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Crossed the Rubicon for 3rd Time ... Purchased My First Chronograph: Competition Electronics ProChronoDLX  

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Alejandro O. Martinez
(@aom22)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 76
February 10, 2020 21:41:13  

A long-time ago, I remember someone related that an essential element of a serious air gunner's equipment … was a good-quality chronograph.
Well, after years … actually decades … of thinking a chrono was an extravagant purchase.
Over Christmas, I treated myself to a good chronograph.
I bought a Competition Electronics ProChronoDLX with indoor lighting kit, debris shield and storage case.
Something I should have done … a long time ago.

The system was much easier to get operational than I had expected.
The Bluetooth capability was the most significant factor in the ease of set-up.
Linking my iPhone/iPad to the chrono was painless
I had more difficulty pairing my iPhone to my iPad.

This was a wonderful surprise to me.
I just knew I was gonna have problems.
So-much-so, I set-aside an entire afternoon to work-with my chronograph.
Boy, was I glad to-be proven wrong.

Without having read the DLX owner’s manual and only viewing one short you-tube video that demonstrated the ProChronoDLX.
Was all that it took for me to get-going.

I’m still trying to figure-out how to configure the various information formats to present the raw shooting data in its most cogent form.
However, that’s the easy-stuff.
But, how-to save, transfer and share shooting-data is a bit more challenging.
This is more of a function of better-knowing my computer system than a DLX shortcoming.

One more thing … this is not a criticism - rather an all-too-obvious observation.
The ProChronoDLX in no LabRadar Ballistic Velocity Doppler Radar Chronograph.
The DLX is a basic electronic chronograph that has been progressively changed, modified, upgraded in-order to-stay relevant and cost-effective.
At its core … it is a dated, long-in-the-tooth, electronic photo-cell system.  
Even-so, it manages to be worthy of consideration by cost-conscious airgunners.

The DLX is not the most advanced or sophisticated chrony out-there. 
But, it is practical, cost-effective, easy-to-use ... the DLX is good-enough for my intended purposes.


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scratchit
(@scratchit)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 182
February 11, 2020 13:37:59  

Hi guy, ‘preciate your input, I’m kinda looking for a new speed-o-meter.

 

ATB


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Baker Airguns Donnie
(@baker-airguns-donnie)
Member of Trade
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Posts: 18
February 11, 2020 17:04:13  

Those are nice.

We use them at work.

 

-Donnie


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scratchit
(@scratchit)
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Posts: 182
February 11, 2020 17:47:03  

Kinda a toss up between the upside down Caldwell and this one. Every once in a while one will show up on the classifieds.  Tough differentiating between them. Each with their own features and benefits.  Still scratchin’ my head. 

Thanks, that helps a bit.....

 

ATB


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Alejandro O. Martinez
(@aom22)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 76
February 11, 2020 20:40:07  

Here’s your tie-breaker.
The Competition Electronics ProChronoDLX is Bluetooth enabled.
And, uses off-the-shelf 9-volt batteries.
So is the Caldwell G2 Ballistic Precision Chronograph with Tripod and Rechargeable Battery.
The Caldwell looks-like a much more complete, integrated, rugged and heavy-duty package.
All of this is reflected in a … more expensive unit.

I was aware of the Caldwell systems.
But, they were significantly more expensive.
Lower-cost and Bluetooth are the main rational for my choosing the ProChronoDLX.

Reference: Best Shooting Chronographs [2020]


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scratchit
(@scratchit)
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Posts: 182
February 11, 2020 22:16:39  

Hi Alejandro, I’m still in a quandary.  I’ve experienced mixed results w/Bluetooth device pairing, especially w/ apple devices.  But I’ve about had enough of my 20 something year old beta chrony.  I may have even beat it to death the last time we went around.  Not so worried about the battery.  I like lithium batteries.

 

Ive taken note of your avatar.  I’ve been beat with the ISO 900x stick.  I speak ISO fairly well. Also speak ANSI/AMSE, AS, and several other tongues whenever the spirit possesses me. So much for standardization.

 

Good to see you!


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Alejandro O. Martinez
(@aom22)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 76
February 11, 2020 23:54:06  

With my ProChronoDLX ... I’ve not experienced an bluetooth connectivity problems with my iPhone/iPad.

But then, I keep my IOS software up-to-date.

Competition Electronics has some downloaded apps for IOS and PC - mobile and desktop. 

Moreover, none of the Competition Electronics chronys have a USB port.


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scratchit
(@scratchit)
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Posts: 182
February 12, 2020 00:20:40  

Do you ever get any read errors?  That’s pretty much what trashed the beta....

 

I’ll look a little closer, thanks


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pluric
(@pluric)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 737
February 12, 2020 10:21:43  

Before upgrading a chrony check out the FX Pocket. Bluetooth and not sensitive to light. $200

gamo j
Gamo h
Gamo i

 They now come with a bracket to mount it on the barrel to take out variables of height. I wouldn't go for the final zero on a target with that hanging there. Runs on 3 AAA batteries.


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Alejandro O. Martinez
(@aom22)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 76
February 12, 2020 10:55:26  

@scratchit

Well, during a couple of shooting sessions of apprx five 5-shot strings ... I got one error.

I deleted the error on-the-spot and took a substitute shot.

That's all the inconvenience I experienced.

 

I tell-ya ... if money wasn't an object, I would'a shelled-out for a LabRadar Ballistic Velocity Doppler Radar Chronograph and all-of the associated accessories.

But, then ... I'm a married man - only in my dreams.  LOL

I do own some center/rimfire firearms - sure would like to see how my projectiles were performing downrange.

With the LabRadar Chronograph, I'll bet ... I'd would be a very popular-guy at the local firing range.

 


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scratchit
(@scratchit)
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Posts: 182
February 12, 2020 11:24:06  

Hi guys, 'Preciate the fdbk....

 

I considered the Labradar, hard.  But I'm not sure it's for me and my unique application, indoor shooting, et. al..  I've also noted that it may be sensitive to things in its peripheral vision.

 

I've also noted the FX.  An interesting tool and perhaps worthy of another look.  I'm not sure if it provides some of the info I'm looking for.  That is without having to do ciphering on yet another device.

 

Thanks for your participation.  Think I'll ponder on it a bit more.  Wonder what Ribbonstone's opinion on this subject might be?  I can't recall him ever expressing much of an opinion on things like this, hmmmmm.

 

ATB

 

edit:  magneto speed might not work so well on underlevers......

another edit:  might I also think of you as "Alex"???


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pluric
(@pluric)
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Posts: 737
February 12, 2020 12:37:23  
Posted by: @scratchit

Hi guys, 'Preciate the fdbk....

 

I considered the Labradar, hard.  But I'm not sure it's for me and my unique application, indoor shooting, et. al..  I've also noted that it may be sensitive to things in its peripheral vision.

 

I've also noted the FX.  An interesting tool and perhaps worthy of another look.  I'm not sure if it provides some of the info I'm looking for.  That is without having to do ciphering on yet another device.

 

Thanks for your participation.  Think I'll ponder on it a bit more.  Wonder what Ribbonstone's opinion on this subject might be?  I can't recall him ever expressing much of an opinion on things like this, hmmmmm.

 

ATB

 

edit:  magneto speed might not work so well on underlevers......

another edit:  might I also think of you as "Alex"???

Not sure what all the information you are looking for but I believe the FX covers all the bases. Easy to personalize to a specific gun, shot string with single delete option, several speed options, energy reading, if you are doing lower FPS like paintball or arrow easy change. If a non tech guy like me can use it I'm thinking anyone can. I even downloaded the online app. Never done that before. Plus it talks to you if you want. Announces each shot so you don't have to look at a device after each shot.

FX chrony
FX Chrony a

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scratchit
(@scratchit)
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February 12, 2020 13:00:20  

Hi pluric, thanks....

 

I think my concern was with trying to evaluate ballistic coefficients down range.  Wouldn’t want to shoot the little sucker.  But I haven’t totally dismissed it. 

The LabRadar I believe would handle this well, although susceptible to a few minor niggles. Might have to hold your mouth just right.  Not sure....

 

Again, thanks for the feedback.  Still scratchin’ my head.......

 

ATB

 

I had a Combro once.......


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pluric
(@pluric)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 737
February 12, 2020 13:19:03  
Posted by: @scratchit

Hi pluric, thanks....

 

I think my concern was with trying to evaluate ballistic coefficients down range.  Wouldn’t want to shoot the little sucker.  But I haven’t totally dismissed it. 

The LabRadar I believe would handle this well, although susceptible to a few minor niggles. Might have to hold your mouth just right.  Not sure....

 

Again, thanks for the feedback.  Still scratchin’ my head.......

 

ATB

 

I had a Combro once.......

I had to laugh at that. 🤣 

Seen too many videos where people have either shot their chrony or a camera set up. Maybe a shout out to Nate with the airgunchannel. 😉 

 

A simple metal protection plate would go a long way when doing that type of work. I have a MTS scope that required two chrony's to set it up correctly. 

I've not tried to shoot the FX at distance so I can't speak from experience on that.


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Hector J Medina G
(@hector-j-medina-g)
Member of Trade
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 434
February 12, 2020 15:28:01  
Posted by: @scratchit

Hi pluric, thanks....

 

I think my concern was with trying to evaluate ballistic coefficients down range.  Wouldn’t want to shoot the little sucker.  But I haven’t totally dismissed it. 

The LabRadar I believe would handle this well, although susceptible to a few minor niggles. Might have to hold your mouth just right.  Not sure....

 

Again, thanks for the feedback.  Still scratchin’ my head.......

 

ATB

 

I had a Combro once.......

@Scratchit

 

If you want to evaluate BC's over different ranges, the best way is to get TWO chronographs. They can be different chronographs, you only have to take the time to "calibrate" them against each other.

Obviously, you can use a limited window chrono near the muzzle, but downrange, you need the largest window you can get.The Pro-Chrono that Alex bought is a good example of a large window, and the IR lights CAN be driven by 2X12V batteries in series. They only drain 0.2 A, so a 1.2 Ah set can drive the lights for a good shooting session (about $8 ea).

You also need to be able to measure VERY accurately the distance between the two. This is even more important than one or 2 fps difference between chrono readings. A laser distance meter (about $200 for one capable of measuring out to 100 yards) is excellent for this application (not a laser rangefinder).

When you use two chronographs, you can do a shot by shot calculation and derive then an Average and a Sd for the  BC, but if you work with a string at short range and then another string at long range, then you will be using averages±ssd against averages±ssd, in that way it is difficult to achieve a high level of consistency and certainty of the BC's obtained, and you end up working with ranges, rather than values.

If most of your work is done with 0.22" and higher, then the LabRadar will be a better setup than getting two chronos plus all the added equipment and then doing all the work of calibration.

If you are using ONLY 0.177" caliber, then you will be limiting yourself to ranges 50 yards & under with the LabRadar.

There's a lot of considerations if you want to undertake really serious ballistic research, but it is a fascinating field.

Good luck and keep us posted!

 

 

 

 

HM

 


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scratchit
(@scratchit)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 182
February 13, 2020 05:56:28  

Hi Hector, I recognize you as indeed, a member of the trade!

 

Im workin’ on a response..... might require a bit of math on your part.  Steve used to do the math for me, I’m lame.  I haven’t seen him around??  Hopefully he’s well....

 

ATB


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Gratewhitehuntr
(@gratewhitehuntr)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 753
February 13, 2020 07:55:27  

or a small chunk of bulletproof polymer...


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scratchit
(@scratchit)
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Posts: 182
February 14, 2020 04:41:49  

Morn’ Hector,

 

 I was going to go off on some tangent about cumulative errors and the like.  Cosine type things but thought better of it...

 

’preciate what you’re saying if I wished to pick the fly stuff out of the pepper.  In my case just a cross check of the calculated vs. the observed.

 

some time ago, playing with chair gun, I not quite randomly, applied varying BC values to the entry for JSB 16gr. pellets.  Just to see what trajectories might be displayed.  I think I used 900fps as the reference speed.

 

edit:  50 yard zero.

 

i can only encourage others to play with chairgun or some similar calculator and draw their own conclusions as to how much and where downrange BC affects the pellets impact.

 

Thanks for your participation and ATB 

 

@Alex:  I guess your forte might be “team building” and the identifying of internal and external customers and the like?


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scratchit
(@scratchit)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 182
February 14, 2020 19:53:22  
Posted by: @pluric
Posted by: @scratchit

Hi pluric, thanks....

 

 

ATB

I had to laugh at that. 🤣 

Seen too many videos where people have either shot their chrony or a camera set up. Maybe a shout out to Nate with the airgunchannel. 😉 

 

 

I try to avoid logging into goggle unless I have to. Seem to have forgotten whatever passwords I may have had for any goggle accounts I may have had.  Won’t recall.....


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straitflite
(@straitflite)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 181
February 15, 2020 09:40:18  

I inquired a while back, about which chrony. I used to have the folding green (beta or whatever). After recently having my 'airgunitus' rekindled, I too was in the market for another. I bought the Caldwell upside down rig but quickly decided it's footprint and ergonomics were more than I needed so I returned it for this Caldwell:

https://www.amazon.com/Caldwell-Ballistic-Precision-Chronograph-Shooting/dp/B00HTN5290/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0cj_-OHT5wIVjsDACh02qAf0EAAYASAAEgJ5ePD_BwE&hvadid=178141907263&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1023572&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=17160290124609108922&hvtargid=kwd-128426741796&hydadcr=9438_9900796&keywords=caldwell+chronograph+premium+kit&qid=1581776915&sr=8-2

On paper, they have the same repeatability. As mentioned, they are simple devices really. The value lies mostly in having a reference source for changes in our guns of course. I haven't used the data/smart phone function yet but I'm looking forward to it.


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scratchit
(@scratchit)
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Posts: 182
February 15, 2020 10:37:10  

Really appreciate your perspective.  Thnx!


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Alejandro O. Martinez
(@aom22)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 76
February 28, 2020 23:27:19  

@hector-j-medina-g

Hector mentioned the range limitation of the Labradar with pellets.

I was able to affirm his finding. 

However, we had no problems with Labradar to record airgun pellet velocities at ranges out to 55 Yards. That’s nearly twice the manufacturer’s claims. Maybe it could even have functioned at even greater distances, but this was the length of the range at which we were shooting the test.

Labradar recorded the distance to the target on the 55 Yard range as being exactly 55.0 Yards. We double-checked this by using a digital rangefinder. This confirmed the range as being 55.0 Yards.   

https://hardairmagazine.com/reviews/labradar-tips-and-tricks-for-airgun-use/

 


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Hector J Medina G
(@hector-j-medina-g)
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February 29, 2020 11:29:42  

@aom22

Alejandro;

That HAM article was posted Dec 2019

It does say that they used the 0.177" pellets out to 35-40 yards, but there are ways to increase that to about 50-55 yds. you just need to be careful with the lay of the land and use as open a field as you possibly can.

I had hoped to meet with the LabRadar people at IWA 2020 next two weeks, but now that it has been "postponed", I do not know when I will get a chance to talk to them again.

My interest was that as slugs become more and more common, it SHOULD be that LabRadar read better off a flat/cup base than out of a hollow conical skirt. But it is a question that depends a lot on the exact characteristics of the radar signal they use (the reason why shiny, tin, non-lead pellets do NOT register well, they are "stealth" technology as far as LabRadar is concerned).

Anyway, I hope that the instrument will keep on advancing because it CAN be a useful and smart way to work. It just needs to overcome some limitations that only relevant to us airgunners.

Thanks, keep well and shoot straight!

 

 

 

 

 

HM

 


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Alejandro O. Martinez
(@aom22)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 76
March 9, 2020 01:37:23  

@hector-j-medina-g

While I was in the Air Force one of my career-fields was an Electronic Warfare Technician.  Radar detection and foiling was a primary aspect of the ECM mission.  

An over-simplified analogy is the comparison of light-wave energy and radio-frequency (RF) electro-magnetic waves -  radar pulses, if you will.  Light and RF have many similar characteristics when it comes to reflectivity.  If light is reflected from a surface ... so-will RF signals.  Shine a flashlight in a darkened room at a flat mirrored-surface the size and cross-sectional shape of billiard cue-ball  ... a significant amount of light will be reflected back - but, not all.  Shine a light on a chromed cue-ball in the dark ... even less light will be reflected DIRECTLY-BACK to the light source - or, radar emitter.  Do the same with a cue-ball made of lead - how much light will be reflected back?  Not nearly as much.  The same will happen with an RF wave.

A bullet presents a copper-jacket that is shinier than pure-lead along-with a flat-base.  A flat-surface much-better reflects RF energy than a curved surface.  The aft-end of a pellet is not flat ... it is cup-shaped.  This concave surface is not conducive to RF reflectivity.  Moreover, a pellet has a much smaller cross-section than a centerfire bullet.  All of these factors conspire to make pellets less reflective of radar electromagnetic energy-pulses.

 


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Hector J Medina G
(@hector-j-medina-g)
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March 9, 2020 07:29:49  
Posted by: @aom22

@hector-j-medina-g

While I was in the Air Force one of my career-fields was an Electronic Warfare Technician.  Radar detection and foiling was a primary aspect of the ECM mission.  

An over-simplified analogy is the comparison of light-wave energy and radio-frequency (RF) electro-magnetic waves -  radar pulses, if you will.  Light and RF have many similar characteristics when it comes to reflectivity.  If light is reflected from a surface ... so-will RF signals.  Shine a flashlight in a darkened room at a flat mirrored-surface the size and cross-sectional shape of billiard cue-ball  ... a significant amount of light will be reflected back - but, not all.  Shine a light on a chromed cue-ball in the dark ... even less light will be reflected DIRECTLY-BACK to the light source - or, radar emitter.  Do the same with a cue-ball made of lead - how much light will be reflected back?  Not nearly as much.  The same will happen with an RF wave.

A bullet presents a copper-jacket that is shinier than pure-lead along-with a flat-base.  A flat-surface much-better reflects RF energy than a curved surface.  The aft-end of a pellet is not flat ... it is cup-shaped.  This concave surface is not conducive to RF reflectivity.  Moreover, a pellet has a much smaller cross-section than a centerfire bullet.  All of these factors conspire to make pellets less reflective of radar electromagnetic energy-pulses.

 

Hello Alejandro!

 

One of the things we were talking about during the 2019 IWA with the LabRadar people is that, sometimes, very shallow "cup base" slugs can have a very good radar signature, specially, if they are stable.

My interest there was to see if "stability" could be measured in relation to the radar signal of a static bullet at known ranges.

As slugs advance, my bet is that shallow cup bases will be the ones dominating the scene a few years from now in the high power world, whereas truly hollow based (skirtlike) bases will dominate in the 5.5 to 24 ft-lbs region.
And in here is where there will be a difference:

Current diabolo skirts are created with a nearly Pointed punch, not quite, but very close. That will change when the pressures to form the nose and close the hollow nose into a HP will increase. A "truncated cone" for the base will then be necessary.

And it is in this "chopped" section of the hollow base cone where the radar can have a bit of "illumination backflash".

LabRadar people told me that in some aspects they are at the limit of what a civilian radar can do.

What I had planned on talking to them about this year is if they thought that a wind-shear radar could be developed at the pocket/rifle mounted size, so that you could have an idea of what is the average cross wind speed between you and your target.

Now, THAT would get a lot of shooter's attention! LOL!

Still in Germany . . . Have not forgotten your request, just been too busy.

 

Keep well and shoot straight!

 

 

 

HM


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Alejandro O. Martinez
(@aom22)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 76
March 10, 2020 00:45:09  

I suspect that “stability” means a slug that is not yawing or oscillating about the directional axis of the projectile.

The purpose of a stable projectile is to present the most perpendicular reflective surface towards the radar emitter.

A flat surface that is perpendicular to the radar set will reflect/return the greatest amount of RF energy back to the radar set. 


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Hector J Medina G
(@hector-j-medina-g)
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March 10, 2020 09:17:19  

Alejandro;

The PURPOSE of stability is to present the smallest "face" to the incoming airstream, thereby reducing the drag.

An EFFECT of the stability is that there are no wobbles (Precession, Nutation, Yaw). Therefore the reflection back can be more constant.

Now, the AMOUNT of RF energy reflected back depends on a number of things, one of them is beam dispersion. If the beam has a high dispersion angle, then a slightly concave surface COULD increase the amount of energy reflected back. A convex surface will always decrease the amount of reflected energy.

Flat surfaces will always follow the rule of squares.

 

Keep well and shoot straight!

 

 

 

 

HM


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