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ColecoVision/ADAM HDMI, COMPONENT VIDEO, S-Video, and using PC controllers


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#1 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 4, 2017 3:35 AM

A modern Windows desktop PC running a ColecoVision/ADAM emulation program over HDMI offers the absolute best picture and sound quality. Currently I am using a ColecoVision/ADAM emulation program on a 3840 x 2160P desktop computer monitor over HDMI and the picture quality is much better than what I have every experienced in the 20th Century. I know the videogames for the ColecoVision/ADAM only have a native resolution of 256 x 192 interlaced and the PC’s 4K Ultra HD  graphics card upscales the image to 3840 x 2160P. In addition, it is a fact that viewing native source material at the sources native resolution is a little bit better quality when compared to upscaling, since upscaling can introduce digital artifacts (However upscaling is required if the display cannot display the native resolution of the source). The reason for the improved picture on a Windows PC is because digital video over HDMI and DVI offers a much better picture quality when compared to analog video that can sometimes be grainy. Back in 1982 the only connection for the ColecoVision was the RF channel 3 and 4 modulated output which combined video and audio over a 75 ohm cable (Using the built in Coleco RF modulator is the worst possible connection for picture and sound quality). In 1983 Coleco came out with the standalone ADAM computer which offered composite video and audio which was a major picture quality improvement. Around 1983 third party companies started offering a composite video output kit for the ColecoVision for those that have soldering skills. In the year 2017 there are companies and individuals selling both composite video and S-Video upgrade kits for the ColecoVision. The advantage of S-Video is that it separates the brightness and color information for an improved picture quality over composite video. There was a company or individual that use to sale a component video output kit for the ColecoVision which is even better quality then S-Video, however its my understanding that the component video kit is no longer in production. Also there is a company that sales a F18A upgrade board that offers true VGA analog 640 x 480i at 60HZ video output for both the ColecoVision and ADAM computer, however this product is currently out of stock and not in production according to one website I visited. Also there is a possibility that it might not be 100% compatible with all the software for the ColecoVision/ADAM.  http://codehackcreate.com/store#!/F18A-V1-8-Video-Board/p/14022176/category=0

 

 

 

It is my understanding that the original ColecoVision/ADAM video chip can output 256 x 192 pixels at interlaced component video quality if component video jacks would have existed back in the early 80’s, but even then, that component video signal is analog. The videogames are binary digital videogames and are limited by the Texas Instrument video chip. If Coleco were to make a modern ColecoVision/ADAM console today, there is no doubt in my mind that they would only offer a HDMI output on the videogame console.  

 

 

 

What is the absolute best quality video output available for the ColecoVision and standalone ADAM for the year 2017?

 

 

 

I wish the answer to this question was HDMI, however know one as far as I am aware offers a HDMI video card option for the ColecoVision/ADAM. Which is a must have feature for best picture quality on modern desktop computer monitors that only offer HDMI. Even many flat panel screens and projectors are getting away from analog video connections. Now I would be very interested in purchasing the VGA 640 x 480i F18A conversion card for both the ColecoVision and ADAM, but its my understanding this board is out of stock and out of production at this time. In addition, the component video kit for the ColecoVision is out of production from what I understand.

 

 

 

So in the year 2017 the best video quality I can get from the standalone ADAM is its built in 1983 composite video output? After seeing the quality of Coleco ADAM games on a Windows emulator over HDMI, composite video output looks terrible. It looks like someone on EBAY still offers an S-Video board for the ColecoVision, which would be better than composite video. If HDMI, VGA, and component video are not available for the ColecoVision then maybe I might consider getting an S-Video upgrade.

 

 

 

** I also want to be able to use both the Expansion module #1 Atari 2600 adapter and Expansion module #3 ADAM computer with any upgrade service that I get to my original ColecoVision game console. **

 

 

 

Currently the Windows PC ColecoVision/ADAM emulators have both a better picture quality and better controllers when compared to the original ColecoVision/ADAM

 

 

 

Its not just the improved picture quality of ColecoVision and ADAM games on a Windows PC. When I play videogames the 4 directional arrow keys on a $5 Windows keyboard is much better quality when compared to the original ColecoVision/ADAM hand controllers. Also I was playing Slither the other day using a Logitech marble mouse trackball on a Windows PC, and the quality was much better when compared to the original Coleco roller controller. I hate to say it but I am losing interest in the ColecoVision that I owned in 1982 and the ADAM computer expansion module #3 that I owned in 1983, since the Windows PC ColecoVision/ADAM emulator is so much better in many ways.

 

Maybe one day the ColecoVision/ADAM will have a digital HDMI output with 480i 4:3 quality and also maybe a Windows keyboard could be connected with a Logitech marble mouse for improved videogame enjoyment. When playing ColecoVision/ADAM games on a Windows keyboard with Logitech marble mouse I always place the blame for making mistakes on my poor skill as a game player, versus when using original Coleco game controllers the blame is placed on the controller since sometimes the controller does not operate like it is suppose too.     


Edited by HDTV1080P, Wed Oct 4, 2017 3:38 AM.


#2 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 4, 2017 4:17 AM

The original coleco vision rf video output and the f18a video modification, both produce progressive (non-interlaced) 60hz video. Unfortunately, in 1982 rf video was really the only option and composite isn't much better. VGA, RGB, component are all high quality video and are all analog. Ultimately digital and hdmi will be the only option for new TVs in the future.

Software emulation is very good but some prefer hardware based solutions. Soon there will be new coleco vision compatible hardware with high quality video. Today, you can get the Analogue NT Mini or Mist fpga computer, both have coleco vision solutions but not necessarily cartridge ports.

Edit:. Regarding using PC controllers on an original coleco vision; anything is possible.

Edited by mr_me, Wed Oct 4, 2017 4:25 AM.


#3 Bmack36 ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 4, 2017 5:07 AM

Just FYI, The F18a isn't in stock, but it is not out of production. There just needs to be enough people ready to order to make a new batch.



#4 towmater OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 4, 2017 8:17 AM

Brevity is the soul of wit, according to Billy Shakespeare, so I will make this brief: my only hesitation with using an F18A in an Adam is that the video ic is not socketed, and as a working Adam is becoming rarer, I don't want to ruin a working system. The allure, though, of the F18A's crystal clear video (which I have in a ColecoVision, TI-99/4a, and Apple IIGS) is tempting.



#5 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 4, 2017 8:30 AM

HDTV1080p.... I have an F18 Video Board with ADAM Adapter that I decided not to install in my ADAM for my own personal reasons. It is brand new (unopened) and I will sell it to you for what I paid plus shipping. You can install it in a CV or an ADAM.

#6 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 5, 2017 2:50 AM

The North American ColecoVision uses NTSC RF channel 3 and 4 output, which is always interlaced video consisting of two 30 frames interlaced fields to produce 60Hz interlaced video. Composite video and S-Video are also 100% of the time interlaced video. Now the component video output can be either interlaced or progressive video. If the ColecoVision video chip is native progressive video, I was not aware of that. To get progressive video one needs a minimum of component video outputs. VGA, DVI, and HDMI also offer progressive scan.

 

It sounds like native HDMI is not an option yet for the ColecoVision/ADAM, and also it sounds like the component video modification is out of production. Composite video modifications have been around for decades and the S-Video modification is still available.

 

So the f18a video modification is out of stock, but technically not out of production unless there is ends up not being another pre-order to make another run.       


Edited by HDTV1080P, Thu Oct 5, 2017 2:51 AM.


#7 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 5, 2017 3:07 AM

Therefore, both the ColecoVision and standalone ADAM computer have the VDP soldered directly on the circuit board from what I understand. Some computers and videogame systems can use the F18a without any soldering required since the VDP can be removed from the socket with a chip puller. So if I purchase this F18A I would need to de-solder the VDP and solder a socket on the ColecoVision and standalone ADAM computer.

Does the F18a work with the Expansion Module #1 Atari 2600 adapter? Does the F18a also work with the Expansion module #3 ADAM computer?

 

Once the F18a is installed the ColecoVision and ADAM no longer outputs a native 256 x 192 signal, and instead outputs a 640 x 480 progressive pixel resolution. Is there any ColecoVision or ADAM software that is not compatible with the F18a? Also is one getting a real native 640 x 480 output or is the image upscaled from 256 x 192?

 

Another issue is has anyone created special ColecoVision or ADAM software for the F18a to take full advantage of native 640 x 480 resolution?


Edited by HDTV1080P, Thu Oct 5, 2017 3:10 AM.


#8 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 5, 2017 3:21 AM

HDTV1080p.... I have an F18 Video Board with ADAM Adapter that I decided not to install in my ADAM for my own personal reasons. It is brand new (unopened) and I will sell it to you for what I paid plus shipping. You can install it in a CV or an ADAM.

Thanks, however I need to think about this for awhile. I am sure someone on this forum would be interested in your brand new F18a board, or selling it on EBAY might be popular since no one has them in stock. Thanks again for the offer.



#9 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 5, 2017 5:17 AM

The North American ColecoVision uses NTSC RF channel 3 and 4 output, which is always interlaced video consisting of two 30 frames interlaced fields to produce 60Hz interlaced video. Composite video and S-Video are also 100% of the time interlaced video. Now the component video output can be either interlaced or progressive video. If the ColecoVision video chip is native progressive video, I was not aware of that. To get progressive video one needs a minimum of component video outputs. VGA, DVI, and HDMI also offer progressive scan.
 
It sounds like native HDMI is not an option yet for the ColecoVision/ADAM, and also it sounds like the component video modification is out of production. Composite video modifications have been around for decades and the S-Video modification is still available.
 
So the f18a video modification is out of stock, but technically not out of production unless there is ends up not being another pre-order to make another run.       

The old analog television standard known as 480i, had frames made of two fields. Each field had every other line (240 lines) of the 480 line picture. So a field was produced at about 60hz and two fields combined to make interlaced 480 line frames at 30hz. Video games like the Atari 2600, Intellivision, Coleco vision, NES, skipped the second field of a frame and rather just drew another 240 line frame. Only half the lines get drawn (every other line) producing 240 line progressive video at about 60hz.

Edit:. The f18a claims to be tms9918a compatible. It doesn't say anything about additional video modes for programming.

Edited by mr_me, Thu Oct 5, 2017 5:28 AM.


#10 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 5, 2017 3:36 PM

The F18A does have additional video modes, though it does not have a higher resolution mode (except for an 80 column text mode). It also adds enhanced colors, enhanced sprites, and hardware scrolling, as well as eliminating the 4-sprites-per-scanline limitation. There are also additions for the programmer like being able to read-back the video registers, and a full 100MHz GPU (running 9900 code).

It maintains excellent compatibility with the original 9918A/9928A/etc by locking the additional features out until a specific unlock sequence is executed in the code.

As far as I know offhand, the only known ColecoVision incompatibility is an issue with the PAL console. Matt's got hardware and is working on it.

Edit: meant to add that Tank Mission tanks advantage of the color and scrolling enhancements -

Edited by Tursi, Thu Oct 5, 2017 3:39 PM.


#11 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 5, 2017 6:39 PM

If an 80 column text mode is supported on the F18a with special 80 column software, that would be awesome. One could modify the Coleco Smartwriter word processor to display in 80 columns with a lot of programming work.

 

 

I am guessing that the Expansion Module #3 ADAM computer should work fine from the F18a modification since the standalone ADAM works fine.

 

 

In this thread it is mentioned that Bmack36 offers a HDMI version of the F18a that places a video upscaler in the circuit. However, it is also mentioned that the F18a HDMI and VGA version does not work with Expansion Module #1 the ATARI 2600 adapter. Instead one needs to get also a composite video modification for the ColecoVision (S-Video modification should also be possible in theory). Therefore the ColecoVision would output HDMI or VGA for ColecoVision games (Expansion Module #3 ADAM computer should also work), and then the composite video output would only work for ATARI 2600 games.

 

 

It becomes complicated for videogame collectors sometimes. The ADAM computer might be powerful enough to emulate ATARI 2600 rom images from a SD card in software if one uses ATARIMAX's Ultimate SD Wafer Drive. One would just need to spend a lot of time creating a ATARI 2600 emulation program for the ColecoVision/ADAM. However, the advantage is if a ATARI 2600 emulation program can be created, there would be no need for the Expansion module #1, and also ATARI 2600 games would then work over HDMI and VGA using the F18a.


Edited by HDTV1080P, Thu Oct 5, 2017 6:48 PM.


#12 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 5, 2017 7:03 PM

why did you write this book just so you can hit us up for a effing wafer drive and no the adam doesnt have enough horsepower to emulate a 2600 its a completely different system structure from bit 0 with a custom video chip



#13 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 5, 2017 7:36 PM

The 1982 Expansion Module #1 Atari 2600 adapter has been a problem since the original 80’s. Even on the 1983 standalone ADAM computer one would get reduced audio volume or almost no audio at all when using the ADAM’s native composite video output (The work around for normal audio was to use the lower quality RF channel 3 and 4 output when playing ATARI 2600 videogames). Over the years people have come up with some hardware modifications to the standalone ADAM to produce proper audio when playing ATARI 2600 games (This is something that Coleco should have fixed before releasing the ADAM in 1983) .

 

The ColecoVison/ADAM uses a Z80A 3.58Mhz processor with up to 80KB of memory (64KB of useable memory with the ADAM and 64KB of useable memory with the ColecoVision when the Super Game Module is installed). The ATARI 2600 only has a 6507 CPU at 1.19Mhz speed, and the memory is 128bytes. Therefore the ColecoVision/ADAM is much more powerfully then the 1977 Atari 2600, however it might not be powerful enough to emulate a ATARI 2600 system in software. My point was if the ATARI 2600 could be emulated in software then ATARI 2600 rom images could be played from a SD card and viewed in true HDMI or VGA quality instead of using composite or S-video quality.     


Edited by HDTV1080P, Thu Oct 5, 2017 7:43 PM.


#14 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 5, 2017 8:22 PM

No, no its not, its a very large debate in regards can a 4mhz Z80 out run a 1mhz 6502 now you want to emulate a 6502 on a z80 + a riot chip + a custom audio / video chip on something that even if they were perfectly clock match 1:1 is < 3x the mhz??

 

quit writing novels, its hard to tell your point, you want to emulate 2600 over HDMI, use a 20$ phone, tablet, used pc or countless other devices that already exist, doesnt require esoteric hardware and system mods, and your damn wafer nonsense 


Edited by Osgeld, Thu Oct 5, 2017 8:26 PM.


#15 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 5, 2017 8:59 PM

Well then I guess I will stick with either S-Video or composite video with the Expansion Module #1 ATARI 2600 adapter if it’s impossible to emulate ATARI 2600 rom’s on a ADAM computer. Come to think about it Coleco most likely would have done this if it was possible, but realized that a hardware solution was the most reliable option.

 


Edited by HDTV1080P, Thu Oct 5, 2017 9:00 PM.


#16 towmater OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 5, 2017 9:23 PM

S-Video? Is there such an option?



#17 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 6, 2017 2:34 AM

S-Video? Is there such an option?

There is a company or individual on EBAY that sales a Super Nintendo Entertainment System video upgrade kit that provides both RGB and S-Video for $15 or less. This same EBAY dealer sales a upgrade board for the ColecoVision that offers S-Video output and they will modify ones existing ColecoVision for $55 or less with free return shipping (do a search on EBAY for S-Video and ColecoVision to find the dealer). S-Video is better quality then composite video, however the problem is one needs to own a legacy 1987-2008 CRT or flat panel screen that offers the S-Video feature (I happen to own a legacy 4:3 27 inch 1080i CRT TV with both 1080i component video jacks and 480i S-Video). I know family members that have a couple of old 480i CRT’s with both 480i component video jacks and a S-Video jack. S-Video jacks on all consumer electronic devices are no longer in production. 480i Component Video jacks on TV's started becoming popular after the launch of the DVD format in 1997. Some consumer electronic devices today still offer up to 1080i component video jacks, however all desktop computer monitors are now HDMI or displayport only, and many HDTV's in 2017 have dropped component video and have went 100% HDMI (HDMI offers up to 8K digital with HDR). Plus there is the fact that the component video modification for the ColecoVision is now out of production.  

 

Now I would need to verify that the S-Video feature works with both Expansion Module #1 and Expansion module #3.


Edited by HDTV1080P, Fri Oct 6, 2017 2:40 AM.


#18 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 6, 2017 6:10 AM

There is a company or individual on EBAY that sales a Super Nintendo Entertainment System video upgrade kit that provides both RGB and S-Video for $15 or less. This same EBAY dealer sales a upgrade board for the ColecoVision that offers S-Video output and they will modify ones existing ColecoVision for $55 or less with free return shipping (do a search on EBAY for S-Video and ColecoVision to find the dealer). 

 

 

there's a guy on ebay, see how simple it is

 

 S-Video is better quality then composite video, however the problem is one needs to own a legacy 1987-2008 CRT or flat panel screen that offers the S-Video feature (I happen to own a legacy 4:3 27 inch 1080i CRT TV with both 1080i component video jacks and 480i S-Video). I know family members that have a couple of old 480i CRT’s with both 480i component video jacks and a S-Video jack. S-Video jacks on all consumer electronic devices are no longer in production. 

 

 

I just bought a LCD TV with svideo last year

 

480i Component Video jacks on TV's started becoming popular after the launch of the DVD format in 1997. Some consumer electronic devices today still offer up to 1080i component video jacks, however all desktop computer monitors are now HDMI or displayport only, and many HDTV's in 2017 have dropped component video and have went 100% HDMI (HDMI offers up to 8K digital with HDR). 

 

 

we dont need the history lesson, get to the point

 

Plus there is the fact that the component video modification for the ColecoVision is now out of production.  

 

 

you were just told its not out of production in the 3rd post of this thread



#19 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 6, 2017 7:39 AM

Osgeld, I was told the F18a VGA board was not out of production but instead out of stock since they need to get enough orders to make another run. However if the component video output conversion is still in production for the ColecoVision, where do I order it from?

In addition, what is the brand and model number of the factory new LCD flat panel you purchased that has an S-Video jack? The consumer electronics industry has phased out the legacy S-Video jack. Even the S-video jack cannot be found on high-end A/V receivers anymore and also it cannot be found on all or most flat panel screens.

Look at this spec sheet for a high-end LG OLED flat panel screen, there is no S-Video and even no component video inputs.

 

http://www.lg.com/us/support/products/documents/OLED_W7_Series_Spec_Sheet_20170713.pdf



#20 towmater OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 6, 2017 8:36 AM

I see LCD's with S-video on a routine basis at thrift stores, people most likely dump them when they switch to today's ridiculously huge monitors, though these "old" 10-30" screens might fit nicely on top of a retro machine.

 

I thought you were referring to an S-Video ability for the standalone Adam, however.

 

Searching eBay for "S-Video ColecoVision" yields only a service where for $55 plus expenses a dude will do the installation. Unfortunately that plus shipping puts the cost of the mod into the range of the F18A's price, without the magic.



#21 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 6, 2017 8:55 AM

The big question is does anyone else sale a S-Video conversion kit that one can install themselves and will it work with the standalone ADAM also? The F18A board with a HDMI or VGA option offers the best picture quality and much better then even S-Video. However, you will just need to wait for another F18A run since the board is out of stock. I like the following website where one can get their ColecoVision modified for HDMI and with composite video for ATARI 2600 games. They might also do an ADAM computer. But they charge $270 to send ones ColecoVision in to get modified for both HDMI and composite video. That makes the person on EBAY offering the $55 S-Video conversion service look like a bargain. Of course one saves money when they purchase a video conversion kit themselves and spends the time soldering the kit to their ColecoVision or ADAM.   


Edited by HDTV1080P, Fri Oct 6, 2017 8:57 AM.


#22 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 6, 2017 10:34 AM

I dont have the model off hand but I got a TCL in 2014, it has all the analog jacks including svideo, a craig 13 inch 720p screen in 2015 which has all the analog jacks and the one I bought last year was a 22 inch TCL again with all the analog jacks

 

quit looking at high end manufactures, its the cheap ones that have the highest chance of having them ... and its not like you need a 99 inch 4k OLED screen for a computer monitor ... which is exactly the reason I bought the 13 inch craig, as a monitor for my apple II that could display 80 collumn text without it being a blurry mess, it works great on that and my atari computer 



#23 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 6, 2017 11:05 AM

I am glad you found a flat screen with S-Video. I wish the consumer electronics industry would still support S-Video (Component video is also slowly fading away). Good luck finding a cheap or expensive 2017 product with S-Video on it. I just went to TCL website and all their 2017 displays have no S-Video including their cheapest $149.99 32 inch flat screen.  

 

The more expensive consumer electronics products have more input jacks when compared to the lower end models. 



#24 5-11under OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 6, 2017 11:53 AM

HDTV, I can't read your posts because the text is too big compared to the default.



#25 ApolloBoy OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 6, 2017 12:02 PM

HDTV, I can't read your posts because the text is too big compared to the default.

Yeah, I really don't understand why you feel the need to type in a gigantic font. And as Osgeld mentioned, ditch the history lessons in your posts because I've noticed you often get facts wrong and frankly, nobody cares.




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