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PhilatSea

eTrex Vista HCx problems with rubber

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I have had this unit since April 1 2008 and went to use this unit today and found that the rubber around the unit has come away and the glue holding it appears to be of no use.

 

This is really odd. I will be contacting Garmin on Tuesday about repair.

 

I was wondering has anyone else experienced this?

 

Thanks

Phil

Edited by PhilatSea

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Hi Phil,

 

I have heard of others having this same issue. But if this problem is anything like the drift issues others are facing... Garmin will simply tell you they are completely unaware of any issues regarding your problem and offer no solutions....

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I have had this unit since April 1 2008 and went to use this unit today and found that the rubber around the unit has come away and the glue holding it appears to be of no use.

 

This is really odd. I will be contacting Garmin on Tuesday about repair.

 

I was wondering has anyone else experienced this?

 

Thanks

Phil

 

I have found this with my Etrex (Basic) About 18 Months old. I was recently abroad where it was hot and the rubber just came off down he sides. I have cleaned off the old glue and just super glued it back (careful of the switches though) and it now seems fine. You really do need to get rid of ALL the old glue first otherwise super glue does not dry!.I used some 1:1:1 Trichloroethylene I 'borrowed' from a car garage that does Brake servicing (nasty stuff so be careful - see Google)

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I have had this unit since April 1 2008 and went to use this unit today and found that the rubber around the unit has come away and the glue holding it appears to be of no use.

 

This is really odd. I will be contacting Garmin on Tuesday about repair.

 

I was wondering has anyone else experienced this?

 

Thanks

Phil

 

I have a Legnd HCx and it's doing the same thing. I figure it's just due to me keeping it in the heat in my truck.

I used "Gorilla Glue" to glue it back and haven't had a problem since.

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I have had this unit since April 1 2008 and went to use this unit today and found that the rubber around the unit has come away and the glue holding it appears to be of no use.

 

This is really odd. I will be contacting Garmin on Tuesday about repair.

 

I was wondering has anyone else experienced this?

 

Thanks

Phil

This has been a problem with the eTrex series from day one (as in the old basic blue Legend days). Garmin is well aware of it and has done nothing new to prevent it (confirmed by Garmin). They will fix it or send you a repair kit if you call. Six months later it will happen again. Maybe some of the alternative fixes suggested here will work better than the Garmin fix.

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My VistaC has had this problem. The glue came unstuck while the unit was on the car dashboard in hawaii. I did as has been suggested earlier and took the rubber off, cleaned all the glue off (I couldn't find a proper solvent, and think that I might have used vodka :sad:, but it came off ok!), and glued it back with superglue. It's not ideal, as the rubber had stretched (possibly this is the root of the problem), and so I couldn't get it on tightly. It still seems to be waterproof, (though I've never tested that 1m of water for a minute claim, so can't tell you if's as good).

 

I know a fellow cacher who's B&W vista did this, and he kicked up such a fuss that garmin sent him a shiny new vistaC (when they were new and shiny).

 

Good luck with it.

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I have contacted Garmin.

 

Garmin says it is a problem. They are offering two solutions for this. They will either send me a new rubber with new 2 sided tape or have me send it in for repair with a 2 week turnaround.

 

I decided to try new rubber and tape. If this doesn't work they say i can then send the unit in.

 

We will see.

 

Thanks all,

 

Phil

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I could see this happening with mine, but I always keep it in a Garmin protective case so it's in like new shape. Had it since May 2008.

 

Maybe try one of them?

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I have had several eTrexs and read about many people who have had this problem. I have never experienced this. A couple of my friends had 2 eTrexs (a his and her thing). His eTrex had the problem, but hers did not. The differences was his remained in his vehicle, in the heat. Her GPSr stayed in her purse, in the air conditioned home, the air conditioned office and the air conditioned vehicle.

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Had mine since June 08 and have had no problems with it as yet, but considering all the responses I will keep an eye on it..thanks for the heads up.

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Well I received my parts today.

 

I the rubber that goes around the unit is about 1/2 inch to long and much narrower at the top for the USB cable. I called Garmin back and asked them and they said they have only one "generic" rubber ring and I am to cut it. I said how does this effect the unit for being water proof? He said good question and asked me to hang on and came back and asked if I would try the old ring first with the new "tape" and see how that works. I pointed out that the old ring was stretched slightly because it was coming off prior to this and tech support said that I then should send it in for repair as it is under warranty.

 

For those in Canada the repair depot is located in Laval Quebec.

 

So I guess my Garmin is going on a trip without me. :(

 

Phil

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I just recently noticed the rubber beginning to come lose around the cord plugin location. Contacting garmin might work, but could not. Still, contacting them might affect this issue in furture versions of this unit. Hope this is of good help!

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I have a buddy that had an earlier model and has never had a problem. But like him, I never leave mine in the sun or a hot car. I keep it in the protective case at all times unless I need to change batteries of course. Had mine for a while and havent had a problem either. I honestly think heat can kill just about everything, including the rubber on the etrex's. It does make sence, like vinyl, rubber contracts and expands with temperature (from what I have been told)

Edited by highrolla7

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Hi Phil,

 

I have heard of others having this same issue. But if this problem is anything like the drift issues others are facing... Garmin will simply tell you they are completely unaware of any issues regarding your problem and offer no solutions....

Garmin told me differently.

 

I used the website to obtain an RAM # then sent my Vista HCx in about a week ago. Got it yesterday. When I opened the box, I was impressed they buffed out the scratches on my window. NOT - they gave me a new one! :blink:

 

The band on my Vista separated after about 6 months 'cause I, too, have it on my dashboard for driving. I have a black and white Vista that went 3 yrs before the band separated. It's now my 3rd string unit; the band is held in place with camo duct tape.

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Well the funny thing I sent a email last week asking for the tracking number for my parts and the reply came the day my parts came asking for more information. I said I didn't need the tracking number anymore as my parts came but they were universal parts and I called Garmin and would have to send it in. A reply came back asking me for my address and said the correct parts are being shipped.

 

We will see.

 

Phil

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I have had my Garmin Etrex Vista HCX for 2 years and it is still in top condition. You might just have had some overdrying happen due to heat. I don't keep mine anywhere where it will be in hot sun or a heat source. I',m careful that if I store it in the vehicle for long periods of time, it is kept inside the backpack at all times.

I don't know if this helps you or not.

Noisy Neighbours

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I have had my Garmin Etrex Vista HCX for 2 years

Unit is only available since summer 2007!

 

Mine also have that problem and it began before the 1 year warrantly but being lazy I haven't done anything so now I will have to live with it I guess and like a few go with a home made solution.

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I have had my Garmin Etrex Vista HCX for 2 years

Unit is only available since summer 2007!

 

Mine also have that problem and it began before the 1 year warrantly but being lazy I haven't done anything so now I will have to live with it I guess and like a few go with a home made solution.

You should give Garmin a call anyway, because this is a known problem. You might be surprised. It's a free phone call so it will only cost you a little time on the phone.

 

...ken...

Edited by Ken in Regina

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For all those interested the 2nd shipment of parts arrived and appear to be the right parts.

 

The part numbers for the Vista HCX are:

 

249-00069-02 Tape, Keyboard/Gasket,SGL layer

 

414-00041-06 Gasket and Keyboard

 

 

Phil

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I had a 2 yr old vista cx with the above mentioned problem. Other than having to wait 45 min. on 'Muzak' hold, the rep gave me a RMA#. Sent it in on Monday had a new unit in my hands for the weekend. Great service!!!

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I have been aware of this problem for a couple of years. I've had a few old etrex and not noticed the problem. I lend my HCx to a friend who left it in a hot car and bam. Rubbery glue coming out. I was convinced it was caused by excessive heat...

 

Until my HCx which has never been in any hot conditions suddenly started leaking gummy glue even though the ambient temperature was 24ºC.

 

I have repaired one of these by stripping all the old glue off with isopropyl alcohol and hard work (messy as as already been suggested) and then redoing it with Seam Grip http://mcnett.baron-co.com/page.cfm?pageID=549 this product does a perfect job and is probably what Garmin should have used in the first place.

 

The rubber appeared to be stretched but in fact once it is packed out with a thin layer of Seam Grip it is not really stretched.

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My first etrex(a legendC) lasted about 6months before I noticed the rubber coming loose and glue oozing out around the batteries under the battery cover. This was after using the unit for 3-6hrs in a light sprinkle. I got the replacement unit from garmin and this one lasted even less time, I only used the unit a couple times in three months and it was already starting to come loose.

I gave that unit to my parents and bought a VistaCx, this time I thought I would keep the unit in my air conditioned house except when I was using the unit. I used the unit under 20times, never for more than a couple hours and sure enough 6months later the rubber was starting to coming loose.

 

I've came to the conclusion it must have to do with the humidity here and the heat of holding the unit in your hand, and the fact you have to press the rubber everytime you use the buttons. I never let my last unit get wet, sit in a hot car, or hold in my hand to long.

 

I recommend the etrex to anyone looking for a cheap great gps but I always tell them that the rubber will probably come loose at some point. I won't buy another etrex unit garmin redesigns it, even though I would love to buy a VistaHCX.

 

I prefer the size & battery life of the etrex while hiking to my 60cx, but my 60cx has been though so much in the two years I have had it without any issues at all.

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The frustrating thing is that it does not need a redesign, it just needs the correct glue. It's unbelievable that garmin continues to use this substandard gummy glue. Maybe they got a bulk shipment of it.

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The frustrating thing is that it does not need a redesign, it just needs the correct glue. It's unbelievable that garmin continues to use this substandard gummy glue. Maybe they got a bulk shipment of it.

 

I used to not think it needed a redesign, but after talking to some people who had older etrex models they had the exact opposite issue most people have now, the glue didn't become gummy it dried out and the rubber became loose.

Obviously finding a happy medium with the glue is much harder than just designing the unit to not have rubber glued around the whole unit and over the buttons and usb connection.

 

The only simple option I can see for redesign would be to add a smaller version (offset left like the click-stick is now) of the Rock ‘n Roller input wheel from the Colorado series. The unit might be slightly larger but could still be operated with one hand, also put a couple buttons on the front like the colorado series, now the only button left would be power. Now they could use a regular sandwich gasket like the 60 series uses on its sides. It would be like a mini Colorado series.

 

Granted I'm not sure how the unit would be but at least it wouldn't have the almost 8year old field test failed design of the current models.

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Ok so replacing the crap gummy glue with an equally crap rigid glue does not mean that there's an unsolvable problem.

 

Glue technology has been cutting/bleeding edge for a long time now. It's not an intractable problem. Take the Mcnetts seam grip I linked to earlier. This stuff is incredibly tough, it does not dry, it remains supple and rubbery in near freezing conditions and it fully seals. I've seen a sample of it bridge a 1 cm hole. There must be lots of product like that. It's obvious that Garmin is just using really bad/cheap adhesive

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with the stuff I used (mcnetts, see link earlier), I completely cleaned off the gum and only applied the seam grip to the unit, and let it dry a bit. I was careful around the buttons (used a matchstick to apply). I put the usb tang in first to locate the band properly and worked my way down both sides together. The seam grip padded out the rubber so that it did not appear to be stretched by the time it was completely on.

Edited by gallet

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I'd just like to add that I have recently reglued another hcx with the mcnetts and I have discovered that after gluing it was still a little loose but putting the gps in the fridge shrunk the rubber tightly onto the etrex while it dried and now it's excellent.

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I think the moral here would be never to use an eTrex in temperatures above 25°C, or that rubber band will separate from the unit.

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I think the moral here would be never to use an eTrex in temperatures above 25°C, or that rubber band will separate from the unit.

Strange that the manual rates the units up to 70°C

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To throw in another fix here, I have both a Legend and Legend Cx. Both had their rubber come off. After several tries with various stuff, I settled on the black silicone adhesive/sealant that you use to make car engine gaskets out of. Bought it at the Wally-world automotive section for a few bucks.

 

It's messy to work with, but the fix seems rock solid for now. I haven't had a chance to try it in the heat of the summer (and now won't until next year), but this stuff is made to hold at engine temps, so I think it'll be just fine.

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I've just had this happen to me with my 17 month old Etrex venture. It never sits anywhere hot except when its on the dash navigating for me and that's prett rare. Otherwise I keep it in my purse when I'm not using it. So the warmest it could get is when I'm holding it on hot days. I emailed Garmin and they replied that they could repair it for $99, yikes these have come down in price an d$99 is a good chunk of that. I was told to call and talk to a representative and if you get the right rep they will send a repair kit for free. The kit came, no directions what so ever but at least it didn't cost me almost $100. So call, wait about 15 minutes and hope you get a rep that is generous if not call back and try again. It worked for me on the first call.

Edited by Fellners

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I just noticed the exact same problem today...googled and wound up here among my geocaching friends. I;ll give garmin a ring and see if they'll send me a new cover for it as well. It looked like the cover had been stretched, but I know it hadn't...it has just been in my fanny pack, and not overheated at all either.

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I've just had this happen to me with my 17 month old Etrex venture. It never sits anywhere hot except when its on the dash navigating for me and that's prett rare. Otherwise I keep it in my purse when I'm not using it. So the warmest it could get is when I'm holding it on hot days. I emailed Garmin and they replied that they could repair it for $99, yikes these have come down in price an d$99 is a good chunk of that. I was told to call and talk to a representative and if you get the right rep they will send a repair kit for free. The kit came, no directions what so ever but at least it didn't cost me almost $100. So call, wait about 15 minutes and hope you get a rep that is generous if not call back and try again. It worked for me on the first call.

 

I received the package but they sent me the band to the legend not the Venture. Called and they will send the correct part. Hope it works out.

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This is a very common problem. The rubber came off my old Vista and my fathers Legend. Both were fixed by cleaning off all the old glue with alcohol, buffing the inside of the old rubber lightly with sandpaper, and glueing with Loctite Xtreme. I tried several glues prior to it but none seemed to want to stick to the rubber. I didn't want to use a glue that I couldn't get off again in case the unit needed to be repaired.

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This is a very common problem. The rubber came off my old Vista and my fathers Legend. Both were fixed by cleaning off all the old glue with alcohol, buffing the inside of the old rubber lightly with sandpaper, and glueing with Loctite Xtreme. I tried several glues prior to it but none seemed to want to stick to the rubber. I didn't want to use a glue that I couldn't get off again in case the unit needed to be repaired.

 

I'll second the Loctite Xtreme. It worked very well.

 

The rubber de-laminated on my Vista HCx after 2 only days in the Caribbean. When I got home, I called Garmin. The first thing they asked was if I bought the HCx on e-bay. I assume they would not honor the warranty if I had bought on e-bay.

 

I was transferred to outdoor products and, while trying to be helpful, the tech did not know what repair kit was needed. Fortunately, I had read this thread and had my serial number and the correct part numbers for the repair kit in hand. (Thank to PhilatSea) While the first level tech commented that "you don't always get accurate information from the forums" :D the tech in outdoor products admitted that I was well prepared with information and offered to repair the GPS if I would send it in. I asked to have them send me a repair kit because I have not had ANY "drift" problems with my Vista HCx and I did not want them to replace it with another unit that was "unknown". He agreed to send out the repair items at no charge. (I had already removed and cleaned the old rubber anyway)

 

While waiting for the new parts, I decided to try a repair with the old rubber. I did NOT remove the clear plastic "tape" that was under the old rubber as this seemed to protect the swith contacts and added a measure of water resistance.

 

About cleaning old glue: The first thing I did was cover the screen with cardstock, aluminum foil and plastic tape. I did not want to test compatibility of solvents with the screen.

 

The glue that Garmin uses reminds me of old black electrical tape when it softens. It just stays gummy and doesn't re-harden with cooler temperature like contact cement glue does. Anyway, I started with some paint thinner (check compatibility with the plastic on a small area inside the battery compartment). The paint thinner took off the old glue in seconds but left a little oily residue. That came off with a bit of acetone. Again, check any solvent compatibility with the plastic in small unseen area.

 

At first I tried to re-glue the rubber with "Weldwood Contact Cement" (Barge cement) as that is what is used to glue the rubber soles on rock climbing shoes and I figured it would adhere well. Unfortunately, it didn't stick well at all - I think because I didn't buff the rubber with sandpaper. So I cleaned the rubber again and this time lightly sanded it like DustyWalker recommended. This second time I used the Loctite Xtreme. A very thin coat on both the rubber and the GPSr. Used a toothpick to apply the glue around the buttons. Let dry 3-4 minutes, put everything together, test the switches, and clamped overnight with rubberbands. It holds VERY well.

 

I am now MUCH happier with the way the rubber feels and I think it's on there to stay this time. Two thumbs up for the Loctitie Xtreme.

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I have an old legend, and a very old etrex camo. The band came off both units several years ago. I cleaned the bands and the units with mineral spirits and glued them with Permatex RTV silicone gasket maker. The rubber band seemed like it was a pinch too long but I put it in place and lined up the buttons. Then I wrapped the unit in masking tape until it dried. Like i said that was years ago and have never had another problem. Heat does not affect it no at all. Ron

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We got a Etrex H that started doing this. If the unit is off for some time the rubber seems fine, But give it a few minutes after you turn it on & seems like the glue comes undone & the rubber feels soft.

We figured it some heating up or something causing this?? But it didn't feel hot or warm to that fact?

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My Etrex Vista HCX is less than a year old, never left in car on a hot day, but I had the same problem with the rubber. I've used the unit with a RAM handlebar mount on my bike, and the rubber started to become unglued, especially on top left and right corners, where there's most non-uniform pressure from the mount. I suspect the mount might have accelerated the process, but the real reason is surely a sub-standard glue which became worse on a warm day.

I've picked up some McNett Seam Grip (couldn't find any Loctite Extreme Repair here in Moscow, Russia) and used it to glue the rubber back on. The job I made isn't 100% neat but the glue seems to be holding nicely. Haven't tried it in action yet. I'll post an update when I do.

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Update: I've had no problems with the glue job I've made with McNett Seam Grip (a polyurethane-based glue) until a trip to Crete - and it wasn't even super hot. The rubber came unglued again. I mostly used the unit in a RAM car mount.

 

During the two years I've owned this GPSr I've had it turn off several times, when riding over bumps (mountain bike, car). This happened both on battery power and on remote power. I've figured since the rubber came unglued again I would fix the powering off - disassembled the unit and soldered wires between the springy contacts and the pads on the pcb that they touch (two battery power contacts and 4 usb contacts, 6 wires in total). I'm trying a RTV Silicone sealant as a rubberband glue this time, it's use was mentioned a couple of times in various discussions of this problem. Will report on it's effectiveness after some real use.

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Per the other thread on this topic, I'm still recommending RTV (silicone seal) for the job. Flexible, laughs at water, and couldn't care less about heat (at least not any you'd ever want to experience).

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I have some of this tape if anyone would like it .I will cut off enough and send it to you until I'm out

 

A 2 mil (50 micron) glass reinforced transfer tape with an aggressive acrylic pressure sensitive transfer adhesive and excellent oxidation and ultraviolet light resistance. Designed for both interior and exterior applications. This transfer film has good quick stick and high shear properties, and wets out to metals, high surface energy plastics, most elastomers and treated olefins and coated and plain papers.

 

Available in Clear and Red

 

 

 

.. http://www.venturetape.com/product.php?productid=1215&cat=38&page=1

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I have some of this tape if anyone would like it .I will cut off enough and send it to you until I'm out I have the clear.i have used glues and had no luck but this tape seems to work very well

 

A 2 mil (50 micron) glass reinforced transfer tape with an aggressive acrylic pressure sensitive transfer adhesive and excellent oxidation and ultraviolet light resistance. Designed for both interior and exterior applications. This transfer film has good quick stick and high shear properties, and wets out to metals, high surface energy plastics, most elastomers and treated olefins and coated and plain papers.

 

Available in Clear and Red

 

 

 

.. http://www.venturetape.com/product.php?productid=1215&cat=38&page=1

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Same problem as others, however, I was able to remove the slack with some "linerless rubber splicing tape", 3M, Scotch, 130C. You can get this at any electrical supply house or possibly Home Depot/Lowes/Ace Hardware. I simply cut a strip long enough to go around the bottom of the unit, from just below the buttons on both sides. I then put the band back on with the linerless tape underneath. The fit is snug enough to use without adhesive, but, I'll be trying some Gorilla Glue also. As a last resort I will try the Permatex High Temp Silicone gasket cement. You can never get silicone products off, so, as I said, a "last resort". DO NOT USE RUBBER CEMENT AT ALL!!!! It actually causes the band to stretch and curl at the edges. I removed it immediately and the band seemed to shrink back to shape.

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As far as using Gorilla Glue, I tried that a couple of times, but eventually it became brittle and failed.

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