Category Archive: Uncategorized

Our New Portfolios Showcase Our Custom Wire and Cable Capabilities

Through nearly a century of business, Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable has served a multitude of industries and applications, which has provided us with the experience necessary to fully understand our customers and their electronic wire and cable needs.

This understanding has significantly contributed to the design and construction of our custom cable solutions and has allowed us to manufacture the best product for each of our customers’ unique needs.

Simply put: At Consolidated, we understand your industry, the challenges you face and the solutions you need. 

We encourage you to visit our Portfolios section to view some of the great work we’ve done across a diverse range of industries and applications. Listed below are a few new portfolios, showcasing why Consolidated is a leading manufacturer and national source for electronic wire and cable solutions.

conwire-10.13.15-022-425x319.jpgCustom Hospital-Grade Retractile Cord

The customer’s previous retractile cord hung down and obstructed medical devices, thereby limiting equipment functionality. Consolidated successfully designed a hospital-grade solution that met the client’s exact needs.

Click here to read the full portfolio.

IndustrialControllerPortfolio-retouched-425x305.jpgCustom Cable Harness Assembly for Industrial Controller Panel

Consolidated developed a custom cable harness assembly with a design that would harness a male and female cable to an industrial controller panel.

Click here to read the full portfolio.

conwire-10.13.152.jpgRetractile Cord with Custom Grommet

A customer in the medical field asked Consolidated to develop a custom retractile cord with a 9 Pin D Sub Connector that also met all medical-grade standards.

Click here to read the full portfolio.

Creating a Custom Cable eBookIf you would like additional information on our capabilities and services, visit our Resources section, which contains a variety of downloadable materials related to our company and products.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss how we can assist you with your next project, please contact us today. We look forward to working with you.

Your Ultimate Source for Retractile Cords

Retractile-Cord-ConWireRetractile cords are essential to countless applications and industries, so it is vital that your cord is high quality, flexible, adaptable, and offers maximum strength. At Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable, our breadth of experience and commitment to our customers ensures our products meet these exact characteristics.

Our newest resource, The Retractile Cord Capabilities Guide, illustrates Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable’s scope of capabilities and experience across a diverse range of industries and applications.

Retractile Cords: Experience and Solutions

Our Retractile Cord Capabilities Guide highlights a few of our successes with distinctly challenging retractile cord projects, such as:

  • Ethernet cords with strain relief for the telecommunications industry: Our custom over molding provided strain relief that significantly outperformed standard manufacturers’ models.
  • Custom TPE retractile cords for municipality vehicles: For this project, our customer needed a model that could protect the cord against the elements; we designed a version using thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) finishing to provide excellent stability at a lower cost than polyurethane.
  • Custom hospital-grade retractile cords for medical carts: To fulfill our customer’s need for a new type of hospital-grade cord, we developed a distinct model using Service Junior Thermoplastic (SJT) for maximum elasticity and resilience.
  • Shielded retractile cords for the medical industry: Utilizing our extensive experience in coatings, we created a shielded, high gloss polyurethane cord for a customer in the medical field.
  • And many others.


To download The Retractile Cord Capabilities Guide, please click here or select the button below.

Download the eBook Now

We hope our new eBook showcases our ability to successfully develop high-quality retractile cord solutions, regardless of the industry or application.

A Century of Experience

Through more than 95 years of business, Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable has maintained its position as a client-focused and customer-driven company. We are a one-stop-shop for custom and standard wire and cable solutions, and we offer competitive pricing and unmatched quality.

Download our Retractile Cord Capabilities Guide today to learn more about our work and how our team can develop the best solution for your needs. If you have any questions or would like to discuss how we can assist you with your next project, please contact Consolidated today. We look forward to working with you.

American Wire Gauge and Your Next Project

Evaluating the needs of a particular project and familiarizing yourself with gauging systems and the qualities of particular gauges can help to ensure the right wire selection.

Plenum-Cable-DrawingAmerican Wire Gauge (AWG) is the official United States standard method for measuring round, solid conductors. The measure, or gauge, denotes the cross-sectional areas of a wire and thus helps to determine its capacity for carrying current as well as resistivity.

Gauges are based on whole numbers, of which there are 44 standard AWG sizes, along with size 00, 000 and 0000. Gauging is named by the number of dies a standard wire size passes through during production, and every six gauge increase is the equivalent to a doubling of the wire’s diameter. Every three gauge increase is roughly a doubling of the wire’s area.

Higher gauge, or thinner wire, is broadly optimal for long distances and maintaining conductivity. It’s also more common to find solid wire in a higher gauge.

A wire with a lower gauge number refers to thicker wire. It can carry more amps at a time, but depending upon the application it may not be as effective. The thicker a wire, the more likely it will be most effective as a stranded product.

Wires larger than 0000 or 4/0 are typically measured in 1,000 circular mils (kcmil or MCM), where one cmil is the area of a circle with a diameter of one mil (1/1,000 inch). Also applicable to smaller wires and easily found with a simple formula, the circular mil area of a solid wire is always the equivalent of that wire’s diameter in mils, squared.

Stranded Wire and Gauge

Because of air pockets and varying types of insulation in stranded wire, gauges aren’t quite as straightforward, especially to the naked eye. For any given size in AWG, the stranded wire will take up more physical space than a solid wire equivalent, because the wire gauge is measured based upon the sums of each strand’s cross-sectional area (circular mils), not its overall size.

Stranding also affects diameter measurements of the overall wire for the same reasons. The same gauge size in both a solid and stranded conductor can have a very different diameter, as gauge is always a measure of the size of the wire, independent of its insulation or arrangement.

Even stranded conductors with the same gauge size can display different diameters, depending upon the conductor strand types. Different strand types and quantities can produce thousands of combinations to create the ideal conductor for an application, an especially useful quality for wires in larger projects.

AWG and Resistance

The variations in AWG specifically affect a wire’s resistance, which also varies based on material for any conductor (copper, aluminum, silver, etc.). Resistance is essentially the way current will be converted to heat while moving through the wire conductor. Low resistance wire loses less energy to heat.

The larger a conductor, the lower its provided resistance. A stranded conductor tends to have larger electrical resistance than its solid counterpart.

Depending upon a wire’s application, resistance and gauge can be more or less essential. For example:

  • Power Plant Systems: Minimal resistance is essential for efficient transfer.
  • Speaker Circuits: Excessive resistance causes loss of high-frequency energy—the system will sound very different depending upon a proper gauge.
  • Audio Interconnects: These high-impedance circuits aren’t directly affected in a meaningful way by wire gauge.
  • Analog and Digital Video: Wire gauge only moderately influences signal output.

Other Gauging Systems

Not unlike the different measurement systems for volume and distance that we encounter daily, multiple gauging systems have emerged for wire over time.

For instance, the Washburn and Moen (W&M), U.S. Steel, and Music Wire Gauges govern different methods and applications specifically for steel-based wire. You may also find wire measured in Standard Wire Gauge, or SWG. This system is the official Imperial measurement, and it’s sanctioned by the British Board of Trade.

Another British system, the British Standard for metallic materials (BS 6722: 1986), is often used in replacement of SWG. It is based completely on the metric system, and includes wire among other materials. The naming in this system is based upon ten times whatever a wire’s diameter measures in millimeters. You’ll find that these wires are generally labeled and referred to directly by millimeter measurement, skipping the gauge entirely.

REACH and Consolidated

In 2006, the European Union passed regulation EC 1907/2006, the REACH Regulation. Beginning in 2007, the REACH regulation seeks to improve and protect human and environmental health from harmful chemicals.

What is REACH?

Laying out guidelines for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), provisions of the REACH Regulation are being gradually phased in until 2018.

Using a “no data, no market” approach, the regulation puts the onus of chemical risk management on manufacturers. In order to import goods to, or export goods from, the European Union, manufacturers are required to gather information on the chemicals they use and register it with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

The goals of REACH are multifaceted. The regulation aims to:

  • Develop a comprehensive database of chemicals used in or imported to Europe
  • Evaluate any ill affects these chemicals may have on human health or the environment
  • Authorize approved chemicals and controls for chemicals that cause concern
  • Facilitate the progressive replacement of harmful chemicals
  • Restrict, limit, or otherwise ban chemicals which pose unacceptable risk
  • Promote hazard assessment methods that do not require animal testing

With these aims, the REACH Regulation will fill informational gaps about the huge number of chemical substances that have been manufactured or important into the European market. This will allow the ECHA to make educated decisions about restrictions of certain substances, and consumers to make educated decisions about which products they use.

How REACH Impacts Consolidated

reachThe European Union’s REACH Regulation doesn’t apply solely to manufacturers and importers of chemicals. It applies to every industry, manufacturer, or importer whose products contain or were made with chemicals. This includes electronics, wiring, and cabling, what we produce here at Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable.

Technically, Consolidated is not required to adhere to REACH Regulation recommendations, standards, or directives. As a company established outside of the European Union, we are actually exempt. And yet, we still put a great deal of effort into ensuring that our products meet REACH approval standards.

Why? Because Consolidated cares. The health of our staff is important to us, as is the health of end users and of the environment. The European Union’s REACH Regulation is setting important health and safety standards, and our products are only improved by our efforts to meet them.

For more information on Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable’s efforts to meet REACH Regulation standards and how it can benefit your company and your customers, visit today.

Select the Best Power Cord Jacket for Your Needs

What you need to know to ensure your final product is durable, reliable and operates both safely and efficiently.

Power CordsThe jacket is a vital component of a power cord. It protects the power cord’s inner conductors from external factors, such as harsh temperatures or environmental conditions. The jacket also ensures a power cord’s electric current does not come in contact with users—and also keeps the current separate from other electrical conductors, like metal surfaces.

A power cord jacket plays a crucial role in the durability, reliability, safety and efficiency of the product. So, when designing a power cord, it is important to select the right jacket type for your application.

In order to choose the best power cord jacket material for your needs, consider the following factors:

  • Voltage: Determine the amount of voltage the cord will experience. At Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable, we offer power cords rated to 300 V and 600 V. Power cords rated to 300 V are typically used for light-duty, commercial applications, while cords rated to 600 V are suited for industrial, heavy-duty applications.
  • Environment: Where a power cord will be used will help to determine the best jacket type.A power cord being used outside or in an application where it will be exposed to caustic chemicals will require a more protective jacket material versus a cord simply being used in a dry, indoor environment.
  • Temperature: Temperature of the environment in which your product will be used is another important consideration. The type of power cord jacket to be used in an application must take into consideration the range in temperature it will experience. Extreme cold can cause a power cord jacket to crack while extreme heat can cause expansion, loosening, bubbling, or even melting.
  • Flexibility: Power cords that will experience a lot of movement and frequently transported will require a flexible jacket to avoid cracks or breaks in the insulation.

CaptureThere are a number of other areas to consider when choosing the best jacket type for your power cord. To learn more about selecting the right jacket material for your needs, simply click here or select the button below to download our new eBook, Power Cords Volume 1: Jackets.

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Happy Manufacturing Day 2015!

October 2 marks the fourth annual celebration of Manufacturing Day. This year, nearly 1,000 manufacturers across the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico will celebrate the event by opening their doors to the public for open houses, demonstrations, expositions, conferences, and other events.

Manufacturing Day, often shortened to MFD DAY, was founded in 2012 by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), and the Manufacturing Institute.

These four organizations — among the largest and most important trade organizations in the country — joined together to find a way to help improve the public perception of manufacturing in America.

By bringing manufacturers together with the public, MFG DAY serves several important purposes.

First, it literally brings manufacturers together. MFG DAY has given American manufacturers from across the country and across innumerable industries a way to unify their voices. They can identify common challenges and work together to develop solutions.

Second, MFG DAY allows manufacturers, and manufacturing as a whole, to help dictate their public image. Many Americans have an antiquated view of industry, and MFG DAY allows manufacturers to invite the public to learn what it’s really like.

Third, manufacturers can use MFG DAY to address one of the most serious problems they all face — the shortage of skilled labor. MFG DAY is a vital opportunity for manufacturers to show the public that a career in manufacturing can be very rewarding.

And finally, MFG DAY gives manufacturers the chance to help their communities thrive, for this generation and for all future generations.

Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable hopes Manufacturing Day 2015 is a huge success for all participants and that our future generations find themselves inspired by the manufacturing industry.

Consolidated is Committed to Meeting NEMA Standards

Manufacturing the highest quality product possible—as Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable has been doing for more than 95 years—takes a great deal of effort.

The purest raw materials must be sourced, the most skilled employees must be recruited and trained, and advanced manufacturing technologies must be adopted. There are also a host of different certifications to achieve, ratings to strive for, and standards to meet. Among the standards that Consolidated’s cables and wire meet are the NEMA standards.

Overview: NEMA

NEMA-logoThe National Electric Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is an association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers. It was founded in 1926 in order to set technical standards for electrical and electronic manufacturers for the improvement of those industries and their products, and the safety of users.

NEMA regularly publishes a wide and varied range of standards that apply to various products used in or manufactured by electroindustry. The standards are published to help manufacturers meet several goals:

  • Meet minimum requirements regarding design, production, and distribution of products
  • Ensure proper functioning and safety of consumer goods
  • Improve communication and understanding between manufacturers and customers
  • Help consumers select the correct, and highest quality products

NEMA Standards

NEMA standards cover a number of different product categories, ranging from building systems to electronic components, and from insulating materials to wire and cable, the last of which applies directly to Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable.

There are four subsets of products in the wire and cable category of the NEMA standards: cover power and control cable, flexible cords, building wire and cable, and high performance wire and cable. Consolidated makes wire and cable that fits into all of these categories. There are currently 29 active NEMA, American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and joint ANSI/NEMA standards geared toward the wire and cable manufacturing industry.

These standards include the following articles:

  1. [No Document Number]  – User Guide to Product Specifications for Electrical Building Wire and Cable
  2. ANSI C 12.21-2006 – American National Standard for Protocol Specification for Telephone Modem Communication
  3. ANSI/NEMA HP 5-2013 – Electrical and Electronic Crosslinked, Modified Polyethylene (XPLE) INsulated 125°C Hook-Up Wire, Types L (600 V), LL (1,000 V), and LX (3,000 V)
  4. ANSI/NEMA HP 6-2013 – Electrical and Electronic Silicone and Silicone-Based Insulated Hook-Up Wire Types S (600 V), ZHS (600 V) SS (1,000 V) ZHSS (1,000 V) and SSB Braided (1,000 V)
  5. ANSI/NEMA WC 27500-2015 – American National Standard Aerospace and Industrial Electrical Cable
  6. ANSI/NEMA WC 51-2009/ICEA P-54-440 – Ampacities of Cables Installed in Cable Trays
  7. ANSI/NEMA WC 53-2008/ICEA T-27-581 – Standard Test Methods for Extruded Dielectric Power, Control, Instrumentation and Portable Cables for Test
  8. ANSI/NEMA WC 54/ICEA T-26-4652013 – Guide for Frequency of Stamping Extruded Dielectric Power, Control, Instrumentation and Portable Cables for Test
  9. ANSI/NEMA WC 57-2014/ICEA S-73-532-2014  – Standard for Control, Thermocouple Extension, and Instrumentation Cables
  10. ANSI/NEMA WC 61-2005 – Transfer Impedance Testing
  11. ANSI/NEMA WC 63.2-1996 (R2003) – Performance Standard for Coaxial Premise Data Communications Cables
  12. ANSI/NEMA WC 66/ICEA S-116-732-2013 – Standard for Category 6 and 6A, 100 Ohm, Individually Unshielded Twisted Pairs, Indoor Cables (With or Without An Overall Shield) For Use in LAN Communication Writing Systems
  13. ANSI/NEMA WC 67-2012 – Standard for Uninsulated Conductors Used in Electrical and Electronic Applications
  14. ANSI/NEMA WC 71-1999/ICEA S-96-659-1999 – Standard For Non-Shielded Cables Rated 2,001-5,000 V for Use in the Distribution of Electric Energy
  15. ANSI/NEMA WC 74/ICEA S-93-639-2012 – 5-46 kV Shielded Power Cable for Use in the Transmission and Distribution of Electric Energy
  16. NEMA CPSP 1-2015 – Supply Chain Best Practices
  17. NEMA F12-1992 (R1999, R2004) – Untreated Mica Paper Used for Electrical Insulation
  18. NEMA HP 100-1991 (R1999, R2005, R2010) Series (HP 100-100.4) – High-Temperature Instrumentation and Control Cables
  19. NEMA RV 1-2014 – Application and Installation Guidelines for Armored Cable and Metal-Clad Cable
  20. NEMA RV 2-2011 – Application and Installation Guidelines for Nonmetallic-Sheathed (NM-B) Cable and Underground Feeder and Branch Circuit (UF-B) Cable
  21. NEMA RV 3-2014 – Application and Installation Guidelines for Flexible and Liquidtight Flexible Metal and Nonmetallic Conduits
  22. NEMA RV 4-2012 – Application Guidelines for Service-Entrance Cable
  23. NEMA WC 26/EEMAC 201-2008 – Binational Wire and Cable Packaging Standard
  24. NEMA WC 52-2005 – High-Temperature and Electronic Insulated Wire, Impulse Dielectric Testing
  25. NEMA WC 62-1992 (R1999, R2004) – Repeated Spark/Impulse Dielectric Testing
  26. NEMA WC 63.1-2005 – Performance Standard for Twisted Pair Premise Voice and Data Communications Cables
  27. NEMA WC 65-1995 (R2003) – A Reasoned Approach to Solving Solderability Problems with Tin-Coated and Nickel-Coated Stranded Conductors in High-Performance Wire and Cable Applications
  28. NEMA WC 72-1999 (R2004) – continually of Coating Testing for Electrical Conductors
  29. NEMA WC 73-2000 (R2005, R2012) Wire Selection Guidelines for Wires Rated at 200° to 450°C

Our Commitment to NEMA Standards

Though wire and cable are not required to meet standards, as standards are more similar to “best practice” guidelines than they are to requirements—Consolidated does everything we can to ensure that our products meet all applicable NEMA standards. It makes our products better, which makes your products better.

For more information on Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable and the standards we work to meet with our products, download any of the free documents found in our Technical Information Library.

RoHS and Its Impact on Your Business

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, Directive 2002/95/EC, is a directive of the European Union effective as of July 1, 2006. It has wide reaching implications and its importance is growing.

What is the RoHS Directive?

The RoHS Directive restricts the use of several hazardous materials in electronics and other electrical goods. The restrictions are designed to minimize human exposure to the substances and to prevent them from ending up in landfills.

The substances restricted by RoHS are:

  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Polybrominated biphenyls
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers

Because the toxicity of lead, mercury, and cadmium have been well documented for some time, they have been phased out of uses that include human contact, such as lead paint, mercury in thermometers, and cadmium in batteries and pigments.

Hexavalent chromium is a carcinogen often used in metal plating. Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are used in plastics as flame retardants. PBBs and PBDEs are suspected carcinogens — they’ve been proven to cause cancer in lab mice and, as such, are assumed to cause cancer in humans.

Though each of these substances are clearly detrimental to human health and the environment, they can all still be found in many consumer products. For example, they all appear regularly in electrical components and electronics, including in appliances, lighting, electric tools, electronic toys, computers, telecommunications equipment, and more.

Hence the European Union’s RoHS directive.

Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable and RoHS

RoHSAs an industry leading manufacturer of electric cable and wire, Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable products can be found in many of the electric and electronic devices monitored by the RoHS directive. We are proud that we are able to say all of the wire and cable we produce at Consolidated is fully RoHS compliant.

RoHS compliance is important. Aside from the obvious detrimental health and environmental effects of the six restricted chemicals, it is good for business. In buying wire and cable from Consolidated, you can be sure that your products will be eligible for sale in European Union countries and in the more than 25 American states that have enacted similar chemical restrictions.

Working with Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable

No matter the industry or application, customers today face a tremendous number of available choices of manufacturers. Every product and service presents an almost limitless amount of options, as well as the vendors who offer these goods.

homethumb-electrical-wireThe sheer variety can overwhelm procurement managers, OEMs, and other customers. These companies need to be able to easily see what sets a manufacturer apart, why their products and services are beneficial, and why they are a company with whom a customer should partner.

Selecting a Wire & Cable Manufacturer for Your Product

Companies throughout industries rely on wire and cable for a diverse range of projects like electrical service, computer networking, signalization, and security. Each of these applications imposes demands on a manufacturer to be accommodating and dependable, and provide cost-effective wire and cable solutions.

Choosing the right manufacturer and supplier who can offer you an ideal combination of reliability, quality, and affordability requires awareness of a number of factors.

Choosing-A-WireCable-Manufacturer-thumbConsolidated Electronic Wire & Cable’s eBook, Choosing a Wire & Cable Manufacturer for Your Product, offers some important considerations for choosing a reliable wire and cable manufacturer. These include:

  • Capabilities – Begin by examining a manufacturer’s capabilities. If they create a diverse range of wire and cable products, allowing for customization of a number of unique applications, that company is more likely to provide a reliable product.
  • Cost – A reliable wire and cable manufacturer will be able to offer competitive prices, especially on custom and bulk orders.
  • Quality – Make sure that a manufacturer has the proper certifications, like ISO 9001 and QS-9000, which denote attention to detail and quality control throughout the company.

Choosing Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable as Your Partner

Bringing-Ideas-Together-thumbWith over almost a century of experience fabricating and manufacturing custom wire and cable solutions for numerous industries, Consolidated knows exactly what it takes to make a great partner. Our electronic wire and cable, power supply cords, cable assemblies and other products are ideal for use in industries ranging from aerospace, agricultural, and utilities to gaming, broadcast, and home entertainment.

For a detailed look into how Consolidated fits all the requirements of a great partner and manufacturer, we encourage you to explore our company guide, Bringing Ideas Together. Inside, you will find a full list of our capabilities and how we can deliver the unique custom solution for your requirements.

choosing a wire & cable manufacturer

Challenges and Solutions to Serving the Electronic Needs of a Global Marketplace

Rapid Growth of Electronics Consumerism

There are now more electrical devices and electronics being used throughout the world than most people could have possibly imagined just a decade ago. There are countless types of devices, and beyond that, millions of users in virtually every part of the world. People who only recently gained access to telephones now own smart phones and laptops.

No Global Standard

power cordsThis is a good thing for both consumers and electronics manufacturers—but it also presents a challenge. Each one of these devices requires a power cord, and every country has its own specific voltage frequencies, standards, plug patters, etc. There is no one uniform standard throughout the world, which can be quite overwhelming for the average OEM, especially in trying to stay competitive and serve the needs of a growing global market.

Did you know, for instance, that while North America, Central America and parts of South America operate at frequencies different from the rest of the world, there are various subsets of regions with even more varying frequencies?

Did you also know that there are over a dozen different plug patterns, widely varying safety standards, and many regional certification and approval bodies?

With such a tremendous array of specifications and requirements, manufacturers often get confused and overwhelmed; you can’t be expected to know all of these varying factors.

A New Central Document

Power Cord Standards Across the GlobeWith this in mind, Consolidated Electronic Wire & Cable has taken our extensive knowledge and expertise—and our 100 years of business—and created an informative, easy-to-read eBook entitled Power Cord Standards Across the Globe.

In this eBook, you’ll find an array of information, including:

  • A chart of plug and cord standards for every country
  • A visual guide to plug patterns for every region/country
  • Explanations of the certification mark organizations, varying by country/region
  • A detailed list of the regional and international regulating bodies

Additionally, you’ll learn why working with a supplier of standard and custom power and retractile cords, with expertise in the specifications of every country, will greatly ease the challenges that come from serving a global market.

We’re pleased to offer this highly useful eBook, free to our customers; simply click here to download your free copy today.

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