Posts Tagged ‘ access control ’



Access Control and How it can Benefit Your Business

Written By:
Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

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AccessControl

In most business environments, companies know the real benefit of having an Access Control System in place at their office, buildings and other facilities. However, there are still many companies that wish to rely on the old-fashioned lock and key system. In this article, we’ll discuss the real benefit of an Access Control System installed and configured properly.

The most obvious benefit is that your users do not need a physical key to open or gain access to your premises. Beyond that obvious benefit, comes the ability to restrict a person’s entry by time of day, day of week, or even permanently revoke their rights on a specific date. You may wish to do that with an outside contractor who has a definitive last day that they should be entering your office or facility.

You can also implement an enterprise wide system that will allow specific users access to only one door while allowing others access to as many doors as you have in the system. All this can be done using something as simple as an RFID card, fingerprint, pass code, or other form of identification. This would allow you to issue a credential to the CEO of the company that opens all of the doors in all of the facilities of your enterprise while issuing the exact same type of card to a Janitor who is only allowed entry at 1 door during pre-set hours and days of the week.

Taking it a step further, you can require multi-factor authentication. That is to say you may require a user to present a card, enter a code, and provide a thumbprint in order to gain access to the more sensitive areas of a facility such as an IT room.

You can mix the number and types of authentication required based on the persons role, the sensitivity of the area, or other business standards.

Moving well beyond simple allow/deny entry methodology, an Access Control system can be integrated with payroll departments to confirm that an employee arrives on time, and can provide alerts to appropriate managers and human resources if an employee fails to show up at an expected time.

This could help in quickly allocating resources to fill in for missing personnel rather than wondering if someone is in the building or not.

A supported access control system can also be either directly integrated with CCTV surveillance equipment software or used with a stand-alone with basic time look-up based on events. For example, if you’re concerned that someone is presenting somebody else credentials to gain access to an area they are not meant to be in, you can easily look-up who presented the credential (Anti-Pass).

Furthermore, you can take immediate action in restricting the misused credentials to avoid any unauthorized access until disciplinary action can be taken. Access Control Systems can and should be integrated with any Fire alarm panel. NOTE: In order to have this implementation, your Access Control board MUST have the required inputs to integrate this with any Fire Alarm System. We also suggest that you talk to your local fire station to make sure the installation is up to City Codes and regulations. This will provide faster egress (exiting) in the event of a fire by allowing otherwise locked doors to be used as a point of exit in the event of a fire.

No one needs to play with keys or worry about which doors are locked. A system can be configured to accept an input directly from the fire alarm system to the access control system to trigger unlocks of all doors.

In extremely secure environments, you can also design access control to provide an audit that would allow you to quickly and accurately determine which users entered what areas of your facility and the path they took to get there.

This will also provide you with a detailed idea of who may have been present at the time of an incident. For example, if an employee slipped and fell but claimed no one saw it, you would immediately know who might have been in the area as a witness to the event.

There are a wide variety of types of credentials available to authenticate a person for access control. Some are as simple as a pin code; some are more complex requiring fingerprints and facial scans. The most common method currently deployed in commercial applications is the card reader. This has been considered “secure enough” for most applications. However, it can be greatly augmented with the use of another factor of credential such as a pin code or a fingerprint.

Many people are willing to “loan” their card to a trusted friend, but most are unwilling to also provide their entry code. You can take security even further by integrating your access control system with your burglar alarm panel. It is not uncommon that you would want the Access Control System to notify law enforcement.

Usually a denied credential or miss-typed pin would not be cause for an alarm. However, there are situations that would be appropriate. You may for example, configure a “duress” code that all employees are given.

In the event they are forced against their will, they could enter the “duress” code and trigger a silent alarm. They could then present the legitimate code to gain entry, with the knowledge that the appropriate law enforcement department has been notified. You can also say goodbye to costly locksmiths. While it’s true that the initial installation of an Access Control System is significantly higher than that of a standard lock and key system, there are more benefits in the long run.

The “lost my key” condition is easily resolved with a simple phone call to the administrator of the system. If configured, the administrator may even be able to unlock the door to a building from anywhere in the world. Combine that ability with a well-designed CCTV system and they can also verify who they’re granting access to before they release the lock. Issuing a new credential is trivial in costs with the average RFID card being around $1 USD.

In conclusion, a properly configured access control system can save a business time, money, and lost man hours. It can also provide an extra level of security and safety features that greatly enhance traditional building level security and safety systems.

For more information and to learn more about Access Control, check out this link on our website.

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Incorporating EcKey Bluetooth Technology with Colorado’s Amendment 64 Security Alarm System and Lock Standards

Written By:
Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

THC

Colorado Marijuana Law known as “Amendment 64″

On December 10th 2012 Colorado approved Amendment 64 into their constitution. Article XVII; Section 16 was born so that the cultivation and retail sale of Marijuana was legal statewide. With all the new laws of course there will always be rules and regulations. The one I will be talking about in this article is section R 305. I will also be introducing the Bluetooth Access Control, the ECKey EK6 and EK7.

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R-305 Security Alarm Systems and Lock Standards.

A – Security Alarm Systems Minimum Requirements.

One of the requirements when operating a Retail Marijuana Establishment is they must have a Security Alarm System that covers all perimeters, windows and entry points. They also need to have some sort of real time monitoring established. Well here at SecurityCameraKing.com we have access control hardware and software that allows you to monitor every entry point to your business.

WHAT IS ACCESS CONTROL?

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R-305 A-3 States that a Licensee shall maintain up-to-date and current records and existing contracts on the licensed premises that describe the location and operation of each Security Alarm System, at SecurityCameraKing.com we have the most knowledgeable Sales Representatives on staff to sketch any scheme necessary when purchasing and installing our access control and locking systems.

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Video example made by one of our Sales Representatives Dan Millard.

You can keep records of ALL incoming and outgoing traffic, from employees to customers. For personnel with special access you can grant them entry using the ECKEY EK6 (a blue tooth access control reader) configured to an existing alarm system or to one of our access control boards.

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The other option if you don’t have an existing alarm system would be the ECKEY EK7 standalone bluetooth reader connected to an electronic door strike or maglock to grant access to employees or customers. This setup would also work great in an indoor or outdoor greenhouse cultivation environment. A benefit with the ECKEY EK7 is that you can use the Vizpin mobile app to control access to the unit.

There is also an EC Key app that is available for all iPhone and Android smartphones. The app allows your Smartphone to set access control and administrate your system the easy way.

Even if don’t own a smartphone, EC Key readers can work and pair with any discoverable Bluetooth device.

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HOW THE ECKEY WORKS

EK6 uses a secure 128 bit Bluetooth encryption to convert your device’s ID to wiegand data and send back to your access control system. The EK6 proximity reader solves the hassle of having access cards, fobs, biometrics and keypads that all have to be touched by either typing in an access code, or touching your hand or finger on a scanner. With access cards you never really know who is actually gaining access to places they are not supposed to be in. The EK6 is hands-free using your smartphones Bluetooth technology to gain access through doors, garages, gates and any other place that you want to keep secure. The EK6, when triggered by a user’s Bluetooth signal, will generate a virtual card number and the device sends the Wiegand data to your access panel, and the panel will either see the card user as a valid user and open the door or an invalid user and not open the door.

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Installation of the EK6 is simple. The Bluetooth reader can be integrated into any existing reader or access control system. Upgrading from keypads, cards, fobs, and biometrics is easy and affordable. I have been in the security business for many years and I will tell you this Bluetooth reader is brilliant. If I didn’t want certain employees in my office, supply closet, building, liquor room and places where money and inventory is kept, securing these places using hand-free devices like a smartphone would have been PRICELESS back in the day. Everyone knows that just like American Express, “no one leaves home without it” (meaning your cell phone).

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DID YOU KNOW?

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VIZpin Guest/Access Control

EC KEY management software lets you configure and manage your EK7 standalone reader. Once downloaded and connected properly you will be able to access the EC KEY software and adjust the set-up, security pin, time of day, users, audit and the ECKEY information tabs. Your unit will arrive with detailed instructions on how to install and configure you Bluetooth reader, but if you run into any issues or obstacles, please feel free to contact us here at our Technical Support Department. You can always contact us Monday through Friday 9am to 6pm.

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Knowledge is Power! – Access Control and Circuits.

Written By:
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

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As you may all know SecurityCameraKing.com serves The Surveillance Industry as well as the Access Control Industry. These two industries are different from one another and it can be overwhelming when installing or troubleshooting your system, mainly because transitioning from surveillance equipment to access control is not the same. Access control requires some knowledge of how circuits work. In this article, I will go over some basic circuit knowledge that will allow you to install or know what to do in a case where you will need to troubleshoot your system. This knowledge can come in handy especially in an emergency situation.

Lets start by going over open and closed circuits.

When a device has a label that reads “Normally Open” this means that in a normal state there is no electric current flowing through the circuit. Think of it as a momentary switch (ex. door bell) when the button is depressed it completes the circuit this allows the flow of electricity and the device will turn on a chime in the case of a door bell.

Lets see how a door bell circuit works.

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The image on the top illustrates the circuit in an open state where there is no flow of electricity, the image on the bottom shows the circuit in a closed state where electricity will flow, allowing the coil on the electromagnet to become energized and with the assistance of a spring giving you the ringing sound.

Now that we know the differences between open and closed circuits I will go over how an access control panel functions and then we can move on to see how they should be connected and why it is very important to know these two basic circuit functions (Normally Open and Normally Closed).

An access control system is simply a controller that triggers ON or OFF circuits by means of relays. This means that any output from the relays can turn ON or OFF [Open or Close Circuits] devices such as a Mag Lock, which is a high powered Magnet that is normally rated in pounds. Closing the circuit in a MagLock will create an Electromagnetic bond that keeps the door closed until there is an input from a reader to the control panel. The control panel opens or closes the circuit using its relays. The diagram shown below illustrates how a Mag Lock functions in the “Control Panel”. In this case it is the “Switch” part.

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Lets see how a “Strike” circuit works. As you can see it works similar to the Mag Lock where the circuits closes and a coil will retract a rod that will allow the person to gain entry. This is called a solenoid.

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Here is a Video on how this is accomplished.

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s move to some other details such as Fail Safe devices. These are devices that even when there is no power the device will continue to be in a locked position, keeping the door secure. Fail Safe devices are typically door strikes.

Electromagnetic Lock Types.

With Door Status Switch: This device will show an open or closed door status to the system, allowing you to know if there is a door that is malfunctioning or someone has propped the door with an object.

With Delay: This will give you a few seconds before the mag lock will release the door. This is most common in a high security area.

The use of Mag Locks or Door Strikes are the most popular ways to control the entry or exit of a building.

Lets see how a one door system with a stand alone controller looks like.

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This is the easiest way to get a small business with only one door up and running with their access control. In the picture above, we see a Door Lock [Door Strike] connected to the Stand-alone controller with door sensors, as well as an exit and Reader. The user identifies himself with the use of a Card or Keyfob at the reader which sends a signal to the controller. The controller goes in its database and sees that this user has access and then completes the circuit to the Door Strike allowing the person entry.

Seems simple?

Lets try it with a control board instead of a standalone. This is good for a medium size business. In this illustration you will see integration with other devices such as a surveillance system by using its alarm outputs. We can now use the cameras as another form of a motion sensor. We can also integrate the system with a fire alarm panel. There is a lot of possibilities, and it is all about knowing the limitations of each board and system.

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Lets move on to battery back up and the use of fuses and Diodes.

When it comes to any security system, one will have the needs to keep these systems running even when there is not power present in the building, either by a malfunction of the Electrical System or by tampering.

There are different capacities of inverters such as 200VA, 250VA, 350VA, 400VA, 450VA, 500VA, 625VA, 1200VA, etc. The capacity of the inverter should be chosen based on how much watt of appliances you power at a time.

For a UPS with 875Va we can use a maximum load of 640 watts. For a UPS with 677Va we can us a maximum load of 540 watts

The main thing we have to understand is that whatever may be the UPS wattage, the battery backup will not vary. The battery backup will only vary depending on the battery Ah and the Usage Load.

To calculate UPS backup, We have a simple formula.

UPS Backup = Battery Ah * (Volts/Load) * (1/Powerfactor)

For Example:

Lets calculate the back up for a system UPS

Load is the usage power. Suppose we are running a PC then the load is around 300 watts.
Power Factor varies for device to device, the average power factor is 1.4

Voltage is the voltage of the battery.
For a single battery the voltage is 12v.
If the batteries are connected in a series   Voltage = 12 * no. of batteries.

Battery Ah is the battery ampere used for the ups,

System UPS battery AH is 7

Then   Battery Backup

=  7 * (12/300) * (1/1.4)
=  7 * (0.04) * (0.7)
=   0.19 hours
=    19 Minutes

Note: You can use the same formula for calculating the battery backup for UPS or an INVERTER.

Battery back up systems can become complex if you are looking to power the devices for more than 30 minutes. Knowing how to calculate what you need is crucial when purchasing the correct back up system or building your own.

This also functions for a Solar Power system. In the case of a Solar Powered System you will have to take into account the Solar Cells as well as the location and knowing peak Sun hours. Here is an article that goes into detail in regards to solar power.

Diode_Diagram

Lets move on to the Function a Diode can have on an access control System. For this we need to know what a Diode’s function is. A diode is a small device with two terminals [+ side is called the Anode and the – side is called the cathode]. This device allows the flow of current only in one direction. This means that in a case where there is  malfunction and there is a device with a short, it will protect the device by not allowing current to flow back into the circuit.

Fun Fact: ;P

A Diode can be found on Light Emitting Diodes also known as LED’s. They work by electroluminescence. Try saying that 3 times, lol.  They work in the same principal where the + side [Anode] and the – side [cathode] and a Semiconductor crystal is in between these two. Depending on the semiconductor is the color that it will emit.

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Lets move on to Fuses.

Fuses are devices that have have a small strip of metal, usually encased inside a cylindrical glass with two ends that connect to a terminal.  They are widely used in the electrical industry as well as the electronic industry. These devices will allow current to flow, but when the amperage is high above its rating the small strip inside will melt, cutting electrical flow while preventing damage to the circuit.

The Fuse is represented by these symbols.

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Now that you know about how the circuits work when it comes to Access control, you can safely install your equipment as well as make a wise decision as to what you need. Keep in mind that the conductors carrying the signals from one device to another is also important, as well as grounding properly each control board if utilizing more than one. Consult our Sales team for any questions that you may have and we can also assist you with Designing the perfect system for your needs.

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How to Install Access Control Software Standard Server Version from IDTECK

Written By:
Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Access control is the ability to allow or restrict access to a place or to have the ability to deny or allow the use of a resource. The idea behind this is to control certain users and resources at a specific place so there is full control of how, when and where the resource is utilized.

Access control can be done manually or completely automatic, but how would you keep track of who, when, and how the resource was accessed? The short answer to that is Access Control Software.

Many access control devices are network capable, which means that they can be accessible over a web browser or through a software via TCP/IP. These devices can also have a Web Service Interface that can show you basic information such as logs, alarm events, etc. Most of these devices that have that capability are very limited on the things you can configure.

Every access control is different in the way they might require a specific set of settings to successfully connect with the main software. In this demonstration I will be showing you how to configure the Standard Version of IDTECK’s Access Control Software.

This software will require 2 sets of programs and setups. One is the server communication and the access control software itself. It is necessary to install SQL for the database of the software so it will be easy to export any database with settings later on. SQL Express comes with the Standard version for free so there is no need to acquire a greater version, unless there is a necessity to have advance settings on SQL. Other than that it should be straight forward.

NOTE: To make sure the installation runs smooth make sure that the following requirements are met:

1.- Windows 7 x32 or x64 bit
2.- At least 10GB of Space on your Hard Drive
3.- Make sure no other SQL Instance is running on your PC
4.- Minimum of 4GB of Ram and a Dual Core Processor with at least 2.00 Ghz.

Software installation

Download the Server version of the software from here: https://docs.google.com/uc?export=download&confirm=P8oW&id=0Bwe1rQdTv-n4YTNyQloteUtxZWM

Double click on the icon and proceed to install the software. Follow the prompt and install all of the necessary updates until you get to the section where you will need to named the Instance. See picture below

IDteck SQL Instance

After naming the instance of your SQL installation you have to make sure you remember the password because this will be required to configure the communication server. Click Next and the SQL process will begin by decompressing the files and preparing the installation process. When done, the following window will appear:

Customer Info

Type a name and a company name to continue the installation. Select all of the features on the list and click Next.

Database Selection

On this section make sure the database server is typed as shown in the picture above. Select SQL server authentication and use the following default username and password (sa) and (1234). Note: If you change the password then you will need to type that info under the password field. Click Next to begin the installation process:

SQL Finish Installation

Click Next to begin the installation. Check the following picture summary to make sure you have all of the SQL features that will be installed.

SQL Copying Files

When the installation is completed, the following 2 icons will appear on your desktop. These icons are essential to the software and a few more adjustments need to be made before we fire up the communication server.

Idteck Comunication and server

The next step is to make sure we have the software executed with administrative rights. To do this, right click on each icon and click on the compatibility tab, then select the “Run this program as an administrator”.

Run As

Double click on the IDTECK communication Server to begin configuring its settings:

Server Settings

After the software launches, click on server setup and the following settings will show as the picture above. Click on the Server IP and make sure that the IP is your computer name\IDTECK. The Database name will be STARWATCH_STD. Username is “sa” and password is “1234”. Authentication should be DB Authentication.

Note: if you change this (username and password) when installing the software then you will need to input the right information. Click OK when done and the result should be as show in the picture below:

Logview

Double click on IDTECK STANDARD Server Icon and input the username and password. The default username and password is admin.

Software login

After all this the software will open up and will display the following interface. From here we can prepare the software to communicate with the device you are trying to manage.

IDteck Software Interface

Note: This software is free with a limit of users and doors that can be run without a license. A pop-pop will show after the software is launched:

IDTECK Pop-up

 

Notice that because the software doesn’t have a device configured in it, the software will display certain errors. See picture below for reference.

No Comunication

To add a device go to “Device Setting Wizard” to configure the Default Site settings. Click the checkbox labeled “Whether to use” and click on the “Site Setting” button. A site settings box will display for you to type the communication server  IP address. The IP address will be the one your computer have. You can find out what IP address your PC have by going to command prompt and execute the ipconfig command.

SITE SETTING’S SCREEN

Site Settings

IPCONFIG SCREEN

ipconfig

At this point you will need to follow the steps to build your database for your access control and configure the connections between the software and your access control equipment.

For more information about this software play the video below to see a quick video demonstration of the operations and configurations of this software.

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Access Control Egress

Written By:
Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

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The events that have happened in the news this past decade have ignited the security industry with many new devices to lock down your area of operation.  Since the expansion of security implementation across the planet there have been growing exponentially and confirmed concerns with access control usage such as people being trapped in burning buildings. Problems occur in the system design when implementing a system to secure the perimeter of a building and restrict egress from the building.  Access control methods such as using the employee badge or radio frequency key card (RFID) to enter and exit may not be appropriate in an emergency situation, especially since people have a tendency to panic.  Professional security access control companies can take steps to reduce or all together stop the negative impact that safety regulations require for egress of a building. Now let’s dive into how safety goals and access control security can be combined with exit points and alarm triggers.

Exit locations controlling access is the main concern from security professionals everywhere and creates strife between security and Fire safety regulators.  While it is allowed to lock your doors to prevent unwanted access to the building in fire code requirements, it is never allowed to inhibit egress from a building. National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA  Life states that every person within the building must be able to exit all doors in their path without use of tools, special knowledge, or effort for operation from the outside to open the door. In short, the path a person takes should be unobstructed to the exit and the door should be able to be open via a crash bar, lever, or very obvious huge button with large lettering that reads PUSH TO OPEN.

In most situations that address access control implementation dictates that door locks from the inside or egress side of door must open during events such as the activation of fire sprinklers or a fire alarm trigger. In most cases the door must remain unlocked until the alarms have been reset to a no-fault status.

The safety code does take into consideration that most false alarms come from smoke detectors. Since there is an understanding of the false triggers the code stipulates that the alarm can be triggered after more than 1 smoke detectors senses smoke there by triggering an alarm, or a combination of a smoke detector, heat detector, and pull station will trigger alarm. Systems for sprinklers and heat are more reliable, so the code requires evacuation when only one of these has its alarm triggered.

When companies want to have a system for access control to use card readers or other biometric access for tracking and restriction of movement in the building the company will have to have a way to address the fire code regulations for free egress in the event of an emergency. Specific hardware will have to be installed on the doors for exit. Panic hardware can come in different shapes and sizes. The main types of hardware are mechanical and electrical. Sometimes these can look like buttons label “PUSH TO EXIT”, or something like a crash bar which is just a bar to push to open the door. Mechanical actuation is from gears and hydraulics. Electronic actuation is with electric that opens or closes the lock. Such as the button to turn a mag lock on or off. Depending on the local municipality is if you will need one or both types of actuation. Most in not all areas are OK with using mechanical actuation as it does not fail in a power loss situation. The electronic actuation in many areas requires a back-up option to it such as mechanical or the door automatically becomes unlocked with no power.  Providing standardized panic hardware along the egress path normally used with access control is the best way to address the code’s egress regulations while still maintaining control at access points. The hardware will allow egress, however this can be used in conjunction with a security camera system to monitor usage in case of employees not following the badge out process policies. This would all be available for review at the Digital Video Recorder to determine if policies need to be changed or discipline action taken.

Types of panic hardware include electric and mechanical. The fixtures used will vary by location as different builders and floor plans will require. There is no one size fits all in this area. The most important standard to keep in mind is all equipment needs to be UL (Underwriter’s Laboratories) certified for use in a fire.

Certain businesses have circumstances in which they want to have personnel respond to the location before egress is allowed. This method of control can be critical to a company such as a retail outlet that does want to limit as much as possible the ability of thieves to perform a snatch and grab at their store by running out a unmonitored exit. The fire code allows for a delayed opening response from the door to prevent theft. The delay permitted is up to fifteen seconds without having to acquire a specific permit from your local fire marshal. After fifteen seconds you will have to prove need and get approval. You may request up to 30 seconds.  If you require a longer delay that will not be approved.  Also the code mandates that you will post clearly that the door does have a delay on it before opening to make the individual aware of it.

Implementing both security and safety in access control system design is not an easy task, and it does require advanced knowledge of the local codes in live setting in conjunction with access control. Prior planning is paramount for professional security experts to find inventive ways to work with the fire code to maintain control of the building for security. This will ensure a situation that will provide safety and security without code violations that turn into fines eating away at your bottom line.

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