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Author Topic: Miranda's cheapskate Steampunk accessories  (Read 3938 times)
Miranda.T
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« on: September 21, 2014, 10:51:33 pm »

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
This thread is inteded to be a 'bookend' with my other thread over on Anatomical, which I've slightly retitled to 'Miranda's cheapskate Steampunk apparel' to better match this one's.

Every outfit needs accessories, and a Steampunk one is no different, although it demands something a bit more radical than matching shoes and bag. The philosophy for these accessories is that they are (hopefully) aesthetically pleasing, functional wherever possible, but most importantly produced for a reasonably low cost. As with the 'apparel' thread, though, this does mean there will be some need for construction and tool usage, but unlike the needles, thread, sewing machine and stock of sewing patterns for 'apparel' (plus an unpicker for when things go wrong...), this one will be using power drill, soldering iron, craft files and so on.

So, for my first entry, as the adventurous Stempunk will often find themselves in dark situations in need of a guiding light, may I please present the heart pendant illuminator:



The first picture is the pendant not illuminated, taken with flash, the second is with it illuminated, taken without flash. I'd like to say this is achieved via a minature limelight lamp, powered by tiny cylinders of hydrogen and oxygen, but that level of engineering expertise is very much beyond me, and I think insulating the back of the pendant to avoid burning a hole through my chest might be a bit tricky, so I've made use of the Chronon Perabulator to use alternative technology, i.e. I've cheated and used 21st century bits and pieces:



The starting point was the heart pendant bought for the paltry sum of £6 from 'New Look' Seeing it was hollow with a 'framework' design, and that the halves separated very easily (just held together with 3 pegs), the idea of the illuminator was born. The other bought parts were super-bright LEDs (50 bought from Amazon for just a couple of pounds, 3 V type so they could be connected to the battery without any need for resistors) and a CR2032 type battery holder (a couple of pounds for two from Amazon again; this battery type because I had some in stock, they are available in lots of shops, and they are thin). The other part is a minature locking push-switch recycled from a disposable vibrating toothbrush (the nice thing about this is that, depending on the terminals you wire up, 'on' can be with the switch in or out).

Construction:



The first picture it can be seen that one half of the heart has had its centre drilled out to allow the switch to be mounted, the other half also had some of its metal in this area removed to give more space for the battery holder. Also, one of the small 'jewels' at the top of each half was removed and a hole drilled through to take a small brass bolt, as I knew the small pegs would be incapable of holding the heart together once the mechanism was installed.

The second picture shows the battery holder cut down to allow it to fit (with an unmolested one aside it for comparison). The switch has been glued into the bottom of the battery holder to save space.

The third picture shows the battery in place, the cluster of LEDs soldered around it, and the mechanism in one half of the heart (with lots of insulation tape behind it to avoid shorting). The LEDs didn't give as much light from their sides as I'd hoped (I'd planned to lay four down flat), so I had to carefully shorten them to allow them to be placed face up in the heart. The cut edges will be scattering some light, but I compensated by adding two more LEDs.

The fourth picture shows the back of the combined heart. Gold foil from a well know chocolate-and-nut confectionary was used to hide the wiring, battery holder etc., and whilst I quite like the effect my daughter has suggested using a contrast such as a black material instead, so I'll give that a try at some point. A gauze might also be worth a try. It's not quite finished yet, as I need to buy some stick-on 'jewels' to drill-out and cover the switch and nut at the top (I'd planned to recycle the original 'jewel' from the centre of the side I'd drilled out, but it split when I was drilling it; no problem, as I can get about 30 stick-on 'jewels' from 'The Works' for 99p).

Does it work? Yes, I'm pleassed to say it illuminates a dark room fairly well. So, what to do with the remaining 42 LEDs (two, sadly, died during the making of this project; they will be missed  Wink)? Well, I have some Steampunk plans for them, but first some will go to illuminating the excellent 'Cog 'O' Two' Tardis kit we bought for our youngest from the Asylum, as she wants to take it into her school's show and tell this week...
« Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 10:54:08 pm by Miranda.T » Logged
Prof. Postrophe
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2014, 06:14:23 am »

My congratulations on a beautiful artifice and an excellently documented build!
Contrary to current popular wisdom, the fact that some crystal diode valves emitted light was known to science in the latter portion of the 19th century. Had not the vacuum-tube valve taken such precedence as to completely usurp all research avenues that could have examined such solid-state electronic phenomena,  we could easily have had semiconductor devices available well before the age of steam passed into that of diesel...
« Last Edit: September 22, 2014, 06:16:43 am by Prof. Postrophe » Logged

*Mechanical and electro-magnetic noises in the background, rising...*
"...However, one must keep in mind that eternal caveat of the engineering sciences..."
*sound of metal bending, then bursting glass and arcing discharge, followed by general crashing tumult...
...which finally ends with the sound of a magneto-dynamo sputtering to silence..*

"...'To The Limits Of The Device.'.."
Hektor Plasm
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2014, 02:48:53 pm »

Nice job! I do love people with the patience and steady hands to do miniature works like this- particularly refits into tiny spaces.
Well done, and thanks for the description.

HP
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H Plasm Esq. ICUE    Avatar by and with kind permission of Dr Geof. Ta!!

Some musings:-
http://hektorplasm.blogspot.co.uk/
Miranda.T
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2014, 07:59:52 pm »

Dear Prof. Postrophe,
That is very intersting snippet of information; I shall have to file that away to be incorporated into a story-line at some point. Thank you!

Dear Admiral Plasm,
Many thanks for your kind words. It did get a little frustrating occasionally as the twisting and pushing to fit everything in kept breaking the solder joints and glued sections. The next little project (the Tardis lighting), by contrast, has plenty of space, so hopefully will be nice and quick (especially as it's needed for Friday...)

Yours,
Miranda.
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Maets
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2014, 11:48:27 pm »

Very nicely done.
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Miranda.T
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2014, 10:48:06 pm »

Dear ladies and gentlemen,
This entry is very much a WIP, but I though I'd give an episodic style of recording a build a try instead of one long entry once it's all done.

Now, Halloween is nearly upon us, so it is time to start preparing one's defences. It is well known that a silver tipped nerf dart is fatal to vampires, werewolves, zombies and all manner of unpleasant undead, but it is an odd fact that this is true even if the tip is just silver plastic; must be some sort of placebo reaction...

So I have decided to build a small crossbow to launch nerf darts; I will not be using my usual crossbow as it might be a bit powerful for foam darts, and the organisers of whatever event we go to on Halloween might not like a full-power device on show. Also, it's bit too big; I'd like quite a compact one for when we dress in our finery to make our All Hallow's Eve promenade.

So, progress to date:



The body is simply an offcut with a semi-circular channel routered down it for the bolt. The piece below the crossbow is going to mounted over this to make channels top and bottom to keep the dart moving straight and true. The 'prod' is an old, fairly blunt hacksaw blade, although it will be coated in plastic to cover the remaining teeth. A piece of dowling is attached to the string to push the dart. The trigger is a coat-hook bought for £3; when pulled back it pushes a screw under the dowling, pushing it up to release the string. It shoots the bolt very nicely, thank you, although I haven't tried a distance test yet.

Things still to be decided... Do I leave the long part of the hook in place as decoration or cut it off? The handgrip; donated from a cheap plastic toy or fashioned from wood? Is it worth fitting any kind of sight, or will it be an 'instictive' shot? And finish ; stain the wood or spray it to look like metal? Maybe more next weekend.

Yours,
Miranda.

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Prof. Cecily
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2014, 11:09:45 pm »

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
What an inspiring example you've given us, Miranda.T.
About your crossbow- would you consider entering it in this contest?
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,43888.0.html

The more the merrier, after all.
I remain yours,
Prof Cecily

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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2014, 11:35:00 pm »

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
What an inspiring example you've given us, Miranda.T.
About your crossbow- would you consider entering it in this contest?
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,43888.0.html

The more the merrier, after all.
I remain yours,
Prof Cecily



Hmm, could do, although it will need a lot of work! Solves one question though; to go ino the 'original ballistic weapon' category I'll need to fabricate a pistol grip of my own, rather than recycle one from a toy.

Yours,
Miranda.

P.S. Prof. Cecily, I do like your mode of transport, as displayed in your new profile picture.
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Rory B Esq BSc
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2014, 12:33:55 pm »

A pistol crossbow is such a versatile tool, should the silver tipped darts prove ineffective they can be soaked with holy water. It can be used to fire a line across a chasm if you find your escape route blocked by such an obstacle and with an 'oversize' head to the bolts can inflict serious damage to any attacking airships.

I'm surprised they aren't more popular among Steampunks (although I have found the general population disapprove of their use in games of darts) so perhaps they are seen as somehow 'unsporting'. Some designs such as those with a geared windlass to pull the string back look quite steampunk (functional cogs and so on) and the Vietnamese repeating crossbow also offers potential.
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Prof. Cecily
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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2014, 05:06:37 pm »

[ . . . ]
Hmm, could do, although it will need a lot of work! Solves one question though; to go ino the 'original ballistic weapon' category I'll need to fabricate a pistol grip of my own, rather than recycle one from a toy.

Yours,
Miranda.

P.S. Prof. Cecily, I do like your mode of transport, as displayed in your new profile picture.
[/quote]

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
Quite right about the  'original ballistic weapon' category.
Still, there'd always be this category, to save yourself time you'd use for refinements and bells.

   1a. Custom Weapons: This category includes all weapons that are adaptations (from a toy, for example) and properly customized.

Tardis, camel, airship, submarine, skis...
It would be difficult to find a means of transport I've not used, especially when it's paid for by whoever's engaged my services.
I found the Tardis at the convention last weekend most engaging. Just having a coffee in the outdoor cafe nearby and watching the children play with it was lovely.

I remain yours,
Prof Cecily
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Miranda.T
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2014, 10:21:54 pm »

A little more work on the crossbow. The top channel had been added:



which opens up to allow the bow to be drawn and a dart inserted:



The trigger has had a spring inserted so it returns to the starting position after firing:



I've decided I'm going to keep the second prong from the trigger, and will use it to 'holster' the weapon by inserting into a leather loop either on a belt or leg strap. This does mean that it can't have a conventional pistol grip, although I have found that it is quite easy to shoot by wrapping the index and middle finger aorund the trigger and the thumb around the projecting end of the stock, so I'm just going to make an indentation in that to make it more comfortable to grip. Then what will remain is smoothing the wood off and painting, and possibly adding some sort of sight.

Yours,
Miranda.
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2014, 11:19:49 pm »

Just in time for Halloween, the crossbow is finished:





The last picture shows the little storage pouch for the darts.

Range isn't too bad, just a little short of my daughter's Nerf, but the sights, although fine horizontally, are currently way off vertically. Still, that's something to be sorted out after this weekend, as right now I'm finishing off the last few bits of my 'vampire hunter' costume (silver stakes, well, painted silver woden ones, and 'Holy Water' vials made form old cotnact lens cleaning containers with the tops sprayed to appear brass; they have a nice 'nut like' octagonal shape).

Yours,
Miranda.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 12:09:36 pm by Miranda.T » Logged
Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2015, 11:39:07 pm »

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

This little build was motivated by two things. Firstly, I wished for another accessory to hang from my belt; it's still looking rather bare. Secondly, often when staying over at hotels the lighting tends not to be very good, not ideal for preparing for a day's promenading. Then a memory struck me; possibly I could do something with a compact that had been burried in a drawer for some years:



It struck me this would be suitable as it is metal cased and of a design reminisent of a fob-watch - more so now that I've added the chain hoop visible at the top of the picture.

The reason I stoped using this is that it has a powder tray of a size which is not standard, and I was having difficulty finding a refill for it. I did, however, still have the old empty tray. I removed it and cut it in half, with the top section used to house a little homebrew lighting board:



The light source is 4 leds left over from a previous project, and the batteries and their holder is recycled from an old 'Happy Meal' toy. The two halves of the tray in place with the leds on:



On the lower tray a product called 'sugru' has been used to build receptacles for the brushes and the little pot of lippy to one side. This is intersting stuff; out of the packet it is a moldable, sticky material of the consistency of 'blue-tak'. but after a few hours it hardens to a slightly soft rubber. I'm not sure of the finish though; I sprayed it silver to match the exposed metal in the top half, but I can't say I'm convined and may look at this again.

The bottom tray is removable, with more storage underneath:



The trays currently in there are recycled from spent cosmetics and are to hold a small amount of pressed powder and foundation. However, they are removable; what could be put in there that might be a bit more Steampunk? A small hand-lens and sample case, perhaps? Or maybe one could imagine sachets of sleeping power to help one out of a tricky situation?

The other thing I would like advice on is covering the case's 'No 7' logo; it's hardly Steampunk. I really am trying to avoid 'sticking a cog on it'... Any ideas would be much appreciated!

Yours,
Miranda.
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Maets
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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2015, 12:05:03 am »

Nicely Done.

Something etched on the outside would work better than something added on.  If you have the skill a dremel tool could be used to cut in a cog, or an image.  Not something I would want to try, but an image of Tesla would be nice or Madame Curie.

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Drew P
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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2015, 01:45:51 am »

Ah, yes, but that No7 seems to be a tad deep. A nice brass filigree thingamabob on top would suit me.
Something from Etsy or....
I feel the filigree must originate from the bottom(No7) and flow from there, not too much with possibly another hint at the very top.
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Prof. Postrophe
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« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2015, 07:27:24 am »

Actually, that inscription is itself fairly steampunk in nuance. I have seen many a piece of antiquated mechanical hardware stamped with an often single digit designation, particularly instruments and hand tools. I have in my own utility kit a No.10A North Bros. Ratcheting Screwdriver, a No.5 Hecsharp Vernier Caliper, and a No.16 Lufkin Rule (which, oddly enough, outwardly resembles your handy device.)
 It may benefit from ornamentation, but you may do well to leave the number intact, if not decoratively framed.
(Additionally, I ran across in my researches a rather exclusive artisan watchmaking firm calling itself the No.7 Watch Group.. Their collection is intriguing, if somewhat traditional...)
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Miranda.T
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« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2015, 07:55:01 pm »

Nicely Done.

Something etched on the outside would work better than something added on.  If you have the skill a dremel tool could be used to cut in a cog, or an image.  Not something I would want to try, but an image of Tesla would be nice or Madame Curie.



Many thanks. Unfortunately I do not own a dremel, and also the mirror is securely affixed to the other side, and I would worry that the vibrations might crack it.

Ah, yes, but that No7 seems to be a tad deep. A nice brass filigree thingamabob on top would suit me.
Something from Etsy or....
I feel the filigree must originate from the bottom(No7) and flow from there, not too much with possibly another hint at the very top.


Filigree sounds like a very nice idea, especially as the compact's colouration is not as even as one might wish.

Actually, that inscription is itself fairly steampunk in nuance. I have seen many a piece of antiquated mechanical hardware stamped with an often single digit designation, particularly instruments and hand tools. I have in my own utility kit a No.10A North Bros. Ratcheting Screwdriver, a No.5 Hecsharp Vernier Caliper, and a No.16 Lufkin Rule (which, oddly enough, outwardly resembles your handy device.)
 It may benefit from ornamentation, but you may do well to leave the number intact, if not decoratively framed.
(Additionally, I ran across in my researches a rather exclusive artisan watchmaking firm calling itself the No.7 Watch Group.. Their collection is intriguing, if somewhat traditional...)

Now that is an aspect I had not considered. I'm wondering if, keeping the logo, if I could find a way to carefully add serifs to the N and 7 to make them more Times than Aerial?

Yours,
Miranda.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2015, 07:58:19 pm by Miranda.T » Logged
Miranda.T
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« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2015, 07:56:58 pm »

Double post - apologies.
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Miranda.T
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2015, 08:07:14 pm »

Right, now I've had a good dust around in here and swept out the cobwebs, I'll try to add things a bit more regularly...

My recent pirate outfit needed a grog bottle, and it just so happened I had a small vintage hip-flask purchased a few months ago for the princely sum of £5. But, how to carry it around? Answer - make a harness for it:



The leather was from a strap donated by an old handbag, and the 'rivets' are just copper-coloured split pins. Now, where to hang it? The thought of from a garter belt was appealing, but as I've mentioned before, for the belt to be strong enough it would need to be so tight it would cut off the circulation to the leg it was on. So, it needs a bit of help:



An old suspender belt is used to give some support to the garters (here unfortunately just dangling as the mannequin has a deficiency of legs...). A split ring is added to each, from which the flask is hung on one side and my crossbow the other. The only problem was, even with the suspenders fully extended the items were mostly hidden under the skirt (the one worn is shown here http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,35457.msg956339.html#msg956339). So either I need to extend the hangers or shorten the skirt, at least at the front. You can probably guess which I'll be doing next time...   Roll Eyes

Yours,
Miranda.
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Cora Courcelle
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« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2015, 06:09:17 pm »

My dear Miranda,
You are so talented.
I have just found this thread and I am completely in awe of your talents.
Thank you for sharing.

Regards,
Cora
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2015, 11:29:23 pm »

My dear Miranda,
You are so talented.
I have just found this thread and I am completely in awe of your talents.
Thank you for sharing.

Regards,
Cora

Many thanks for your kind words; I'd like to add to it a bit more regularly but as always time is the limiting factor. Hopefully in the not too distant future I will have a few new things to talk about, such as what I'm planning for a spring-loaded shaft from a compact umbrella (which donated some of the spokes for my parasol skirt).

Yours,
Miranda.

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frances
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« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2015, 02:26:06 am »

For the outside of your compact case - paint or spray metallic paint onto a piece of lace.   Glue it on.
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Hez
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aka Miss Primrose C Leigh


« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2015, 03:19:17 am »

Hi Miranda
You came up on the top of "unread posts" and made me go "Yay"
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Prof. Cecily
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« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2015, 09:10:04 am »

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
What a gem of a thread.
Inspiration, information and a splendid dislay of creativity, all in one.

My congratulations on a beautiful artifice and an excellently documented build!
Contrary to current popular wisdom, the fact that some crystal diode valves emitted light was known to science in the latter portion of the 19th century. Had not the vacuum-tube valve taken such precedence as to completely usurp all research avenues that could have examined such solid-state electronic phenomena,  we could easily have had semiconductor devices available well before the age of steam passed into that of diesel...

Thanks so much for sharing this information, Prof. Postrophe, though it but fuels my motivation to hunt down more on this subject rather than doing something 'useful'.

My dear frances- snap!

I remain yours,
Prof. Cecily
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Miranda.T
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2015, 08:59:07 pm »

For the outside of your compact case - paint or spray metallic paint onto a piece of lace.   Glue it on.

Very nice idea - thanks! I'm planning to do a bit of re-working on that piece, including using a recently purchased hand-held engraver, although I'll do a bit of practicing on a piece of scrap metal first!

Dear Hez and Prof. Cecily - I'm really pleased you're finding entries in this thread to be of interest; it gives me the proverbial 'kick up the... derriere' to stop thinking over the ideas knocking around in my head and actually get on with building them, although my next entry will probably be in Cora's Steampunked Christmas decorations thread as I'd like to contribute something there.

Yours,
Miranda.
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