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Old 07-11-2011, 03:39 PM   #225
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Q. For all three (black wires), the overhead lights came on throughout the trailer.
A. The device at the bottom of the photo is a distribution block, the metal strip on the left is a buss that connects to all three black wires. That' why all of the lights came on.
Problem: I then put two 20 amp glass fuses in the fuse holders and connected the charger to the - and + battery cables and got nothing.
Solution: Try connecting the charger to the two wires that were connected to the converter, it should give you lights. There are probably two wires that connect to the battery and two wires that connect to the fuse block and when you removed the converter you opened the battery connection.

Question: Can I make do with the fuse box or should I get another and just wire it up the same? If I can use the existing wires that are inside the walls of the trailer, I'd like to do that.
Answer: If the lights work when you connect the charger to where the converter was ,yes you can use it. Make sure the fuses are in place when you test it.

Are there separate wires that head off in the direction of the battery. How many wires did you disconnect from the converter? Not counting the 120 AC side
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:53 PM   #226
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It looks like there are 5 branch circuits leaving the distribution block. The three blacks, a red and what looks greenish black (it is connected to the same screw as the red wire). All of these are +12 volt DC.
One of these probably went to the furnace and the other to the water pump.
Are those white wires connected to the fuse on the right?
Does the wire that comes off of the right fuse go to? the wire nut in the bottom of the pic?
It looks like there was only one 20 amp circuit in the trailer feeding everything. If I am correct the left hand fuse is for the positive side of the circuit and the left hand fuse is for the negative side.
Are the red an white wires that come into the top of the panel the same wires that go to the old converter location. You will know if you connect the charger to where the converter was connected.
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:12 PM   #227
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Let's figure out your fuses before you go any further. 20 amp fuses should be fine for testing. Putting larger ones in won't make any difference.

Take a look at the pdf I attached. I took your file and added number's 1, 2, 3, & 4 & some red arrows to it.

When you connected the charger to the wires feeding the fuses, were those wires the ones pointed to with the #1 red box? If yes, that's good.

Step 1: Connect your negative and positive leads from your charger to the fuse holders at spot #1, and see if the lights work. If not, go to step 2.

If yes, then the wires or the connectors to the wires from the fuse holders are bad. Or, at least one of them is bad. If the lights work, try moving the negative lead from the charger to the trailer like you did before. If the lights still work, then the positive wire or connection is bad.

Step 2: connect the charger to places shown by the #2 in the diagram. This is the output side of the fuses. If the light still do not work, go to step 3.

If the lights do work here, but not at step 1, then at least one of the fuse holders is bad. You can move the charger leads to the other side of the fuse one at a time to narrow down which one is bad. Might be as simple as corrosion on the holders preventing them from making good contact with the fuses.

Step 3: Take the positive lead of the charger and connect to spot #3 on the diagram. Leave the negative side where it was on the output of the fuse (#2). If the lights do not work, go to step 4.

If the lights work, then the wire between #2 and #3 on the red side is bad, or again, one of the connections is bad.

Step 4: Take the negative lead of the charger and connect to the trailer. Leave the positive lead where it is. If the lights do not work, go to step 5.

If the lights now work, then the problem is somewhere between the output side of the negative fuse and where it attaches to the trailer. That might be hard to find since the wire goes into the wall. May be time for a replacement wire.

Step 5: Put the negative lead from your charger back on spot #2. Move the positive lead from your charger to spot #4.

If the lights now work, then the problem is in between #3 and #4. If that's a distribution block, then somehow it's gone bad.

If the lights do not work, move the negative lead from your charger to the trailer, and the lights should work again. If this happens, then both the distribution block and the ground wire from the negative fuse to the trailer are both bad.

Hope this makes sense and helps.

Chris
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File Type: pdf 12V fuse box chris.pdf (219.0 KB, 38 views)
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:49 PM   #228
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Correction

Meant to say right hand fuse is for the negative side of the circuits. If you connect the black lead of the charger to the white wire and the red lead of the charge to the red wire. I think everything will work; unless you have a bad fuse holder.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:44 AM   #229
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Test results

Problem: I then put two 20 amp glass fuses in the fuse holders and connected the charger to the - and + battery cables and got nothing.

Solution: Try connecting the charger to the two wires that were connected to the converter, it should give you lights. Yes, the lights came on.


Question: Can I make do with the fuse box or should I get another and just wire it up the same? If I can use the existing wires that are inside the walls of the trailer, I'd like to do that.

Answer: If the lights work when you connect the charger to where the converter was ,yes you can use it. Make sure the fuses are in place when you test it. Fuses were in place.

Are there separate wires that head off in the direction of the battery. The two wires (red/white) coming out of the top above the fuses have battery connections on them. How many wires did you disconnect from the converter? Not counting the 120 AC side As well as I remember, only the 2 (red/white) wires on the street side of the trailer other than the 120 AC wires.


It looks like there are 5 branch circuits leaving the distribution block. The three blacks, a red and what looks greenish black Its dirty black (it is connected to the same screw as the red wire). All of these are +12 volt DC.


One of these probably went to the furnace and the other to the water pump. Furnace is no more, water pump will be moved to front of trailer near fresh water tank. I will need to run a new 12V wire to it. Where do I put it in the fuse box? Or should I just get a larger fuse box?

Are those white wires connected to the fuse on the right? There is a large yellow wire from the connection just below the fuse holder on the right and it goes into the wire nut.

Does the wire that comes off of the right fuse go to? the wire nut in the bottom of the pic? That is the yellow wire and it goes to the big wire nut that has 3 white and another yellow with it. The 3 white and other yellow go inside the trailer.

Are the red and white wires that come into the top of the panel the same wires that go to the old converter location. No. They go to the battery. You will know if you connect the charger to where the converter was connected.


Let's figure out your fuses before you go any further. 20 amp fuses should be fine for testing. Putting larger ones in won't make any difference.

When you connected the charger to the wires feeding the fuses, were those wires the ones pointed to with the #1 red box? If yes, that's good. Yes, and the lights worked.

Step 1: Connect your negative and positive leads from your charger to the fuse holders at spot #1, and see if the lights work. If not, go to step 2. the lights work

If yes, then the wires or the connectors to the wires from the fuse holders are bad. Or, at least one of them is bad. If the lights work, try moving the negative lead from the charger to the trailer like you did before. If the lights still work, then the positive wire or connection is bad. the lights work

Step 2: connect the charger to places shown by the #2 in the diagram. This is the output side of the fuses. If the light still do not work, go to step 3. the lights work

If the lights do work here, but not at step 1, then at least one of the fuse holders is bad. You can move the charger leads to the other side of the fuse one at a time to narrow down which one is bad. Might be as simple as corrosion on the holders preventing them from making good contact with the fuses. Not sure what I was supposed to do here... The lights worked here and at step 1.

Step 3: Take the positive lead of the charger and connect to spot #3 on the diagram. Leave the negative side where it was on the output of the fuse (#2). If the lights do not work, go to step 4. the lights work

If the lights work, then the wire between #2 and #3 on the red side is bad, or again, one of the connections is bad.

Step 4: Take the negative lead of the charger and connect to the trailer. Leave the positive lead where it is. If the lights do not work, go to step 5. the lights work

If the lights now work, then the problem is somewhere between the output side of the negative fuse and where it attaches to the trailer. That might be hard to find since the wire goes into the wall. May be time for a replacement wire.

Step 5: Put the negative lead from your charger back on spot #2. Move the positive lead from your charger to spot #4. the lights didnít work

If the lights now work, then the problem is in between #3 and #4. If that's a distribution block, then somehow it's gone bad.

If the lights do not work, move the negative lead from your charger to the trailer, and the lights should work again. the lights work If this happens, then both the distribution block and the ground wire from the negative fuse to the trailer are both bad.

Hope this makes sense and helps. Sorta makes sense but I'm not sure what I do now. Carry around the battery charger and use it for lights? Get a new fuse box and wire up the old wires to it? Get a new fuse box and run new wires everywhere? If I am able to use what's there, what do I do about adding new wiring for the water pump, fridge and light over the bed?



Since the red and white wires on the street side that were connected to the converter are in not so good shape, can I just run new red and white wires directly from the new converter (which came in already) to the fuse box? If so, where do I put them? Or would it be better to just tie in new wires to the ones already there so I know it will work because it is already connected where it is supposed to be?


Thanks again, and again, and again for your help!
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:02 PM   #230
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Lindy; Read this all the way thru, you may want to just hook up the new converter instead of using the charger.
Once you get the lights to work, set your meter to DC then connect the red lead of the meter to the bottom of the fuse on the left and connect the black lead to the bottom of the fuse on the right. I'm trying to determine if the right hand fuse is in the common/ground side of the circuit. If you get 12 or more (maybe 13.5 or so) volts then the right side fuse and all wiring associated with it are common/ground. If you don't get 12 volts then connect the black lead of the meter to the skin of the trailer and check for voltage at the bottom of each fuse.
Even though you removed the furnace; somewhere in that area there should be a +12 volt wire that powered the furnace. There may be a white wire there as well. First check for voltage between the red or dirty black wire and the skin. If you don't read anything and there is a white wire, put the black lead of the meter on the white wire and check for voltage with the red lead on the other wire. My guess is that it is either the red or dirty black wire that is on the bottom of distribution block.
The same goes for the pump, there should be wire(s) going to it.
So connect the charger the way you had it to get the lights to work, then take your meter, set it to DC and test to see if you have voltage at any wires in the area of the furnace and water pump. Connect the black lead of the meter to the skin of the trailer then test the wire with the red lead.

You don't have to carry the charger around if you have the new converter, just wire it in where the old one was wired. If there were only two wires on the old converter and they are red and white. Connect the red wire to the + terminal and the white wire on the minus terminal. Even if this is a temporary setup, you can do a lot of trouble shooting. Of coarse you must have 120 volt AC to the converter as well. If it is a lot of trouble to get the 120 volt AC connected then just plug the converter into an extension cord to do the testing.
We need to identify all of the existing wiring.
If the lights work you don't have to rewire anything in my opinion. Also if you can determine what powered the old furnace and the wire looks OK then reuse it on the new furnace.
Since you are relocating the pump, you will probably have to add new wires). As for the old pump wiring, once you identify it at both ends you can just tape the ends off and tuck them away. I would put tags on each end for future identification.
You could install a new fuse block with a separate fuse for the pump and furnace and anything else you might add. Just connect the wire that comes from the distribution block to a 20 amp fuse on the new fuse block.
Once you have ID'd the red and diry black wires at the bottom of the distribution block you can make a determination of how you want to connect them.
Let's see what you find after going thru the steps above.
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:18 PM   #231
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Solving the mysteries...

OK, this is what i did today:

1. hooked up the new converter to the old red and white wires that were hooked to the old converter (after putting that shrink stuff over the exposed parts of the wire).

2. plugged the new converter into an extension cord (because I've taken apart my breaker box). Lights came on.

3. got these readings:

At screw at the bottom where the big red and dirty black wire come out: 12.57

At the battery cable connectors (the things that hook to the battery): 12.92

At the cloth covered wire (black and white inside - looks like 120 AC wiring) in the cabinet at the front of the trailer: 11.6

At the cloth covered wire (black and white inside - looks like 120 AC wiring)where the furnace was: 12.37

4. Then there were the mysteries! There was a mystery switch (a regular 120 VAC light switch) in the panel of the cabinet where the fridge is (got a 12.25 reading) and there were some mystery wires in the closet in the back (see pics). There was also a cloth covered wire in the back (where the old water pump used to be) with black and white wire inside that looks like 120AC that I was SURE was for the water pump but I couldn't get a reading on it.

The closet wires are two cloth covered wires coming out of the wall with a black and white wire in each. These were wired together with a wire nut. I undid that and got a reading of 13.07 on one and 0.00 on the other. I then checked the furnace wire and mystery switch and got nothing. I put the closet wires back together and checked the furnace wire and switch and got readings again.

THEN it dawned on me that the mystery switch HAD to be for the water pump. I turned on the switch, went to the back and checked the wire back there and voila! got 12.33!

So, if I'm correct, the same circuit powers the furnace and the water pump and switch, right? Is that ok?

Now, for my questions:

1. Why can't I just connect a 12V wire (12 gauge) to the existing water pump wire (black) and run it up to the front where the new water pump will be? That way the switch would still work for it, wouldn't it?. Would I need to put a 20 amp in-line fuse in the wire just to be on the safe side? What I don't know is what do I do with the white wire? Connect it to the skin? Connect another white wire to it and run it to the front where the pump is? And then do what?

2. We haven't decided yet whether to put in a real furnace ($$$) or maybe a catalytic heater (are those safe?) so couldn't I just wire nut off the black and white (separately, of course) and have it there when/if I need it later?

3. The wire in the cabinet at the front of the trailer (11.6 reading) isn't needed for anything since there are already enough lights there so could I somehow bring that wire down through a wire chase and around the perimeter (all the way around) over to the fridge and use that as my maybe-I'll-need-it fridge wire? Just have it hang out there until I need it?

4. Can I run a 14 gauge wire from the connected wires in the closet to power a reading lamp over the bed? If I put the 14 gauge wire in with the black wires, how do I ground the light? Put the ground wire in with the white wires in the wire nut?

5. Finally, a bit off topic, there is a little tube sticking down in the back with a little threaded hole above it to the outside. The PO said this was a vent tube for the battery but when I blew on it I couldn't get any air to go through it. Any idea what this might be?

Are there any other tests I need to do? Do these readings look good or not? I couldn't find any other wires that were orphans - everything else seemed to be 120VAC - the a/c switch, another wire in the closet that looks like it used to go to a lamp and the 2nd wire for the furnace. I tested them with my little meter and didn't get any reading at all.

I don't know about you guys, but this is FUN! I always did love a good mystery.
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:52 PM   #232
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Did you get a reading when you put the meter across the two fuses? Red meter lead to the red wire; black meter lead to the white wire.
If so; it looks like the cloth covered wire has both the positive 12 volts (black wire) and the common/ground (white wire). To prove this put your meter on these wires; red meter lead to the black wire; black meter lead to the white wire. I believe you will get a reading on all of these cloth covered cables.
If so, when you go to connect the pump. Connect the red pump lead to the black (cloth covered wire) and the black pimp lead to the white (cloth covered wire.
The answer to the first 4 questions is "YES". But there are conditions for question #1.
As for grounding the new light. If the white wire in the old cloth covered cable is in fact the ground/common; tie it ti the skin and do the same for the light.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:11 PM   #233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
Did you get a reading when you put the meter across the two fuses? Red meter lead to the red wire; black meter lead to the white wire.
If so; it looks like the cloth covered wire has both the positive 12 volts (black wire) and the common/ground (white wire). To prove this put your meter on these wires; red meter lead to the black wire; black meter lead to the white wire. I believe you will get a reading on all of these cloth covered cables.
If so, when you go to connect the pump. Connect the red pump lead to the black (cloth covered wire) and the black pimp lead to the white (cloth covered wire.
The answer to the first 4 questions is "YES". But there are conditions for question #1.
As for grounding the new light. If the white wire in the old cloth covered cable is in fact the ground/common; tie it ti the skin and do the same for the light.
I don't think I tested between the two fuses. I'll do that tomorrow. But on the other cloth covered wires I tested with the red meter wire to the black wire and the black meter wire to the white and it gave me a reading. (I had to think about it every time I tested to get the black and red and white and black right)

What are the conditions for question #1????
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:11 PM   #234
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Have you identified the red and dirty black wires that comes off of the distribution block? Do you know what their function is? How do the battery wires connect to the system? Maybe it is one of the two mystery circuits.
It sounds to me like everything DC is fed thru the one 20 amp fuse with the red wire. The white wire and 20 amp fuse is the negative (common/ground) side of the circuits. The large wire nut serves as the common/ground buss.
If I am correct, there is no reason to put an inline fuse on the pump circuit since it is already on a 20 amp circuit.
I would recommend installing a new fuse block. Install it to replace the 20 amp fuse on the left. Like the one you put in the Traveler. Leave the other 20 amp fuse as is.
Once you've ID'd the red and dirty black wires you can determine what to do with them.
With the new fuse block you can be more flexible. For example:
Use one 20 amp fuse to power the existing distribution block. For the three black wires (lighting).
Add a new circuit (fuse) for the pump power. if it is combined with the furnace then 20 amp should do. If you choose to do so you have the flexibility to separate the pump and furnace. Because you have extra fuse space.


In this photo there are 5 grommets on the right side of the panel. I would guess that the three lower grommets and associated wiring is for lighting, pump and furnace. Since everything seems to be powered by the cloth covered wires.
The second grommet from the top may be the common/ground wires that are the mates for the red and dirty black wire connected to the bottom of the distribution block. But you need to confirm this. Again maybe two of these wires are connected to the battery.
For example: If the red wire along with the white wire go to the house battery.
Maybe the dirty black wire and the other white (or yellow) are the TV charge and commom/ground wires. The last two would connect to the UCord somewhere.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:53 PM   #235
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I'm really confused

Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
Have you identified the red and dirty black wires that comes off of the distribution block? Do you know what their function is? How do the battery wires connect to the system? Maybe it is one of the two mystery circuits.
It sounds to me like everything DC is fed thru the one 20 amp fuse with the red wire. The white wire and 20 amp fuse is the negative (common/ground) side of the circuits.
If I am correct, there is no reason to put an inline fuse on the pump circuit since it is already on a 20 amp circuit.
I would recommend installing a new fuse block. Install it to replace the 20 amp fuse on the left. Like the one you put in the Traveler. Leave the other 20 amp fuse as is.
Once you've ID'd the red and dirty black wires you can determine what to do with them.
With the new fuse block you can be more flexible. For example:
Use one 20 amp fuse to power the existing distribution block. For the three black wires (lighting).
Add a new circuit (fuse) for the pump power. if it is combined with the furnace then 20 amp should do. If you choose to do so you have the flexibility to separate the pump and furnace. Because you have extra fuse space.


In this photo there are 5 grommets on the right side of the panel. I would guess that the three lower grommets and associated wiring is for lighting.
The second grommet from the top may be the common/ground wires that are the mates for the red and dirty black wire connected to the bottom of the distribution block. But you need to confirm this. Again maybe two of these wires are connected to the battery.
The red and dirty black wires at the bottom are heavier wires than the rest - they are the same size as the yellow that goes into the big wire nut. They go from the left bolt/nut into the trailer at the top grommet. How do I find out what they do? I haven't seen them again anywhere. But when I put the meter on them they register.

Why do you think everything is fed through the one 20 amp fuse? What does the other one do? If I put in another fuse box where does it go and how does it tie in to the one already there? Would I take out the little glass fuses? Would the pump switch in the kitchen still work or would I have to run a totally different wire for both the pump and the switch?

There are 3 small black wires that are on the right of the distribution panel and go into the trailer. These would be the lights because when I hooked the charger up to either of them, the lights came on.

The large red and white wires going through the panel at the top of the fuse box go to the battery and have those battery connectors on the other end of them. I still don't have a battery yet so they are just hanging there.

Attached to the screws below the fuses there is a large red wire on the left that goes straight down to the distribution panel. On the right is the large yellow wire going into the wire nut with the three white and one yellow wire. The three whites and yellow go into the trailer through one of the grommets. Did you see the PDF I made of the wires in the previous post?

In the bottom three grommets both a black (going to the distribution panel) and white wire (going to the big wire nut and tied to the yellow from the distribution box) come out of each grommet. That seems to be the kind of DC wiring throughout the trailer. It looks just like AC wiring - both a black and a white wire inside a cloth cover.

The big red and dirty black wire go into the top grommet. The next grommet down has a yellow and black coming out of it and going into the wire nut.

The picture you are looking at doesn't have the little glass fuses in place. I now have two 20 amp fuses in the fuse holders and when I touched the meter to them as well as I remember, they registered 12+. I will do it again tomorrow. I know I got a reading when I touched the meter to the battery cables when the converter was hooked up and plugged in.

Tell me what to do. I'm lost...
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:58 PM   #236
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After all that mumbo jumbo I posted above.
I think I've figured out what you have.
The three black wires (cloth coated) feed the circuits for the lights, pump and furnace.
The red and one of the larger whites is the house battery circuit.
The black and the other white are the TV charge line and it's common/ground.
If the converter is connected to the red and white wires at the top of the photo, then you have no fuse protection for the battery and TV circuits unless there are inline fuses somewhere else.
Try this: check the voltage on the battery cables. Then disconnect the red and dirty black wires and see if you still have voltage. If not, reconnect one of the wires (red) and test again. Then the other (black).
You can confirm the charge line (UCord) wiring the same way.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:59 PM   #237
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battery cables

Here's a picture of the battery cables that come through the panel and are attached to the top screws above the fuses. The white looking thing on the right is the panel that holds the fuse box and distribution box.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:03 PM   #238
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
After all that mumbo jumbo I posted above.
I think I've figured out what you have.
The three black wires (cloth coated) feed the circuits for the lights, pump and furnace.
The red and one of the larger whites is the house battery circuit.
The black and the other white are the TV charge line and it's common/ground.
If the converter is connected to the red and white wires at the top of the photo, then you have no fuse protection for the battery and TV circuits unless there are inline fuses somewhere else.
Try this: check the voltage on the battery cables. Then disconnect the red and dirty black wires and see if you still have voltage. If not, reconnect one of the wires (red) and test again. Then the other (black).
You can confirm the charge line (UCord) wiring the same way.
The converter is connected to a red and white wire on the opposite side of the trailer (I don't have a pic yet). We're posting on top of each other - the red and white at the top go to the battery. They registered on the meter when the converter was connected.

I'll double check everything tomorrow and let you know if I can find out anything.
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