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Old 04-25-2024, 04:36 PM
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PNW Tim
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Hi everyone:
A quick introduction. I got into RC airplanes when I was in the the army back in the 80's. I was stationed at Ft. Eustis in Virginia for AIT and they had a modelers club area and so it began. Continued flying and building when relocated to Germany. Left the military and went to college, built a career, got married, had children and all the rest. Fast forward to this January and I have retired. There is a flying field just a few miles from my house and recently stopped in to introduce myself. Long story short, getting back into RC after a 35 year break and man, what a difference out there! This leads me to a series of questions I hope all the "up to date" pros and amateurs can help me with. I have broken my questions down into buckets for easier responses. I am a kit builder at heart as I enjoy the building as much as the flying so my questions are coming from that angle. I have recently acquired a 1/8 scale TF Gold Corsair and still have some plans from before for a couple of scratch builds (which I have not attempted but looking forward to). OK, so here goes:

Radio - will be building and flying sport scale up to possible giant scale warbirds. I am assuming at least 8 channels but the world has changed and I am sure there are things out there I am simply unaware of. I was familiar with Futaba and Airtronics, both of which seem to have gone the way of the dodo. What is recommended?

Suppliers - Tower Hobbies used to be my go to but again, seems as though the dodo has struck. These would mainly be for all the bits and pieces necessary to finish a plane from fuel tanks to hinges, wheels, retracts, field boxes and equipment, etc.

Tools - I would like to think there have been improvements in this area so a list of common tools most are using would be helpful. The only thing I have remaining is my trusty Xacto knife and small razor saw with the red handle.

I will be sticking with glow or gas so no need to include anything related to running electrics for now. I will have my hands full for at least a year but am itching to get started. Thanks in advance for all your feedback, help and comments.
Old 04-26-2024, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by PNW Tim
Hi everyone:
A quick introduction. I got into RC airplanes when I was in the the army back in the 80's. I was stationed at Ft. Eustis in Virginia for AIT and they had a modelers club area and so it began. Continued flying and building when relocated to Germany. Left the military and went to college, built a career, got married, had children and all the rest. Fast forward to this January and I have retired. There is a flying field just a few miles from my house and recently stopped in to introduce myself. Long story short, getting back into RC after a 35 year break and man, what a difference out there! This leads me to a series of questions I hope all the "up to date" pros and amateurs can help me with. I have broken my questions down into buckets for easier responses. I am a kit builder at heart as I enjoy the building as much as the flying so my questions are coming from that angle. I have recently acquired a 1/8 scale TF Gold Corsair and still have some plans from before for a couple of scratch builds (which I have not attempted but looking forward to). OK, so here goes:
Let's see if I can throw some light onto all of this
Originally Posted by PNW Tim
Radio - will be building and flying sport scale up to possible giant scale warbirds. I am assuming at least 8 channels but the world has changed and I am sure there are things out there I am simply unaware of. I was familiar with Futaba and Airtronics, both of which seem to have gone the way of the dodo. What is recommended?
Not sure about Airtronics but Futaba is alive and well. You can get information on them at https://futabausa.com/


Originally Posted by PNW Tim
Suppliers - Tower Hobbies used to be my go to but again, seems as though the dodo has struck. These would mainly be for all the bits and pieces necessary to finish a plane from fuel tanks to hinges, wheels, retracts, field boxes and equipment, etc.
Tower is still around but, unfortunately, doesn't have what it used to. You can also order direct from some manufacturers such as Dubro and Sullivan if desired.

Originally Posted by PNW Tim
Tools - I would like to think there have been improvements in this area so a list of common tools most are using would be helpful. The only thing I have remaining is my trusty Xacto knife and small razor saw with the red handle.
Exactos are always a go to in model building. I would put Dremel tools and the various accessories into that category as well. As for other tools that would be beneficial, I can go on for several days, but for brevity, I'll try to keep the list short:
Clamps of all sorts and sizes
Clamp blocks to keeps things square
Power sanders
Sanding blocks
Tap and die sets in hobby sizes
Drills and drill bits of different types
Power saws
For hobby sized tools, I buy most of mine through Micro Mark. They have a wide assortment of smaller, hobby sized tools ranging from hand tools to power and machine tools. Their website is https://www.micromark.com/

Originally Posted by PNW Tim
I will be sticking with glow or gas so no need to include anything related to running electrics for now. I will have my hands full for at least a year but am itching to get started. Thanks in advance for all your feedback, help and comments.
I know, you said you're running fuel fired engines but batteries have evolved, even for radio gear. Futaba still sells nicad packs. They also sell LiFe packs, requiring a different charging system. The LiFe battery is preferred by some due to its more consistent discharge. Unlike a nicad, which has a semi-linear decreasing voltage discharge, with a LiFe pack, the voltage stays fairly constant until the battery pack reaches a certain point. At that point, the voltage drops off very quickly, usually with catastrophic results to the pack and/or the model.

Last edited by Hydro Junkie; 04-26-2024 at 10:48 AM.
Old 04-26-2024, 12:49 PM
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Hydro Junkie Thanks for the reply and addressing each of my questions. As always when diving back into something the answers raise more questions:

Glad to hear Futaba is still around. Can you tell me how they compare to Spektrum? They seem to be everywhere I look and relatively competitively priced.

I have been checking out the individual suppliers and I suppose will just have to continue to dig to find the items I need.

As far as tools go, this is very helpful. I have a full woodshop with large tools and I remember Micromark from back in the day and will check them out.

I am seriously debating building a magnetic set up as I historically used T pins and a cork board (back when large pieces of cork were available) but like the idea of the magnets for a number of reasons. I already have a solid core fire door which is going to be my substrate and I have the ability to make a lot of the little fixtures that are used. Are there any cons to this setup I should be aware of?
Old 04-26-2024, 03:54 PM
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I don't really know enough about Spektrum to give you an honest answer. I know, when the Spektrum 2.4GHz first came out, there was serious issues with them when used in a marine environment. Several boats were damaged or destroyed by signal reflection off the water. Due to that, I don't know of anyone that uses one in a boat. I've heard many use them in aircraft but that's all second hand info.
Getting back to tools, I've found some, for lack of a better way to say it, miniature power tools that have come in very handy while building boats. The smaller size makes cutting stick stock and thinner plywoods much easier. Here are links to a few of them:
https://www.micromark.com/MicroLux-M...op-Hobby-Use_2
https://www.micromark.com/Proxxon-Mi...-for-Hobby-Use
https://www.micromark.com/Allwin-Ben...sk-Belt-Sander
Old 04-26-2024, 06:46 PM
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It looks like the main topic is the radio brands currently available. As Hydro has already stated, there were initial issues with Spektrum. All have been rectified at this point. At this point they are the more popular brand. Horizon also does many ready to fly models including their UMX micro models that can only be flown with Spektrum TX. Unlike back in the day now we buy radio components separately. This holds true with all manufacturers. Currently there is Spektrum, Futaba, JR, FLsky, Radiomaster, Jeti and for the super high end Mikado and Powerbox. Of the bunch Spektrum and Futaba will be the easiest to program and anything that states as being “ Open Source “ will be most difficult.

Servos have made huge advances as well. We now have servos that will put out 500+ oz of torque. For general sport airplanes the “ standard “ servos put out by many manufacturers will work just fine. The only issue you may run into is some of the older Futaba and JR servos are voltage limited to 4.8 volts. The Newer battery technology is 6.6 volt LiFe batteries. As Hydro has stated, they are more voltage constant and have a steep drop off. They are also smaller and lighter so running a 1400 mah battery in a .40 size plane is no issue and would last a good 10 flights. Of course a new charging system is required but honestly the old wall wart chargers are a thing of the past. A good multi chemistry battery charger is relatively inexpensive and have features that lead to better battery lifespan.

Kits, as you have seen I’m sure, kits are just about extinct. I do swap meets, club contacts and classifieds. I’m always on the lookout and just completed an Airtronics New Era III and Andrews Aeromaster I picked up last year. There are some small kit cutters but IMO buyer beware.

Engines. I am a bit opinionated on this one. I don’t like anything currently being manufactured except for some YS 4 strokes. My current inventory of engines were all made in the ‘80’s and purchased from friends, swap meets and forum classifieds. The main problem with glow engines is finding fuel in some locations. Glow plugs have become insanely expensive as well.

Tools. Many different opinions here. The tools that I feel I can’t do without are a scroll saw, drill press, Dremel tool and a hand drill. Anything else will be personal preference.

Welcome back, things have changed but overall it’s still fun. You will also want to check into new FAA regulations as well.
Old 04-26-2024, 07:27 PM
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Thank you for the welcome. Although much is changed I am still pretty excited. I love kit building as much as flying and if I need to move to purely scratch built, so be it! I bought my corsair kit off FB marketplace locally (paid double what the price tag on the box said) but that's OK, it is what it is.

I do have a couple of glow engines, specifically and OS .40 and a K&B .61, both brand new from about 1988. I am interested in these newer 2 strokes but don't really want to go in blindly. Looked at this one to power my Corsair build:

Can't post the URL since I don't have 10 posts but its the NGH GT17

Is this junk or actually something that works? Seems like a good alternative to glow but I was always enamored with the simplicity of glow engines - heat it up, flip the prop and start flying.

I have also joined a local club and taken the requisite courses which probably address your FAA comment above. Love being looped into the drone control but it is the feds so status quo.

Anyhow, looking forward to buying new stuff, building a new plane and getting out there and flying. Thanks again for the feedback.
Old 05-15-2024, 03:31 AM
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I'm in the exact same boat. I left the hobby 20yrs ago when JR and Futaba we're the gold standard, battery powered was just a fad and we flew on specific channels with crystals on our radios/receivers.
Foam planes were just for park flyer type of flying.

JR doesn't even do radios anymore from what I'm told. I'm completely lost.

Last edited by testing1234; 05-15-2024 at 06:16 AM.
Old 05-15-2024, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by testing1234
I'm in the exact same boat. I left the hobby 20yrs ago when JR and Futaba we're the gold standard, battery powered was just a fad and we flew on specific channels with crystals on our radios/receivers.

JR doesn't even do radios anymore from what I'm told. I'm completely lost.
As I said in a previous post, I still use my trusted Futaba stuff since I've never had an issue with it, starting way back in 1982.
That said, truth be told, radio equipment hasn't really changed that much. Obviously, just about everything is now digital and uses the 2.4GHz frequency band where the transmitter and receiver are "linked"(have a code in the signal to ID the transmitter so the receiver will reject all other signals) and servos are now, generally, higher powered with some being programmable. You can still get fairly simple systems or, if you want to pay the price, up to 18 channels(possibly more since I last looked) with almost unlimited functions and/or mixes.
In contrast, electric power has evolved considerably. Motors are higher powered when set up with batteries like we used to use. Then again, what we used to use were nicads with their very limited capacity. Today, most don't even consider them as an option, going with Nimh, Lipo or (the latest and greatest)LiFe. Which is best is determined, more or less, by what you're using them for. At the same time, ask ten different people and you'll get ten different answers.
Old 05-18-2024, 07:03 AM
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On the topic of radios. IMO there has been major changes if that is the direction you want to go. Yes you can still get a basic radio ( all computer based these days ) or something that has some very useful features depending on how advanced you want to go. For example, the Jeti DS16 that I fly with is actually 24 channels. So with the correct receiver setup you can have multiple servos on one channel. Simply select the servo number and assign it to the function desired. It also is capable of telemetry that gives you RX battery voltage, current consumption at the moment, current consumption running total, receiver antenna signal strength, airplane interior temp and many more. Like anything else, it can be as simple or as complicated as you want.
Old 05-21-2024, 11:46 AM
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PNW Tim,

Since it appears you are more into the larger size complex planes (.60 and up with retracts, flaps, etc.), I would suggest that you get at least an eight channel radio and preferably a 10 channel radio. Horizon Hobby just had a $100 off sale on their Spektrum NX-10 radio last week. A couple of my flying buddies have the NX-10 and like it very well, so I ordered one on Monday and it arrived on Wednesday. It was quick to set up (including telemetry) and I transferred my models from my Spektrum DX-8 Gen 2 to the NX-10 (using an SD card) and only had to rebind my models to the new transmitter. Simple and quick and my NX-10 is working fine. I have had very good service from my DX-8 Gen 0, DX-8 Gen 2, DXS and now the NX-10. The reason for multiple channels is to be able to mix a channel with another unused channel to have enough servo sockets so as to not have to use servo splitter cables on larger servos, or to be able to fully utilize the channel mixing capability such as for flaperons or elevons. Remember, the JR/Futaba/Hitec plugs are only rated for a total of 5 amps. This type plug for the battery connection can easily be over taxed when using multiple larger servos and could result in receiver low voltage brown-outs. Two larger digital servos on a splitter can pull more than that. For example, if I am using two large aileron servos, I will run one from the aileron channel (Ch 2) and mix the aileron channel to an unused channel (Ch 7) to drive the second servo. If you are building larger models (30cc and larger), I also suggest either buying a high power receiver to get the battery connectors large enough for the expected amperage, or buy a power expander board (Smart Fly Competition 12 Plus) which has multiple servo sockets for each channel to run multiple servos safely on a single channel. It also allows use of redundant flight batteries and switches over to the second battery if one fails. I also recommend receivers that have satellite receiver capability. For my larger gassers, I always use a receiver plus two or three satellite receivers for redundancy. With my Spektrum DX-8 Gen 2 transmitter and my Spektrum AR10100T 10 Channel receiver with two satellite receivers, I typically get 15 minute flights with only two or three frame losses. Since each frame lasts 11 milliseconds, my total combined signal loss for the entire flight is is less than a blink of an eye. I consider this to be a rock solid RF link. Also, if you get a Spektrum radio, you have access to expert technical advice for Spektrum products here on RC Universe and RC Groups from BaracudaHockey who is an engineer for Spektrum.

For flight pack batteries, the Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries have a couple of advantages over nickel metal hydride batteries. 1) they can be fully charged in less than an hour (versus overnight) and 2), they have a very low self-discharge rate and will hold a charge for a long time (months) between charges.

As for engines, I know glow fuel is running $28 to $30 per gallon here in Tennessee, so I run gassers for anything that needs over 2 HP. I have no experience with the NGH-GT17, but I do have RCGS Stinger 15RE, 20RE and 26RE , DLE-55RA and Brison BA32 engines that all run fine.

Additional tools that you may find useful are a Monokote iron, an air brush, a soldering iron, Stay-Brite silver solder, and if you can find one on eBay, a Wilcro razorblade planer.

Last edited by LLRCFlyer; Yesterday at 09:23 AM. Reason: typos
Old 05-21-2024, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by LLRCFlyer
PNW Tim,

Since it appears you are more into the larger size complex planes (.60 and up with retracts, flaps, etc.), I would suggest that you get at least an eight channel radio and preferably a 10 channel radio. Horizon Hobby just had a $100 off sale on their NX-10 radio last week, so I ordered one on Monday and it arrived on Wednesday. It was quick to set up and I transferred my models from my Spektrum DX-8 Gen 2 to the NX-10 (using an SD card) and only had to rebind my models to the new transmitter. Simple and quick and and the NX-10 works fine. I have had very good service from my DX-8 Gen 0, DX-8 Gen 2, DXS and now the NX-10, The reason for multiple channels is to be able to mix a channel with another unused channel to have enough servo sockets so as to not have to use servo splitter cables on larger servos, or to be able to fully use the channel mixing capability such as for flaperons or elevons.. Remember, the JR/Futaba/Hitec plugs are only rated for a total of 5 amps. Thhis type plug for the battery connection can easily be over taxed when using multiple larger servos. Two larger digital servos on a splitter can pull more than that. For example, if I am using two large aileron servos, I will run one from the aileron channel (Ch 2) and mix the aileron channel to an unused channel (Ch 7) to drive the second servo. If you are building larger models (30cc and larger), I also suggest either buying a high power receiver to get the battery connectors large enough for the expected amperage, or by a power expander board (Smart Fly Competition 12 Plus) which will run multiple servos safely on a single channel and also allows use of redundant flight batteries and switches over to the second battery if one fails. I also recommend receivers that have satellite receiver capability. For my larger gassers, I always use a receiver plus two or three satellite receivers for redundancy. With my Spektrum DX-* Gen 2 transmitter and my Spektrum AR10100T 10 Channel receiver with two satellite receivers, I typically get 15 minute flights with only two or three frame losses. Since each frame lasts 11 milliseconds, my total combined signal loss for the entire flight is is less than a blink of an eye. I consider this to be a rock solid RF link. Also, if you get a Spektrum radio, you have access to expert technical advice for Spektrum products here on RC Universe and RC Groups from BaracudaHockey who is an engineer for Spektrum.

For flight pack batteries, the Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries have a couple of advantages over nickel metal hydride batteries. 1), they can be fully charged in less than an hour (versus overnight) and 2) they will hold a charge for a long time (months) between charges.

As for engines, I know glow fuel is running $28 to $30 per gallon here in Tennessee, so I run gassers for anything that needs over 2 HP. I have no experience with the NGH-GT17, but I do have RCGS Stinger 15RE, 20RE and 26RE , DLE-55RA and Brison BA32 engines that all run fine.

Additional tools that you may find useful are a Monokote iron, and air brush, a soldering iron, Stay-Brite silver solder, and if you can find on on ebay, a Wilcro razorblade planer.
Thank you so much for your detailed comments and feedback - it's exactly what I am looking for. Awesome information on the radios, engines and batteries. Just shows how much I still need to learn. I am still gathering up bits and pieces and have recently assembled a magnetic building board which I have never had but think I am really starting to enjoy. I have begun an Astro-Hog build as I needed to start somewhere but am taking it very slow and trying to be the proverbial sponge along the way.
Old 05-21-2024, 06:33 PM
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For what it is worth, here is a tabulation of some engine data I have collected from various vendors for weight, thrust, fuel/oil ratios etc. It might help you when trying to compare engines. Hopefully the columns will line up so as to be readable.

Engine Displacement HP@RPM Thrust-LB Weight Fuel/Oil Prop
DLE 20RA 20.5cc 2.5 @ 9000 13.9 1.92 lb 30:1 14x10, 15x8. 16x6, 17x6, 18x6
DLE 30 30.5cc 3.7 @8500 18.7 2.41 lb 30:1 18x6, 18x10, 19x8, 17x6,20x8
DLE 35RA 34.9cc 4.1 @8500 19.8 2.55 lb 30:1 18x10, 19x8, 20x8, 20x10
DLE 40T 40cc Twin 4.8 @ 8500 20.9 3.30 Lb 30:1 19x8, 19x10, 20x8, 20x10
DLE 55RA 55.6cc 5.5 @ 8500 31.9 3.86 lb 30:1 22x8 ; 22x10 ; 23x8 ; 23x10
DLE 60T 61cc 7.0 @ 8500 33.5 4.49 Lb 30:1 22x10. 23X8, 23x10, 24x8
DLE 120T 120.0cc 12 @ 7500 58.4 5.95 Lb 30:1 26x10, 26x12, 27x10, 28x10

OS 1.20AX Glow 1.218 ci, 3.06@ 9,000 ? 29+oz Glow 15x10-12, 16x8-10
Saito FG-11-4C 0.66 ci, 10.88cc equal to 40 glow 2C 21.9 oz 20:01 12x8 - 13x8
Saito FG-30B-4C 29.1cc ? hp @ 10000 ? 38 oz 15x8 - 18x6
Saito FA-150B glow 1.5 ci 2.5 @ ? ? ?
Saito FA-180 glow 29.1cc 2.8 @ ? 33.7 oz glow 15x10. 16x8. 18x6

NGH GT17 16.91cc 2.1 @ 9200 ? 1.74 Lb 20:1 14x8, 15x8, 16x6, 16x8
NGH-GT25 25.09cc 2.7 @ 8900 ? 2.11 Lb 25:1 15x10, 16x8, 16x10
NGH-GT35 34.96cc 4.22 @ 8800 ? 3.06 Lb 35:1 18x10,19x10. 20x8

RCGF 10RE Stinger 10cc 1.9 @ 12,000 8.2 lbs 1.37 lb 30:1 13 x 6, 14 x6,13X8,13X7
RCGF 15RE Stinger 15cc 2.4 @ 9000 10.2 lbs 1.69 lb 30:1 13x6, 14x6, 13x8, 15x8, 15x6
RCGF 20RE Stinger 20cc 2.8 @ 8700 14.2 1.75 lb 30:1 14x10,15x8, 16x6, 16x8, 17x6
RCGF 20 Twin 20.5cc 2.8 @ 8600 14.1 2.02 lb 30:1 15x8, 16x8, 17x6
RCGF 26RE Stinger 26cc 3.1 @ ? 17.68 lb 2.11 lb 30:1 16X8,16X10,17X8,18X8,18X10
RCGF 30 Twin 30cc 3.7 @ 7500 17.2 lb 2.53 lb 30:1 188, 1810, 198 & 208
RCGF 35RE Stinger 35cc 4.1 @ 9000 19.9 lb 2.52 lb 30:1 19x8, 20x8, 20x10
RCGF 40 twin 40cc 4.6 @ 8600 23.4 lb 2.92 lb 30:1 19x8, 19x10, 20x8, 20x10
RCGF 70 twin 70cc 7.4 @ 8600 34.2 lb 3.98 lb 30:1 2210, 238, 2310,24X8

(Valley View RC)
VVRC -20 20cc 2.85 @ 8500 ? 1.75lb 32:1 16x8, 17x6
VVRC -26 26cc, 1.6ci 2.95 @ 8800 15.9 2.07 Lb 40:1 16x8, 16x8-10, 17x8-10, 18x8-10
VVRC-RCGF-35 RE 35cc 4.1 @ 9000 19.9 2.52 Lb 30:1 19x8, 19x10, 20x8, 20x10
VVRC 30T 30cc Twin Cyl 3.7 @ 7500 ? 2.53 Lb 40:1 18x8-10, 19x8, 20x8
VVRC 40T 40.5cc Twin Cyl 4.6 @7400 ? 2.88 Lb 32:1 21x8
30:1
Zenoah G23 2.0 @ ? ? 3.19 lb 32:1 9000 rpm on 15x8
Zenoah G38 2.3 CI 2.2 @ 7,300 ? 4.25 Lb 32:1 18x10

Enya R1.20-4C 1.2 CI 2.1 @ 12500 13? 2.00 Lb Glow 13x8-9, 14x7-9, 15x6-7, 16x6

Brison 3.2 53 cc 4.5-4.8? @ 8000 26 3.75 50/80:1 20x10, 20x12, 22x8


(Super Tigre)
ST 2000/25 25cc 2.40 @ 11,000 ? 47.9 OZ Glow
ST 3000 30cc 2.96 @ 7900 ? 2.59 lb wo muff Glow 2.93 lb w/muffer 18x8, 20x6, 20x8 Performance is very similar to RCGF Stinger 26RE

Quadra 50S 50.8 cc 4.0@ 9000 5 lb 8.5 oz 18x10
Quadra Q52XL 52 cc 4.5 @ 7000 4.1 lb 20x10 for planes 18 to 25 lbs
Quadra 42 42 cc 2.4 @ 8561 w muff 4.73 lb 18x12 prop for 22 lb plane
Quadra 35 35 cc ? 18x8 for 16 to 18 lb planes

Last edited by LLRCFlyer; Yesterday at 04:57 AM.
Old 05-21-2024, 06:53 PM
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So helpful! Thank you very much.

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