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Well I was always told buying a seasonic PSU would get you pussy.

who doesn't like watching pussy on box action.

oh yeah.

 

Mreooowwww.

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Nice work there Mr Frunj, sounds/looks like it was a major pain in the arse, but the end result looks sweet!

Very good instructions if anyone else wishes to follow, must has been a lil chilly in the workshop that day ,so thanks for sharing :)

 

 

 

 

 

Well I was always told buying a seasonic PSU would get you pussy.

*facepalm*

.

.

.

 

:)

 

More like POTM.

 

 

+10 Reaper

It was a "Classy" post indeed.... :)

Edited by dishd

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Great work so far. Keep up the good work. :D I enjoy learning a thing or two, and this thread has taught me a bit :P

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Well I was always told buying a seasonic PSU would get you pussy.

Whoever told you that, I have the same amount of pussy(cat) I've had since getting the PSU :P

 

More like POTM.

No way does Nukey get POTM in this thread before I do!

 

Nice work there Mr Frunj, sounds/looks like it was a major pain in the arse, but the end result looks sweet!

Very good instructions if anyone else wishes to follow, must has been a lil chilly in the workshop that day ,so thanks for sharing :)

Thanks, yeah, it was kinda cool that day. Tend to heat to around 20°C and wear a jacket/jumper, any more than that gets too expensive.

 

Update coming now, just gotta resize the pics and upload (and write it). Should be an exciting one ;D

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It's been a long while since new toys arrived, and my ol' faithful 5870's have been pulling duty in my somewhat buggy main rig for the past few years. Since they're acclimatised to that computer it's not really fair to move them now they're settled (lol), I decided to grab an upgrade. Say hello to my gigantic friend:

Posted Image

 

Hopefully the MSI 7970 Lightning can bring this rig into 2012 :D

 

Unfortunately though, it's not all beer and skittles. The card sort of breaks the standard conventions for expansion cards - namely it's a tall mofo. It's also heavy, and the sheer weight of the heatsink had to be braced against the PCI bracket for rigidity. However, this bracing also meant that it wouldn't work with the Lian-Li quick-release PCI bracket system, something I am very fond of that lets me swap things around easily. The card happily fits without the heatsink frame attached:

Posted Image

 

While I could remove it and screw the brackets in by hand, I decided to simply modify the heatsink frame. I removed all the screws and separated the front frame from the card, then placed it in a plastic shopping bag to minimise the metallic fragments getting over everything (including the thermal pads). Then it was time to dremel >:D

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Put it all back together (after a quick wipe with a damp paper towel to grab any bits of metal dust) and it worked perfectly with the Lian-Li system (pic) :)

 

Then it was time to grab the Swiftech MCW80 waterblock I had purchased yonks ago (guess I won't be needing the second one I have) and the EK-VGA HF HD7970 Cu Adapter (purchased from the lovely Gam), and get assembling. I applied a bit of paste to the bottom of the EK copper spacer/shim/thing and placed it against the 7970 die:

Posted Image

 

And went to test-mount the waterblock without paste - only to realise that the metal shroud on the rear of the Lightning got in the way by just enough that the mounting screws couldn't reach the block D:

 

Rather than go without the metal shroud (as I wanted it for aesthetics and for another step below), I whipped out the dremel and cut it out. I traced the bracket, then drew straight lines from the mounting holes and cut out a square. From there I whipped out the grinding attachment and used it to create the rounded corners. I grabbed a file and smoothed the edges of the cut to make it a bit nicer, and also to remove the metal shards that the grinding attachment had left.

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I applied some paste (some of my favourite Noctua NT-H1 goop) and attached the block (pic). Because I had some heatsinks left over from two years ago when I had intended to use them on the VRMs and memory chips of the 5870 cards, I threw a few onto the heatsink frame above the memory chips - including the bottom memory chip that MSI had completely neglected to cool, even at stock. I mounted them with sekisui thermal tape. The rest of those heatsinks had already been used on my DAC :P (pic)

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I installed two of the 45° adapters and the compression fittings too, and then put it in the case. Looks pretty amazeballs, gotta say - and it's not bad from the top either! (pic)

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My final modification to this card was due to its super-bright BLUE LEDs at the back that are a) on all the time and b) NOT RED.

 

To fix them I cut up some heatshrink and placed it under the shroud, then manipulated it with pliers and a tiny flathead screwdriver to block out the light. Once I had re-attached the shroud I cut another small length of heatshrink and tucked it under the edges to stop light coming out the sides. Voila! The LEDs won't be affecting anything with their horrible bluey blueness.

Posted Image Posted Image

 

Remember back to the start of this post (like a minute or two ago :P) when I said this was a stupidly big card? Well, turns out it's so big that it interferes with the reservoir - I'll have to rip out the mobo and other components and re-mount the brackets as far over as I can so that the res will fit :(

Posted Image

 

 

So yeah, will get around to that when I feel like it. Also these updates aren't chronological, nor are they usually immediately after I did the mods, so if you notice other bits in the background that seem to be older or newer, that's why :)

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Nice one, i knew you were gonna change the graphics card, i thought you were gonna choose that or the GTX 680.. To be honest i had my bets placed on the 680 (not that there is anything wrong with the ATI which is my proffered brand). But i find it amazing how you can think all this up, and make it work in a very effective manner.

Will be very interesting to see what you do next.

My hat is off to you good sir.

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I had the same problem with GPU's being too long in my setup. Ended up having to move the res/pump over further, which left only just enough room for my DVD drive cables...

 

Looking sweet so far though mate, keep up the good work :)

 

 

Oh, you going to paint the inside of the case at all?? Or just leave it as bare Aluminium?

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Nice one, i knew you were gonna change the graphics card, i thought you were gonna choose that or the GTX 680.. To be honest i had my bets placed on the 680 (not that there is anything wrong with the ATI which is my proffered brand). But i find it amazing how you can think all this up, and make it work in a very effective manner.

Not sure how effective it is, I have to change things and re-do things pretty often >.< I went with AMD because it was Project Red, and to go NVIDIA would be far too green for the theme :P:P

 

Oh, you going to paint the inside of the case at all?? Or just leave it as bare Aluminium?

I had intended to paint it, but I reckon I'll leave it bare. Too much effort to get everything painted imo, especially when it'll only be seen in pictures - I've given up on the idea of a side window as it won't ever be visible in my current setup.

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Ah, well, in that case it doesn't matter really. No point in doing all that sorta stuff if it's never seen...

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Just WOW Mr Frunj...

Outstanding working, your like the Macgyver of Atomic! Love the look of the card with the Water Block and esp the way you got around the blue LED lights, heat shrink (i would have never thought of that).

I quite like the look of the unpainted inside, brings a real mod feel to the box (if that makes any sense). Looking forward to next post of Project Red.

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Enjoying the level of detail in this work log so far, keep it up! Your photography skills are much better than mine.

 

The 7970 looks sweet, love the look of yours (simillar to Dasa's) with the GPU block and passive heatsinks. I think its even sexier than a full cover block, but that might also be because of all the gold bling. Your temps are hopefully going to be great too. That card is damn tall, I've noticed that trend recently actually.. cards getting taller (leaving a gap for the Crossfire bridge) hopefully they don't get too tall.

 

It's a shame about the graphics card being so damn big though, I had a simillar problem with mine (normal size for a 7970(still huge)) being a touch too wide, and the PCI-e 8x connectors are pressed tight against my res. I got away without having to move it though... just. No way your card would have fit.

 

I love that rad grill, I definitely need to get one for the ugly hole on the top of my case.

 

The cable sleeving looks sweet too, I had fully intended to sleeve my PSU but not sure I have the dedication any more. This is inspiring stuff though.

Edited by p0is0n

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Front Panel Power and Lighting Buttons Tutorial

 

Time for another update! Today's update has been brought to you by Raymond, who helped out with some of the drilling and grinding work. Thanks Ray!

 

Astute observers would have noticed that due to the addition of the top 480mm grille (to which the rad mounts), the case lost its power and reset buttons. Oh noes! I wasn't really bothered by this because of the desk I have - the buttons would be hard to access on the top anyway - but to save the hassle of taking off the side panel and pressing the button on the mobo I had to put something on the front.

 

Things you'll need to buy:

Tools needed:

  • Drill with drillbits
  • Dremel with cutting disc (or other cutting tool)
  • Dremel grinding discs
  • Pliers for stripping wire and tightening
  • Soldering Iron w/ wet sponge for cleaning

The first step is to take the fascia off (which in this particular case is done by simply pulling it away, very easy) and mask up the area you want the buttons to be. I chose the logical place, at the top of the fascia facing outwards. I want the power button to be closest to where I sit, so it's on the right-hand side, and the lighting switch will be on the other side. I'm going without a reset button as I find I don't use it very often, but it's pretty easy to just add another button in if you'd like one.

 

Take the nut off the button by unscrewing and place it on the masked area, and trace the inside of it with a pen. Use a drill and drill four pilot holes in a rough square as shown below:

Posted Image

 

Once they're drilled, grab the Dremel and cutting disc and cut a line between the center of each pilot hole, cutting out a square. Then swap out attachments and use the grinding disc to widen the square hole out to a circle. Grind up to the line you drew with the button's mounting nut, then begin the painstaking process of test-fitting the button and grinding a little more, test-fitting and grinding more. The Vandal Switches are very high quality, but they also don't have much of a lip, so it's super easy to grind away too much and have a gaping hole.

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This method worked fine for the 22mm and 19mm buttons, but I can't see it working for anything smaller. You'll need to hand-file the mounting hole for anything with a lesser diameter... which will be a gigantic pain in the butt because the aluminium is very thick and will take ages.

 

Finally both buttons were mounted, and we were only slightly too large for the 22mm momentary button (which when tightened was fine, it isn't going anywhere).

Posted Image

 

Now that the buttons are both firmly mounted in the fascia (tightened with the pliers), it was time to check the manufacturer's pinout for the button terminals to know how to wire it up. Luckily it was pretty straightforward, going off the images below (rehosted from Gam to save his poor servers from displaying images, teehee).

 

Momentary

Posted Image

 

On/Off

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PC Lighting Circuit On/Off Button Wiring

I started with the On/Off switch, which can be confusing if you've never seen a button's behind before. The leftmost terminal in the image is the positive LED terminal, which requires a +12V cable. The topmost NC Terminal closes the circuit when the button is not pressed in, and isn't really useful to me. The middle NO Terminal closes the circuit when the button is pressed in, and therefore is the one I'll have to use. The C Terminal at the bottom is the button input side, and accepts the wire that requires switching. The final Terminal on the right is the -12V lead for the LED.

 

Because it's always better to put a switch on the positive lead of a DC circuit (as the case is a ground and can cause short-circuits in rare circumstances) I wired a red wire to the C Terminal that provides a constant +5 volts, and wired another wire to the NO Terminal that will go on to power all the various LEDs in the system. Those same LEDs will be grounded straight into the molex plug of the PSU; only a single wire needs to be run up to this button.

 

All that results in the image below, after stripping the wires and winding them through the terminals and then soldering (just as in the LCD frame tutorial). Heatshrink is of course the next step, and it's important to heatshrink the bare NC Terminal that we're not using as it will receive power when the lighting circuit is off - and could short against the case or my radiator.

Posted Image

 

PC Momentary Power Button Wiring

Then it was time to move on to the other button, which has a different arrangement of Terminals. Annoyingly the image that Gam provided was of another layout altogether than the button I was shipped, but the Terminals were labelled identically so I just wired it up according to that and it worked fine.

 

As this is a power button, there's no use using Terminals 1 and 2 as they complete the circuit when the switch is just sitting there. Therefore Terminals 3 and 4 were the right ones, and they were labelled on the button itself. I grabbed the power cable from the Lian Li case, cut off the end nearest the original button, and wired it to these Terminals. Polarity doesn't really matter for a power switch as the main thing is just that the circuit is closed.

 

Then I chopped off the original power LED cable and wired the coloured lead to the positive + Terminal, and the white lead to the negative - Terminal. Typically the positive lead in a DC system will be coloured, and the negative will be white or black, but it's always worthwhile checking beforehand with a multimeter. Another way of checking is to look at the factory-installed LED bulb, and assume that the negative lead is the one closest to the flat side of the bulb.

 

As these wires are twisted together, make sure you untwist far enough to get some heatshrink on there. Don't make the mistake I did and thread the leads to the terminals, only to have to unthread just to put some bloody heatshrink on >.<

Posted Image

 

Once everything is soldered and heatshrinked, it's time to test! Lucky for me everything worked perfectly, and they look quite cool :) It's redder in real life than in pictures, but it still looks neat:

Posted Image

 

Finally, because the various leads will be visible in the system, I sleeved them all:

Posted Image

 

 

And then whacked it back onto the case, and voila! Working power button, and when I get around to installing my various lighting, I'll be able to control it from the front of the case :)

 

\o/ Tutorial End \o/

 

 

No point in doing all that sorta stuff if it's never seen...

I guess not, but it sure makes for pretty pictures :)

 

Just WOW Mr Frunj...

Outstanding working, your like the Macgyver of Atomic! Love the look of the card with the Water Block and esp the way you got around the blue LED lights, heat shrink (i would have never thought of that).

I quite like the look of the unpainted inside, brings a real mod feel to the box (if that makes any sense). Looking forward to next post of Project Red.

Thanks! I was going to use duct tape, but only had slightly transparent silver stuff that wouldn't have blocked all the light, and I was worried that the adhesive would melt into the card and cause problems. Heatshrink should be fine up to 90°C before shrinking and higher before burning, so should be completely stable.

 

I like the unpainted inside too, but I dunno about it feeling more moddey than being painted :P

 

Enjoying the level of detail in this work log so far, keep it up! Your photography skills are much better than mine.

 

The 7970 looks sweet, love the look of yours (simillar to Dasa's) with the GPU block and passive heatsinks. I think its even sexier than a full cover block, but that might also be because of all the gold bling. Your temps are hopefully going to be great too.

 

I love that rad grill, I definitely need to get one for the ugly hole on the top of my case.

 

The cable sleeving looks sweet too, I had fully intended to sleeve my PSU but not sure I have the dedication any more. This is inspiring stuff though.

Thanks! Photography is all about experimenting with angles, lighting and settings, I've had the fortune of being able to do that as a job for four years :)

 

Yeah I love how the card looks, tempted to grab some more copper heatsinks from dealextreme and give the card even more cooling (but I think I'll wait and see how temps are before I bother adding more weight to it >.>). Great little things though, my headphone amp is much better due to them.

 

Word of advice: Don't sleeve a Seasonic. Seriously!

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Great work man, pretty epic tutorial. Exactly how many cases have you modded? :P

 

Gonna upload some of the build in complete and final form? :D

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Great work man, pretty epic tutorial. Exactly how many cases have you modded? :P

 

Gonna upload some of the build in complete and final form? :D

About six or seven, but none as extensive as this one. A window here, lighting system there, but not all in one build. Most stuff I'm doing now I've never done before, the buttons were just planning and guesswork.

 

Nah, who wants final pics? :P:P

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Well then nice and creative, to be honest i expected a long list of experience after that one. and

MEMEMEMEMEME

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get hawkeye to put it in the next issue..or here and the front page..

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get hawkeye to put it in the next issue..or here and the front page..

 

PICS! NOWA!!!

Yeah, see. more incentive, im pretty sure as soon as you post the pics, its front page material ^.^

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Lol, I was kidding guys, of course I'm gonna take final pics! Geez, what do you take me for :P

 

 

Also in unhappier news, I broke a SATA connector on one of the 600GB Velociraptor ice pak thingies :( I'll do a proper post on what was happening and what I was trying to do, but I'm going to have to find a Torx set at a hardware store and then mount the bare drives to some of these babies from the UK (why are things so hard to find here?). They'll be here eventually, no doubt, but the olympics will surely interfere with the speed.

 

So yeah, that delays me a little bit, but there's still a buttload of sleeving to do and I'm considering shortening the cables from the fan controller before I sleeve, but that involves more soldering. Modding y u so effort?!

 

*edit*

Actually, stuff going to a hardware store. Seeing as I have to wait for brackets I just bought a Torx set off Ebay that has the bits I think I'll need (the T10 fitting I have is too big, and this set has T5-10, so I should be sweet).

Edited by TheFrunj

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Ok, I've finally got another update ready - this one caused a few headaches, but they're fixed and it's ready to go.

 

CPU Waterblock LED Fitting

 

Decided it was time to whack the EK Supreme HF Nickel waterblock on my CPU, which I did following the instructions. Look how shiny it is:

Posted Image

 

Annoyingly, they didn't mention NOT to use the rubber spacer pad that the other sockets use when installing on LGA1366, which I didn't notice before trying to put the mobo back in the case... and it wouldn't screw down to the standoffs. Derp.

 

So I snipped the spacer away with scissors and tore it off, and voila, it mounted. Looks alright without fittings:

Posted Image

 

But of course, fittings are helpful when trying to actually use it for its intended purpose. Here they are attached (later I would go back, take these off, and add in a 45° adapter for easier tube routing):

Posted Image

 

With that done, it was time for some LEDs up in this bitch! Lucky for me that EK drilled these two convenient 3mm holes, into which I crammed a Phobya twin 3mm LED kit. I cut off the molex connector, and threaded the wires through the mounting holes in the motherboard - lucky for me that ASUS thought to drill LGA775 and LGA1366 holes :)

Posted Image

 

Then it was 'round the back to wire them up. As it was an off-the-shelf kit, each LED had the appropriate resistor soldered to it just before the LED itself, so I didn't have to do anything but provide 5 volts. I twisted each positive and negative lead together, then soldered on a female Molex connector which will later provide my power.

Posted Image

 

Weirdly the kit didn't work, which gave me much headscratching and sadfase, so I bought an XSPC version and wired it up identically - and again it didn't work! In frustration I plugged the black wire into the positive and the red into negative, and boom, the LEDs came on. Super confusing why it was the opposite of normal, but oh well, at least it works.

 

And it looks super awesome!

Posted Image Posted Image

 

So yeah, super happy. It won't be seen very often, but it sure is shiny ^_^ I can easily wire it up to my front lighting button, too.

 

And just another small modification, bought some fitting extensions so the radiator would be easier to get to - it was a bit cramped in the corner:

Posted Image Posted Image

 

That about does it for this time, stay tuned though because I definitely have more coming :)

Edited by TheFrunj

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More Pure Awesome Mr. Funji!!

damn that one shiny bum on that block, almost as shiny as Public servents!

That led lights looks sweet, glad that you got it working, all these little details are whats making this build/mod the bomb! i was going to say you can get a decent Torx set online, or if you ever need a a weird size Torx bit, let me know i have quite a collection of them.

Keep up the outstanding work and posts Mr. Funji :)

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Individually Sleeving the Seasonic 24-pin ATX Power Connector Cable

 

So as I eluded earlier... the pins that Seasonic engineers have decided to use are ridiculous. THEY'RE FUCKING TERRIBLE. Holy shit, seriously, this took me about two hours to do. I mean, great for Seasonic rah rah less failures blah blah - but they're the worst invention ever, imo.

 

Packaging: Great. PSU: Fantastic. Cables: OMGWTF

 

Anyway...

 

I started like I do most sleeving adventures by taking pictures of both sides of each end of the cable, to avoid messing up. Here's the stock PSU end that's split, and the stock ATX end that goes into the mobo:

Posted Image Posted Image

 

I measured one length of sleeve, test fit, then used that to cut all 24 lengths of sleeve. I did the same with heatshrink. Then I drew straws, and since I got the shortest and longest straw, I had to sleeve. Aww....

Posted Image

 

So I began the boring process of removing the pins, hurting my hands with the sheer amount of force needed for some of them, then burning my fingertips when heatshrinking. So much fun ._.

 

As you may have noticed in the second embedded shot of the mobo-side connector posted above, there are two orange +3.3V wires going into a single pin. WTF SEASONIC, WTF. Luckily this wasn't such a bad deal as I could sleeve from this end and both wires wound up going to the same place on the PSU end, but still, it was a bit of a weird decision.

 

Even more annoyingly, they were wrapped around other wires (pic) in such a way that I couldn't sleeve them without first removing one leg of the wire from the PSU end, then re-inserting and sleeving (like so - pic).

 

The sleeving process is boring and replicated many places around the interwebs, so I won't detail it, but I aimed to shrink the heatshrink and have the sleeve in the same place on every wire to keep it as close as possible. To avoid having to remove a fucktonne of pins, I only did the heatshrink-into-the-connector with the mobo end of the cable.

Posted Image

 

Hit another snag with the +5V standby power cable that was twisted around a ground wire very deliberately (pic). I figured there was an electrical reason for this (perhaps to cut back on radio emission?) so sleeved both those cables at the same time, twisting them around each other in the process. Was tempted to do this to all the cables, but EFFORT.

Posted Image

 

The final hurdle in the sleeving adventure was a +5V cable that had two wires to a single pin, on BOTH sides of the PSU connector. I decided to leave this until last when all other wires had been arranged out of the way, and sleeved it to about 5cm away from the connector so I could plug them both in (as one sits above the other). Not super pretty, and I could've done some soldering to fix it, but I was not feeling like doing that.

Posted Image

 

The finished cable in all its glory (I forgot to embed this pic when I posted):

Posted Image

 

And then plugged it into the PSU to see if that was enough slack (it was):

Posted Image

 

Ran the cable up the back of the mobo tray and into my very own cable hole:

Posted Image

 

And then put the res in place with crossed fingers in the hopes it would still fit. As luck would have it, it wouldn't have been very comfortable if it were in its original position - so having to move it for the Lightning was quite useful here.

Posted Image

 

My fingertips are still sore and unhappy, but I reckon it looks sweet and was probably worth the effort. Maybe. Who knows. But yeah, getting there!

Edited by TheFrunj

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Looking good man. Really liking the black white and red colour scheme. Hang in there and keep plugging away at it. Its great to see it progressing.

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Hard work Mr Funji, hard bloody painful work, especially when you have to deal with Seasonic's, hummm, unique pin design... but the end results look awesome! The build is looking damn sweet, thank you for taking the time (and pain) to photo and upload your build log for us.

Keep up the outstanding work Mr Funji

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