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shawnlsu
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re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
Glad to hear the update.
I'm starting to install Ubiquiti equipment exclusively for my small office and residential network projects. I haven't pushed the cameras too hard yet, guess I need to buy a couple for the office to play around with.


Korkstand
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Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
21657 posts

re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
quote:

I'm starting to install Ubiquiti equipment exclusively for my small office and residential network projects.
How do you sell residential on unifi networking gear over eero or nest or whatever? Seems like anyone savvy enough to care about the advantages would just install it themselves. Am I wrong?
quote:

I haven't pushed the cameras too hard yet, guess I need to buy a couple for the office to play around with.
Yeah definitely play around with it for a while. The G3 Instant has finally been in stock for a while, though they still have the 1 per account purchase limit. Many people have gotten around that by some browser hackery or something, the limit is only enforced in javascript, not the store.

The only real issue I've found so far, mostly an annoyance, is when live viewing cameras it works fine up until you try to view more than 5 or 6 streams. More than that and it starts doing buffering/loading cycles. I think it is a problem with the front-end code, not a limitation of the nvr hardware.


shawnlsu
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re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
The work from home movement has left people wanting/needing more than what their crappy ISP router gives them. We are targeting 2500+sqft homes. Those tend to have dead spots that kill WFH productivity and the ISP routers can't handle more than a couple streaming devices at a time. Also, people don't want to run cables through their homes, even if they know how. Most people just want to pay for stuff to work now.
ETA: I have a dream machine pro and a couple cameras in my cart. I'm waiting on a rep to call me back. Since my local distributor went to Luxul, I don't have a way to order other than their website which is retail pricing.
This post was edited on 2/11 at 10:42 am


Korkstand
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Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
21657 posts

re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
quote:

The work from home movement has left people wanting/needing more than what their crappy ISP router gives them. We are targeting 2500+sqft homes. Those tend to have dead spots that kill WFH productivity and the ISP routers can't handle more than a couple streaming devices at a time.
Yeah but I see so many people happy as can be with their Nest/Eero/Orbi/etc mesh systems, and those are easy to set up. I've searched hard and I really can't find many negative reviews as far as coverage, speed, reliability, or anything as far as basic function. If you want more advanced features like VLANs or multiple SSIDs or whatever, then those might not do, but for maybe 95% of people I would have a hard time convincing them they need to run cable for better wifi. Sometimes I feel like the strongest selling point is you don't have to deal with power cords if your APs are on the ceiling.
quote:

ETA: I have a dream machine pro and a couple cameras in my cart. I'm waiting on a rep to call me back. Since my local distributor went to Luxul, I don't have a way to order other than their website which is retail pricing.
Yeah and unless you buy used you won't get much of a discount buying ubnt from their distributors, either. Sometimes I'll see a 5 or 10% discount on a particular product, but usually distributor pricing is the same as ui.com or even higher depending on supply.
This post was edited on 2/11 at 11:04 am


shawnlsu
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Member since Nov 2011
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re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
quote:

Yeah and unless you buy used you won't get much of a discount buying ubnt from their distributors, either. Sometimes I'll see a 5 or 10% discount on a particular product, but usually distributor pricing is the same as ui.com or even higher depending on supply.



Thanks for that info. Kind of what I was looking into.

I haven't had much issue selling these. I've set up packages that include installation and then "adders". You will find that there aren't as many people savvy with this stuff as it seems and even more who are willing to pay to not mess with it.
This post was edited on 2/11 at 11:14 am


Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
21657 posts

re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
Yeah and I'm a little confused on their warranty terms too. As I understand, if you buy direct from UI you get a 2 year warranty from the date it ships to you. If you buy from a distributor, it's only a 1 year warranty from the date UI shipped to the distributor. Obviously they can add their own warranties, but I still find it odd and confusing, almost as if they are competing against their own distributors.


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Hopeful Doc
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Member since Sep 2010
12581 posts

re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
18 hours in, and I’ve got a UDMP, two doorbells, and a g3 instant up.



Sort of out of the purview of this thread, but only one of my two doorbells will chime (mechanical chime box that has been wired to both doorbells for years. 16v/30VA transformer) and, well, the doorbell boots, records, etc. I will be swapping them in the next few days to try to isolate the problem.

I really do like the “event” feature hinted at by Korkstand.
I think the g3 instant could have some uses, but it’s not a truly fantastic camera. It’s what I would expect at the price range. You can see as well as anything within 3ft of the sensor, but I don’t think you could get a Face ID from across a large living room.
I think it would be a decent option for someone who wanted a countertop/cabinet top view of rooms and the form factor is super nice. It would be easy to use as something like a nanny spy cam or figure out which kid was sneaking cookies from the cookie jar.

For the baby monitor question- it’s got enough volume and resolution to do the job. But I can’t really see the situation where someone wants to integrate home surveillance + baby monitor. If that’s a desire, it would work for that. I don’t seem to find an option for notification on motion (it can trigger recordings, but I don’t think it can “push” that alert. Or the setting doesn’t seem to be in the app at the very least. There are a few “hidden” settings available by web browser that aren’t in the app, but I don’t have access to a compatible browser at this time.
So, a super fun, portable toy that is OK for general in-home use.


Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
21657 posts

re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
quote:

I don’t seem to find an option for notification on motion (it can trigger recordings, but I don’t think it can “push” that alert. Or the setting doesn’t seem to be in the app at the very least.
In the mobile app, go to Settings>Alerts, and in there you have options for setting notifications. You can be alerted about all motion or on a per-camera basis. You can choose to only receive notifications when you are away from home (though some users complain that geofencing is spotty). You can set a schedule for when you want to receive alerts, and combine that with whether you are home.

One feature that I'm hoping they are working on is notifications by zone. As it stands, notifications are just per-camera, so if any of your zones for a given camera trigger you'll be notified. It would be nice to have a zone that you want to record and generate events, but for which you don't want to be notified, then on the same camera have a person detection zone that you want notifications about.


Hopeful Doc
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Member since Sep 2010
12581 posts

re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
quote:

mobile app, go to Settings>Alerts



Aha! I was looking through the actual camera settings.


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deuceiswild
LSU Fan
South La
Member since Nov 2007
3741 posts

re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
I'm the oddball here I suppose but I have zero issues with my Lorex system. Two 4K bullet cameras and Two 4K Eyeball Dome cameras that also capture audio, night vision on all four cameras, and an NVR. Great customer service if I ever need them. I can get cloud backup if I want it, but I don't. The App works great, but it could use more features, IMO.

Anyways, I ultimately chose Lorex a few years ago because the hardware reviews were great, but they stood out from others with customer service reviews. So I put customer review to the test before I made any purchases, and sure enough Lorex answered every time.


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AmazingSpiderDog
Florida Fan
Member since Oct 2020
343 posts

re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
Looking for a little advice here, I am not very savvy on the subject so let me tell you what I have and how I use it, then I am open for suggestions.

About 10 years ago my dogs were digging holes in my back yard and in order to figure out which one was the culprit and catch him in the act I put in a cheap security camera system from Harbor Freight. It came with 4 cameras with outlets for 4 more. I hooked it up to an old computer monitor I had laying around and it served its purpose. A couple of years later I added 2 front yard cameras that I use simply to see who is coming up the driveway and who is at the front door. I live in a pretty secure neighborhood and don't really need them for security reasons although I did catch a guy on tape breaking into my truck once.

OK so here is what is happening. The other night the DVR unit blew and I am missing it already. So here is where I am at. Either find a DVR unit compatible with my existing cameras or upgrade to a wireless system that will do the simple things I want. With the old system I never set it up to use remotely with my cell phone. That might be nice but not really a deal breaker.

I'm not looking for some state of the art system, just something low cost that will do what my old system did and I would rather not have to crawl through the attic to run new wires.


Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
21657 posts

re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
Do you know what kind of cables are already run? Either gonna be cat cable (computer network) or BNC "siamese" (two cables together) coax.



AmazingSpiderDog
Florida Fan
Member since Oct 2020
343 posts

re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
quote:

Do you know what kind of cables are already run? Either gonna be cat cable (computer network) or BNC "siamese" (two cables together) coax.


BNC cables


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Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
21657 posts

re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
So lots of thoughts here.

First thing, I don't know what type of failure your DVR had, but it's possible the hard drive died (if you got 10 years out of it, consider yourself very lucky). In this case it could be a cheap and easy hard drive swap and you can keep rolling with what you've got, if you want to go that route.

If it's a different type of hardware failure and the whole unit needs to be replaced, you might consider one of the "hybrid" DVR + NVR units. These can use analog cams like you've got, and also IP cameras (and possibly wireless ones). I'm not very knowledgeable about analog cams, so you should check compatibility between your brand of cameras and any unit you might buy.

Next, wired cameras are always preferred over wireless whenever possible, so if you want to do a more thorough upgrade I would at least check to see if your BNC cables are fastened down. If they are not, maybe you (or a hired hand) can use them as pull strings to easily run cat5e or cat6 for some wired IP cams.

If you really don't want to run new cable, then depending on your storage requirements and your aversion to monthly subscriptions, you might consider any of the numerous wifi "cloud" cameras that don't require an on-site recorder. Personally I don't like or trust them to record what I need (and they don't record anything when the internet is down), but they are the quickest, easiest, and possibly cheapest option.

Or if you prefer local recording rather than shipping your video off to the cloud, you can pick up a pretty cheap system like these Amcrest outdoor wifi cameras + nvr or similar.


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Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
21657 posts

re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
Putting another one out there for the hell of it, this time a Uniview (UNV) 4K Mini Bullet. This camera has a laughable MSRP of $479, but you can find it on various sites for ~$250, and it looks like "dealer" pricing can go down to ~$140. Like Hik and Dahua, Uniview also sells their cams white label and tons of companies brand them as their own. A company like Alibi Security brands this camera and it sells for ~$350. The Uniview cameras and NVRs are aimed more to commercial applications, but they are of course used for residential as well.

Anyway, same table, same impact driver, same distance, very similar lighting, but more pixels and better optics.

Uniview 4K (8MP) Mini Bullet 4mm fixed lens
Image: https://i.imgur.com/usMqmsr.jpg



And again, UniFi G3 Flex 1080P ($79) same scene:
Image: https://i.imgur.com/YCKMwpd.jpg


Amcrest 5MP ($50):
Image: https://i.imgur.com/pWnBSMU.jpg



And you are not going to make a positive ID on a moving person at 25' in the dark with any of these cameras. The G3 Bullet at 1080P beats them all IMO, and I've tried a few G4 Bullets (1440p/4MP) and they are even better in the dark. In daylight though this Uniview at 4K crushes the rest obviously. If you have enough light more pixels is more better.


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Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
21657 posts

re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
quote:

Hopeful Doc
Are you on the beta channel? The Protect 1.18 beta looks promising, with improvements to the dashboard (event timeline better organized, detection area includes regular motion detections), live view should be smoother with lots of cameras, events can be filtered by date&time rather than just date, few other things.

And we aren't supposed to talk about early access stuff, but this beta includes support for the new multi-sensor that's in EA. I think it does too much in one unit, and it's priced to match ($59), but it could maybe be used in some places.

It is:
a motion sensor
a door/window sensor
an accelerometer
a temp/humidity sensor
an ambient light sensor
a smoke/co alarm sound sensor
a water sensor (requires extra sensor purchased seperately in 3pack)

All that sounds kind of amazing, but if you use it as a door/window sensor then you're kind of wasting the modect if placement isn't right. Also says it needs to be very close to smoke alarm to pick up the sound, so then it's kind of useless for other purposes.

Of course, it is an EA product and may never see general availability, but it is interesting and tells me that they're pretty committed to Protect since this is part of that same product line. Seems they're moving toward alarms and all-around security, so I'm anxious to see where they take it.

Edit: It looks just like (as in identical) the Nest Detect, just priced $10 higher.
This post was edited on 2/26 at 8:06 pm


shawnlsu
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Member since Nov 2011
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 Online 

re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
I installed the dream machine pro, 3 G3 cams and the small $30 camera this week. So far I like it much more than my Ring crap.
I also ordered a couple phones to play with today. Going to get the access when the all in one reader is available


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Hopeful Doc
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2010
12581 posts

re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
quote:

Are you on the beta channel?


yep. But I heard it here first!


quote:

live view should be smoother with lots of cameras


Oddly enough, I think the Apple TV app is pretty good (may be that it's hardwired and actually sits in the same closet as my UDM Pro) in its current format. It sort of sucks with a Harmony remote and pretty much needs the Apple TV remote which is fairly frustrating. But scrubbing on it (with the dedicated touchscreen remote) or any of my computers is fairly nice. All my cameras are actually wifi as I haven't gotten around to adding bullets just yet (2 doorbells, and the g3 instant). The iphone app is leaving a bit to be desired. I would blame the wifi, but I can pretty consistently get >300mbps up/down to the internet, so there's no way the LAN connection is worse than that. And using a laptop to view events (events and smart detections are all I record) I get good/quick/snappy video. Getting Live View up and running is not really a problem. And I get notifications of smart detections relatively quickly. But reviewing them is not great. And unfortunately, this is probably 80% of its intended use for the doorbell.
I'm hoping the new Protect update is going to help that. I have a pair of the new UVP phones (uh oh, another EA product we can't talk about ) in the mail that I am going to use to see how Protect functions on android.


quote:

new multi-sensor that's in EA

They have plenty of premium-priced products that deliver OK results. This seems way too expensive to be a practical door/window sensor. And it seems way too bulky to put on any door/window in a home. I know they're more office-oriented, but that still seems prohibitively expensive. The temp/humidity/light sensors don't really appeal to me too much- I have lutron lights and can see if they're on/off remotely in most places already. The water sensor actually does intrigue me- we have attic-installed water heaters, and we have had one explosion and subsequent tankless conversion, so I could see myself springing for this for that, but I can't see me justifying an upgrade from UAP-AC-Pro APs to any of the 6 models just for that.


It does look hilariously like the Nest device. I just hope they they don't continue to rebadge products that aren't real homeruns.

Granted, if a thermostat and garage door opener are in their future, I would totally retract all the negative things I said and pay way too much for these.


Korkstand
LSU Fan
Plaquemine, LA
Member since Nov 2003
21657 posts

re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
quote:

Getting Live View up and running is not really a problem.
I've never had a problem with it unless I use a view with 6+ camera feeds on it. Any more than that and I get a bunch of frozen feeds and spinning circles. Happens even on a relatively powerful desktop hardwired and using UNVR on the same network. It's pretty annoying, especially since I've ssh'd into the UNVR and neither the cpu nor hard drives are really taxed during this time. The hardware can easily handle delivering the streams, it looks like it's strictly a web app performance issue. I understand that live monitoring isn't the intended/expected use case for Protect, but it's still annoying. This 1.18 beta seems to work very slightly better, but the problem persists for me. I just make several 4 cam views for now.
quote:

And I get notifications of smart detections relatively quickly. But reviewing them is not great. And unfortunately, this is probably 80% of its intended use for the doorbell.
I'm hoping the new Protect update is going to help that.
I don't have the doorbell, but is the main problem that it doesn't have rich notifications (i.e. a snapshot image)? I see that complaint a lot. They have some coding to do to catch up to ring and nest here.
quote:

I have a pair of the new UVP phones (uh oh, another EA product we can't talk about ) in the mail that I am going to use to see how Protect functions on android.
You're getting pretty deep now.

In case you haven't seen it, pretty good review of UniFi Talk on reddit.

Also they are supposedly working on making the door access system work with the phones too. I admittedly don't know much about the state of the enterprise phone and door access industries, but this UniFi solution seems pretty slick and cheap for what it will do. Assuming it eventually works.
quote:

This seems way too expensive to be a practical door/window sensor. And it seems way too bulky to put on any door/window in a home. I know they're more office-oriented, but that still seems prohibitively expensive.
Agreed. I understand them wanting to offer more than a basic door/window sensor, but this thing is just too much. Also I really don't understand their PoE floodlight priced at $99.
quote:

The temp/humidity/light sensors don't really appeal to me too much
Also I would think that temp and humidity would be off by quite a bit if mounted on a door.
quote:

The water sensor actually does intrigue me- we have attic-installed water heaters, and we have had one explosion and subsequent tankless conversion, so I could see myself springing for this for that, but I can't see me justifying an upgrade from UAP-AC-Pro APs to any of the 6 models just for that.
I haven't seen any pricing or other info on the water sensors. And being a separate device with its own battery, I wonder why it needs to be paired with this multi-sensor.

I'm seeing more of the direction they're going with the "Protect" branding, but they sure seem to be zig-zagging along the way.
quote:

Granted, if a thermostat and garage door opener are in their future, I would totally retract all the negative things I said and pay way too much for these.




Hopeful Doc
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2010
12581 posts

re: General security camera discussion (was "Unifi Protect security cameras")
quote:

view with 6+ camera feeds on it



Ahh. This is barely on my radar for the future. A pair of doorbells +2-4 bullets is going to be plenty for my house, and I may realistically never add a backyard or driveway view. I don’t think I’ll use the g3 instant I have for much. I have it set to always run, never record and catch my cats doing silly things throughout the day. The wife likes to move the camera around when I’m not home just to see if I check it. Indoor views for a home seem like a good thing if you need them, but there’s not much I feel like I need it for.


quote:

but is the main problem that it doesn't have rich notifications (i.e. a snapshot image)? I see that complaint a lot. They have some coding to do to catch up to ring and nest here.

The smart detections are pretty great when the app wants to work well. I’m sure you have used them- you have a little window on the timeline with a still frame, and clicking it takes 1-30 seconds to load. 1 being awesome and 30 being “why the frick can’t they fix this stupid thing?” You can set the amount of time before a detection to record, and clicking a thumb gives you a good idea of what you’re going to see on video before you see it.
There’s no “save snapshot” feature, but I’m fairly certain there’s a still-frame image capture button available on the desktop (when logged into the UDMP) version. And if not, it’s pretty easy to download a clip, pause it in the right spot, and still frame it. Maybe I’m missing the point, but when the thing can be set to pretty accurately record what you want in the zone you want in a few second clip +/- a buffer and auto-delete after a set time frame, I don’t think a static image that’s easy to download is something I am “missing.” But I admittedly don’t know a ton of the features on the competitor cameras. Just mostly that they are essentially all cloud and/or subscription based. My brother has a Ring and commented on how much nicer the g4 doorbell picture looks than what he is used to seeing.


quote:

You're getting pretty deep now.

In case you haven't seen it, pretty good review of UniFi Talk on reddit.



For a weirdo that wants a home phone, it seems like a pretty good and cheap option. $80 for a wifi phone that you can Zoom, Microsoft teams, and view doorbells from and then pay $10/m is probably more, though not unreasonably more, than most homes would need. The videos I saw do seem to suggest that Access and Talk are sort of unifying (ha) the doorbell/phone. I haven’t seen anything suggesting this is in the pipe for the g4, but the Protect app is supposedly available on the UVP phone. Wife has been after me about getting a home phone. I have another year or so contract on a VOIP service at the office, so I am getting my hands dirty on this to see if, as it matures, it is going to be able to replace what we have in the office. I did attempt spinning up a 3cx server with VOIP.ms on the backend. I was given some legacy Cisco phones. I decided it was not really worth my time to configure them after about the 4-6th hour. I tried one of the older Unifi tablet phones, misreading the specs and thinking the first gen ones also had a camera and wifi. I did not get good results from 3cx but got it working with VOIP.ms pretty easily. It’s something that if I am going to be able to do, I need to be able to get it up and running fast, and there are quite a few caveats involved, so a “simple” VOIP service for a 20-person office with a single DID may actually be in the cards in the future. If I waste $160 on toys and $10/m on phone service for home but add some value by having a functioning Protect screen working In a room that my doorbell can’t be heard from, I won’t be horribly upset. I’ve also read of a guy or two getting 3rd party phone working with Talk, but you can’t setup Talk to do this without an officially supported phone. So without the ATA being in stock and my silly desire to have a second screen with Chrome to do telehealth calls from on my work from home day, I took the plunge. But their two-day shipping is a six-day lie so far.


quote:

Also I really don't understand their PoE floodlight priced at $99.


My house and basically every house in every neighborhood I’ve lived in has floodlights on every corner. I don’t know who the target audience is, but I’m pretty sure I’m not it.


Speaking of “wtf” products, they made PoE ceiling-tile lights.
Lights.
To add a light or two is one thing.
To market this as if Ethernet + PoE ports/switches are cheaper than an electrician in that setting is just...odd to me. Maybe I’m way off on the cost of this, but I don’t think you can save enough to justify just the sheer cost of the switches you need to run the things, particularly if staying in their stack.
quote:

I'm seeing more of the direction they're going with the "Protect" branding, but they sure seem to be zig-zagging along the way



They sure are doing an odd mix of consumer-centric devices with small-office-type prices.
If they came out with a $10 simple window sensor, I’d probably put one on every window and convince my wife to stop paying $40/month for the alarm that we haven’t turned on since we moved here. And if they made a sensor for smoke/CO/temp/humidity, I’d consider replacing what I’ve got, though I really am not overly excited with these things being “connected.”
There’s a handful of smart garage openers for $20-30, including a Meross model that works with Google, Alexa, and HomeKit. It both opens/closes the garage, keeps a 15-30 second delay to prevent you from “double-triggering” the motor, and comes with a sensor that tells you if the door is opened/closed (and can push this data to the chosen app). They want double the price just to report open/closed without the function of triggering the motor? And on top of that, they want to give teenagers an “exit quietly” button (though the app I’m sure will still log the event).

I could see them eventually pulling it all together, but it seems like something they are going to swing, miss, realize, and quit.



I hope I’m wrong and they become the industry standard in various home sensors in a few years.


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