Wicked Lasers Nexus 95mW

Just how geeky are you? Do you happen to have a laser pointer in your gadget bag or drawer? Ok, give yourself 5 geek points. Do you use this pointer for tasks other than pointing out mundane details during presentations at your day job? Give yourself 5 more geek points. Do you pester your cat by shining the laser on the floor beside it, to get him to chase the tiny point of light like some type of alien rodent? Ok, no points for that, because that’s just mean ;o) Can your laser beam its dot up to 38 miles and burn holes in black trash bags? I didn’t think so… I win!

The Nexus 95mW Green laser from Wicked Lasers is not your ordinary laser pointer. Oh no, this bad boy is a geek’s dream. It’s like owning Luke Skywalker’s light saber. Only smaller…

Hardware Specs

Range: 38 Miles
Output power: 95mW CLASS 3B
Operation voltage: 3V
Output model: CW
Average loop: Dimensions: Ø13×143mm
Laser lifetime: 3000-5000 hours
Battery lifetime: 2 Hours
Crystal efficiency: Excellent
Beam divergence: Duty cycle: 100 seconds on / 10 seconds off

I haven’t had a lot of experience with lasers. Yes, I’ve played with the cheap $20 keychain variety, but that’s about the extent of it. So when the folks at Wicked Lasers asked if I’d be interested in writing a review, I really didn’t think it would be that big of a deal. I mean how hard would it be to write a review that said something like: “It’s a laser. You press a button, a little dot of light beams out of one end. Boring! The End.” Boy was I mistaken….

The package arrived. I opened the box, removed the bigger and heavier than expected pointer. Pressed the small rubber button on the barrel and nothing happens. Hmmmm, no batteries. I’m confused that the warning sticker is stuck over the part of the barrel that you unscrew to insert the batteries, so I pull it off. I then discover that it won’t unscrew. Hmmmmm… An instruction sheet for an obvious laser newbie would have been welcome at this point.

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I finally realize that the top cap unscrews to allow for battery insertion. Duh… The Nexus 95mW is powered by 2 AAA batteries. This is a real plus. Most cheapo laser pointers are powered by expensive hearing aid sized batteries that can be hard to come by. You can find AAA’s everywhere.

The end cap also unscrews. This is the end where the laser beam shines through.

The Nexus weighs in (with batteries installed) at 3 oz. The barrel is made of what appears to be brass with a shiny Black painted exterior. A heavy brass clip allows you to clip it to a shirt / suit pocket.

Ok, enough chit chat. What happens when you press the button?

Well, you get a big, bright Green ball of light! Compared to a cheapy Red laser pointer, the Nexus light point seems 2 or 3 times as bright and at least 2 times bigger in diameter. At this point I shouldn’t have to tell you (but you know I’m going to anyway…) that you should never shine a laser pointer into your or someone else’s eye. And as powerful as the Nexus is, you shouldn’t stare at the beam for any length of time.

The light is so bright, that it can even be used as a flash light in a dark room!

While the brightness and green color are impressive, I almost had a geek fit when I tried the laser outside one day. I walked out my front door and shined the beam across the road, field and into the woods 100’s of feet away and could still see the dot of light as it hit trees. WOW! I came back inside and looked up the specs on the Wicked Laser website and it was then that I learned that this model has a range of 38 miles! No, I didn’t test the range ;o)

Then I tried it outside in the dark and couldn’t believe my eyes when I could see the actual beam of light shining from the barrel to the dot of light beyond. Yes, I had to perform a few Luke Skywalker type moves, along with light saber noises. Zurrrrrrrr…. Hummmmmmm….. Wurrrrrrrrr… Ok, I’ll stop now.

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You can actually point the Nexus up into the night sky and point out specific stars! It’s really very cool.


Weird pictures can be captured by moving the laser when you take a long exposure picture.

Other geeky activities can include burning holes in black trash bags, cutting black electrical tape, popping balloons and lighting matches. I also tried to terrorize my cat Max with it, but he didn’t even acknowledge it when I shined it on the carpet in front of him. I later learned that cats might not be able to see the color Green. I believe this to be true because when I tried to do the same thing with a Red laser, he at least perked up and looked at it for a few seconds. Another common sense warning: never shine a laser into your pet’s eyes. They are much more sensitive than ours.

If you’re a geek, you’ll agree that the Nexus 95mW is extremely cool. But is it $369.99 worth of cool? That is a lot of money to spend for a presentation pointer and in my opinion, corporate Joes should just stick with the cheap $20 pointers from Radio Shack or Walmart. But I can see the Nexus being a really handy tool for people that need the ability to point at objects quite far away. People like astronomers, star gazers, construction workers, hunters, police officers, etc. For these people, the Nexus from Wicked Lasers is a precision tool and worth the price. If the price tag of the Nexus scares you, Wicked Lasers sells lesser powered models at more affordable prices. Conversely, you can go wacko and buy their $3499.99 Blue laser! And if you don’t want to buy at all, at least check out their video snippet archive of user submitted clips.
May the force be with you.

 

Product Information

Price:369.99
Manufacturer:Wicked Lasers
Retailer:Wicked Lasers
Pros:
  • Has a range of 38 miles!
  • Bright
  • Can see the beam in the dark
Cons:
  • Expensive
37 comments… add one
  • Julie October 21, 2006, 3:55 am

    Post your comments on the Wicked Lasers Nexus 95mW Review.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/review/wicked_lasers_nexus_95mw

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • questionfear October 21, 2006, 4:23 am

    Julie, if you enjoyed the laser pointer that much you should get one of the “lightsabers” we used to sell at Borders. Hell, get two and you and your friends can re-enact major battles.

  • chriszzz October 21, 2006, 7:14 am

    It burns THROUGH trash bags ?? That’s some power ! So does it feel hot when you train the beam on your finger ?

  • real_rlm October 21, 2006, 7:24 am

    Julie, Check out http://www.thinkgeek.com. You will find more affordable equally fun green laser pointers there.

  • tOM Trottier October 21, 2006, 7:26 am
  • isobutane October 21, 2006, 11:47 am

    I have played with green pointers before…a Glatter green Skypointer that I used to use to show people the constellations. I imagine that a 95mW beam would be a lot more effective at doing that…have you tried bouncing the light beam off of clouds? You probably could have no problem doing that. Just be really careful…the FAA tried hard to get those things banned, and the last thing anyone wants to do is flash an airline pilot accidentally. I lost my Glatter pointer…no idea what happened to it, but I haven’t been doing astronomy now since I lost the vision in my right eye. My left was always my dominant eye, I should get back into it. Nice review!

    Mark

  • Lex October 21, 2006, 12:27 pm

    This thing worries me. We still have goofballs shining red lasers at people’s faces at sales meetings. Headline: ‘Vice President of Sales permanently blinded by new sales rep.’

  • allen_tec October 21, 2006, 12:31 pm

    Hi Julie,
    Wow, you’re lucky to have been able to play with a wicked laser.

    I was thinking of getting one, but I could not justify the price of one.

    Then recently ThinkGeek posted on their site the “High-powered Green Laser – 10mW”, which I bought right away because it was selling for a mere $149.99.

    True, that the 10mW is lots less powerful than the 95mW… but I think the 10mW has tons of power to hold its own and is very very bright.

    These are the specs…
    532 nm wavelength
    10mW
    Class IIIB laser
    20,000 ft range in darkness (if I’m right, this is about 4 miles)
    Constant wave output
    1.1 mm source beam diameter
    and runs on 2 AA batteries
    also compliant with FDA regulations (because of safety features, key, dongle and aperture shutter)

    I was able to burn holes in a garbage bag. You can see the beam in low light and darkness. And at night, I fired the laser straight up into the sky and you can see the beam going up and up with much wow factor.

    Also, at 7.5 inches… it comes close to being like a lightsaber and makes typical laser pointers appear so wimpy as seen in the pic I have for comparison (on top is the 10mW and on bottom is a common <5mw />http://tkfiles.storage.msn.com/x1pMBccnvZbXNYORDcvlSBGQJGYEK_GfxIV6Y7QzGo9MySGv9MxOpkU3bpzIxftAq83Q-4IGyXe6jasA7GsSX-7kOs8ZkcFvmiD78xKMKom_1pOYrj7hktfnSfhdR5q5YjEy-suXC1hgjs

    A thought, these high output green lasers really should not be considered as laser pointers… they are just overkill for presentation purposes. I dont even think that the manufacturers call them laser pointers.

    Anyways, it is simply amazing that you can own something like this in the 21st century. :wow:

  • allen_tec October 21, 2006, 12:40 pm

    Lex wrote:

    This thing worries me. We still have goofballs shining red lasers at people’s faces at sales meetings. Headline: ‘Vice President of Sales permanently blinded by new sales rep.’

    Hey Lex, you’re right to worry about the high output of the laser… it is very very very bright. I have the 10mW green laser sold at ThinkGeek and that too is very very very bright (on the instructions paper that came with mine, says not to point the laser at people, and moving vehicles). Also, I played with the 10mW laser for several days after getting it and my eyes started to hurt from looking at the beam (currently on a break from laser play)… one can only imaging what it would be like to get the beam directly in your eye :wacko:

  • woofb October 21, 2006, 1:16 pm

    I doubt playing with laser pointers and cats is cruel. I’ve seen about three or four cat books and websites where the owner points out their pet *lives* for the laser-pointer games–it doesn’t seem to bother them that they have no food to shred with their claws at the end of the game. Cats have been known to sit there staring at the shelf with the laser-pointer on until the owner takes pity on them and plays with them. Although you must be careful not to shine it in their eyes. (I haven’t tried this; if I can pick up a small cheap not-too-powerful laser-pointer I probably will, just as a cat toy).

    <thinks> OTOH, playing with laser-pointers *this* powerful might be cruel.

  • isobutane October 21, 2006, 1:24 pm

    woofb wrote:

    I doubt playing with laser pointers and cats is cruel. I’ve seen about three or four cat books and websites where the owner points out their pet *lives* for the laser-pointer games–it doesn’t seem to bother them that they have no food to shred with their claws at the end of the game. Cats have been known to sit there staring at the shelf with the laser-pointer on until the owner takes pity on them and plays with them. Although you must be careful not to shine it in their eyes. (I haven’t tried this; if I can pick up a small cheap not-too-powerful laser-pointer I probably will, just as a cat toy).

    <thinks> OTOH, playing with laser-pointers *this* powerful might be cruel.

    Don’t EVER use a laser pointer of this power to play with cats. I have a red pointer that has an adjustable focus to diffuse the beam, and I shine it on the carpet, so that the light is further diffused. Even so, I am very careful not to shine it in the cats’ eyes. If you are going to use a laser pointer, you might want to diffuse the beam. Cats’ eyes are a lot more light-sensitive than ours.

    Mark

  • Julie October 21, 2006, 3:22 pm

    questionfear:
    Ha! I think that would only enforce the notion that I’m a big dork ;o)

    chriszzz:
    I have yet to try to burn a hole through a part of my body. It’s interesting to note that on the Wicked Lasers website, they mention using lasers to heal cuts.

    real_rlm:
    Yes, ThinkGeek is a great online store! Did you see that they have $999 Blue laser pointer? Wow!

    isobutane:
    No, I haven’t tried bouncing the beam off of clouds. It looks to be a nice day here (finally), so I might give that a try. I also thought of something last night to try… Shining it into water.

    Also, you’re right, this laser is much too bright to taunt cats. I just added some warnings in my review (that I failed to add last night). Thanks for the prompt.

    allen_tec:
    So tell us, what do you use your green laser for? I’d really love to hear from people that use them for tasks other than just geeking around 🙂

    woofb:
    I think my cat Max is just too cool to play with lasers. It’s beyond him. He knows it’s not a real mouse (which by the way, he’s quite good at catching!) and doesn’t want to waste his time.

  • isobutane October 21, 2006, 3:37 pm

    Julie wrote:

    questionfear:
    isobutane:
    No, I haven’t tried bouncing the beam off of clouds. It looks to be a nice day here (finally), so I might give that a try. I also thought of something last night to try… Shining it into water.

    Also, you’re right, this laser is much too bright to taunt cats. I just added some warnings in my review (that I failed to add last night). Thanks for the prompt.

    Night-time cloud illumination would be fantastic!!! Especially on those nice, low stratus clouds. That would be totally freaky! There was a rather vociferous argument on sci.astro.amateur a few years back against the use of green lasers, as they cause light pollution. Used responsibly, they are a fantastic tool for pointing out objects to newbies!!! As far as shining it into water is concerned…what a great way to teach kids about index of refraction! It would be a neat experiment to compare the refraction angle of a red laser to that of a green laser and derive a calculation to determine the wavelengths of each from that! 🙂

  • Julie October 21, 2006, 3:42 pm

    isobutane:

    Jeez, if I have to do math, you just took some joy out of my idea to shine it into water. Just kidding. 😉

  • isobutane October 21, 2006, 3:56 pm

    Julie wrote:

    isobutane:

    Jeez, if I have to do math, you just took some joy out of my idea to shine it into water. Just kidding. 😉

    Hello? Science teacher here! 🙂 Always looking for new ways to have fun with my students and inspire them to learn! They love lasers, so… 🙂 I like that $29 green laser, might go for that one. Wicked also sells some seriously dangerous lasers…they might be fun, but they are (understandably) expensive.

    Mark

  • Julie October 21, 2006, 4:24 pm

    Ok, back from the water experiment. Not so exciting… I filled up the bathroom sink and turned off the lights. While it did light up the whole basin in cool green light, nothing else really happened… I could see a regular dot at the bottom of the sink. I wonder what would happen if you mixed something in with the water such as oil? I suddenly feel like Ms. Wizard 😉

  • isobutane October 21, 2006, 4:33 pm

    Julie wrote:

    Ok, back from the water experiment. Not so exciting… I filled up the bathroom sink and turned off the lights. While it did light up the whole basin in cool green light, nothing else really happened… I could see a regular dot at the bottom of the sink. I wonder what would happen if you mixed something in with the water such as oil? I suddenly feel like Ms. Wizard 😉

    Why not try to do a green and red laser simultaneously to see if the dots are deflected from each other? The difference may not be appreciable. maybe add a little bit of milk to to water to turn it into a colloidial suspension, then you can see the beams better. Using a fishtank instead of a sink allows the added benefit of looking in from the side.

    I’d be careful about adding oil to the mix…your drain pipes might not appreciate it. If you want to try it, though, make sure to add dish soap when you are done to emulsify the oil so it doesn’t get trapped in the system.

    Mark

  • Gadgeteer_X1 October 21, 2006, 7:16 pm

    Hello all,

    Great review and I would like to add a few comments that I feel are required.

    First thing I noticed was the warning label is missing in the pics. It is advised to leave the warning label on the laser so that others know what the device is and what it is capable of and hazards involved. It is a general rule that these devices have appropriate warning lables at the aperture.

    Second and most important!! Proper laser safety eyewear!!!
    There was no mention of laser safety glasses and they are highly advised when using these devices. No, sunglasses will not work and in fact make the issue worse. You can get proper safety glasses from Wicked’s web site for a very reasonable cost, your eyes are worth it.

    I service and repair high power laser marking systems and use a variety of these devices for optical inspection, alignments, circuit board repair (seeing the traces thru the boards), and many other applications. I carry two with me at all times, the Fusion 125mw green and the Pulsar 150mw red. Each has its own merits and uses.

    Poping balloons and lighting matches can be fun but there are so many other practical uses for these devices. Be safe, have fun, and learn is what I try to offer others.

    You are welcome to join http://lasercommunity.com for further detailed discussion of lasers, safety, and applications. We always welcome new members and there is a wealth of knowledge there for simple lightshow setups and other topics.

    I will certainally try to answer any laser related questions here as well when I can.

    JD

  • Julie October 21, 2006, 8:20 pm

    Gadgeteer_X1:

    Thanks for your comments! I know it was a bad thing to remove the sticker, but if you read my review, it was my mistake as I thought it wasn’t allowing me to unscrew the barrel to insert the batteries.

    Tell us about some other uses… What do you know about healing cuts?

  • Gadgeteer_X1 October 22, 2006, 12:00 am

    Yeah, I caught that apart about the sticker and lack of any documentation. It is something they are working on and will hopefully impliment soon.

    As for the uses, the two I carry are serious overkill for my needs in the field but it is always nice to have the extra power available. Basically they are used as an illumination source. They easily show the slightest contamination and defects on silicon wafers (semiconductor) and optics used in the high powered lasers. They are also great when checking cooling water reservoir levels in poorly lit enviroments as the water glows clearly indicating the level. Of course a flashlight could be used but the reservoirs are made of a milky white polypropylene and the laser excells in this application.

    They are indespensible when performing beam alignments to ensure the laser rod and mirrors are in proper alignment. Serious overkill of power for this app but gets the job done.

    Where the extra output really helps is when putting on lightshow displays. This is only a hobby but great way to relax and have some fun. Fog machines are cheap this time of year and very simple effects can be made. Simple things like a fan or motor with a mirror attached can be used as a scanner producing what others like to call “liquid sky” or “time tunnel”. Other types of galvos can be made from speaker coils and stepper motors and connected to an audio source.

    As for the open cut healing power? I don’t want to touch that one and there have been claims that it works. I can tell you that it will be unpleasant and probably worse than the cut itself! Shining a high powered laser at ANY part of your body is generally not a good idea. Of course we are going to do it anyway just to “Dang!! You CAN really feel that!”.

  • isobutane October 22, 2006, 12:05 am

    Gadgeteer_X1 wrote:

    As for the open cut healing power? I don’t want to touch that one and there have been claims that it works. I can tell you that it will be unpleasant and probably worse than the cut itself! Shining a high powered laser at ANY part of your body is generally not a good idea. Of course we are going to do it anyway just to “Dang!! You CAN really feel that!”.

    I could use that power…gave my finger a nasty cut this evening…maybe I could cauterize and heat seal it? Probably not. I have a nice, thick bandage wrapped tightly around it. Not deep, but very long.

    Mark

  • allen_tec October 22, 2006, 1:20 am

    Julie wrote:

    allen_tec:
    So tell us, what do you use your green laser for? I’d really love to hear from people that use them for tasks other than just geeking around 🙂

    So far the only things I have used my laser for is putting holes in black garbage bags, throwing a beam into the night sky, lighting effect for pictures, and personal laser light shows. I havent tried popping ballons yet, I do guess that if the 10mW laser can put a hole in a garbage bag… then it can pop a ballon.

  • real_rlm October 22, 2006, 3:17 am

    Julie I did see the blue laser. I of course want one but the price…ouch!!! I use my green laser pointer when I am in manufacturing facilities to point pipes and stuff. Also on construction sites to point to stuff that is too hard or unsafe to get to. Since they are so bright you can use them in daylight. However, they are just plain fun to pullout in meetings.

  • Julie October 22, 2006, 3:30 am

    real_rlm:

    A friend and I had a lot of fun Friday goofing with the laser at work. 😉 Shining it through conference room door windows onto someone’s laptop screen, or their hands while they were typing.

  • Gadgeteer_X1 October 22, 2006, 6:06 am

    Julie wrote:

    real_rlm:

    A friend and I had a lot of fun Friday goofing with the laser at work. 😉 Shining it through conference room door windows onto someone’s laptop screen, or their hands while they were typing.

    I certainally mean no disrespect but this is why the FDA wants to prohibit lasers of this nature to the general public. They are not intended for this application. 5mw greens you can usually safely get by with having that kind of fun playing around, these, NO!!

    Typical glass reflects 6-12% of the beam and sometimes more if it is coated with a reflective layer. Metalic foil labels and such can provide a far more hazardous reflection. Even at 6% of 95mw and that depends on the incident angle and a rough figure can lead to 5mw+ being reflected back into one’s eyes.

    If the laser is capable of burning through black plastic bags, lighting matches, poping balloons then it is safe to say that potential damage to the eyes is far beyond reality. It is a fact.

    I am not trying to preach but preventing someone from getting hurt justifies it. You and your friends only have one set of eyes. Take care of them.

    Additionally, that is a 95mw. I have a 75mw replacement for a customer I was doing repairs for. This 75mw unit easily tops 100mw!!!! with NiMH batteries that have not been charged for a while. It is possible that 95mw could be putting out far more than the rated power.

    Cool toy, kewl gadget, just need to be safe with it and have a better understanding of potential hazards.

    I am working with Wicked to provide documentation that addresses proper and safe use in the future. I do not work for them but only assist when I can.

    Please, to all, consider safe practices when using these devices. Why? Otherwise it WILL result in banning of them from the general public. There is sufficient information available concerning laser safety, do a search.

    JD

  • Julie October 22, 2006, 3:44 pm

    gadgeteer_x1:

    We were a quite good distance away when we did it and so far the 1 person that we were messing with hasn’t walked into any walls due to eye problems. Seriously, I’m not stupid. The person’s back was facing us and we flicked the beam on once or twice to her hand and display. I know these lasers are powerful. 🙂 Heck, as much as I’ve been playing with this one for the review, I’m surprised I’m not seeing Green spots permanently myself 🙂

    You’re night, the folks at Wicked Lasers really do need to include some type of instruction sheet with these products though. There’s only one warning on the back of the box to not look at the path of the beam.

  • InsertUsernameHere October 22, 2006, 5:37 pm

    Popping Balloons from a distance……. suddenly I’m extremely interested in that 10mw laser! Imagine the fun one could have at a boring birthday party (a situation I find myself in very often). Or school graduations…….

  • One of One October 23, 2006, 11:54 am

    If you think that 95mW laser is powerful, check out their Spyder series…

    200 – 300 mW, depending on the model.

    I have my crosshairs set on the 200 mW.

    They also have blue pointers that are 20 – 40 mW. I can’t wait until these become even more powerful and come WAY down in price. The green Spyders are incredibly expensive, but the blues are insane in the membrane.

  • luvlasers November 3, 2006, 2:56 pm

    this thread has some interesting info on laser pointers from wickedlasers. A little out of date though. In the last week (i think) wickedlasers have had a new competitor open shop. This is getting a lot of attention at http://www.lasercommunity.com.

    You can check this thread for more details http://forums.the-gadgeteer.com/vbbs/showthread.php?p=16997#post16997

  • allen_tec November 20, 2006, 12:59 pm

    InsertUsernameHere wrote:

    Popping Balloons from a distance……. suddenly I’m extremely interested in that 10mw laser! Imagine the fun one could have at a boring birthday party (a situation I find myself in very often). Or school graduations…….

    I finally got around to going to the party store to pick up some dark colored ballons to have a go at popping with the 10 mW laser sold by ThinkGeek. And it works! You do have to be close to the ballon, i found 12 inches to be effective distance with the 10mW laser. Perhaps the 95mW or higher lasers can give you more distance? Laser popping ballons is so much fun, it makes my inner child laugh hysterically. 😀

  • Julie November 20, 2006, 1:04 pm

    allen_tec:

    You’ve just given me a mental image of you running around at a birthday party making kids cry! 😉

  • billmoorhead May 31, 2007, 6:12 pm

    I went to the web site and purchased one, goggles and lenses. I ordered it a few weeks before my daughter’s birthday. She did not like it, and I have attempted to return it.

    They have refused and stated they have a strict 7 day return policy. These can only be purchased thru the Internet and are subject to the uncertainty of delivery. They were also delivered with an unusual label – maybe to delay delivery to ensure no return is possible.

    Just wanted to make you aware of this issue.

  • saitokthx December 28, 2008, 6:31 pm

    $369.99?! FOR A MINILIGHT SABER!?HELL YEAH!

    Shat the fack up people who dun think dhis worth it

  • saitokthx December 28, 2008, 6:31 pm

    that’s worth every penny

  • Sean February 19, 2009, 5:21 am

    Uh…Techlasers, Novalasers and Dragonlasers have the same thing.
    Much cheaper though.
    Sure, its a good laser but you get the EXACT THING for cheaper at those sites.
    😡
    Just got me a 95mW Infiniti(Techlaser’s name for this same laser) at USD199.99, with Safety glasses, Capset(For extra burnin’ powah!!) and a free pen(lol) 😀

  • Belva March 6, 2010, 9:51 am

    I wanted someone to tell me more about using a laser pointer for myself when I have a cut or canker sore or lip sore. I bought a $20 red light one to use for this purpose. I used it on a cut and on a bruised place on my hand by centering the beam on each of them for 5 minutes. It did seem to help the cut and the bruised place. However, reading about how unsafe it is for the eyes, I am almost afraid to use it. What have been other’s experiences in using it for this kind of medical reason?

  • Aman June 16, 2010, 2:06 am

    If you want 5% off all items at wickedlasers, use this link: http://www.wickedlasers.com/index.php?refer=23037

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