Author Topic: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown  (Read 60365 times)

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Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #50 on: March 10, 2013, 05:31:50 am »
Since that USB module is just a streaming input device, would it be possible to plug an ADC into it and use it as a SDR frontend or oscilloscope? (It would obviously require different software.)

It would be interesting if they made a USB 3.0 version with more channels and/or a higher sample rate. Such a device would also be very useful for adding USB 3.0 to a FPGA board.
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Offline Smokey

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #51 on: March 10, 2013, 06:32:17 am »
Firstly let me say that the Saleae is great for a whole lot of basic logic analyzer applications.  I use it all the time for basic stuff.  A lot of time time it's all you really need to get something working or diagnose basic problems.  If you beginners types are looking to start a basic embedded design lab(stuff with microcontrollers), you probably won't be wasting your money on one of these USB logic analyzers.  Especially if you don't have a 4-channel scope.  Even if you later run into it's limitations and need a more powerful piece of gear, the USB analyzers are so small and simple to setup and quickly capture some data, it might still be your goto gear for quick simple jobs.  Use the right tool for the job at hand.  You don't drive your (metaphorical?)Ferrari on the golf course even through it might get you to the next hole faster, you take the golf cart.

Would the software be better if it had the features Dave talked about that are missing.  For sure.  But does it really considerably reduce the value considering the types of jobs you would be using it for?  I don't think so.  If your projects are basically making chips talk to a microcontroller, which I think applies to a lot of people, it's still a really useful tool in it's current state.  And they are, albeit slowing, updating things.  I'm surprised they haven't chimed in here yet actually.  For a little history, they did a complete rewrite of the software to make it multi-platform recently and expand the decoding plugins.

That said, the one big issue I have with the Saleae software is that you can't re-import data into the analyzer unless it's still in the whole saved session format.  They do have a "Save Session" and "Open Session" options which saves and re-imports essentially exactly the state of some dump as can be seen on the screen, but the format for that saved session-data is not documented or optional.   What I wanted to do was capture some data with the Saleae, dump it to a python script to do some outside analysis, merge it with another dump from another trace that also had some outside analysis done to it, and then re-import and display both at the same time in the Saleae software.  No go.  I guess they don't want imports from other analyzer hardware to use their software for decoding or something.  The saved session data looks to be in ASCII and doesn't look obfuscated, so at one point I intended to reverse engineer the file format but I lost interest before I figured out how they did the data compression.  I didn't put a lot of time into it though.
 

Offline David_AVD

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #52 on: March 10, 2013, 07:38:04 am »
I just used my Saleae Logic to get my PIC (assembler code) talking to a flash memory.  Saved me a ton of time by showing me where I'd gotten some of the timing wrong.   :-+

Now I just need to figure out the decoder SDK so I can make some more specialised ones. (show the flash command names perhaps)
 

Offline amyk

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #53 on: March 10, 2013, 10:23:41 am »
AFAIK Saleae logic and USBee are based on the same CY68013A chip. I have a clone that can present itself to be either Saleae or USBee. After comparing the software I found Saleae is far better than USBee in terms of USB throughput.

There's another useful 3rd party free software called "PWM Logic" that turns Saleae logic into a PWM generator.
http://www.brrrbaybay.com/index.php/pwm-logic/about

Bob
How are the triggering options on the USBee software?

Maybe Dave could do a comparison between Saleae, USBee, and Sigrok software since they all run on the same hardware.

The Cypress chip supports 16 channels at reduced sample rate.
 

Offline vpapanik

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #54 on: March 10, 2013, 10:34:44 am »
I have the Logic8 for a few months and the reason I bought it in the first place was the rugged construction and very well designed software interface compared to similar low budget products (downloaded it before and used it in demo mode). I was also very satisfied (later) by the excellent customer communication and support.

After a lot of messing with SPI bus monitoring, I have to admit that Dave is right that the most important thing that is lacking is the 'search for data' function, and, secondly, the 'trigger on data' function, which will be a great plus for basic use (which is really the purpose of this product). Also, the rate of software upgrades is pretty slow, however I hope that the above features will be added soon, since they only have to do with software. Thumbs up for the review, I don't believe that it was harsh or negative from Dave, but rather a 'ringing bell' for (close) future improvements !
 

Offline thmjpr

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #55 on: March 10, 2013, 10:49:19 am »
Since that USB module is just a streaming input device, would it be possible to plug an ADC into it and use it as a SDR frontend or oscilloscope? (It would obviously require different software.)

It would be interesting if they made a USB 3.0 version with more channels and/or a higher sample rate. Such a device would also be very useful for adding USB 3.0 to a FPGA board.

Yes, USB ax pro does this with an AD9283 (according to reverse engineered schematics). Clones will likely have this part unpopulated due to cost.

There is a new cypress USB3 chip, but its $20-30: http://www.cypress.com/?mpn=CYUSB3011-BZXC
 

Offline cwalex

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #56 on: March 10, 2013, 11:21:26 am »
sorry to be a bit off topic but does anyone know where to get the grabber things that attach to the end of the leads? I don't care if they are cheap quality. I would just like to order a bunch for the cheapest price possible and then possibly buy some better quality ones later.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #57 on: March 10, 2013, 11:27:45 am »
sorry to be a bit off topic but does anyone know where to get the grabber things that attach to the end of the leads? I don't care if they are cheap quality. I would just like to order a bunch for the cheapest price possible and then possibly buy some better quality ones later.

Just search for "mini grabber" on ebay.
$2.50 for 5 *delivered*
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/5-Colours-Single-Hook-Clip-Mini-Grabber-Test-Probe-for-SMD-IC-Multimeter-DIY-NEW-/140898966082
or 20 for $6.95
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/20-PCS-Mini-Grabber-SMD-IC-Test-Clip-Hook-Probe-Multimeter-Jumper-5-Color-P07-/200905035752

Dave.
 

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Offline bingo600

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #59 on: March 10, 2013, 11:45:50 am »
I have 2 of Dangerous prototype's OLS Logic Analyzers , and are waiting for the OLS-Client to support the advanced triggers , that  Dogsbody put in there when he did the new verilog Daemon Core (It implements a lot of HP 16550a features)

http://dangerousprototypes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1711
Specs: http://www.mygizmos.org/ols/Logic-Sniffer-FPGA-Spec.pdf

That said i mostly use my DigiView DV-100 , due to the deep memory and compression.
I would not get a LA with less than 18 lines , 16-bit and 2 triggers. And was extremely happy for 8+ lines when i had to debug a GPIB interface.

The DigiView gets nice words from Nigel Jones , but is a bit more expensive than other hobby LA's
http://embeddedgurus.com/stack-overflow/2010/10/digiview-logic-analyzer/
http://www.tech-tools.com/logic-analyzer-hardware-specs.htm


I have been lurking on the ZeroPlus LA's , and like all the decoding options though some are $$$
I's love to get my hands on the new ARM SWD decoding stuff.
http://www.zeroplus.com.tw/logic-analyzer_en/news_detail.php?news_id=1294

But as i'm just a hobbyist , that doesn't have any "nearby people hiding a 100K$+ LA" in an old closet (Hint..Hint Silicon ...)
I will prob. stich with my OLS'es (I'we just bought the 16-Chan extension i/f for both) , and will use my DW-100 for the more tricky stuff.

I Do have a "China Cypress 8-port" , but haven't even gotten around to test it , and it would never be my only , as it falls for the Minimum 18 Chan rule.


If you have a STM32F4-Disc or TI-Launchpad Arm board these can also be used ...
http://jjmz.free.fr/?p=148
http://www.fischl.de/arm/sllogiclogger_logic_analyser_for_stellaris_launchpad/

/Bingo

« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 12:17:33 pm by bingo600 »
 

Offline bingo600

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #60 on: March 10, 2013, 11:51:33 am »
sorry to be a bit off topic but does anyone know where to get the grabber things that attach to the end of the leads? I don't care if they are cheap quality. I would just like to order a bunch for the cheapest price possible and then possibly buy some better quality ones later.

Just search for "mini grabber" on ebay.
$2.50 for 5 *delivered*
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/5-Colours-Single-Hook-Clip-Mini-Grabber-Test-Probe-for-SMD-IC-Multimeter-DIY-NEW-/140898966082
or 20 for $6.95
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/20-PCS-Mini-Grabber-SMD-IC-Test-Clip-Hook-Probe-Multimeter-Jumper-5-Color-P07-/200905035752

Dave.

I have bought these , and while the grabbing is ok.
The resistance/connections sucks ....

I intended to use them with my HP3488 Switch for the relay boards.

There's a brass ring that you solder the wire to , and it needs a good "bang" with a hammer and a tool , in order to make a decent connection with the steelplate.

If that's done they're ok , and don't wait until you have allready soldered 20  :palm: , so you have to desolder all those wires , remove the tin , and "bang" it ...  Do it upon receiving them. 

/Bingo
 

alm

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #61 on: March 10, 2013, 11:57:22 am »
I's love to get my hands on the new ARM SWD decoding stuff.
http://www.zeroplus.com.tw/logic-analyzer_en/news_detail.php?news_id=1294
I don't see the point of this unless you are developing an SWD programmer/debugger. For JTAG/SWD, you typically use off the shelf dongles (eg. from the MCU manufacturer) and the debugging interface internal in the MCU. Unless you are building complicated JTAG chains, there's not a whole lot to debug, apart from signal integrity issues that would need a (mixed-signal) scope anyhow.
 

Offline bingo600

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #62 on: March 10, 2013, 12:13:18 pm »
I don't see the point of this unless you are developing an SWD programmer/debugger. For JTAG/SWD, you typically use off the shelf dongles (eg. from the MCU manufacturer) and the debugging interface internal in the MCU. Unless you are building complicated JTAG chains, there's not a whole lot to debug, apart from signal integrity issues that would need a (mixed-signal) scope anyhow.

Spot on ... As right now : BlackMagicProbe
And also did the Versaloon STM32xx-Discovery port.

/Bingo
 

Offline mrflibble

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #63 on: March 10, 2013, 06:07:08 pm »
I have 2 of Dangerous prototype's OLS Logic Analyzers , and are waiting for the OLS-Client to support the advanced triggers , that  Dogsbody put in there when he did the new verilog Daemon Core (It implements a lot of HP 16550a features)
Heh, another person looking forward to the daemon core trigger support here. Once that's in place it will be a nice improvement in usability. Without the client support I'll stick with the ole SUMP for a while longer.

Quote
If you have a STM32F4-Disc or TI-Launchpad Arm board these can also be used ...
http://jjmz.free.fr/?p=148
http://www.fischl.de/arm/sllogiclogger_logic_analyser_for_stellaris_launchpad/
Thanks for those links! The stm32f4 code + ols profile looks useful. The 24 MHz limit + the chosen method of sampling is a bit silly IMO, but what the hell, it's a nice starting point. I just hope the cdc side of it works in one go, I was still looking for some easy to use example code.
 

Offline kallisti5

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #64 on: March 10, 2013, 06:24:34 pm »
I've had my Saleae Logic for a few years now, I agree with most of what Dave said on it. The triggering is kind of weak and the lack of real-time packet display sucks.  Overall though I'm quite happy with it for the price I paid. (mine saved my bacon several times including recently sniffing some i2c vga edid communications)

I mostly purchased mine due to the (then-upcoming) Linux support. If you look back a few years in the Saleae blog, he actually documents the process of designing the Saleae Logic and getting it to market.

The older Saleae Logic units are a little nicer I think... mine is all machined Aluminium with laser inscribed + painted text.  The older ones came with a generic non-branded Case Logic case. (pictures attached)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 06:28:43 pm by kallisti5 »
 

Offline mrflibble

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #65 on: March 10, 2013, 07:28:28 pm »
There's a brass ring that you solder the wire to , and it needs a good "bang" with a hammer and a tool , in order to make a decent connection with the steelplate.

If that's done they're ok , and don't wait until you have allready soldered 20  :palm: , so you have to desolder all those wires , remove the tin , and "bang" it ...  Do it upon receiving them. 

Thanks for the tip, I have some of those on the way... I assume you mean this?
 

Offline manicdoc

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #66 on: March 10, 2013, 08:22:25 pm »
I don't have any relationship with them other than as a satisfied customer. I signed up just to make this post as I think Saleae has a great product and Dave's review wasn't super positive about it. (Nothing against Dave, generally I really agree with his reviews...)

All it had to do to get a thumbs up would have been a good search feature I suspect. I could maybe have overlooked the triggering (due to the almost unlimited buffer size) and free running mode. But missing all 3 is pretty inexcusable in such a mature product. And for a company that claims to: "tirelessly develop and refine the world's greatest [tiny] logic analyzer"

Dave.

What I find odd in all of this, given all the 'grunt' occurs on the PC, is there anything Open Source to 'compete' with the included software?  I know sounds mad, to be honest I've seen commercial software get totally wiped out in terms of features and flexibility quite a few times now (look up Mapnik , used that to total replace a commercial map rendering offering, blew it out the water!) - this would be a relatively easy 'low hanging fruit' for most OS project groups.

Saleae would do themselves a favour by opening up some more API's on their software and let the coders fill in the gaps. Cutting edge features for free, community developed, developed by engineers for engineers, etc - lots of marketing spin to be had...  Given they are in SV I would have thought this would have been a darn near obvious path to take.
 

Offline PeteInTexas

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #67 on: March 10, 2013, 08:36:59 pm »
I bought this unit some time back but have not used it again (to mess about with the Raspberry Pi) since the day this review was posted.  Strange coincidence.  This was the teardown I saw back then: http://thesignalpath.com/blogs/2011/05/31/saleae-logic-and-logic16-product-teardown/
 

Offline bingo600

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #68 on: March 10, 2013, 08:37:33 pm »
There's a brass ring that you solder the wire to , and it needs a good "bang" with a hammer and a tool , in order to make a decent connection with the steelplate.

If that's done they're ok , and don't wait until you have allready soldered 20  :palm: , so you have to desolder all those wires , remove the tin , and "bang" it ...  Do it upon receiving them. 

Thanks for the tip, I have some of those on the way... I assume you mean this?

Precicely ... Apply wack there and maybe check with a dmm , between brass and tip.

/Bingo
 

alm

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #69 on: March 10, 2013, 08:48:47 pm »
What I find odd in all of this, given all the 'grunt' occurs on the PC, is there anything Open Source to 'compete' with the included software?  I know sounds mad, to be honest I've seen commercial software get totally wiped out in terms of features and flexibility quite a few times now (look up Mapnik , used that to total replace a commercial map rendering offering, blew it out the water!) - this would be a relatively easy 'low hanging fruit' for most OS project groups.
There is Sigrok, which supports the Saleae logic, but it wasn't exactly competitive with the Saleae software, or even usable, last time I looked.

Saleae would do themselves a favour by opening up some more API's on their software and let the coders fill in the gaps. Cutting edge features for free, community developed, developed by engineers for engineers, etc - lots of marketing spin to be had...
They have an SDK both for building protocol decoders and more low-level interfacing with the Logic. No idea about the license. Of course the software is their main competitive advantage, so completely opening up the software is not in their best interest.
 

Offline manicdoc

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #70 on: March 10, 2013, 09:10:26 pm »
What I find odd in all of this, given all the 'grunt' occurs on the PC, is there anything Open Source to 'compete' with the included software?  I know sounds mad, to be honest I've seen commercial software get totally wiped out in terms of features and flexibility quite a few times now (look up Mapnik , used that to total replace a commercial map rendering offering, blew it out the water!) - this would be a relatively easy 'low hanging fruit' for most OS project groups.
There is Sigrok, which supports the Saleae logic, but it wasn't exactly competitive with the Saleae software, or even usable, last time I looked.

Saleae would do themselves a favour by opening up some more API's on their software and let the coders fill in the gaps. Cutting edge features for free, community developed, developed by engineers for engineers, etc - lots of marketing spin to be had...
They have an SDK both for building protocol decoders and more low-level interfacing with the Logic. No idea about the license. Of course the software is their main competitive advantage, so completely opening up the software is not in their best interest.

I'm not saying open source it completely, just provide a set of API's that allow people to extend it to cover gaps, so like the protocol decoder SDK, apply it to triggering for instance.
 

Offline T4P

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #71 on: March 10, 2013, 10:37:00 pm »
Everytime i go onto their website i still think saleae's stuff is all about wank factor  :palm: It's like the apple of the logic analyzer  :palm:
Inadequate software, cheap hardware, cheap hooks and lastly ... barely any performance or whatsoever to back up the price tag.

Now, kids. A LA is going to be on a table pretty much all of it's life and usefulness isn't it? Well then what's the whole point of designing the damn case to be tough and making the software look oh-so-wanky  :palm:
Now REALLY i wonder why people buy this instead of the open logic sniffer  :-//
You might say software support but have they done anything to fix the async serial problem? It's been known for quite a while now
 

Offline shashwatratan

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #72 on: March 10, 2013, 11:04:53 pm »
I have 2 of Dangerous prototype's OLS Logic Analyzers , and are waiting for the OLS-Client to support the advanced triggers , that  Dogsbody put in there when he did the new verilog Daemon Core (It implements a lot of HP 16550a features)

http://dangerousprototypes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1711
Specs: http://www.mygizmos.org/ols/Logic-Sniffer-FPGA-Spec.pdf

That said i mostly use my DigiView DV-100 , due to the deep memory and compression.
I would not get a LA with less than 18 lines , 16-bit and 2 triggers. And was extremely happy for 8+ lines when i had to debug a GPIB interface.

The DigiView gets nice words from Nigel Jones , but is a bit more expensive than other hobby LA's
http://embeddedgurus.com/stack-overflow/2010/10/digiview-logic-analyzer/
http://www.tech-tools.com/logic-analyzer-hardware-specs.htm


I have been lurking on the ZeroPlus LA's , and like all the decoding options though some are $$$
I's love to get my hands on the new ARM SWD decoding stuff.
http://www.zeroplus.com.tw/logic-analyzer_en/news_detail.php?news_id=1294

But as i'm just a hobbyist , that doesn't have any "nearby people hiding a 100K$+ LA" in an old closet (Hint..Hint Silicon ...)
I will prob. stich with my OLS'es (I'we just bought the 16-Chan extension i/f for both) , and will use my DW-100 for the more tricky stuff.

I Do have a "China Cypress 8-port" , but haven't even gotten around to test it , and it would never be my only , as it falls for the Minimum 18 Chan rule.


If you have a STM32F4-Disc or TI-Launchpad Arm board these can also be used ...
http://jjmz.free.fr/?p=148
http://www.fischl.de/arm/sllogiclogger_logic_analyser_for_stellaris_launchpad/

/Bingo


Hi i have also used the Logic Sniffer in past it is all right without case and those doggy mini grabbers. but if you shielded it properly and put some good quality cables and ic grabbers it works much batter. i believe there is lot of room for improvident  on software side too. 
Regards,
Shashwat Ratan
 

alm

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #73 on: March 10, 2013, 11:22:56 pm »
Now REALLY i wonder why people buy this instead of the open logic sniffer  :-//
You complain about the Saleae software and then reference the OLS? How much time did you spend using either?
 

Offline tinhead

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Re: EEVblog #436 - Saleae USB Logic Analyser Review & Teardown
« Reply #74 on: March 10, 2013, 11:46:50 pm »
Now REALLY i wonder why people buy this instead of the open logic sniffer  :-//

because there is nothing good with ols, the hardware is "stolen" (yes, in my opinion if someone is selling OH/OS things with "own" name and zero innovation then this is stealing), the software partialy working - partialy not (yet, soon, maybe).
There is no innovation in simply copying other ppl work, giving funcy new name and making some stupid marketing
"open hardware/source" statements - buy here - we having so many cool things ...

Some ppl prefer to pay some more bucks to someone who really spend time on development.
I don't want to be human! I want to see gamma rays, I want to hear X-rays, and I want to smell dark matter ...
I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws and feel the solar wind of a supernova flowing over me.
 


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