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Please Point Me In The Right Direction... (iPads)
2303 25 2016-11-6
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mdh222
lvl.2
Flight distance : 8652 ft
Canada
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I am seeking a bit of information on the control aspect of the Phantom4. It seems as though my iPad is not good enough to operate the P4. I get that, it is called Technology, right?

What I am after is some advice on controlling the Copter via iPad. OK, now there are only a few dozen to choose from.

I have read/heard that an iPad Mini2 will do the job just fine. OK, but my question(s) is/are this/these:

I wish to use the Litchi App (looks like it adds benifits to a controlled flight!).

Do I need 3G/4G etc or Cellular or is a Plain Jane Wi-Fi all I need?

I live in the middle of no where (Cellular signals are poor at best!). Can all the flight data be downloaded to the iPad (WiFi?) and be brought out into the sticks for a SAFE and Controlled Flight? I do like the idea of Flying with the Digital Globe Maps! Fantastic idea whoever came up with that one!


If there is more information you need to assist you to assist me in making my decission, please express yourself, and I shall do my best to comply.

At Present I do NOT have the Phantom4 (will buy that online soon from Toronto w/ 2Batts & Car Charger). iPad will be purchased from BestBuy.ca

Thanks for ALL of your input!

Michael
2016-11-6
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mooney4321
lvl.3
Flight distance : 215551 ft
Norway
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Hi.
im using the Ipd mini 2 wifi. I works ok, but you will not get gps on wifi only Ipad`s.

On Litchi you can view the map while you are online, zoom in and out to cache the map.

David
2016-11-6
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fansa84fe8a4
First Officer
Flight distance : 3 ft
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I have the other autonomous app Autopilot. It uses the internal barometer for some Track me/Follow me aspects where you may be moving and climbing a hill, etc.  The barometer is only in the iPad cellular models.

From my study on this and the phantom forum, seems the iPad Air 2 comes up in the recommendations a lot so I went for it with cellular (T-mobile.).  In retrospect, I should have studied the rural carrier maps a bit better as I see Verizon has better rural coverage for the western USA, albeit maybe more money too.

Autopilot seems to favor the iPad Pro + cellular due to processing power needed in the app.  Air 2 is tolerable.  The iPad Air 2 is a 9.7" screen and is about 1 mm small enough to fit into the P4 remote holder.  I have a 10" screen and it will not fit without an extender, but it breaks up video badly so I don't use it (Samsung tablet.).

Fwiw, I have large hands and the mini's and phone's sliders and keys are too small for me so I need to use a stylus for their operation.  I can do that without the stylus on the larger 9.7" screen of the Air 2.

Oh, as to buying the P4 online, I dunno.  I had to take back my first 'two' P4's to Best Buy due to quality issues with the camera and even the filter that refused to come off.  Some new owners get into issues with all the updates that it might say you need, and then some owner's find it might refuse the update so they might have to send it in or return it.  QC seems to be an big issue with DJI and I find it easier to walk in with a defective product and say "Gimme another P4 that might work."  Doing the mail-order returns and dealing with an RMA and DJI service/shipping is sort of a timely pain.  The returns girl at Best Buy said they do get a few of them back, and less of the Apple stuff.  She said she'd trust buying an iPad by mail-order, over any of the drones they sell, and taking the iPad to you local cellular shop or them for the SIM card and data plan.

Good luck!

2016-11-6
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Sky Mike
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Flight distance : 357503 ft
United Kingdom
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i use ipad pro, samsung s5 and s6 edge, and nvidia shield k1...out of all these devices the best performing by far is the shield k1, and only £160 GBP.

i to bought my p4 from jesops in the uk, i also has a wonky camera not up or down but angled to the rite by about 4mm, all sorts wouldnt fix and jesops just gave me a new one, been fine since, soo id not buy one off line..

So dont overlook the cheaper shield tablet.
2016-11-6
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Hawkeye54
lvl.2

United States
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Ipad pro 9.7" is the best and largest that your remote holder will hold. I just got the wifi version. I use my phone as a hot spot to avoid having to pay for 2 data plans.
2016-11-6
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crackthesky
lvl.4
Flight distance : 123402 ft
United States
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I fly with the IPad Mini 4 with WiFi & 4G/LTE. Straight WIFI units do not have GPS in them. You don't need to activate a data plan; you just want the GPS capability of the IPad. Otherwise you have to pre-load your maps before you fly.  Personally I would make sure you go with an Apple IOS system. From what I read here and on other forums. folks seem to have issues with Android devices. My Apple IOS device works flawlessly. And again, I tortured myself over amount of memory. Your choices are 32,64, or 128 Gigs. 32 is to small in my opinion. 64 will do it with room to spare. The Mini 4 does not come in 64, so I had to jump to 128 and WiFi 4G/LTE. Big $$$, but I will never regret it.   
2016-11-6
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RedHotPoker
Captain
Flight distance : 165105 ft
Canada
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Never had a bad flight, or negative occurrence, using my iPad Air2 Cellular.

I had originally started with an iPad Mini2 but it overheated after only one flight battery.....
Now I can regularly fly four flight battery packs consecutively without it getting warm. ;-)

RedHotPoker
2016-11-6
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mdh222
lvl.2
Flight distance : 8652 ft
Canada
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Well now there is sure a Hodge Podge of answers! I sure have enjoyed reading through everyone's answers & opinions!

To GPS or not to GPS, eh? Looks like the vast majority are iOS Users ($$$). And to boot, I also tripped upon the weird news of a possible Phanton 4 Pro???

Oh Technology just never rests, eh!

Thanks to ALL who have shared your thoughts with me! I do hope more also answer to the Call as well!


Michael
2016-11-6
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imovetheearth48
lvl.4
United States
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mdh......I recently upgraded to the IPad Pro after using an LG IPad (which is not on the list of devices to use). The LG at times was showing colored lines across the screen when in flight.
I went with the pro because of the larger screen and wanted to work with better equipment, of course when you upgrade to better equipment it's a bigger price. I have yet to have any issues, but get a top of the line cable from the remote to your device. The Pro measures 6 and 11/16 inches wide and just fits in the RC holder.
2016-11-6
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mdh222
lvl.2
Flight distance : 8652 ft
Canada
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Friends...

Looks like I'm leaning towards the:

Personalised 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular 256GB - Rose Gold (Have to sell the idea to the WIFE, guys!)

But I am tripping upon a problem!

Apple iPad Pro 9.7" 256GB with Wi-Fi/LTE - Rose Gold
Assisted GPS Navigation Yes (Data Plan Activated)
Unassisted GPS Navigation No (If you do not access a Data Plan Carrier (Rogers in our case in Canada).

BUT... if I look at the specs of the LARGE iPad Pro, it seems that those units have Unassisted GPS...

Apple iPad Pro 12.9" 128GB With Wi-Fi/3G/4G/4G LTE - Silver
Assisted GPS Navigation Yes
Unassisted GPS Navigation Yes

Now I'm very confused here, and require a little pick up here. Are people above using the Small Pro's or the larger Pro's??? Can someone please fill in the blanks. It is obvious that I'm overlooking something here.

Are there OTHER iPads that I should be looking at for this GPS Thingie???

Oh, this can be so overwhelming at times. One of those problems when you live in the boonies, I guess.

Michael
2016-11-7
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crackthesky
lvl.4
Flight distance : 123402 ft
United States
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mdh222 Posted at 2016-11-7 22:49
Friends...

Looks like I'm leaning towards the:

My feelings are; You don't want to carry or hang a 12.9" tablet from your neck and I don't imagine it would fit onto the controller. The 9" would be beautiful if it fits into the controller, (some say it does), I don't know that. You surely don't need 258G, unless you plan on making it your go-to computer for EVERYTHING. 64 Gigs is more then enough. I have 30+ big apps, (flight, radar, weather, DJI Go, Litchi, Mapping software, messaging, etc) on my Mini 4 and I have used 8 Gigs total. I say buy what you can afford with-out breaking the bank, but make sure you have wifi & 4G/LTE capability. Don't sign on to a data plan until you see if you can get the GPS with-out it, while running DJI Go. What ever you do, get Apple IOS & upgrade to IOS 10.1, I think Androids are a problem for this work.   
2016-11-9
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mdh222
lvl.2
Flight distance : 8652 ft
Canada
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I have ended up with the following for my setup:

DJI Phantom 4 / Latest Firmware Update (Forced upon setup)
iPad Mini 4 / 128Gig / WiFi & Cellular
DJI Go App
Litchi App

I reside just a few blocks from an Emergency Landing Airport (for 737's (YYC / YYZ) so my DJI Drone is in a RED Zone, and will NOT start up!
I have yet to see my unit rotate a single motor!

If you reside in the middle of No Where, yet live just a couple blocks away from an Aerodrome, THINK FIRST BEFORE YOU BUY A DRONE!!! You just may run into a few road blocks.


Michael
2016-11-13
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RedHotPoker
Captain
Flight distance : 165105 ft
Canada
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You may have to take a drive to fly. Nothing wrong with that.

Even though I live many miles from an airport, I still leave my immediate vicinity mostly, to fly.
I do have a large school ground/park at the end of my block, which is fine for one battery.

But to really go out and enjoy some flying time, it's nice to be in a location away from nosy people and distractions.
There must be a way to bypass that block, by getting permission to fly, in a No Fly Zone


RedHotPoker
2016-11-13
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Crack The Sky
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Flight distance : 123402 ft
United States
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mdh222 Posted at 2016-11-13 07:25
I have ended up with the following for my setup:

DJI Phantom 4 / Latest Firmware Update (Forced upo ...

Drive over to the aerodrome and speak to the manager or controller in charge. Explain to them that you wish to fly near, (not over) their aerodrome and would like to receive permission. Be nice, explain that you will fly only during daylight hours, only when the visibility is greater then 3 miles, and you will not exceed 120 meters above the ground. Get the permission in writing. Email that document to DJI and they will unlock the area for you so you can fly.   
2016-11-13
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RedHotPoker
Captain
Flight distance : 165105 ft
Canada
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Yeah, bring your drone, with you too, so they can see what you are referring to, as well.
Good luck, I really hope it works out for you. ;-)

RedHotPoker
2016-11-13
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mdh222
lvl.2
Flight distance : 8652 ft
Canada
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Thanks guys for sharing your input! Here is a few updates that should put things at ease...

A) I have flown my aircraft on my property.
B) Our airport had a recent hanger fire, and burnt 25% of the hanger down (held maybe 4 Cessna's). The Airport Manager is not around.
C) I was able to share my VISA info and I was able to get the DJI Go App to lock in on P Mode and Life is Green for me.
D) The main reason for my drone purchase was to follow the local wildlife (from a safe distance, not to disturb the animals, but rather to observe them).

We have a wide variety of wonderful animals within 50 miles from our location.
Moose, Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles, Merlins, Kestrel, White Tailed Deer, Mule Deer, Elk, Badgers, Goofers, Wolves, Coyotes, migratory Birds (Millions pass through near by)! Of course I'm sure I'm missing many more.

I also live near some of the finest Natural Land Features (Sandcastles, a local hidden beauty! Some think they know where it is, but they are far from the natural features, which are nothing short of breath taking or jaw-dropping to see!

Most importantly, there is the Bear Paw Formation that cuts through the land mass! If you are not too sure just what the Bear Paw Formation is, it is an small mountain range in Montana, by an Indian Reservation there. Through the Bear Paw Formation, you can clearly note a distinct Black Line (less than 12" in most places) that houses ALL T-Rex Fossils!

I intend to fly near the formation video taping it at a very slow pace, so I can observe any unusual items that may be there waiting to be observed!

So yes, I do intend on getting off my butt and do some travelling around the neighbourhood with the drone!

I figure that it is just nice to see the aircraft safely work and slowly (my intentions). Since I'm in my 50's, speed is not what I'm wanting - It is the beautiful video this unit is able to capture!

And I am pleased to share that it no longer is a Boat Anchor, but a Flying Drone! I've had 6 minor test flights, and all were flawless! (and remarkable).

Thanks for the Constructive Criticism guys! Great guidance!


Michael
2016-11-13
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Crack The Sky
lvl.4
Flight distance : 123402 ft
United States
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mdh222 Posted at 2016-11-13 16:21
Thanks guys for sharing your input! Here is a few updates that should put things at ease...

A) I ha ...

Have a ball, be careful & respectful. Check in if you have any issues, someone here will have the answer you need. If you are flying in the USA did you get your FAA Registration ID #? Living 16 years in Montana & Wyoming I can say without question, you have a very good chance of running into a Forest Ranger, BLM Ranger, or some other Fed agent that can make your life miserable. Best to have your ducks in a row.Here is the information & link for registering a drone for Non-USA citizens:

FAA Non-US Citizen and Non-US Resident Registration
All pilots, including those visiting from outside the United States, are required by the FAA to register if they plan to fly most unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) weighing 250 grams or more outdoors. FAA registration can only be completed online using a United States based computer. Therefore, it is recommended these non-US citizen or non-US residents register once he or she arrives in the U.S. at a hotel, guest house, or flying field. For our AMA affiliate members, we can provide a computer to allow registration in the AMA HQ lobby.
Registration, including for non-US citizen or non-US resident pilots, takes approximately 15 minutes.  All pilots will receive their FAA/UAS number immediately after registering. This number will be provided on the confirmation screen, sent via email, and accessible in the FAA website user profile. The FAA registered number must then be placed in or on all aircraft that is being flown in the U.S. This number can be placed inside aircraft/battery hatch, if area doesn’t require a tool to open.
Successful registrants will also receive a matching certificate of registration, which pilots must be able to present in either electronic or printed form. While this certificate is similar to the US resident or citizen certificate, it will function solely as a “recognition of ownership” document. This document is required by the Department of Transportation for foreign nationals to operate legally in the US. This certificate will be available for print and will be sent to the pilot’s email immediately after completing FAA registration.
To accomplish registration a pilot will need an email address, credit/debit/or major credit card gift card, and a mailing address (the FAA website will accept foreign addresses and foreign nationalities). Proceed to http://registermyuas.faa.govto complete the registration process.
Once registration is completed, aircraft are properly labeled, and the certificate is accessible, non-US citizen and non-US resident pilots will be compliant with FAA regulations and permitted to fly safely and responsibly.
For those who would like to complete this process before coming into the United States, pilots can ask a friend or family member living inside the U.S. boarders to register on his or her behalf. For assistance you can call 877 396 4636 or email FAAHotline@faa.gov.


2016-11-13
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fansb1fe1104
Captain
Flight distance : 3372566 ft
United States
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fansa84fe8a4 Posted at 2016-11-6 12:33
I have the other autonomous app Autopilot. It uses the internal barometer for some Track me/Follow m ...

3 questions:

1. Where can I find the Autopilot app?

2 Is it free?

3. Is it only or IOS?

Thank you in advance
2016-11-13
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RCKITBUILDER
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United States
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mooney4321 Posted at 2016-11-6 10:34
Hi.
im using the Ipd mini 2 wifi. I works ok, but you will not get gps on wifi only Ipad`s.

Don't forget with most cell phones you can make the a wifi hot spot for temporary while you fly, shouldn't use that much data for a flight, and then the wifi only tablet could be tethered to it.  Just a thought/reminder
2016-11-13
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mdh222
lvl.2
Flight distance : 8652 ft
Canada
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fansb1fe1104, Autopilot App is in the iTunes Store:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/ ... om/id963963805?mt=8

$39.99USD is the price.

RCKITBUILDER, I was pondering this idea the longest. I decided to go with the WiFi & Cellular for a few other reasons (Skype with my Brothers while in remote areas, on vacation, etc.

Crack The Sky, wow, once again very important info for down the road. Should come in handy. Thanks for the info!
2016-11-13
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fansb1fe1104
Captain
Flight distance : 3372566 ft
United States
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mdh222 Posted at 2016-11-13 22:59
fansb1fe1104, Autopilot App is in the iTunes Store:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/autopilot-for-d ...

Thank you mdh
2016-11-13
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Crack The Sky
lvl.4
Flight distance : 123402 ft
United States
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fansb1fe1104 Posted at 2016-11-13 18:51
3 questions:

1. Where can I find the Autopilot app?

If you are referring to Litchi, (the most popular auto-filming/still app), go to www.flylitchi.com
It costs somewhere between $10 & $20 dollars.
It is compatible with IOS or Android systems
2016-11-14
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Crack The Sky
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Flight distance : 123402 ft
United States
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mdh222 Posted at 2016-11-13 21:59
fansb1fe1104, Autopilot App is in the iTunes Store:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/autopilot-for-d ...

My pleasure. $5.00 and you are legal as far as registering the drone at the Federal level.
Make sure you are aware of the myriad of other laws we now have in the USA for drone use. Some states/cities/communities are enacting their own laws too.Follow this link to my other thread: http://forum.dji.com/thread-71939-1-1.html
BJ
2016-11-14
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QuantX
lvl.2
Flight distance : 356542 ft
United States
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fansa84fe8a4 Posted at 2016-11-6 09:33
I have the other autonomous app Autopilot. It uses the internal barometer for some Track me/Follow me aspects where you may be moving and climbing a hill, etc.  The barometer is only in the iPad cellular models.

From my study on this and the phantom forum, seems the iPad Air 2 comes up in the recommendations a lot so I went for it with cellular (T-mobile.).  In retrospect, I should have studied the rural carrier maps a bit better as I see Verizon has better rural coverage for the western USA, albeit maybe more money too.

Good morning!  I just got my ipad mini 4 in the mail yesterday and lose using it for my drone.  Previously I was using my Galaxy S6 phone which worked great, but the screen was so small and reflective in the sun that it was hard to make out the picture.  The ipad is a GREAT improvement!  Even though it is only wifi the pictures I am now taking are a lot better!

But on to the original question...with the new ipad I can now use Ground Station pro on my ipad and am looking for a stylus with a fine point that would work good with setting up waypoints.  I saw in your comment that you are using a stylus and was wondering if you would have any suggestion on a good one for this purpose?

Thanks!
2017-4-13
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fansa84fe8a4
First Officer
Flight distance : 3 ft
United States
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QuantX Posted at 2017-4-13 05:14
Good morning!  I just got my ipad mini 4 in the mail yesterday and lose using it for my drone.  Previously I was using my Galaxy S6 phone which worked great, but the screen was so small and reflective in the sun that it was hard to make out the picture.  The ipad is a GREAT improvement!  Even though it is only wifi the pictures I am now taking are a lot better!

But on to the original question...with the new ipad I can now use Ground Station pro on my ipad and am looking for a stylus with a fine point that would work good with setting up waypoints.  I saw in your comment that you are using a stylus and was wondering if you would have any suggestion on a good one for this purpose?

I just use a generic pen stylus from the local office supply store.  Made by Targus.

Targus stylus.

It has a rubber like tip and I can just roll the tip to move a waypoint around on the iPad.  Just don't leave it in your pocket on laundry day as that seems to wash whatever stuff is on the rubber tip and makes it grabby rather than slick as when new.  I have several that have been through the washer and when they stick, I dip the tips in cornstarch and wipe it off to make it slip easier.
2017-4-13
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QuantX
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Flight distance : 356542 ft
United States
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fansa84fe8a4 Posted at 2017-4-13 19:08
I just use a generic pen stylus from the local office supply store.  Made by Targus.

Targus stylus.

Good to know!  Thank for that!
2017-4-14
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