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Hero 1000


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#1 APHK

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 13:29

My pen buying spree has really gone out of control recently. From relatively high-end products, I have been delving into the lower tier in order to relieve the stress on my wallet. I received two pens today : an NOS Pelikan M250 and a Hero 1000. Whilst the Pelikan is good, it is the Hero which took me completely by surprise and hence earned the right to first review.
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After my purchase of a trio of 616 Jumbo’s earlier (which have already been reviewed), I was pleased how such cheap pens can give high levels of user satisfaction and so decided to buy more. I had won an auction for a Hero 100 (not really win, since the past winning bids were all at around the same price and so the USD28 price was defacto market price) and then placed a buy-it-now offer for a Hero 1000 with another retailer.


The Hero 1000 was the first of the two Hero’s to arrive. Here I must commend the retailer yespen (from whom I had purchased the 3 616’s previously) : his pen took only two working days to arrive because he sent them by EMS instead of the regular air-mail. As a bonus, he even threw in a standard 616 as a gift.


I expect the Hero 100 will arrive in a few more days and I look forward to comparing the duo.


Appearance & Design (8/10)

The Hero 1000 is a rather attractive pen. Its lines are sleak and have a kind of retro look. The 1000 is sufficiently different from a Parker 51 to stand out in its own right. The cap is brushed metallic substance – I am not sure whether it is plating or metal – that is very shiny and adorned with a biggish clip that is engraved with the brandname “Hero”.

The body is made of deep black plastic (“resin”) on metal (probably brass) that is actually very glossy. The sheen on the plastic actually matches that on my Montblanc 149 and surpassed the few Japanese pens that I had (Sailor 1911’s and Platinum 3776). The blackness of the barrel is separated by a plated ring where the section screws onto the barrel.
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Due to the sheen on the cap and barrel, this pen needs to be polished quite often to remove finger print stains.

Construction & Quality (8/10)

The pen feels as if it is solidly built. It has quite a bit of heft since the body is metallic.

The clip fees very sturdy and will probably last quite a long time. There is no scratchiness on the clip at all, as opposed to the cheaper 616’s, and I would have no concern with clipping the pen to a shirt pocket.

The cap snaps onto the body very securely and there is a definite click to denote the closed position. One negative note is that the inside of the cap has a set of four metal strips for clamping or guiding the body onto the cap : I hope that these strips would not cause any scratches.
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It takes about 3 full turns to unscrew the barrel from the section. There is some coarseness here compared to the Caran d’Ache that I had but the movement is definitely precise since the screw mechanism is metal.

Weight & Dimensions (8/10)

The pen is about 142mm in length. Without the cap, the length is around 121mm from tip to tip. I do not have any scales so cannot measure the weight. I guess that this pen weighs slightly less than a Caran d’Ache Leman. Overall, this pen is one size smaller than a MB 146 and similar to Sailor 1911 Large.

Overall, the pen has very good balance. Pens of this type of design have sections that are similar in diameter to the barrel and so feel quite broad.


Nib & Performance (8/10)

The 10kt gold nib on this pen is very stiff. There is no flex at all and hence no line variation can be observed. The line width is narrower than a European fine but slightly wider than Japanese fine.

I have inspected the nib under a 15x loupe and have not noticed any misalignment of the tines. The nib feels smooth with just a small hint of tooth. Overall very acceptable considering the fine line put down. The sweet-spot on the nib is also quite broad.

Overall, I am very pleased with this nib. It is a superb performer out-of-the-box and allayed my fears of the hit-and-miss nature of Hero nibs.
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Filling System & Maintenance (4/10)

Like the 616’s, the 1000 pens are sac-filled. I do not like these at all since they look they can puncture and take quite a few pumps to fill. The 1000 version feels as if it is better made.

I have not tried to disassemble these pens yet and so cannot comment on how easy it is to maintain them but I think that these pens would be difficult to clean and rinse.
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Cost & Value (10/10)

At USD39, this is my cheapest pen (apart from the 616’s and Noodler’s Flex that are more like toys than collection pieces that have right of storage in a pouch rather in tin cases!). Cheaper than the TWSBI 530 which I dislike so much that I have not written a review for it despite having bought it more than 5 months ago.


The box for this pen is also quite attractive and spacious. I have not included photos here but they can be viewed on ebay.


This pen is excellent value for money.


Conclusion (46/60)

These Hero 1000’s prove that cheap pens can be attractive and have excellent nib characteristics. I would recommend these pens to newbies and hardcore addicts alike.

Looking forward to see what the Hero 100 will be like.

Edited by APHK, 23 November 2011 - 03:36.


#2 M@rtin

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 16:33

Very interesting review. Thank you very much. Beautiful pen!!! :thumbup:

#3 watch_art

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 16:56

Awesome review!
Thanks!

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#4 Uncle Red

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 17:23

Thanks for the review, I'd been curious about this model.

#5 opus7600

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 17:28

So about the filling, how's the finish on the edge of the sac guard? The only chinese "51" clone I have had the opportunity to try had a rough, sharp sac guard, which was one of the several reasons I didn't like it.

Cheaper than the TWSBI 530 which I dislike so much that I have not written a review for it despite having bought it more than 5 months ago.


You should! Negative reviews are as helpful, if not more, than positive ones. Just put on your fire-retardant clothes first, in case you touch off a flamewar.

#6 Signum1

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 17:57

Great review and wonderful pictures! :thumbup:

You forgot to mention its 10kt gold nib.

"I would recommend these pens to newbies and hardcore addicts alike." (emphasis underlined)

One of the reasons I never purchased the Hero 616 or Hero 1000 is due to the filling mechanism. A thumb press (Aero-metric ) just don't carry much ink. I wished Hero's engineers would make the improvements to use a piston filling system like the Pelikans. Even the converter filling system holds 0.7ml of ink and it is good for five pages of writing. Note a sheet has two pages: a front and a back. All in all, your "hardcore addicts alike" remark does not apply to me. :roflmho:

One more thing, what expectations did the TWSBI 530 not satisfy?

Edited by Signum1, 22 November 2011 - 17:59.

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#7 celesul

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 21:53

Great review and wonderful pictures! :thumbup:

You forgot to mention its 10kt gold nib.

"I would recommend these pens to newbies and hardcore addicts alike." (emphasis underlined)

One of the reasons I never purchased the Hero 616 or Hero 1000 is due to the filling mechanism. A thumb press (Aero-metric ) just don't carry much ink. I wished Hero's engineers would make the improvements to use a piston filling system like the Pelikans. Even the converter filling system holds 0.7ml of ink and it is good for five pages of writing. Note a sheet has two pages: a front and a back. All in all, your "hardcore addicts alike" remark does not apply to me. :roflmho:

One more thing, what expectations did the TWSBI 530 not satisfy?


Really? I've never had trouble getting fairly insane amounts of ink into my press fillers. I had a lot of trouble at first, and I do have one Hero that has a really stiff sac, but my 616 fills right to the top. It's actually insane.

Also, the Hero 1000 looks super nice. Now I want one. I have too many pens already!

#8 APHK

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 22:38

So about the filling, how's the finish on the edge of the sac guard? The only chinese "51" clone I have had the opportunity to try had a rough, sharp sac guard, which was one of the several reasons I didn't like it.


Cheaper than the TWSBI 530 which I dislike so much that I have not written a review for it despite having bought it more than 5 months ago.


You should! Negative reviews are as helpful, if not more, than positive ones. Just put on your fire-retardant clothes first, in case you touch off a flamewar.


opus7600, the sac guard does not feel sharp or rough at all - it is much better than the 616's. However, the bar still fills a bit edgy (but not sharp).

#9 APHK

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 22:48

Great review and wonderful pictures! :thumbup:

You forgot to mention its 10kt gold nib.

"I would recommend these pens to newbies and hardcore addicts alike." (emphasis underlined)

One of the reasons I never purchased the Hero 616 or Hero 1000 is due to the filling mechanism. A thumb press (Aero-metric ) just don't carry much ink. I wished Hero's engineers would make the improvements to use a piston filling system like the Pelikans. Even the converter filling system holds 0.7ml of ink and it is good for five pages of writing. Note a sheet has two pages: a front and a back. All in all, your "hardcore addicts alike" remark does not apply to me. :roflmho:

One more thing, what expectations did the TWSBI 530 not satisfy?


Signum1, thanks for pointing that out. Added now. Yes, I much prefer a converter than a sac-filler. I was informed that the outer sac guard on these things can be removed so that the sac is fully exposed and unrestricted in sucking up ink.

I bought the TWSBI with two nibs, EF and B. The EF was not more like a medium and not smooth at all. The B was quite smooth but lacked character. Both nib units also suffered from leakage. I did like the little spanner and silicone grease included in the package though.

#10 Flounder

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 23:09

Many thanks for your review, I hadn't heard of the Hero 1000, only the Hero 100. It's interesting that the body is plastic over metal, does that include the hood? If so, I might look into getting one of them too. I much prefer the warmth of plastic in the hand, and to know there is strong steel behind it is reassuring.

Can I ask what's going on with the clutch ring? In the photos it seems to have more steps than I would expect.

If the ink sac is the same as is used in the 616 jumbo, let me assure you that it is far tougher than it looks and will put up with a lot of abuse, rubbing against jagged steel (don't ask...) and stretching without puncturing. Also whatever is used to secure the sac to the nipple is far stronger than shellac and will withstand heat without loosening in the slightest. One of my 616's has a new rubber sac now, shellac curing as I type.



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#11 APHK

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 03:35

It's interesting that the body is plastic over metal, does that include the hood?

Can I ask what's going on with the clutch ring? In the photos it seems to have more steps than I would expect.


Flounder : according to the ebay description, the cap is brushed steel (it does seem so to me, but I have not tested it with a magnet). What you see as the clutch ring in the photoes is actually 2 parts : the actual ring is on the section; there is another ring on the end of the barrel which screws onto ring on the section. The barrel ring is slightly wider than the section ring, giving the appearance of stepping.

#12 rainier

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 01:26

Nice review.

I have a Hero 1000 for years and am very happy with it, my pen is a wet writer.

'I hope that these strips would not cause any scratches'. I don't see scratches after years of using.

#13 Pendragon

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 03:51

The photos and writing sample add much to your excellent review. Thank you very much for that! The Hero 1000 certainly is a beautiful pen, and at a very reasonable price.

#14 Flounder

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 19:41

It's interesting that the body is plastic over metal, does that include the hood?

Flounder : according to the ebay description, the cap is brushed steel (it does seem so to me, but I have not tested it with a magnet).


Thanks, by the hood I mean the gripping section near the nib, is that plastic over steel too?



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#15 APHK

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 03:53

It's interesting that the body is plastic over metal, does that include the hood?

Flounder : according to the ebay description, the cap is brushed steel (it does seem so to me, but I have not tested it with a magnet).


Thanks, by the hood I mean the gripping section near the nib, is that plastic over steel too?


I don't think so : when I tap the barrel with my finger nail there is a metallic sound, but none when I tap the hood.

#16 lovemy51

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 06:34

thx for the review! i like the look of the cap. i would think the body is lacquer or enamel over metal. am i correct?


here pen is very popular in China. you can buy them at cheap price there.

welcome to FPN, xmstarter! :W2FPN: just out of curiousity, what is the cheap price? :hmm1:
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pleese, forgeeve my bad espelling!! Posted Image

#17 APHK

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 06:56

[quote name='lovemy51' timestamp='1323412444' post='2180389']
thx for the review! i like the look of the cap. i would think the body is lacquer or enamel over metal. am i correct?

Yes, the cap is a beauty.

I have no idea about the "resin", as it was called in the product description, but I would be surprised if Hero could use lacquer or enamel on such a cheap pen. Perhaps a tell-tale sign of its nature is that there is a single blemish (not easily seen) like a small protruding dot on the resin (like a piece of sand underneath) on my particular pen - so I guess it is not plastic. Any ideas?

#18 lovemy51

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 19:27

Yes, the cap is a beauty.

I have no idea about the "resin", as it was called in the product description, but I would be surprised if Hero could use lacquer or enamel on such a cheap pen. Perhaps a tell-tale sign of its nature is that there is a single blemish (not easily seen) like a small protruding dot on the resin (like a piece of sand underneath) on my particular pen - so I guess it is not plastic. Any ideas?


here's a description from isellpens:
The Hero 1000 is a striking pen in a beautiful black lacquer with chrome clip and accents. It's considered a medium weight pen. Features a 12K gold hooded nib with a fine point. Measure 5 3/3" Long with cap posted. It has it's own large capacity pump filler for ink bottle filling and can only use bottle ink. This comes gift boxed.

it is typical of the a lot of pen makers to use lacquer (enamel[?]) over metal.

edited to add: what i wanted to say is that, not sure of the coating they use over the barrel (either lacquer or enamel, or any other coating), but it's not resin.

Edited by lovemy51, 09 December 2011 - 19:32.

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#19 coyotewhisper

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 22:39

Nice review.
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#20 brownargus

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 10:45

Thanks for the review. On the strength of it I purchased one from yespen and it arrived yesterday. I am pleased with it, the only small gripes are that it does fingermark fairly easily and the filling mechanism. I can't get on with the Hero press bar fillers - I can't seem to get enough ink in - perhaps there is a special technique! On some of the Hero pens, the press bar sleeve is removable, which allows me to "massage" the sac to fill it, but on the 1000, it isn't. The fingers inside the hood appear to be some sort of plastic and mine is a very tight fit needing a strong pull to remove it. The freebie Hero 007 (looks very similar to a 616) that came with it courtesy of yespen is fairly poor and of very cheap quality!

Edited by brownargus, 16 December 2011 - 11:29.

<span style="font-family:Verdana;">Favourite seven pens in my collection (in alpha order): Caran d'Ache Ecridor Chevron F, Caran d'Ache Leman Black/Silver F; Parker 51 Aerometric, Parker Sonnet Black Laque F, Large Sailor 1911 Black/Gold 21 Kt M; Sheaffer Crest Palladium F; Waterman Carene Essential Gold 14Kt F</span>

#21 APHK

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 10:55

The freebie Hero 007 (looks very similar to a 616) that came with it courtesy of yespen is fairly poor and of very cheap quality!


So that's what it is, I thought it was another version of the 616. I filled it up with highlighter ink since I have no other use for it.

I recommend carbon ink for the Hero 1000 - I use the Sailor version - to give some lubrication to the nib.

#22 brownargus

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 21:45

1324032354[/url]' post='2187294']
The fingers inside the hood appear to be some sort of plastic and mine is a very tight fit needing a strong pull to remove it.


Correction; having looked closer, there are three metal fingers in a plastic sleeve. To be honest I think the section is obtaining its friction from the plastic sleeve rather than the metal fingers. It is still a tight fit and I feel that the hood should push on further to meet the silver ring on the barrel. Otherwise I am very pleased with the pen.

Edited by brownargus, 18 December 2011 - 21:53.

<span style="font-family:Verdana;">Favourite seven pens in my collection (in alpha order): Caran d'Ache Ecridor Chevron F, Caran d'Ache Leman Black/Silver F; Parker 51 Aerometric, Parker Sonnet Black Laque F, Large Sailor 1911 Black/Gold 21 Kt M; Sheaffer Crest Palladium F; Waterman Carene Essential Gold 14Kt F</span>

#23 wastelanded

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 22:58

Funny, I've never been a fan of pens with hooded nibs: too 'space-age' for me, rabbit ears and kidney shaped tables and all that. My tastes lay more in the 1920's or '30's. But something about this pens grabs me, maybe the shininess, maybe the plainness. It just appeals to me. And based on your excellent review, I think I will give one a try. I see one seller on Ebay selling the 1000 for $18.
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#24 brownargus

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 17:41

1324244750[/url]' post='2189551']

1324032354[/url]' post='2187294']
The fingers inside the hood appear to be some sort of plastic and mine is a very tight fit needing a strong pull to remove it.


Correction; having looked closer, there are three metal fingers in a plastic sleeve. To be honest I think the section is obtaining its friction from the plastic sleeve rather than the metal fingers. It is still a tight fit and I feel that the hood should push on further to meet the silver ring on the barrel. Otherwise I am very pleased with the pen.


After some use, it does appear that the metal fingers are starting to mark the hood section. Mine is still a very tight fit!
<span style="font-family:Verdana;">Favourite seven pens in my collection (in alpha order): Caran d'Ache Ecridor Chevron F, Caran d'Ache Leman Black/Silver F; Parker 51 Aerometric, Parker Sonnet Black Laque F, Large Sailor 1911 Black/Gold 21 Kt M; Sheaffer Crest Palladium F; Waterman Carene Essential Gold 14Kt F</span>

#25 Flounder

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 17:56

The fingers inside the hood appear to be some sort of plastic and mine is a very tight fit needing a strong pull to remove it.

Correction; having looked closer, there are three metal fingers in a plastic sleeve. To be honest I think the section is obtaining its friction from the plastic sleeve rather than the metal fingers. It is still a tight fit and I feel that the hood should push on further to meet the silver ring on the barrel. Otherwise I am very pleased with the pen.


This sounds very similar to the 616's issue of the plastic inner cap preventing the cap fingers from reaching the section's clutch ring.








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#26 APHK

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 04:06

My pen has not been scratched yet...touch wood.

With use, the slightly larger diameter of the ring on the body was getting a bit irritating and so I ground the edge very slightly with fine grit paper. Feels much smoother now.

#27 brownargus

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 16:14

After a couple of years both my Hero 1000s (I got a second one because I thought the first one was lost!) are wearing reasonably well and still look good. The fine nibs though are more like a European EF, but write very well with good flow. Two minor downsides. The lacquer on the barrel looks rather thin - a small scratch has appeared maybe from laying it on the desk, revealing the brass underneath. Also, the cream paint on the end of the barrel also cracked and fell off leaving an unattractive area of brass. So I painted it with some metallic mid grey paint - touch-up paint for my Vauxhall Astra and it looks really good - much better than the cream paint! This must be one of the better of the Hero range of pens.
<span style="font-family:Verdana;">Favourite seven pens in my collection (in alpha order): Caran d'Ache Ecridor Chevron F, Caran d'Ache Leman Black/Silver F; Parker 51 Aerometric, Parker Sonnet Black Laque F, Large Sailor 1911 Black/Gold 21 Kt M; Sheaffer Crest Palladium F; Waterman Carene Essential Gold 14Kt F</span>

#28 Seele

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 16:45

brownargus,

 

Although it is an old thread but your update report is still most welcomed; glad to know that the 1000 wears well. I do have some misgivings regarding the ivory-coloured jewels, but mine is still holding. I do not know if it was designed at Shanghai or Lishui, as it's a Lishui-built model, it's a worthy "reboot" of the hooded nib concept and nicely done too.

 

The best way to get the Hero's "aerometric" filler system to drink up as much ink as possible, is to give it a bit of a rest between squeezes, three to five seconds would be about right.


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#29 brownargus

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 21:52

seele

I hadn't realised the jewel was supposed to be ivory. Mine looked like an odd-coloured cream blob. It simply fell off while I wasn't looking!

Thanks for the tip about filling.
<span style="font-family:Verdana;">Favourite seven pens in my collection (in alpha order): Caran d'Ache Ecridor Chevron F, Caran d'Ache Leman Black/Silver F; Parker 51 Aerometric, Parker Sonnet Black Laque F, Large Sailor 1911 Black/Gold 21 Kt M; Sheaffer Crest Palladium F; Waterman Carene Essential Gold 14Kt F</span>

#30 Edwaroth

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:13

I have a Hero 382 that is incredilble for the money I paid...7.75USD. Has one the best nibs I have ever used. I am an Hero believer. Thanks for the great review of the 1000.


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