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DJI Phantom 3 Standard, "Falling" gimbal issue ONLY with ND filte...
2977 34 2017-3-30
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Cake One
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Hi
I just bought a brand new P3s. Made the updates, calibrations, it flyes ok.
It is less than a week old, and has less than 1 hour of flight.

If i put something on the camera (ND filter for instance), the gimbal "falls" and comes back horizontally several times, without me touching anything on the remote.
i weighted the ND filter i got (NEWEER) and it's around 9,3 G.
I tryed a smaller one (CPL, also NEWEER) at less than 5 G, and it happens again.

With filter on, gimbal calibrated and phantom ready to fly, the camera is steady. As soon as it flies, from time to time, the gimbal goes down and up, as if it was falling due to a huge weight it can not stand, and trying to go back as its position.

It happened this morning and as i was recording, i could put it on Youtube.




Has this happened to anyone other than me?
Is it faulty?
Is there something i can do about it apart from sending it back to customer service after less than a week?

Thanks

2017-3-30
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DJI-Ken
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It's not faulty, just probably with the wind and the filter it's too much weight being applied to the tilt motor and it falls.
2017-3-30
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#shotxclvck
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#manthatsux
2017-3-30
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G_Sig
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Have used filters from Ditzco.com for months and camera works fine.
That is gel filters and are less than 2g. Not same quality but works.
2017-3-30
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blackcrusader
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If you add 9 grams on the front then add 9 grams on the back of the camera.  This may help but also you could overload your gimbal.
2017-3-30
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Cake One
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2017-3-30 11:48
It's not faulty, just probably with the wind and the filter it's too much weight being applied to the tilt motor and it falls.

Thanks for your answer but it behaves the same with 4G filter, in my yard with no wind at all.
If it's too heavy from the beginning, why don't I have a gimbal error at calibration?

Also, If it's too heavy, how come shops everywhere are selling quality ND filters for the Phantom 3 Standard, heavier than 4Grams ?

I'm sorry, I'm confused.
2017-3-30
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Michgolden
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Is the camera or gimbal getting excessively hot when this is happening? If so, possibly a weak motor?
2017-3-30
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Cetacean
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Cake One Posted at 2017-3-30 19:15
Thanks for your answer but it behaves the same with 4G filter, in my yard with no wind at all.
If it's too heavy from the beginning, why don't I have a gimbal error at calibration?

Aloha Cake One,

     What blackcrusader said just above your post (in post #5) is an important test.  If you can balance out the camera on the gimbal and it works or works better, that will be valuable information.  If the gimbal motor is weak for some reason, that test will confirm it.  That test will tell you where to go from where you are now so you can get help with the problem.

     Hope this helps!

Aloha and Drone On!
2017-3-31
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Cake One
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Hi
Thanks for your responses and explanations, it's really appreciated.

Is the Gimbal hotter than usual?
I didn't notice.
When I saw what was happening, I removed the filter immediately, and the camera seemed mid temperature (a little hot, but not enough to be burning skin or surprise)

I can not test again with the same filter (and add a counter weight) as it was a full kit with filters, hood, lens protection etc, and notice that not only the filters created the strange behavior, but also that the rest of the package was not good quality so I preferred to send the whole kit back to the seller instead of keeping it and not be able to use any of it.

I have orders some Ditzco ultra light filters to see if it works better.

However, I'm worried that this strange tilt behavior is a bad sign of something worse that may happen later (camera tilts now with a 4G filter, in a couple of month, it might tilt all the time with nothing on it)  and despite of what has been stated by DJI-Ken, it doesn't really look like a normal behavior to me.

This is why I was interested in other P3s users feedbacks, that use usual ND filters, Hoods, etc.

Thanks
2017-3-31
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RicardoGray
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Cake One Posted at 2017-3-31 05:53
Hi
Thanks for your responses and explanations, it's really appreciated.

I have a 3PA, not the standard, but I use polar pro filters all the time without issue. I know you camera does not have the removable lens, so you are adding some weight to it. What I think is odd is that in your video it constantly drops down but then picks itself back up, only to drop again in a couple seconds. I find it hard to believe the motor is weak, or it would not be able to pull it back up. TO me, it looks maybe like it is loosing connection / signal or something. I did try to use a hood on mine once though, and the wind did play with it a lot. I don't use it any more. So, I know the extra weight can effect things. I don't know of anyone who has used the filters you mentioned, but maybe you will get some better results with these new ones.
2017-3-31
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DJI-Ken
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Cake One Posted at 2017-3-30 19:15
Thanks for your answer but it behaves the same with 4G filter, in my yard with no wind at all.
If it's too heavy from the beginning, why don't I have a gimbal error at calibration?

You are free to send it in for evaluation and they can test the motors to see if there is anything unusual.
2017-3-31
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John Smith
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My gut feeling is that inertia may be coming into play here. It could be that the filter's weight is on the cusp of stressing the pitch motor, and small small movements of the drone cause the pitch motor to lose sync with the electronics and it "falls" momentarily until the electronics senses it's position and corrects it again.

I got that bright idea from playing with my P3S in response to this post because it made me curious. May not be the correct answer, but it may be a clue. Besides, right or wrong, the observations were interesting.  :-)

I sat my ac on the table and turned it on. then I started poking at the camera face with my finger to push it off kilter just to see what it would do. The roll and yaw motors recovered immediately and put the camera right back facing forward. But the pitch motor (the one you're having problems with) was a different animal altogether. If I pushed the camera face down it usually recovered immediately, but if I held it down momentarily and let go, it would just sit there for may 1 or 2 tenths of a second and then recover. This is rather similar to the actions in your video where the camera "fell" and then recovered after a tenth or 2 of a second. BTW, if I held the camera down for a few seconds, I could actually feel the "hit" every couple tenths of a second as the electronics pumped the windings trying to restore the motor's position.

I should also note here that I lifted the ac quite forcefully during my playing, and I could not get the camera to inertially budge from its position. That may be due to the camera being "balanced" as was mention around it's pitch motor. The only extraneous item I had on the camera face was that little neoprene "boot" that comes with the the P3 to protect the camera lens, and it's extremely lightweight. A heavier filter may overcome that balance, but you can follow the procedures I described on your own kitchen table to check yours and see what happens.  :-)

Also, FWIW and having no bearing on your current problem , I found the electronics treat an event differently depending on whether the camera is moved relative to the ac body or whether the ac body is moved relative to the camera. The latter's behavior is almost certainly a function of an accelerometer inside the aircraft talking to the gimbal.

When you move the aircraft body, the camera's pitch and roll follows flawlessly with essentially no lag/hysteresis as far as I could see.

But yaw was really very interesting. If you rotate the ac around its center, the camera would stay still in 3D space at first but start slowly turning in the direction the body was turned until it was facing forward and then stop. Very sophisticated motion curve as it not only increased speed as it started turning, but started decreasing speed as it approached "facing front". Classic bell curve! :-)

Alright...I'll quit yammering and go away now. If I didn't help, I hope the info was at least interesting.  :-)


2017-3-31
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Cake One
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2017-3-31 08:07
You are free to send it in for evaluation and they can test the motors to see if there is anything unusual.

I just bought it and have it since less than a week.

I suppose if I send it for evaluation, it will take quite a long time so, before I do such thing, I want to see if this reaction is normal (as you seem to think) or not, and reach to other P3s users to see if their machine behave the same in likewise conditions.

So far, I can handle using the phantom filter free as I'm still learning to fly so it's not a big deal.

When I receive the light weight filters, I'll see if the issue is still there or not and I imagine that 2 grams should have no impact on the gimbal behavior. If it still does it with 2 grams, yes, I think I'll probably send it for evaluation.

2017-3-31
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Cake One
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John Smith Posted at 2017-3-31 08:36
My gut feeling is that inertia may be coming into play here. It could be that the filter's weight is on the cusp of stressing the pitch motor, and small small movements of the drone cause the pitch motor to lose sync with the electronics and it "falls" momentarily until the electronics senses it's position and corrects it again.

I got that bright idea from playing with my P3S in response to this post because it made me curious. May not be the correct answer, but it may be a clue. Besides, right or wrong, the observations were interesting.  :-)

Thank you so much for your experience.
I'm not sure I understood exactly everything you did (english is not my primary language) but I got most parts.

I haven't tried yet what you suggest (pushing the camera) probably because everything seems so fragile, I'm afraid to break something.

Although, when I put the filter on the camera, I had no issue at all, even in calibration process,  until I flew the thing.

It didn't have to be far (it was at 2 meter high, 2 or 3 meters away from me) for it to happen.
I'm not sure just moving the body would produce the same result but as I don't have the filters anymore I can not check if it behaves the same or not.

I just checked the lens protection that was originally on the P3s (I think it's the one you mention) and it weights 7,69 Grams (so heavier than the CPL filter I tried that made the gimbal pitch).

It could be a good try to  try to fly  the machine with the protection on the lens cap (only a take off no need to move it) and see how it reacts.

I might give it a try tomorrow (weather is not great here for the moment, been raining all day).
If I can fly it, I'll try to make a video of it with another device, and upload it.

Let's hope rain finally stops :/
2017-3-31
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DJI-Ken
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Cake One Posted at 2017-3-31 10:33
I just bought it and have it since less than a week.

I suppose if I send it for evaluation, it will take quite a long time so, before I do such thing, I want to see if this reaction is normal (as you seem to think) or not, and reach to other P3s users to see if their machine behave the same in likewise conditions.

I just did a quick test with mine and if I rest my finger on the top of the camera it will make two tick sounds one when the camera goes down and one when it goes back into position. But it's only dropping a millimeter or so and not falling down.
Try that with yours, if it does the same as mine then maybe I need to test while flying and I can possibly do that later or tomorrow.
2017-3-31
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John Smith
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Cake One Posted at 2017-3-31 10:48
Thank you so much for your experience.
I'm not sure I understood exactly everything you did (english is not my primary language) but I got most parts.

@"I'm not sure I understood exactly everything you did (english is not my primary language) but I got most parts"

Not to worry - from the questions you ask I can tell you understand what you're looking at (and what you read) better than most people for whom it is. If there's anything you want me to explain better, be it technical or my use of american idioms and expressions, just ask.

@"I just checked the lens protection that was originally on the P3s (I think it's the one you mention) and it weights 7,69 Grams (so heavier than the CPL filter I tried that made the gimbal pitch)"

I'll be damned! You're right! Again, your comment made me curious and so I weighed mine on my ancient triple beam (yeah...I'm old school...and can be rather luddite in many ways :-) and it's exactly 7.5 grams!! I certainly didn't estimate that it could have weighed as much as some of these filters I see advertized!

Unfortunately that discovery does not bode well for your problem since I couldn't get my camera to malfunction inexplicably or unexpectedly for love or money. It does appear that your camera has a serious case of electronic hiccups that will probably require a "laying on of hands", so to speak.

@"Let's hope rain finally stops :/"

Heheh...I hear ya! I live in southern new jersey and we've been getting drenched all day by a constant barrage of pretty heavy rain. We have flood warnings from the national weather service all over the area here.

But like you, I'll send my little guy up wearing its lens protector when I get the chance just to see what happens.  :-)

2017-3-31
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Cake One
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2017-3-31 11:00
I just did a quick test with mine and if I rest my finger on the top of the camera it will make two tick sounds one when the camera goes down and one when it goes back into position. But it's only dropping a millimeter or so and not falling down.
Try that with yours, if it does the same as mine then maybe I need to test while flying and I can possibly do that later or tomorrow.

HiI made the test you required.
Drone is not flying, camera seeems to respond ok (but was also ok with filter on, as long as it was not flying so not sure if the test shows anything...)




2017-4-1
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G_Sig
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Cake One Posted at 2017-4-1 01:45
HiI made the test you required.
Drone is not flying, camera seeems to respond ok (but was also ok with filter on, as long as it was not flying so not sure if the test shows anything...)

Is the cable firmly set as on photo. It looks like the motor is loosing power for a short time.
Camera photo.
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John Smith
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Cake One Posted at 2017-4-1 01:45
HiI made the test you required.
Drone is not flying, camera seeems to respond ok (but was also ok with filter on, as long as it was not flying so not sure if the test shows anything...)

This is suddenly getting very strange...YOUR camera seems to have a stronger recovery response than MY camera!!

2017-4-1
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Cake One
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G_Sig Posted at 2017-4-1 04:07
Is the cable firmly set as on pshortoto. It looks like the motor is loosing power for a short time.
[view_image]

Hi
I don't see the photo you mention (blue question mark)
2017-4-1
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G_Sig
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Cake One Posted at 2017-4-1 05:48
Hi
I don't see the photo you mention (blue question mark)

Fixed the link.
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Cake One
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John Smith Posted at 2017-4-1 04:24
This is suddenly getting very strange...YOUR camera seems to have a stronger recovery response than MY camera!!

Hi
Visually it looks ok and firmly set.
I pushed it a bit inside with the tip of my finger, just to be sure ^^
2017-4-1
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Cake One
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Today the rains stopped so I could make some new test :
Here is the calibration of the gimbal with the protection on. It moves in several directions then at some point seems to fall (It could be normal calibration behavior, I don't know about that) then goes back horizontally.

Right after that, I tried to move the phantom in different directions (as suggested)  to see if the gimbal failed with the protection weight (7,5 grams).
It didn't.

Once more, I had the issue only when flying so I think I really need to fly to check.
However, for the moment, I still can not fly it with the protection on as the rain has stopped but it's way too windy so new test would have do wait.

@John Smith : How is the weather today in South New Jersey ? ^^

2017-4-1
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DJI-Ken
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Cake One Posted at 2017-4-1 01:45
HiI made the test you required.
Drone is not flying, camera seeems to respond ok (but was also ok with filter on, as long as it was not flying so not sure if the test shows anything...)

It may just be that the filter you are using is too heavy to fly with the wind and it's overloading the gimbal.
If you hover will it also fall?
2017-4-1
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Cake One
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2017-4-1 08:57
It may just be that the filter you are using is too heavy to fly with the wind and it's overloading the gimbal.
If you hover will it also fall?

Can't try it for the moment, it's too windy.

Also, about the weight, the same thing happened with a 4 gram filter (so lighter than the lens cap).
2017-4-1
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MerlinL14
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I have the neweer filter set for my P3, I have used it for over 3 months and have not experienced what you describe. My camera is rock steady. I would suggest that you do have some hardware failure on your gimbal.
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DJI-Ken
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Cake One Posted at 2017-4-1 09:40
Can't try it for the moment, it's too windy.

Also, about the weight, the same thing happened with a 4 gram filter (so lighter than the lens cap).

OK, if it keeps falling then you may just want to send it in for evaluation.
Here is the link to get started if you decide to do that.
http://www.dji.com/support
2017-4-1
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John Smith
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Cake One Posted at 2017-4-1 08:17
Today the rains stopped so I could make some new test :
Here is the calibration of the gimbal with the protection on. It moves in several directions then at some point seems to fall (It could be normal calibration behavior, I don't know about that) then goes back horizontally.

@"How is the weather today in South New Jersey ? ^^"

Rather dreary, really.  :-(

A stiff breeze, heavy overcast with short, small breaks of sunshine and about 50F degrees.

But NO RAIN!!! And better yet, no flooding in the area from yesterday's pounding that I've heard about!  

And where are you located? The background in your last video looks warm and sunny!  :-)

I did get out for about 10 minutes and took'er up with the lens cover on it for a "weighted test" so to speak. I didn't take it high or far because of the briskness, but I was bouncing it around pretty hard with the controls trying to make the lens barrel drop - but to no avail.

Talk about mixed feelings! I'm glad that my bird is proving to be so robust, but frustrated that I can't come up with any solid clues for you.
2017-4-1
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Cake One
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John Smith Posted at 2017-4-1 12:30
@"How is the weather today in South New Jersey ? ^^"

Rather dreary, really.  :-(

It probably looks "warm and sunny" because of the ND filter ;)
Today is quite cold and rainy.

It's the Atlantic coast of France

Thank you for trying to reproduce the problem I had.
I still need to try it myself because as the lens protections covering almost all the camera, I suspect it doesn't break the gravity balance as much as a full filter on one side only.

When I can fly, I'll probably test it with the lens cap fully on, half on, and on the edge ( if it fails already full on, the next 2 test won't be necessary).

I'm really confused about what's going on with my camera/Gimbal and a bit frustrated not being able to do full tests because of bad weather...
2017-4-2
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Michgolden
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Ah yes, the weather can be frustrating, as frustrating as having an issue right away! Don't get to discouraged, when you get it figured out, and you will, it will all be worth it. You'll be uploading video from across the pond for all of us to see. Looking forward to it!
2017-4-2
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Cake One
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Michgolden Posted at 2017-4-2 11:42
Ah yes, the weather can be frustrating, as frustrating as having an issue right away! Don't get to discouraged, when you get it figured out, and you will, it will all be worth it. You'll be uploading video from across the pond for all of us to see. Looking forward to it!

Thank you, that's sweet
2017-4-3
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Cake One
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Update.

Today I was able to perform the "lens cap fly" test

I flew the P3S with the lens protection on, and guess what, nothing happened.
I'm starting to wonder if indeed one of the cables was not inserted firmly enough.

I didn't do the other two tests I mentioned because I didn't have enough time.
Maybe next time or maybe I need to test another filter...?


2017-4-3
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Weyland_Yutani
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I had much the same issue with the same set of filters, it was caused by not having the lens mount seated properly which caused the lens to stick out further than it should have which in turn changes the point of balance and makes it harder for the gimbal to support it. Make sure the plastic lens holder is pushed all the way on so it's sitting snug against the main body of the camera.
2017-4-3
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jonrenee
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I have to say that the exact same thing happens to me.
Probably the same filter, the adjustable ND.
Watching your video, it is identical.
But when I start a Litchi mission it doesn't do it. Very curious
I just decided I would only use the filter when flying Litchi missions.
2017-4-3
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OrlyP
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I stuck a 10g counterweight at the back of the camera. The filters I bought included an adaptor sleeve to add a way to screw in the filters. It was just too much for the gimbal pitch motor to handle.

I've since replaced the Velcro with double-sided tape. The weights' been there for almost a year without any adverse effect.

2017-4-3
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