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Thread: Crelant 7G5MT (MT-G2, 2x18650/4xCR123A) Review: RUNTIMES, VIDEO, BEAMSHOTS+

  1. #1

    Popcorn Crelant 7G5MT (MT-G2, 2x18650/4xCR123A) Review: RUNTIMES, VIDEO, BEAMSHOTS+

    Warning: even more pic heavy than usual.




    The 7G5MT is the latest addition to my lineup of MT-G2-equiped lights (and the second example from Crelant). It's also the first MT-G2 light I've seen that runs on just 2x18650 (or 4xCR123A). Building on the 7G5CS design, there have been some build updates in this new 7G5MT.

    Let's see how it compares to other high-output 3x/4x18650 MT-G2 lights, and the more common 2x18650 XM-L-class lights.

    Manufacturer Reported Specifications:
    (note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual testing results).

    • CREE MT-G2 LED
    • Maximum output: 1860 lumens (ANSI FL-1 standard)
    • Runtime: High output at 3.2 A: 1860 lumens for 65 minutes.
    • Effective range of 180 meters
    • Working voltage: 5.5V--13V DC
    • Battery Types Supported: 2 x 18650 or 4 X CR123A
    • High efficient constant current circuit and regulated output-luminance
    • Durable, custom-designed Microcontroller drive circuit
    • Tactical tailcap high mode switch and mode changing infinitely variable brightness
      side switch (Hidden Strobe and SOS, double click the side switch quickly).
    • Mil. Spec. Type III hard anodized aircraft grade 6063-T6 aluminum alloy
    • Color: Black
    • Ergonomic grip with anti-roll design
    • Bezel: stainless steel
    • High performance aluminum smooth reflector with concentrated beam shot
    • Waterproof: IPX-8 Standard
    • Lens: Toughened & ultra-clear coated and anti-abrasive glass
    • Dimensions: Length 252.6 mm, Head Diameter 64mm, Body Diameter 25.4mm
    • Weight: 298g excluding battery
    • Accessories: Lanyard, spare o-ring
    • MSRP: ~$129



    My early release 7G5MT actually came in 7G5CS packaging (according to the labels on the box). You thus get the fairly standard (and basic) hard cardboard box with packing foam, with the light (with metal lanyard ring and rubber grip ring installed), extra o-rings, paracord-style wrist strap, and manual included. There was no holster on my review sample, but I believe some dealers do sell the light with a holster.




    From left to right: Eagletac Protected 18650 3400mAh; Crelant 7G5MT, 7G10; Niwalker Black Light Vostro BK-FA02; Eagletac SC25L3.


    From left to right: Eagletac Protected 18650 3400mAh; Crelant 7G5MT, 7G5CS; Sunwayman T40CS; Klarus XT-30; Surefire Invictus.

    All dimensions directly measured, and given with no batteries installed (unless indicated):

    Crelant 7G5MT: Weight: 354.1g, Length: 244mm, Width (bezel): 64.0mm
    Crelant 7G5CS: Weight: 334.5g, Length: 247mm Width (bezel): 64.0mm
    Crelant 7G10: Weight 643.4g (827g with 4x18650), Length: 198mm, Width (bezel): 79.0mm
    Eagletac SX25L3 3x18650: Weight: 315.9g, Length: 150.2mm, Weight (bezel): 47.0mm
    Klarus XT30: Weight: 283.1g, Length: 247mm, Width (bezel): 58.0mm
    Niwalker 750N1: Weight: 408.0g, Length: 269mm, Width (bezel): 58.6mm
    Sunwayman T40CS: Weight: 296.7g, Length 227, Width (bezel): 63.5mm
    Tiablo A60G: Weight: 297.8g, Length: 256mm, Width (bezel): 56.8mm
    Thrunite Catapult V3: Weight: 434.8g, Length: 254mm, Width (bezel) 58.0mm, Width (tailcap) 35.1mm.

    The 7G5MT is fairly close in size to the 7G5CS, with a slightly large head base (and weight), but slightly lower overlal length.






    Overall build is generally in keeping with the Crelant 7G5CS, with a few updates. Anodizing remains a matte black, and seems to be of good quality. There are no obvious chips or damage on my sample (but I have seen some on my other Crelant lights). Labels are bright white and clear, well centered, and include a serial number.

    As on previously lights, knurling is rather weak (i.e. smooth), but the additional ridges and other build elements help with grip. Overall, I would rate the grip as fairly good. There is a removable rubber grip ring and metal lanyard ring installed near the tailcap.

    Light has a crenelated stainless steel bezel ring now. The light can tailstand.

    What's interesting about the tailcap is that it uses a press-switch now. This allows for both momentary activation (i.e., press and hold) and locked on (i.e., screwed tight) – see my User Interface discussion below for more info. This differs from the earlier 7G5CS, which used a traditional clicky switch. If I were to hazard a guess as to what precipitated this change, I would think that traditional clicky switches don't not hold up too well to the high current demands of the MT-G2.

    As with the 7G5CS and 7G10, the 7G5MT uses a side electronic switch in the head to control output modes. However, the button is larger now, with a more textured cover. I find this new design easier to access by touch. Scroll down for a discussion of the user interface.

    Screw threads are square cut now (i.e., trapezoidal), but share the same threading diameter as before. This means that in theory you could still swap tailcaps, but I don't recommend you try this (i.e., see my comments above about physical clicky switches and high current draws). Threads remain anodized at the tailcap for lock-out (as was present on the 7G5CS but not the 7G10).

    As an aside, the switch to square-cut threads throughout the light means that the aspheric/collimator head from the 7G5-V2 and 7G5CS won't screw on to the 7G5MT.

    There is a spring in the head, so flat-top cells will work fine in the light. All of my high-capacity 3100mAh/3400mAh cells fit comfortably in the light. I did find some issue with my shorter 2200mAh cells not always making a consistent contact (i.e., could break contact if you shook the light vigorously).





    The reflector is a good size, textured to smooth out the beam - I'd describe it as a Medium Orange Peel (MOP) finish. Because of the large die size with the MT-G2, expect much lower throw relative to overall output (compared to the 7G5CS). Of course, overall output should be higher on the 7G5MT compared to the 7G5CS.

    Note that I found some debris inside the head of the light on my sample. These looked like small aluminum shavings produced during milling of the reflector, and were free-floating inside the head. Opening the light at the bezel/lens and a shot of compressed air took care of them.

    BTW, if you aren't familiar with the MT-G2, this series was designed by Cree for high-output directional lighting applications (i.e., as a replacement for classic halogen bulbs in accent lighting, track lights, etc.). Please see the Cree MT-G2 spec sheet for more info.

    As you can tell above, the MT-G2 is a remarkably large emitter, with a dome diameter of almost 8.9mm (vs. 5mm on a XM-L2, for example). Of course, what really matters is the surface area of the die underneath, which is only 2x2mm on the XM-L2. I am not sure of the actual die dimensions on the MT-G2, but as you might be able to tell from the blow-up pic above, there appears to be a grid of 72 distinct segments.

    Another distinctive feature is that the MT-G2 only comes in relatively neutral-warm tint bins. Crelant claims 4500K in some of the promotional material I've seen for the 7G5MT, which is believable for my sample. Scroll down for beamshots.

    User Interface

    User interface is generally similar to the 7G5CS lights, except for the use of a press switch instead of clicky switch in the tailcap. To activate the light, press and hold the tailswitch (i.e., momentary on), or fully tighten the tailcap (i.e., constant on).

    As before, mode switching is controlled by the electronic switch in the head. When On, clicking (pressing and releasing) the side switch moves through the following modes: Hi > Lo > Standby off, in repeating sequence.

    As with other Crelant lights, double-clicking the side switch when On enters into the blinking modes, starting with Strobe. Double-click again to advance to SOS. Double-clicking a third time advance you to Standby. A single click moves you back to the regular constant output sequence, starting the in the Standby mode.

    In either Hi or Lo, pressing and holding the side switch begins a continuously-variable ramp in output. Initially, the light ramps down from Max to Min, and then reverses back to Max, in a repeating loop. The light retains the memory of the user-set level, until you break the current by fully removing the head.

    Here's how the ramp looks, compared to other recent Crelant lights:



    The ramp on the 7G5MTis faster than the other 7GxCS-series lights I've tested. The light ramps down over ~5 secs. It holds the lowest level for less than a second, and then ramps back up in the same ~5 sec timeframe. The light flashes 3 times when the max level is reached, and then starts ramping back down after a brief pause. Overall duration (Max to Min and back to Max) is ~11secs. Note that the 7G5MT goes down to a lower low than the earlier 7G10 (see output comparison tables later in this review for more info).

    As mentioned above, there is mode memory for the set level from the continuously variable ramp – as long as you don't break the current by unscrewing the head from the body. So, when cycling through levels, the light will continue to come back to your temporarily memorized set level at each point. Note that the default Lo mode is not the minimum brightness of the light – you can temporarily set it a bit lower if you like.

    Video:

    For more information on the overall build and user interface, please see my video overview:



    Video was recorded in 720p, but YouTube typically defaults to 360p or lower. Once the video is running, you can click on the configuration settings icon and select the higher 480p to 720p options. You can also run full-screen.

    As with all my videos, I recommend you have annotations turned on. I commonly update the commentary with additional information or clarifications before publicly releasing the video.

    PWM/Strobe

    There is no evidence of pulse width modulation (PWM) that I can see – the 7G5MT is either current-controlled, or the frequency is too high for me to detect.

    As before though, there is some high frequency noise detectable in my setup, at around ~15 kHz:



    Again, this variable circuit signal is not PWM, and it is not visible to the eye. I only mention it because it is detectable by my oscilloscope. Note that it is not uncommon to see high frequency noise on some lights. In this case, it is present on all levels (including Max), and the signal intensity seems to correlate with output level (although never reaches a visible threshold). Both of characteristics (and the pattern shown above) demonstrate that it is not related to PWM in any way.

    Strobe:


    Strobe is a fairly typical 10Hz in my testing, as on other recent Crelant lights.

    The 7G5MT also has a fairly typical SOS mode (not shown).

    Standby Drain

    Due to the electronic control switch, the 7G5MT will always be drawing a current when the tailcap is fully connected (i.e., during the standy off position of the electronic switch). I am not able to measure it, however, as the light always come on it Max output (i.e., requiring me to use the 10A port on my DMM, which isn't sensitive enough to measure this current). I had the same issue on the Crelant 7G5CS and 7G10.

    As a result, I would recommend you store the light without the tailcap fully screwed on.

    Beamshots:

    And now, what you have all been waiting for. All lights are on AW protected 18650 2200mAh batteries. Lights are about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences. This means that you can draw no conclusion about relative tint differences below.

    Ok, let's start by seeing how the 7G5MT compares to other lights that use the MT-G2 emitter:









    Again, automatic color balance is used in all these beam shots, to minimize the visual effect of tint differences. In real life, all the lights above are a fairly typical Neutral White. See my video overview if you want a better idea what a Neutral white looks like.

    The 7G5MT is remarkably similar to the 7G10 in overall beam pattern – although of course the larger 7G10 has greater throw and output overall. Both lights have a wider spillbeam than typical in this class.

    And what about the classic 2x18650 class?













    Spill is about comparable to the 7G5CS , but of course throw is greatly lower on the large-die 7G5MT. This is exactly what I would have expected.

    Scroll down to my output/throw summary table to see how all these lights measure up exactly.

    For outdoor beamshots, these are all done in the style of my earlier 100-yard round-up review. Please see that thread for a discussion of the topography (i.e. the road dips in the distance, to better show you the corona in the mid-ground). I think this batch of outdoor beamshots looks fairly good, due to all the Fall colors in the trees.

    Let's start again with some of the MT-G2 lights:




    The 7G5MT has reasonable throw for the class, although overall output is lower than the 7G10, for example. The SX25L3 is an interesting comparator, as you can see the much brighter spillbeam and slightly dimmer hotspot on that light. It goes to show you the impact reflector design has on relative beam appearance.

    How about compared to the original XM-L2-equipped 7G5CS?




    Obviously, the 7G5MT won't throw as far – but overall output is noticeably higher (i.e., again, look at the spillbeams).

    And one more:




    As you can see, the Niwalker BK-FA02 has more output than the competing Crelant lights, but with a narrower overall spillbeam.

    Also, please ignore any tint differences above – they are mainly due to the automatic white balance setting on the camera. In real life, the MT-G2 lights are consistently Neutral white, and my XM-L2 example up there is a Cool white tint. If you want a better idea what a Neutral white tint looks like, check out my video overview.

    Testing Method:

    All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, as described on my flashlightreviews.ca website. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for any extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.

    I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lightbox values to Lumens thread for more info.

    Throw/Output Summary Chart:

    My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/FL1.htm for a discussion, and a description of all the terms used in these tables. Effective July 2012, I have updated all my Peak Intensity/Beam Distance measures with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter (orange highlights).



    In term of overall output, you can see that the 7G5MT is intermediate to the 7G5CS and 7G10 – although closer to the 7G10 in practice. But it is the lowest output MT-G2 light I've tested so far (as you would expect, give the 2x18650 battery source).

    As an aside, you'll note that my output estimate is lower than Crelant's specs. However, the 7G5MT is marginally brighter on 4xCR123A than 2x18650 (i.e., I'd estimate ~1550 ANSI FL-1 lumens on 4xCR123A). Scroll down to my runtimes to see how the light compares on these sources.

    In terms of the throw, the 7G5MT doesn't throw as far as the 7G10 (which is understandable, given the higher output and larger/deeper reflector of the 7G10). It does throw pretty comparably to the Eagletac SX25L3 (which has greater output, but a smaller reflector).

    Oddly, the reported beam distance specs from Crelant are surprisingly low – my results are consistent with what you would expect for a reflector this size, driven to these levels. Crelant seems to have some difficulty in determining appropriate throw specs (e.g., the 7G10 had over-stated throw measures).

    As an aside, ANSI FL-1 Beam Distance is often misunderstood – it is not meant to be an "effective range", but one that conforms to an arbitrary brightness level (in this case, distance to 0.25 lux, which is not very bright at all). This is obviously not that meaningful in absolute terms - but it does give you an objective way to compare relative beam distances between lights.

    Output/Runtime Graphs:

    Let's start by comparing the 7G5MT to the other high-output/MT-G2 lights:




    Obviously, the 7G5MT is not as bright on max as the other lights in this class. Similarly, runtime is not as long, due to only 2x18650 in use here (compared to 3x or 4x18650 on the competing lights). However, overall efficiency seems quite reasonable for the class, when taking into account the lower number of cells.

    Like the other MT-G2 lights though, you see the same "direct-drive-like" pattern, where the internal resistance of the cells controls the output drop-off over time. This is likely due to the higher power requirements of the MT-G2 (recall that is was designed for higher voltage lighting applications).

    Let's see how the 7G5MT compares to other lights in the 2x18650 class.




    It's a different story when you compare to XM-L/XM-L2-based lights in this 2x18650 class – the MT-G2 shines as a real efficiency leader. In terms of efficiency, a direct-drive pattern always has an advantage. But it does seem like the MT-G2 offers some measurable runtime benefits (at least at the relatively high drive currents tested here).

    Keep in mind of course that the 7G5MT does not throw as far as most of the competing 2x18650 lights shown in this comparison.

    What about 4xCR123A, which the 7G5MT also supports?



    One initial observation – the 7G5MT is brighter on Max on 4xCR123A relative to 2x18650. I would estimate ANSI FL-1 lumens of ~1550 on 4xCR123A, compared to ~1400 on 2x18650.

    Another thing I observed was PTC-engagement on my CR123A cells (i.e., that unusual dip and recovery in output during the runtime). This is something I've seen before on a number of heavily-driven 1x/2x18650 lights when run on primary CR123A (e.g., the SST-50-based Thrunite Catapult V2 and Olight M31, not shown above).

    PTC-engagement is highly variable, and depends on the thermal set limits for the specific PTC circuit in your CR123A brand (e.g., USA brands tend to trip earlier than China brands). If you are curious as to what a PTC is and how it works, I provide a detailed explanation in the runtimes section of my Olight M3X review.

    Given its appearance here, I recommend you limit you use of Max mode on 4xCR123A in this light to no more than 5-10 mins at a time.

    Potential Issues

    The light uses a press-switch instead of a clicky switch for initial activation. That's not a problem, but you should be aware of the different interface compared to other Crelant models.

    Due to the electronic mode switch, the light has a stand-by current when in standby off. I am unable to measure it, but you can easily break this current by unscrewing the tailcap.

    The light comes on at max output every time you press/connect the tailcap (i.e., mode memory doesn't survive breaking the current).

    Like with all MT-G2 lights I've tested, the 7G5MT shows a mainly direct-drive-like pattern at all levels. Note that direct-drive is actually more efficient than full circuit control, and you won't be able to detect the slow drop off visually.

    The 7G5MT is very heavily driven on 4xCR123A (i.e., slightly brighter than 2x18650). In my testing, I noticed PTC-engagement on my CR123A cells - something I've seen before on a couple of 4xCR123A lights. As such, I recommend you limit you use of Max mode on 4xCR123A on the 7G5MT to no more than 5-10 mins at a time.

    Preliminary Observations

    The 7G5MT is the second MT-G2-equipped I've tested from Crelant, and the first I've seen in the 2x18650 class. It's an interesting build – while not driven as hard as the 3x/4x18650-based MT-G2 lights, there are some output and runtime advantages over the typical XM-L/XM-L2 2x18650/4xCR123A class lights (at least at the relatively high drive levels tested here).

    Physically, the light has a strong resemblance to the Crelant 7G5CS. However, the base of the head of the 7G5MT appears to have been enlarged slightly, and there is a larger mode control button now. A crenelated bezel ring replaces the previous flat one, and the reflector is OP now instead of smooth.

    But the major change is the use of a tailcap press switch instead of a clicky switch. As mentioned earlier in the review, I suspect this may have something to do with the high power requirements of the MT-G2 emitter (i.e., physical clicky switches don't always hold up well to high currents).

    User interface is similar to the 7G5CS (except for the press switch and a slightly revised ramp sequence). I am personally glad to see the wider range of the ramp (i.e., the 7G5MT can go to lower outputs than the previous 7G5CS). But as always, I wish you could customize the light to come on in something other than Max every time the tailcap is connected.

    Max output is not as higher as the other MT-G2 light's I've tested, but it does exceed all my XM-L/XM-L2 lights in the 2x18650 or 4xCR123A class. Note that the 7G5MT is brighter on 4xCR123A than 2x18650. Unfortunately, it is heavily-driven enough to trip the PTC safety circuits on my CR123As. As such, I recommend you limit runtime on the near-maximal levels when on CR123A.

    Beam pattern is somewhat similar overall to the MT-G2-equipped Crelant 7G10 – except the 7G5MT doesn't throw as far, of course. I actually find the balance between spot and spill quite pleasing, but it's important to realize that this is not a "thrower" light (like all the XM-L/XM-L2 lights of comparable size). As always, the MT-G2 remains a favorite with me for their consistent Neutral white tints.

    In terms of performance, output/runtime efficiency was excellent for the 2x18650 class – but that is thanks in part to the direct-drive-like pattern you see on all MT-G2 lights. Still, I was surprised to see how well the MT-G2 emitter performed, in direct head-to-head comparison with XM-L/XM-L2 lights in the 2x18650 class.

    Compared to the other MT-G2 lights, the 7G5MT seems to hold its own pretty well – but the reduction to just 2x18650 cells (from 3x/4x on the others) will cut overall runtime.

    At the end of the day, the 7G5MT is good performing light in a decent quality mainstream build. No, it can't march the output of the premium brands in the 3x/4x18650 class, but it could serve as a good introduction for those looking to check out a MT-G2 light.

    ----

    7G5MT provided by MD-lightsource.com for review, on behalf of Crelant.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 10-06-2013 at 03:24 PM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crelant 7G5MT (MT-G2, 2x18650/4xCR123A) Review: RUNTIMES, VIDEO, BEAMSHOTS+

    Thanks for the review

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* sbbsga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crelant 7G5MT (MT-G2, 2x18650/4xCR123A) Review: RUNTIMES, VIDEO, BEAMSHOTS+

    My friends just noticed this light a few days ago and your review showed up just in time. Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* InfinitusEquitas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crelant 7G5MT (MT-G2, 2x18650/4xCR123A) Review: RUNTIMES, VIDEO, BEAMSHOTS+

    Thank you for another great, and very detailed review.

    My understanding is, these are also not compatible with the Aspheric/Collimator heads from the 7G5v2, and 7G5CS.

    Which is a shame, because with an aspheric lens it would make for an interesting light. (That and assuming it can be driven harder.)

  5. #5
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Crelant 7G5MT (MT-G2, 2x18650/4xCR123A) Review: RUNTIMES, VIDEO, BEAMSHOTS+

    Thank you for another great review.

    I was hoping to replace my Jetbeam BC40 with this as my duty light but looking at your charts I don't think I would gain much .

    I would love to see you do a review on the Solarforce s2200 with MT-G2. I recently purchased one and I am having fun with that, it's just too big to carry for work.
    my typin is bad and my speeling is evenworse...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Crelant 7G5MT (MT-G2, 2x18650/4xCR123A) Review: RUNTIMES, VIDEO, BEAMSHOTS+

    Quote Originally Posted by InfinitusEquitas View Post
    My understanding is, these are also not compatible with the Aspheric/Collimator heads from the 7G5v2, and 7G5CS.
    Which is a shame, because with an aspheric lens it would make for an interesting light. (That and assuming it can be driven harder.)
    That's right - I forgot to mention it in the review, but the collimator head doesn't fit any more due to the change to square-cut threads. Which seems a shame, since the overall head diameter at the attachment point hasn't changed.

    That said, collimators really only work well with small sources of light. Given the large MT-G2 die, you probably wouldn't be able to focus it too well with the previous collimator, even if it fit (i.e., would just lose a lot of spill, without enhancing throw that much).

    EDIT: Just heard back from the dealer - apparently Crelant indicated that you would need a much larger collimator to focus the MT-G2 die, about twice as large (which wouldn't be feasible).
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 10-05-2013 at 07:28 PM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Crelant 7G5MT (MT-G2, 2x18650/4xCR123A) Review: RUNTIMES, VIDEO, BEAMSHOTS+

    FYI, in case anyone was wondering how the 7G5MT compares to the Niwalker BK-FA02:




    As you can see, the BK-FA02 has more output than the competing Crelant lights, but with a narrower overall spillbeam.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Crelant 7G5MT (MT-G2, 2x18650/4xCR123A) Review: RUNTIMES, VIDEO, BEAMSHOTS+

    Thanks for the great review, I've been curious about this one. Great beamshots, interesting to see the variety of beam patterns, I like the Eagletac SX25L3 flood beam.

    Joel

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