at the end game. Which would put steam power just outside the intended era of TFC [citation needed]. What Dunk's idea is for the end-game technology I can't make an assumption on. If steam energy is included it might need to be in a 'mad scientist' sort-of way? Where the technology is not portrayed as cutting edge and refined, but a means to an end. Making it look real rough and lucid.

 

We don't really have much use for power at all as of b77. Having small hobbyist sized boilers/engines, seems a pretty reasonable initial goal. Almost like a bench top boiler that can feed power into a few basic machines. Thereby making things really robust looking and feeling unnecessary. I still support medieval looking tech. It really does give a greater atmosphere to have your machines themselves a centrepiece to design and encourage thorough thought for advanced systems. Not a great example, but like when you see the workings of a clock tower in a movie. Shots that dwarf the characters to the industrial prowess of the location. Even little pressure valve hisses and "tinka-tinka" noises as flywheels rotate would be awesome though. MATmosphere plug-in?

 

With that... Any good ideas for power consumers? Steam powered minecarts would be sweet (Iron Bars instead of ingots for tracks? :D Gotta stretch me them resources). Most applications I can think of would use mechanical devices (like pulleys) to effect the game world, rather than produce things. Not sure if we need powered blacksmith machinery. Meat Grinders? Sawmills? Most things we still manage with the power of Minecraft Magic. Including machines like Sawmills may just be one of those "tech upgrade" type things that give you a slightly better output (and dust), but are rather pointless due to the start up costs, and player time wasted running them.

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