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Author Topic: [Guide+Review] Prospero X-1.5. Up to 0.72W/GHs. Perfect for newbies!  (Read 6604 times)
Hakkane
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April 12, 2015, 07:35:56 AM
 #1




0) About Black Arrow
1) The concept
2) Specifications
3) Gallery
4) Configuration
5) Underclocking
6) Creative secondary uses
7) Veredict

0) About Black Arrow

I think any analysis of a product of BA should start with some words about the company. BA announced by the end of 2013 their new Minion chips, with a revolutionary (at that time) efficiency of 0.7W/GHs. 2 Miners were announced, the X-1 and the X-3, opening preorders by September of that year and promising delivering them no late than February 2014. What came before filled tons of threads and legal actions. No unit was shipped on time: the luckiest ones received them on October, many other never received them, promises of compensation with cloud mining where false, refunds never arrived… Moreover, the X-3 had design defects both in the PSU and the mainboard (unnecessary capacitators that were not removed for the final design, as confesed by BA in their forum) that provoked failures and fires. New people not familiar with the story of this company should read threads of the affected (as https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=774278.0) if they are considering buying any product of the company, especially as they have launched a new product, a hardware wallet.

The personal recommendation of who writes this is not buying in any case any product directly from this company. However, these days we can see many used X-1 and X-1.5 units on sale on eBay under $120, and I write this Guide+Review for those interested on buying it, as I think it has many advantages for newbies interested in start mining.

In spite I empathize completely with those affected by the company, I would like to strongly request them not to post here if it is for criticizing the company, as this thread is for helping those who have acquired a used unit. Of course, Black Arrow is not welcome to post here if it is not exclusively for contributing with technical info.

1) The concept

BA included their Minion chips in two completely different miners: 1) The server-oriented, big, heavy and noisy X-3, with 1 Th/s of mining power (as far as I know I think there is a revision with 2 Th/s), 2) The home-oriented, tiny and friendly X-1 (and its revision, the X-1.5) with 100 Gh/s (150Gh/s in the miner we talk about today). Both were conceived as totally stand-alone units: including an internal PSU, a control board, and a touch screen for configuring them. Just plug and mine. Have BA launched these miners on time, they would have probably became the reference for all the industry and BA a leader company.

The X-1.5 is a miner oriented to those who want a small, quiet and easy to operate miner. You don’t need to acquire a PSU (power supply unit) as with the big majority of the miners in market. Neither you need a control board, or a computer or a Raspberry Pi, everything is inside this box not much bigger than a computers ATX. You don’t even need a computer for the initial setup! You can do this on its touch screen. It comes with a WiFi antenna, so you can place it virtually on any place of your home. It is so discreet that probably no visits will ask you about it, so you will not feel as having a marijuana plantation at home.

2) Specifications

Dimensions: 8cm x 21cm x 23cm (3.15in x 8.27in x 9in)

Weight:
2.1kg

Chip architecture:
“The Minion”, with 28nm architecture

Hashing power:
150 Gh/s at default speed (100 Gh/s in the case of the X-1). It can be overclocked to 180 Gh/s

Power efficiency: BA claims 0.75 W/GHs. However, this is for the chip only. Considering the board, the fan, and loses of the PSU, in my hands they work at 135-140 Watts “at the wall” (measured with a watt-meter), meaning an efficiency of about 0.91 W/GHs. However, as I’ll show later we can underclock it up to 0.72, much more acceptable nowadays

Cooling: A titanic single 20cm fan from Cooling Master at the right side. Extremely quiet. Miner is not designed to be stacked to allow airflow. However, if underclocked, I would say you can stack 3 without problems

Control board: Rockchip motherboard running an Android 4.4.2. The SO is controlled thanks to a 4 inches display (not very responsive, I have to say). Older X-1 versions does not include the display, and uses an integrated Raspberry Pi model B instead. Miner software is cgminer.

PSU:
A customized PSU that BA claims have an efficiency of 92%. The connector is proprietary, so it can’t be replaced by a conventional PSU. Uses a 3-pronged power cable, “mickey mouse” style.

Connections:
1x Ethernet port, 1x WiFi antenna, 3x USB (1 front, 2 rear), microSD port (for use with Android and also for reflashing the unit). The X-1 does not include the WiFi capabilities.


3) Gallery













4) Configuration

1- Plug the power cord
2- Choose your mining pool (on screen or using a web interface)
3- Become rich!!!! (well, actually not…)

As simple as this!! Once powered on, the Android will launch Chrome browser on the screen and showing the stats of the miner. Temperature will be shown only as increments of 20ºC (if other number is shown, it is the average of the Prosperos on your rig). Pressing “Pool” will take you to a simple screen in which you configure your main pool and 2 backups. “>” and then “Device” takes you to clocking settings.



The 3 buttons in the bottom allows you to navigate through the Android system. You can install and use any android app (yes, you can install Office or Angry Birds). The Blackarrow app in the main screen takes you back to the miner info page, while Settings will let you configure things as the WiFi network.

Alternatively, you can use other computer. Open a web browser and type the IP address that the miner page of your unit shows. For example http://192.168.0.5



User name: user
Password: blackarrow
Yubikey: don’t type anything

The interface is completely different from the one of the miners, but you can see detailed statistics and configure mostly the same things.

Just one important note: NEVER UPDATE THE MINER TO v1.18, as the interface suggests. Several users have reported instabilities or even bricked miners. That update was prepared for the X-3, and not optimized for its small brothers. I suggest you versions 1.16, 1.17 or whichever your miner includes by default. More info in the Black Arrow forum: http://ecointalk.net/
 
5) Underclocking

These instructions are not my merit, but the merit of the people in BA forums, I’m just compiling them. Thanks to them. The easiest way is go to the “Device” page from the miner info page, and set a voltage form the list below, but I discovered that several times the miner will resist it and go back to default settings. So I recommend you go the hard way: by SSH using a terminal (you know, that black screens with white text you see in films about hackers). Don’t worry, it is actually very easy and I’ll guide you step by step:

1 – Download and unzip the Putty software: http://www.putty.org/
2- Open it. Write your miner’s IP addres (remember, it is on your miner’s screen) and click Open
3- When it requests a user, type: ba (and press enter, of course)
4- When it requests a password, type: ba (and enter)
5- Congrats, you have hacked it and you are now the superuser!! Now let’s go to the appropriate folder, type: cd /home/ba/bamc (and hit enter)
6- Let’s see what is inside, type: ls –al (enter)
7a- Newer versions of the firmware will include the file “bamc.conf”. Type: nano bamc.conf
8a- Go to the line Voltage (with the arrow keys of your keyboard) and change it with one of the values of the table below. Pres Ctrl+X, press “y” to overwrite the file. Unplug your miner and plug it in again
7b- Older versions. Type: cgminer.sh. Localize the line “power_manager 80” and change the “80” with the hexadecimal code of the voltage you want (see table below). Crtl+X to exit, save it and unplug the miner.

Once done, the miner will restart several times the cgminer until it finds an appropriate clocking frequency. In my hands, the trick is to find the minimum voltage that drives to a Frequency of 500 Hz, or the next superior voltage value if it is a bit unstable (many errors mining). I recommend you to test several, using a watt-metter to assess your real efficiency. In my hands, in general a Voltage of 0.6625 drives 100 Gh/s at 72 watts with only a 0.1% of errors (better than default settings). But this optimal voltage can be different depending on the particular miner. This is the table of accepted voltages and the corresponding hexadecimal code:

0.85000   7A
0.84375    7B
0.83750    7C
0.83125    7D
0.82500    7E
0.81875    7F
0.81250    80
0.80625    81
0.80000    82
0.79375    83
0.78750    84
0.78125    85
0.77500    86
0.76875    87
0.76250    88
0.75625    89
0.75000    8A
0.74375    8B
0.73750    8C
0.73125    8D
0.72500    8E
0.71875    8F
0.71250    90
0.70625    91
0.70000    92
0.69375    93
0.68750    94
0.68125    95
0.67500    96
0.66875    97
0.66250    98
0.65625    99
0.65000    9A
0.64375    9B
0.63750    9C
0.63125    9D
0.62500    9E

6) Creative secondary uses

Many times we complain about the fact that ASICs are machines that can’t be used for any other purpose than mining, with the exception of heating your home. Well, I would say the Prospero X-1/1.5 is the first miner with further uses once it’s life as miner has ended. You just need imagination:

- Android computer. You have a whole Android thing with a 4-inch display. Flash it, root it, play with it. I don’t know much about android or modding, but if you can install a linux on it, I can imagine serveral uses: storage server if you connect an HDD? Set-top-box using Miracast? The first version of of the X-1 came with a Raspberry Pi model B instead of the android thing, so you can use it for even more things!

- USB power supply. It has 3 USB! Three! You can charge your phone, your girlfriend’s phone and your tablet at the same time, while you admire those fancy green and blue lights :-D

- Mining board for USB miners? It has USBs. It is a linux machine, after all. It is running cgminer. I haven’t tested it, but theory says it should work as a control board for other miners! An rPi costs $30, and this thing about $120, ok, but you have in the same package a display (a modder for sure will be able to do incredible things), WiFi connectivity and 150 extra GH/s for your rig!!! A nice deal, I would say.


7) Veredict

This miner belongs to a past generation, and the current generation (Avalon 4.1, Antminer S5, SP20-30-35) reach speeds much higher and efficiencies under 0.55 W/Ghs. This miner nowadays is not profitable: Even people not paying the electricity would need more than one year to return their investment.

In the current scene of more and more centralized bitcoin mining, manufacturers only develop miners for big data centers and farms, where cooling and noise is not a problem. But what about home miners and hobbyists, who usually can’t host a noisy a hot machine. What about those who want to mine but don’t want to have a mess of cables on a table from the PSU to the miner, those who doesn’t know nothing about mining, but only want something small over a shelf? The exception is the Avalon 4.1, very quiet and of a manageable size, but it is extremely costly. For beginners, the S3 is usually recommended due to its reduced price and noise, but the buyer needs to acquire a PSU, and some people don’t like to have a mess of cables looking as if they were going to ignite at any moment.

They may be producing a ridiculous amount of Bitcoin at the moment (about 0.0015/day today, April 2015) but the current price of used units makes the Prospero X-1.5 a good option for beginners. Miner, PSU, cooling and controller, all inside a small black metaled brick, equipped with interesting extras as WiFi connectivity and a touch screen to make it completely stand-alone. Those who pay moderately high electricity can underclock it under 0.75 W/Ghs, thus at least paying its electricity consumption. Extremely quiet (I run 3 on my small NYC apartment) and producing barely appreciable heat.

Ready to mine without any knowledge about efficiencies of PSUs, modding, rPIs, flashed SD cards, linux or different mining software. Just plug it in, choose your pool, and forget it.


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April 12, 2015, 08:30:20 AM
 #2

Nice LCD screen on the unit. But it being 1W/Ghash and only 150Gh/s its useless for most people.


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April 12, 2015, 08:36:20 AM
 #3

Nicely done on the review.  That is a heck of a lcd on this unit.  Is it a certain brand tablet? Or just generic?
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April 12, 2015, 09:32:55 AM
 #4

As long as you DO NOT BUY from BlackArrow directly (you will never receive any product).

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=294197.7580

I had 3 of these,sold them,1 had issues shortly after my buyer got it.He had to do some soldering on the board to get it to work again,never really said what broke.

Be careful buying these things,they are delicate.

Better to get an old S3 than take a chance on these X1's or X3's  Roll Eyes

"If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day long, you are the asshole."  -Raylan Givens
Got GOXXED ?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KiqRpPiJAU&feature=youtu.be
"An ASIC being late is perfectly normal, predictable, and legal..."Hashfast & BFL slogan Smiley
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April 12, 2015, 10:30:07 AM
 #5

There's no doubt that it's a nice guide, someone has put a lot of effort into doing it. But why go to so much trouble on such an inferior unit from a notoriously scammy company?

I'm also concerned about the title - "perfect for newbies". It just sounds like you are trying to encourage noobs to purchase them from BlackArrow & get ripped off, even providing a link to the BA forum that is heavily moderated to eliminate bad customer feedback - of which there is plenty. It's anything BUT perfect for noobs, or anyone else for that matter  Tongue
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April 12, 2015, 10:44:22 AM
 #6

This machine is ideal for mining DigiByte!
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April 12, 2015, 11:39:57 AM
 #7

This machine is ideal for mining DigiByte!



really i wouldn't put anything below S 3 speed  even on that alt coin or any coin for that mater unless your solo mining then it won't mater what you use, just power cost then .
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April 12, 2015, 12:00:13 PM
 #8

This machine is ideal for mining DigiByte!



really i wouldn't put anything below S 3 speed  even on that alt coin or any coin for that mater unless your solo mining then it won't mater what you use, just power cost then .

You would be investing or gambling whichever way you want to look at it. The cost of power outweighs the revenue made from the coin at the moment so would be looking to hold onto your coins. You may ask, why not just buy Digibyte with BTC then? Because, you would not be supporting the overall network. DigiByte is striving to build a real distributed network, inline with the original ideas of BTC which nobody can call distributed anymore. So by supporting the DigiByte network you would be helping to make it more stable and harder for unknown entities manipulating the DigiByte market, which they are certainly doing now driving the price down.
You could use any miner but the X1 and X1.5 are very quite running, stand alone and don't cost that much to run.


"Warren Buffet didn't become successful by watching the markets and then doing what everyone else was doing!"
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April 12, 2015, 12:08:49 PM
 #9

This machine is ideal for mining DigiByte!



really i wouldn't put anything below S 3 speed  even on that alt coin or any coin for that mater unless your solo mining then it won't mater what you use, just power cost then .

You would be investing or gambling whichever way you want to look at it. The cost of power outweighs the revenue made from the coin at the moment so would be looking to hold onto your coins. You may ask, why not just buy Digibyte with BTC then? Because, you would not be supporting the overall network. DigiByte is striving to build a real distributed network, inline with the original ideas of BTC which nobody can call distributed anymore. So by supporting the DigiByte network you would be helping to make it more stable and harder for unknown entities manipulating the DigiByte market, which they are certainly doing now driving the price down.
You could use any miner but the X1 and X1.5 are very quite running, stand alone and don't cost that much to run.


"Warren Buffet didn't become successful by watching the markets and then doing what everyone else was doing!"


I'M to old in real live to worry about cash or anything else at this point, i do very good mining bitcoins in my home farm and any miner is doing what you say no mater what coin. but i also do it as a very costly hobby and have a lot of fun doing it, but if i was to make it my living i could see me making like 50 to 60 K or more month mining but not in my home id have to move it to a building some place and buy more miner etc . I see your point but do you really think they will happen bitcoins would have to go back up to 500 each then it might . but that's me

And

I would never buy this thing it's to slow it looks nice but to slow . i don't watch the markets or cost of things if i did i would have stopped mining bitcoins a long a time ago. i have mined DigiByte saw no value in it . there is other alt coins i would mine before these that have been around a lot longer that can pay 0.001 btc and do with a S3 in a day, but again that's me and above all i mean no disrespect . Smiley .i have to use what i have  wisely i do need to recover some lose not pay it all out of my pocket . but again no disrespect is meant ever by anything i say to any one i have  a lot of respect for any one and everyone.
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April 12, 2015, 12:18:43 PM
 #10

This machine is ideal for mining DigiByte!



really i wouldn't put anything below S 3 speed  even on that alt coin or any coin for that mater unless your solo mining then it won't mater what you use, just power cost then .

You would be investing or gambling whichever way you want to look at it. The cost of power outweighs the revenue made from the coin at the moment so would be looking to hold onto your coins. You may ask, why not just buy Digibyte with BTC then? Because, you would not be supporting the overall network. DigiByte is striving to build a real distributed network, inline with the original ideas of BTC which nobody can call distributed anymore. So by supporting the DigiByte network you would be helping to make it more stable and harder for unknown entities manipulating the DigiByte market, which they are certainly doing now driving the price down.
You could use any miner but the X1 and X1.5 are very quite running, stand alone and don't cost that much to run.


"Warren Buffet didn't become successful by watching the markets and then doing what everyone else was doing!"


I'M to old in real live to worry about cash or anything else at this point, i do very good mining bitcoins in my home farm and any miner is doing what you say no mater what coin. but i also do it as a very costly hobby and have a lot of fun doing it, but if i was to make it my living i could see me making like 50 to 60 K or more month mining but not in my home id have to move it to a building some place and buy more miner etc . I see your point but do you really think they will happen bitcoins would have to go back up to 500 each then it might .
You are not that different from me then and we would welcome you over at DigiByte, please come over and support us and I don't see any reason for BTC not to return to $500 and beyond, it's just not going to happen today!  Smiley

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=408268.0
http://digihash.co/
http://www.digibyte.co/
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April 12, 2015, 01:11:26 PM
 #11



"And

I would never buy this thing it's to slow it looks nice but to slow . i don't watch the markets or cost of things if i did i would have stopped mining bitcoins a long a time ago. i have mined DigiByte saw no value in it . there is other alt coins i would mine before these that have been around a lot longer that can pay 0.01 btc and do with a S3 in a day, but again that's me and above all i mean no disrespect . Smiley .i have to use what i have  wisely i do need to recover some lose not pay it all out of my pocket . but again no disrespect is meant ever by anything i say to any one i have  a lot of respect for any one and everyone. "

No offense taken. DGB in the 60sat is pretty much on par with BTC earnings and even at 60 sat is grossly undervalued in my opinion. The thing is, on average only 33% of the net sha hash of Digibyte is owned by the true DigiByte community. The other is what is pushing the price down, quite intentionally, again IMO and I think this is true for pretty much all other alternative coins.  Smiley
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April 12, 2015, 01:23:34 PM
 #12

Mybad meant  0.001 or  more not 0.01 with a S3 if that was the case i think id have my S5 on that alt coin all the time . sorry .
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April 12, 2015, 01:28:54 PM
 #13

Black Arrow is a scam company and stole millions from investors.  Do not do business with them.  There also is no confirmed X1.5 units that have shipped yet, since they were supposed to be for compensation and BA reneged on sending any compensation to those who got screwed by them.


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Jumbley
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April 12, 2015, 01:46:43 PM
 #14

Black Arrow is a scam company and stole millions from investors.  Do not do business with them.  There also is no confirmed X1.5 units that have shipped yet, since they were supposed to be for compensation and BA reneged on sending any compensation to those who got screwed by them.
They  definitely shipped some X1.5 miners to people that ordered X1s originally. I'm afraid it is true to say BA has very few, if any satisfied customers!
As far as I know you can't get these new, this is a second hand market, I think!

"In spite I empathize completely with those affected by the company, I would like to strongly request them not to post here if it is for criticizing the company, as this thread is for helping those who have acquired a used unit. Of course, Black Arrow is not welcome to post here if it is not exclusively for contributing with technical info."

sorry Hakkane!
Meech
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April 12, 2015, 04:55:24 PM
 #15

Nice review on a terrible company.  I almost bought 5 X1's glad I didn't.  But great review and well done.  Seems they spent more on the lcd than anything else.
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April 12, 2015, 05:48:11 PM
 #16

Nicely done on the review.  That is a heck of a lcd on this unit.  Is it a certain brand tablet? Or just generic?
Thanks a lot :-) No, it is not a real tablet. Just a Rockchip motherboard connected to a LCD screen. However it can be used as an Android thing, in spite the screen is not very responsive and the processor a bit slow. It reminds me to the cheap android phones of 2-3 years ago.

I'm also concerned about the title - "perfect for newbies". It just sounds like you are trying to encourage noobs to purchase them from BlackArrow & get ripped off, even providing a link to the BA forum that is heavily moderated to eliminate bad customer feedback - of which there is plenty. It's anything BUT perfect for noobs, or anyone else for that matter  Tongue
Would you be so kind to read again the first paragraphs of the OP, more carefully?. You will see I state very clearly things as "The personal recommendation of who writes this is not buying in any case any product directly from this company". Would you be so kind also to check the thread I link? If you do it you'll see it is NOT the official BA thread but the main thread of people affected by the scam. Thanks

Black Arrow is a scam company and stole millions from investors.  Do not do business with them.  There also is no confirmed X1.5 units that have shipped yet, since they were supposed to be for compensation and BA reneged on sending any compensation to those who got screwed by them.
They  definitely shipped some X1.5 miners to people that ordered X1s originally. I'm afraid it is true to say BA has very few, if any satisfied customers!
As far as I know you can't get these new, this is a second hand market, I think!

"In spite I empathize completely with those affected by the company, I would like to strongly request them not to post here if it is for criticizing the company, as this thread is for helping those who have acquired a used unit. Of course, Black Arrow is not welcome to post here if it is not exclusively for contributing with technical info."

sorry Hakkane!
It's ok. People affected by the scam have the right to protest and I hope some day justice will be deliverd to those behind the company. But there are already several threads for those claims: this thread is for a different thing. In the last weeks I started to see many listings on eBay of Prosperos, that probably will end in the hands of unexperienced people, as they are cheap. Those people eventually will land in this forum, and I wrote this hoping I can help them. Just to clarify: I am NOT a happy BA costumer: I bought my 3 units on eBay, so I'm a happy costumer of my eBayer.

Nice review on a terrible company.  I almost bought 5 X1's glad I didn't.  But great review and well done.  Seems they spent more on the lcd than anything else.
Thaaanks! ^_^
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April 13, 2015, 10:37:37 PM
 #17

Great post. I wasn't sure that these units ever made it out.

Just a side note: I'd be interested in buying this miner if you're up for selling it.

Thanks!
notlist3d
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April 13, 2015, 10:47:40 PM
 #18

I was looking at ones being sold.  I would be mad if I didn't get that screen.  It makes a decent amount of don't have screen and are worth a decent amount less.
Meech
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April 14, 2015, 12:49:43 AM
 #19

I was looking at ones being sold.  I would be mad if I didn't get that screen.  It makes a decent amount of don't have screen and are worth a decent amount less.
I agree the screen and the possibilities of going Frankenstein on it may make it worth it.  Interesting none the less.
Narcisse
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July 28, 2015, 01:43:50 PM
 #20

Black Arrow is a scam company and stole millions from investors.  Do not do business with them.  There also is no confirmed X1.5 units that have shipped yet, since they were supposed to be for compensation and BA reneged on sending any compensation to those who got screwed by them.

I was lucky and scored 2x X1.5 units with power cord, wifi antenna, screens for $80.
Theyre a hell of a lot nicer to play around with and the power consumption alongside
my single Rockminer New-Rbox is a hell of a lot more enticing than my first miner
which was a bulky, power hungry monster Antminer S-1.

Oh they also came with the original invoice and ship date which was in June-2015.
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