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      05-29-2015, 03:51 PM   #1
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IP Security Cameras

Anyone here into IP security cameras? If so, what's everyone running as far as cameras is concerned, remote monitoring, NVRs, etc.?

I am building out my new system (third one) and it's been fun learning about what these cameras are now capable of.
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      05-31-2015, 07:35 PM   #2
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I use dropcam pro and am very pleased with it.
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      05-31-2015, 11:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by justinnum1 View Post
I use dropcam pro and am very pleased with it.
Definitely one of the most user friendly options out there... Are you paying the monthly fees for cloud recording?
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      06-01-2015, 08:17 AM   #4
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Definitely one of the most user friendly options out there... Are you paying the monthly fees for cloud recording?
yea, 10$ for 7 days recording. i like it.
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      06-01-2015, 02:18 PM   #5
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Yea put up some Mobotix and Vivoteks at home and for some clients! The Mobotix's image is crisp as can be really nice! And since the new ones (M15) the user interface doesn't make you wait a few seconds every click so that is nice
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      06-02-2015, 10:46 PM   #6
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I've been using Hikvision cameras. Very good image quality at an honest 3 Megapixels along with 30 FPS at 1080P. The cameras also have very good night vision IR performance at a true 30 meter range. I have two models of their cameras along with their 8 channel NVR. The system can be accessed via web GUI from a PC or through mobile apps for both Android and IOS.

This is the camera I use for indoors. I also use one of them for a baby cam. The camera can run on both wired and WiFi. It also has a micro SD slot to store video locally or to a DVR. It also has 2 way audio. I can hear what is going on in the room or I can talk through the camera.

http://wrightwoodsurveillance.com/in...roducts_id=364

This is what I use for outdoors. It's a very well made turret that's all metal and has a substantial amount of heft. The only thing that is plastic on it is the outer trim ring. These cameras have survived the crazy cold winter we had without a hiccup.

http://wrightwoodsurveillance.com/in...roducts_id=293

Also note that the cameras also come in different lens types (2.8, 4, and 6mm). I was recommended to get 4mm for my use as it provides a wide angle view but not so wide that it distorts the image badly.

And this is the NVR I'm using. You have to supply your own hard drive. I installed a 4 TB Western Digital hard drive and did an initial test to see how much storage would be consumed. I ran a channel to it recording 24/7 for almost a week at 1080P and only just scratched the amount of space on the hard drive. The system is set to store video on motion detection but you can view the cameras via the live feed. The NVR also has a built in 8 port switch with PoE capabilities to power the cameras.

http://wrightwoodsurveillance.com/in...roducts_id=413

ETA: Here's a review of the outdoor camera I'm using. It has pictures of the picture quality, snapshots of the GUI, and recorded video you can play back to see how the camera performs. There are also night vision shots.

http://www.networkcameracritic.com/?p=2135

And this is a review from the same site of the indoor cameras I'm using.

http://www.networkcameracritic.com/?p=2236

Last edited by zx10guy; 06-02-2015 at 10:55 PM.
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      06-02-2015, 11:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zx10guy View Post
I've been using Hikvision cameras. Very good image quality at an honest 3 Megapixels along with 30 FPS at 1080P. The cameras also have very good night vision IR performance at a true 30 meter range. I have two models of their cameras along with their 8 channel NVR. The system can be accessed via web GUI from a PC or through mobile apps for both Android and IOS.

This is the camera I use for indoors. I also use one of them for a baby cam. The camera can run on both wired and WiFi. It also has a micro SD slot to store video locally or to a DVR. It also has 2 way audio. I can hear what is going on in the room or I can talk through the camera.

http://wrightwoodsurveillance.com/in...roducts_id=364

This is what I use for outdoors. It's a very well made turret that's all metal and has a substantial amount of heft. The only thing that is plastic on it is the outer trim ring. These cameras have survived the crazy cold winter we had without a hiccup.

http://wrightwoodsurveillance.com/in...roducts_id=293

Also note that the cameras also come in different lens types (2.8, 4, and 6mm). I was recommended to get 4mm for my use as it provides a wide angle view but not so wide that it distorts the image badly.

And this is the NVR I'm using. You have to supply your own hard drive. I installed a 4 TB Western Digital hard drive and did an initial test to see how much storage would be consumed. I ran a channel to it recording 24/7 for almost a week at 1080P and only just scratched the amount of space on the hard drive. The system is set to store video on motion detection but you can view the cameras via the live feed. The NVR also has a built in 8 port switch with PoE capabilities to power the cameras.

http://wrightwoodsurveillance.com/in...roducts_id=413

ETA: Here's a review of the outdoor camera I'm using. It has pictures of the picture quality, snapshots of the GUI, and recorded video you can play back to see how the camera performs. There are also night vision shots.

http://www.networkcameracritic.com/?p=2135

And this is a review from the same site of the indoor cameras I'm using.

http://www.networkcameracritic.com/?p=2236
I'm a fan of the Hikvisions also. I'm actually in process of swapping out my old system with all Hikvisions. My old system (which I'm still running) consists of six 720p cameras.

I bought a DS-2CD2032-I and a DS-2CD2132F-IS, just to see if I'd like them. So far so good. I tried Milestone XProtect, then the Hikvision iVMS software and now Sighthound. I'll keep testing them all until the trial periods end, and then make a decision. For my iPads and iPhones, the Hikvision iVMS apps have been really good. Even better, I can stream them via Airplay onto my TVs. Looks impressive in 1080p!

The video quality of the Hikvisions is miles above my 720p cameras. It's been a fun project so far, and quite addictive!
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      06-02-2015, 11:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P1et View Post
I'm a fan of the Hikvisions also. I'm actually in process of swapping out my old system with all Hikvisions. My old system (which I'm still running) consists of six 720p cameras.

I bought a DS-2CD2032-I and a DS-2CD2132F-IS, just to see if I'd like them. So far so good. I tried Milestone XProtect, then the Hikvision iVMS software and now Sighthound. I'll keep testing them all until the trial periods end, and then make a decision.

The video quality of the Hikvisions is miles above my 720p cameras. It's been a fun project so far, and quite addictive!
That's great. So I don't have to sell you on how good the image quality is on the Hikvision cameras. After seeing what a good quality IP camera can do, I'm just amazed why people are still settling with grainy, washed out, blurry images with their security camera setups. After all, the main reason to get a security camera is to capture evidence information in hopes to get a positive ID on any criminal invading your property.

I've hit a brick wall right now as I want to add one more camera to my system. I would like to get a PTZ but I'm not happy with the size of the PTZs I've been considering. I don't want this big dome extending from the corner of my house if I can help it. I've been consulting with the guys at Wrightwood and they've said Hikvision doesn't really have a good PTZ at a sub $1000 range. He says the Dahua SD59230S is the best performing camera at a decent price. If I go with the Dahua, I would have to get a second NVR to capture video on this camera as I can't use my existing Hikvision NVR with the Dahua. Decisions...decisions.
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      06-02-2015, 11:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zx10guy View Post
That's great. So I don't have to sell you on how good the image quality is on the Hikvision cameras. After seeing what a good quality IP camera can do, I'm just amazed why people are still settling with grainy, washed out, blurry images with their security camera setups. After all, the main reason to get a security camera is to capture evidence information in hopes to get a positive ID on any criminal invading your property.

I've hit a brick wall right now as I want to add one more camera to my system. I would like to get a PTZ but I'm not happy with the size of the PTZs I've been considering. I don't want this big dome extending from the corner of my house if I can help it. I've been consulting with the guys at Wrightwood and they've said Hikvision doesn't really have a good PTZ at a sub $1000 range. He says the Dahua SD59230S is the best performing camera at a decent price. If I go with the Dahua, I would have to get a second NVR to capture video on this camera as I can't use my existing Hikvision NVR with the Dahua. Decisions...decisions.
The only reason why I started looking at Hikvision is because one of my 720p cameras failed, and they don't sell them any longer. This turned into a ton of research, reading and making decisions on which brand to go with. I am not using the Hikvision NVR, but rather my PC. Right now I'm running five 720p cameras and one 1080p camera (my second Hikvision is not installed yet) and my PC barely breaks 30% CPU utilization. I wonder what it'll do once I have six or eight 1080p cameras though.

The PTZs are very nice, but yes, they are a bit too bulky for me to mount them on my house. Not sure if I'd need it either, although it would be a fun toy. Some of the 20x optical zooms are very impressive. There is a guy on one of the forum who tracked himself all the way to McDonalds or something.

I've also been impressed by how quick the video image goes from my system to my mobile device, even with poor signal on my phone. On my old system, it used to take minutes sometime. With the Hikvisions, it's up less than a second or two. Even in the highest picture quality, I don't have many issues.
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      06-02-2015, 11:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P1et View Post
The only reason why I started looking at Hikvision is because one of my 720p cameras failed, and they don't sell them any longer. This turned into a ton of research, reading and making decisions on which brand to go with. I am not using the Hikvision NVR, but rather my PC. Right now I'm running five 720p cameras and one 1080p camera (my second Hikvision is not installed yet) and my PC barely breaks 30% CPU utilization. I wonder what it'll do once I have six or eight 1080p cameras though.

The PTZs are very nice, but yes, they are a bit too bulky for me to mount them on my house. Not sure if I'd need it either, although it would be a fun toy. Some of the 20x optical zooms are very impressive. There is a guy on one of the forum who tracked himself all the way to McDonalds or something.

I've also been impressed by how quick the video image goes from my system to my mobile device, even with poor signal on my phone. On my old system, it used to take minutes sometime. With the Hikvisions, it's up less than a second or two. Even in the highest picture quality, I don't have many issues.
The reason I opted for an appliance NVR instead of a PC is for concealment. I haven't done this yet, but I plan on hiding the NVR some place in the house that I can run an Ethernet cable to along with available power. I also plan on having a small UPS to power the NVR. The foot print of the NVR and a small UPS should provide me with plenty of concealment options.

The site I've posted reviews of the Hikvision also did a test of the Dahua I'm considering. He has video of the PTZ function of the Dahua and it's very very impressive. The speed/response and the image quality is just shocking. But I'm also following your line of thinking that a PTZ is a nice to have toy. I'm thinking about just adding another Hikvision 3332 and calling it a day along with saving myself a lot of money in the process.

I also like the fact I can have different user logins for the cameras. The Hikvision I'm using for a baby cam...I have a couple of user accounts set up on it. One which my wife and I use and another that I have given to my in laws to connect up over the Internet. Plus I can set permissions on what they can and can't do with the camera.
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      06-02-2015, 11:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zx10guy View Post
The reason I opted for an appliance NVR instead of a PC is for concealment. I haven't done this yet, but I plan on hiding the NVR some place in the house that I can run an Ethernet cable to along with available power. I also plan on having a small UPS to power the NVR. The foot print of the NVR and a small UPS should provide me with plenty of concealment options.

The site I've posted reviews of the Hikvision also did a test of the Dahua I'm considering. He has video of the PTZ function of the Dahua and it's very very impressive. The speed/response and the image quality is just shocking. But I'm also following your line of thinking that a PTZ is a nice to have toy. I'm thinking about just adding another Hikvision 3332 and calling it a day along with saving myself a lot of money in the process.

I also like the fact I can have different user logins for the cameras. The Hikvision I'm using for a baby cam...I have a couple of user accounts set up on it. One which my wife and I use and another that I have given to my in laws to connect up over the Internet. Plus I can set permissions on what they can and can't do with the camera.
That makes sense. I assume it just records 24/7, right? I've mine set up to record for a set amount of time where it keeps everything, then after that, only the motion detection. The idea of a UPS powering the NVR is not a bad idea. But what happens when the cameras get cut off also? Then I suppose they won't be recording either, right?

I saw the review on the PTZ you're mentioning. Insane how far you can zoom in. Do you ever shop on Aliexpress? The US resellers are literally twice as expensive as ordering it straight from China.
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      06-02-2015, 11:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bols View Post
Yea put up some Mobotix and Vivoteks at home and for some clients! The Mobotix's image is crisp as can be really nice! And since the new ones (M15) the user interface doesn't make you wait a few seconds every click so that is nice
Mobotix is very nice, but very expensive! I was looking at some of their cameras and was impressed that they've got 180 degree lenses. Best I have is 130 and already thought that was wide...
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      06-02-2015, 11:57 PM   #13
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What is everyone running for PoE switches? I have injectors now, but need a switch since I'll be adding more cameras.
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      06-03-2015, 12:02 AM   #14
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That makes sense. I assume it just records 24/7, right? I've mine set up to record for a set amount of time where it keeps everything, then after that, only the motion detection. The idea of a UPS powering the NVR is not a bad idea. But what happens when the cameras get cut off also? Then I suppose they won't be recording either, right?

I saw the review on the PTZ you're mentioning. Insane how far you can zoom in. Do you ever shop on Aliexpress? The US resellers are literally twice as expensive as ordering it straight from China.
The NVR only records when there is a motion event. I have the sensitivity cranked up pretty high right now. You can adjust the motion detection field of view so it's not triggering on areas you don't care about. I haven't found where I can set how long the NVR stores the video. So far, it seems that the NVR just keeps recording till it runs out of space and then deletes the oldest video at that point. As I said, 4TBs of storage seems like it'll provide years of archives. The nice thing about the NVR is there is a calendar which you just click on the particular day you want to see any captured video. The playback screen has a time bar at the bottom you can grab and scroll. Any captured video shows up as pink bars. This allows you to be able to quickly hone in on the time interval you're looking for. The NVR will also record audio if the camera has this capability...another bonus.

As far as powering the cameras if the power gets cut off, the NVR has a built in PoE switch. If I were using the NVR to supply power and network connectivity, I would definitely use a bigger UPS to ensure the NVR and camera have enough juice to run for a bit. But in my setup, I'm using a separate PoE+ capable switch that is also on its own UPS'. The switch has dual redundant power supplies and I have each power supply on a separate UPS.

I haven't considered ordering direct from China. The people at Wrightwood have been very good about spending time with me on the phone and via email both pre and post sales. I'd rather pay more for the support I'm getting. But that's just my personal decision and what works for me.

And since you saw the review of the Dahua, you can now understand why I keep gravitating back to wanting to buy one.
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      06-03-2015, 12:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zx10guy View Post
The NVR only records when there is a motion event. I have the sensitivity cranked up pretty high right now. You can adjust the motion detection field of view so it's not triggering on areas you don't care about. I haven't found where I can set how long the NVR stores the video. So far, it seems that the NVR just keeps recording till it runs out of space and then deletes the oldest video at that point. As I said, 4TBs of storage seems like it'll provide years of archives. The nice thing about the NVR is there is a calendar which you just click on the particular day you want to see any captured video. The playback screen has a time bar at the bottom you can grab and scroll. Any captured video shows up as pink bars. This allows you to be able to quickly hone in on the time interval you're looking for. The NVR will also record audio if the camera has this capability...another bonus.

As far as powering the cameras if the power gets cut off, the NVR has a built in PoE switch. If I were using the NVR to supply power and network connectivity, I would definitely use a bigger UPS to ensure the NVR and camera have enough juice to run for a bit. But in my setup, I'm using a separate PoE+ capable switch that is also on its own UPS'. The switch has dual redundant power supplies and I have each power supply on a separate UPS.

I haven't considered ordering direct from China. The people at Wrightwood have been very good about spending time with me on the phone and via email both pre and post sales. I'd rather pay more for the support I'm getting. But that's just my personal decision and what works for me.

And since you saw the review of the Dahua, you can now understand why I keep gravitating back to wanting to buy one.
Nice setup! You should definitely be covered once the power goes out. Which UPS are you using? Curious as it might be time for me to invest in one. If the cameras have edge recording, then it doesn't matter if the PC or NVR go down, as it'll keep recording on the SD card since it'll have a UPS connected to it.

So on the NVR, is that connected to its own monitor? Or do you just remote into it and watch it from your computer?
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      06-03-2015, 12:12 AM   #16
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What is everyone running for PoE switches? I have injectors now, but need a switch since I'll be adding more cameras.
I'm running a Dell Networking N3024P:

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/ne...g-n3000-series

I'm running this because of my IT job. That switch is also powering other PoE devices like my wireless APs.

Here's a pick of my network wall rack. The N3024P is just below the Panduit cable manager. The Juniper EX4200 above the Panduit cable manager also has 8 PoE ports on it.

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      06-03-2015, 12:21 AM   #17
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I'm running a Dell Networking N3024P:

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/ne...g-n3000-series

I'm running this because of my IT job. That switch is also powering other PoE devices like my wireless APs.

Here's a pick of my network wall rack. The N3024P is just below the Panduit cable manager. The Juniper EX4200 above the Panduit cable manager also has 8 PoE ports on it.

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      06-03-2015, 12:31 AM   #18
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Nice setup! You should definitely be covered once the power goes out. Which UPS are you using? Curious as it might be time for me to invest in one. If the cameras have edge recording, then it doesn't matter if the PC or NVR go down, as it'll keep recording on the SD card since it'll have a UPS connected to it.

So on the NVR, is that connected to its own monitor? Or do you just remote into it and watch it from your computer?
I'm using two of these APC 1500VA UPS':

http://www.apc.com/resource/include/...se_sku=BR1500G

As far as power outage goes, the UPS' are only there to keep the systems powered up for the short time my backup generator kicks in. I have a 20kW generator that will power the entire house.

Yes, you can connect the NVR to its own monitor via a VGA port. The NVR comes with generic USB optical mouse that you use to point an click. There's no provision for the use of a keyboard. Logging in is done via an onscreen virtual keyboard. When you're done using the local config GUI, the background screen displays all the active cameras reporting in to the NVR. So you can have the monitor up and running all the time to allow you to see what's going on. After configuring the NVR, I don't bother leaving a monitor on it. You can get to the NVR via IP address on your web browser which allows full access to all functions and video. When I'm home, I can just hit the IP and get to the NVR. When I'm away from home, I use an VPN to connect in to get access to the NVR. I don't feel comfortable exposing the NVR and the associated cameras directly to the Internet.
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      06-03-2015, 12:36 AM   #19
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Here's the rest of the equipment I have running in my house. The UPS I have running this rack at the bottom is a 3750W one running all the equipment at 220V.

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      06-03-2015, 12:41 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zx10guy View Post
I'm using two of these APC 1500VA UPS':

http://www.apc.com/resource/include/...se_sku=BR1500G

As far as power outage goes, the UPS' are only there to keep the systems powered up for the short time my backup generator kicks in. I have a 20kW generator that will power the entire house.

Yes, you can connect the NVR to its own monitor via a VGA port. The NVR comes with generic USB optical mouse that you use to point an click. There's no provision for the use of a keyboard. Logging in is done via an onscreen virtual keyboard. When you're done using the local config GUI, the background screen displays all the active cameras reporting in to the NVR. So you can have the monitor up and running all the time to allow you to see what's going on. After configuring the NVR, I don't bother leaving a monitor on it. You can get to the NVR via IP address on your web browser which allows full access to all functions and video. When I'm home, I can just hit the IP and get to the NVR. When I'm away from home, I use an VPN to connect in to get access to the NVR. I don't feel comfortable exposing the NVR and the associated cameras directly to the Internet.
I assume you have port forwarding on HTTP and HTTPS turned off, and just have the port open on your NVR? Do you think that with a strong password, it's easy to enter the NVR (without a VPN)?
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      06-03-2015, 12:42 AM   #21
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Here's the rest of the equipment I have running in my house. The UPS I have running this rack at the bottom is a 3750W one running all the equipment at 220V.

What in the dickens are you running from your house mate??? That is an intense setup.
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      06-03-2015, 12:53 AM   #22
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I assume you have port forwarding on HTTP and HTTPS turned off, and just have the port open on your NVR? Do you think that with a strong password, it's easy to enter the NVR (without a VPN)?
There are a number of ports you need to port forward to get the system to work over the Internet. I'll have to look at the firewall rules I've set up for the baby cam. The good thing about the setup whether it be the actual camera or the NVR is they both can run over HTTPS. Because the login is encrypted, it's probably pretty safe to connect in using a strong password. The other thing you can do as I mentioned above is to use a user account with stripped down privileges for use over the Internet. As far as I can tell, the NVR OS seems to be some stripped down Linux kernel.

I'm pretty paranoid due to my work in IT so I tend to go overboard with security.
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