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We have learned that Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Firmware Version 2.5.2 is now available. Anyone with a Qolsys IQ Panel 2 or IQ Panel 2 Plus can download this update. This is a universal update that will improve system performance and connectivity with Alarm.com. Apply it as soon as possible.

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There isn't too much exciting to talk about with this update, but it is still very important. The only definitive noticeable change is that it fixes an error involving low-battery alerts while using a Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16 Wired to Wireless Converter. Other than that, the update mostly serves to improve the communication between the panel and Alarm.com.

You can read the entire Technical Service Bulletin TSB# 200413 here.

To apply this update, make sure that your panel is running at least Firmware Version 2.0.1, and have your system connected with a local WIFI network. The system should be connected with its transformer, and its backup battery should be charged. Please also note that if you are updating from Firmware Version 2.5.0 or 2.5.1, you must change the Log Level to "Verbose". This is done by clicking the small grey bar at the top of the system screen and choosing Settings > Advanced Settings > Installer Code (default 1111) > Installation > System Logs.

Once you are ready, from the primary panel, click the small grey bar at the top of the screen. Choose Settings > Advanced Settings > provide the Installer Code (default 1111) > Upgrade Software > Patch Tag > enter iqpanel2.5.2 > OK > Upgrade using network. The upgrade process should then begin. It normally takes less than 30 minutes. Remember that you must enter the Patch Tag exactly, or else the process will fail.

If you have any questions about this update, please email support@alarmgrid.com. We offer free technical support for monitored customers. Our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

Note: This new Qolsys update should not be confused with Total Connect 2.0 Update Version 2.5.2, which was released in October of 2018.

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The organizers of ISC West, along with the Security Industry Association (SIA), have announced that ISC West 2020 is again being postponed, this time to October 6th - 8th. It will still take place at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, NV. This is the second postponement of the event.


Originally, ISC West 2020 had been scheduled for March 18th - 20th at the Sands Expo Center. However, the annual event was delayed on March 6th due to health concerns associated with the ongoing global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The new dates for the event were later announced as July 20th - 22nd.

Unfortunately, the organizers have determined that the July dates would no longer be suitable for this massive international event, which attracts thousands of security professionals from around the world every single year. The group has recently announced that the 2020 event will now be pushed back to October.

We are sure that this decision was not made lightly. This move had to have been made with the best interest of the health and safety of organizers, demonstrators, and attendees in mind. While our team at Alarm Grid is disappointed, we fully understand and respect the move of ISC West 2020 to October.

A statement from Reed Exhibitions Group Vice President Will Wise reads:

"Considering the escalation of COVID-19, travel and social distancing restrictions, and the economic impact over the past five weeks across the United States and the world, it is necessary to reschedule the event to October ... Working closely with the Sands Expo, we were committed to pursuing the best opportunity for ISC West to facilitate the conduct of business, education and peer-to-peer engaged platforms. Holding the event six months from now in October will offer the best scenario to support the security and public safety industry, in addition to the Las Vegas community. It is an unprecedented time, and we appreciate how the community is adapting, adjusting, and rallying."

The Reed Exhibitions group also released a document providing information regarding the waiving of airline fees. Most United States airline carriers are offering their customers refunds for travel plans that have been disrupted due to the ongoing pandemic. This is important for anyone who had already booked a flight to ISC West for the March or July dates. More information can be found here.

Although it is impossible for us to make any firm predictions (we don't have a magic crystal ball), it is fair to assume that this is the absolute furthest that ISC West 2020 can be pushed back. Any further, and you would begin to approach the time at which ISC West 2021 would likely be held. Holding the annual event back-to-back would not make any sense from a logistical or planning perspective. We may be stating the obvious here, but it looks like it's October or bust for ISC West 2020.

Right now, all we can do is hope that the world can move past the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly as possible so that we can save the date in October. Although October might seem like a long time from now, it will approach sooner than you think. Remember, ISC West is a huge global event that takes a tremendous amount of logistics and planning to be pulled off properly. Putting everything together during a major global crisis is simply impossible, and we applaud the organizers for make the change sooner rather than later.

Again, we would like to send our a sincere Thank You to the doctors, nurses, and scientists working on the front lines, as well as to all of the maintenance workers, sanitation workers, truck drivers, delivery drivers, and all of the other essential workers who are doing everything they can to help the rest of us during this difficult time. We are hopeful that this situation will be dealt with as quickly as possible so that order can once again be restored to the world.

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When working with security systems, there are only certain types of smoke detectors that can directly integrate with an alarm panel. But many people overlook the fact that almost all high-voltage smoke detectors can still be integrated indirectly using smoke detector listening modules.

Encore firefighter ff345 circular smoke detector takeover module

Smoke detector listening modules are wireless devices designed to actively listen for the Temporal 3 sound of an activated smoke detector. By law, life-safety smoke detectors must produce the Temporal 3 sound, which consists of three (3) consecutive tones, followed by a short pause, and then three (3) more tones with this pattern repeating continuously. Both high-voltage 110V smoke detectors and wireless battery powered smoke detectors will produce the same sound. This means that you can use wireless listening modules with both types.

All new construction is required to be outfitted with high-voltage smoke detectors. As a result, it's very likely that you already have these devices in your home or business. You should test these devices to make sure that they are working, and replace any devices that are non-functional. Then you can use a listening module to integrate the devices with your security system and your alarm monitoring service. If you have a network of interconnected hardwired smoke detectors, then you can use a single listening module to takeover the entire network!

Like all security and life-safety products, your smoke detector listening module will need to be tested regularly. Before doing any testing, you should put your system on test mode by either contacting your central station directly or by using the MyAlarms.com feature if you are an Alarm Grid monitored customer. Then activate the smoke detector's sounder by using its test button (if applicable) or by directing canned smoke into its vents. Make sure that your listening module detects the sound and triggers an alarm on your system. Remember that the listening module should be mounted within six (6) inches of the detector for best results.

We offer two (2) smoke detector listening modules on our website. The Interlogix SLX-AD-T3 is for 319.5 MHz systems, while the Encore FireFighter FF345 is for 345 MHz systems. Check and make sure you purchase the correct model that will successfully enroll with your wireless alarm panel. If you aren't sure which one to get, then you should contact us at support@alarmgrid.com, and we will be happy to help. Our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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There's much more to the potential of your security system than just protecting your home or business. Most modern alarm panels offer the necessary built-in hardware to establish a complete smart automation network that you can control from virtually anywhere in the world using your phone.

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In the world of smart devices and Internet of Things (IoT), an automation refers to an action that occurs automatically. The trigger for an automation to occur could be something like a sensor faulting on your security system, your system going into alarm, or even the time of day. Automations can also be triggered manually either at the panel or through a mobile app on your smartphone. Most Alarm Grid customers use the Total Connect 2.0 App or the Alarm.com App depending on which system they have. Remember, remote automation control is only included with the Silver Level Plans and higher for Alarm Grid.

There are all sorts of automation devices you can pair with your system and control remotely. Smart lights are a great place to start. It's very easy to replace an existing in-wall switch or dimmer module. There are also plug-in lamp modules that can be set up with needing to use any special tools or equipment. Just plug in the unit, enroll it with your automation hub, plug in a lamp to the designated socket, and enjoy. Setting up automations for your smart lights is perfect for those absentminded moments where you forget to turn off the lights before leaving. You can even have light turn on designated times while you are on vacation to make it look like you are home!

Smart door locks also represent a population automation option. These allow you to lock or unlock your door even while you are away from home. This can be very useful if you forgot to lock up before heading out for the day, and you can also use it to let trusted people inside, such a scheduled maintenance worker, a house maid, or your friend who arrived just a little too early. Many users also set up locks to respond automatically. For example, you might have your back door set to automatically lock whenever you set your security system to Arm Away.

Last and certainly not least, smart thermostats offer some really cool functionality, and they can provide you with tremendous savings in your energy expenses. You are most likely already familiar with programmable thermostats that you can use to have the temperature adjusted automatically at set time intervals. But smart thermostats take things to the next level. You can have your thermostat automatically switch to a more energy efficient level as soon as you arm for the system and leave. And if your automation platform allows for geofencing, then you can have the thermostat activate automatically once you back within a certain distance from your home. It's also really nice to be able to adjust the temperature remotely if needed, in case you have some invited guests arrive while you are away. You can easily monitor your energy usage.

Getting started with home automation for security systems is super easy. You should start by finding out if your panel already has a Z-Wave controller built-in. Most new wireless panels have this functionality. If your panel doesn't support Z-Wave, then there may be an add-on to provide the capability. Then you can start building the perfect smart home! If you have any questions about home automation, or if you would like to learn more about or monitoring plans, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We check emails from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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For those shopping for a low-cost security system, the Honeywell Lyric is our go-to option. The panel can be used with an IP-only communication path, which is considerably less expensive than a cellular or dual-path communication alarm system. This is the best way to cut monitoring expenses.

Honeywell lyric controller encrypted wireless security system

Having an active and reliable communication path is an absolute must for alarm monitoring service. Your alarm panel is basically the central security hub for your home or office. It needs to be able to send out signals and communicate with equipment in other locations. If your system detects activity that warrants attention, then it will send an alert to you and/or a central monitoring station so that proper action can be taken. This can include notifying the local authorities immediately, sending emergency rescue services, or just having a call and text sent to your phone. But no matter what action is taken, it's all possible because your system was able to communicate out reliably.

The most reliable communication path available for a security system is cellular communication. This is basically the same technology as what is used inside your phone when placing calls. If your system is in an area with good cellular reception, then it is highly unlikely that your system will ever go offline and leave you temporarily unmonitored. And an electrical outage will not be an issue, as cellular communication does not require a modem to remain online. This makes cellular communication extremely reliable and perfect for use with alarm systems. But cellular service providers charge a fee for their services, which makes cellular monitoring more expensive.

Users who are looking to reduce monitoring expenses will often turn to an IP-only security system. An IP-only system will not use cellular communication technology. Instead, it will communicate across internet protocol (IP). This will require either a wireless WIFI connection or a hardwired ethernet connection. In the case of the Lyric, the system already comes with a built-in WIFI card. You just need to connect it to the 2.4 GHz WIFI network in your home or office. This can all be done using the touchscreen display on the panel. It is very easy to connect a Lyric System to the internet, and you will be up and running in no time at all.

Now, you might still be wondering, why the Lyric? Lots of panels like the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus and the 2GIG GC3e have built-in WIFI. What makes the Lyric noteworthy? The advantage that the Lyric holds over those panels when it comes to those looking for an IP-only setup is that the Lyric connects with the Resideo AlarmNet360 Servers. Resideo (formerly Honeywell) allows compatible panels to connect with their servers using IP-only communication. There is no requirement put in place from Resideo or AlarmNet mandating that a system connected with their monitoring and automation servers must have a cellular communicator that is registered and activated. This is very important because Alarm.com, the monitoring and automation platform for other alarm systems like the IQ2+ and GC3e, does in fact have this requirement. What it all comes down to, if you want to keep your monthly monitoring costs as low as possible, then you should go with a system from Honeywell or Resideo.

Just how much will you save by going with the Lyric on an IP-only communication path over another panel like the IQ2+ or GC3e? The exact figures will depend on the monitoring company. If you decide that Alarm Grid is the right solution for your home or business, then you can see the expenses on our monitoring page. Assuming your are just looking for basic central station service, you will see that our Gold Plan (our most popular plan) is the lowest of our main plans with cellular connectivity and central station service. While this plan also offers some nice features, such as automation and the ability to control your system remotely using a mobile app, we understand that these features and bonuses aren't for everyone. Many users just want affordable and effective alarm monitoring so that they can get an insurance discount. And at $35 a month, those extra features are sometimes seen as unnecessary expenses. Alarm Grid also offers a no-frills $25 per month Cellular-Only Plan. But you can drop the cost even lower by going IP-only.

If you look closely at our monitoring page, you will see our $15 per month Bronze Plan. That plan is ideal for Lyric users who just want to get their systems connected with a central station. This will provide the user with peace of mind in knowing that they have a reliable and proactive protection plan in place in case of trouble. And the insurance discount is nice too. Yes, remote automation and cellular connectivity are nice features to have, but not everyone really benefits from them. If your internet is reliable, and you don't care for fancy smart home automation features, then our $15 Bronze Plan might be your best choice.

Alarm Grid Central Station Plans
Cost
Bronze $15
Cell-Only $25
Gold $35

Over the course of a year going with a Bronze Plan over a Cell-Only Plan will save you $120. Going with a Bronze Plan over a Gold Plan will save you $240 per year. You will also save money right up-front by not having to buy a cellular communicator add-on for your Lyric System (either the Honeywell LYRICLTE-A or Honeywell LYRICLTE-V). Plus, if your budget ever increases and you have more money to spend, you can always add one of those communicators and upgrade your monitoring plan. All of our monitoring services are no-contract, with no added fees. You will not be required to pay any surprise or sudden charges to upgrade (or downgrade) your monitoring plan, and there are never any activation or cancellation fees. As one final assurance, all of our supported equipment is non-proprietary and can be taken to other alarm companies as needed. If you are ever not happy or satisfied with the level of service and support we are offering, then we challenge you to take your alarm system to a different monitoring company. Our customers come back to us only because of the fantastic support we provide. Now, we invite you to join our family.

If you are interested in starting service with Alarm Grid, or if you still have some questions, feel free to email us at support@alarmgrid.com. Our support staff answers emails Monday thru Friday from 9am to 8pm ET. You might also consider browsing our website. We have plenty of resources and information that is freely available, whether you are monitored by us or not. As always, thank you for reading our blog, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!

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One bright spot in the world right now is the perseverance of the DIY security industry. Most technical support agents, sales agents, and trained emergency dispatchers have made a seamless transition to working from home. It's impressive to see the industry weather the storm so well.

2gig gc3e verizon lte 3 1 kit wireless encrypted alarm system 3 A positive trait for the DIY security industry is its ability to quickly adapt to changing global conditions and major ongoing events. Throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic, people have had to make significant changes and compromises to their daily routines. Every industry is different, and the reality is that some sectors have had an easier time adapting and conforming to the evolving world we live in than others. We are proud to say that the DIY security industry has served as an ideal role model and example of how businesses should adapt to an unpredictable and ever-changing society.

When you consider the basic building blocks of the DIY security industry, it begins to make sense how companies like Alarm Grid are able to thrive during these times. In order for DIY home security to work, the end user needs an alarm panel with an activated communicator and enrolled sensors. With a wireless security system, all of this equipment can be physically installed by an end user. Most security system installations do not require a professional installer. The end user can follow a simple do-it-yourself process and complete the installation on their own. This eliminates the need for a physical person to come out to your home to perform your installation.

On the back end of alarm monitoring service, everything can be done remotely. Your system's alarm monitoring communicator sends signals to dedicated servers, such as those operated by Alarm.com and AlarmNet360 from Resideo. The signals are then re-routed to an interactive monitoring and automation platform and/or a central monitoring station. Traditionally, a central station operator needed to be on-site for regular operation. But in our advanced age of computing, the same tasks performed by an operator at a dedicated central station can now be performed just as effectively from home. This allows the operators to take precaution against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by working remotely and refraining from any large gatherings that may promote the spread of the virus.

As many people now have extra time on their hands and are looking to do stuff around the home, setting up a home security system has become a popular option. Companies like Alarm Grid make it possible to order all your equipment online, receive it at your house, and set it up all by yourself. From there, a trained activator can activate the system remotely. Activators from Alarm Grid are currently working from home, but they can perform the same necessary tasks as what they would perform from our headquarters office.

It's thanks to the amazing technology we have that companies like ours are able to thrive and success in spite of unprecedented health concerns. Our team is very fortunate and thankful to be able to succeed in these challenging times. We would also like to send a special thank you to the front-line doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals and scientific experts who are working so hard to help others. These incredible individuals have offered us all hope and optimism for a better, healthier future.

If you decide that you want alarm monitoring service for your home, then Alarm Grid is ready to work with you. There will be no need to have anyone come out to your home or interact with you in person. All of our support and assistance is handled over the phone and online, so you can safely practice social-distancing. To get started, take a look at our monitoring page to learn more about our monitoring plans. You might also want to explore our website a bit to see some of the different security systems we recommend.

Remember, our team is best reached by emailing support@alarmgrid.com. We have technicians on the clock from 9am to 8pm ET M-F, and they are happy to provide virtual help and assistance. You can remain in the comfort of your own home, and our technicians will so the same. Pretty soon, you will have a robust and complete security system ready for when we are able to venture out into the world again. For now, we are thankful that we can continue doing what we do best, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Back in May of 2018, we posted about Alarm.com discontinuing support for some older Z-Wave thermostat models. This meant that it was no longer possible to add these thermostats to an Alarm.com account. Only existing units that already been added were grandfathered in. But there's an update.

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Before, you would lose access to these thermostats through Alarm.com if you ever had to have your Alarm.com account recreated for whatever reason. The most common reason for this is because you were switching to a new alarm dealer. Upon rebuilding the Alarm.com account, the Z-Wave thermostat integration was lost, and you would no longer be able to use the older unit with the platform. Many users were required to purchase new thermostat models as a result.

The following Z-Wave thermostats were affected by this issue:

Alarm.com has now provided an update so that you will be able to pair any of the aforementioned Z-Wave thermostats to an Alarm.com account. In other words, you can now use any of the models listed above with your Alarm.com Z-Wave Network. However, we generally recommend upgrading to a newer model, as the units listed above are quite old and may not offer all of the features that you would expect out of a newer thermostat. Newer thermostats also have cleaner, more user-friendly interfaces that make them easier to use. But if you have one of the aforementioned models, then you will now be able to use it in your home.

If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn more about the monitoring services offered by Alarm Grid, please email us at support@alarmgrid.com. We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Alarm Grid has been beta testing the upcoming Honeywell ProA7 Panel. This will become the first newly released wireless security system from Resideo after being spun-off by Honeywell. The panel supports some nice new features, and it is expected to be used by DIYers and professionals alike.


The first thing we love about the Honeywell ProA7Plus Security System is how slim and non-obtrusive it is. Honeywell Home has recognized that a security system is no longer something you hide and tuck away. It is a fixture in your home, and it should look nice on a wall or standing on a table. With its tablet-like profile, this panel was specifically built with the modern homeowner or innovative business owner in mind. Once again, Honeywell has proven that home or small business security is a matter you can take into your own hands.


We have also confirmed that the Resideo ProA7 will have a built-in Z-Wave Plus 500-Series Chipset for supporting a variety of smart home automation devices. You can build around the system and add devices like door locks, smart lights, and thermostats for controlling the temperature. Resideo has also stated that the system will support partitioning, which makes it ideal for multi-family homes, rental properties, rooms with important documents, and so much more.

Beyond that, we cannot confirm any other major details. However, we do predict that HomeKit functionality will return for this system. It is also expected that Honeywell will release a new ProSeries Sensor lineup for exclusive use with this system. We can expect the sensors to utilize top-of-the-line wireless encryption and offer a longer communication range than previous Honeywell offerings. We have not received word if the ProA7 will be backwards compatible with Honeywell 5800 Sensors and/or Honeywell SiX Sensors. We also don't have any type of ETA, but we hope it will come fairly soon.

One last consideration for the Resideo ProA7 is that it will likely support IP-only monitoring service. Resideo tends to make cellular communication optional for their systems when it comes to alarm monitoring. The only requirement is that the panel is connected with the AlarmNet360 Servers. This can be through IP and/or cellular service. While cellular connectivity is recommended for superior reliability, many users elect to keep costs as low as possible by going IP only. This will likely make the Resideo ProA7 the top choice for anyone simply wanting basic low-cost monitoring service without cellular backup. We expect Resideo to sell standalone communicators that can be easily added if cellular monitoring is desired.

Alarm Grid will make sure to keep you up to date as we learn more about this exciting new panel. If you are looking for a new panel right away, then you might also consider the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus. That is a great system for anyone looking to start new monitoring service. Another panel to look at is Honeywell's current flagship panel, the Honeywell Lyric Controller. The Lyric is ideal for HomeKit compatibility and IP-only monitoring. And if you want more information about these panels or our monitoring services, then the best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. Our support hours run from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Anyone setting up a new wireless security system will definitely want to consider picking up a Honeywell LT-Cable for their installation. This is a pre-prepared wire that doesn't require any stripping or special tools. All you need is a screwdriver to connect the panel and the transformer.

Honeywell lt cable lynx touch power supply cable from aboveAlarm wiring is needed to complete the connection between the panel and its plug-in power transformer. Traditionally, users had to strip and prepare their own cabling, which made the process more tedious and difficult. But with prepared cabling like the Honeywell LT-Cable, the process is made much easier, and it really will work with nearly any security system. With this wire, you can install your own security system with just a screwdriver, and without having to hire a professional installer.

There are two (2) parts to the Honeywell LT-Cable. There is a smaller cord that connects with the power terminals on the back of your panel. The other end of this smaller cord has the female barrel connector. Then the larger cord has the male barrel connector on one end and spade connectors for connecting with the plug-in transformer on the other. The larger cord measures eight (8) feet, while the smaller portion is seven (7) inches in length. All together, you get a little bit more than 8.5 feet of wiring with the LT-Cable.

It's surprising to consider that most security systems do not come with a power wire for connecting with a transformer. While the transformer is included, most users can expect to supply their own wiring. A notable exception to this rule is the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus, which does include a power wire. As such, no LT-Cable is needed for an IQ Panel 2, though you might still add one if the original wire ever becomes damaged. But other panels like the Honeywell Lyric Alarm System and the 2GIG GC3e do not come bundled with any cabling, so the Honeywell LT-Cable makes for the perfect accessory.

One other advantage to the LT-Cable is that you can easily unplug the barrel connectors if you ever need to power down your system for adding new hardware or troubleshooting. This can be easier and more convenient than needing to unplug the transformer, especially if the transformer is screwed into the outlet. Remember that you will also need to unplug the system's backup battery to perform a power cycle. If you need a wire run that is longer than 8.5 feet, you might consider purchasing Genesis Alarm Wiring, which is also sold on our site.

We invite you to reach out to us if you have any questions about the LT-Cable or our monitoring services. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com. We maintain support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. Our team looks forward to hearing from you!

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Looking for a quick lighthearted laugh? Check out the blooper reel our video team made. It features some familiar faces and funny moments that occurred while our technicians shot some videos. Not everything comes out perfect the first time, and we make sure to put these outtakes on camera.


Remember though, we don't make these videos for laughs. We make them to help you learn about our products and services. But that doesn't mean we can't have some fun along the way. We make setting up your home or small business security system an easy and painless process. If you would like to learn more about our monitoring services, please visit our monitoring page or email support@alarmgrid.com. We operate support hours from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We are eager to help you get started, so please reach out!

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